A question about the no shampoo hair regimen

So, I’ve inadvertantly eschewed the use of shampoo. When I first read about it here I shampoo-pooed the idea, thinking it would never work for my chronically lame hair. However, somehow I’ve found myself shampoo free for about three weeks and my hair actually is better. My question is, would shampooing it send me back to the beginning? When I get my hair cut, do I tell them just to use conditioner on it? The shampooing is the best part of the haircut, but I’ll suffer for the sake of silkier locks. Also, do you plan to go shampoo free indefinitely? Do you ever use shampoo or should I feel safe in chucking the ol’ Prell into the trash?

It wouldn’t work for me. I have extremely oily skin and scalp. If I skip shampooing even one day, it’s like someone dumped bacon grease on my head.

As one who’s been mostly shampoo-free for a few years, I can answer some of your questions.

One shampoo shouldn’t send you back to the beginning. I occasionaly shampoo when I’ve been doing something really dirty. If it’s just sweat, conditioner or a water rinse will take it out.

As far as the shampoo when you get your hair cut, I can’t really say. My hair is very curly, so my stylist cuts it dry.

Like you, my hair is in much better shape since going no-poo.

When I’ve gone No-Poo, I’ve used Chagrin Valley Soaps and have loved the results.

So, how does this work? Can it work for everyone, or only certain hair types/oiliness levels? I consider my hair and skin to be on the dry side. In the winter, I usually do shampoo only every other day (and I don’t soap every square inch of skin, either). On the “off” days, I just wet it. But I can’t imagine how I could stop shampooing entirely. If I go a second day without washing, it starts to look a little greasy, and after three days, it’s dull, flat, and stringy. Is this because it’s super-fine? Is there an adjustment phase, or is this just never going to work for me?

When my hair was really short ( about 1 - 1.5 inches long) I would only wash my hair once a week. ( My hair is naturally fine and straight.) Between the natural oils and product, my hair was AWESOME by the last day. I mean, f’in Awesome! I would wet it down in the morning shower, add a bit of product and ZING, I was done.

My hair is almost to my shoulders and I wash about every three days, using very little conditioner.

I really need to get a hair cut.

Well, the theory behind no-poo is that you go through a rather greasy adjustment period, then when your scalp “realizes” you’re not stripping it dry every day with harsh detergents it settles down and stops pumping out so much sebum. I have no comment on the science behind this; all I know is that when I use commercial bottled shampoo and conditioner, I have to wash every day or I look like I stuck my head in a can of Crisco, whereas after using shampoo bars (Prairieland Herbs and Chagrin Valley are my favorites) after a while I can stretch my washings out to every other and sometimes every third day. And my hair is soft and full of body and nice-smelling the whole time.

My hair is waist length; I cut off about 18 inches last year when I couldn’t afford to buy shampoo bars anymore and the bottled crap was making it look like hell. Just last month I was able to order some and now my hair is happy again!


Every time I try to go no-poo, my hair looks okay but my skin breaks out. :frowning:

That’s more or less what I thought. At first blush, this seems dubious to me, on par with the claim that if you shave a hair, it will grow back thicker, or two will appear in its place. But on the other hand, while the follicle really cannot get feedback from the hair end, it seems possible (though I have no actual knowledge about this) that it *could *get feedback from your scalp.

That is, if the follicle is not simply producing a constant steady flow of sebum, but rather actively maintaining a certain level of sebum and replenishing when it gets low, then I could see it happening this way. I’d think, though, that if that were the case, there’d be no adjustment period. Then again, maybe the sebum has to go past an “acceptable” level and into excess before the follicles correct.

Or it could be unicorns; I really don’t know.

*That’s *interesting. I assume you mean on your face, not your scalp, right?


Thanks all for the replies. For those who think it could never work for you, I totally felt the same way. My hair is fine with irregular (irritating) waves and tends to frizz. My scalp isn’t normally oily as such, but to get my hair under control I had to use a lot of product, causing me to have to wash it out. I think it must have been a weekend where I didn’t use any product so my hair didn’t feel like it needed to be washed and I “washed” it with conditioner. The next day my hair was more manageable so I didn’t use much product, thus eliminating another shampoo, etc, etc.

Anyway, if you have terribly oily scalp I’m not sure how it would work. Maybe if you masked the oil with gel, like say slicking it back into a pony tail or something, and “washed” it with a really light conditioner. Maybe someone who used to have oily hair and stopped using shampoo can chime in.

Okay, I must’ve missed something. I’m sorry.

WHY are we all going shampoo-free? Is it … the long list of artificial ingredients on the back? Something about polluting local water sources? Is it somehow better for your hair to not wash it?

I just missed why the experiment with no-poo.

(Ick. That last part doesn’t sound right.)

My hair isn’t oily anymore, but it used to be before I went through menopause. Now, I’d describe it as “normal”. Here’s what works for me.

Try using baking soda and water to “wash” it (2-3 teaspoons baking soda dissolved in 1 pint of water, lasts about 3 “shampoos”) followed by a rinse of 1:1 water and apple cider vinegar or lemon juice. About every 2 weeks I use a commercial conditioner on it. Soft, wavy and pretty. (no, the vinegar doesn’t smell.)

I live in San Francisco, where the water is lovely. I just spent a month in Southern California, where the water is laden with minerals and chemicals. My hair became stiff and hard to manage. I broke down and shampooed it three times in that month and applied conditioner once or twice a week. The change when I got back home was immediate! If anyone is having a hard time with no poo, it may be the water.

I’ve been shampoo-free since April, except for those three times within a month (and once rinsing out henna, but that’s another thread). It hasn’t mattered. You can shampoo on occasion (hair cut, dye job, exceptionally dirty) without having to start over. I think I’ll probably be no poo for life.

I don’t know how it originated. I first heard about it here but I must admit I don’t recall if any explanations were given. For me personally it’s just turned out to make my hair look and feel better. 'cause believe me honey, when it comes to improving my sucky hair I would wash it in kittens if it would help :stuck_out_tongue:

I think the “no-poo” movement is basically for people who come to the point of “my hair is barely manageable with shampooing, I wonder if it can find its own balance this way.”

I don’t think it’ll work for me (during depressed periods in my life sometimes I’d do the equivalent of the break-in period and it never got to the point where it “worked”), but I am interested in some of these shampoo bars. The store Lush makes some as well but I think those are more expensive. I have scalp issues and nothing seems to really work for me.

All the above. Some people feel that the ingredients are potentially cancer-causing or otherwise unhealthy. Others do it for environmental reasons. Others do it because they feel it does great things for their hair or because they don’t feel it is necessary to pay for glorified detergent. Everyone has a different reason.

I do it because I’m cheap. I do apple cider vinegar rinses two or three times a week. A jug of it lasts for months and only cost a few dollars. I have navel length hair and it looks great.

seborrheic dermatitis-

It’s called dandruff if you don’t need to go to the doc for it, and it is that if you do.

I use a cream once a month and it keeps me from getting scaly, but I need me some head & shoulders type shampoo.

When I was younger, it was just rinse, condition, run fingers through.

I think being overweight now is part of it as well.

Well, mine was a journey in increments.

My hair is naturally curly, fine and somewhat dry. I never had a good haircut until I moved to an area where stylists were accustomed to cutting ethnic hair. Step 1.

Step 2 happened when a black friend bunked in with me for a month or so and teased me about all of the sprays, shampoos, gels and mousses in my bathroom. I then had to question the whys, because I was having just as many bad hair days as good ones. I began to get rid of some of the styling product and found that I didn’t need as much shampoo.

Step 3 came after doing a bit of basic research. I got a cut that used what I had naturally and eliminated everything but the conditioner. After the trial experiment, I found that I could have wash and wear hair that looked better than what it used to look like after half an hour of fussing each morning.

I’m down to conditioning in the shower once or twice a week, rinsing with water in between, using spray conditioner every day and a cholestral treatment about once a month. Now my hair is in better shape than ever. :slight_smile:

Why use shampoo when there’s soap in your hand when you wash your face and neck? Soap does it all.