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The No Shampoo Alternative - No Poo

Eww!! You, Like, Don’t Use Shampoo!
Why You Should Go No 'Poo
By Christi Colvin


Almost three months ago, I was introduced to the idea of no longer using shampoo. I was intrigued. After looking into it somewhat, I figured I didn’t have anything to lose. So I picked up some baking soda and apple cider vinegar and then took the plunge.

No Shampoo Hair Care Routine

I love the results! There was an adjustment period where I had to play around with the measurements a bit but I finally got the hang of it. I have straight-as-a-board, baby-fine hair that has never held a “do.” After “no 'poo,” I don’t even have to use styling products. I just blow dry and go; my hair now keeps any style. It’s awesome!

Reality Check

You’re thinking you could never do without shampoo, that your hair would be a big oily mess — but it’s quite the opposite. It's a supply and demand relationship, much like nursing a baby. The more your baby wants to nurse, the more milk your body produces. If you suddenly stopped nursing your baby there would be a lot of excess milk, engorgement, etc., for a while until your body returned to a state of balance.

The oily secretions of our body are very much the same. The more we strip away the natural oils, the more demand we are creating and the more oils our bodies will make. So if you stop using the surfactants cold turkey, your body will still be overproducing oil and there will be a lot of oil until your body reaches a balance again.

Do it for Your Health


The main reason to go no 'poo is your health. The number of chemicals in shampoo and other bath and body products is frightening. Your skin is the largest organ on your body. Whatever gets put on your skin gets absorbed into your body, into your bloodstream and into your organs, as has been proven by many studies. Essentially, whatever is toxic to put in your mouth is toxic on your skin as well.

According to Jacqueline Krohn, M.D., in The Whole Way to Natural Detoxification: The Complete Guide to Clearing Your Body of Toxins by Jacqueline Krohn, MD, "Caustic chemicals, such as alkaline solutions, can also penetrate the skin. Once a chemical has penetrated the stratum corneum (the most superficial layer of skin), it moves through the epidermis and into the dermis. Then the rich blood supply of the dermis readily transports the chemical into the bloodstream."

Chemical Content of Shampoo


Following are just a small sample of the toxins found in most shampoos and their detrimental side effects.

Alcohol, isopropyl (SD-40) is a very drying and irritating solvent and dehydrator that strips your skin’s moisture and natural immune barrier, making you more vulnerable to bacteria, molds and viruses. It is made from propylene, a petroleum derivative, and is found in many skin and hair products, fragrances, antibacterial hand washes as well as shellac and antifreeze. It can act as a “carrier,” accelerating the penetration of other harmful chemicals into your skin.

It may promote brown spots and premature aging of skin. A Consumer’s Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients says isopropyl alcohol may cause headaches, flushing, dizziness, mental depression, nausea, vomiting, narcosis, anesthesia and coma. A fatal ingested dose is one ounce or less.

FD&C color pigments are synthetic colors made from coal tar, containing heavy metal salts that deposit toxins onto the skin, causing skin sensitivity and irritation. Absorption of certain colors can cause depletion of oxygen in the body and death. Animal studies have shown almost all of them to be carcinogenic.

Mineral oil is a petroleum by-product that coats the skin like plastic, clogging the pores. It interferes with skin’s ability to eliminate toxins, promoting acne and other disorders.

Propylene glycol (PG) and butylene glycol are petroleum plastics which act as surfactants (wetting agents and solvents). They easily penetrate the skin and can weaken protein and cellular structure. Commonly used to make extracts from herbs, PG is strong enough to remove barnacles from boats!

Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) are detergents and surfactants that may pose serious health threats. They are used in car washes, garage floor cleaners and engine degreasers — and in 90 percent of personal care products that foam. Animals exposed to SLS experienced eye damage, depression, labored breathing, diarrhea, severe skin irritation and even death.

How to No 'Poo


Dissolve about 1 tablespoon of baking soda in just enough water to make a paste. Apply this to your roots only; work it in and let it sit for a minute.

In order to stimulate blood flow, clean your pores and get off built up grime, use your finger tips to scrub your scalp. Start by making a circle on the top of your head in the area you’d wear a crown. Focus on the back of this circle to begin with. Next, fill in the circle. This is where your part will be; grease here affects the way your hair looks. Trace while still scrubbing with your fingertips around the bottom edge of the circle. Keep making scrubbing circles underneath each one, drawing lines in circles around your head.

Lastly, scrub the back of your skull and your temples/sideburns. This will result in less grease and more growth. After doing this, your scalp will feel alive. Many women swear their hair grows faster after a visit to the salon — it does, and this massage method is why.

When scrubbing, you’re actually rubbing your fingers back and forth in short movements. Be gentle; you don’t want to break your hair. Next, pour about 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar into a cup and add water. (I keep two plastic 12-ounce cups in my shower and just mix when I get in.) After you rinse the baking soda out, pour the apple cider vinegar over the ends of your hair, let it sit for a minute and then rinse it out. That’s all there is to it!

No 'Poo Troubleshooting


Remember, there is a transition period from two weeks to two months depending on the person. Here are a few tips:

• If your hair becomes frizzy, try using less baking soda or leaving it on for a shorter period of time. Adding honey may also help.
• If your hair becomes greasy, try using less apple cider vinegar, switching to lemon or lime juice, leaving out the honey, and/or using a comb instead of a brush. Also, make sure you’re applying the apple cider vinegar just to the ends of your hair.
• If your scalp itches, try the following essential oils; tea tree, lavender, rosemary. If your hair becomes dry, try a tiny bit of oil (any oil, I use olive) smoothed on bottom of hair.

Ready to make the change? Sure! Don’t be afraid to go no 'poo. You know how to do it! Enjoy the journey – you’re on your way to a healthier you!

No Shampoo Hair Care Routine

© Christi Colvin is a certified labor assistant and photographer with one three wonderful children and a stellar husband. Find her at http://www.christicolvin.net/

See also: Natural Skincare Recipes |  Natural Hair Dye Ingredients  | Organic Bath and Beauty Products

 

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