Eschewing the 'poo (shampoo, that is)

So I have very curly hair for a white girl and through a cruel genetic quirk I was raised by a bunch of people with bone-straight hair. All my life, my family would give me downright awful advice for my hair, such as washing it twice a day, brushing it a hundred times, etc. Between my hair and a scalp that’s extremely sensitive to chemicals, many of my earliest childhood memories involve crying while my mother tried to work a comb through my hair that just kept getting cut shorter and shorter to try to control it.

As I grew up, I grew my hair out and stopped brushing it for the most part, which worked well for me, but eventually I got sick of it. Recently, I cut off fifteen inches of my hair and donated it to Locks of Love. It was good to get rid of the mass, but what I was left with was…poodle-like in its fluffiness. To try to control it, I started using lots of products, which I’d never done before since they tend to irritate my skin. It seemed to take an obscene amount to control such a short puff of hair, though, and I noticed that if I didn’t wash it every day, it actually got better. So, I went two days without washing it. When I washed it on the third day, it was back to puff. Okay, so I went a week without washing. It started getting a little too greasy for my comfort, though much to my delight I noticed that without using any products or styling my hair was forming cute little ringlets on its own. Trying to find ways to control the grease, I searched Google for “living without shampoo.” Behold, the no 'poo movement.

Does anyone else have any experience with going without shampoo? If so, did you find your hair getting smelly? Breakouts along your forehead? What did you use to control the grease? Does the baking soda and apple cider vinegar really work?

I have extremely thick, coarse hair. I have been told by numerous stylists that it should not be washed more often than twice a week at the most, and that once a week is plenty in the winter.

Now that it is Japanese-style straightened, it gets greasy at the top which it never, ever did when curly. (it would take weeks of non-washing to appear even the slightest bit greasy). So I wash it a little more often now than I did.

At any rate, I DO use shampoo, just not all that often compared to what shampoo commercials would have you believe.

Hmm. I’ve gone without shampoo for weeks before, sure, but I used bar soap instead. That might give you enough cleansing to keep it non-greasy but not enough to allow fluff. Might be worth a week of trying.

My wife has extremely curly hair as well, and she has been going shampooless for the past couple of years. She uses several products from DevaCurl, starting with
One Conditioner which she washes out in the shower, and then B’Leave-In Conditioner, which she leaves in. After that she uses AnGell gel and Set It Free spray. (I didn’t realize she used so many products until I asked her about it for this thread.)

She actually uses those products about every other day when she “washes” her hair (though shampoolessly). The other days she doesn’t really do anything with it, except perhaps some of the spray.

I also have curly hair, and I only wash it after I work out. Granted, that’s still every other day or so, but in between I just condition. Assuming that you’re not getting super sweaty or dirty, you should be able to skip shampoo at least a few days at a time.

Add me to the list of curly girls who has cut down on the 'poo.

I wash my hair twice a week in the summer, and once a week in the winter (I’ll still wet it down completely twice a week to bring back the curls and work out some snags, but use conditioner only for the second “wash”). Finish with a leave-in conditioner, scrunch with curl enhancing gel, then allow to air-dry.

Anything more frequent than that is pretty much a guarantee that I’ll end up with a frizzy poof on my head.

The baking soda and vinegar thing should work OK, in theory, but I don’t know anyone personally who’s done it. However, I have found that my own hair stays cleaner longer and doesn’t get dried out and frizzy if I use a shampoo without SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate). I found solid bar shampoos at LUSH that are WONDERFUL.
Info here.

Ok, so this is it. This will be the thread that causes me to register to post after six or so years of lurking. Curly hair. So be it.

I am breaking my silence because in the past few days or so I have been coming to terms with my new identity as a curly-haired person. I have not had an unending succession of bad hair days; rather, the texture of my hair has actually changed permanently. Maybe a post-partum thing, maybe (more likely) an aging thing… but there it is. So I have decided to embrace my curls rather than continue to try to tame them back into the sleek, straight hair I had as a young 'un.

Washing about once or twice a week DEFINITELY helps, as does product–I use a lotion of the “anti-frizz” type, and also a spray that is supposed to enhance and control curls.

My husband has also gone shampoo-free recently after reading an article in Men’s Health magazine promoting the idea. He tried it for a while, then asked me if I had noticed anything different, which I hadn’t. I guess a good thorough rinsing in the shower is enough to keep smells at bay.

I will be watching this thread intently for more ideas on how to deal with my new 'do!

Lily Mill

I’m a guy, but I shampoo only once a week, and at 56 my hair is still thick and all there. (Gray, but there.) In fact the ladies who cut my hair love it. I’m convinced that not shampooing a ton is one reason for this.

I got 6 inches chopped off my hair early in August, went on vacation (diffy hairdryer, difyy Las Vegas water) and was kinda pleased with the new shorter do - as seen in a Lost Weekend photo thread! I hadn’t really decided how to style it but that became not an issue …

Fast forward to the end of Aug, where upon my arrival home, my dog, who has missed me, tackles me, breaking my right elbow.

I can’t comfortaBLY shower or wash my hair so I’m not bothering at the mo, figuring my dad and the treacherous hound can deal with me. I shower and wash my hair twice a week, depending on the pain and omg, my hair looks like shite! Have I not left it dirty long enough that it becomes “self cleaning” or is it the fact that it isn’t probably getting rinsed properly, and certainly not getting blowdryed or otherwise styled? Yes to breakouts along the hairline too.

And does a broken elbow eventually stop hurting?

Another curly girl here…I’ve eschewed the 'poo for several years now. I do wash my hair, but with either plain water or conditioner. I also use spray leave-in conditioner everytime I pick my hair out.

I am middle aged with dry skin, so oil residue around the hairline isn’t an issue. I usually rinse my hair in the shower every day in the summer, using conditioner every other and once a week during the colder months.

The curls are much tamer now. :slight_smile:

To buck the trend, I have very long, straight hair. I decided to wean myself off shampoo after reading about ‘no-poo’, and gosh darnit if it doesn’t work. I rinse it and scrub my scalp (with water only) every day in the shower, as well as after working out, ‘brush’ it with a washcloth in the shower, and use a rinse out conditioner. It now takes about two weeks before I feel the need to shampoo, and I’m trying to stretch it out longer. Keep in mind that my current location is very dusty, and was very hot when I got here, but a once or twice daily rinse seems to take care of all that.

My hair is very shiny, very soft and I get compliments on it all the time.

I’m a guy with really curly hair (not so long these days).

I also had problems with a lot of shampoos, but for the past few years I’ve been using this shampoo from Burt’s Bees that I just love.

It doesn’t frizz my hair at all and lets it just do it’s thing (I also get ringlets when my hair starts to get long).

I’d say it’s more likely a post-partum thing. My hair was wavy before I had my daughter (when I was twenty), but soon afterward it went all ringlety, and has been ever since (she’s seventeen now). Preganancy can do some weird things to your body.

I have thick, coarse, wavy hair that I’ve struggled with all my life. My sister introduced me to DevaCurl a couple of years ago and sent me a bunch of products which worked a treat. Unfortunately I can’t get that stuff here in the UK and I don’t like to ask my sister to ship it as it’s expensive, so I just buy whatever conditioner strikes my fancy at the store, and I use it about every other day. Also, once I’ve toweled my hair dry a bit, I add a tiny bit of conditioner back in and it makes my hair really soft. I only shampoo maybe once every couple of weeks, or if my hair has gotten particularly dirty. Doing this really helps keep the frizz factor down and my hair never gets greasy.

I have medium curly hair that is poofy when short to just very wavy when it gets past my shoulders. I tried the no-shampoo routine, and it failed for me (also, I felt like the DevaChan stuff was overpriced) . My hair just got very greasy and limp, and the longer I went without washing, the flatter and worse it got. Spraying it with water to force it to re-curl didn’t help. I felt like putting product in it just made it worse - sure, there was no frizz, but that’s because it was plastered to my scalp. I gave in after three weeks of no shampooing because I couldn’t stand it anymore.

However, even before I had heard of the Curly girl movement, I really only washed my hair twice a week and use only one product to combat frizz. So it may just be that I was already pretty much following the advice and that my hair is really more wavy than curly to work properly.

That said, a past roommate that had very curly, dry natural-ethnic hair only washed her hair every two weeks and found the products helpful. So I suppose it really just depends on your hair-type.

I used to have long hair and I rarely shampooed. It was fine with a bit of shower water the odd time.

My hair is very thin and abundant; it’s naturally wavy but, since I wear it below my shoulders, it sort of straightens out from its own weight. I only wash it once a week, twice if I’ve sweated a lot or been very stressed (which gives my hair the icks). I may get it wet more than once a week, but I don’t count “getting my hair wet under a shower” as washing it.

It works just fine, I haven’t had open ends since that one time Mom had been badgering me to perm (because “when you were little you had curly hair and it was so cute!”) and I gave in on the condition that she’d shut up about it forever if I didn’t like it. That was in the 1980s and Mom hasn’t mentioned perms in front of me since.

You can add me to the stack of curly-haired girls. My hair is very thin, which certainly makes it easier to keep it at its length. I don’t eschew shampoo altogether but I’ve cut down to maybe twice a week. I can’t go without entirely, though, as it does get oily and greasy after a few days. I mean, I scrub it with my fingers in between, but I would feel decidedly uncomfortable to go without. I’m not really sure how other girls do it.

OP, I too grew up in a family of straight-haired people. In the eighties. I always say, I know I CAN have big hair, I just choose not to.

I also have curly, coarse, dry hair. I have not used shampoo in many years. Every day in the shower I massage conditioner (not the cheapo stuff but also not special expensive stuff) in and let it sit then rinse… my hair is about a million times happier now. Oh, and I also never ever use a brush or a hair dryer, I use my fingers to style it.

My hair and skin are dry so I never have issues with greasy hair. I do pony up for the expensive product though - I use Kinky Kurl’s Curling Custard, sparingly, and that keeps the frizz and poof in check. I’ll tell you though, that jar lasts like 6 months so even though it’s expensive it’s actually pretty cost effective.

I know the OP has some issues with keeping hair grease free and I don’t have any experience with that - I hope you find what works for you. I have to say I love telling people I don’t use shampoo, they always look so freaked out!