posted in Mom Stories
British mom Lucy AitkenRead hasn’t used shampoo in over 3 years. Her kids, Ramona, age 4, and Juno, age 2, don’t use it either. Hair care in their yurt on an organic farm in New Zealand is all about “no poo,” instead.
“I have a great boar bristle brush, a traditional method of hair care, which I use every day,” Lucy told BabyCenter in an email. “And then every ten days or so I use an alternative wash with baking soda or an egg or soapnuts. I also do hot oil treatments every so often so my hair is really nourished.”
Lucy explains why she gave up shampoo:
“I’d always wondered if the concept that hair can wash itself eventually was an urban legend and I wanted to test it out. I was a new mum to Ramona and she seemed so vulnerable that I began questioning the kind of chemicals I was surrounding her with in our home.”
Read the labels on many store-bought shampoos and you will see ingredients like sulfates, parabens and phthalates. Lucy was concerned after reading what she calls “convincing research” linking these chemicals to cancer, infertility, and birth defects.
“More research is needed but the studies so far are done by well respected bodies and I felt like more people need to know about this stuff!” she says, adding, “There are almost always a ton of preservatives in the bottle that act as quite intense irritants.”
Lucy told me a family recently emailed her about how giving up shampoo cured their child’s eczema, which is wonderful, but I had to ask if everyone’s reaction to her extreme position on hair care was positive.
As I suspected, not so much.
“Lots of people understand it – particularly older people who weren’t bought up in this culture of ‘shampoo everyday!'” she said, adding, “This used to be the realm of hippies but now it is just normal folk that want to live a healthy life. However when my story has been in the mainstream press I’ve had some really horrible comments about how unlucky my kids are and how filthy we must all be.”
As a blogger who writes openly about my life, I can so relate to how Lucy feels, having been at the receiving end of some pretty nasty comments myself over the years. So I say, “Keep your shampoo free head held high!”
You can’t please everyone, but you can do what you think is right for your family, and also do your best to drown out the haters!
Meanwhile, Lucy is on a mission to replace all store-bought products with natural alternatives.
“I make my own deodorant these days, and use coconut oil as a moisturiser. We use soapnuts for soap and shower gel, I make a home made dish washing liquid and laundry soap. I also clean the home with vinegar and baking soda!” she boasts.
To other parents who may find the “no poo” concept appealing, Lucy advises, “Invest in a good boar bristle brush!” She adds, “Try and get a bit of support – convince a friend to do it with you!”
And if the chemicals in shampoo aren’t enough to convince you to give it up, Lucy has a pretty big claim that just may change your mind. She says, “I get emails every week from people letting me know how [my] book, Happy Hair: The No Poo Book, has saved them from a lifetime of bad hair days.”
Would you ever consider giving up shampoo in your home?