Recently I’ve been averaging two or three messages every week from readers of this blog who want to know what I think of the “No Poo” movement. I have to admit that when the first of these inquiries came in several months ago, I didn’t even know what they were talking about. Since then I have had a lot of e-mail conversations with many people who are very enthusiastically endorsing this idea. They have told me the reasons they want to eliminate shampoo and how they are doing it… and about their successes or failures. Personally, I can understand the reasoning, but this may be one of those areas where I will continue to appreciate the idea without actually doing this myself.

For those of you who haven’t heard of the “No Poo” movement, it comes from the idea that by eliminating shampoo, you are putting fewer chemicals on your skin, and giving the hair and scalp an opportunity to return to their natural state. The eventual goal is to wash hair with nothing but water.

Wood squill (Scilla siberica)

So how is this done? Some people stop using shampoo abruptly and substitute a baking soda wash (approximately one tablespoon of baking soda dissolved in water or made into a paste) and an occasional cider vinegar rinse (one or two tablespoons of vinegar in one cup of water) during the transition period. An alternative method some people prefer is to just use less shampoo and to let more time elapse between each hair washing until nothing is being used to “wash” the hair except water.

Some people have told me that they found the transition practically painless. Others described their hair and scalp as a greasy mess. I am probably not as skeptical as some people might be because I have seen this actually “work”… and seen how hair that has not been shampooed actually does eventually stop being oily and looks and feels “clean” even though it has only been rinsed with water.

But since so many people keep asking what I think, my answer has to be that I have mixed opinions. I completely support the idea of eliminating chemicals and preservatives from all aspects of my life, and I usually prefer the more natural alternatives. BUT… I don’t think I personally will be giving up the shampoo any time soon. I do use as natural a shampoo as I can find (or a shampoo bar soap that I make myself), and I do not use any other chemical products on my skin, so I feel my exposure to these types of chemicals is already minimal.

Having said that… keeping hair clean without shampoo is an interesting concept, though, isn’t it? Have you (or someone you know) tried this? What are YOUR thoughts?