Find alternative ways to stay clean

By Hayley Devitt

Whether you are cheap, lazy, concerned about plastic bottles polluting the Earth or the chemicals that societal norms urge you to slather on yourself, there is a solution for you.

I’m talking about the “no poo movement,” and no, it is not about bowel movements. Its about kicking the shampoo habit for healthier hair, saving money and reducing waste.

There is a reason our culture is so dependent on store-bought shampoo. The sulfates which create lather actually strip hair of its natural oils, forcing the hair to overcompensate for its loss. As a result, we get greasier hair and an impulse to wash with shampoo every day.

Teresa Carter, a stylist at Tangles the Second at 842 West Lincoln Highway in DeKalb, said that whether or not someone should use shampoo depends on the person’s hair type.

“Certain people can benefit from not shampooing,” Carter said.

For example, people with curly hair would benefit while others may need to slough the extra oil in order to save their hair.

“Older people do lose hair if they don’t shampoo enough,” Carter said.

I wonder if there was more baldness in the past than there is now, since shampoo as we know it today wasn’t used until the 1930s, and not daily until about the ’70s.

Before then, ladies were advised to brush their hair a hundred strokes every day as a way to distribute oil from the scalp throughout the hair.

Alternative hair care isn’t only relevant to us girls, however; I was pleasantly surprised to hear my own boyfriend tried “no poo” for about a year.

If you do quit shampoo, you don’t have to quit cleaning your hair. A good way to get rid of excess grease is to mix a little baking soda with water and washing your hair with that. Leave it in for a few minutes and rinse.

Afterward, to moisturize and condition your hair, use watered-down apple cider vinegar. I tried this washing method and I can certainly vouch for its effectiveness. My hair is soft, shiny and clean.

Little by little, you can reduce the frequency of baking soda and vinegar washes. In a few weeks, I should be able to rinse with just water.

The object is to let your hair regain its natural balance of oils, and it will mostly take care of itself. All it takes is time and plenty of brushing.

Let’s face it, there is an initial challenge to quitting shampoo. First of all, you have to trust that it works.

The first time I tried going “no poo” was during my freshman year, and none of my homemade “shampoo” recipes held up. Then was the dark day I wore a stocking cap to my art class. I wanted to be invisible. This time, with the baking soda and vinegar solutions, the only extra effort has been remembering to pull ingredients from the kitchen before getting in the shower.

If “no-poo” sounds right for you, try it. It is your hair, and you do not have to keep buying a product you do not need.