Last year, I did a lot of acting work. I’m a performing arts graduate, and acting on-stage has always been my dream. It’s funny, but I’d never thought about what I would do if I was ever asked to change my physical appearance for a role. But last year, I was asked if I would be willing to dye my hair for an acting part.
I thought about it for a few seconds, which must have seemed like hesitation to the director.
“Sure. I’d do it,” I said.
As excited as I was to have landed the part (and I was really excited), I started to think about the consequences. I would have to say so long, farewell to my healthy brown mane.
At the same time as I was undergoing my transformation from cute brunette to fiery red-head, I was reading up about the No ‘Poo (No Shampoo) movement. As such, I was finding out about what certain unnatural chemicals found in shampoo actually do to our hair.
It’s actually quite scary. Shampoo can irritate you scalp, skin and eyes, and it contains all kinds of harmful chemicals that can – among other things – cause cancer.
According to the people who formed the No ‘Poo movement, cutting out shampoo is just another lifestyle adjustment we all should make if we we want to get healthier. If you’ve cut out junk food to get healthier, it also makes sense to cut out shampoo, too. According to the No ‘Pooers, anyway. Hey, it’s just part of looking and feeling your best all the time.
The No ‘Pooers begin by either cutting down the amount of shampoo washes they have a week, or by changing to a less-chemically rich brand. Some just go flat-out cold turkey right from the start, and quit using shampoo altogether.
If you do decide to try a life without shampoo, it’s up to you how you do it, but you should also bear in mind what’s gonna work best for your hair. Quitting altogether straight off the bat, for example, might not always be the best idea.
Before I quit using shampoo, I devoted a lot of time to researching how to do it, what might happen to my hair, and what the alternatives are. For example, I learned that I could replace traditional store-purchased shampoo with a whole wealth or organic ingredients, such as baking soda, apple cider vinegar and cocoa powder.
From what I had read about life without shampoo, many women were experiencing fab results. I knew that I just HAD to give it a go.
So I did!
My aim at first was to test the waters and see what would happen if I went without shampoo for a while. I wanted to see how different my hair would look and feel without shampoo – if indeed it would look and feel any different at all.
But I was also curious to find out what people would think of me when I told them I no longer use shampoo. Will their perceptions of me change?
Here is what I learned from quitting shampoo …
First of all, I was worried that shampoo would leave my hair dirty and unclean. In fact, I was downright terrified that it was going to lose all its health, vigour and shine.
I’d read all the alarming articles you’ve probably come across about how washing without shampoo will leave your mane in tatters. I’d seen the rumours, and I’d thought to myself that a life without shampoo is just plain gross.
But here’s the thing. As long as you educate yourself about how to wash without shampoo and still have healthy hair, you’ll be totally A-Okay. I educated myself beforehand, and in doing so I was able to arm myself with tools needed to keep my hair clean, healthy and shiny without any need at all for shampoo.
In fact, my hair felt even CLEANER without shampoo. Here is what I did:
I took a tbsp of baking soda and diluted it in a big jug of water. Then, I jumped in the shower and rinsed my hair as usual, before pouring the baking soda water concoction over my head. I then massaged the soda water into my hair, just like I would massage shampoo.
Then, I needed to balance my hair’s pH levels by rinsing out the acid. What you use for this is dependent on you hair type. The most popular weapon of choice is either tea or vinegar, but I found that brewed coffee was the best option for me. So, I cooled a cup of Joe, before rinsing it through my hair.
I didn’t do this every single day, but I can say with confidence that when I did do it, I felt cleaner than I’d EVER felt when using normal shampoo that I’d bought from a store.
Was I surprised by these ace results? Not exactly. I’d already seen photos and read stories of amazing-looking women who washed their hair without shampoo, and although I wasn’t sure if the pictures and tales were true, a part of me was always hoping they would be. And they totally were!
However, there is a caveat. Giving up shampoo is NOT easy. I’m not going to lie to you by telling you that it is. Instead, it’s very difficult.
Why? Mainly because, as you might have already learned from my method, the routine can be a bit fussy. You have to prepare an alternative treatment (such as baking soda mixed with water like mine), as well as a pH rinser before you get in the shower. It’s time consuming, and it requires dedication on your part.
However, I have found that if I keep reminding myself why I’m doing this, there isn’t too much of a problem. I’m willing to sacrifice a bit of time and effort for healthier, cleaner, revitalised hair that is free from harmful chemicals that could be doing all kinds of untold damage, not just to my hair, but also to my skin.
Beauty is important to me, and I’m guessing that it’s important to you, too. If you care strongly for your health and appearance, you will find an alternative to shampoo that keeps you looking better than you’ve ever looked before.