Here at Be Zero we're happy to share the stories and positive work of our Ambassadors in their own words. Our Be Zero Ambassadors bring life to the Be Zero Mission by sharing and inspiring ways to live simple and low-waste lifestyles. This post is from our Ambassador Sue Yee, she shares her story of her shampoo-free method! Enjoy!
By: Sue Yee Khor
It has been more than four months of using only water for my hair. I know that it might sound crazy but in fact there are actually quite a large amount of people who use only water for their hair. This is called the "no 'poo" method. I don't experience as much hair loss now, and my hair color has become healthier. However, you should know that it will take some time to go completely without shampoo at first.
Did you know that our scalp produces natural oil which serves as a protection for our hair? The commercial shampoo that we use contains chemicals (sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, etc...) that washes out the oils that our hair naturally produces. This will make you think that your hair is super "clean" but it is not.
Initially, I didn't really think I would switch to the, "no 'poo" method until I saw a post from a zero waste blogger who shared her journey about her water-only hair care method and it inspired me. Imagine your hair being totally free of chemicals and cleaned by the simplest of resources: water. I was struggling to find zero waste shampoos when I was working in Beijing. I was able to get myself package-free natural soap bars and tried to use it for my hair as well. Unfortunately, because of the hard water in Beijing it didn't work very well for me. I was able to get myself a natural shampoo from the same person I bought the body bar soap from and I can even return the bottle for a refill!
First switch to natural hair care for a few weeks. You might need some time to adapt to it at the initial stage. Then, slowly switch to water only, alternating it with the natural shampoo if it's a necessity. Soon, you'll find that your hair will be fine with water only!
I failed the "no 'poo" trial the first time I tried it because I switched my hair routine from chemical shampoo directly to water-only. It became super greasy and itchy until I couldn't stand it and so then I gave up. Then, I used the natural shampoo that I got from the farmers market in Beijing, which was made from water, amino acid blowing agent, wheat protein, soybean lecithin, vegetable glycerin.
Tips & Tricks
Baking Soda - I use it when I found out my hair is too greasy. I sprinkle a little bit on my scalp and massage it. This is the last option when I have nothing around me. As I want to keep my routine as simple as I can.
Apple Cider Vinegar - I love to use it as conditioner. Simply mix it with water with a proportion of 1:3 and rinse your hair throughly. I don't use pure ACV as I don't want to have the strong smell after my shower.
Comb + Massage - This is a must. Always brush your hair before shower and give your scalp a nice massage. This can prevent your scalp from becoming itchy.
Water temperature - Using warm water to wash the dirt and sweat out from your hair, then simply adjust the water to cool temperature and rinse it throughly. Cool temperature can help the pores close up and reduce the oil production.
Beware of transition period; it might drive you crazy! But be patient. This is mainly because of the silicone, which you can find in most of the hair care products. It builds up on your hair layer for years. Keep trying and you will make it there.
So, there it is. My, "no 'poo" journey. My hair is fine with the "no 'poo" method, even after hiking in the mountains, diving in the sea, swimming in the waterfalls, etc... I don't find any reason going back to my previous routine. I hope it works for you!