Don't worry, the reference to "no 'poo" has absolutely nothing to do with bowel movements (if that were the case, I would probably need to see a doctor, stat!).
No 'poo, or the 'poo free method, refers to no shampoo. As in, not using shampoo to wash your hair.
I have been 'poo free for almost two years now after learning about the method from my sister-in-law Leah at The Suburban Gal and I decided to do a no 'poo post after being inspired by a hair themed post written my good friend Kara at Lil Miss Wisecracker.
In a nutshell, the 'poo free method involves washing your hair with baking soda and rinsing with either apple cider vinegar or lemon juice depending on your hair color (no 'poo is also known as the BS/ACV or BS/LJ method). As a blonde, I use lemon juice since the apple cider vinegar has the potential to turn blonde hair brassy. But, generally, most no 'poo folks use ACV (don't worry, the vinegar smell fades quickly as your hair dries and you'll get used to it in the shower pretty quickly).
The Basics of The 'Poo Free Method:
What you need: Baking Soda, ACV or LJ, and a cup
What to do:
Make a paste in your hand with approx. 1-2 teaspoons of baking soda and a few drops of water.
Scrub the paste into your hair, just near the scalp - you do not need to scrub the ends of your hair with the paste - that's what the ACV or LJ is for.
Focus on areas that tend to be greasiest for you (i.e. bangs, around your temples, etc.).
Rinse well with water.
Make a rinse in a large cup with approx. 1 part ACV or LJ and 9 parts water.
If your hair is long enough, gather it together and soak the ends in the rinse for 30 seconds or so, then pour the rinse over your hair.
Rinse well with water.
It's that simple!
From here, you can decide whether or not to use conditioner. I personally use it only once in a blue moon because my hair is still soft and manageable without it. So, why bother with the extra step?
Why No 'Poo?
Foregoing shampoo leads to happier, healthier hair.
Why? Because shampoo strips your hair of its natural oils. This is why folks who wash their hair everyday still complain of having greasy locks - their scalp is essentially working overtime to produce all the oils that have been scrubbed away.
Generally, just a quick rinse with water will remove any dirt that has built up in your hair. Using BS will go the extra mile to remove any build up from hair products. It also has natural deodorizing properties and you will not do damage to your hair or scalp unless you use a lot of it.
Going no 'poo means that you will not need to wash your hair as often.
Some folks are able to do one wash a week. Some will wash every other day, with a quick rinse on the "off" days.
There really are not hard and fast rules - depending on your hair type, you may need to experiment with the amounts of BS or ACV / LJ that you use, or experiment with washing more or less often. Just follow the basic elements of the method and find what works best for you.
I generally wash every two to three days, sometimes with a rinse in-between, and sometimes not.
The 'poo free method is also economical.
It'll only cost about $7 to buy a decently sized box of baking soda and large bottle or ACV or LJ and they will last you for months. It costs about the same amount to buy a good shampoo that will only last about a month, at best.
Some Practical 'Poo Free Advice:
I'll be honest, as you are transitioning to no 'poo, your hair will probably be pretty gross for the first two weeks or so as your scalp adjusts. Be tough! Don't fall into the temptation to wash your hair everyday during these two weeks. Just remember, after a few days, your hair will adjust and look fabulous. Just make hats and pony tails your friend for a little while.
If your hair gets a bit on the greasy side between washings, you can use a bit of cornstarch to absorb some of the oils. Use a cheap make-up brush to apply the cornstarch to your hair and then comb it through. Make sure do this before you get dressed for the day, especially if you're wearing black! (yes, I've made this mistake before).
When going to get your hair cut, I've found that it works best to wash it right before heading to the salon so that it will be nice and clean and they won't insist on washing it with shampoo before you get snipped. However, if you love getting your hair washed (as I do), you can simply just have them use conditioner. This way, you will not have start over with the transition phase, and you still get a nice scalp massage. It's also fun to see the stylists' reactions when you tell them that you are 'poo free. They are usually pleasantly surprised.
Invest in a shower cap. Yes, you will look totally dorky when you wear (let me tell you about how much Dan loves my shower cap...), but it will make for easier showers on your "off" days.
So that's what the 'poo free method is all about. Yes, it's a lot of information. I wanted to try and hit all the questions I had when I was first starting the 'poo free method. But, trust me on this one, once you get started, it really is very simple.
If you have any more questions, this website is a great resource. It offers a lot of troubleshooting advice (i.e. what to do it your hair is too greasy, too dry, too brittle, etc.) and will answer any questions you may have about the ingredients in 'poo free and why they work for your hair.
So, what do you think? Do you use the BS/ACV or the BS/LJ method? If not, do you think you will you give it a try? I'd love to hear your thoughts! Feel free to ask some questions, too - I'll answer them in the comments.