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The truths about using shampoo

Updated on July 7, 2016

Washing your hair with shampoo everyday is very damaging. Hair experts recommend that you shampoo every other day or skip the shampoo and use conditioner.

I had the habit of washing my hair everyday simply because I liked the feeling of clean hair. However the more I washed my hair with shampoo, the more I experienced hair loss and dandruff.

Before shampoo was introduced...

Soap was used to wash hair without stripping the natural oils produced by the scalp. Soap worked well in an acidic environment, known as soft water. Washing hair with soft water helped hair scales to remain flat. It kept hair looking smooth, healthy and shiny.

Over the years, the water supply became more alkaline, also known as hard water. Soap did not work well in hard water. Rinsing hair with hard water made the hair scales stand up, leaving hair looking dry and brittle. In addition, using soap for cleaning purposes was no longer effective because it would leave soap scum.

Shampoo was introduced in the early 20th century, marketed with its only benefit of working in both hard and soft water. People stopped using soap and switched to shampoo instead.

The truths about shampoo

  1. Conditioner was only introduced to cover up the damage done by shampoo. The artificial oils replaced the natural oils stripped by the shampoo.
  2. Studies have shown that shampoo and many beauty products contain chemicals that are harmful for our health. Skin is the largest organ in our body and chemicals can be absorbed into our body and enter the bloodstream through our skin and scalp.
  3. Shampoo is a detergent. Shampoo is the same product we wash our bodies and our dishes with. Expensive shampoos work just like any other cheap shampoos.
  4. According to A Consumer's Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients, most shampoos and beauty products contain mineral oil, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) , Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) and isopropyl (SD-40).
  5. Mineral oil is a by-product of distilled gasoline from crude oil. It thickly coats hair strands to give that artificial shine. It cannot absorb into the skin but it prevents the scalp from releasing the natural oils. It clogs the pores and it gets in the way of the skin’s ability to eliminate toxins.
  6. Isopropyl (SD-40) is made from propylene, a petroleum derivative that strips your skin’s moisture and irritates skin. It can quickly penetrate harmful chemicals into your skin making you more vulnerable to bacteria and viruses. Side effects include headaches, nausea, mental depression...
  7. SLS and SLES are detergents used in car washes, floor cleaners and engine degreasers. SLS and SLES are contained in personal care products that lather. Animals exposed to SLS experienced eye damage, severe skin irritation and even death.
  8. It is expensive. We depend on hair products to replace the natural oils stripped out of our hair that keeps our hair soft and strong. That is why we need conditioner to artificially protect our hair and it needs to be styled with other products such as mousse.
  9. Shampoo upsets the natural balance of the scalp. The scalp has to produce more oil than necessary to naturally condition hair and keep it healthy.
  10. Shampoo is only sold as something your hair needs to keep it healthy. However the truth is not mentioned in advertising.

Why you should ditch the shampoo

We’ve been programmed to wash our hair everyday and buy expensive products for our hair to be healthier. But our hair ends up needing more products. The truth is shampoo is bad for our hair. Although it cleanses our hair, we need natural oils to make our hair healthy. The quit using shampoo theory finally made sense to me. I understood the theory and the transitional period you have to go through.

The quit using the shampoo theory: Shampoo cleanses your hair however it strips out all the natural oils. Because you frequently strip out the natural oils, your scalp produces more oil to replace the natural oils. You end up washing your hair every day with shampoo because your hair gets greasy quickly.

When you quit using shampoo, you stop stripping your natural oils and your hair needs time to adjust. You will get greasy hair after two weeks or so however you notice that you do not have to wash your hair often because your scalp learns to produce less oil.

My aim was to quit using shampoo!

I wanted my hair to grow longer and faster. I’ve never had long hair that was more than 14 inches long! So I began to research and I came across a vinegar hair rinse. For more information, I suggest that you read my articles: The 22 amazing benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar and make your own vinegar hair rinse.

I've read many positive reviews with this vinegar rinse. I also read that people did not want go back to using shampoo and would only need to wash their hair once a week.

Lorraine Massey is a co-owner of Devachan Salon in New York. She created ditching the shampoo also known as ‘no poo cleanser’ and states that there’s nothing gross or unsafe about this vinegar rinse. You may feel it is impossible to skip shampoo after one day. However you can rinse your hair with hot water or use a conditioner to cleanse and moisturise your hair in between.

It may gross you out but I haven't been using shampoo and conditioner for the last 10 months and I only use the vinegar rinse at least once a week. I couldn't stand the smell at first but I got used to it. Don't worry. The smell goes away once your hair is dry.

To prove that it was the shampoo that caused my hair to be greasy, I would purposely use shampoo after months of using the ACV rinse. My scalp problem would go away when I returned to the vinegar rinse.

You will experience a transitional phase when you decide to stop using shampoo. Your scalp adjusts with oil production to keep your hair healthy.

Results after several months of using ACV rinse

I did not have to style my hair using hair products. Although I did colour my hair a few months ago.
I did not have to style my hair using hair products. Although I did colour my hair a few months ago.
My hair looks super shiny under the sun. I do not have to worry about having greasy hair anymore.
My hair looks super shiny under the sun. I do not have to worry about having greasy hair anymore.

My transition phase

My transition phase lasted only 2 weeks. The first week was a greasy week for me. I started the vinegar rinse on Monday. On the second day, my hair got oily.

I was about to rinse my hair with ACV on the second day but I decided to see how long I could go with this greasy hair. I tied my hair in a bun or ponytail and I stayed indoors most of the time. After day 3 (Wednesday) I rinsed my hair with ACV. I noticed my hair was getting better and it did not get greasy until day 4 (Sunday). So on Sunday I rinsed using ACV again.

After week 1, I only had to use the vinegar rinse two times a week. By week 3, I rinsed my hair once and would rinse my hair with hot water in between. After my hair adjusted, it looked great and I didn’t need to do much with my hair.

Remember, I used to wash my hair with shampoo everyday. My transition phase was a huge deal for me and I had to be patient. It was worth it.

Other Althernatives

Lemon: If you do not want to use the vinegar rinse, apply lemon instead. It is a weak acid that cleanses hair well, makes hair shiny and removes dandruff. Do this by filling the spray bottle with organic lemon juice and water.

My dad was experiencing hair loss and after recommending my dad to use lemon, he noticed hair growth. He did not want to go back to using shampoo ever again. Because we have lemons in our backyard, he squeezes half a lemon to his hair and rinses it with water.

Baking soda: A clarifier that gently cleanses chemical build-up. It is the weakest alkaline. Apply it on the roots of your hair. The standard amount for hair is one tablespoon of baking soda to one cup of water. Shake to dissolve the baking soda and massage the scalp. Rinse after a few minutes.


If your hair becomes:

  • Frizzy- use less baking powder or leave it on for shorter period.
  • Greasy- use less ACV, switch to lemon juice, apply ACV to ends of hair only.
  • Itchy- try essential oils such as tea tree, lavender, rosemary.
  • Dry- Smooth ends of hair using a small amount of extra virgin olive oil, use less baking soda.

It may not work for everyone but but it has worked for me. My hair now looks super healthy and shiny. I rarely use products to style my hair and would only need to use hair protectant and sometimes hair spray.


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    • profile image

      brad 3 years ago

      does your hair smell bad? hmmm

    • profile image

      hanna** 4 years ago


      thank you for the site! I will try this out..

      The last time i used a so called natural conditioner my hair felt like a wig..

      Smooth.. but it was as dough it stripped all the good oils and left it thin ..

    • smiileyfacexo profile image

      smiileyfacexo 4 years ago from New Zealand

      Hi Hari. Sorry for the late reply. Thanks for sharing that which is helpful for those who are looking for sulfate free shampoos :)

    • smiileyfacexo profile image

      smiileyfacexo 4 years ago from New Zealand

      Sorry for the late replya kls408. Great question! You can rinse with water after using ACV. Or you can leave it in. I've tried both. I think that if you are going to leave the ACV in and go out in the sun while your hair is wet, it might make your hair lighter. I leave mine in when I'm doing a scalp treatment. Other times I wash the ACV out.

    • smiileyfacexo profile image

      smiileyfacexo 4 years ago from New Zealand

      Hi bredandagnes. Have you tried this yet? would be awesome if you kept me updated whether it worked for you or not :)

    • smiileyfacexo profile image

      smiileyfacexo 4 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks vibesites. It's normal for a few hairs to shed each day however it's even more helpful if you try these tips. Let me know how it goes.

    • vibesites profile image

      vibesites 4 years ago from United States

      Hmmmm.... I keep on getting hairfall everyday. Maybe I will try not shampooing for a time and try the alternatives you've made. Thanks for posting! Up and useful.

    • bredandagnes profile image

      bredandagnes 4 years ago from Ireland

      Delighted I came across this-it confirms what I have been thinking for a while now.Will surely try it out.

    • profile image

      kls408 5 years ago

      Hi, I was thinking about trying this. Are you supposed to rinse your hair with water after using the ACV or leave it in your hair?

    • profile image

      Hari Ohm 5 years ago

      i actually use shielo's hydrate line of shampoos (which are sulfate free) to wash my hair. It doesn't have any of those harmful ingredients. I used to have the worst hair, and now I ALWAYS get complements when using the shielo shampoo. Worth the price. . .

    • profile image

      moongle 5 years ago

      Hi! I'm interested in using vinegar to wash my hair.

      How much should I use? How do I wash with it? Does it clean well?

      Good hub! :)

    • candace21245 profile image

      candace21245 5 years ago

      Loved this! Many people don't realize how harmful shampoo can be! I stopped using shampoo for a month, but unfortunately I'm too scared to make the full commitment! I only use shampoo about once a week and I used conditioner and rinse my hair every day! My hair is super healthy and is never smelly or greasy! It's great

    • smiileyfacexo profile image

      smiileyfacexo 5 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks for your input Jpcmc. Sorry for the late reply. I didn't see your comments. I agree that it's not for everyone. As long as you don't shampoo your hair everyday, you'll be sweet. I told my friend that shampoo made my hair fall out so I stopped using it. And she replied, no wonder my hair keeps falling out. I didn't think she'd like the idea of ACV so I told her to use organic shampoo and conditioner or just use conditioner. Thanks

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 6 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      I have a skin head so I don't think this hub is for me. But I honestly found this hub interesting. Plus the alternatives you suggested are quite unique.

    • smiileyfacexo profile image

      smiileyfacexo 6 years ago from New Zealand

      Hi Peggy. Yes hair coloring products have chemicals such as ammonia we use to clean our bathrooms. I prefer to use ammonia free coloring products.

      I'm not saying we must get rid of all personal care products such as makeup etc. However we can do our part for the environment and save our money for something better.

      I also support companies who make eco friendly personal care products =)

      Thanks for your awesome comment.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      What an interesting article! I know that going back in time, people did not wash their hair everyday...even bathe, for that matter. This will be an eye-opener for many people. If this information gets around, the people selling expensive hair products won't be happy as it will affect their bottom line.

      If some of the products used in shampoos can be absorbed into the scalp and body and potentially be harmful, what about hair coloring products?

      Voted interesting and useful.