5 Reasons to Ditch Shampoo
Making the change to a sustainable lifestyle leads us to question each little product, process and ritual in our lives. Many of the things we believe to be essential were actually only introduced to our culture by companies who wanted to sell products to us. Women only began to shave their armpits in the 1920s and 30s when razor companies stopped experiencing growth in the men’s shaving market. It was the razor companies’ marketing that introduced the idea of shaving women’s armpits to our culture. Before that women simply had hair there, just as men do.
When it comes to beauty, most of what we do isn’t actually necessary. Of course, we don’t need to ditch all of our beauty standards to live sustainably (I still chose to shave my armpits), but it is worth questioning the things we do, and testing out whether we can change our processes to eliminate the unnecessary.
I have been experimenting with my hair washing and styling process, to find the right routine that works for my hair. I’m not quite ready to share the results with you yet. But I thought you might enjoy this post about living shampoo-free, written by my fellow Ethical Writers’ Coalition blogger Julia Spangler. Julia writes about ethical living on her blog Fair for All Guide, where this post originally appeared.
It’s been 10 months since I’ve used shampoo. To some of you that may sound shocking, and others of you may already be familiar with the movement known as “no poo.” The underlying belief of the no-poo movement is that conventional shampoo is actually more damaging than it is helpful, and by stripping the natural oils from hair, it creates the need for more frequent washings than would otherwise be needed.
While I spent a couple of years experimenting with natural shampoos, the no-poo method lingered in the back of my mind as a mysterious, too-good-to-be-true myth conjured by the internets. However, once I found out that my two bandmates with dramatically excellent hair were also no-poo, I decided to give it a try.
I chose one of the methods I saw discussed most frequently online, using baking soda and apple cider vinegar in place of store-bought shampoo. I started out washing my hair on the same schedule I used to shampoo (every other day), and over time that became less frequent. Now I only wash my hair twice a week.
If you Google “no poo,” you’ll find a myriad of different methods and opinions and experiences. Some people have had negative experiences, and others, like me, only wish they’d done it sooner. Here are my five favorite things about no longer using shampoo:
1. It changed the way I think about my hair
Until I went no-poo, I was very concerned about my hair being clean. I felt like it would be a scandal to go out with unwashed hair. I washed my hair every day for most of my life and assumed that everyone else did the same. Now that I know about the wider world of hair care methods, I feel like I’ve been freed from a prison of my old assumptions about socially acceptable hair.
2. Less time spent styling
Changing the way I wash my hair has also changed how I think about styling it. I used to think I had to straighten my hair for it to be acceptable. Over the last 10 months I’ve begun to embrace my natural hair, which is sometimes mostly wavy and sometimes mostly straight—I’ve come to appreciate both without feeling like I need to intervene with a styling tool.
I felt like it was especially imperative to blow dry and straighten my hair for work, and now I realize that there are way better things to do with that 20 minutes every morning, and life will not end if I show up at the office with my hair how it naturally dries. Plus, since I wash my hair less, if I do decide to style my hair it lasts for several days.
I’ve also come to love wearing my hair in a bun—it’s quick, it looks good whether my hair is wet or dry, and it curls my hair for later. A trifecta in only 30 seconds.
Check out how fabulous Julia’s hair looks, and read the rest of her post here
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