Nutrafol already wrote what shampoo is doing to your hair, but in favor of the no poo method. The question still remains: is going cold turkey on lathering up really the best move for everyone? And what does science have to say about it? Here are the facts that you need to keep in your bathroom drawer.
It is a fact that shampoo dries out your hair
As horrifying as it sounds, it is true and that is its job. Shampoos are designed to get rid of sebum, which is a waxy, oily byproduct of glands in your scalp. It protects the hair shaft and makes hair look shiny and healthy. Sebum however is hydrophobic – which means that, at the molecular level, it refuses to buddy up with water. Most of the sebum is going to stay put, no matter how long or how often you stay under the shower. The problem with sebum is that it accumulates, it makes hairs stick together and look greasy. So the detergents in shampoo bind to the sebum and then bind the to water molecules. Which is why the hair is left clean after shampooing it.
Shampoo is not the only thing that make your hair dry
Water is drying it out as well. When you get your hair wet, the cuticles that usually lie flat on your hair shaft can end up getting mused. When wet, hair becomes more fragile. And even if you are not using shampoo, just rinsing your hair can leave it looking dry and vulnerable to damage. That is why conditioner is so important – it has silicone that smoothens those cuticles and leave the hair looking strong and shiny.
Use apple cider vinegar and baking soda at your own risk
Many praise apple cider and vinegar as some miraculous hair products but not many know that vinegar is very acidic. Pouring it onto your hair is going to weaken it. And if your hair is already weak and you scrub it with baking soda, it will end up more dry and brittle over time. So be careful not to overdo it while you’re at it. There is a healthier, less damaging way to go with the no poo method on your hair: with supplements. Keep an extra eye on those that contains botanical ingredients as they support healthier hair.
Sulfate-free shampoos are kind of a bust
Sulfates, which are commonly used as detergents in shampoos, are damaging to hair. So choosing a sulfate-free shampoo is something that many are considering as a better alternative. But let us unpack this no-sulfate thing a little: Yes, all detergents, by definition, will make your hair less oily — and therefore more dry. But is one kind of shampoo better than the other? The answer is no: Most sulfate-free shampoos use some kind of alternative detergent that behaves exactly the same way. However, choosing a moisturizing shampoo that has less detergent, your hair may retain more oil. If you choose to just rely on the conditioner, you will keep even more of your oils. So read the back of the bottles next time and figure out what works for your hair. Most shampoos are basically identical and contains ingredients that are on some level not good for your hair. For better or worse: your hair is going to get dry when washing it, but it is up to you to choose the less harmful alternative.