Recently I have tried the no poo method of hair washing. And, well, I have an opinion about it. However, the reason I am writing this isn’t to knock anyone who is doing it or to say a certain way is the only way. I just want to share the information I found with you all and leave you to make your own choices, judgment free! From me, at least.
Why I didn’t like the no poo method of hair care
First of all, can I start by saying, without sounding completely vain, I really like my hair. It’s thick and long and it grows fast and is generally pretty healthy. I haven’t done anything particularly special to have this head of hair, so I will count it a blessing and do my best to take care of it.
Which leads me to why I started the no poo method in the first place. I am trying to be aware of all of the chemicals we bring into our lives daily. When you talk about just beauty products for women, that can add up quite quickly! I will never be a completely natural girl, but I want to do my best to be aware of what I’m putting on & in my body and that includes hair care.
Confession – I didn’t do too much research before starting. I glanced around from site to site and of course there is always the good and bad. There was the “it’s so wonderful, my hair is so great & clean, I’ve been no poo for years!” Then there was the “no way, this is horrible, it’s not healthy, my hair is disgusting!”
I really wanted to believe the first group. That I could have beautiful healthy hair by just washing with baking soda & rinsing with vinegar. I mean, how wonderful would that be? You know exactly what you’re putting on your hair, it’s simple, & cheap and it’s still getting clean! Win!
That wasn’t the case for me.
I feel like I should take a second and describe what the no poo method is for those of you that don’t know. It is when you wash your hair with a baking soda/water mixture and rinse with vinegar & water. It is supposed to clean your hair and help it be healthy. There is even a website dedicated to it!
Let me also start by talking about my hair routine before starting this. On the no poo method website it talks about how it is bad to wash your hair every day and that this method will help you go longer in between washes. Well, I have never washed my hair every day. No way. Who has time for that? I wash my hair twice a week. I try to use sulfate-free shampoos & conditioners (just ordered my Madison Reed products!!). I use product, but not every time I wash my hair. So I don’t know if I was a great candidate to try this.
It started off not so bad. The first day I thought “hmm… okay, I could do this!” My hair was very dry & frizzy, but it was clean. It got greasy faster than normal, but I still let myself go 3 or 4 days in between.
Second wash – not so clean anymore. My roots still had a greasy feeling and the rest of my hair was a little greasy, but not so bad. I just thought “okay, I’m just adjusting. I’m gonna stick with it!” I also thought I had done the ratios wrong with the baking soda and vinegar. I decided to use less of each next time & more water.
Third & fourth wash. You guys, I wish I would have taken pictures. It. Was. Nasty. Like there was this nasty film all over my hair, not just my roots. I couldn’t touch it without my hands getting greasy. I tried. I tried to curl it. No such luck. It was also still very dry & brittle even with being greasy too! Not my favorite.
So I posted to Facebook. You guys are always a wealth of information and it was quite the convo! Some shared their success stories and encouraged me to keep going. And then there were quite a few who advised that I stop immediately and that I was ruining my hair. There were also some stories of ladies who have done it and how it has damaged their hair. Quite the spectrum of responses.
One reader shared this site with me. The author talks about her journey with the no poo method of hair washing and how it killed her hair. She had done it for 3 years and thought her hair was healthy. She then goes on to explain the Ph levels in baking soda and vinegar and how they aren’t at the right level etc. etc. I will leave it to you to read it if you’re interested.
After reading that post and the testimonies of the any ladies it did not work for, I decided to stop. I know most no poo advocates are going to say that I didn’t give it enough time. It was about two weeks I gave it. To that I say, you didn’t see my hair. It was so disgusting, I can’t even tell you. I don’t know how people live like that. And two, if there is a chance the article is right, and I am ruining my hair, why keep going? For the sake of trying to prove the no poo method works? I’m okay with chickening out on this one.
Nope. Not for me. I like my hair beautiful and healthy and it was not that at all not at one point during this process. I could have continued to see if it would have cleared up, but I would also risk damaging my hair more and I just didn’t want to.
I do still think it’s important to try to continue to search for a better way to wash my hair. I’ve seen some recipes out there that are different than this particular no poo method of hair washing and I might give those a try. In the meantime, I am going to try to purchase products healthier for my hair and just stick with that.
All that to say, if you use this method, read that article and still want to continue – more power to ya! I don’t particularly care what kind of method people use to wash their hair! If it works for you, get it girl. So why did I write this article? Because I wanted to present my side. I wanted to talk about how it didn’t work, how you could potentially be damaging your hair and share the information that I found in the process. This way you can make an educated decision yourself as to whether or not you want to try it or continue it or stop it.
So what’s your take? Are you a no pooer or are you a regular shampooing gal? If you have any tips or recipes, I’d love to hear them! Share them in the comments!