I haven’t used shampoo for almost 4 years now. The days of greeting people with how long I have gone between washes “Hi! Look at my nice hair! Haven’t done anything to it for 5 days omg!” have long passed, but when something incredible happens, I still can’t help but slot it gracefully into conversation. “Yeah, that’s great about your job. So, do you know I haven’t wet my hair for a month?!!” By “incredible” I obviously mean “super gross” / “extreme” / “impressive” depending on where you are on the No Poo scale!
(The No Poo scale being the Herbal Essence girl who is so keen to foam up that she does it in a water fountain on one end and then my daughter Juno who hasn’t used shampoo in her whole life on the other end…)
For those of you wondering what the heck-diggidy No Poo is let alone the No Poo scale (WELCOME!! *giddy laugh*) let me introduce you very quickly:
30 Second intro to the Shampoo Free movement:
1- Shampoo is toxic – most bottles on the high street have known carcinogens and endocrine disruptors – impacting fertility, fetal development and lot of other nasty stuff (read more on the WHY of No poo right here)
2- Instead people might use baking soda and apple cider vinegar or an egg or soapnuts or a host of other things (here is a list of ten alternatives to shampoo) or even simply water
3- People are discovering AMAZING hair as a result! Shiny, quick growing, full. As well as better skin and getting an intro to all the possibilities of a chemical free life WOOO!
4- The No Poo movement is growing so rapidly that some industry insiders reckon we are witnessing the End Of Shampoo.
So what’s with not even letting my hair even get WET? I know. A new thing (low?) for me… Now, I tend to be a minimalist when it comes to No Poo – I like to keep things as simple as possible, doing the least amount I can get away with. Our hair and scalp are so perfectly designed that I tend to find that the less you do, the better they look after themselves. But this definitely went extreme between June and September. We have spent the last few months in the UK where the water is incredibly different to the river-water we use here in NZ and my hair went totally bonkers. I pretty much stopped letting water get on it and it righted itself within days. How mad is that? Simply brushing it with my boar bristle brush got it looking nicer than putting it under the shower, or using any of my usual No Poo Shampoos. Weird, eh?
I did rely on the odd little shake of homemade dry shampoo (article I wrote for Cosmo on that here.)
But I realise this sort of minimalist grooming is not for all. In fact, it isn’t even for my oldest daughter, Ramona. She loooooves bubbles and potions and mixtures. So when my girls have a bath I will often give them a mix of non toxic ingredients, usually from the garden or kitchen, with which they can wash their hair.
We have come up with some amazing combinations in our no poo shampoo experimentation.
I am absolutely SURE that these chemical free, no poo shampoo alternatives will bridge the gap for people wanting to have super clean, healthy hair but not willing to go totally minimalist. They might provide the answer for all the millions of people sitting in the expansive middle of that No Poo Scale.
The last two recipes also have the fabulous benefit of being able to be made up in a batch and poured into ice cubes so you can pop one out whenever you want to shampoo, no potion making necessary.
Egg and Lemon No Poo Shampoo – especially good for heavy/ waxy or tangly hair
1-2 egg yolks depending on length of hair
1-2 tablespoons of lemon juice
Any fresh herbs you have to hand – rosemary for itchy/ dandruffy scalps, lemonbalm for extra shine, mint for a strong smell… Grab a handful and mix in.
Add a tablespoon of honey if you have a lot of tangles.
Massage all over your cool (not hot or even warm) wet hair, mid shower and leave on for two minutes. Wash out well with cool water.
This is my favourite for tackling Ramona’s dreadlocks. A kind, hearty winner.
Soapnuts and Essential Oils Squeaky Clean No Poo Shampoo (particularly good for hard water)
Soapnuts , in my opinion, are the power ingredient of the No Poo movement. They are robust enough to give your hair a good clean yet kind and ph balanced enough to keep hair super healthy and soft.
Take 10 soap nuts. Simmer them on the stove in 4 cups of water for 20 minutes.
Take a potato masher and beat them up! Strain liquid out and add essential oils of your choice. A few drops of tea tree deals with dermatitis, a few drops of lavender promotes a healthy scalp.
Pour into ice cube molds and pop one or two out (depending on how much hair you have) to replace a dollop of shampoo.
(Head to my affiliate chums, Ethical Superstore- the best place online to buy soapnuts as they come in a 1 kilo pack – which will make over 300 lots of shampoo- and you can order a few other organic quite inexpensively and get their free delivery. Whoot!)
Rhassoul Clay and Coconut Milk Moisturising No Poo Shampoo
Rhassoul clay is trickier to get hold of (hoorah for Le Internets) but is also a brilliant ingredient to get your hands on. It is kind to hair and has been the game changing ingredient for people struggling to get their no poo hair to take off. The coconut milk in this shampoo makes this one a really moisturising one. If you need less conditioning take some of the milk out.
This recipe will provide between 3-6 alternative shampoos – like the other recipe pour this into ice molds to save it between washes.
PS If you want more No Poo reading, check out my bestselling book for everything you need to know about giving up shampoo… or if you are even more dead keen, and want to be able to hit me up for support on a daily basis? You need my Happy Hair Detox Course where I am helping students discover healthy, happy hair!