COLUMN: The no-'poo 'do



I am a proud no-'poo 'do-er. That's right. I don't do shampoo. Suave, L'Oreal and others can't count on me to fill their pockets.

While I was busy actively keeping out man-made and unnatural ingredients from my body on the food front, an unseen enemy was sneaking around the side entrance unbeknownst to me: shampoo.

After a lot of reading and thinking about how people kept their hair clean before our common, chemical-laden shampoo was invented,  I came across the no-'poo movement, which helped me to learn shampoos often have chemicals that many people, like myself, do not approve of, such as MIT and sulfates. Many say MIT might mess with our young neurons, and we put it right by our brain.

So, I and many others are boycotting the use of the many added chemicals, fake fragrances and dyes in shampoos, laundry soaps and the like.

After I decided that commercial shampoos weren't for me, I checked out the no-'poo movement more. It uses natural, simple and safe alternatives to cleaning hair. It's also called the curly girl method, among other things, as many people notice curly and voluminous hair with this 'do.

Ask me how often I wash my hair, and I will say once every five days or so. Yep. That's because the alternatives I'm using aren't detergent-based, so they don't over-strip my hair of its natural oils. Because of this, I don't have to wash my hair as often as before, which was usually every two-to-three days.

When detergent-based shampoos came onto the market in the early 1900s, it stripped the hair so much they needed something to moisturize dried-out scalps. A little later, commercial conditioner was made, which basically made hair over-conditioned to make up for the stripping, and a vicious, yet lucrative, cycle began.

I have a lot of options; some days I will clean my hair with lemons, baking soda or natural shampoo bar soaps. If I need a conditioner, a little bit of apple cider vinegar goes a long way, but there are also conditioner bars that use only natural ingredients.

There are natural bars out there with ingredients like saponified oils of unrefined cocoa butter, virgin shea butter, sunflower, coconut, mango butter, water, rosemary oil extract and organic coconut milk. They just aren't as common. With ingredients like that, I can be happy and clean.

I, and others, did go through a period called the "breaking-in period," where the natural oils in the scalp have to adjust to the less stringent strip-cleaning, leading to not-cool hair days. For most people, it seems to only be a few weeks. Just wear a hat or something. Your hair has to adjust to all those years of stripping and over-conditioning.

So, if you are looking for a way to help your hair, water supply and your wallet, this might be the 'do for you.


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