I don’t mean to brag, but I have great hair.
It’s thick, long, has great body and bounce, and I do absolutely nothing to it. Including washing it.
To be clear, this isn’t fuelled by a lack of vanity on my part: I get my hair coloured every six weeks and in ye olden days (pre-Covid times), I’d go to Dry and Tea for a blow wave every six weeks also – thus, triumphantly getting my hair perfectly prepared every three weeks while remaining fully clothed.
But these days, with the lack of disposable income and the lack of appearances to keep up, I’m easily going six weeks between washes.
I wish I was one of those women who came out of quarantine with the resolve to grow out my grey. Many wonderful friends and idols have done so and I’m envious, but I’m not ready - yet. To be fair, all my hair fell out after chemo at the age of 26; let me have my time with it a little longer. I don’t do Botox, so it’s not like I’m a complete age denier. Besides, without my six weekly visits to the hairdresser I’d have to find a new way to get my hair washed.
While there are numerous internet forums dedicated to the benefits of No Poo (I googled that so you don’t have to), I have to admit that my lack of ‘poo is largely due to sheer laziness and the following reasons:
• I have very thick, long hair and quite frankly I don’t have the time or the inclination to spend all that time standing up rinsing.
• I don’t own a hairdryer (because again, I would never find the time to use it) and if I don’t wash my hair first thing in the morning, it doesn’t dry by bedtime (and if I go to sleep with wet hair I wake up with a head cold).
• I like really hot showers. So they have to be really short ones or I get lightheaded. Also – water shortage! It’s totally part of my master plan to do good by the planet.
• I used to purchase fancy shampoo but by the time I got around to using it my (bald) husband and young children would’ve emptied the lot. So I stopped buying Kevin Murphy and bought them each a bar of Ethique instead.
• My hair looks great with a bit of dirt in it, if I do say so myself. I love it best in summer when I’ve been in salt water and let it dry crispy in the hot sun.
The life cycle of a no’ poo proponent goes something like this:
Blow wave at the hairdresser
Can’t stop touching hair, the cleanliness is a novelty. But I feel a little like a Kardashian, or a newsreader. Not myself.
After one week
The grime of life is settling in. This is peak perfect hair really. My hair has texture and body while still feeling clean and smooth; I wear it with pride and attend maximum social outings.
After two weeks
It goes through a little icky patch. Best worn in a pony tail or scrapped into a bun for 2-3 days – this is the hardest time – then it comes right.
After five weeks
Back to the bun. Social engagements are few. Regular brushing is needed during this period to keep the birds nest at bay.
Keen to give it a go? Here are my tips for how you can nail no ‘poo:
• Commit to it. You’ll go through a greasy itchy patch for a couple of days but it’s important you push through.
• Don’t use product, not even dry shampoo. You want natural grime, not added weight.
• I’m not sure no shampoo is suited to those with sweaty workout practices. I exercise regularly without problems but last week I had an infrared sauna. It definitely speeds up the need to wash, so perhaps avoid your hot yoga class while experimenting.
• I wouldn’t recommend no ‘poo if you’re a smoker (you shouldn’t be a smoker) or if you live with a smoker (you shouldn’t live with a smoker). The only time I’ve noticed my hair smelled bad was after dining at a famous BBQ joint in Austin, TX, where the coals have literally been stoked since 1948.
We would love to hear how no ‘poo worked for you! Email us to let us know if you’ve tried it, and how you got on.