Going No 'Poo: Ditching the Shampoo Bottle in Search of Healthier Hair

RENO, NV - It's something you probably do everyday as part of your morning routine; hop in the shower and reach for the shampoo battle. But a rising trend has some people shunning the lather, rinse, and repeat process all in the hopes of healthier hair.

It's called No 'Poo.

The idea is you eliminate any commercial hair products and instead wash with baking soda and condition with apple cider vinegar.

'Good Morning Reno' producer Molly Moser began the No 'Poo process a month ago because she wanted to get away from the chemicals found in traditional shampoos.

After looking on a few blogs which promised model-like hair in just a few weeks, Moser bought the ingredients and gave it a go.

At first, Moser was impressed.

"When you come out of the shower and you dry your hair, it's so soft and it's just shiny and you can style it really easily," she said.

But a month in, Moser has yet to see the desired effect.

"It's very static-y and dry and I'm trying to be patient because I want to see if it will work," she said

At Rumors Salon in Midtown, co-owner Irma Gamboa has seen many hair trends like No 'Poo come and go. But she says in her 30 years as a hair dresser, she has yet to see these do-it-yourself methods create healthier hair.

"If it works for you, great," she said. "But when you're looking at the science of it, I don't see how it can work."

Gamboa says hair needs to be at a certain pH level to be considered healthy, and that is what salon products are specifically designed to do.

"If they are using professional products recommended in a salon, their hair is healthy," Gamboa said.

But with other necessarily items like gas and groceries going up in cost, many people don't spend the money on salon quality products. Instead they opt for shampoos and conditioners bought at drug stores to save money.

And that's part of the appeal of No 'Poo. Both baking soda and apple cider vinegar are relatively cheap. But Gamboa says even though salon quality products can cause upwards of $20, a nice bottle of shampoo or conditioner can last about six months.

"Usually if you're using a professional conditioner, you use the size of a green pea," she said. "That is it. You don't go 'pump pump'. The hair can only absorb so much."

While Gamboa doesn't encourage skipping the shampooing, she says there is one aspect of the No 'Poo process she will sometimes recommend to clients.

"I almost hate to admit this, but sometimes I will tell people to use baking soda," she said. "If you use a drug store brand hairspray then curl your hair, you can end up with build up. What I recommend is a little bit of baking soda mixed in with your nice shampoo, leave in for a few seconds then rinse."

But she says you only need to do that if you feel the build up.

Moser says she likes the idea of using more natural products. She says she may stick it out the No 'Poo process for a few more weeks, but pauses when asked if others should try No 'Poo too.

"It really just depends on the person's hair."

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