• 5 Steps to Go No Poo – The “No Poo” Shampoo Method

    January 9, 2018 • BEAUTY, CLEAN, GUIDES

    no poo feature

    The No Poo Method, where you ditch generic shampoo for healthier options, makes a lot of sense.

    Short for “No Shampoo”, the No Poo method has a lot of devoted fans who have abandoned the petrochemicals and detergents in conventional shampoo, and let their scalp return to its natural oil balance, saving them time, money and their long-term health.

    Why Go “No Poo”?

    When using generic, detergent-based shampoos, the chemicals are known to strip the natural oils from your scalp. This may leave your hair fluffy, light, and feeling “clean”.

    But, stripping the natural oils means your scalp starts to overproduce oils to compensate. The result? A scalp that is perpetually oily, in need of washing, and bombarded with petrochemicals you and the Earth are paying for.

    But what if you didn’t need to wash your hair with shampoo?

    Many No Poo devotees have found that once they left their hair alone and stopped stripping away oils, their oil production balanced out. Their hair was healthier, it didn’t get oily for ages, and they could go without washing for longer. They also saved money by not buying conventional hair products, and opting for natural alternatives instead. This means fewer petrochemicals entering our waterways and harming the environment.

    Sounds like the perfect hair dream.

    5 Steps to Go No Poo

    1. Prepare for Your Oily Transition

    The transition period starts when you ditch using generic shampoo altogether, and go as long as you can before having to rinse your hair with water.

    To prepare for this transition, some people leave bigger and bigger gaps in between washing with normal shampoo, to get used to less frequent washing. Others like to wash their hair everyday with water. And some people like to go cold turkey from washing altogether.

    By rule of thumb, it will take at least six weeks for your hair to transition properly.

    It usually takes this long because your scalp is so used to its oil being stripped, it will be overcompensating for a while. But leaving natural oils sitting on your scalp for longer will make the scalp recognise it doesn’t need to produce any more oil. After six weeks, your oil production should dramatically lessen. Once your hair can go a few days without being too oily, you’ve finished your transition.

    2. Help Your Hair Along

    There are some things you can do to help your hair through this transition.

    If you have hard water and chlorine coming out of your shower head, this will affect the health of your hair. Investing in a chlorine shower filter will maintain high water quality and ensure your skin’s health too.

    By manually distributing excess oil away from your scalp, you can nourish longer strands of hair and keep it feeling less dirty. Brushing with a wooden hair brush will drag the oil to the tips of your hair, and will absorb some oil itself.

    You can also prepare in advance to make your transition easier. Brainstorm hairstyles and head wear for your particularly oily days. Get rid of your generic shampoo so you’re not tempted to use it. Premix and store natural ingredients in your shower so you can easily wash your hair if you need.

    With some simple tools and preparation, you’ll be ready to take your transition head on (no pun intended).

    3. Test your Hair’s Porosity

    Hair porosity is how well hair absorbs and hold moisture, and depends on if your hair cuticles (or the outer most part of your hair shaft) are open or closed.

    Knowing how porous your hair is will help with your transition, and will tell you how to look after it better

    To test your hair porosity, take a bowl of room temperature water, and place a few hair strands of clean hair into the water (so do this before your transition period). Then watch the hair for four minutes.

    If the hair strands sink immediately, they have high porosity. This means the hair’s cuticles have gaps , so they let moisture in and out very quickly. Curly hair is generally more porous than straight, and high porosity makes hair frizzy. Highly porous hair will need some extra love during your No Poo transition. Some people like to use coconut oil as a hair oil to prevent moisture loss after showering.

    If the strands are still floating after four minutes, they have low porosity. This means the hair’s cuticles are tight, so they can’t absorb moisture. Gentle heat, honey, or clay are great for opening the cuticles and nourishing the hair. Make your own DIY Clay Shampoo Paste here >

    Coating the hair in rich emollients like shea butter or coconut oil will also moisturise the hair, although this may be best left till after your oily transition.

    If your strands slowly sink with time, this is normal or medium porosity. This means your hair is healthy, but we recommend testing the porosity again after your transition period, in case your hair needs some extra help.

    4. Try Natural Alternatives

    After you’ve gone as long as you can without washing your hair, you want some natural alternatives to make your hair feel cleaner.

    Alternatives like bi carb, lemon juice, and apple cider vinegar are common alternatives. But we advise against using bi carb, or baking soda, on your hair.

    While the natural pH of your hair is 4.5, baking soda’s natural pH is 9, so more alkaline. Changing the natural pH of your hair to alkaline opens up the cuticles, damaging the hair in the long term. Many use an apple cider vinegar rinse following baking soda, to restore the scalp’s natural pH. But it’s hard to ensure this with the right dilutions, and opening and closing the cuticles on a regular basis isn’t good for them.

    Castile soap is also a pH9, so we don’t advise it for a natural shampoo alternative. Instead, we recommend using diluted apple cider vinegar rinses, as this is the same pH as your scalp; plain water and clay shampoo are also good alternatives. Make your own DIY Herbal Conditioning Hair Spritz here >

    5. Having Trouble Transitioning? Go “Low Poo”

    If natural alternatives and a long transition don’t work for you, you can also opt for the Low Poo method.

    We have great natural shampoo bars that don’t rely on harsh detergents and petrochemicals. Instead, they’re based on saponified oils, which gently (and naturally) cleanse. Our shampoo bars do not contain palm oil.

    The Low Poo method means you still have longer gaps between washing your hair, but you use a natural shampoo when you do.

    Note that dry shampoo should generally be avoided. While rinsing your hair with water will still leave some oil on your scalp (which is what you want), dry shampoo will absorb all the excess oil away from your head, which is the opposite of what we want.

    The Results

    When we ditch the nasty toxins and rely on our own natural processes to take care of our hair, we can see a huge difference in our health, wealth, and the planet.

    So overall, the No Poo method is a winner for everyone.

    Browse our natural hair care products here >

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