Is your hair free of ‘poo?

02/10/2014

Quite a leading question and perhaps not quite the type you would expect in polite society. Well, the fact is it refers to a new cult which is happening on the internet in relation to how you care for your hair. The “‘poo” is short for shampoo and the new concept is not to use shampoo to clean your hair.

 

A throwback to the sixties

Not necessarily new, even way back in the sixties, the hippies, in their rather grimy attempts to get as close to mother earth as possible and wave the flag for organic cleansers often used to go without washing their hair. The idea behind this was hair actually contains its own cleansing agents and therefore cleans itself. This may have some basis in science but have you ever seen someone who does not wash their hair at all for three weeks – greasy, flat, lank…it’s not this year’s fashion.

 

Organic only

 So what is this “no ‘poo” cult? First of all this little community isn’t about to take over the world. It has been triggered and enhanced by loads of blogs and committed online communities. Their theory is that your hair does need to be washed (to lift its presentation no doubt) but only with natural substances such as egg, bicarbonate of soda or vinegar. Also they say there is scientific evidence to suggest that the chemicals in shampoo strip the hair of its natural oils which in turn creates lank hair and a greasy scalp

“No pooers” are often deeply committed to green policies and are searching for ways to reduce the chemicals they use in their everyday life. Some bloggers have been doing it some-time and are happy to chat freely about their “positive experiences”.

 

A pretty noxious smelly stage

Lucy Aitkin Read stated in an interview with the Guardian that at first when she started over two years ago, her hair began to smell quite bad, but once she was over this phase she has seen a marked difference in the vitality of her hair. She strongly believes that her hair has become more healthy, thicker and shinier as a direct result of not washing it.

 

Does the evidence stand up?

The fact is the “no-pooers” theory has no basis in scientific evidence. It still remains unproven. The other issue with the concept is it wrongly supposes that the chemical foaming agent SLS – the villain of the piece – is present in all shampoos when SLS free shampoos are available at very cheap prices in various supermarkets. There are also an abundance of shampoos which are based on organic ingredients.

It seems there are two extremes and a middle ground here. Both extremes could have bad effects but it seems the middle ground – using cheap chemical free shampoo saves you going through the smelly stage, has just as good effects and does not hit your pocket too hard either.

 

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