Going 'No Shampoo'

Posted by Helen Townsend on

The global shampoo market is worth over US$28 billion and yet the most expensive human hair for wigs is that which has never been shampooed. All of a sudden I feel that maybe we’re being a bit conned when it comes to shampoo. The 4 week motu that we’re currently in is the perfect time to try out ‘no poo’ – no one’s going to see you anyway while we’re all kōkōmuka tū tara ā-whare (stay at homes)!

I had heard about ‘no shampoo’ or ‘no poo’ but wasn’t sure how it would work on my hair and I was nervous about how terrible my hair would look before it reached its equilibrium (as people said that it would).

Just before Christmas I decided to give it a go and stopped washing my hair. I rinsed it with water, swam in the sea a lot and rinsed it with apple cider vinegar. For the first 2-3 weeks it was greasy and pretty horrible, but the sea water and apple cider vinegar helped to keep the oil under control.  Then, after 4 weeks I started to see some improvement and at 6 weeks, it was looking great! Amazing! 6 weeks seems to be the average amount of time for hair to reach equilibrium.

I haven’t washed my hair with shampoo for nearly 5 months. If it gets oily (especially after running or working in the garden) I rinse it with apple cider vinegar and then it looks great again. Make sure you rinse out the vinegar really well so the smell doesn’t linger!

When the motu started, I decided that I might as well not even bother with the vinegar rinse. I started to brush my hair more and, 1 week in, a rinse with water is all it needs.

Here’s my top tips to going ‘no poo’:

  1. Go cold turkey – just stop washing it with shampoo.
  2. Rinse with water and apple cider vinegar
  3. Brush it a lot
  4. Stick out the oily patch 2-3 weeks in!
  5. Feel great about all the money and time you save!

‘Oily hair can be remedied by being washed once in two weeks, while hair with a normal amount of oil should not be washed more than once a month unless one is engaged in dusty work or is travelling constantly.’ (Marin Journal, 1901)


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