Tuesday, 16 August 2011
No Poo: beauty's dirtiest little secret
My blonde hair lasted a whole 12 days. I momentarily cured my blondarexia and replaced it with an even more worrying disease - DYEAREXIA. (OK, that's not a real thing but it is now). I decided to go dark again but then went dye crazy, turning it a multitude of colours, including one that was, unfortunately, reminiscent of that horrendous hue Cheryl Cole sported last year (you remember the red, right? Bleurrgghh). In a frenzy I decided to strip it of all the dye again (a very long process) and before finally settling on a colour that is very close to my natural shade (I think. It's been a while since I've seen it).
So it's safe to say, my hair was in a total state.
Thankfully my arabic family gave me the gift of thick strong hair so it didn't fall out but even my hair couldn't take that battering and get away with it. I tried everything I could to restore it to it's shiny glory but to no avail. I went cold turkey on the dying and had to call my sponsor (my sister) every time I edged near Boots, like a desperate beauty addict: "Ohhh but a temporary dye would make it so shiny again..." I have drenched it with Shu Uemara's (not cheap) hair oil to try and save the frazzled ends. I have used an intensive conditioning mask every time I've washed it. Even my GHD's weren't giving it's shine back. My hair was nearly dead. (Cue the violins)
Then something very interesting happened. I got a job at Guerlain doing make up and stopped having time to wash my hair in the morning. Four days in a row I left my hair unwashed. This is truly a miracle for me. I am OCD in every area of my life (and unfortunately this extends to my beauty regime, making me as low maintenance as Katie Price) and I've pretty much washed my hair daily since I was old enough to be aware of my own vanity.
But thanks to this job and actually having to be somewhere in the morning (one of the joys of freelance work is that the commute is only to my kitchen) the last few weeks, it's had to be tied neatly into a top knot and forgotten about.
Incredibly, when I next washed it days later, it felt like new again. Like it had never been touched by bleach and dye. Soft, shiny and natural. I couldn't believe my eyes. Days with no styling products or heat appliances and it was back to normal. Ladies, I introduce you to beauty's dirtiest little secret - "No Poo" (the absence of shampoo).
The first time I read about this was in the Sunday Times Style Magazine a while back and they were referring to a fashion designer who hadn't washed her in 6 months. She used dry shampoo to soak up the excess oil and keep it smelling fresh but her hair hadn't touched water in half a year. Despite Style saying she had the most gloriously thick, shiny beautiful hair, I was still horrified. I literally couldn't imagine anything worse. But after a few days sans poo, suddenly I'm on board. A total No Poo convert.
Why does it work? Most shampoo's are very strong and full of chemicals that strip your hair of it's natural oils, which are just the things it needs to stay healthy (we all know that over cleansing your face is bad for your skin. The same applies for your hair). And lets not forget the silicone based products we then load onto our hair after washing, the combs and brushes we drag through it to remove tangles and that's all before we start frazzling it with hairdryers and straighteners. Remove the washing and you remove the subsequent damage.
So if you want your hair to look better than it has in a long time, my advice is to invest in some dry shampoo and give your hair a rest, at least for a few days. Put away the straighteners, tie it up and gain some more time in bed in the mornings. I can't see myself opting for No Poo for 6 months (tee hee hee...the name will never stop being funny) but I'll definitely be giving it a break from now on.