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How to Break up With Your Shampoo

by Renee Franklin

Since we were old enough to be trusted to properly bath ourselves, we have been old the same message about our cleansing our lovely locks: wash, rinse, repeat. A growing movement of women are ditching their shampoo for healthier, shinier and smoother hair. Welcome to “no-‘poo.”

Why We Started Shampooing
Shampooing our hair is a relatively new concept; the first shampoo wasn’t introduced in North America until the 1930s. Until then, most people washed their tresses with the same bar of soap they washed the rest of their body with. As marketing and advertising around hygiene products increased, so did the frequency with which American’s bathed. According to Procter & Gamble, Americans wash their hair twice as much as their European counterparts.

Breaking the Habit While commercial shampoos remove dirt and dead skin from your scalp, they also strip your hair of natural oils, causing it to produce even more. Many also contain parabens, widely used preservatives that are thought to act as hormone disruptors, and sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate, ingredients that can damage and dry out your hair.

Everyone’s scalp is different. Thick, curly hair tends to look better without regular washing; excessively oily hair can benefit from daily washes. The trick is to find what works for you.

If you are experiencing breakage, fading color, frizziness or excessive oil, it may be time to cut back on, or totally cut out, the shampoo.

Instead of going cold turkey, wean your hair off of the ‘poo by gradually putting one more days in between shampooing until you are using it as minimally as possible. Then, recycle your empty shampoo bottle, give it to a friend, hide it in your closet and brace yourself. No-’poo proponents report that the 1-2 weeks after quitting shampoo are rough, to say the least. Your hair will continue to produce oil at the rate it was while you were shampooing. During this time, when you find your hair getting greasy, utilize dry shampoo with natural ingredients. After this period, no-pooers consistently report healthier, thicker and shinier tresses.

Not shampooing doesn’t mean not washing your hair; rinsing with apple cider vinegar diluted with warm water (1/4 cup to 1 cup) is recommended. Many companies now offer shampoo alternatives, including DevaCurl No’Poo Orinigal Zero Lather Conditioning Cleanser, Sans Ceuticals Nourishing Hair Wash and Philip Kingsley No Scent No Colour Shampoo.

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