A Curly-Girl Confession: I Never Wash My Hair
That’s right. You read it correctly. Sound disgusting? Ok. I can dig it. I’m not a dirty girl… *wink wink* But seriously: We’re conditioned (pun intended) to wash, condition and style. But all tresses are not created equal, and it’s a shame I didn’t figure this out until later in life. I could have saved a few inches of my slow-growing locks! My hair has never been better. I’m not ashamed to share my secret, and hopefully dispel the myths about what’s necessary and what could potentially be harming our natural hair growth and shine! No-poo. NO SHAMPOO!!
“A water-only rinse will remove salt and sweat without stripping hair oils,” says hairstylist Kerrie Urban.
This is precisely the method I use. If my hair becomes overloaded with product, my bi-weekly co-wash takes care of any build-up. I also condition daily because it smells nice. Using essential oils with my scalp treatments also keeps my hair fresh and smelling great!
“The more you shampoo, the more you potentially remove oils needed to protect hair shafts and keep the scalp healthy and moisturized,” says dermatologist Jason Emer to Allure’s Daily Beauty blog. [source: Allure Daily Beauty]
Ultimately, how often you shampoo is a matter of personal preference. “It really depends on the scalp and hair type and what you do to the hair,” says Paradi Mirmirani, MD, a Vallejo, Calif., dermatologist and specialist in hair research.
Dermatologists and stylists agree that there’s little reason to shampoo every day. “Hair is a fiber,” Mirmirani says. “Think of a wool fiber: The more you wash it, the worse it’s going to look. There’s no need to wash your hair every day either.” The longer, thicker, curlier, and more processed your hair, the longer it can go between washes. “This is because the oils from the scalp do not travel down the hair shaft as quickly, so the hair tends to be dry and requires less frequent shampooing,” says Heather Woolery-Lloyd, MD, director of ethnic skin care at the University of Miami.
Bogna McAndrew, an entrepreneur in London, quit shampooing her long, straight hair. She says her hair always looked best when it was a little dirty and she wished it could look that way when it was clean. No-poo!
Six weeks after giving up shampoo, she said, “I love my hair now. I just didn’t know there was any alternative to shampoo. I thought you just had to be a dirty hippie. I didn’t know you could clean your hair any other way.” McAndrew uses baking soda and water mixture once a week on her scalp, and she’s learned about other shampoo alternatives including lemon juice and even beer. “It has really opened my eyes,” McAndrew says. [source: WebMD]
So I’m clearly not alone, and perhaps I’m not crazy, after all. At least: not about this one thing. Products – purchased and those made in the kitchen – are said to be the key to gorgeous natural hair.
But hair products are a money siphon. It’s a vicious cycle! And, it’s a vicious cycle that makes a lot of money for Proctor and Gamble, Unilever, Johnson & Johnson, and Nestle.
Those are the same companies who set an unrealistic standard of beauty. Women should be thin, soft, conventionally pretty, flawless, always smiling; men should be muscular, tall, tan, athletic. That standard of beauty also includes having hair that’s “silky,” “shiny,” and “smooth.” First of all, who makes up these standards? Is this necessarily what is truly most beautiful? Secondly, the standard automatically excludes women with naturally curly hair – especially black women.
If you feel you must shampoo, there are better options. Use an oil-based shampoo rather than a detergent-based shampoo. You can find them at health food stores, and they won’t strip your hair. In the last 138 years, we’ve been told we need to use shampoo — but why? Take 14 days out of your life to give it a shot — you might be pleasantly surprised. [source: @rebeccavbrink via The Frisky.com]
No-poo works great for my mane, and it’s truly never been better. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!
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