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An imperfect life guide for women


Women across the city are boycotting shampoo in the latest all-natural beauty crusade. Methylisothiazolinone, Sodium lauryl sulfate, and chloromethylisothiazolinone are the key suspects to blame in the rally against itchy scalp, dandruff and unflattering puffiness. Sadly for shampoo, it didn’t take long for rumours to tarnish the reputation of the fortifying foam we’ve grown to trust.

Despite the swaying favour of the no-poo policy, I decided to look to the Internet to investigate. I mean, it’s going to take me a little more convincing before I protest outside Shopper’s Drug Mart. Lord knows I spend way too much time in there.

Shampoo is a gateway drug…to more shampoo

Introducing the next generation of A&E’s Intervention (First World Edition): featuring clueless Canadians with filthy addictions to shampoo, the most dangerous drug of all. You see, shampoo removes sebum, tricking your scalp into producing more sebum, tricking the clueless Canadian into buying more shampoo. It’s sort of like a pyramid scheme, but with shampoo, and we can’t stop using it because it feels so honest and clean. It’s sick and twisted.

Cause of death: shampoo (and neurological damage)

A bunch of researchers from the National Institutes of Health shampooed a lab rat and discovered that methylisothiazolinone is linked to neurological damage. No way! And all this time I thought methylisothiazlinone was a fun, eco-friendly ingredient to promote health! False. So what happens when women come into contact with MIT then? The Internet says suppressed brain function, Alzheimer’s disease and other nervous system disorders. Death wasn’t far off. And now everything made sense. Shampoo was the reason I wasn’t living to my FULL potential; and all this time I blamed existential angst. Shampoo was quite literally getting on my nerves. (Get it? Pretty good joke, right?)

Chemicals in tiny, tiny, tiny fonts

To better equip you for the drunk battle of “who’s right and who’s wrong” with close girlfriends, here is a list of chemical slang on the back of drugstore shampoo bottles:

  1. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate: Oil stripper
  2. Sodium Laureth Sulfate: The gentle chemical balancer
  3. Parabens: Shampoo lasts forever!
  4. Fragrance: Toxic aromas that smell like a tropical beach
  5. Polyethylene Glycol: Cream, cream, cream!

All-natural shampoo is expensive tho

Let’s get real: unless you have a pal with a staff discount at Aveda or AESOP, you’re fucked. With all-natural shampoo ranging from $18-$35 (250mL), nobody wants to throw down that much money. Unless they live in Yorkville.

Baking soda and apple cider vinegar aren’t that great either

Full-throttle hippies use baking soda for literally everything: toothpaste, teeth whitening, smelly shoes, exfoliation and shampoo. It’s cheap, harmless, has zero chemicals and does the same job as a commercial shampoo. After washing hair with baking soda, use apple cider vinegar to condition hair afterwards. I mean it sounds okay, but the Internet had mixed feelings about the effect of this cheap, all-natural combination on hair. Most people complained about greasiness. No thanks.

Quit shampoo completely; stay inside forever

You’ve probably read a million articles lately about the before and after of the woman who read about terrifying chemicals, then ditched shampoo entirely. Now she has a blog called “The No Poo Life” and sells t-shirts. If there’s one thing all these women have in common it’s this: they all admit that once you ditch shampoo entirely, hair goes through a so-called adjustment period. During this adjustment period, your hair looks like crap. Forget about volume, sleek waves and curls, the no-shampoo hairstyle is best kept under hats, toques and Lenny Kravitz scarfs. The Internet recommends not going outside or attending social functions. And is it just me, or do the before-and-after hair shots of the no-poo women look EXACTLY THE SAME!?

There you have it — the results after an afternoon of Googling the effect of commercial shampoo usage. It took an hour, but I guess I see why everyone is ditching shampoo. The chemicals are pretty terrible and probably going to kill us one day. But all-natural is expensive, and baking soda/apple cider vinegar makes hair ugly and greasy-looking.

Here are all the all-inclusive solutions:

1) Ditch shampoo, delete Instagram and never leave the house again
2) Buzz off hair and join a cult with leather jackets
3) Use baking soda + apple cider vinegar; prepare for grease land
4) Continue to use commercial shampoo = hello nerve damage!
5) Buy expensive all-natural shampoo, feel fancy and ONLY wash hair once/week
6) Have sex with someone who works at Aveda or Aesop (Staff discount 20%-50%)
7) Start a blog: The No-Poo Life, No Poo; No Problems, Poo-Free Poo Girl, The Urban No-Poo Girl, The No-Poo Hustle, Blog No-Poo, No-Poo Toronto Life