Hair is quite often referred to as a woman’s jewel in a lot of Indian poems. And yet, we put our beautiful mane go through endless torture and abuse. If exposure to sunshine and pollution wasn’t enough, we kill the life out of our hair by shampooing it endlessly.
As a kid, I always shampoo’d my hair once a week. I had luscious long hair all the way up to my knees. I was very proud of my hair. When I became a teenager, the rebel in me wanted to care for my own hair. I cut it shorter, I coloured it and ironed it flat. Results were great and I enjoyed the look for a year that it lasted but as soon as the colour wore off and I lost the straightened hair, I realised the damage all that had caused. My hair was left lifeless. I had frizz and my hair was so badly damaged that I could not simply wash and air dry my hair anymore. I had to blow dry and straighten it every time to avoid frizz. Rain became my enemy. I could not just enjoy going for a swim in the sea unless the plan was to head straight back home after the swim. I tried all sorts of shampoos and conditioning/masks to repair my hair but to no avail!
Why stop shampooing?
Shampooing our hair regularly is actually pretty harmful for us. The chemicals in the shampoos not only strip off our hair and make it dull, they totally dry out our hair which confuses our system and thus, our scalp produces a lot more oil to compensate the loss of moisture. In order to get rid of the excess oil we shampoo a bit more. It is a vicious circle. Not only that, but every time we shampoo and rinse our hair we pass on the chemicals into our water sources causing enormous amount of damage to our marine life. And lets not forget the plastic waste!
After giving birth to Baby Roshan, I became very conscious of my use of chemicals. I did not want to wear, consume or promote the use of so much chemically rich products into my life. I wanted to go the natural parenting ways and live a natural lifestyle too. I started boycotting a lot of cosmetics products that were full of harmful chemicals. One of which was my shampoo and conditioner.
Another reason to ditch my shampooing routine was the lack of time. After having a baby, long showers became a luxury. For the first 8 months, I hadn’t had a shower without an interruption from the baby. Since my hair needed immediate blowdrying and straightening in order to prevent it from getting frizzy and dull, my hair care routine became a liability with a baby on toe. So the first thing I did was to cut my hair short.
I loved my long hair. I have always had beautifully thick black hair. Cutting them short was a big emotional decision. I chose to send it to a charity that makes pretty wigs for little princesses with cancer. That way, I felt less bad about cutting my long mane shorter.
Now that I had short hair, I thought it would be a perfect time to try out the No-poo method for my hair care routine.
No-Poo method simply means reducing or boycotting the use of shampoo altogether. I chose to go all out and give up shampoo completely. For the past six months, I haven’t used any shampoo in my hair and I have to say it works. My hair is clean, healthy and smells of nothing but hair! It does not stink nor does it smell of any artificial perfume.
My hair care routine:
I started off by using bicarbonate of soda and white vinegar.
Now it is important to note that initially your hair will feel very greasy even after washes. But trust me, stick to it and be patient. It really works.
What you need to realise is that all those years of shampooing has resulted in an unimaginably excessive amount of oil secretion from your scalp. It will take a while for the scalp to realise that you don’t need so much oil for your hair. So I would say it can take anywhere from a month to six weeks for the hair to feel less greasy after a wash. In fact, the first few washes, the hair will seem very very greasy and oily. almost yucky!
After three weeks, I almost gave up because my hair did not feel clean. It constantly looked greasy. I also realised diluting the bicarb and vinegar wasn’t working for me. So I took the risk of using it directly.
I washed my hair once every three days with bicarb and vinegar!
My current routine
So after rinsing my hair with water, I use a table spoon of bicarb and massaged it into my scalp. I leave it in for 2 minutes before washing it off.
I would then use the white vinegar as a conditioner. I use about two to three tablespoons of vinegar and massage it into my hair.
It is important to rinse the vinegar off with luke warm water and not hot water. This helps to lock in the moisture and gives the hair a luscious and glossy look.
It has been six months, and I am thoroughly convinced with my no poo method. It gives me such a pleasure to think how much I save on shampoos and conditioners and how naturally clean my hair is. It does not smell, it is clean and it is shiny.
This method not only prevents the use of chemical to clean your hair but the use of bicarb and vinegar is good cure for dandruffs too. Who would have thought!
Give it a go. What is to lose? If it doesn’t work for you, you can always go back to shampooing. There are so many herbal shampoos with less chemicals to choose from too.
Now, if you are wondering that vinegar would leave your hair smelling all vinegary you are wrong. It does not smell of vinegar once washed thoroughly, but if you want to be extra sure, you could dilute some essential oil in a mug of water and rinse your hair with it. I use lavender oil or rose oil.
I use coconut oil as a serum to tame the frizz or flyaways. Once a month I also massage my hair with coconut oil and leave it on over night. I wash it off in the morning. This helps the hair gain some volume and repairs any damage.
Let me know what you think of No-Poo Method?