No Poo stands for No Shampoo. At the same time, however, it is a little play on words that should mean something like no shit. No Poo describes hair cleansing that does not use conventional shampoo, but natural alternatives.
No poo instead of shampoo
Why all that? Because the shampoo, which is so beloved because of its beautiful scent, unfortunately also includes plastic packaging, silicones, sulfates, microplastics, etc. This pollutes the environment, our hair and our own body. Our scalp reacts to the washing out of all the body’s own care substances inevitably by to produce more and more, which leads to hair that becomes greasy quickly. So we wash more and more often – a vicious circle. Breaking this not only saves water, time and money. You can also enjoy a calmed scalp and healthy hair. In addition, they even practice environmental protection.
The old braids have to go
That all sounds really good and is actually very easy if you cut off the proverbial old braids and want to get involved in something new.
I was tired of washing my hair every day because it was greasy again by the second morning. I also had incredibly shiny, but corrosively straight and volumeless hair. For a long time I tried to get a touch of fullness in my spaghetti hair with hairspray, some volumizing powder and / or other styling products (even with a curling iron at a young age). However, it was never really satisfactory.
The Internet – a source of information and inspiration
I was almost resigned to my fate when I first read about the no-poo trend. In my eco-filter bubble, which was just forming at the time, people appeared who stopped washing their hair (with shampoo) – including some celebrities. I deliberately put the “with shampoo” in brackets, because some people who refuse to shampoo do not even let water on their scalp, but only clean their hair by daily, extensive brushing. I wanted to try first to wash my hair only with pure water.
Yuck, greasy hair!
But now you have to add that the scalp and hair have suffered from the shampoo time. The secretions of the scalp, i.e. sebum and fat, should change through daily cleaning alone. I read that you first have to go through a difficult time to bring everything back to zero. That means: a few weeks of greasy hair?! OMG – that wouldn’t have been for me. I guess I took it on the weekend, but there was no way I could go to work. After all, my hair and I were now conditioned to wash only every two days. Although I wasn’t allowed to have an important appointment on the second day, because the hairstyle no longer looked really fresh.
I wanted to know. I wanted just as great hair as the people who showed me their beautiful head of hair on YouTube and their blogs and raved about No Poo. So I tried washing my hair with plain water. For a very long time I had to let the shower head slide over the scalp and its growth with a very hard jet and quite hot water in order to achieve an effect. After that the hair was no longer greasy, but still a little different. As I had to learn, it was because I didn’t rinse off the protective layer as usual. It naturally wraps itself around every single hair, but is always actively removed by shampoo. This is precisely the layer that nourishes and protects the hair and helps it to regain its natural volume and stand.
Damaged hair, now what?
I found it really plausible that the assumption that hair today has a tendency to split ends and dryness for precisely this reason, because its natural protection is removed every day. Unfortunately, I also had to experience straw-like hair after not shampooing. This was NOT because of the supposedly harmful alternative washing method, but because of the shampoo that had been used for years. So far, it has only always concealed the damage caused by silicones and silicone-like substances. One could assume that the cosmetic companies have a certain calculation: First they produce a shampoo that makes us wash our hair more and more often, and thus enjoy one increasing paragraph. Then they immediately present us with all kinds of care products after the hair has been damaged by using their goods.
Even if the cosmetics industry would like to persuade us otherwise: broken hair cannot be repaired with any repair detergents. Only one thing helps: the scissors! First I had the split ends cut off properly. But I stayed true to the No Poo out of conviction. That was ultimately rewarded with beautiful and healthy hair. It now has a great stand and grip. Today I only have to wash my hair every 3 to 4 days.
Right from the kitchen, right on the head
I didn’t get really warm with water only . If only because the rinsing process took a lot of time and, above all, a lot of water. Because I didn’t want to walk around with a bacon head, I initially had to do this procedure almost every day. In addition, the water-only method must be accompanied by very extensive and therefore time-consuming hair brushing. So I tried something different: cleaning my hair with a soda rinse. That was okay, but it still didn’t really convince me.
I was probably just too curious about the use of the “rye flour shampoos”, that I stumbled upon repeatedly in different blogs and vlogs. That, in turn, was awesome. Although the muddy feeling, which reminded me a little of the consistency of shampoo, initially lacked the foam, the cleaning performance was enormous. I just made the mistake of using ground whole wheat flour. It was inconvenient because I suddenly blew such coarse dust out of my hair when I was blow drying. Even when I brushed my hair, the dietary fiber, which was so desirable in my diet, trickled from my head onto my clothes and floor. So I realized that less is more here: the lower the type of flour, the better.
Like in grandma’s time: soap
But I found the flour rather impractical for traveling, so I tried hair soap. I’d already used soap for showering and washing my hands. In contrast to the other shampoo alternatives, hair soap has the advantage that you can enjoy the familiar foam feeling and the different scents. But here comes a big WARNING! At first I was almost desperate because my hair looked really bad pretty quickly: It somehow looked more and more greasy and was sometimes even disgusting!
As I was able to learn later in a new attempt, when using hair soaps I can’t avoid lathering and rinsing my hair twice in a row. In addition, especially with hard water, as we unfortunately have it in our area, it is almost inevitable to apply the hair with a sour rinse to flush. This reliably removes the so-called lime soap that would otherwise remain in the hair. In exceptional cases, i.e. when I’m on the go or in a bad hurry, it is enough to just briefly shower the hair with cold water at the end. The next time you wash, you should rinse acidic again at the latest.
Mud in your hair?
Before I reconciled myself with the hair soap after another attempt, I tried lava earth1. I was also very, very satisfied with this one. It takes a bit of getting used to smearing something rather dirty in your hair, namely earth, but the cleaning effect is really enormous. After my daughter and I had washed our hair for a long time with lava earth, we both switched back to hair soap because I had the impression that it was easier for a child to use.
I now alternately wash with different alternatives, but mostly with rye flour or hair soap. I also tried to make myself chestnut shampoo, but in the end I wasn’t really impressed with it . For me, the effort alone speaks against it when all the other simpler no-poo variants are available. But what I’ll try again is to wash my hair with the selfmade liquid chestnut detergent that I have been using it for washing clothes for years.
Shampoo bar = hair soap?
I very much welcome the trend towards solid shampoo for reasons of saving plastic packaging, but I am still skeptical about the ingredients and their harmlessness for body and water. I also fear that even a shampoo in solid form would wash down the “protective layer” that I appreciate so much and that I would have to start all over again to form it and “distribute” it to the tips. Exactly, hair soaps and shampoo bars are not the same thing, which you can tell by the ingredients. The latter are at least a plastic-avoiding alternative if you can’t get along with all the no poo variants.
How do you wash your hair like that? What are your experiences? Do you have any tips? Always bring it on!
¹ Lava earth is washing earth. The term comes from the Latin: lavare – to wash