I was lying in the bath the other night, immersing my hair in the hot water (not as relaxing as it sounds- I’m a mother, you know? I had an 18 month old sitting on my tummy face planting on to my boobs and a four year old up the other end balancing rubber ducks on my knees) when it occurred to me that my hair is taking a really long time to get soaked through.
Like water off a ducks back, it was taking almost half a minute to penetrate my hair shafts. I concluded it is because my hair is so strong and healthy now, each strand so perfectly encased with magnificent sebum, that it was protecting itself against the elements…My hair has become the elite samurai warrior of hair.
It made me wonder about all the extra, often unexpected results of giving up shampoo. I asked on my Facebook page what people have discovered their hair doing since going No Poo, and I loved hearing all the curious side effects…
One thing people don’t expect is that No Poo will actually make their hair 10 million times better (I actually did the maths, of course) than when they were using an expensive shampoo:
“Soft as butter” Megan
“My hairdresser commented on how incredibly soft it was.” Katherine
“I have soft, strong non oily hair.” Helen
“My hair is getting thicker and voluminous without the chemical cocktail of shampoo.” Ayse
“I’m finding my hair is thicker” Katherine
“The thickness and volume is great and I find my hair not only is harder to wet but also takes longer to dry.” Kathy
“I went No Poo at the start of Sept and my hair is so much softer and has heaps more body than it had previously. It was always limp and flyaway before so… WooHoo!” Janine
“Just lately my hairdresser told me she had thinned out the sides a bit (I have short hair). NEVER happened before.” Magdelene
“Became easier to manage and stopped depositing itself all over furniture/clothes/bedding. ” Ella
“I switched from shampoo to baking soda about a month ago and my hair is healthy and shinier than ever.” Laura
“Hair is long, thick and shiny.” Heather
“I switched from shampoo to baking soda about a month ago and my hair is healthy and shinier than ever!” Laura G
“I also think my natural color is more vibrant.” Bree
Hair is growing like fury
“My hair is growing like fury! ” Heather
“I think I am actually growing more hair?” Molly
People are discovering their hair actually changes, in texture and shape – often times into exactly the hair they want. Personally, I have always had hair as straight an limp as an arrow. A few months after giving up shampoo it got the most lovely wave. HURRAH!
“My hair is straight! It’s always been unruly and wavy but now I don’t need to use straighteners ever.” Charlotte
“No need for product to emphasise curls…love it!” Megan
Tangle Free Hair
“I find my hair is incredibly easy to brush all the time, no matter what i’ve done with it!” Rebecca
I found quite quickly that giving up shampoo had enormous benefits for my skin. Spots I have had my whole life, on my face and shoulders disappeared:
“I stopped using shampoo about 3 months ago and I also decided to stop washing my face with anything too. I’ve suffered from acne most of my life and although it’s been a lot less severe as I’ve got older, and since I’ve had children, my skin is truly the best it’s been for a very long time (people have commented on it – even my Mum, so it must be true!!)” Maddie
“My husband and son both had eczema but since our whole family of 5 has gone poo free they no longer have eczema!!” Bree
“I had a wart on my finger for at least 4 years. Within two weeks of using baking soda instead of shampoo the wart completely disappeared!” Charly
Goodbye Styling Products
“I love the ‘stiffness’ and volume of my hair with no poo, it’s what I used to have to use 2 or 3 diff products for.. (Wax, mattifying powder, and hairspray..) Now it’s just my natural state.. SO stoked to discover my desire for that texture wasn’t stupid- it was exactly how my hairs meant to be.” Maryanne
Goodbye Cluttered Shelves
“My unexpected side effect has been a new obsession with the labels of beauty products, I’m running everything down and switching to coconut oil and bicarb combos. So the bathroom clutter is disappearing too!” Heather
Goodbye Itchy Scalp
“I was getting an itchy scalp with normal shampoo since going poo free my scalp is itch free and my hair feels lighter and just more healthy” Bree
Goodbye Flaky Scalp
“No more dry patches on my scalp!” Molly
“I have significantly less dandruff and my hair looks less dull.” Caitrin
(Hello, Flaky Scalp)
“Why am I getting dandruff for the first time in my life?” Sarah (A few people also mentioned getting dandruff so I did ought to mention it! It is quite common in transition, as the scalp gets used to not being assaulted by toxins! I cover this in Happy Hair - I suggest using a rosemary herb tea amongst other things.
And then there is the sense that being shampoo-free is one way we can step more lightly on the earth. I am sure the No Poo movement is part of a wider, ecological movement:
Hello Eco Warrior Credentials
“I am thrilled at minimising all the plastic packaging that store bought hair products are contained in.” Ella
Hello Festival Happiness
“I’ve been shampoo free for about 4 years now, and just love that my hair always looks great! Go to a 8 day festival – no worries, hair looks same as ever!” Jessica
Do you have any other unexpected side effects from giving up shampoo? Would love to hear from you.
PS If you are thinking about giving up shampoo do check out my super thrifty book – it has everything you might possibly need to know about beginning this journey!