Have you heard a lot of No Poo Myths recently? Does the idea of not washing your hair with shampoo sound a little crazy to you? I admit, I’ve had my doubts.
My friend Ashlee, however, did her research and dove into the “no poo” world three years ago — and she’s alive to tell the tale! I asked her to come on over to share her experience and dispel some common myths about the no poo movement.
Here’s what she has to say:
Did you know…There are an average of 15 toxic chemicals in a bottle of commercial shampoo.
These chemicals have been linked to cancer, allergies, fertility problems, autoimmune disorders, and hormonal disturbances. I chose to avoid those chemicals by using the no poo method. There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about no poo and natural hair care. It’s time to debunk those No Poo myths!
I have compiled all of that information together in an easy-to-follow guide that will answer all of your no poo questions.
What Is No Poo?
“No poo” simply means that I don’t use commercial shampoo. Natural, nourishing, healthy ingredients are what make natural, nourished, healthy hair. The idea that your hair needs chemicals to be healthy is crazy! And frankly, the commercial shampoo marketers are genius to convince us of that.
The Top No Poo Myths:
Let’s take a closer look at the top No Poo Myths…
No Poo Myths #1: No Poo Hair Stinks
Something I get asked more often than I’d like to think about is if my hair stinks. Even my mom lovingly said she thinks it all sounds kinda “gross” after reading my ebook The No Poo Method, and that she loves the smell of clean hair. Well, Mom, I promise my hair smells great!
Honestly, my hair smells better now. Yes, immediately after washing my hair with a fruity smelling shampoo, my hair would smell like a (synthetic) floral arrangement. But after a couple days when that smell would wear off, I’d be left with the toxic aftermath and my hair would smell a little off.
Now that I have detoxed my hair and my scalp of all those nasty ingredients, my hair no longer gets “that smell” between washes. You see, it’s the toxic buildup causing that smell. Not your hair in its natural state.
You can still add yummy, delicious, intoxicating smells back into your hair care routine by using essential oils. Using essential oils in your no poo hair care routine is completely optional. Essential oils are great for your hair health and they smell great. My personal favorite essential oils for my hair are rosemary, ylang ylang, sage, and lavender. Find essential oil recipes here along with lots of information about using essential oils with hair.
No Poo Myths #2: No Poo Hair is Dirty
While I don’t use shampoo, I still wash my hair, I just use natural alternatives to commercial shampoo full of toxic chemicals. When someone uses a natural cleaner to clean their house, we still call it cleaning, right?
So cleaning my hair with a natural cleanser is the same thing. It’s still clean, I just use a natural cleanser. I use natural ingredients that nourish, wash, and moisturize my hair.
No Poo Myths #3: Baking Soda is the Only No Poo Method
The phrase “the no poo method” is a little misleading. There isn’t just one no poo method; there are lots of different methods. When I say “no poo”, most people think of the baking soda and apple cider vinegar method. However, I could interview 100 no poo-ers and there is a good chance that not a single one of them follow the same routine. Everyone has different hair needs and wants different results.
Many people start no poo with great intentions, but quickly quit because they were using the wrong method for their hair type. Baking soda is not for everyone. A major factor in no poo-ing successfully is finding the right method for you by finding out more about your hair characteristics.
The important hair characteristics are:
- Curl Pattern
Find out more about your hair characteristics and needs here. I have low porosity, low density, fine, straight hair. My personal favorite method is the rye flour method. Simply make a paste with equal parts rye flour and water, massage into your hair and scalp, rinse. Easy peasy. Read more about rye flour and other methods here.
No Poo Myths #4: It Makes Your Hair Fall Out
It is normal to lose up to 150 strands of hair a day. If you go a week in between washing, rinsing, and brushing, you will have a week’s worth of fall out at once. Many no poo-ers think they are losing more hair, but really it’s just they aren’t shedding their hair every day anymore through daily washes. So when they do wash, it comes out in bigger clumps.
Several things could cause losing hair:
- hormones / pregnancy
- thyroid problems
- transition / detox phase
- dry or damaged hair (but this usually results in hair breaking instead of falling out at the roots)
- seasonal changes (we lose more hair when it is hot outside)
Blood circulation helps with hair growth. So massaging and scritching & preening helps (read about scritching and preening here with a how-to video). Eating omega 3’s and drinking plenty of water also reduces hair loss.
No Poo Myths #5: No Poo Causes Dandruff
Often it’s not dandruff.
- Make sure you are rinsing your hair completely. Many of the products used in no poo are grainy. And if they are left in your hair, they could be mistaken for dandruff.
- Too much baking soda too often can and probably will damage your hair and scalp causing dryness. So try cutting back on the amount and frequency of baking soda.
- You can use a deep conditioner to combat a dry scalp.
- A big part of the transition period (my transition lasted 3 months) is your hair and scalp detoxing. Sometimes this results in products actually and physically being released from your hair. So you may just be detoxing (which is a good thing!).
Sometimes it is dandruff. Dandruff can be treated with anti-fungal products.
- Essential oils – there is a healthy scalp support essential oil recipe here.
- Honey – Massage into your scalp and allow to sit for several hours. Rinse. You can do this as often as needed but at least several applications over a 2 week period.
- Apple cider vinegar – Mix with water, about a 50/50 ratio and use as a hair mask letting it sit on your scalp for 20-60 minutes, rinse. Do this up to twice a week, as long as needed.
- Probiotics – Probiotics are the good bacteria. Read all about them here. A kefir or kombucha are both full of probiotics and make an excellent hair mask. I use one of those monthly. Simply massage either kefir or kombucha into your scalp and let sit for 20-60 minutes. Rinse. Repeat as often as needed. Yogurt will also work. Taking a probiotic supplement can also help eliminate dandruff.
So There You Have It…
Debunking the no poo myths one misconception at a time! Since I have used the no poo method, my hair has been healthier, shinier, more manageable, and grows much faster. I’m wishing you all healthy, happy hair!
Have you ever tried the No Poo method for your hair? What are the most common No Poo myths you have heard? Tell me in the comments below!
Don’t forget to check out The No Poo Method ebook. For a limited time, The Nourished Life readers can take 30% off the retail price! Use coupon code “nourished” for 30% off through 12/10/15.
Ashlee Mayer is a blogger at The Crunchy Moose & The No Poo Method and the author of The No Poo Method ebook. She started her natural journey several years ago after 3 years of back surgeries. Making some simple changes in her life stopped the seemingly endless back surgery cycle immediately. Now she is stronger and healthier than the doctors said was possible. One of those changes was ditching her toxic shampoo. She has been a no poo-er for almost three years.
More Natural Hair Care Articles:
- How to Get Healthy Hair Naturally
- Bamboo Leaf Tea for Healthy Hair
- Hair Mask Recipe for a Healthy Shine
- Natural Hair Gel Recipe
- Herbal Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse Recipe
- Natural Hair Conditioning Mask Recipe
Elizabeth is the founder of The Nourished Life and has been writing about natural living for 12 years. Her work has been featured at Shape, Bustle, and Mother Earth Living. Her mission is to help you lower your stress levels and find fun ways to become happier and healthier. Read more about Elizabeth here.