Beauty: No Shampoo

Imagine a world where your hair always falls just the right way, has the perfect amount of bend, and is never frizzy. You wouldn't have to blow-dry or curl it to get it to look effortlessly beautiful and bouncy. It would just look that way. On. Its. Own. 

This is what happened to me when I stopped shampooing my hair. "No-'poo" is trending on beauty blogs lately, but if you're anything like me, you will demand to know the science behind such a theory before trying it out yourself. And since the Internet makes us all scientists, here it is: commercial shampoo strips hair of its natural oils, causing hair to over-compensate in oil production, leading to too much oil (AKA vicious cycle). The main chemical culprits in shampoo responsible for this are sodium lauryl sulfate and silicone derivatives, which coat hair and prevent moisture from entering. You wouldn't use soap that stripped your skin of its oils, so why do that to your hair?

If the benefits on your locks aren't reason enough, consider the carbon footprint of the entire shampooing process. It aids the plastics pollution problem, and the chemical ingredients found in shampoos usually aren't processed by waste treatment facilities, especially in third world countries, and have been found to have harmful affects on plants and algae. Also, leading a shampoo-and-conditioner-free life is basically FREE.

What tempted me to go no 'poo was this Byrdie Beauty article. As it is, my hair is pretty thick and I wash it once a week. For the last two years, I've been strictly off the hot tools (but if Patrick Dempsey calls for a date, I'll pull out all the stops). 

My head of straw, which used to be wild and take on a mind of its own, is arguably now the envy of a Pantene Pro-V commercial. Word of caution: this took gradual transition. I went from using Wella Shampoo & Condition for color-treated hair to Nude products, which are free of chemical ingredients, to wean my hair off the oil-stripping ingredients. 

After two weeks, I ditched shampoo and used only conditioner. When going no 'poo, wash your hair by lathering under running water the same way you'd shampoo, then finger-comb conditioner evenly through your strands and rinse. After a month, I swapped conditioner for extra-virgin coconut oil. Apply by combing oil through dry hair, letting it sit, and rinsing. In all cases, a good leave-in product post-shower is a must. Moroccan oil is one of my favorites.

Beautiful hair comes in so many different forms. Embrace whatever yours is. 

Mina AikenComment