I figure since you rinse it right off after it's on your skin or hair, it wouldn't be that bad, but idk? What's your take?
Are there cheap natural alternatives that won't inhibit dandruff?
It depends on what your concern is. Some people go no poo for aesthetic reasons, as the harsh surfactants in commercial shampoos aggressively strip away your scalp's natural sebum, which aggravates dry scalp dandruff and dries out the hair. Other people go no poo for health reasons, as shampoos commonly use endocrine-disrupting parabens as a preservative, as well as other potentially unsafe ingredients. Environmental Working Group has a comprehensive database rating products on safety: http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/
Frankly, from a health perspective no poo only really pays dividends if you are equally vigilant about all other chemicals that you use/are exposed to. My advice would be to compromise with a good quality, paraben-free baby shampoo. Not only will it cheaper than the expensive adult versions, but they tend to use gentle surfactants like decyl glucose. However, shampoos marketed as natural won't necessarily be best - often they contain "parfum", a single-word which allows companies to add hundreds of chemicals in a seemingly innocuous fashion, or essential oils which can irritate the scalp.
I don't use any products containing Sodium Laurel Sulfate (SLS) which is common in mass-brand shampoos, cleansers and body washes. Your local health food store should have plenty of non-SLS brands.
I still use it. I can't make the "nopoo" jump since I have to work every day and be presentable. I know eventually my hair would normalize but my career can't handle the time in between. My coworkers already think I'm weird enough, which I am.
I would consider the risk vs reward a bit skewed and not worth it in my case.
I don't know how bad hair products are.
I do know that I've only rinsed my hair with water for the last 6 months and my hair looks, feels, and smells just fine. That in combination with a paleo diet has eliminated dandruff, greasy hair, and scalp zits.
I've been using real soap to bath with for the past 3 years. Real soap is made with saponified vegetable oil (or animal fat). Most of the commercial soaps and shampoos you find on store shelves are made from petroleum based oils and not vegetable oils. Products made with petroleum based oils are technically detergents. Detergents are much harsher on your skin and strip away more natural oils than true soaps. I've been using Dr Bronner's bar soaps to bath with and wash my hair with. Ever since I started using Dr Bronner's soap to wash my hair, my dandruff went away.
During World War II rations began on vegetable oils so soap makers switched to petroleum based oils to make their products. After the war ended they never switched back to using vegetable oils probably because it was cheaper to use petroleum based oils.
Most shampoos seem to contain gluten. Nora Gedgaudas suggests that the hot water in a shower can aid in the gluten making it through the skin and into the blood stream. She claims that a number of her patients only made progress after eliminating gluten containing shampoos.
The shampoo we were using did contain gluten and we have switched for that reason.
My local farmer's market has handmade wildflower soaps made from saponified olive oil, coconut oil, and goat's milk. They are all very nice, very easy on my skin, and support the local community. It's a bit more expensive (maybe $5 for a bar), but I feel that it's worth it.
It's not going to be that bad for you. I find that soap on my skin (your largest organ) dries it out and makes me itchy, so I don't do soap. I usually don't use shampoo because I'm lazy, and a soap-less, shampoo-less shower is like 2 minutes. I do have pretty long hair so it does hold the oil and maybe once a week or so, I'll use some shampoo just to clean it up, but really I don't need it. Your hair is dead proteins anyway, so I always find it funny that people will buy into no shampoo before no soap, but in reality, no soap is better for your skin, and no shampoo doesn't really have any benefits (other than cost and time).
There are several from Aubrey Organics I have used and really like. There really are some very reasonable, natural choices out there which I do believe are better than the stuff you get at Target or Walgreens. A good place to check reviews (which I highly recommend) is here.
I LOVE and currently use Dermorganic shampoo/conditioner but it may be more than you want to spend.
Yes all personal hygiene products can be problematic. You use it every day and your body picks up some of them. Goodguide rates products like these and you'd be surprised but many of the natural products don't do very well. There also are very few options for men. I use Everyman Jack brand for soap and shampoo, which rates at about a 7/10 I think. I seem to be allergic to something in their deodorant, though, which is strange since I've never had an allergic reaction to anything before.