The face of no shampoo: an urbanMamas green thing
Two of us now have immersed ourselves head-first into a practice that's more liberation than environmental imperative (though it's that, too): we've left the shampoo behind. A practice that's known by the stinky moniker "no 'poo" -- or "what everybody did until the 1970s" -- living without shampoo can be as simple as just rinsing your hair with hot water when you shower. Even at its most complex, the shampoo-free routine consists of a few rinses each week with a solution of apple cider vinegar (about a tablespoon) and water (about a cup) and the occasional baking soda solution (a teaspoon of baking soda in a cup of water).
The important thing about giving up shampoo is recognizing that our miraculous bodies were not manufactured for the profitability of beauty-products companies. In fact: human hair restores its natural balance and loses that greasy, unwashed feeling after as little as a week or two. Shetha's hair, here, is without shampoo for only a few weeks; I haven't used anything but the occasional cursory rub of Dr. Bronner's bar soap for months, and removed the shampoo from my grocery list a year ago (at first, I used a vinegar solution once a week or so). A piece on NPR last spring noted that washing hair every day removes the sebum oil our sebaceous glands produce to keep our hair healthy (and, straight out of that Pantene commercial, shiny!). Our sebaceous glands react and produce more oil, more often. Take away the detergents? And you get sebaceous glands that behave the way God intended, prettier hair and a more healthy scalp.
No one used shampoo, or washed their hair at all, until the late 1800s. For the next century, women used shampoos once or twice a month. In the 1970s, shampoo companies went on a campaign to "educate" us on the need to shampoo daily. Thanks guys! This hasn't been good for anybody; not only have we become dependent on harsh chemicals that strip our hair of the natural healthy sebum, but we've greatly harmed our watersheds and wildlife by washing that stuff right out of our hair... and down the drain. Here's the effect of phosphorus; surfactants are terrifically harmful for fish. Even the "green" ones can be problematic.
These two heads of hair are proof: going without shampoo isn't a hardship. Have any of you gone shampoo-free? How is it going? Do you have questions? Tips? Let us know!