The experts frequently change their minds on what’s right and what’s not for our hair care. After years of telling us that we need to shampoo every day, hair experts have now had a change of heart. Many of them have even embraced the “no-poo movement” and say that we should shampoo our hair less frequently or not at all.
The no-poo movement doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t wash your hair at all, it just means that you don’t use shampoo. The idea is that friction alone removes dirt and scum. Water and friction or conditioner or an apple cider vinegar mixture with some scrubbing should be enough to remove build up.
However, when you’re an older woman, particularly when going through menopause, your hair experiences changes and requires special consideration. As we age, hormone levels change and that is a shock to our body, including our skin, hair and nails. Hair will often become more dry and coarse. On top of that, we add drying products like hair sprays, gray cover-up hair dye, chemical treatments as well as medication, diet and weather exposure.
Some older women are intrigued by the possibility of going shampoo-free. It’s really dependent on multiple factors and it’s important that you take them into consideration before opting to opt-out of shampoo. Here’s what you should consider:
Type and Texture of Hair
Texture matters because it affects how quickly sebum (oil) will work its way from your roots through the length of your hair. Coarse, gray and curly hair slows down sebum’s spread so you can skip shampooing. However, when you have oily or fine hair, you will more than likely need to shampoo 3+ times per week.
If you style your hair regularly then you will probably have specific needs and issues as opposed to someone who just throws it back in a ponytail every day. If you want to protect your color or bleach from styling damage then it can often be best to wash your hair less frequently. However, whether or not no-poo hair can work for your hairstyle will be determined by trial and error. Try going a few days without shampoo and see what happens.
There’s debate whether or not shampoo can actually cause hair loss. Even if you are shampooing frequently you should avoid shampoos with sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and ammonium lauryl sulfate (ALS) because some studies suggest that they have been linked to hair loss. However, other studies have suggested that clogged pores from infrequent cleaning can be linked to hair loss, so keep the scalp clean, regardless if it’s with shampoo or not!
Some people just like how their hair feels once it’s been shampooed and it’s simply part of their routine. If your hair doesn’t feel clean from water and friction, you can try some other products or home made remedies such as vinegar and baking soda.
You can always see a specialist or your hairstylist and ask for a consultation. They will be able to help you determine if your hair type and lifestyle is right for going poo-free. Older women with drier locks, thicker hair and few styling concerns are good candidates to try going shampoo-less.
Ultimately, to poo or not to is completely up to you. But there are definitely other options out there if you’re out with the old shampoo and in with new.