Monday, January 23, 2012
Greening Your Home :: No 'Poo
A few weeks ago, jimmyredhed and I went out to lunch with my step-father. As we were animatedly chatting about our urban farmhouse, our chickens come spring, and our eco motivations, Greg just shook his head and said, "you're really getting out there, aren't ya?"
Perhaps we are "getting a little out there" and this post will only go to prove Greg right (though I won't admit that to him in person, Mom).
I stopped using shampoo about two months ago.
The reactions to my new personal grooming habits have been mixed. Most people are very interested in learning how they too can go "poo free" while others give me weird looks out of corner of their eyes. One of our roommates even declared, "when I start smelling patchouli, I'm out."
But here's the thing ... I still shower every day ... for now. I've just eliminated shampoo and conditioner.
Why did I stop using shampoo? We live intentional lives here at the urban farmhouse and I'm constantly striving to streamline the products we purchase and consume. Shampoo is really unnecessary in many regards. Your hair contains its own natural cleaning agents and needs no more than water to cleanse itself of dirt. Shampoo contains harsh chemicals, byproducts of crude oil, and comes in packaging that does the same. It's expensive, wasteful, and I'm not even convinced it really works. Additionally, I wash my hair nearly every day and my head still gets itchy and majorly greasy if I miss one day of washing it. I figure there has to be a better way, yes?
I now keep a mason jar and spoon in the shower along with a closed jar of baking soda, bottle of apple cider vinegar, and bottle of tea tree oil out of reach of the water. I begin by brushing my hair before getting in the shower to loosen dirt and tangles. I wet all my hair first. Then I put 1 teaspoon of baking soda into the jar, fill it about 1/3 full of water and mix. I massage this mixture onto my head. I did find that if you use too much baking powder, you will have a build up of whiteness in your hair that looks like dandruff! I leave it on for just a minute and then rinse.
Next I use a splash of apple cider vinegar (2 teaspoons are suggested) into the jar and fill the rest of the jar up with water. Pour rinse over my hair. I leave it on for as long as I would use conditioner and then rinse.
Lastly, I place 1-2 drops of tea tree oil in the jar and fill with water. It is an oil so it does make your hair more oily, but it is a natural antiseptic and combats dandruff and itchy scalps. I leave it on for 1-2 minutes and rinse.
I have found that my hair is more oily than normal, but not in a gross "look like I haven't showered" way. Because of the oil, it is actually easier to style and holds curl much better than usual. I'm also not losing much hair in the shower or when brushing. I actually read that tea tree oil can help stop hair loss. Instead of a fistful of hair in the shower drain, I find a few strands at most.
I'm interested in hearing your experience with "No Poo!"
*This article lends great discussion to "No Poo" shampooing methods.