I don’t know about you lovely ladies and gents, but I am constantly looking for ways to enhance my hair quality; making it silkier, smoother, longer, curlier, straighter, styled, (and on and on the list goes)… It can get quite finicky. Who else is in the same boat? I remember back to school days when all the curly-haired girls wanted straight hair, and all the straight-haired girls wanted curls. It’s a funny thing that, huh? One thing we all have in common though is the desire to have luscious locks that radiate health and vitality, ideally in a natural way.
It has been highly recommended by many people who follow the natural health and wellness lifestyle that no poo is the way to go, but is this really true?
What Exactly Is ‘No Poo’?
Some of you may be sitting there reading this and thinking, “What on Earth does she mean by ‘no poo’? Is she referring to bowel movements and people’s gut problems?”
If you were thinking this, please comment below with a ‘👍’, it would give me such a laugh and honestly make my day 😂 Don’t feel like you’re the only one who thought this though, when I first heard the term, before I realised what it was relating to, I thought it had something to do with IBS 😅
Anyway, going back to the question, “no poo” refers to your hair, not your bowel movements.
Those who follow a “no poo” hair regime simply opt to not use shampoo and instead switch to baking soda as a wash. It is generally recommended that you use diluted baking soda as the “shampoo” and follow it up with an apple cider vinegar rinse (which kind of acts as a conditioner to give hair back its shine).
It would appear to be the best natural solution for hair care, super simple and cheap to do. However, if you’ve followed this method before, you may have had some challenges along the way.
Why No Poo is Not So Good
Baking soda seems to be a great choice for a scrub as it’s a great cleanser, but when you use it for long periods of time, you start to see why it’s not the best option for hair maintenance.
Many of us (me included) start out absolutely loving the no poo method; it’s so quick and easy to do, leaves hair clean, and even adds a little volume. But the time comes when you start to notice how your hair often becomes dry and difficult to manage. It breaks easily, you get a lot of buildup, and for me, your hair just doesn’t look nearly as clean as it used to (mine tended to get oily again really quickly, or still look oily after I’d just washed it). You may even resort back to conventional hair care shampoos and conditioners just so you can have hair you feel confident and happy with (I must admit I was one of these people✋).
Here are some of the reasons this can happen:
Changes Hair’s Natural pH
Your hair’s natural pH is between 4.5-5.5, so it’s a little acidic. Whereas baking soda has a pH of 9, making it way more alkaline, which differs immensely from your hair.
By repeatedly washing your hair with such an alkalised solution, you’re forcing your hair to change its natural state, which eventually, overtime, may cause it to become frizzy, dry, and prone to breakage.
The apple cider vinegar rinse which follows the baking soda wash is meant to help restore some of the acidity to your hair, but a lot of people aren’t able properly dilute and balance the solutions in order to restore hair to its correct pH level. This is understandable though, as it’s meant to be a quick solution you can whip up in seconds, and what’s more, it’s not an easy feat trying to ensure each strand of hair has been evenly covered from top to bottom (ain’t nobody got time for that).
Strips Natural Oils from Hair
Due to baking soda’s alkalinity and coarseness, overtime it has the ability to strip away the oils that naturally coat your hair. The oils are there for a reason, they’re used to protect your hair and scalp and keep them moisturised. Every individual will produce a different amount of oil that coats their scalp and hair, and depending on the products they use, it can vary even more.
Conventional shampoos also strip away these natural oils, but once you find a hair care routine that works for you, your hair can often rebalance itself again and you may find your hair isn’t as oily, or as dry anymore.
Baking Soda is Too Coarse.
Due to its very abrasive structure and texture, baking soda can wear away the delicate hair structures overtime, causing damage to hair, which may result in dry, split ends.
Alternatives to the No Poo Method
- Make your own natural shampoo. Instead of using the no poo method to clean your hair naturally, why not try a homemade natural shampoo? This is my favourite recipe that I’ve been using for a while now and I honestly love it! This one has worked the best for me out of all the other recipes I’ve tried, and it doesn’t leave my hair looking dry, brittle, and frizzy.
- Hair detox shampoo. When switching from a conventional shampoo to a natural one, there may be a bit of an adjustment period while your hair gets used to the new hair care regime. To help speed up the process, using a natural hair detox shampoo helps to nourish hair and allow it to get used to the new natural shampoo a little quicker.
- Make your own dry shampoo! This is by far may favourite thing to use on my hair as it saves me needing to wash my hair all the time (as I have quite oily hair). I can go a whole week only having washed my hair once when I use this baby! This homemade dry shampoo works for both dark and light hair, and is a great little solution to use while you’re figuring out what works best for your hair. (Bonus: the dark hair dry shampoo makes your hair smell like chocolate! 😍).
Everyone’s hair is different, and therefore will respond in many different ways to different hair care methods. If no poo doesn’t work for you, don’t worry, there are SO MANY natural hair care recommendations out there, it’s just about trialling different ones and seeing what works best for you and your hair. Experiment, have fun with it, and feel free to try any of the natural shampoos I mentioned above. If you do give them a go, I hope you love them just as much as I do!
As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor before trying or using any new products.
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What hair care routine have you adopted? Do you have other suggestions for natural hair care options or even some recipes to try out? Share them with me below! I love hearing new ideas!
Wells, Katie. (January 8, 2019). The Hidden Problem with “No Poo” (And What to Do Instead). Wellness Mama. Retrieved from https://wellnessmama.com/147654/no-poo-problem/
Dr. Mercola. (January 16, 2016). Is the ‘No Shampoo’ Trend Healthy or Harmful?. Mercola. Retrieved from https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/01/16/ditching-shampoo.aspx
Smith, Camelia. (March 7, 2019). The Ugly Side Of No Poo Low Poo Methods And How To Get It Right. Botox for Hair. Retrieved from https://www.botoxforhair.net/clarifying-shampoos/no-poo-low-poo/
Norris, Taylor. (September 27, 2017). What Is No Poo, How Does It Work, and Should You Try It?. Healthline. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/no-poo#candidate
Why No ‘Poo Didn’t Work For Me. Traditional Cooking School. Retrieved from https://traditionalcookingschool.com/health-and-nutrition/why-no-poo-didnt-work-for-me/