Shampoo, no-poo, or co-washing?!?

Shampoo, no-poo, or co-washing?!?

What does all this mean and what is the best natural hair care method?

Do we really need shampoo?

What about just using conditioner?

All those plastic bottles not only contribute to the waste epidemic but what about all the money wrapped up in this one simple daily practice?

Do you think I can write this entire post in questions?

My opinion (which has not been evaluated by the food and drug administration, I assure you) is this; Shampoo as infrequently as possible.

-No I'm not kidding.-

Even the mildest shampoo strips oils, that's what it is formulated to do. Therefore one who has dry hair, doesn't need more drying. And if you tend toward oily hair, frequent shampooing creates a cycle in which the scalp increases production of oils (Sebaceous glands secrete an oily or waxy matter, called sebum.) in response to every washing away of it. Subsequently this leads you to believe that you should be washing your hair more often!

I highly doubt this is a unknown phenomenon to the manufacturers of shampoo.
When you do shampoo, select a product that does not contain Lauryl or Laureth Sulfate. And good luck finding one without fragrance.

Be mindful about what exactly you are paying for.

Instead of fragrance, essential oils can offer delightful scents and aromas. They are valuable too as they promote many benefits to the scalp as well as sensory and soul experiences.

Oils such as argan, shea, and coconut, all of which can be readily found these days are ideal for nourishment. However most products also contain chemical soups that may give you instant, short term, desirable effects but are destroying not only your hair but your overall health in the long run.

Then there is conditioner.

“Co-washing” has gained some attention these days. This is when you forget all together about shampoo and only use conditioner, when needed. As my hair has gone from silky smooth to course and wavy over the multiple pregnancies and the introduction of gray, wiry hairs pop up, I have come to love the way conditioner leaves my hair feeling soft and smooth again. I've tried the co-washing but it is probably even worse chemically than shampoo. It often leaves a taste in my mouth that I know is not good. And its' smell is almost intoxicating, and always overwhelming. Plus this slick stuff is actually addicting. However like I said, with my coarser, wiry hair a good condition treatment is welcomed from time to time and I know some require it weekly. The best thing you can do is mix your own using natural oil(s) for an intense deep conditioning. The same oils above can be tried, see what works best for your own hair.

One of my favorite recipes is to melt 2 Tablespoons of coconut oil with 1 Tablespoon of shea or Sal (Shorea) butter. Let this cool and then whip in a teaspoon of argan oil. Whipping for a few minutes you should have a creamy texture much like that of commercially made conditioners. The addition of essential oils is optional.
But there really are many beneficial essential oils for all hair types.

Personally my scalp tends toward the drier side and often has dandruff. In this case cedarwood, lemongrass or tea tree oil is best. Peppermint is stimulating and good for oily hair and some even claim hair growth but both tea tree and peppermint can be irritating for some. So please batch test first, especially if your scalp is sensitive. And if peppermint is irritating but you want to combat oil you may want to try juniper berry instead. In other words, there is an essential oil out there for you.

In my journey, I have also done the “no-poo” method for more than a year with much success. This is like a good detox for the hair.  One tends to go through a period of oily-ness but then the scalp balances itself out since you are not stripping the sebum oils anymore.  The length of time that one experiences oily-ness varies from individual, seasons, diet, hormones, etc. 

~A healthy scalp is the most important part of great hair.~

It is also beneficial to ex foliate the scalp from time to time as well but that is yet another post. The “no-poo” method (forgetting about shampoo altogether) works best when you are ready to accept the hair that you have, first and foremost. And the second thing that makes it great is using a vinegar rinse.

A vinegar rinse will aid in the ph balancing of one's scalp.  Vinegar has the ability to adjust and even maintain desired acidity levels.  Vinegar will bring back the natural shine of your dull hair, as it is cleansing and clarifying.  And it does not weigh your hair down.  Instead it will actually give pop or spring back to your curls and volume to fine hair.  Vinegar de-frizzes and smooths down the cuticles of your hair for a remarkably long time.  Plus it is fortifying, keeping your tresses on a healthy diet of vitamins B and C, and potassium.  It has been reported to help with dandruff (it works for me) as well as contribute to hair growth plus it detangles!

dandruff ~before vinegar rinse

after vinegar rinse

Many people ask if it leaves the hair smelling like vinegar.
I don't mind a vinegar smell, so I don't think I'm the one to be answering this. But I do know that there are many vinegar rinses out there available with infused herbs and essential oils to give not only extra benefits but a catered scent as well.
And you can always make your own.
A simply spray bottle filled with organic apple cider vinegar mixed with distilled water and perhaps some herbs and or essential oils just may be the best thing that has ever happened to your hair.
In fact I have a Do. It. Yourself.  Lemon Grass Vinegar Rinse HERE.

Then, not so long ago, I came across tea rinsing.

What a fabulous idea! 

But then again, I'm a tea drinker like most drink coffee. Tea or rather infusions are so nourishing. So why not rinse and fuse those hair follicles with all kinds of super nutrient herbs? This post on tea rinsing claims that doing so helped not only strengthen hair but reduce shedding too.

I have been incorporating rose hip & seed tea, apple cider vinegar and rose absolute together for a fantastic rinse that all my girls (that's 7 of them plus me :o)) love. We have been using this now for about 6 months with fantastic results.
....I haven't had to deep condition, the girls haven't had to use a De-tangler and I do not have any hair loss which happens to me occasionally postpartum, from nursing.

Now it's your turn.  Let us know what natural hair care regimen works best for you!  
Please do share in the comments below.

Or perhaps you have questions about a natural hair care routine and or products, don't be shy.   

Some of our favorite Natural Shampoo Bars are; Holy Healing, Ancients Path, Chaya, Fresh, Exotic Citron and Be Ye Clean.


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