MANWASHINGHAIRA lot of folks are shying away from commercial shampoos these days, citing harsh chemicals. When people think of “chemicals,” they usually imagine something bad. Chemicals are the building blocks of many good things, as well as a lot of harmful things in the world. Nevertheless, “natural” shampoos and hair-cleansing methods seem to be gaining ground, falling under the collective umbrella of “no poo.” And no, we’re not talking about what your dog drops in the park.

No pooers go to great lengths to avoid any kind of mainstream shampoo. While you can be hardcore in your beliefs, and never touch a bottle of store bought shampoo again, it’s also possible to mix things up a bit and use alternative hair washing remedies along with natural, commercial shampoos.

Like most DIY ideas, you’ll find plenty of supporters and detractors of various hair washing methods. It’s up to you, ultimately, to experiment and decide what’s best for your hair. Here are a few of the most popular “no poo” methods out there today.

Baking Soda / Apple Cider Vinegar

If you suffer from oily hair, you might want to try a baking soda scrub, followed by an apple cider vinegar rinse. About 1 part baking soda mixed in with 3 parts water, or thereabouts (you don’t have to be exceedingly exact) should do it. Scrub the baking soda paste into your head like you would a regular shampoo or conditioner, and then rinse the baking soda mixture out and follow up with an apple cider vinegar rinse, with about 1 part of vinegar diluted into 2 parts water. You can play around with the mixture levels of both ingredients, until you find a recipe that works for you.

Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) as a high pH level, around 9, which can make for an excellent scrub, but it can also be rather harsh. If you choose to go this route, you should only wash your hair several times per week. The apple cider vinegar rinse brings the pH of your hair back down, and is a terrific way to remove unwanted muck and residue from your hair, which should prevent future buildup.

Other No Poo Alternatives

While baking soda and apple cider vinegar are the go to ingredients for the no poo crowd, for some, this combination is too strong, or just doesn’t work. It takes a bit of time for your hair to adjust to any new cleansing regime.

Apart from baking soda and vinegar, other alternatives include raw honey shampoo, which is made out of unadulterated raw honey, diluted in water, with essential oils (lavender oil, rosemary oil and so on) added in for good measure.

If honey, baking soda and vinegar are all off the menu for you, you can try an aloe vera (the pure kind) and vegetable Glycerine mix, with a dash of tea tree oil, or else opt for a homemade coconut milk shampoo.

The good thing about most of these alternatives is that the required ingredients are inexpensive, and with a little patience and experimentation, you’ll probably find the right no poo remedy that works for you, saves money, and deals with whatever hair or scalp issues you may have in a simple, effective way.