Should You Shampoo or No-poo your natural hair?

What does shampooing do?

Shampooing the hair removes all sorts of buildup from your hair and scalp that would otherwise prevent your hair from being nourished to good health.  Buildup accumulates on the hair scalp and strands as a result of products that you put in it, dust particles from the environment and your own hair’s natural oil called sebum.

When there is buildup on your hair strands, it creates a barrier and makes it difficult for water or any other product to be absorbed into the hair to moisturize and nourish it.   As a result, your hair strands are more prone to breakage.

The buildup also creates an uneven surface and reduces the amount of light that reflects off the strands.  This makes your hair appear dull.

Buildup on your scalp can create a dark, warm and moist environment for harmful bacteria to multiply.  Sebum, dust particles and products accumulate on your scalp and can dramatically change the structure of the hair that grows out of your hair follicle.  That environment is suitable for bacterial infections to form.

You must cleanse your hair often to prevent harmful bacteria from building up on your scalp and becoming inflamed as well as prevent your strands becoming impenetrable.

What about the No-poo?

No-poo is where you only use a conditioner to “cleanse” your hair.  Some women do this and avoid shampooing because it tends to dry out the hair a lot more.  This would be fine if the only buildup you had on your hair was the natural accumulation of sebum or other natural oils.

Water can easily break these particles apart and allow the buildup to slide down and off your hair.  The problem with no-pooing is the conditioning ingredients are not enough to remove the all the buildup from the insoluble chemicals you place in your hair.

To be on the safe side, it is healthier for you to shampoo your hair than to no-poo and if your hair appears dry after a shampoo application, it is a sign that your hair is clean. All you have to do is follow up with a conditioning and moisturizing routine to put back the moisture in your hair after cleansing.

When you shampoo ensure that you allow the suds from the shampoo to sit on your hair for a few minutes to grab hold and break apart the stubborn buildup that is on your hair.

Another option to remove stubborn buildup on your hair is to use a clarifying shampoo.  These are harsh and can be very drying so it is advised to use a clarifying shampoo only once every 2-3 months or once per month if you use a lot of products in your hair.

In Essence

Whether you use baking soda, apple cider vinegar, shampoo or no-poo, it is necessary that you cleanse your hair every 7-10 days.  This is very important because cleansing your hair is ideal to maintaining healthy hair.

Some naturals skip the shampoo process all together and only condition the hair in what they call a no-poo.  So the question at hand is should you cleanse your hair with shampoo or should you just no-poo?

Once you have hair, you will have buildup.  As long as the buildup is not from sebum or other natural oils, you will need to shampoo your hair to keep it clean.

It is not safe to no-poo every time. Insoluble chemicals from the ingredients in your hair products will slowly accumulate.  This can cause an even thicker barrier preventing your hair from being properly nourished.

So the next time you think to cleanse your hair grab a bottle of your favourite moisturizing shampoo.

What about you?

How do you usually cleanse your hair?

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Julia Olivia
Julia Olivia is a freelance writer from Jamaica. She has written academic research and niche content articles for several freelance clients and websites, including her own- Topics range from internet income opportunities, internet marketing, African textured natural hair care and education. She is a trained and certified teacher, wife, mom, and blogger who makes her primary income working online.


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