Saturday, March 26, 2011

Going Shampoo-less... Why?

While looking at the Conscious Parenting Without Fear page on facebook the other day and stumbled across this post about natural tips.  One gal simply said, "Anyone else 'no poo' their hair?  Google it."

So I did.

I updated my status asking my facebook friends to tell me what they knew about no poo and I checked out a few sites and suggested blogs (such as this one, which has been fairly inspiring and helpful), too.  What I found was too intriguing to not keep looking into.  The more I researched and the more I thought the more intrigued I became.

I decided to jump in hair first.

Like many people I have a love/hate relationship with my hair.  It's thick and wavy and dirty blond.  I've worn it as short as about 1-2" to as long as midway down my back.  About a year ago I cut about 12 inches off my hair (see below).  I really enjoyed it at first and loved how it looked.  Maybe it's the winter weather but lately I feel like my hair, which I'm trying to grow back out, is just plain awful.  I know I need a trim but don't want to take the time or spend the money to get one, and it just feels dry and fried.  My hair is naturally very wiry and doesn't get super oily.  In general I wash it about 4-7 times a week: when I wash I shampoo it twice (the first time never seems to suds very well...) then condition it by leaving the conditioner in for a few minutes then rinsing with cool water.  Because I've been so blah about my hair lately I normally pull it half-back and put a little curling and de-frizzing balm into the ends and that's that.  Every once in awhile I straighten it, which takes about 30-45 minutes so I try to avoid it.

Before my major 2010 cut

After my 2010 cut

I'm ready for something new.

I do know a bit about shampooing and it's effects.  The purpose of shampooing is to remove dirt, oil, product, smell, and other stuff that gets into our hair.  Modern commercial shampoo first really came about in the 1930s; before that most people just used soap.  The push for daily shampooing really came about in the 1970s with campaigns by Farah Fawcett and Christie Brinkley who said it was unclean not to wash your hair every day.  Shampooing removes the natural oils (sebum) that is produced by your pores and after a shampoo your scalp tries to replace the sebum... its similar to how washing and moisturizing your face can affect the oiliness.  When your face first dries after washing it feels really tight if you don't moisturize and if you wait a few hours and leave off the moisturizer your skin will over-produce oil.  Shampoo also contains sulfates which are drying to the hair, so the ingredients combined with the frequency with which most people shampoo is really pretty damaging in terms of moisture.

When I've told people before that I don't always wash daily they almost always respond one of two ways: either they say they're the same way (which doesn't really happen that often) or they act a little grossed out and say they could never do that because their hair gets oily or greasy when they don't wash it every day.  And ya know what?  I believe them.  In fact I know they're right because when I've found myself in the habit of washing every day the moment I skip a day the grease creeps in.  But you have to break the cycle and teach your hair to do what you need it to do.  When I have moved to an every-other-day shampooing cycle it sometimes takes a few days to get my hair back to a normal state, and it usually ends up being cleaner and less greasy or overdry.

So now I'm breaking the cycle in a major way... I'm going no 'poo.  Shampooless.  What have I got to lose?  My hair's in a pretty bad state lately anyway.  So here's my documentation of my progress.  I'll try to post pretty frequently and keep track of how my hair reacts to my experiment.  Here goes nothing!

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