So the first experiment I decided to try in 2021 was to try and go no poo. No poo itself is a broad term that can mean a lot of things. For some people, no poo is just stopping using traditional liquid shampoos and switching to natural shampoo bars. For others, it means only using water to wash your hair. I tried to do the latter and failed miserably.
To say that the whole transition period of no poo got to me is an understatement. When I started the no poo method, I was at home during winter break and wasn’t seeing any friends or people in general, so I felt fine letting my hair become a greaseball. But winter break soon ended, and I was back at college, seeing my friends and getting weird looks from everyone in the dining hall. To say that social pressures got to me is an understatement.
The transition period for water only no poo can be anywhere from 3 weeks up to 6 months. I was fine with this fact initially, but while water only washing sounds super easy at first, it comes with a bunch of extra care and routines.
To start with, just rinsing with water takes a long time in the shower, to the point where I was taking 3 times longer in the shower than I normally would. Personally, I was starting to feel guilty about it, since wasting water is a problem in itself when it comes to the sustainability movement. When you do a water only rinse, you have to make sure that you break up all the oils on your scalp when what I can only call a deep tissue scalp massage. I’m sure that as you get used to waster washing you only get better and faster at this process, but I was spending 10 to 15 minutes in the shower only focusing on my scalp, and I still didn’t get it all and missed some huge spots.
Secondly, no poo requires you to do more than just brush your hair twice a day. Scritching and preening are almost mandatory in order to keep your sebum in check. Together, scritching and preening my thick hair took me around 30 to 45 minutes, which was fine when I had time to spare or was binge watching something on Netflix. But when I started classes again, I almost had (and still have) no time to properly scritch and preen like I should have been. I don’t think that scritching and preening is really a terrible thing to do, and I’m glad I learned about it because now I can do it every once and a while when I maybe don’t have time to wash my hair but it’s a bit oily.
Don’t get me wrong, there were parts of trying no poo that really benefitted me. My nails got stronger from when I gave myself scalp massages, most likely because sebum is good for your hair and your hair and nails are made up of the same things. I also extended the time in between washes for my hair, and I’m still trying to extend it even more.
If anything, I could say that I have techinically been “no poo” this whole time, since I have been using shampoo bars for years now and that is just one method of no poo. However, I would say now that I am instead more of a “low poo” person than no poo.
I don’t inherently think that the no poo method is a terrible thing to do. There are countless amount of people that you can find on the internet who have been no poo for years and haven’t even used shampoo on their babies in order for them to be no poo from the beginning. This is probably my third or fourth time trying no poo, and I just think that it is safe to say that it isn’t for me. My scalp and hair have been brainwashed into producing insane amount of sebum and I think that I’m just going to have to be okay with that.
I want to end this on a happier note to say that there is still so much more I can do to help myself and others when it comes to being no poo or low poo. I first off highly recommend trying out the no poo method yourself, to at least be able to extend your time between washes but also see if it could actually work for you. Now that I’ve put the no poo monster to bed, I can continue doing what I like to do most on here, which is review more products and new shampoo bars that are coming onto the market. I also want to take a dive into trying some DIY shampoo recipes that anyone can make at home to see if a DIY recipe could really work long term. Researching no poo has also enlightened me to the world of natural hair rinses with different benefits, so that could be an avenue I go down soon in the future.