If you are anywhere on the spectrum between buying shampoos that have less sulfates, silicones preservatives, etc, to say, WATER (no poo); I am sure you feel somewhat confused, conflicted, and utterly lost as to what you could do instead. I know I did for a long while.
Terms like “Low-Poo” and “No-Poo” probably leave you feeling rather reserved. Co-Wash? What is that exactly?
People I talk too about this, sort of get a little excited when I suggest washing their hair with water. When I hint at ditching the bottled stuff for an herbal rinse instead I have gotten weird looks. (Less so when I had dreadlocks because most people assumed I just didn’t wash my hair or shower at all, didn’t shave, smoked marijuana and enjoyed Reggae music).
When I un-knotted and combed out my dreadlocks a year ago, and worried that my hair was ruined for good I began spending a little more attention nourishing it, I re-learned and re-appreciated my no-to low-poo journey. When my hair not only bounced back but became CURLY, read RINGLETS as opposed to my Hermoine Granger Waves I had all my life, I became unequivocally convinced that one: my hair is healthy, and two: leaving behind the bottles of chemicals in our hair, bodies and planet is worth it.
So no matter where you are on the spectrum, even if you rinse your hair with herbal infusions say, once in a while, you are doing your hair and scalp many favors.
If you shampoo your hair just one less time a week, you are taking one step in a new, healthier, greener direction. Your scalp does not need harsh detergents. It strips the mantle of oils and changes the PH leaving your body to fix all that. Sooner or later the sebum stops trying to replenish itself as I understand it. Sebum is our bodies own hair growth, health and protectant serum.
Maybe consider supporting your scalp and hair, instead of stripping it. Even if your store shampoo says things like “gentle” or “Natural” it probably still has the harsh chemicals that make it a detergent and not SOAP.
One alternative to shampoo I love is an herb commonly called Soapwort (or Saponaria officinallis). If you can find dried roots, try making a decoction (which is fancy herb speak for boiling the root in water for 15-30 minutes depending on the root or herb).
Let’s try it!!
Herbal Soapwort Shampoo
1 tablespoon dried soapwort root (saponaria officinallis)
1 cup water
– boil water and add in the soapwort. You are making a decoction so boil lightly for 15-20 minutes, then turn off heat and let cool. Strain out the plant material, and let cool. Add in a couple drops of essential oil if you wish and place in a jar (not plastic please).
Shake well before using and massage some into your wet hair. Easy peasy.
When you turn off the flame and your tea is cooling you could add fresh rosemary, rose petals, chamomile, green tea, lavender, etc. The possibilities are endless. Let the fresh herbs infuse while its cooling.
I made a tea (infusion) of dried rose petals to give my scalp some additional nourishment as its amazing for skin and hair. Also it nourishes the roots of hair and makes a great hair conditioner! You could also add a drop or two of good quality rose essential oil instead. The species of rose I like to use for this is Rosa Damascena.
Soapwort root is NOT soap but the saponins which is the chemistry behind the magic, will cleanse and help break down oils left in your hair, while massaging will stimulate the scalp and clean your hair. You may notice a wee bit of lather but don’t expect it to be the same as commercially produced “Poos”.
Lightly rinse out, scrunch out the excess water, and dry/style as usual (more on herbal, DIY, green hair care and styling to come). Give it try! See how it feels.
Happy Poo-ing Lovelies.