Dr Rogers Weighs in on the No-Poo Shampoo Method

What is the Poo Method and why would you only wash your hair every two weeks?

For some, the act of washing hair is a soothing ritual. For others, it’s more of a chore. A few of the people who fall into the latter category have decided to embark on a movement that may sound a little unpleasant to some, but apparently works. So what is the No Poo method, as it is commonly known, and what really happens to your hair when you stop washing it for two weeks? I tried it to find out, and it didn’t go as I expected.

It’s unclear when the No Poo method, as it’s commonly known, began but it has been adopted by a number of wellness bloggers over the past few years. It simply involves throwing away all of your shampoo and conditioner and washing your hair with either just water or a combination of natural products.
Why would people bother to do this? According to the official No Poo site, it’s because people believe that the harsh chemicals often included in commercial haircare products strip hair of its natural oils or sebum, resulting in a process that actually makes hair greasier, encouraging you to wash your hair more frequently.

However, there isn’t actually any scientific proof to back up this sneaky sales tactic claim. Dr. Nicole Rogers, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Tulane University, told Health: “For the average person with healthy, untreated hair, there is no evidence that the simple act of shampooing, so long as it is with the appropriate ingredients for your hair, will cause damage.”

Dr. Rogers adds that contrary to No Poo advocates’ claims that shampoo triggers excess sebum production, this production is actually “affected by various things including hormones, diet, and genetics. The simple act of not washing your hair less is not going to slow it down.”

While it’s clear that there isn’t really any science to prove the No Poo method works, you’re still likely to come across stories of people who have stopped using shampoo and loved it. In June, Metro published the story of a woman who had been washing her hair with water for two months and was so impressed that she was persuading her friends to try it. Blogger Lucy Aitken Read hasn’t used shampoo in years and even wrote a book explaining how and why you should do the same.

(Note: in the article the author Lauren Sharkey on Bustle.com she tried this method and the results were inconclusive.)

If you’d like to try it out for yourself, there’s a few things you should know. Those with a normal scalp will apparently do better using just water while those who have oilier skin may want to try washing their hair with baking soda diluted with water and condition with similarly diluted apple cider vinegar.

You may also want to attempt co-washing which is where you banish shampoo from your life and only wash the ends of your hair with conditioner.

Whether you’re worried about the harmful effects of chemicals on your hair or are fed up with how lacklustre it feels and looks, there’s no guarantee that trying something like the No Poo method will help. But it can’t hurt either.