5/22/2016

alternatives to shampoo (no poo method)

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Hello, everyone!
Looking into your bathroom cabinet, how simply and reduced it may be, you will be very likely to find always one thing in there: shampoo. As it is needed almost every time, it seems kind of irreplacable to a lot of people.
NOTE: I am not a hair specialist/expert. This is just the information I found.
Why should I avoid using shampoo?
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Shampoo, obviously, is not waste- free. Apart from the plastic, the bottle is made of enviroment- harming plastic, the shampoo itself contains toxic substances such as Sodium laureth sulfate and polyethylene glycol, both directly linked to cancer (source). These ingredients are not only harmful to your own body but also to the enviroment. Comparing different shampoos, it becomes clear that this does not only apply to cheap regular shampoos but even to high- end products or those claiming to include 'only natural ingredients'. Shampoos often only differ in the perfume or aroma used and the form of plastic, they are packaged in.
The plastic packaging is yet another issue. Given that an average person purchases one shampoo (about 31 gramms per bottle) every third month, (source) 4 bottles of shampoo are thrown away per person per year (124 gramms a year). Although this may seem not too much, the plastic value quickly adds up when you take a whole population into consideration.

But don't we need shampoo to keep our hair clean?
If it were so, I wonder how people washed their hair back in times when shampoos were not available to everyone or when they simply were not invented. The first shampoo- like substance was invented in India in the 16th century. Do you think, everyone had greasy hair before that time? But also after the invention on conventional shampoo in the 20th century, people did not use shampoo how we do today. It was quite common to wash your hair once a month. The intervals of washing your hair became small until it is today considered ugly to wash your hair less than every second day. (source). But it is proven by history, that humans can, indeed, keep their hair clean without the use of shampoo.

Then, why does hair become greasy so quickly without using shampoo?
Paradoxically, quickly greasing hair is caused by the frequent use of shampoo. As washing with shampoo drains off the oil that the scalp produces, the scalp will reproduce it as fast as possible. Using shampoo again in this time of reproduction signalized the body, that the oils are drained off even faster, thus, they will be produced even faster. So, quitting shampoo will necessarily lead to a very greasy and oily hair in the first time. But as the scalp stabilizes itself, this effect will diminish over time until is has come back to its natural standard.

What is the no poo method?
The so- called no poo method describes a method of shampoo free hair care, using alternative, really natural products, such as baking soda, vinegar or coconut oil. It claims also the possibly to wash your hair with water only. People using this method claim to have improved their hair's quality and health while simplifying their hair care. (source)

And which no poo method then is the best?
Not having tried out any of the no poo method, I cannot say, which one may work.
I, personally, want to go all out and try out washing my hair with nothing but water.

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How does it work?
Washing your hair with water only does not mean to just pouring a bottle of water over your head and being done. To wash your hair completely and carefully, you have to undergo several steps:

  1. Wait until your hair becomes greasy. Do not wash your hair every day out of routine but wait until it is visibly greasy. I would recommend adding an 'extra day' of not washing your hair each time, you wash it. 
  2. Separate your hair in a few rough sections that you wash one after the other.
  3. Wash with really warm water. Take a section and use your fingers to slide down the whole section of hair till the hair- ends. Doing this 'pulls' the oil down from the roots of your hair.
  4. Then, do the same with a comb to really pull down the oil from your scalp.
  5. Let your hair dry without using a blow dryer.
This are, at least, the tips, I got from several sites recommending washing your hair with water only. (sources: blog 1(very detailed), blog 2, blog 3, youtube channel)

How will I do it? 
I want to try out the method described above for at least 30 days. So, in a month or two I will post an update to this topic, talking about my experiences with the no poo method.

I hope, you enjoyed reading this and got inspired to try a no poo method as well. 
See you tomorrow!

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