Cleaning Without Shampoo: The “No-Poo” Movement

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Most of us shampoo every day or a couple times a week, but a growing number of women are laying off the lather forever.

Whether to avoid chemicals in the products, save money or just have healthier hair, the “No Poo” movement is gaining momentum everywhere and becoming regular conversation at local salons.

Lauren Gwaley just bought what she hopes is her last bottle of shampoo and conditioner. She’s joining the “No Poo” movement. That means no commercial shampoo. Women, instead, whip up cleansers from natural ingredients.

“Baking soda, apple cider vinegar. I’ve heard of people using eggs, aloe, honey,” she says, explaining there’s also something called “Low Poo,” which means women are using products without all the additives.

“Basically what it is, they’re sulfate-free. They don’t have a lot of suds, but they’re still cleansing the hair,” says Rebekah Howard, the owner of Serendipity Hair Studio in Midlothian. These days in Howard’s chair, hair washing is a hot topic. “A lot of our clients are asking us about should I shampoo everyday, should I not shampoo every day, asking our recommendation.”

The “No Poo” and “Low Poo” trends are taking off for many reasons. In recent years, research has linked sulfates to cancer. There are questions about what we’re washing down the drain and into the water supply. Using less shampoo can save money and more. “If they can do a couple of days without washing their hair, it cuts down on time,” Howard says, speaking about her busy clients.

Across town at Shawn’s Hair N More in the West End, owner Tishawna Pritchett says our grandmothers were on to something. “A lot of what we used to do back in the day is coming back,” she says while styling a client’s hair. Generations ago, fewer washings were the norm for everyone.

“A lot of times you hear people talk about black hair or white hair. Hair is hair,” says Pritchett. “Your hair needs to be clean, but you don’t want to shampoo it too often.” Situations when washing less is more? Anyone with course hair, curly hair or a dry scalp. “Every day is too much,” says Pritchett.

Fine strands can get weighed down in between washings, so a lot of women with that type of hair are turning to sulfate-free dry shampoo. “It absorbs the oil which is great. It helps your hair smell and feel cleaner. It gives texture to the hair, hold,” Howard says, sprinkling some of the product in her hand.

Baking soda is a go-to for a lot of women working to cut out suds all together. Gwaley says she’s added it to her routine while getting ideas from an online group that’s nearly nine-thousand members strong. Women who’ve gone “No Poo” have told her there’s a transition period. Without regular washings, hair could get worse before it gets better, but they say it will and it’s worth it.

“Don’t panic, stay the course, and you too can have lovely ‘No Poo’ hair,” Gwaley shares their encouraging words.

Copyright 2014 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond

What’s your take on the “no-poo” movement? Is it gross to not use shampoo? Chat with Amy on her Facebook page or tweet her your opinion!

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