Shampoo is a modern convenience and obsession. The Average UK woman will spend £140,000 on haircare and beauty products in their lifetime! That’s a huge amount and could be a significant chunk towards a mortgage for a property. It’s no secret that most women want to look their best and there is nothing wrong with spending time and money to do that. However, are some of the products we use really helping us look are best? Could in fact some of these products be helping us get trapped into a cycle of dependence? Do you really need these products to solve acne, frizzy hair or get our hair to stay put – could it be, that maybe, these products are the reason we have acne, frizzy hair and slippery hair that cannot hold shape to save it’s life. It’s certainly worth considering and investigating what we are putting on our faces and hair.
This blog post is going to be concerned about hair. Now I was probably your average teenager growing up. I was obsessed with my hair! I was also a bit of a punk so crazy hair colours were in. My favourite I think was that black that gave that blue sheen – it was amazing. Also, the hair craze was to straighten hair. As you can probably imagine my hair with abuse from permanent dyes and hair straighteners was not in the best condition. My hair developed Alopecia (hair loss) and although there was no known cause for why it was happening to me – I was going through a stressful period at the time – my hair was rebelling against my rebellion. At the time, the main advice I got from the nurse was to ditch the products, the hair straighteners, the dyes and stick to Simple’s shampoo and conditioner range. My hair was awful. It was damaged beyond repair and not being able to mask it with straighteners or anything – made it even worse. It was horrific for me as a teenager. But looking back it was the best thing I could have done for my hair. I abused my hair and it wasn’t pretty. I became more self-conscious about what I was doing to my hair.
After a while, I came across a movement called No ‘Poo. Don’t worry let me explain before you look at me in disgust! No ‘Poo is all about ditching commercial shampoo. There are a range of ways you can do this – from simply just using shop-bought conditioner (this is known as a Low ‘Poo method) to ROM – which stands for Rinse Only Method, which is effectively just using water to wash your hair.
You may be asking shampoo works well for me, why should I give it up. I have a shampoo that helps stop my dry, itchy flaky scalp and I can’t live without my conditioner because it tames my frizzy locks – wait right there. Have you ever thought that your scalp and frizzy problems could actually be caused by your shampoo? Let me explain.
Shampoo has a range of ingredients in it, how often do you look at the back of a bottle and fail to pronounce half of the ingredients? Let alone know what half of them are. One key ingredient of shampoo is Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), which is an organic compound used in cleaning and detergent products. Organic you say? Great?! Not in this case. SLS works by removing the dirt from your hair, which is a good thing but it also works at stripping away the oils (known as Sebum) from your scalp. This is bad, SLS is a irritate which can cause your scalp to itch and flake, but it is also stripping away your hair’s own natural conditioner, which leaves your hair dry. We compensate this by using a conditioner to go with the shampoo. But you hair doesn’t know you’ve done this – it just knows you’ve removed the sebum. So you now have a fake sebum, in the form of conditioner and natural sebum working on your hair. The end result is greasy hair quicker. So you are now trapped into having to wash your hair again. The more you wash it – the more you need to wash it, because it becomes greasier more quickly because your scalp is over producing oils to compensate the loss of oils it is experiencing.
Did you know that in the Victorian times because there was no modern shampoo (which didn’t get invented until the 1930s), women only felt the need to wash their hair about eight to ten times a year? The reason why is because their scalp was in regulation with their hair and didn’t over produce the oil. It was probably a good thing they didn’t wash their hair so often – as the style was to wear it incredibly long. Anne Boleyn had hair she could sit on!
I felt intrigued by this concept, in modern shampoo has only been around since the 1930s. Women coped perfectly well without it before, and looking at historical photos, women’s hair looked long, beautiful and healthy. So what was their secret? I was interested to find out. I wanted to stop abusing my hair with shampoo that was only irritating my scalp.
I started no ‘Pooing about eight months ago, in January 2015. It’s not been an easy journey, it fact, it’s been very difficult. I have cheated and gone back to the shampoo bottle on more than one occasion. But I desperately wanted to stick at it, and by and large I have. Is it worth the long battle to try to break up with your shampoo? In my opinion yes, it has absolutely been worth it.
You have to be prepared to make a sacrifice thought and have a few bad hair days, but trust me it is worth it! Are you interested in finding out how? Stay tuned for my next post, which will be all about what you need to do to ditch the shampoo.