- First, sulfates which are in shampoos and are what gives them lather. Repeat after me: Sulfates are evil. Sulfates will suck every drop of moisture out of your hair. Who wants that?
- Second, silicones which are in basically almost everything else (conditioners and styling products) and are fake shine. Silicones can only be removed from the hair with sulfates–it’s a complicated chemistry thing involving positive and negatively charged ions and blah blah blah. So if you stop using “cones” you can stop using sulfates. Silicones can also be very drying–not to everyone perhaps, but I know they were drying my hair out big time.
A super easy way to go no-poo would to be to switch to a product line that already follows the philosophy. I use DevaCurl products, thee Curly Girl Lorraine’s line of products, and I swear by them. They are available online or at a few very special salons (wink wink). I know everything in these products is safe and fantastic for my hair and I don’t have to read labels.
I googled “cone free hair products” and found a few lists, like this one. I would still read the labels, just to be sure, and put it down and back away if you find anything ending in -cone, -conol, or -xane. Another awesome resource is the forum at NaturallyCurly.com. Those people there are obsessed with their hair, and they are a wealth of product knowledge.
- Cleanse your hair with a light conditioner. Lost of people call this the co-wash (conditioner wash). I have used Suave Naturals Coconut for this step, currently I use DevaCare No Poo. Use a good healthy amount and massage your scalp well with your fingertips. Rinse. Yes, you can get your hair and scalp clean with this step. You don’t ever again want to feel that squeaky clean feeling in your hair. That squeak? It’s dryness. It’s your hair crying and begging for a drink.
- Condition your hair with a richer conditioner. Use a good healthy amount this time too and detangle your hair with your fingers or a very wide tooth comb. Rinse as well as you think you need to. I have found that my hair looks best when I leave most of my conditioner in, so I do kind of a flash rinse where I stick my head under the shower for about 3 seconds and call it good. (A good video with step by step is also found here.) Now you can carry on with your styling. Just be sure to read all those labels too and avoid “cones” like the plague.
This is the part where I commonly hear about an oily scalp. Even if you think you have an oily scalp, if your ends are dry as can be (and I’d say that at least 80% of my clients have dry hair) give this a try. Your scalp produces oil on demand so as you are stripping it of moisture with all that dang shampoo it is producing oil to compensate. When it’s not being robbed of all its oil your scalp should produce less and adjust accordingly.
P.S. Even if after this ultra-convincing post about no-pooing you don’t think it’s for you, at least make the switch to sulfate-free shampoo. There are lots of those available and your hair will thank you.
~ Kate P.