2 Years of No Poo: An Honest Review

Over two years ago, soon after I started this blog, I proudly announced that I had given up shampoo and gone the “No Poo” route, writing this blog post.

What does this mean?

It means for over 2 years, I have not used shampoo. Sure, there may have been a time or two when I used a bit, say after swimming in a lake, but those times are few and far between. That’s a pretty impressive amount of shampoo-free stretch of time.

So how do I like it?

I wish I could tell you that No Poo is all rainbows, unicorns and fairy hair. Unfortunately, there are some drawbacks, as I will describe in this post. Are the drawbacks worth the freedom from shampoo? Yes indeed. But let me talk you through it all.

My current routine and hair-cleansing ingredients

In a perfect world, this is how my routine would look like:

  1. Brush hair once a day with a boar brush to disperse natural hair oils away from hair
  2. Wash hair once a week with water
  3. Oil hair ends with argan oil
  4. Have gorgeous, luscious hair for the rest of the time

The problem is that I’m incredibly lazy. I’m probably one of the laziest people I know. Might have something to do with my political views (just kidding).

When it comes to hair, lazy strikes again. Mornings and routines are a weakness of mine, and to be able to maintain the above No Poo routine, you’ve got to be consistent with the hair brushing. I often do not brush my hair, and braid it away from my face. This causes my hair to get prematurely greasy and tangled.

Nonetheless, the times when I do stick to my routine, my hair turns out well. But it’s not a complicated routine, and if you do follow it, you should see good results:

Step 1: Brush Your Hair with a Boar Brush

A Boar Brush is a ‘traditionally’ made brush, whose teeth are composed of boar bristles. They are lovely brushes that give a really nice texture to your hair. They also work out knots much more easily with no pain. Most importantly for No Poo’ers, they are very effective at dispersing oils through hair from the roots. I’m a fan of the brush and would highly recommend it – the only problem is that they get very dirty and very fast. For optimal results, you should brush your hair with a clean boar brush everyday from root to tip.

Step 2: Wash Hair Once a Week with Water

This step is really very simple. Just wash and scrub your hair well with water. I’ve found that hot/warm water works best. Scrub your hair well, as if you had shampoo in it. This is important in order to dislodge the excess hair oil.

After around 8 days of not washing hair
After around 8 days of not washing hair
After washing my hair (but forgetting to put oil on the ends)

Step 3: Oil Hair Ends with Argan Oil

My hair ends get unbearably dry if I don’t oil them after washing my hair. It causes my hair to become brittle, and my ends start breaking and knotting up.

So after washing, I try to apply between 1-2 tablespoons of oil to the ends, smoothing it through with my fingers. I’ll typically using a thin-toothed comb to make sure the oil is well-incorporated. I prefer argan oil, because it is exquisite, but coconut oil works great as well.

Step 4: Have gorgeous, luscious hair for the rest of the time

And most of the time, it’s quite good. I find my hair can remains smooth and nice-looking for at least a week. Sometimes, I’ll go for 10 days without washing my hair, and it will still look fine. It’s very low maintenance, except for the daily hair brushing, which is the main reason for the drawbacks below.

Drawbacks

Your boar brush and combs will get dirty with hair oil (called sebum) and they are difficult to clean. I toss mine in the dishwashing machine or handwash them with dish soap and warm water. Both options work quite well, but I’ve found that I need to clean these at a minimum once a week. This is one of my biggest annoyances with No Poo.

Secondly, my hair becomes quite dry if I do not oil it after washing while still damp. It’s a simple extra step – simply add coconut or argan oil to the ends and work through – but the consequences if I skip this step are dire.

Thirdly, as mentioned above, if you don’t stick to the routine, your hair does get very greasy.

Otherwise, no other drawbacks, really!

Benefits

Less chemicals, less waste, and overall, healthier hair. Read about it more in my original post.