Liz Erk (lizerk) wrote,
Liz Erk

Hair Salad... with a side of flies.

I read about a trend in the BeautyXpose blog that made my skin crawl. Or should I say my scalp?

According to the post, there's a movement where women aren't washing their hair with shampoo because of fears that chemicals contained in shampoo could damage their hair:

As more American women seek a back-to-basics personal care routine, some are joining the “No Poo” movement where they forgo the time-honored tradition of sudsing up. And this isn’t just a brief respite or the old tip to skip the ‘poo every other day to give dry hair a little boost – we’re talking a complete lack of traditional shampoo…forever.


Some No Poo-ers say that after time, abrasive, chemical-based ingredients inhibit the natural functions of the skin of the scalp by actively disrupting the natural oil production process. They assert that regularly removing all of the oil off of the skin disturbs the natural pH balance, and as a result, the brain sends a signal to begin producing even more oil. So, according to this line of thinking, if you already have greasy hair, you may be only encouraging the problem further by lathering up with traditional shampoo.

No Poo members seek to combat this assault by using homemade hair care remedies, usually made with baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice and/or castile soap.

Baking soda, vinegar and lemon juice??? In their hair?!?! Gross. It sounds like the makings for a bad salad dressing. And wouldn't the lemon juice have a Sun In effect resulting in lighter colored, drier hair?

And let's not forget the smell...! I had posted this in response to the blog entry:

“No Poo” = “Pee Yoo” in my book. I can’t even imagine what your “friend” must have smelled like! The alternatives you listed basically sound like the making of a bad salad dressing.

Give me my Herbal Essences any day of the week! I’d rather my hair strip than stench.

This was all I could picture when I read about going "poo-less":

Okay, so maybe this is something that works for people who aren't active. But what about people who workout regularly and sweat?? I'd think baking soda can only go so far in getting rid of a stink.

Naturally (har har) I turned to the Internets to see what others are saying on the subject. This by far was my favorite, Toxin Obsession: Celebrities & Shampoo. The writer discussed claims made by Gwyneth Paltrow in which she stated, "A couple of years ago, I was asked to give a quote for a book concerning environmental toxins and their effects on our children.

While I was reading up on the subject, I was seized with fear about what the research said. Foetuses, infants and toddlers are basically unable to metabolise toxins the way that adults are and we are constantly filling our environments with chemicals that may or may not be safe."

Here's the poster's hilarious reaction:

Apparently, she went on to point the finger at shampoo as a potential major problem in our society and raised a possible link between shampoo and childhood cancers. Now, I am not sure how one can use shampoo on the head of a foetus (or a fetus, for that matter), but we have to tip our hat to celebrities for bringing such associations to the forefront.

So I did a bit of science myself to assess the voracity of her claims. I too was seized with fear when I noted the following:

*All of the kids in my practice who have ADHD have used shampoo.
*All of the kids with cancer have also used shampoo.
*I used shampoo as a kid (but not as a fetus), and I have ADHD.
*The projection is that 100% of the people now using shampoo will die.

This really backs up my misgivings about shampoo. I have always wondered at the claims these so-called hair-care products make so boldly. Here are some examples of lies spread by the shampoo industry:

Clarifying shampoo – What are they claiming with this? Is there such thing as unclear hair? Do some people look as though they have a giant blob of hair-like substance on their head instead of many separate hairs? Does clarifying shampoo make each individual hair once again visible on these people?

pH Balanced – What is pH imbalance? Is it when the pH sometimes is so acidic that it burns your hair off? That would be terrifying if true.

I love it! All of these "go green" and "go natural" panic pushes that we've been seeing remind me of those email forwards that used to circulate. Until sites like Snopes emerged to squash the e-terrors, we were warned of such horrors as "Dawn dishwashing liquid will erode the corneas of children's eyes" or "Agent Orange is contained in pots & pans scrubbing pads."

Yes, it's a scary world out there.



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