Beauty Busting: No Poo Trend

If you have been on pintrest recently, you might have come across the latest trend: No Pooing. But is the trend worth the hype, or is it just the female equivalent of a poop joke?

Claim:

Shampoo strips your hair of its natural oils, which causes your body to overproduce oil to replenish the lost oils.  In essence, shampoo makes your hair more oily.

What to do:

I have found that this site has a comprehensive list of the many different no poo techniques.  It is really hard to find any good research on whether these techniques are actually healthy for your hair.  But before i tried any, i did want to make sure i would not damage my hair.  I did find several sources that seem credible, such as this one, cautioning against the use of baking soda and vinegar on your hair. Basically, baking soda is too alkaline for your hair and acids can dry your hair.  So i did not try that no poo method.  The risks associate with methods using baking soda and vinegar were higher than any potential benefit.  But the baking soda and cider vinegar method is only one method.  Two other methods listed on the no poo website referenced above include egg wash and rye flour.  There is also a method using just water, but i don’t think that is suitable for anyone that ever wants to use any hair product like hair spray.  I did not want to try the egg wash for several reasons: 1) i have cold urticaria, so cold showers are out and hot ones would cook the egg; 2) a whole egg seemed like too much product for my hair and it would be inconvenient to worry about storage; and 3) i buy free range eggs, so it would be more expensive than shampoo in the end.

But i did try the rye flour method… once.  I also tested a DIY dry shampoo on the site.  Corn starch and cocoa powder (i have brown hair).

Participant:

Myself.  A 33 year old female with neutral hair (not really oily or dry).  My hair is fine, wavy, and colour treated.

Results:

Not good.  First of all, the rye flour is really messy.  It got all over the shower.  I also had a hard time rinsing all of the flour out of my hair. The rye flour i used had a bit of husks or something, which got tangled in my hair and stayed there.  My hair didn’t feel clean after either.  Also, some of the flour bonded with the oil on my scalp and i could feel it after the shower, which irritated me and i found i was scratching my head often.

I had more success with the dry shampoo.  This method has been around for ever.  And as long as you use something like talc or corn starch, it shouldn’t be more damaging than the dry shampoos that you buy.  The cocoa powder did make the dry shampoo power less visible. But it does make you smell like chocolate (which i didn’t really like… i don’t care for chocolate much), and is a bit messier because of the colour.  But overall, i would use it again in a pinch.

Overall, i find this no poo trend to be more of a DIY shampoo trend then really no shampoo. For example, the shampoo  i use has apple cider as one of the major ingredients.

The Verdict:

I would say that the whole no poo trend is really just a poop joke.  The major problem i have with it is the basic premise that anything that a company makes is by default unhealthy.  They claim that it is because the shampoos strip your hair of natural oils, but then they suggest pouring apple cider vinegar on your hair.  And anyone who has made some DIY cleaning products at home knows that vinegar is used to remove oil.  The basic premise of the trend is flawed.

Further, all shampoos are lumped together, which isn’t fair.  Some are more gentle on hair than others.  For example, i use Live Clean Apple Cider Shampoo, which has the following ingredients:

Water, Lavender Extract, Chamomile Flower Extract, Rosemary Leaf Extract, Tea Plant Leaf Extract, Sunflower Seed Extract, Apple, Vinegar, Sodium Methyl 2-Sulfolaurate (cleanser derived from coconut), Disodium 2- Sulfolaurate (another cleanser derived from coconut), Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate (organic salt), Cocamidopropyl Betaine (another cleanser derived from coconut), Glycol Distearate (emulsifier), Coco-Glucoside (cleansing agent made of fatty alcohol from coconuts), Glyceryl Oleate (naturally occurring oil), Glyceryl Stearate (emulsifier), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Glycerin (preservative), Panthenol (lubricant/conditioner derived from vitamin B5), Fragrance, Phenoxyethanol (preservative), Polyquaternium 10 (anti-static agent), Sodium Benzoate (organic alcohol that acts as a preservative), Citric Acid (preservative), dye (color).

As you can see from above, although you might take issue with the “chemicals” that act as preservatives, there are no “unnatural” chemicals that strip hair of its natural oils.  Most of the ingredients, and all of the cleansers, are not synthetic or concocted in a laboratory; they were discovered in nature.

Final thoughts:

If you would like to try the no poo approach, or have found that it works for you, go for it.  But make sure that you are doing it for the right reasons.  There are good shampoos available on the market.  But sometimes it is fun to try DIY methods.  It is also good to know if a DIY strategy works well for you in case you are in a jam in the future.  Flour shampoo will not be my prefered method of washing my hair, but if i was broke, out of shampoo, and really needed to clean my hair, i would use it.

As always, results will vary from person to person.  If you have tried this method, please comment below and tell me how it worked for you.  Please include information about your hair and how you made and used your no poo.  The more data that we can collect, the more informed other readers will be when deciding whether to try no poo methods.

Image from: Boring Soap

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2 comments

  1. I actually tried the Cider Vinegar and Baking Soda thing hoping I could get away with washing my hair once a week, and eliminating a little bit of the chemicals going through our water, but it was awful!!!! The first time I did it my hair was super soft and light, but after that it felt like there was a thick coating of wax on my hair, and it didn’t matter how I adjusted the ratios I couldn’t get rid of it. The baking soda also started leaving a residue. I couldn’t brush it or part it. I have super thick hair though, so the ingredients aren’t exactly easy to work through my whole scalp. I gave it a week before I couldn’t deal with people looking at me like I was gross.

    • I know the feeling. That’s probably why I only tried it once. I really felt dirty. My hair didn’t look horrible, but like you said there was weird build up that made me feel gross.

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