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Stop Washing Your Hair - Go Natural

Updated on January 17, 2015

Stop Washing Your Hair!

I know that you are thinking "Who is this crazy woman and why would she tell me to stop washing my hair?" I know it sounds absolutely bonkers to stop washing your hair. I felt exactly the same way when I stumbled upon this new trend.

I've struggled with dry flaking scalp and oily hair for years. I've been told I used too many products and my hair and scalp needed clarified. I've also been told I had dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis. I even thought the condition of my scalp was due to a medical condition combined with my diet.

After going shampoo free for about 2 weeks now I feel like I can disagree with all of the statements above. My hair is becoming less oily and more shiny. It's beginning to look healthier and grow faster and become thicker than I've seen in a long time. My scalp is slowly healing. I'm seeing a reduction in dry skin as well as the intense itching I would experience after 1 day of not washing my hair.

The "No Poo" Method.

It's my understanding after researching this "No Poo" trend that traditional shampoos and conditioners strip your hair of it's natural oils causing a pH imbalance. That pH imbalance is causes dry and flaky skin, dull hair, hair that breaks easily, itching, and oiliness.

With the "No Poo" Method you don't exactly stop washing your hair cold turkey. You can make this transition however you feel comfortable. As part of the transition you move away from using traditional products and using Baking Soda and Vinegar (preferably Apple Cider Vinegar) to wash and condition your hair. After using this method some people move on to water only washing and are able to maintain beautiful and healthy hair.

I know, I'm sounding crazy again. You're thinking "baking soda and vinegar to wash my hair, sounds like a science experiment." Honestly, it kind of is a science experiment but it's one that you can benefit from.

My Progress going "No Poo."

I officially started my experiment on January 5th, 2015. Prior to diving head first into the alternative washing/conditioning I started by trying to go longer in between washes. At first I'd get to the end of the day after washing and my head would itch so much it would drive me crazy. I also started experimenting with dry shampoo and foam leave in shampoo or hair refreshers.

Baby powder worked pretty well as a dry shampoo although sometimes it would be hard to completely blend the powder out of my brown hair. I recently learned I can mix in some cocoa powder to help with the color issue.

The foam leave in shampoo had a great smell and I only used it on the length because if I used it anywhere near the roots by the end of the day I was an oily mess. It worked well when I wanted to make my curly hair look better but was best worn in a ponytail or up in some other style.

Eventually I managed to get to 3 days between washing but by day 3 I was an oily itchy mess and couldn't wait to shampoo myself "clean." I then decided I needed to try this baking soda/vinegar method. To ensure I would jump in I refused to purchase any more shampoo that way I couldn't be tempted by a "chemical clean."

Here's a breakdown of my progress so far:

1/5/15 - Regular wash/condition+ leave-in conditioner.

  • Hair felt normal but scalp was dry.

1/6/15 - Nothing

  • Itchy and dry scalp, minimal oil.

1/7/15 - Dry shampoo scalp using baby powder in my hair overnight in ponytail.

  • Not oily but scalp was still dry.

1/8/15 - Nothing

  • Little oily and itchy but front of scalp still dry.

1/9/15 - Baking Soda/ Regular conditioner

  • Worked great for removing excess oil from scalp, front still dry but the regular conditioner made my hair oily.

1/10/15 - Nothing

  • Hair is oily and itchy scalp, dry in front

1/11/15 - Baking Soda/ White Vinegar

  • Removed excess oil from scalp, a little excess oil in length of hair but looked good. Scalp dry in front.

1/12/15 - Nothing

  • A little oily around scalp but not itchy.

1/13/15 -Nothing

1/14/15 - Baby Powder applied at Roots and left overnight then brushed out.

  • Soaked up excess oil around scalp.

1/15/15 - Baking Soda/White Vinegar

  • Removed excess oil, left hair shiny.

1/16/15 - Nothing

1/17/15 - Nothing

  • Scalp minimally oily by end of the day.

I've slowly progressed to about 2-3 days in between using the baking soda/vinegar method. In addition to this "as needed" cleanings I also brush my hair a certain way every night to distribute oils throughout my hair.

Since I have curly hair that tends to tangle easily I first brush out my hair with a regular paddle synthetic bristle brush to get all of the knots and tangles out. Then I part my hair and go over it with a boar bristle brush. I use the boar bristles to stimulate and exfoliate my scalp as well as distributing oil from the scalp to the ends of my hair. When I finish with the second brushing my hair is incredibly soft and shiny! Since my hair is very long I then either leave it down or I will braid it or put in a pony tail overnight.

End Notes

Even though I've not been doing this very long I can already feel the positive effects. I will continue to use a more natural approach to my hair care. I may even experiment with other types of washes/rinses for different effects.

Let me know about your experience in the comments!

Facts About Shampoo and Conditioner

  • "In the early 1930s, the first synthetic detergent shampoo was introduced, although it still had some disadvantages. The 1960s brought the detergent technology we use today."1
  • "Most dandruff shampoos coat the hair in wax and damage the hair. To gently exfoliate your scalp and keep it healthy."2
  • "During the early stages of shampoo, English hair stylists boiled shaved soap in water and added herbs to give the hair shine and fragrance. Kasey Hebert was the first known maker of shampoo, and the origin is currently attributed to him."3
  • "Originally, soap and shampoo were very similar products; both containing the same naturally derived surfactants, a type of detergent. Modern shampoo as it is known today was first introduced in the 1930s with Drene, the first shampoo using synthetic surfactants instead of soap."3
  • "Shampoo is generally made by combining a surfactant, most often sodium lauryl sulfate or sodium laureth sulfate, with a co-surfactant, most often cocamidopropyl betaine in water to form a thick, viscous liquid. Other essential ingredients include salt (sodium chloride), which is used to adjust the viscosity, a preservative and fragrance."3
  • "In the 1970s ads featuring Farrah Fawcett and Christie Brinkley asserted that it was unhealthy not to shampoo several times a week. This mindset is reinforced by the greasy feeling of the scalp after a day or two of not shampooing."3
  • "Modern hair conditioner was created at the turn of the 20th century when well-known perfumer Ed. Pinaud presented a product he called brilliantine at the 1900 Exposition Universelle in Paris. His product was intended to soften men's hair, including beards and mustaches."4
  • "The Center for Environmental Health (CEH) revealed independent testing on Tuesday finding a cancer-causing chemical in 98 shampoos, soaps and other personal care products sold by major national retailers. The chemical, cocamide diethanolamine (cocamide DEA), a chemically-modified form of coconut oil used as a thickener or foaming agent in many products, was listed by California as a known carcinogen last year."5

References:

  1. "Shampoo." How Products Are Made. 1998. Encyclopedia.com. 17 Jan. 2015 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.
  2. http://urbanbetty.com/blog/five-hair-myths-uncovered-five-fun-facts-about-hair-austin-tx-hair-salon/
  3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shampoo
  4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hair_conditioner
  5. http://ecowatch.com/2013/08/29/cancer-causing-chemical-in-shampoos/

Videos about the "No Poo" Method

Below are some great videos I've found on the "No Poo" method.

FAQ: No Poo Method - The Best for Hair Growth, Fix Dry Hair, Stop Oily Scalp, and Get Healthy Hair

20 Weeks No-Poo: Switched Methods! NO NO to Baking Soda!

The Best Shampoo Is No Shampoo At All: How To Use The No-Poo Method + Demo

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