Updated: Jun 8
I don't use shampoo, conditioner or any other products on my hair. Gross right? WRONG!
When we think of solutions for hair care, we immediately think of products. We are programmed to believe that looking after our body involves applying some product to our skin or hair and that this will will enhance our health and beauty. The more luxurious and expensive the beauty brand, the better.
We are beginning to understand that many products that we use involve harmful substances and the market is accommodating for this growing awareness. A good step in the right direction I would say.
However, while switching from commercial products to 100% natural products improved my hair structure, I still wasn't entirely comfortable with my hair. It was flat, split easily and if I didn't shampoo it every second day it started to look greasy.
We all love that fresh, light feeling you get after washing your hair but somehow, overall, my hair kept feeling heavier, the more product I used.
I then stumbled upon a blog post that spoke about eliminating shampoo and conditioner (and all other products) from your hair entirely. I was intrigued and kept digging into this topic. It seemed that "no-poo" was a real thing and somewhat of a movement in the making. Various ways of doing this included using bicarbonate soda, rye flour, apple cider vinegar and the very important tool of a boar bristle brush.
The idea is that shampoo, strips the hair and scalp of its natural oils, drying the hair out and causing damage. It also causes the scalp to go into overdrive for producing 'sebum', the natural oils that help moisturise and protect the hair. This overproduction means that hair looks greasy and the cycle of needing to shampoo frequently is perpetuated further.
I tried all of the above methods for a few months, and while they worked fine, I can’t say I was totally convinced. A few months in, I used a shampoo bar once again, because my hair had a weird structure and didn’t have that silky smooth feeling.
It wasn't until I discovered a German brand called "Haarweisheiten" (literally "Hair Wisdoms") that I was finally convinced. The brand is run by two women who combined their expertise and created this service and product platform. The main message of their wisdom is that you can achieve your perfect dream hair by eliminating all products, washing only with water and most importantly, by using the correct brushing equipment and technique. Brushing equipment isn't the same for every hair type. And as for technique, let me tell you, we've got it all wrong. What distinguishes "Haarweisheiten" from all the other no-poo content out there, is a genuine knowledge of hair structure, individual needs and how to correctly go about caring for it, to achieve optimal results. Just ditching shampoo is almost guaranteed to leave you disappointed and frustrated. So if you want to go down that route, and unleash your hair's full potential, I strongly advise to this properly.
I have been using their brushes and techniques for over a year now and can whole heartedly say that my hair has never been healthier, fuller, shinier, softer and stronger. It also revealed itself to have natural waves, which I could have only dreamed of before and lo and behold, I can go a little longer between washes, because my scalp has adjusted and is able to produce only the amount of sebum that the skin and hair really needs, rather than too much of it.
Another major plus point for no-poo hair care is an aspect of mindfulness. You are approaching your hair in a mindful way. You get to know what it does naturally, you understand how your natural biological cycle affects it and the time you spend consciously brushing your hair properly, is a type of ritualistic self love.
When it comes to sustainability, the results are two-fold. Sustaining healthy hair the natural way, truly seems the way to go if what you want is strong hair that doesn't need constant product treatment, which again just contributes to damaging it (how does that even make sense?).
The second part of sustainability is that you’re not pouring chemicals down the drain and reducing waste by not having to buy packaged products.
And this is really why I am writing about this. I like to share anything, relevant to me, that can support a more sustainable life-style. I am not being paid to advertise for a brand but have simply found an amazing solution for my hair that benefits, not only myself, but all life on this planet.
There is one downside to this. Though whether to call it that or not is up to the individual. In order to go through the process of detaching yourself from hair products, you have to be willing to accept that your hair will feel different.
The funny thing is, that when we go looking for solutions for healthier and better looking hair, we are looking for something different. Yet, it is still difficult for us to accept the feeling our hair gets when we quit using products on it. A bit of a paradox, you could say. I found this to be just another one of those mind constructs. Something we have to unravel in order to evolve and really move on to better things.
This no-poo method is no different. Learn to accept that it will feel different, be open and free to discover what your uniquely individual hair and body does, and you may discover visual and sensual beauty that you couldn't have previously imagined.