How do you go low/no POO?
Just to be clear, we are not talking about POOPING. We are talking about ditching traditional Shampoo for good!
Now going no poo doesn’t mean just washing your hair with only water either (however if you are lucky enough to be one of those people I am super jelouse). It means ditching traditional shampoos full of skin irritating SLS, parabens and stripping chemicals. Instead, going low/no poo is washing your hair with simple, easy and effective DIY ingredients. But if ROM (rinse only method) works for you, go for it you lucky duck!
Going low/no poo can be achieved so easily and so simply with only a few ingredients. As you know I’m a stickler for true safe ingredients and shampoos are the #1 hardest product to find completely clean and safe as so many ‘natural’ ones still contain questionable ingredients and preservatives. This is why going LO/NO poo is such a wonderful option for us all!
Benefits of NO/Low poo
💛 No chemicals being absorbed into your body because what goes ON goes IN
💛 No chemicals being washed down the drain into our waterways and affecting our aquatic life
💛 Less pollution, packaging etc.
💛 Less acne (silicone, preservatives and petroleum derived ingredients can cause acne)
💛 Regulate your scalps oil production
💛 Saves you money
What is the problem with shampoo anyway?
Traditional shampoos strip all the natural oils from your hair, requiring you to wash your hair much more often. They also contain ingredients which are known environmental toxins, carcinogenic, skin irritants and endocrine disruptors.
According to the Environmental Working Group, a survey comparing over 40,000 products noted that standard shampoos tend to have at least one red flag ingredient. Of most of concern is fragrance, parabens, 1.4 dioxane, preservatives and DMDM hydantoin.
Now how do you do it?
It is really simple actually. All you need is an acid and an alkaline. I will discuss the most popular options which have the best results. It is important to note, it takes time for your hair to adjust and get rid of chemical build up so be patient, give it time and try a few methods, play with quanitites. The longer you persist, the longer you will last between washes. You can do it!
Firstly we need an Alkaline wash to replace shampoo. Alkaline ingredients include
💛 Bicarb (baking soda)
💛 Castile soap
💛 Conditioner only ( great for a curly girl, read below for curly girl methods)
💛 Dry Shampoo
💛 Shampoo Bar
Then we need an acid to balance the hair, the acid acts like a conditioner
💛 Apple cider vinegar
💛 Citrus juice
💛 Hair rinse (pre made specifically formulated for low poo method)
OK so now we know what we can use to replace shampoo and conditioner. There are lots of options and it is very important to note that not all hair will take to each option, so going low/no poo takes some experimenting. One option may work for one person but not the next.
So let’s start washing our hair!
Step 1 Clean with an alkaline.
Bicarb – Start by mixing 1 part bicarb with 3 parts water. For example 4 tbs bicarb and ¾ cup water. It makes it really easy if you mix it into an old shampoo container (because you don’t need them anymore) or spray bottle. Apply it to your hair while in the shower, it won’t foam up but you will feel a slickness in your hair. You will need to experiment with quantities and see what works for you, less is more. If it feels dry and brittle once dry you have used too much BC.
Use a shampoo bar. I Love these waste free bars. They lather up nicely and wash your hair wonderfully. Make sure you wipe it all over your hair, lift up sections and wipe. Then using your fingers massage all through which creates a big lather.
Castile soap. When using a castile soap it does create some lather like a shampoo bar which is nice as it feels like you’re using traditional shampoo. (it can be hard to step away from that lather feeling we are familiar with). Use ½ Tbsp. in your hand, worked into wet hair, or dilute ½ Tbsp. in ½ a cup of water and work that into wet hair. It can be good for the first time to dilute the soap first and add more as you go, it can be quite strong when undiluted.
Step 2 Acid rinse to return your hairs pH
Try using Apple Cider Vinegar or lemon juice
Mix one cup of water with three tbs of vinegar or lemon.
Slowly pour the mixture over your entire scalp, allowing it to run down the length of your hair (be careful not to get it in your eyes 🙈) leave on for a min or so then rinse completely.
Hair rinse. Dr Bronners have created a hair rinse which has been specifically designed to be used in conjunction with low poo hair washing. It contains all the acids needed to balance your hair along with some extra goodies not so easy to whip up yourself. If you’re time poor or want something ready made, this is a fab option.
A dry shampoo is great if your hair gets a little greasy between washes. Using a dry shampoo will extend the time you need to wash. I wash my hair once every 7-9 days now and use a dry shampoo once in-between washes. It is really simple to make.
All you need is arrowroot or tapioca powder, if you have darker hair add in some cocoa or cacao to darken it, add some essential oils and add it all to a sprinkling container. Sprinkle on your roots, parting the hair as you sprinkle and brush in.
Use a cloth and rub your hair from the roots to the end to distribute the oils throughout.
A good quality brush is really great for distributing the hairs natrual oils so it doesnt build up on the roots; Try a Bore hair brush which leaves your hair silky and smooth. If you’re vegetarian/vegan try a nylon brush with bristles close together. If using bore, source from an ethical brand who don’t harm the animal when obtaining the hair. One who obtains by sheering the animal.
For the curly girls
The Curly Girl Method is an approach to hair care designed for naturally curly hair. It discourages the use of shampoo because traditional shampoos contain oil stripping ingredients. When you have curly hair you want to retain the natural oils to help your curls look beautiful. So it calls for washing with only conditioner in place of the shampoo, this is called co-washing.
So the method;
Wash with conditioner, and conditioner only. Every few weeks you can shampoo if needed with one of the methods above.
Try using a natural conditioner like these
After washing hair with conditioner I would suggest plopping – you can find out how to do it here on this video from penny Tovar. This is a method of tying up your hair when wet (after any styler if used). It will accordion your curls, helping them keep their defined, spiral shape, even after they dry. All you need is a tshirt,
You can also try Clay instead of a shampoo bar when you need more of a wash after a few weeks.
Clays and muds with leave your hair soft and with nice shape and definition. Less is more when it comes to clays, too much and it can be drying. Try a tsp of clay to a cup of water (don’t use metal containers or implements for the clays) Try Bentonite, kaolinite or rhassoul clay.
So that’s it, simple, effective and quick ways to wash your hair if you’re curly, straight, boofy or wavy you can ditch traditional shampoos and opt for natural eco-friendly choices, good for you and the planet.
What do people say who have quit shampoo?
People who quit shampoo report they feel and look better, they have softer, shinier and wavier hair. This is also great for curly girls, many have reported their curls are more defined and easy to manage.
So go on, finish of that plastic bottle of shampoo and try going low poo, your hair and the environment will thank you for it.
I would love to know how you go, shoot us a comment when you have transformed your hair routine. Let me know if you love it or hate it