The “No Poo” trend is gaining momentum; however, is it right for you? The movement is basically eliminating the use of traditional over-the-counter or salon-purchased shampoos and conditioners that feature sulfate in their products. Some people swear by the trend and others state it is not for them. The reasoning behind the trend is that many people and professionals believe the chemicals in shampoos and conditioners to be harmful to the body. It is also believed that such chemicals are bad for the hair and scalp leaving hair dry and in a state that is easily damaged. At the end of the day, the opinions of the trend seem to depend greatly on the individual and the culture.  


The ‘Poo’ Alternatives

Each person who enters the no poo movement chooses a different path. Some people choose to wash their hair with an at-home baking soda shampoo solution followed by an apple cider vinegar conditioning treatment, others choose to use no-sulfate products, and others yet choose to simply wash, or rather, rinse their hair with water. Each person will have varying results based on their perceptions of hygiene and their hair type. People claim to go for weeks at a time without washing their hair in any way without issue. Other people will try no-poo shampooing alternatives for a few weeks and return to a shampoo without sulfates. You will have to figure out what is right for you.


Dr. Carolyn Goh Says…

Goh is the assistant clinical professor of medicine at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine and she expresses that leaving some oils in your hair is not such a bad thing as they provide a natural protection and barrier against the elements. She goes on to state that most experts agree in that a small percentage of the population should wash their hair daily. Such individuals might include people who sweat a lot, people who live in an excessively humid climate, and those with very fine hair. Basically, if your hair gets oily quickly, you should wash it more frequently than someone who does not get oily hair very easily.


When to Shampoo

Experts overwhelmingly agree in that there is no right answer for how frequently to shampoo as each hair type and person is different. People with thick hair, dry hair, wavy hair, color-treated hair, frequent use of hair tools and products, and curly hair can and should go far longer periods without shampooing than people with other types of hair and hair routines. It is also highly recommended that if your scalp is itchy, your skin is flaking as a result of dirt, you exercise a lot, or if your hair is obviously oily from sight and touch, it is time to have a wash. The way in which you wash it, with or without shampoo, is up to you. Keep in mind that regular shampooing was not introduced until a few decades ago, and in many cultures, it is absolutely common to only wash one’s hair a few times a week at most if not even longer between washes.  


Recommendations for ‘No Poo’

If you are interested in the no-poo movement, it is important to take a few notes from other people’s experiences. Most people who blog about their experiences are sure to point out that everyone will have a transition period. This is the time where your hair may become highly greasy for several days before it balances out. For some people this was several days, others a few weeks, and others yet a month or so. It was written by several bloggers that after this period, the no-poo process is significantly more manageable and tolerable. Also, many people recommended taking it easy on the baking soda shampoo solution as it, too, may dry out your hair. It is also often recommended that regardless of your no-poo cleaning methodology, it is essential to use some sort of natural conditioning on a regular basis to keep your hair manageable. Some ideas include coconut oil, olive oil, mayo, or an avocado mask.

If you follow these steps, it is possible to keep up this trend for months and even years; however, most experts do recommend that you shampoo and condition on a semi-regular basis such as a few times a month at least. And, many bloggers reported that if you continue to use hair dyes and tools such as curling irons and straighteners, you will not have as much success as if you choose to go entirely natural.