You’ve probably heard of the no poo method by now. After all, it is all over the internet. What is this theory all about? According to the theory, washing your hair with a baking soda shampoo, or some other gentle alternative to shampoo, you achieve clean hair without the damage of harsh chemicals in commercial products.
In other words, you do not allow chemicals in shampoo to strip your hair of natural oils. Instead, you strip away chemicals and give your hair a clean and healthy rinse.
Now, it is only logical to be skeptical about such a method. After all, most of us believe that our daily shampoo ritual is vital to keeping our hair healthy and clean. But just take a quick look at the ingredients list of your shampoo.
See how many chemicals, dyes, fragrances, and so on are in there.
Your hair has natural producing oils. Over-washing with shampoo can strip the hair of its natural oils, and encourage your scalp to produce an excessive amount of oil. The result is greasy hair, dandruff, and similar hair issues.
The no-poo method, or the baking soda shampoo sounds simple in theory. You combine one part of baking soda and three parts of water, apply at the roots, wait for a few minutes, and rinse with warm water.
But as easy as the method sounds, there are a few other tips you can use to achieve maximum efficiency.
Hacks for more efficient baking soda shampoo
Mix up a batch, and put in a squeeze bottle
People always start small, and then go from there. And while that works in most cases, it is not as good in this one. Instead of preparing the solution every time you step in the shower, you can prepare a large bottle, and keep it at arm’s reach.
Why mix something when you are standing in the shower soaking wet?
What you can do is prepare a large bottle, by using the 1:3 ratio. Keep the squeeze bottle in your shower, and get it anytime you need it.
Add some castor oil
The no-poo method means you are using only water and baking soda for your shampoo. But that doesn’t have to be the case always. If you want your hair to smell beautiful after washing, you need some other ingredients.
Let’s start with castor oil. In addition to giving your hair some scent, castor oil promotes healthy growth and improves the thickness of your hair.
You can also try some peppermint or lavender essential oil as well. Add 10 to 15 drops of castor oil or essential oils to your large squeeze bottle batch.
After washing your hair, you will come out of the shower smelling super fresh.
Fair warning: putting castor oil or essential oils might tingle on your scalp at the beginning, but that is only a natural reaction. If there is excessive stinging, however, avoid oils.
Lemon juice for dandruff issues
There is no reason why your simple shampoo cannot do more. For example, if you are battling dandruff, you can easily turn your baking soda and water shampoo into an anti-dandruff solution.
Just add lemon juice, an ingredient known for reducing white flakes. Just several drops are more than enough. Wash as you normally do.
Apple cider vinegar rinse
After washing and applying shampoo, the logical step in the hair care routine is applying conditioner. Well, for the no-poo method, that means using apple cider vinegar as a rinse.
For this rinse, you need to mix 1 part of apple cider vinegar, and 4 parts of water. Pick any essential oil you like, add few drops to the mix, and that is it.
Same as the baking soda shampoo, make it in bulk and place in another squeeze bottle. Rinse off the baking soda, apply ACV conditioner, and then rinse with cold water.
The conditioner will help you add some moisture and shine to your hair, all while preventing frizz.
Double rinse for thick hair
The one downside of using baking soda on hair is that baking soda tends to clump pretty easily. For those with thick hair, that means you need more attention to rinsing.
For the second rinse, you can even toss your head upside down to ensure you clean parts you’ve missed the first time. You do not want any baking soda residue in your scalp. That can only encourage more oil production.
Baking soda can be used as a regular shampoo, and as a dry shampoo as well. If you do not have much time for the whole washing and then drying process, try baking soda dry shampoo.
When you are in a hurry, just sprinkle some baking soda onto your roots. Flip your hair upside after, and tousle it all in. This is way cheaper than purchasing expensive commercial dry shampoo products.
When you avoid no-poo
Generally speaking, the baking soda alternative is safe. But it is also abrasive, and can leave your scalp dry. With that in mind, there are situations when you should stick to regular shampoo, and avoid putting baking soda on your scalp.
- If you have dry or brittle hair
- When your hair is chemically treated or you’ve applied color treatment
- If you use heat to style your hair
- If you have sensitive skin
3 Myths to debunk
As with every DIY method, there are people who believe in it, and people who think it is all a myth. With that in mind, we want to debunk a couple of myths about the no-poo method.
- Contrary to popular belief, people that use the no poo method actually wash their hair, and their hair is very clean, shiny, and healthy. They just do not wash their hair with a label that has “shampoo” over it
- Another myth is that when you follow the no poo method your hair will stink. Nope, it can smell beautifully, even more if you add few drops of essential oils
- Last, but not least, no poo hair is not unhealthy. Your hair will be thicker, shinier, and grow much faster
Is it Safe?
This is the bottle line. At the end of the day, we all want to know whether a new method is safe for trying or not. Baking soda can pose some risks, and we mentioned previously when you should not use the no poo method.
Generally speaking, there is no scientific research that proves the no poo strategy and theory. At the end of the day, it is all about believing in people that have tried it. But it does not hurt to try something new, does it?