The no poo method is a relatively new phenomenon. It refers to abandoning harsh commercial shampoos in favor of gentler, natural alternatives. It has recently gained a lot of fame.
Did you know that the shampoos we use today were unheard of up until the 20th century? In older times, people used herbs, natural extracts, and mud to wash their hair. This not only gently cleaned their hair but also made them soft, shiny and manageable. Commercially made shampoos debuted around 1914. The world was quick in jumping the bandwagon, and soon shampoos became a staple for every household. Shampoos were an instant hit because they gave hair a squeaky clean feeling. Fast forward to now, a lot of people are ditching shampoos and going back to ancient methods of hair hygiene. Shampoos contain Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS). You know where else is SLS used? In industrial and commercial cleaning products. This is why shampoos give you that squeaky clean feeling. SLS is a very harsh cleanser and strips the hair of its natural oil. The scalp responds by overproducing oil. This gives birth to a host of hair problems like dandruff and hair fall. No Poo or Low Poo is a recently introduced term which advocates ditching shampoo altogether or switching to low SLS or SLS free alternatives. By gently cleansing hair, you will ensure that the PH level of your hair is maintained and the natural serum isn’t stripped away.
How To Go No Poo:
While you may be skeptical about using egg as a shampoo, I have a scientific reason to make you try it. Egg yolks have lecithin, which is an emulsifier. In easier terms, it will clean the dirt and grease in your hair.
Eggs are great for hair. They contain protein which gives life and body to thin hair. Egg yolk contains sulfur which aids in hair growth. Eggs also contain biotin which controls hair loss. So, basically, an egg is the answer to all your hair woes.
How to do it
Simply beat an egg or two, depending on your hair length, and apply it on your hair. Let it sit for 10-20 minutes and wash off.
Honey (for added moisturization)
Cocoa Powder (to soak up grease and for a hint of color)
Lemon Juice (to ward off the smell of eggs and for extra shine)
Essential oils like peppermint and orange for fragrance
While eggs are great for hair, excess of anything is bad. You may use the egg shampoo twice or thrice a week but I would advise against using it more than that.
Amla, Reetha, Shikakai
This trio is perhaps the oldest used shampoo in the word, especially in the subcontinent. Amla, or Indian Gooseberry, is abundant in fatty acids and vitamin c. Shikaki is bursting with vitamin A, C, K and D. Reetha, or soapnut, is antiseptic and antibacterial. When you combine these three, you have a magic hair potion.
How to do it
Take 1 teaspoon each of shikaki and amla powder. Add half a teaspoon of reetha powder. Boil it in 1.5 cups of water till you are left with .75 cups of water. Strain and wait for it to cool. Rinse your hair with this solution and let it sit for 10 minutes before rinsing it off with water.
Multani Mitti or Fuller’s Earth for greasy hair.
Cocoa Powder/Tea/Coffee for a brown tint
Dry shampoo is also a relatively new concept. It entails powdering your hair with a dry shampoo and brushing it off to freshen it up. Although you can find dry shampoos in the market, I don’t think you need to shell out bucks for that when there are some amazing natural alternatives available. Dry shampoo is also a relatively new concept. It entails powdering your hair with a dry shampoo and brushing it off to freshen it up. Although you can find dry shampoos in the market, I don’t think you need to shell out bucks for that when there are some amazing natural alternatives available.
How to do it
Take 1 or 2 tablespoons of one of the dry shampoos mentioned below, depending on your hair length. Scatter it all over your head. Give your hair a good ruffle, and then brush it off.
What to use
Cocoa Powder (can dye your hair brown over time)
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar, or ACV, is more of a hair rinse than a hair shampoo. ACV can help restore the natural PH level of your scalp. It is also antibacterial and antifungal. ACV will make your hair glossy and shiny while reducing frizz.
How to do it
Add two tablespoons of ACV in 2 cups of water. Rinse your hair with it and then wash off with water.
I do not mean to discourage you from using the natural shampoos mentioned above, but remember natural, homemade shampoos are not like the commercial ones. You will miss the thorough cleansing you were used it, and your hair will not be fragrant. This is because commercial shampoos are doused with heavy fragrances, which can often be bad for your hair and are totally unnecessary. Your hair might also feel very oily when you first transition to the no poo method. This is because the harsh shampoos you have been using all these years have stripped your hair of its natural oil. The scalp produces more oil to keep itself nourished. When you will stop using shampoos, and clean your hair with natural alternatives instead, your oil production will slowly normalize. There will be moments when you will feel like giving up but remember perseverance is key and nothing happens overnight.
Are you one of those who have given up commercial shampoos already? What did you use as an alternative and how has it been so far? Share your journey with us in the comments below.