Supposed Benefits: The No ‘Poo Method is the term for using haircare/body products that contain zero chemicals, sulfates, alcohols, colorants; you get the picture. People say that their hair is bouncier, feels cleaner, and requires less styling. Going fully “No ‘Poo” means washing your hair with baking soda and vinegar. I went “Low-Poo” or “Sorta Poo” by using castile soap instead.
Supplies: Dr. Bronner’s Unscented Castile Soap, Coconut Oil, Essential Oils, Citrus Peels, Foam Pump Bottles, Spray bottles, or 3-oz travel bottles.
Hypothesis: “My hair will be super-shiny and even better than it is now.” (I was blessed with long, strawberry-blonde, super thick, wavy hair.)
Process and Results: You don’t have to make your own shampoo, but I did. I tried several recipes and came up with my own, too. The general rule is to water-down the Castile soap to 1 part soap to 9 parts water (if you feel you need a higher concentrate of soap, try it. I’ve tried making the shampoo much stronger, but the ratio of 1:9 was best). Recipes are designed for 3 ounce bottles.
Recipe #1: Invigorating
Fill an empty 3-oz bottle 1/10th of the way up with unscented castile soap (yes, you can eyeball it). Set aside.
Steep orange peels, 1-2 drops Sweet Orange Oil, and 1-2 drops Eucalyptus Oil in a small pot of hot water.
Strain water into the bottle with the soap to fill it up. Shake gently to mix.
You can leave in the same bottle, or dump into a recycled foam-pumper bottle or a spray bottle (a spray bottle is best, so you can distribute the shampoo evenly on hair.)
Recipe #2: Soothing
Fill bottle 1/10th with unscented castile soap.
Mix warm water (estimate how much you need to fill other 9/10ths of bottle), 1 teaspoon jojoba oil, and 2 drops rosemary essential oil.
Fill soap bottle with water/oil mixture.
Recipe #3: Stimulating
Fill 1/10th of bottle with unscented castile soap.
Make a cup of green tea (you won’t be using all of it) and steep 15-30 minutes.
Pour tea to fill bottle, and then add 2-3 drops peppermint oil. Shake gently.
You can try any essential oil you love or need. (Try a skin test before using, as some oils can be irritating). Most oils and herbs (yes, you can add herbs too!) have great advantages:
Use tea tree oil for dandruff,
Lavender oil for mood and disinfecting,
Chamomile tea and lemon for blonde highlights,
Basil and rosemary for hair growth stimulation,
Peppermint oil for the same reason,
Sage oil for deep-cleaning and conditioning.
So, I started using my home made shampoo in October of 2011. The first day, I used the Invigorating recipe. As soon as I exited the shower, I saw something amazing: Shine! While my hair was wet, I saw a noticeable shimmer, but assumed it was just the water. As my hair dried, the shine was still there! The next morning, no dandruff! Every little speck of it, gone!
Now, a word of warning. This shampoo does not feel like the shampoo you’re used to. Commercial shampoos are filled with lathering agents which make the soap foamy and easy to handle. The lather in your shampoo is not the cleaning agent, and you shouldn’t mistake bubbliness for cleanliness. The home made shampoo does not lather. That doesn’t mean you should dump it all over your head; a little bit goes a long way because the soap concentration is so much higher than in store-bought products, which are stocked with other chemicals. That’s why I’ve suggested a foamer or squirt bottle- it will help you handle the shampoo better.
This method takes a bit of getting used to. The new shampoo has to get rid of all the crap that’s been eating up your hair’s health for so long. Your commercial shampoos have been stripping your hair of its natural oils, and coating it with chemicals. You should see some results right away, like I did, and full results after a few weeks or even months. I haven’t put a sulfate in my hair for almost a year. One of the things I have noticed is that for my entire life, I have not known the true texture of my hair. My roots are bouncier, and my hair has a more vibrant color. I don’t feel an odd coating on my hair. Every day is a good hair day. I have a nice waviness that I don’t need to straighten with a flat iron. My hair is HAPPY.
I should also mention that I avoid traditional conditioners. Instead, I often use a little bit of coconut oil on the ends. Normal conditioners use dimethicone, which blocks hair and skin from absorbing moisture. Traditional haircare puts you in a revolving cycle: The shampoo damages your hair, forcing you to use conditioner to make it soft. The conditioner coats your hair in silicones, trapping the damage inside a barrier, and making hair worse over time. So your hair stays damaged, and you keep using these products to make your hair “feel” better.
In conclusion, the No ‘Poo Method:
Allows hair to heal itself
Removes the build-up of nastiness
Breaks the cycle of damage
The Grade: A
Using home made shampoo is rewarding. People get to compliment your hair, and you get to say, “Thanks, I make my own shampoo.” People love my hair, and can’t believe I don’t use store-bought products. However, family and friends never seem to have the guts to try this lifestyle. If you hate your hair, try it! What do you have to lose?
One more word of warning: Use caution if your hair is color-treated. Some say that going No ‘Poo will strip your hair dye.