Wednesday, March 07, 2007

No more shampoo

Am nearly half-way through my third week of not using shampoo. The idea being your hair doesn't really need shampoo and can clean itself. It apparently takes about eight weeks for your hair to get used to not being washed with shampoo any more. I've been using Faith in Nature organic shampoo for six months or so but in the back of my head I knew I wanted to try using nothing at some stage to see if it really worked. I work in an office and need to look presentable though so wasn't sure I'd get away with it. However, as I wear my hair up most of the time in work anyway, so far it's been fine.

I have long hair, it's a bit further than halfway down my back (and I'm 5'9" so that's quite a long way :-) ) and is very thick and curly/frizzy. One thing which is also supposed to happen when you stop using shampoo is that the curls become more defined, which would be a nice bonus. So, my three main reasons for trying this are (1) to use less product, consequently (2) save money and finally (3) less frizz.

I didn't really plan this. I usually wash my hair once a week but the weekend before last I was really busy and in and out of the house a lot so never got around to doing it. I didn't really have time during the week (it only takes about ten or fifteen minutes but then a couple of hours to dry naturally or half an hour with a hair dryer which I hate using) and on Thurdsday, the first time I got a chance, I decided to just go for it since I was already ten days in. Admittedly I felt grotty and my hair was not looking great. On Saturday while having a shower I washed my hair throughly in water - gave a good scrub to my scalp as well. I used a tiny amount of conditioner on the ends of my hair just in case.

So far this week it feels much better than last. It feels strangely heavier but looks "smaller" - not as wildly thick or something. Even though I have had it up most of the time my face is starting to feel a bit greasier than normal. I've also been warned that you can fall victim to spotty shoulders during the run-in period so I'm going to use some almond oil mixed with sugar to exfoliate and hopefully avoid that. I don't know if that's too harsh for using on my face though so if anyone has any suggestions for natural products that can be used on a greasy face, let me know.

The important thing I have to remember is that I haven't stopped washing my hair. I've just stopped using shampoo. So, I will keep washing with water and use other things as I feel they are needed. I bought oatmeal, which is supposed to be good for dealing with the grease - will try that tomorrow I think. You put it into your dry hair, rub vigourously then brush out and rinse well with hot water . That one could get messy. Then, at the weekend, I'm going to try the old mayonnaise conditioning trick.

I'm off to sing in a choir competition in Arklow on Sunday. Must go and try and learn some words now. There's one plain chant piece we're doing that I just can't seem to get into my head - thankfully my part isn't singing much of it!

Edited to add links to update posts: 4 weeks after stopping to use shampoo and 6 years later


Rebecca said...

Oh lord you are a brave woman! I tried the no shampoo once when I was 21 for a couple of months. I have to say I couldn't get used to it feeling greasy and when I did go back to washing, god it was wonderful!

What about using the herb soapwort for washing, I'm going to grow some this summer, and take a bunch into the shower for washing with. I'll let you know if I go green!

At the moment I use Jason shampoo, which is sodium laurel sulphate free. Have you googled SLS, I think you'll want to avoid it once you know about it ... its in practically everything, even toothpaste, and kids bubble baths.

Good luck with the hair, will be interested to hear if you have more success than I did.

steph said...

Hiya - fab blog! *grin* I just found you.

Anyway, bicarb of soda is a BRILLIANT exfolient and very friendly/cheap too. I just mix it with a wee bit of whatever I find lurking under the sink, but even honey will do if you want to be really yummy!

I've used it on my scalp before now when battling the itchies/flakies (i have long hair too).

Good luck!


Great Big Veg Challenge said...

I havae read that oats make a good natural exfoliator - not sure in what medium...Good luck with the no-wash hair experiment. I will be following with interest

Anonymous said...

Hey guys,

I am on my second week and have to say I see a huge diff! I used to have a lot of itchiness and falling hair due to stress and most of that has gone now. My hair which is jet black and naturally curly looks so healthy it has a blue black sheen to it. I feel so much better! Next challenge is raw foods :)

Anonymous said...

Just to let you know that the egg shampoo does work really well but does take time. Beat 1-3 eggs well, pour slowly over scalp and hair rubbing in as you go. Wrap up in a towel or shower cap and leave for half and hour. Rinse with coolish water (hot or very warm water will cook the egg). I found my hair to be very soft and bouncy after this. However, I have never used as a full-time shampoo