No-Poo: Why not all Food Products are Safe

When it comes to your scalp and precious hair, sometimes the stuff in the kitchen can be worse than the chemicals in the bottle. I have a new video up on my no-poo journey which includes 14 items I tried – and shouldn’t have! I didn’t know until several months into my no-poo journey that I was sensitive to salicylates, an aspirin-like compound in lots of healthy food including coconut oil, apple cider vinegar (ACV), amla, soapnuts, fruits, and many more things! I did find a few no-poo and low-poo options. If you don’t know what salicylates are, have chronic pain and inflammation, stomach troubles, hair issues, tinnitus, or any kind of skin issue you should learn about salicylates now before adding just any “natural” plant into your regime.

Salicylates make great shampoos and anti-dandruff treatments because they are made from plants (generally) and act as a natural pesticide for the plant. Humans do make synthetic versions of them, so you can find them in cosmetics, mouth washes, cleaners, and fragrances. While many people’s worst reactions are from eating or inhaling salicylates, applying to the skin can still affect you in two ways: salicylates absorbing through your skin (children have overdosed and died from using too much icy-hot), or by creating a contact reaction like hives, rashes, or acne.

Next week, we’ll cover 5 no-poo options that are safe for people with sensitive skin or are salicylate sensitive.

In this video I talked about trying out water-only. This worked out well for me, without a greasy transition period. I usually used hotter-than-normal water to melt the grease away, and then I also used a silk exfoliating mit to remove the grease, then wash the grease out of the mit.

I stopped with the water only method because I couldn’t get the chlorine smell out of my hair from swimming (salt water pool – but i could still smell it). Right now, I’m not swimming because the pool is closed for Covid-19, but I’ve moved to a town with hard water, and it’s also more challenging to manage my hair with only water now. I switched over to a lard-only bar (or tallow, they are equally good) which is nice low-poo alternative. It doesn’t over-clean my hair, so I rarely need conditioner. Sometimes, I’ll use kefir which makes a great low-salicylate conditioning rinse on my hair.