I’d never heard of the “No ‘Poo” method for washing hair. Giving up shampoo would surely turn my hair into an unattractive greasy mess! Then a friend showed up one night for dinner dressed very fashionably with loads of style and during our chat she declared she had not used shampoo for months. Hmmm! Could I get away with that?
According to The Skintervention Guide: Purely Paleo Skincare, written by Liz Wolfe, the No ‘Poo method allows the scalp to rebalance itself. If you stop stripping your hair and scalp of its natural, protective oils with the many chemicals that exist in conventional shampoo like surfactants, actives, preservatives, color, and fragrance then your scalp won’t need to compensate by producing excessive amounts of oil. Itchiness, dryness, and greasiness will clear up, as long as you can get through the initial adjustment period, which, according to Wolfe, shouldn’t take more than two weeks. During that time, hair “may feel waxy, frizzy, or ‘off’,” but eventually it will become silky and soft.
Depending on the length of your hair, combine 1-2 tbsp baking soda with 1-2 cups warm water in a glass jar and pour over wet hair in the shower, gently massaging to distribute the baking soda evenly. Rinse both hair and jar thoroughly. Next, combine 1-2 tbsp apple cider vinegar with 1-2 cups warm water in the glass jar and pour over your head. Rinse immediately. The baking soda is alkaline, which requires the acidity of apple cider vinegar to neutralize it and balance the pH on your hair and scalp. Some people use regular vinegar mixed with a few drops of essential oil. The vinegar rinse is a necessary ‘conditioner’ to get soft, shiny, and manageable hair.
Sustainable health products that don’t require icky purple or pink packaging, unnecessary processing and additives really has my interest piqued. I find an intriguing imbalance striving for zero waste and feeling abundant. The idea of getting back to basics and becoming more aware of sustainability feels rich and fulfilling but the practice leaves me just going without and feeling disgusted with the amount of waste I see everyday. I think I better just get started with new ways to do things and make it fun!
Some waste aware tips for hair that reflects your inner health!
- Avoid hair products that contain petroleum-derived silicone because it creates the illusion of smooth, healthy hair, but actually coats the hair shaft, seals out moisture, and clogs follicles. Hair can become ‘hooked’ on silicone and stop producing its own natural emollients.
- One or two washings a week should be sufficient. The more you wash, the more oil your scalp will produce to compensate for having its natural oils stripped so often, which leads to more washing.
- Your hair is 80 percent protein and thrives on biotin, vitamins B and C, and folic acid. So opt for protein-rich foods, fruits and vegetables. Drink water to decrease hair breakage.
- A few drops of rosemary, lavender, or ylang-ylang essential oils on your fingers massaged into your scalp will stimulate hair follicles, promote growth, and replenish your scalp.
- Two honey hair shine-boosting rinses. Combine a spoonful of honey with a quart of warm water, massage through shampooed hair, rinse after one hour. Or mix 1-1/2 tsp honey with 5 cups warm water. Massage through hair and leave it on.
- The following conditioning mixtures applied weekly to your hair will repair dryness and damage. Apply and let sit for a half hour: (1) coconut and castor oils (2) olive or grapeseed oil heated gently in the microwave (3) fresh aloe vera from leaves and a beaten egg (4) 1 part melted coconut oil and 1 part honey, (5) 1 mashed avocado and 2 tbsp honey.
Then there’s also your skin! How about some honey?!
- Honey cleanser. Scoop a generous spoonful of honey into your hand and spread over your face. Rub it in. Let sit for 5-30 minutes. Rinse with warm water.
- Honey facial. Combine 1 tbsp buttermilk, 1 tsp honey, and 1 egg yolk. Apply to clean skin and let sit 20 minutes. Rinse with warm water.
- Honey and oil dissolves makeup residue. Combine honey and jojoba or coconut oil to create an easily spreadable texture. Rub into your skin avoiding eye area. Rinse with warm water.
- Honey almond body scrub exfoliates your skin and moisturizes. Form a paste with 2 tsp ground almonds and 2 tsp honey. Rub into your skin with a circular motion. Rinse with warm water.
- Honey skin lotion can be made from a spoonful of honey, a tsp of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice. Apply to dry areas. Let sit for 20 minutes. Wipe off with a warm washcloth.
- Lemon-honey facials. Lemons are rich in vitamin C, antioxidants, and alpha hydroxy acids that exfoliate. Cut a lemon in half, remove seeds and add 1 tsp honey to the lemon half. Rub the cut side on your face. Let it sit 5 minutes. Rinse with warm water.
- Milk and honey bath soaks are relaxing. Combine ¼ cup honey with 2 cups milk and a few drops of essential oil. Add to a hot bath.
- Honey exfoliant. Mix 2 parts honey with 1 part baking soda. Apply to your skin. Rinse.
Knowing what ingredients do to your hair, skin and health is important when talking about products most of us use several times a week—if not every day. There are many books available to teach you how to make your own products. And you can put them in your own great containers!! Have fun!