No 'Poo Hair Care:
Basically instead of using shampoo's that are full of icky chemicals, a person washes their hair with a mix of water and baking soda. The ratio will be different for everyone - it's a personal preference and 'do what works on your own head', kind of thing! (I use about a 50/50 mix and stir it up in the shower each time. Some people prefer a thicker paste with less water.)
Then, instead of conditioner, a person rinses with a mixture of Apple Cidar Vinegar and water. Usually a 50/50 mix. I believe I read that the apple cidar vinegar is necessary to balance the ph of the hair after using baking soda. (but wouldn't you know I can't find the reference right now! grr.)
Personally I've been doing "no 'poo" for over a year! I've used shampoo once in that time (see review of Tate's products HERE) and I realized I don't even like shampoo anymore. It made my hair feel too fluffy and flyaway. I find that with baking soda and apple cidar vinegar, that my natural oils spread out through my hair leaving it shiny and soft and clean, without feeling dehydrated and stripped.
Because I used shampoo recently, and this will happen if you decide to try No 'Poo - there is an adjustment period where your hair has to relearn how much oil to produce! This adjustment time can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months. Be prepared! But it's so worth it. Just use a few more ponytail styles or wear a cute hat and no one will know the difference!
You can use the baking soda and apple cidar vinegar as often as you like - but eventually you can get it down to washing only once a week! The rest of the week you just wash with water! And don't forget to give yourself a nice massage while you're at it. That helps clean your scalp with good old 'elbow grease'. It also promotes hair growth!
If I understand correctly, No 'Poo was first created for curly hair, because curls react so much worse and more obviously to the harsh ingredients in commercial products. But since then the health benefits (and low cost!) have made it very appealing to us straight haired folk, as well! I find the No 'Poo method to work just as well on myself as it does on Q. (straight hair vs. curly hair)
For more about how to No 'Poo - read THIS article. It's one of the first that I read about No 'Poo actually! I have seen many conversations on the topic (with many different perspectives and opinions) on www.diaperswappers.com/forums as well. For more information and to look up ingredients in your products that might be questionable - go to www.cosmeticsdatabase.com
Please feel free to comment or email me with more questions!
and be sure to come back for an explanation of Conditioner Only Washing, also known as Co-wash!