I never thought of myself as the kind of person who’d be able to go - as the cool kids say - ‘poo-free. My hair gets oily mere hours after I wash it. Two days without shampoo, and I look like a wet dog. So I guess you could say, I’m pretty addicted to the suds. Or at least, I used to be - until recently.
A few weeks ago, when my shampoo bottle was reaching the end of its relatively-short life span, I realized I needed a change.
- For starters, because of the nightmare-inducing fact that 552 MILLION plastic shampoo bottles end up in landfills each year - in the US alone! That’s enough to fill 1,164 football fields.
- Most shampoo isn’t even good for our hair! Chemicals in most shampoos actually strip your hair of its natural protective barrier, causing your body to counterattack by - you guessed it - producing even more oil!
So for the sake of the planet, and my precious, damaged strands, I ditched shampoo for good. Here’s how I did it:
1 - I stopped washing my hair for a week
The first step to ditching shampoo is the hardest. You have to go cold turkey to let your hair balance itself out after years of constant washing. Now, ideally, you should stop washing your hair for a full month (yes, you read that right) - but I’ve been so used to washing mine daily, that by day 7, it was - trigger warning - literally dripping oil.
2 - I made myself some “shampoo”
After I went through my worst hair nightmare, I finally got to clean it properly, with this “shampoo” recipe:
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 banana
- The juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons of Brewer’s Yeast
After blending the ingredients, I slathered it on my hair, put it in a bun, and waited half an hour to see what would happen. (Spoiler alert: it worked. My hair felt really freaking clean.)
3 - I followed it up with an apple cider vinegar rinse
Did you know most shampoos are too alkaline for your hair to handle? So to balance out your scalp, it’s good to do an apple cider vinegar rinse every couple weeks, after a hair wash.
Here’s how you do it:
- Add 1-3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to 1 cup of warm water in a spray bottle
- Dispense it into your roots, massaging your hair as you do.
- Leave it on for 2-5 minutes, and then rinse it out!
After my very first rinse, my hair was glossier, softer, and noticeably less frizzy than it had been before. Ironically, I felt like a beautiful girl in a shampoo commercial.
How I felt. Def not how I looked.
Today, instead of becoming an oil bomb hours after showering, my hair gets oily around day 3. I try my best to wash it, at most twice a week with my “shampoo”, and do a conditioner-only wash with some leftover conditioner in between (this is a practice called co-washing, and to my surprise - it works!). Every couple of weeks, I also indulge myself in an ACV rinse. As with most good things, less is more when it comes to ACV.
Not into my method - but still want to ditch the ‘poo?
Here are a few other things you could consider:
1 - Try shampoo bars!
They last waaaaay longer than bottled shampoo, and don’t come in the plastic packaging we’re all doing our best to avoid. Check the reviews and ingredients list before picking one out for you! Start with this one from Ethique.
2 - Try going hardcore ‘poo-free
There’s a growing trend of shampoo-free people who are ditching all forms of hair washing, except water. Sound crazy? Yes. But does it work? Based on the pictures I’ve seen of women with shiny locks after years of going full cold-turkey, also yes. So if you’re looking for a challenge, and are willing to endure weeks of painfully oily hair, this method may be for you.
3 - Find a concoction that works for you!
Try out different “shampoo” recipes. A lot of the ones you’ll find online include different ingredients based on hair type and quality, so experiment a little until you find “the one.” So romantic :)
Have fun on your plastic-free, shampoo-free journey! And if you have any no-’poo experiences you want to share, DM us! We want to hear all about it.