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Getting Clean, Primal-Style

March 6, 2010

No-poo results

For a year I haven’t used shampoo save for the odd occasion – really stinky things like after camping.  Just 4 weeks ago, inspired by Free The Animal’s post on going without soap, I ditched the soap bar in the shower, as well.  What?!?

No-poo, I’m not kidding you.  I’ve also not touched styling products or antiperspirant for three weeks.  So far, so good.  The result has been soft, manageable hair.  And above all, no greasy feel or smell.

The no-soap thing has been a little different.  First, let’s just say that for three weeks I haven’t gotten a single complaint from those around me, even when I directly ask them to comment on how I smell.  Now, of course I wash my hands after using the washroom, and before & after food preparation – it’d just be gross if I didn’t.

How To Go No Poo

From Jan to Dec 2009, I used a squeeze-bottle filled with a 1 tablespoon:1 cup water ratio.  Mint, rosemary, and tea bags were also thrown in there just for interesting smells.  Shake the bottle, squirt and massage into hair, deal with the rest of your body, then rinse.  Easy.  Lastly, I give my hair a thorough comb to remove excess oils and help it dry.

Lately it’s just been a very through scrubbing of my hair under hot water.  I also scrub throughly with a loofa (one of those silly Axe ones – thanks, marketing recruitment freebies!).

But why?

I was first drawn to going no-poo for environmental reasons.  The chemicals used in creating the product, not to mention the waste generated from plastic containers just didn’t make sense.  I switched to bar soap during that time to cut down on packaging, too.

Further digging into no-poo sites yielded some other interesting facts.  It’s healthier.  Most soaps contain sodium lauryl sulfate (source) – a detergent, surfactant, and bubble-causer.  Though not proven to be carcinogenic (yet), the stuff can worsen skin problems, cause ulcers, and irritates skin and eyes.

Stripping your hair of its essential oils everyday (somedays I shower twice daily, even) leaves it lank and dead, as well.  And for Paleos, Grok didn’t have shampoo, did he?  Well, he was probably stinky, too, but he didn’t have running hot water at his disposal, either.

Benefits I’ve Seen

  • I had very mild psoriasis on my side.  That’s gone (though this could also be related to my removal of grains, legumes, and dairy from my diet, as well).
  • My hair and skin are soft and wonderful, even in dry winter weather.  I’ve gotten complements on my hair colour and shine.
  • Showering, unless I zone out (which I am apt to do in the mornings), takes closer to 5 minutes.  Productivity and environmentalism, what’s not to love?

Downsides

  • I get weird looks from people that I break my secret to…

Ladies, since your hair is generally longer than my 2.5 inch mane, you may need to take a bit better care of it than I do.  Thankfully, there are tons of good resources out there, all easily accessible by Googling something along the lines of “no poo”.

This is a case of “don’t judge a book by its cover”.  Don’t throw your soap out, yet.  Just try going without for at least 2 weeks, to allow your body to get used to generating less oil.  You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Until next time, vi sees.

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