The main reason to go no ‘poo is your health. The number of chemicals in shampoo and other bath and body products is frightening. Your skin is the largest organ on your body. Whatever gets put on your skin gets absorbed into your body, into your bloodstream and into your organs, as has been proven by many studies. Essentially, whatever is toxic to put in your mouth is toxic on your skin as well.
Chemical Content of Shampoo
Following are just a small sample of the toxins found in most shampoos and their detrimental side effects.
Alcohol, isopropyl (SD-40) is a very drying and irritating solvent and dehydrator that strips your skin’s moisture and natural immune barrier, making you more vulnerable to bacteria, molds and viruses. It is made from propylene, a petroleum derivative, and is found in many skin and hair products, fragrances, antibacterial hand washes as well as shellac and antifreeze. It can act as a “carrier,” accelerating the penetration of other harmful chemicals into your skin.
It may promote brown spots and premature aging of skin. A Consumer’s Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients says isopropyl alcohol may cause headaches, flushing, dizziness, mental depression, nausea, vomiting, narcosis, anesthesia and coma. A fatal ingested dose is one ounce or less.
FD&C color pigments are synthetic colors made from coal tar, containing heavy metal salts that deposit toxins onto the skin, causing skin sensitivity and irritation. Absorption of certain colors can cause depletion of oxygen in the body and death. Animal studies have shown almost all of them to be carcinogenic.
Mineral oil is a petroleum by-product that coats the skin like plastic, clogging the pores. It interferes with skin’s ability to eliminate toxins, promoting acne and other disorders.
Propylene glycol (PG) and butylene glycol are petroleum plastics which act as surfactants (wetting agents and solvents). They easily penetrate the skin and can weaken protein and cellular structure. Commonly used to make extracts from herbs, PG is strong enough to remove barnacles from boats!
Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) are detergents and surfactants that may pose serious health threats. They are used in car washes, garage floor cleaners and engine degreasers — and in 90 percent of personal care products that foam. Animals exposed to SLS experienced eye damage, depression, labored breathing, diarrhea, severe skin irritation and even death.
How to No ‘Poo
Dissolve about 1 tablespoon of baking soda in just enough water to make a paste. Apply this to your roots only; work it in and let it sit for a minute.
In order to stimulate blood flow, clean your pores and get off built up grime, use your finger tips to massage your scalp. Start by making a circle on the top of your head in the area you’d wear a crown. Focus on the back of this circle to begin with. Next, fill in the circle. This is where your part will be; grease here affects the way your hair looks. Trace while still scrubbing with your fingertips around the bottom edge of the circle. Keep making massaging circles underneath each one, drawing lines in circles around your head.
Lastly, massage the back of your skull and your temples/sideburns. This will result in less grease and more growth. After doing this, your scalp will feel alive. Many women swear their hair grows faster after a visit to the salon — it does, and this massage method is why.
When scrubbing, you’re actually rubbing your fingers back and forth in short movements. Be gentle; you don’t want to break your hair. Next, pour about 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar into a cup and add water. (I keep two plastic 12-ounce cups in my shower and just mix when I get in.) After you rinse the baking soda out, pour the apple cider vinegar over the ends of your hair, let it sit for a minute and then rinse it out. That’s all there is to it!
No ‘Poo Troubleshooting
Remember, there is a transition period from two weeks to two months depending on the person. Here are a few tips:
• If your hair becomes frizzy, try using less baking soda or leaving it on for a shorter period of time. Adding honey may also help.
• If your hair becomes greasy, try using less apple cider vinegar, switching to lemon or lime juice, leaving out the honey, and/or using a comb instead of a brush. Also, make sure you’re applying the apple cider vinegar just to the ends of your hair.
• If your scalp itches, try the following essential oils; tea tree, lavender, rosemary. If your hair becomes dry, try a tiny bit of oil (any oil, I use olive) smoothed on bottom of hair.
Ready to make the change? Sure! Don’t be afraid to go no ‘poo. You know how to do it! Enjoy the journey – you’re on your way to a healthier you!