“No ‘Poo” is No Good

It’s no secret to those who know me that I been striving to reduce my family’s exposure to toxic chemicals for years. With the exception of that one New Year’s Resolution post, I haven’t discussed it much here. While I’ve definitely made some important changes to our lifestyle, I still have a long way to go. For me, it’s been a gradual process and I admire those who are able to implement these changes more quickly than I have.

In reality, not all of my healthy lifestyle changes have been prompted by the benefits of chemical-free living. Take my latest endeavor into more natural personal care products, for example, which was mainly brought on by my desire to find the secret to perfect hair and skin (the banes of my existence) since I already check the ingredients on the products I buy. Bonus points for being budget friendly solutions too.

First up was the “no poo” challenge, which I first read about in detail when a friend posted an article on Facebook. “No poo” is definitely budget-friendly–washing your hair with baking soda and rinsing with raw apple cider vinegar.

raw apple cider vinegar and baking soda

Aside from the cost savings, this method is touted as making your hair healthier because it supposedly doesn’t strip the hair of its natural oils.

After the first couple washes, my hair did feel great. It definitely seemed to work at getting rid of any build up that was there, which is why it felt so nice. After a few more washes, though, it wasn’t feeling quite as soft and seemed to be frizzing more than usual.

It wasn’t long after that that I saw someone mention somewhere on the Internet that washing your hair this way might be bad for it. Wait, what?! A quick bit of Googling later and I found out that indeed, the “No Poo” method can be damaging to your hair. Serves me right for just going ahead with something I read on Facebook without doing additional research.

It turns out that baking soda is an alkaline irritant and it’s important to have a shampoo that’s pH-balanced for hair, otherwise you’ll be stripping your hair of the oil it needs–exactly the opposite of what the claims are (this means no castille soup either! Source: Empowered Sustenance). Yikes!

Well, that was a bummer. But wait! On that very same website, I found information about another budget-friendly, good-for-your-hair solution: honey washing.

Ok, so I could wrap my brain around using baking soda to wash my hair since it’s used for cleaning around the house, but honey? Unable to resist the supposed benefits of this method–reduce frizz, treat dandruff, moisturize–I gave it a go.

Simply mix 1TBSP raw honey (raw is key) with 3TBSP water, massage through hair and rinse.

I knew there was going to be a transition period (about 4-6 weeks) from my hair adjusting to the oils. Since my hair is in a ponytail nearly everyday from working out anyway, I thought it would be easy enough to disguise. Plus, with the way people raved about it, I thought the results would be worth it.

I lasted less than two weeks. I’m pretty sure I was depressed that whole time because of the greasy, nasty state of my hair. Kudos to those of you who have powered through the transition period and now have gorgeous, healthy hair because of it, but washing my hair with real shampoo after those two weeks never felt so good.

Clean hair again
I didn’t find the secret to perfect hair, but at least my hair is clean. As clean as second day hair can be. Keeping it real with a dirty mirror shot, courtesy of that boy down there. 🙂

Even though these two natural methods didn’t work for me, I still make a point to buy shampoos (and other personal care products) that are free of parabens and sodium laurel sulfate–neither of which are good for your hair or body. Right now I use Shea Moisture Shampoo and conditioner (affiliate links), which are free of those ingredients and you can even buy them at Target (but a better option would be to click on those links–thanks for your support!).

Coming up next week: oil cleansing. Have I found the secret to perfect skin?

Have you tried “no poo” or honey washing? 

Do you pay attention to the ingredients in your personal care products?

Any other ingredients I need to stay away from that I may not know about yet?

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Comments 3

  • Finding the best shampoo and conditioner has been a challenge for me, too. We started our “clean” journey several years ago, and I definitely see it as a journey, taking steps along the road to healthier living and better choices. I currently use Everyone Soap (I buy it on Amazon), which is for face, body and hair, after trying several of my own concoctions and some other suggestions. Everyone Soap also has a product for the kids.

    I once tried an olive oil soap concoction, and I only lasted a day (it was so greasy!). So kudos for lasting a couple of weeks with the honey thing! 🙂

    • We use Everyone Soap on our kids! I haven’t tried their other products on myself yet, though. I bought it at Whole Foods, but I’ll have to check Amazon next time to compare prices.

  • […] accidentally stumbled upon oil cleansing when I was looking up information on “No Poo.” The process is as […]

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