But no-poo followers say they are careful to rinse their baking-soda scrub before adding vinegar to their hair.
From Curtis' perspective, it is important for people living in Utah to replace the natural oils in their hair because of our dry climate. She advises people in this state use a deep conditioner once a week.
Her colleague, Brenda Matern, said she worries that a person using baking soda could strip too many of the natural oils out of their hair. As for how often a person should wash, she said it is personal preference.
"Some people say not to wash your hair every day," she said. "I wash every day."
Moore, on the other hand, advises clients with normal hair to shampoo every other day. For people who say they "have to" wash every day, she still recommends shampooing every other day, but then rinsing and conditioning on the off day.
But no matter how a person washes their hair, Moore advocates it be done regularly.
"You must consider that your head emits natural oils, and a buildup of this oil also means a build-up of pollutants from the air, sweat and bacteria," said Moore. "Washing on a regular basis is healthy and generally recommended."
With the no-poo method, people generally go through a two-week transition period when their hair feels dirty and greasy, according to Moore. But after that, oil production slows, and they will feel their hair become more balanced and normal.
Christi Colvin wrote in a recent blog posting for www.naturemom.com that she loves what no-poo does to her hair.
"I have straight-as-a-board, baby-fine hair that has never held a 'do,' " she wrote. "After no-poo, I don't even have to use styling products. I just blow dry and go; my hair now keeps any style."
But Duke won't go no-poo again. She admits that she didn't wait long enough for the method to allegedly work on her hair, but said it wasn't worth feeling dirty as her hair adjusted to the experiment.
"I think it's important for people to be aware of the impact of their personal beauty choices, whether it be from manufacturing and waste, or from chemicals used," said Duke. "But ultimately, it's a matter of balance. If something doesn't work for you, like the no-poo, it's not worth the energy beating yourself up over it."
The no-poo method
1. Use 1 tablespoon of baking soda per 1 cup of water. Put baking soda in water and stir until dissolved. Apply to your hair and rinse thoroughly.
2. Most people use apple cider vinegar to condition their hair after the baking soda scrub. Use 1 tablespoon vinegar per 1 cup of water. You can add fragrances, honey, or some lemon juice to dilute the smell. Apply to hair and rinse thoroughly.
3. Shampoo and condition with baking soda and vinegar as often as you find necessary. Your usage should slow as your hair's natural oils regulate.
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