Going shampoo free is easier on your hair’s health, your wallet, and your time. When done correctly, your hair won’t smell, feel oily or dry, and be healthier and happier than when you were using shampoo.
The Benefits of going Shampoo-Free
- Stop the vicious cycle of shampooing with sulfates (harsh chemicals that strip hair & scalp of natural oils, which dries out hair, making it frizzy & susceptible to damage) and then conditioning (to attempt to add moisture back to hair, to counteract the drying sulfates).
- Allow your scalp’s oil production to calm down and get under control, which means you can go longer between hair washes without getting oily. (Some people can go a week or longer on no poo, while they used to have to wash daily with shampoo.)
- Utilize the natural oils produced by your scalp which is made for your hair. It coats your hair, protects it from the elements and damage, increases hair elasticity, and hydrates it so it’s bouncy and fuller and can grow longer.
This History of NoPoo
Beginning in 1914 shampoo began to be commercialised. First by Kasey Hebert and then more famously under Hans Schwarzkopf. Originally, soap and shampoo were very similar products; both containing the same naturally derived surfactants, a type of detergent. These early commercialised shampoos were incredibly damaging, leading to the quip “I can’t go out; I’m washing my hair!”. As such, shampooing was limited to once a week.
Starting in the 1970’s several ad campaigns began to push the idea that it was necessary to shampoo daily. Commercials featuring hair icons Farrah Fawcett and Christie Brinkley confidently asserted that frequent shampooing was the future.
This coincided with an increased use of sulfates in shampoos. Sulfates are found in a variety of products, from shampoo to dish liquid and laundry detergent. When used in shampoo, ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate essentially amplify the effects of the shampoo, allowing it to more effectively strip away the oil in your hair.
Sulfates are closely linked with damage to hair protein. In fact, one study from 2005 shows that hair immersed in a sodium dodecyl sulfate solution loses two times as much protein as hair immersed in water. This can lead to split ends, breakage and hair that is difficult to manage.
The 2020 coronavirus pandemic has led to surge of interest on google as to how to transition away from shampoo. Numerous forums exist discussing life without shampoo, with a reddit forum hosting over 40,000 members. A related movement called “low-poo” has also encouraged to move towards less damaging shampoos and more infrequent washing.
It is unlikely we’ll be seeing the end to commercial shampoo anytime soon. But the market for homemade formulas and more ethical cleaning products has grown massively. And that has to be a positive! If you would like to view methods to give up shampoo our website has a number of guides. Alternatively, you can view our low-poo recommendations if you would like to discover products less damaging to your hair.