How to wash your hair without shampoo
Washing your hair with shampoo seems like a no-brainer - everyone does it! - but what if we told you that it's not actually necessary? Don't freak out! We know what you're thinking, no shampoo sounds like a greasy mess, and that's what we thought at first until we dug a little deeper. We're sharing all that we've learned about the "poo-free" method and discussing the benefits, tips to make the switch, and what products you can buy or DIY to get healthy, clean hair without shampoo below!
Why you should consider ditching shampoo:
Shampoo is a detergent that strips your hair of natural oils
Shampoos use a variety of ingredients, but most include detergents such as sulfates, foaming agents, preservatives, and other additives. While it does clean your hair, it also strips it of all the healthy oil your body produces naturally. Oils protect your hair and keep it healthy, soft and strong, so shampoo really does a number on your hair!
Shampoo includes all sorts of chemicals
We tend to eat fairly healthy and avoid any processed foods, so why should it be any different for the things we put on our hair and skin? Most shampoos contain a list of chemicals, mineral oil (a byproduct of crude oil) being one, which coats hair strands to give them shine. So, your hair may look extra shiny after shampooing, but the problem is that mineral oil can’t absorb into the skin and acts as a barrier, preventing natural oils from being released. This then requires more shampoo to strip away grease, creating a repetitive cycle of washing.
Shampoo is bad for the environment
Using shampoo creates a cycle that requires a dependency. To combat the stripping of protective oils, we need to use a conditioner, which like shampoo, also uses artificial ingredients. That’s two single-use plastic bottles you get stuck continuously buying, which is not good for the environment nor your wallet!
Benefits of "poo-free":
Dandruff can be caused by many differnt things, but people often treat dandruff the same, with a special shampoo. These dandruff shampoos can actually strip natural oils and encourage the scalp to dry out even more.
Less oil buildup
Your scalp starts producing more oil when it senses your hair is getting dry (aka the second you step out of the shower). It may sound counterintuitive, but not shampooing can lead to less oil production over time as your natural oils start to even out.
Softer, healthier hair
When you stop stripping your hair of its natural oils, it will get softer over time. Healthy hair and a healthy, balanced scalp go hand in hand.
How to go "poo-free":
Just because you’re ditching the shampoo, doesn’t mean you ditch washing your hair. You're just cleansing your hair in different ways. There are several ways to go to "poo-free", but here are some of the most popular options...
Baking soda & apple cider vinegar
This combo is good for all hair types and hair more prone to dandruff. The baking soda cleanses while the apple cider vinegar softens strands. To use this method, you’ll want to make a baking soda paste. It should be 1 part baking soda to 3 parts water. In the shower, apply the paste to your scalp like you would shampoo and let it sit for a few minutes. Then you can rinse and apply a diluted apple cider vinegar solution to the lengths of your hair (about ½ cup of ACV and 1 cup water). The apple cider vinegar counteracts the baking soda and acts as a conditioner, as it helps to detangle and seal hair cuticles. If your hair is more on the oily side, you can skip the apple cider vinegar step as this helps to soften and condition. Always spot test before going straight to your scalp, as this combo can be irritating for some skin types.
Soapwort root & essential oils
This recipe has a more extensive list of ingredients but it is super customizable to every hair type and all ingredients can be found on Amazon. It uses soapwort root which, as the name suggests, does create a small lather, but nothing like a regular shampoo. It works like baking soda to remove oil and dirt but is more gentle and can be good for treating skin conditions such as eczema. Read up more on this DIY recipe here.
If you’re looking to reduce your environmental impact but want to stick with something more similar to shampoo (at least to start), shampoo bars are a great alternative, as they still lather like a regular shampoo, but they don't come in plastic packaging. Lush has a bunch of great shampoo bars and our favourite is the Honey I Washed My Hair (Lush, $11.95), as it has a lovely smell and it lasts a super long time - up to 80 washes! The downside to these shampoo bars is that they aren’t completely natural and do contain sulfate as the first ingredient.
Natural shampoos are great because they don't contain any chemicals that standard drugstore shampoos do. These are great if you’re looking to slowly make the switch and get your hair used to cleansing without chemicals. There are a variety of natural shampoos available at The Detox Market, but the one that caught our eye is the Goop Himalayan Salt Scalp Scrub Shampoo (Detox Market, $58) because of its great reviews. The major con about using natural shampoos is that you’ll still be purchasing single-use containers, but if you are washing your hair less, at least you will be purchasing this less often!
Now that you’re versed in the world of no shampoo, let’s discuss the drying process. Drying and styling your hair can be a pain! Book an in-home hairstyling appointment here and our hair professionals will style your hair to perfection from wet to dry. Our mobile hairstylists travel to you so you can enjoy salon-quality hair at home!