Argan oil as a shampoo alternative. Is Argan Oil No-Poo Right for You?
Advertisers would have us believe that prior to the invention of shampoo in 1927, no one had clean, hygienic hair. In fact, women (and men) throughout the centuries had used naturally-derived waters and oils to cleanse and scent their hair with very good results. The type of cleanser used depended largely on what was available in a given region. In ancient China, women used fermented rice water to wash and enrich their hair. Some Native American tribes used a ground yucca root paste. Throughout India, sesame seed oil was popular. And in Morocco, argan oil was the hair wash of choice.
Use Argan oil for soft, silky tresses.
Throughout the ancient world, hair care was an art. Many of the spices and exotic foods traded on the Silk Road were used to scent and clean hair, leading to preferences for some local plant sources over others. But because argan only grew in one place in the world, for most of human history the cost was far too great for it to gain worldwide popularity. Still, it would seem there was little call for the invention of modern shampoo. So why did it come about?
With the rise of poverty in large, industrial cities, healthy grooming habits began to slowly disappear as access to oils and bathing water became a luxury that many lower class citizens couldn't afford. As cosmetics company's began to boom and more women became enticed by the idea of 'scientific' soaps and beauty products, the market turned ripe for a mass-produced hair cleanser. Liquid shampoos arrived at just the right time in history. They quickly became cheap and accessible, and a stigma developed around anyone who used the old school methods, which were now (ironically) seen as something only the poor would use.
However, in the past decade there's been an interest in getting back to the more natural means of bathing. After all, the old ways got hair clean and healthy without the use of silicone or parabens. The “no-poo” movement (the opposite of sham-poo being no-poo) advocates abandoning commercial shampoos altogether. Various alternatives are used, such as vinegar, tea tree oil, or baking soda, but the most ideal natural oil for hair is argan.
Not only is this prized oil now affordable worldwide, argan oil does several highly beneficial things for hair that other natural cleansers can't. For instance, it keeps hair...
The benefits are numerous, and the side effects are non-existent. So how do you start?
Before you start to use argan oil to clean your hair, you'll want to keep in mind that it only takes a small amount of oil to replace your shampoo. Even if you have long hair and are used to using a palm full of shampoo, trust us when we say you'll only need a few drops. If your hair is short, use even less.
To start on the-no poo method, you'll want to:
- Thoroughly rinse your hair with warm water.
- Gently massage your scalp under the shower head to loosen and remove any build up.
- After washing, many people suggest a cool or cold rinse.
- Finally, massage a few drops of oil throughout your hair, either leaving it in (if your hair is prone to dryness) or giving it a final quick rinse.
- Dry normally.
It doesn't seem like a shampoo alternative should be so simple, but it really is. The argan oil will help your hair stay hydrated throughout the next few days. Once it begins to look oily or dirty, wash your hair again – just like you would using a traditional shampoo.
Return to the ancient luxury of hair care.
If you're thinking about switching, you'll probably have a few questions about the process and what to expect afterward.
Q 1. Will I see results right away?
You may experience a transitional period, in which your body adjusts to the new regimen. If you've been using traditional shampoos, your hair follicles have probably been producing far more oil than you'll need using argan oil. In this case, it may take several days for your hair to get back into a more natural balance.
Q 2. Will my hair really be clean?
As with many commercial soaps and bodily cleaning products, there's a false belief that everything natural needs to be stripped away in order to be clean. In fact, not only is this damaging to skin and hair, it's not creating a “deeper clean.” It's more like scrubbing the varnish off of a wood floor to get it really clean; the varnish is a part of the floor and doesn't need to be removed. Beyond that, removing the coat of varnish actually exposes the floor to more potential damage. So yes, your hair will really be clean; it just won't be stripped.
Q 3. Won't it seem a little crazy to stop using shampoo?
Some people might see it that way. But it's a lot crazier to continue using harmful and unnecessary products on your hair just in case someone else thinks that using a natural cleanser is weird. As they say, “The proof is in the pudding.” When your hair is clean, healthy, and beautifully shinning, will you really mind what other people think?
Argan oil makes a marvelously nourishing no-poo that will keep your hair clean and healthy. Given the affordability and incredible benefits, it's hard to see why anyone wouldn't want to give it a try.