I don’t wash my hair.
There, I said it. But I promise it’s not as bad as it sounds! After decades of struggling with limp and rebellious locks, dry and brittle hair, split ends, and a chronically raw, itchy, and flakey scalp, I found that an alternative approach to shampoo worked amazingly well for me. Why? It helps me avoid gluten, sodium lauryl sulfate and other potentially dangerous chemicals in my shampoo, limit my toxic exposure and improve the health of my scalp.
I use a mud-and-clay-based “shampoo” from Morrocco Methods International (more on that later!) but there are plenty of ‘No Poo’ options we can turn to when we want to switch our shampoo routine towards all-natural and nourishing. In this post, I’ll lay out a few we can try!
Baking Soda and Apple Cider Vinegar
This method is really the tried-and-true alternative to traditional shampoo. It’s cost-effective, all-natural and fairly fuss-free. Baking soda lifts oils and odor from your hair and scalp, leaving it with that squeaky-clean feeling you’re used to. Rinsing with diluted apple cider vinegar rebalances the PH of your hair, and softens as a conditioner would.
To ‘no-poo” with BS and ACV, you can mix ½ to 1 tablespoon baking soda into a paste or mix it in a spray bottle with water. Gently work the baking soda into your scalp, focusing there rather than on your hair shafts. If you have thick hair, this might involve flipping your hair and working it into the underside as well. Try out both methods to get a feel for what you like best.
Then, mix a few tablespoons of ACV with about a cup of warm water to create a rinse. Again, you may just mix this in a Mason jar, or you may find you prefer a spray bottle. Either way, a few drops of essential oil can go a long way toward improving the smell that lingers after this step. Rosemary essential oil is particularly nourishing and smells lovely, but I like Lavender essential oil too! Concentrate this conditioner on the ends of your hair for shiniest results. For those with sensitivities to ACV or looking to promote some natural highlights from the sun, lemon juice is a great alternative that also works very well.
When I used this method, I gradually increased the amount of time between cleanses, until I settled on once every 3 weeks!
Clay masks are a popular part of many natural skincare routines. It turns out they’re a great way to purify your hair, too! Clay works to naturally draw out impurities and absorb oils in your hair, making this option a particularly good one if your hair tends toward the oily.
The type of clay you choose to use as ‘poo is totally up to you. Bentonite, Khaolin, and Rhassoul varieties can all be purchased fairly easily online, and will all yield a slightly different result. Mix 1-2 tablespoons of clay with water or ACV and distribute it through your hair, concentrating on your ends.
Follow up with an ACV rinse (detailed above) to balance the PH of your hair! As with the baking soda and ACV method, you probably won’t want to do this type of mask every day. Part of the no ‘poo lifestyle is becoming comfortable with washing your hair a little less! Experiment to see how often you need to employ these methods.
Go Cold Turkey
We wouldn’t be talking about no ‘poo if we didn’t talk about Just. Not. Washing. Your. Hair. That’s right, I said it. Many people have experienced success by simply avoiding the wash altogether, or using a few of the above methods once a week or less.
Your hair’s natural oils are suppressed by washing, and we rely on chemical conditioners to restore the softness and shine that would ideally be produced by our own heads. When you stop washing your hair, your body may take several weeks to recalibrate its oil production (expect some greasy ick in the meantime). However, after this initial adjustment period, it’s likely that your hair will be softer, shinier and fuller—if you can make it out of the greasy stage with your sanity! This might be the most natural option, but it’s not for the feint of heart.
Of course, though I wouldn’t recommend employing any of these methods every day, I don’t recommend that you leave off showering entirely. It’s perfectly fine to wet down your hair when you wash off your body. You may just find that using no ‘poo methods requires you to pay less attention to the actual cleansing of you hair.
Morrocco Methods International Hair Care
Now we come to my favorite haircare routine, which involves washing with Morrocco Methods shampoo a couple times a week. To be completely honest, none of the above methods have worked as well for me as this fantastic, all-natural, clay-and-seaweed-based shampoo. I say “shampoo,” but Morrocco Methods is something entirely different, and I think that’s why it works so well!
First, I want to tell you that this has been a complete lifesaver for my hair. I struggled for most of my adult life with scalp problems and hair that was best kept in a bun. My hair didn’t cooperate for styling and I couldn’t figure out how to stop my scalp from flaking. No matter what I tried, nothing worked—until Morrocco Methods sent me a sample. It’s impossible to emphasize how different my hair was after using this product. It was softer, shinier and easier to manage, yet fuller and with way more body than ever before. Not to mention, scalp irritation became a thing of the past! If you think this sounds too good to be true, I’ll admit there is a catch: you have to know the trick to applying Morrocco Methods correctly!
Morrocco Methods comes out of the bottle looking a little like brown goop. If you try to lather up your head with the stuff, you’re going to be disappointed. Since there are no nasty chemicals like sodium lauryl sulfate, there are no suds! Instead, Morrocco Methods works best when it’s diluted in water and spread through the hair with your fingers combined with a good ol’ fashioned scalp massage.
I mix about a 2 tablespoons of shampoo with about ½ cup water in a plastic squirt bottle in when I shower (I have quite long hair). This works well because I can place my hand over the opening to shake it up, and then can squirt the mixture over my hair. You could also use a Mason jar, or a cup in a pinch! I work the mixture into my hair with my fingers, focusing on my roots and scalp. I like to let the mixture sit in my hair for a few minutes before I rinse, but I don’t always have time.
I do this twice, using slightly less shampoo the second time, every time I wash my hair (which is about twice per week). Repeating the process allows the gunk you’ve loosened from your scalp during the first rinse to be removed during the second.
Finally, when I know I’m going to style my hair, I follow up with the Diamond Crystal Mist Conditioner. It’s a lovely spray-application leave-in that requires a much more standard application (as in, I spray it in and go, lol). It strengthens my hair as well as detangling and gives it lots of great volume when I blow-dry and style with hot rollers, but it’s just as pure and chemical-free as their shampoos!
So there you have it! Fabulous, fuss-free hair without the chemicals. Try one of these all-natural hair care techniques, and let me know how your hair fares!