Ask The Experts: Is the No-Poo Method Really For You?

washing hair
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Google “No-Poo” and you'll find that almost every hair blog supports this process of washing your hair without commercial shampoos. But, did you know there’s a 2-8 week transitional period where your hair adjusts to the lack of ‘cleansing’ by producing excess oil? Celebrity Hairstylist Josue Perez weighs in and gives us the deets on what we should and shouldn’t be doing when washing our hair.

ESSENCE.com: Many of us have jumped on the no-poo bandwagon, but you’re saying we shouldn’t believe the hype. Can you explain why the 2-8 week transitional period can be damaging to our hair?
Perez: This period varies for everybody, but once you stop using sodium laurel sulfate—the foaming chemical in your shampoo—your scalp’s oil production goes into overdrive because it’s not being stripped by your shampoo. Until your hair learns to control the oil production and maintain it your hair will be exceptionally greasy during this time.

ESSENCE.com: Is the no-poo method good for coarse hair?
Perez: The no-poo method doesn't work on everybody. Everyone’s hair is different so the results will vary from person to person. Many people to try this no-poo method don’t make it past the 2-8 week mark because the oil buildup is that bad.

ESSENCE.com: What are the side effects of the no-poo method, specifically for really thick hair?
Perez: If you use baking soda as your wash, it can be very drying to your hair and can even produce a straw-like texture. This will never go away if your shower pipes produce hard water, meaning water that’s very rich in chemicals.

ESSENCE.com: What are a few tips to balance the pH and to minimize hair breakage of coarse hair?
Perez: 1. Don’t swear off shampoos, just stop using shampoos containing sodium laurel sulfate. Try Sebamed Everyday Shampoo. 2. Go ionic when blow-drying! Look for one that has an ionic generator like Rowenta Beauty’s Inspiration Pro it will not only dry your hair faster, but negatively charged ions are released to positively charged hair particles to seal in the cuticle and prevent breakage. 3. Give yourself a dry scalp massage. For 10 minutes, use your finger tips to massage your scalp to release your hair’s natural oils and comb through with a boar head brush.