Why Hermione Granger Should Have Gone No-Poo
Hermione Granger, one of the main characters in the Harry Potter series (for all you sub-rock dwellers out there), has notoriously bushy, curly, unmanageable hair. Even with her magic powers and exceptional brains, she is unable to bring her wild coiffure into submission. She did once use an enormous amount of Sleekeazy’s Hair Potion for the Yule Ball (see: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire), after which she confessed to Harry that “it’s way too much a bother to do every day.” And while I’m a mere muggle (aka non-magical person), I have a solution that’s not only super easy to use every day, but also happens to be muggle-made.
Like Granger, I have a temperamental bush for hair -- or at least I used to. My hair has since been tamed after I went no-poo (which isn’t what it sounds like). No-poo is when you stop using shampoo (which also isn’t as gross as it sounds). Under a no-poo regimen you still wash your hair, just with a cleansing conditioner instead.
Why would I stop shampooing, and what’s a cleansing conditioner?
Well, shampoos can dilute the natural oils that some hair types need in order to hold a proper curl and/or avoid turning into a ball of frizz. Cleansing conditioners, on the other hand, remove dirt and grime from your hair without removing those precious oils. When I was using shampoo I found myself applying a ton of products to try to get oils back into my hair. With cleansing conditioner I can just let my hair air dry and -- voila! -- my curls are intact, moisturized and don’t resemble shrubbery.
Transitioning into a no-poo regimen can be tricky. Because your hair is used to having some of your natural oils go down the shower drain along with the suds, it has been compensating by producing extra oil. You’ll have to wait for your hair to adjust to less shampoo. You can try using a dry shampoo to quell excess oil, or instead opt for a low-poo regimen (which allows mild cleansers). What I find works for me is a low-poo regimen where I use a mild cleaner on the roots of my hair if it’s particularly greasy (like after rigorous exercise), but on a typical day I want to preserve my natural oils so I only use a cleansing conditioner.Now if anyone has compared your hair to Hermione’s or used “bushy,” “frizzy” or “mad-scientist-y” to describe your locks, I’d recommend you give cleansing conditioner a try. This simple change would have saved Hogwart’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry’s star pupil a lot of hair grief. When it comes to hair care, it seems it’s the muggles who possess the magic fix.
Beatrice Strnad is a writer and editor based in Brooklyn, NY. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications that cover topics such as beauty, fashion, technology and literature. She writes frequently for The Style Glossy.