The No Shampoo Challenge

Have you heard of the no shampoo movement?  If you Google search “no ‘poo challenge” you’ll find all sorts of articles on ways to go without shampoo.  I’ll admit, at first I thought it very strange, even downright gross and dirty.  I know if I go more than 2 days without washing my hair it’s an oily mess and I can’t stand how icky I feel.

But I was curious so I read more about it.  And you know what?  It kinda makes sense to let your natural oils keep your hair healthy.  I believe that your body is capable of handling everything it needs to on its own, provided that you take care of it and feed it healthfully, and that includes taking care of your hair with minimal maintenance. 

So I’ve decided to try the No Shampoo Challenge.  From what I understand, there are a lot of different ways to approach this regarding what kind of ‘conditioner’ rinse you use, how often you wash your hair, if you should just rinse with water, etc.  One thing I know for certain though is that you use a baking soda ‘shampoo’ and some kind of acidic ‘conditioner’ rinse to wash your hair every 3-7-days (depending on your hair and where you are in the transition process).

The transition process is actually what worries me most.  Since commercial shampoos strip the natural oils from your hair, your body creates even more oils to compensate, which is why after 2 days of not washing my hair I’m an oily mess.  I’m told your oil production will balance out after a few weeks, but who knows what I will look like in the mean time.

My plan is to complete the transition as quickly as possible, so I’ll be washing my hair only ONCE PER WEEK with a mixture of 4 Tablespoons baking soda to 5 cups of water.  How did I get to these proportions?  I read this great article on no-shampooing, and after some experimentation, these are the measurements she arrived at.  My hair may be different, thus requiring an adjustment to the proportions, but I figured it was a good place to start.

Since baking soda throws the ph balance on your head out of whack, you need to rinse with something acidic to bring it back to normal.  Many people (most people, actually) use a white distilled vinegar or apple cider vinegar rinse diluted in water.  However, I hate the smell of vinegar and don’t think my boyfriend will appreciate it either in our tiny apartment.  I’ve opted to rinse with straight lemon juice, undiluted since it’s not as acidic as vinegar.  I’ve also read you can use other fruit juices or strong tea, but I’ll try those later on.

Hopefully I’ll end up with healthier hair that requires less maintenance and fewer bottles of shampoo and conditioner to buy and then throw away (not to mention any health benefits from not putting synthetic chemicals on my head).

I currently use Suave shampoo and conditioner.


3 responses

  1. I read something similar several years ago when I was growing my hair out for the first time (I’ve always had a short, pixie-cut since my early teens and had no idea what to do with it when it got long enough to actually DO something with it.) Instead of cutting out shampoo altogether, I only wash my hair twice a week with normal shampoo and conditionar and I only use about a dime sized amount each time. I only buy about two bottles per year (seriously). The days I don’t wash it, I do rinse it well with water.
    Your head will adjust to whatever you do to it, but it will likely take about two to three weeks to get used to a new routine. It will seem oily at first, but that’s normal. Just rinse your hair every day with plain water and it will help the process as well. Your hair will thank you. Promise.

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