So I have a lot of hair…like..a lot. Thick, wavy, wonderful hair that I hated as a kid. When I was younger, I used to ask my mom if I could get it thinned when I got it cut. She would always just say I would be grateful when I was older. Well, now I’ve embraced my unruly, wavy hair. I pretty much let it do what it wants and feel quite happy about it. Hippie hair don’t care!
A few years ago, I tried taking it a step further. I was just starting to drastically reduce my plastic consumption and shampoo seemed like an obvious thing to tackle. So one summer when I was doing field work and didn’t need to look too impressive (I was studying birds…and they don’t really care how oily your hair is), I tried the “No Poo” method.
The “No Poo” method is what it sounds like. You wash your hair, but without shampoo. You can use things like essential oils, baking soda, and apple cider vinegar to help manage your hair, but that’s about it. From reading others’ success stories, I was sold! So off I went, into the woods to become a mountain woman. No shampoo, no shaving, I was in heaven! And let me tell you, my showers were super short!
According to the internet, it can take about 2-6 weeks for your hair to adjust and stop feeling super oily all the time. The first time I tried this method I gave it a good two months. My hair never stopped feeling oily or waxy. I struggled getting my brush through it sometimes and I just never felt clean. For field work, it didn’t really matter. I was living my best life tromping around the forest. But when the semester started back up…yeah…I needed a good shampoo.
So first attempt…not so successful. Just a few months ago, I decided to give it another shot. I mean, SO many people love this method. I had just started working a new job, but I figured I could wear my hair in a bun if my hair started looking super gross.
The second time I only made it about three weeks. I only wash my hair once a week as it is, so it didn’t seem like a long test run. However, within the first two weeks, I started noticing this massive rash at the nape of my neck…it was itchy…and painful. At first I thought it was a mosquito bite on steroids. After letting it be for another week, it didn’t get any better. So I figured I’d try shampooing my hair and PRESTO! Goodbye annoying rash!
So after two attempts, I think the “No Poo” method is not for me. I definitely recommend giving it a shot if you’re interested, because almost everything is worth trying once, right? But I’ve had to come up with some other eco-friendly solutions.
After much trial and error, I finally settled on the shampoo bar. Shampoo bars eliminate the plastic bar AND are way more convenient to travel with. While I was backpacking through New Zealand, this was a godsend. I’ve tried a few different bars from farmers markets, but I’ve had the most luck with J.R. Liggett. These bars use only natural fragrances and they give you the same lather you expect from bottled shampoo. I love them. I can also pick them up at my local natural foods store, David’s Natural Market. After I shampoo my hair, I follow with an apple cider vinegar rinse. Once my hair is dried, I use a tiny amount of coconut oil to help reduce frizz. That’s it! No chemicals!
If you think the shampoo bar is something you want to try, I recommend trying a few different brands before calling it quits. Some work better for certain people, so it may take a few trial runs. Chagrin Valley is another great place to shop for these. Unfortunately, I do NOT recommend Lush, since they still use synthetic fragrances and other nasty chemicals. Just make sure you check the ingredients list before you buy something.
I’m sad that I can’t jump on the “No Poo” bandwagon, but I love my hippie hair and I’m happy with the shampoo bar. If you’re looking to clean up your hair routine, definitely try the “No Poo” method. But if that’s not working for you, just remember that there are plenty of other eco-friendly options out there!
Thanks for reading! Got your own hippie hair routine? Leave a comment below!