Can You Jump On The No-Poo Craze With Hair Extensions? By: Elena Golescu If you read beauty and fashion magazines, you may have heard a lot lately about the "no-poo" craze. To put it quite simply, the no-poo movement is where people don't use shampoo or soap on their hair. There are different degrees of no-poo; some people don't use shampoo but use conditioner, some use baking soda, and others simply don't use any cleansers or conditioners whatsoever. If you have hair extensions and you are considering going no-poo, you might want to step back and give it some thought before tossing your shampoo in the trash forever. First off, it's important to remember why some ladies go no-poo. The basic idea behind it is that your hair and scalp, when untouched by chemicals and detergents, will self- cleanse and self-regulate oil production. The science behind this is shaky at best; there have been no major studies on whether or not hair is best left in its natural state without chemically-based cleansers. For women with human hair extensions, no-poo may not be the best idea. While women with nothing but their natural human hair may be able to get by with a no- poo method, those who wear hair extensions could cause their extensions to fall out prematurely. The reason behind this is fairly simple: When you go no-poo, you will undoubtedly experience an increase of oil and build-up in your hair. (Fans of the no-poo movement acknowledge this, but argue that it's merely phase one, and necessary for your scalp to re-learn how to self-regulate oil production.) The excess oil may be harmless for someone who only has their natural hair, but can interfere with the bonds that clip hair extensions to your real hair. Basically, the excess oil can cause your hair to slide out of these bonds, which means that you will see a dramatic decrease in the life of your hair extensions. No-poo isn't a good idea for those of us who wear fabulous real hair extensions. However, that doesn't mean that there aren't ways for hair extension wearers to cut down on the amount of harsh chemicals they use on their hair, and bring shine and vitality back to dry and damaged locks. Hair extension stylists will be able to help you find shampoos and conditioners that are free of sodium lauryl sulfate, a common ingredient in hair products that dries out your scalp and forces you to become dependent on it. (This is similar to the idea that you can become "addicted" to lip balm, where your lips feel dry and flaky without lip balm, and that the product is designed to make you use it over and over again.) In addition to finding products that are free of sodium lauryl sulfate, you can try shampooing every other day instead of every day. This will reduce any dryness you may be experiencing, but it won't create enough oil build-up to damage the bonds of your hair extensions.
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