By: Ava Alderman: Many people are interested in trying the “no poo” method when they are shedding hair or suffering from a hair loss condition like telogen effluvium or androgenetic alopecia. The reason for this is that they notice that more hair comes out when they shampoo. So they wonder if they should skip the process all together or at least limit or alter it. The idea behind no poo is that you use a very thin, easy rinsing conditioner to wash your hair and you just use water (or baking soda and water or apple cider vinegar) to get your hair freshened up between washings. Unfortunately, some find that this method makes their hair loss worse (because you are not regularly removing androgens / debris) and the build up of oils allows hair to become more limp and oily looking, which is the last thing that you need.
I tried no poo when I had telogen effluvium and it was a disaster. My scalp itched. My hair looked greasy. And my hair loss actually increased after a few weeks so I went back to regular shampooing. This was upsetting because I really wanted it to work. My hair is fine and wavy. I had hoped that no poo would help to bring out the curl. Obviously, hair that has more curl looks more full. I wanted this to work so badly that I tried again after my shedding stopped. Unfortunately, I still had disappointing results. My hair still looked heavy and greasy. And the curls were limp. Then I read about a method called “pre poo” which is where you put conditioner on the ends of your hair BEFORE you wash it normally. This protects the hair and it DOES bring out the body and curl. Dry hair looks much healthier and your hair has more body and bounce – exactly what you are looking for when your hair is shedding.
Now, there’s a trick to this, especially if you are actively shedding hair. When you’re putting the conditioner in before you shampoo, you want to be very gentle. If you try combing conditioner through dry hair, a lot is going to come out. I basically just put it on the ends and I tend to pat it rather than finger comb if I can help it. Then I use less shampoo than I am used to. I work the shampoo into my scalp with my finger tips, but I don’t manipulate the hair or get the shampoo any where near the ends. I am just taking care of my scalp and clearing debris. Then I rinse the shampoo, apply more conditioner (gently with the patting motion) and rinse again. Yes, you use a lot more conditioner, but it is worth it. And while you may notice a little more hair coming out in the wash because you are adding an extra step, in my experience you notice LESS hair coming out the rest of the day. For one thing, you manipulated your hair when you did the procedure. And for another, your hair will be so manageable (because it’s so conditioned) that you don’t need to comb as much after shampooing. There shouldn’t be tangles because of all of the conditioner. In my experience, the shedding should be a little less throughout the day AND your hair looks better. I know that everyone is different, but this method is certainly worth a try. My hair has been stable for a long time now, but I still use this method because it makes my hair look much more healthy. There’s more about my bouts with hair loss and how I dealt with it on my blog at http://stop-hair-loss-in-women.com/