The Paleo Diet, despite being ranked fairly poorly by U.S. News & World Report in comparison to other diet options, has gained immense popularity in the past few years. But the diet – which emphasizes fish, fruit and vegetables while excluding grain, dairy and processed food – is just one element of a Paleolithic lifestyle, which many people have also begun to adopt. The basic philosophy behind a Paleo lifestyle involves the idea that agriculture and industry have evolved much more quickly than the human body has, meaning that it’s likely more healthy for humans to adopt a lifestyle similar to our hunter-gatherer ancestors despite the technological advancements of the past few thousand years. Living this way impacts your diet, exercise habits, clothing choices, child rearing and bathing – just to name a few. Aside from the diet, Paleo bathing may be the trend that has caught on the most with the wider population.
Advantages of Dry Shampoo
Even if you’ve never heard of Paleolithic living, you’ve probably heard of dry shampoo. While it’s been around for years, the popularity of dry shampoo has increased in tandem with the popularity of the Paleo lifestyle, as they both encourage less frequent bathing. Dry shampoo works by cleaning the hair with non-detergent cleansers and natural oils, without requiring the use of water. Many people also use a homemade mix of apple cider vinegar and baking soda to achieve the same effect. The popularity of this technique has increased as a result of several celebrities such as Kim Kardashian revealing that they only wash their hair every five days or so.
The philosophy behind this is actually pretty sound. Just like your digestive tract needs certain bacteria to function correctly, your skin can benefit from having a healthy, balanced biome that isn’t stripped away by soap or deodorants. The natural oils in your skin and hair also serve to protect them and keep them healthy. There are several dry shampoos, such as Mother Dirt’s AO+ Mist, which claim to contain helpful bacteria that neutralize the smelly elements of sweat without disrupting your skin’s natural biome. Less time in a soapy shower may also be gentler on your scalp, leaving it better hydrated.
From a style perspective, many have found that certain hairstyles are easier to maintain when the hair hasn’t been washed in a few days and is naturally oily. According to the Wall Street Journal, many people believe their hair simply looks better with less washing, and the “unwashed” style is becoming more and more desirable. Not to mention, cutting down on showers and cleaning products such as shampoo and conditioner can save you a lot of time and money every month.
It’s Not For Everybody
Of course, not everybody buys into the idea that using dry shampoo and cutting down on showers will lead to healthier, better looking hair. According to some experts, dry shampoo works on hair but ignores the scalp, failing to truly remove dirt, dried sweat and dead skin cells. Not cleaning the scalp thoroughly could lead to irritation, flaking, itching, pimple-like lesions, or even worse, bacterial or fungal infections. Typical shampoo can also treat and control scalp issues such as dandruff, psoriasis and eczema.
If you’re a person who regularly uses hair products such as hairspray, gel or mousse, you’d likely have to weigh the importance of using those products against the benefits of dry shampoo. Dry shampoo simply cannot remove heavy hair products, and without washing them out on a regular basis, the hair can become brittle and prone to breaking.
Dry Shampoo: The Bottom Line
The only way to truly decide whether or not dry shampoo is for you is to give it a try and experiment with it. If you’re intrigued by the idea, there’s very little risk of harm in trying it out for a few weeks. Give it time and your hair will reflect whether or not the method is working – you may find that your hair is healthier than ever, or you might discover that your scalp itches too much or is simply too oily for comfort. Keep in mind that you don’t necessarily have to give up showering altogether to try it either. Simply using a shower cap can allow you to experiment with dry shampoo without diving completely into Paleo bathing habits that you may or may not be comfortable with trying.