To shampoo or not to shampoo?
Hi, after finding this forum two weeks ago, i decided to stop shampooing and see what happens. so far i hardly notice any difference at all. my hair isnt oily or greesy. it looks pretty much exactly the same. i guess i was wasting my money all those years of shampooing and conditioning. has anyone else stopped shampooing with no bad side effects? or is it just too soon to tell?
I’ve only been water rinsing for I think a week now… I would only ever shampoo and condition every three days before though, so I guess I kind of worked my way into it. So far no bad side effects, except maybe it doesn’t smell as nice as it would with shampoo. However, thats because my house uses well water and we’ve been having some issues with it smelling bad. :-/ Anyway its not noticeable to me, but my boyfriend said he could smell it when he like, went right up to it. So I still don’t count that as a bad side effect.
Mostly my hair is as smooth as it was before :) Today I think it might have been a little bit heavier than usual, perhaps from oil coming back, but not very noticeable.
EDIT: Oh, I should mention that I have short hair. I imagine that it must be a much easier process with shorter hair…
julienne, thats amazing! how long have you been raw? did you used to shampoo every day? After 2 weeks into it, i’m surprised you haven’t seen anything, u r lucky girl! your hair does look healthy, maybe your head was able to function normally even with the shampoo lol.
Hey I just read on another thread that hot shower water is acidic and cooler water is alkaline, and its more beneficial to use lukewarm/cool water… does anyone else know about this?
Hi Queenfluff !
I do massage and rinse right away with the flax shampoo.Yes,the lemon is very good for the oily. I use pee too,and that is great for my hair.
I’m using apple cider vinegar as a conditioner because I love it as a cleanse for my body.Last week I had to use a little baking soda with the flax shampoo after my shower and after that my hair got so good that I didn’t have to wash it for 4 days.This is a record for me.
Sounds like everyone is doing good!
Julienne and Katie – It is not completely unusual for you to have no transition yuckies. I have heard many people say they didn’t have any but most people do – yes, it depends on how often you used shampoo before and how much too and whether you used a lot of conditioner also that creates buildup). But the transition tends to go in cycles – normally the first two weeks can be the worst – and than it will seem clean again and than it may go oily again. Also, the water you use can have an effect – I live in an area with very hard water – which can dry out your hair and create buildup. Could be too that you just have hair on the dryer side which never created a lot ofsebum. :) Yes, it is easier to do with short hair than long.
Hi Kundalalita – I haven’t heard that before about the water temp. Interesting. I just knew that the hot water can stimulate oil more and cold water is good for smoothing the hair and cuticle. I don’t always notice that when I use different temps of water that it turns out worse or better – depends on the day. Some days warm works better than cold.
Hi Lucy – Sounds great! That makes sense that the baking soda would be working. Here I found a general article about hair and it talks about the acid and alakine rinse and what they do. Interesting.
For me, I have used the soapnuts several days in a row (I skipped one day) and it it now finally feelings clean – I think it took a while to get the extra sebum out – I probably had a buildup. Still a bit heavy in the back of my head (that is my problem area) but the rest is really clean. It is a bit weird though because it feels almost shampoo clean and my ends look lighter. So, I thinking I will probably just have to use it every few days and water rinse the rest of the time. I hate to get into the habit of using it too much because it is expensive. I did find a soapnut powder online which is also used to make a rinse out of. I SO want to get a water softener and new filter for my shower but can’t afford it right now.
Ah how neat! You found soapnut in a powder!
I have a question for you queenfluff, since you used to be a hairdresser and all –
Will blowdrying my hair at the lowest temperature and speed damage it??
I’ve NEVER been in the habit of blowdrying, but lately I’ve been on the run and I’ve been blowdrying it at the lowest temp, alternating with cool air, I’m still afraid I’m doing some damage on the long run though, what do you think?
Good news – since I’ve been 100% raw the oils in my hair have stabalized and my hair is pretty amazing if I may say so myself :D
Raw and no poo just go together, haha.
Yes, apparently the soapnuts have been used for a long time in shampoos in the Indian culture. Maybe this is why Indian women normally have such beautiful hair – they seem to have it in with all the hair secrets. :)
Blow drying can damage your hair yes but since you are doing it at the lowest setting and with cool air you are probably OK. It is similar to being out in the windy outdoors where the air might be cool and letting it air dry. Stay away from the hot air and high speed setting. It is best to let it air dry of course but cool air and low setting is OK if you are in a rush. I don’t even own a hair dryer any more. I quit blow drying years ago.
I wrap mine in a towel and scrunch it with the towel to absorb the most water. Also, there is a special towel you can buy that absorbs water from your hair really fast and will help with drying time. I used to have one but I don’t know what happened to it. It works pretty good. Just do a search for hair towel, you should be able to find it.
I like to do my no poo at night and than sleep with my hair in a towel with it wet. The towel falls off when I sleep and I wake up with cool looking bed hair. I don’t do it at night all the time but every once and a while. Save me time in the morning. :) I used to do this many years ago when I had a job where I got really dirty during the day so it was dumb to take a shower in the morning as I had to take one when I got home from work anyhow so I discovered washing my hair at night worked much better.
I agree with you that the raw diet helps with the oil. I haven’t been very raw lately and I am sure my oil intake has increased and I notice that my hair gets oilier and so does my skin. When I am mostly raw, my hair has less oil and so does my skin. Good evidence to support a natural raw diet.:)
So glad your hair is getting better!
Hey queenfluff – It just so happens that I have a few microfiber face cloths. I tried drying my hair with one this morning and it was great! I only had to blow dry for a minute (instead of 4 :P) with cool air.
Well that’s my update for now, other than I’m going 4 days without washing now (like lucy)
I wonder what’s the longest that we can go without washing?
I read somewhere that during the middle ages women washed once a month with egg yolks. I don’t know if it was because their hair wasn’t producing sebum OR because they were just gross :D
Yes, the towels are made from a microfiber. I remember buying one many years ago when they first came out and I thought “this is such a cool idea” – the only bad thing is that, at that time, the towel only came in a super teeney size and I had looong hair so I could only fit half my hair in the towel. I think they come in a huge size now. I like to turban mine and walk around with it on. I may buy one again some day. :)
There is a woman who has not washed her hair for 11 years (which is how the whole no poo thing started). She apparently only water rinses about one a month (or even less). I don’t know if she swims anywhere or anything or getting her hair wet other ways or uses anything else on her hair. I am pretty sure she isn’t a raw foodist.
Well, I think long ago that women’s hair was more acclaimated to not shampooing as their were no super drying shampoos as their are now plus water was more pure. They were always “no poo” so the hair probably never was in a over producing sebum mode. Also, the food was probably a purer quality than too even if it was cooked. I am really starting to realize how the important the quality of water is when rinsing hair. My main thing I want is to get a water softener now for my shower – I am sure it will make a difference in my hair. My hair dries so much more softer and cleaner if I go swimming in the river and rinse my hair really good in that water than rinsing it really well in the shower water.
Funny about the egg yolks though because I have used egg yolks in my hair before but it never was to clean it but for conditioning because the protein in the egg.
Funny you should mention the lukewarm/cold water info, because really the only thing I’ve done for my hair since I stopped shampooing is take lukewarm showers and finish it off with cold water only to rinse my hair well. Maybe that’s part of the trick, but I probably just got lucky with my hair type.
Hi Queenfluff, thanx for the info. I do live in a place with soft water so maybe that is part of my success. Interesting idea. And thanx for posting this forum or else I wouldn’t have known that I could just stop shampooing!
I haven’t been keeping up with these posts… but last time I posted, queenfluff recommended a boar brush or wooden brush. The Boar brushes are SO EXPENSIVE! $75???? Is that right? The wooden brushes seem like the bristles are too far apart for my thin straight hair… so, I think the boar brush is better. But, really… does it have to be expensive… to be “genuine”?
P.S. Now I get speckles of white stuff in my hair… rather than flakes. I end up having to mildly wash my hair twice a day now – one water rinse, the second a mild wash because the rinse didn’t get anything out. The white speckles are gross… but, I think it may come from one of the brushes I use… which seems to be collecting more ‘oils’ from my not-so-shampooed hair. That’s getting gross too. It is a plastic bristle brush… but my other plastic (wider teeth) brush doesn’t seem to get so oily.
Yes, they are expensive. Another reason why I probably won’t get one again and plus I felt bad buying one since they are not vegan. They are supposed to last forever though if that is any consolation about the cost. You could go with a plastic bristle if you want or if you can find any other natural bristle brush. The point is that the natural bristle brushes are supposed to be the best ones to use. I believe you can get a plastic and boar bristle comb one which might cost less.
Expect to have to wash your combs and brushes ALOT when doing no poo. I wash mine almost every other day. When I shampooed I rarely had to wash them. You won’t get all the sebum out when you water rinse. That is the point of no poo – you want to leave some sebum in your hair for conditioning. The bristle brush will pick up more sebum which is why you notice it more and the wide tooth ones won’t. When you get further along in the process, you will have less sebum in your combs and brushes.
Also, consider how long you rinse? I notice I have to rinse longer doing no poo. Just getting your head wet is not going to do it. You need to rinse really good and massage your head a bit. I recommend brushing or combing before you do your rinse – it will loosen stuff and will come out more easily when you rinse.
Also, don’t forget too – that if you do a “mild wash” everyday you probably aren’t making too much progress for your scalp to normalize so it is going to take you much longer to get past the yucky phases.
Hi No-pooers! Wow, almost 10,000 views. Seems like the #1 topic here on Gone Raw!
I’ve still been using just the tiniest bit of Dr. Bronner’s in the crown area, along with the BEST TIP EVER from Queenfluff, which is using sea salt/water as a hairspray/volumizer. It seems so obvious & simple but it is truly amazing! I put a few drops of coconut oil in the water also and spritz throughout the day to refresh. No more expensive volumizers and frizz serums. I feel so free!
Also wanted to add that I read about the benefits of taking cold showers:
I’ve noticed a difference in my hair since I’ve been cooling it down a bit (not cold yet, but lukewarm).
Glad so many have taken this challenge….wonder if stock in Proctor & Gamble is down yet ;)?
I haven’t shared in a while. I have been lurking in the site, also because at last I found a raw food community here in Italy on line so I have been sharing and getting support from them.
How is my no poo going? Well I confess I fell off the no poo wagon.
We have been going to the beach house every weekend, the water is really hard there and just water and coconut oil was not enough. About 3 weeks ago I washed my hair by accident, I thought it was conditioner but it was shampoo, after that If I do not use diluted shampoo every once in a while my hair gets really “straw like” and stiff…I am back on the shampoo. Ran out of coconut oil, waiting on a raw supplies shipment to come in from Holland. I am weaning myself off again, from shampoo, to shampoo diliuted with water to eventually only water, coco oil and occasionally conditioner to tame the frizzes. Anyway I have proof now, if you start to poo again your hair (my hair) sort of becomes addicted to it and without it gets real stiff and dry…so dry folks.
Missed all of ya, good to be back xoxo lov n’veggies Dea xoxo
Great to hear from you! Kauaigirl, that is so funny! Yeah, I wonder if we are causing any dent in the shampoo companies profit? I haven’t been keeping count but I think it is at least over ten gonerawers that are trying the no poo. :) I am happy I am not the only “freak” out there that is trying this and that it is working for. :)
I haven’t been using the sea salt spray – I only use for special occasions – for day to day I don’t care if my hair is all poufy – as long as it looks smooth and clean, I am good. Thanks for the tip about putting in the coconut oil though. I am looking for something that I can use as a leave-in on my ends to spritz in for the day. I am thinking water with some coconut oil drops in it? The straight coconut oil is too heavy for me.
deasmiles, it is quite odd how your hair responds to the shampoo after you have been no poo – it gets really dry. Which is why I will definatley never use it again. Sounds like you are back on track though. :)
I have been using the soapnuts solution occassionally. I am noticeing I can wait a few days in between rinsing – so there are days where I don’t even wet my hair. Like today is my three day since I rinsed last and my hair is not very sebumy really.
I soak 5 soapnuts in hot water overnight (about 2 cups) than I have a nice solution which will last for several rinses. I just concentrate it on my back area and roots and it works pretty good with my normal water rinsing. I cut off a few more inches of my hair because my ends were dry. I think a lot of my old pooed hair just needs to grow out and be cut off but I can’t cut it all off because i gotta have some length – it is short for me now (a few inches past my shoulders).
I kinda fell off the raw wagon and haven’t been eating too much raw and haven’t been taking the MSM. I gotta start back with the MSM because my hair doesn’t seem to be growing very fast. Other than that, things are going pretty good with my hair. This is the end of my 7th month! :)
I’m going on week 3 without ‘pooing! An ultra-fine tooth comb has made all the difference for me. I went to a beauty supply store and found the finest one they had. It really helped to spread the oil down the hair shaft.
Great idea with the fine-tooth comb! I’ve been no-poo for about a month. My hair is quite curly and a bit dry, such that I actually have to add oil to it. I never thought of using a finer comb to distribute the oil.
Question: I need to go to my old salon for a decent cut. I haven’t been in over 4 months, since I had braids for the summer. I know my stylist won’t want to touch my hair without washing it, no matter how clean it really is or appears. Anything I could give her that comes in a bottle, so we’ll both feel comfortable?
Hi sydneystart – I agree. The fine toothcombed works wonder for getting that sebum going. In fact, I am noticing that is almost the only thing I use now. I rarely use my brushes or my wide tooth comb anymore. The fine tooth works so well. Of course, it is a pain to clean unfortunatley. :)
Hi rediscoverrawfood – Why don’t you just tell your stylist that you just washed it? And go in with your hair damp. I mean, you are paying for the service – tell her you don’t want it washed. If she insists that it must be washed, than I would get a different stylist…or you could just be honest and tell her what you are doing hair wise. You are the customer and the customer is always right. If you don’t want it washed and it is just a cut, they have no reason to wash if it is clean. I don’t know why hair stylist complain about that stuff – i mean, you are saving them money on shampoo and conditioner. Some place actually charge extra for the shampoo and conditioner. All that is included in the cut price is wetting down the hair with a spray bottle. When I did hair, I often had people say they didn’t want their hair washed and just to wet it down because they want to stay with using their own shampoo at home and are allergic to some shampoos. No biggie at all. :)
I don’t think their is any no poo solution in a bottle that you can give her that will make her think it is shampoo. None of the solutions suds. You will end up with a big lecture on why you should use “real” shampoo if you do and than she might try to sell you some. I would just come up with excuses about why you don’t want it washed today. Say it is getting to feeling dry to you or something and that you don’t want to wash it more than twice a day and you just washed it. Good luck!
Does anyone have any experience with no poo and hair coloring? I’ve been no poo for about a month and really need to touch up my roots! I’m a bit concerned that the ACV might mess up the coloring if I rince with it after I color it. Any suggestions? Comments? And BTW, thanks to whoever suggested the lemon juice addition to help with the greasies! I added it to the baking soda wash and it worked really well.
Hi Amuzon1 -
The ACV probably won’t mess up your coloring but putting the color on your roots (and so close to your scalp) will probably mess up your no poo routine. I am assuming you are using chemical coloring in a box and not henna? The chemical colors are probably more drying to the hair and scalp than shampoo..Bleach is the worst for drying out hair and scalp (which is why when bleach gets on your scalp or skin it can burn) Permanents would be probably be after bleach.
This is not to say you can’t use hair coloring when doing no poo but it honestly goes against the purpose of it. Getting the hair color on your roots and near your scalp might cause your body to produce more sebum because of the dryness. The second thing is that hair coloring is designed based on the assumption that shampoo will be used to get it out once processing is done. You will have to rinse VERY well to get out all that color and to make sure it stops processing (normally just getting it wet will do it but you dont want to have any color left). I wouldn’t use the baking soda or ACV afterwords – just rinse very well with water and make sure you get it all out (use your finger tips to get it away from your scalp – if possible have a friend check to make sure you got it all out of your hair).
You might want to consider switching to henna if you can – it is more natural and less drying.
You also might want to consider that the baking soda (in high amounts) can bleach your hair. And that baking soda its self works like a “soap”. See here for better explaination:
Here’s a question regarding applying the henna to no ‘pood hair. The henna I purchased says that it has to be applied to clean hair. Has anyone tried it while no pooing?
Thanks Queenfluff. I have seriously considered using henna, but I don’t know how the two will mix. I’ve never used it before and I don’t know how that will interact with the chemical colorant already on my hair, etc etc etc. So much I don’t know! I have access to getting Henna dyes, but the outside of the box isn’t too forthcoming in info. Any suggestions?
syndneystart – When they say “clean” hair, they mean like no hair spray, gel and stuff like that. You should be OK if you don’t have anything in your hair. You will just need to do ALOT of rinsing to get it out. I don’t use henna but I did use it a few times before I think I didn’t shampoo my hair after – in fact, I think the package said not too.
Amuzon1 – It is fine to use henna on previously colored hair. Although just be aware that the henna will deposit color (it doesn’t lighten hair like colors do or bleach). So, you will have to match up the colored hair with what you want the results to be. If you match right you should be able to just do your roots. Unfortuately, henna is doesn’t have as many color choices as chemical colors.
Light Mountain makes an excellent henna. You can buy at Whole Foods. They even have a product called “Color the Grey” which is specifically for coloring those hard greys. You didn’t mention what you are using color for but that might be an option for grey roots.
Here is the site:
And here are FAQs. Apparently you can use baking soda to wash out the henna if you are having trouble getting it all out! So that should work perfect for you!
I have use this brand before but I just used the neutral last few times for conditioning. I think I used the reddish brown once a long time ago. I avoid colored henna only because I overdid it a few times with the red (Long ago, I desperately wanted red hair like Julia Roberts and the color turned out great but I honestly can’t pull off red hair as I have the wrong skin color so I learned my lesson and I just keep the hair color I have.:))
The Light Mountain brand has very good instructions inside the box. It is really very helpful. Just don’t use a metal container to mix the henna in or you could end up with greenish hair.
After doing some research, I don’t think the henna products will work for me. I don’t have any gray hair (that I can find!), and my hair is naturally a dishwater blond that I want to lighten up to a more vibrant color. I don’t want to go red. Thanks for all the really great links though.
Queenfluff—thanks for all the help! You’re quite the expert!
Hi there. I have to be frugal as I have 5 children and am on a tight budget. I had researched and found out that the reason you need conditioners for your hair is usually because of using the shampoos that strip the hair etc. And that soap was best for hair, plus no conditioner needed. I’ve done this for awhile with myself and my children and it is really good for our hair. Some lemon juice or vinegar in the last rinse is great, too.
At first, when you go to soap you can find lots of little bits in your hair and it has been recommended to grate up some soap and soak in water overnight then whizz up with a blender to make a kind of soap ‘goo.’ This problem will then be solved.
I also haven’t used moisturizers for awhile, but use oil on damp skin instead. It works fine!
You can also rub a few drops of oil in your hands and smooth through dry hair.
Just some stuff I’ve discovered!
Hi I am new to no poo,my second week and I have been using salt water rins every other day and just water the others,so I shower every day and soak my hair.It is very greasy now and I am hoping that it will normalize very soon!
I was wondering if it is all right(dose the same) to use Himalaja salt instead of sea salt?,I don´t use sea salt anymore in my food so I have been using Himalaja when I rins my hair.
How much salt do you use?
How well do you rins your hair with water after salt rins,is it essential to rins the salt very well out or?
This is so interesting and a great experiment and it makes so much sens to be all narual.I have been 100% raw for 9 months now and I love it.I am getting more and more natural with time(soaps,toothpaste,make up,cream and so on …) so of course my hair have to follow!!
Glad you are joining us! :)
For the sea salt, yes, you can use Himalayan salt instead. I prefer the Himalayan salt too but I was using the celtic grey for my hair because it is cheaper and I like to save my Himalayan for my food because it is so tasty. :)
Make sure you grind your salt fine and put in in with your water to make sure it dissolves.
For the salt rinse, the oilier your hair, the more salt you can use. Keep in mind the salt can dry out your hair too if too much is used too often but you will be able to tell if that happens. Just reduce the amount of salt you use then.
I haven’t been using the salt rinse lately but when I do use up to 2 tablespoon to 2 cups warm water. That is for when my hair is relatively oily. You can use less salt (keep the water the same) if your hair doesn’t seem as oily.
I use the whole solution and I rinse very well after. I massage it in for a while (I normally leave it in for several minutes before I rinse it out) I normally rinse for about 5 to 10 minutes because that seems to be the amount time that is required to get my hair a decent clean. Yours might be different. If you don’t get all the salt out, you just might have some thick hair with body because the salt and water solution also works well as a hairspray type of product on dry hair. :)
I have noticed it rinses out pretty easily so you shouldn’t have that problem.
Oh, also, when I leave the salt solution in my hair I let it soak in for five minutes if my hair is more oily than usual. I have noticed that it helps with the drying up the oil. I normally do it to dry hair so I can still around with a towel on my head and I don’t have to sit in the shower and wait.
I agree it is hard to keep up, this post has really taken off! I hope no one gets discouraged trying to read through the whole of it haha.
well, just updating- I have definitely noticed it is getting easier to go longer without rinsing my hair, its up to about 4 days or more now. And i have found the best thing for me is to keep it very simple… when i do rinse is to use just water and not even mess with acv or anything.. maybe a little salt if necessary, and spray with lavender/rose water for conditioning.
I have adopted another technique of brushing my hair with a wet brush.. not everyday, just when it seems a little bit more oily… it works very well, freshens up the hair and takes maybe 5 minutes, i get pretty much as good results as rinsing. actually helps me go longer without needing to rinse.
also… getting great complements! especially ones along the lines of… “really? wow and your hair Doesn’t smell!!” lol ;)
I like your new picture! Is that a catus you are hugging? Cute!
Wow, sounds like you are doing great. I have never been to wait that long between rinses – three days has been my max. But I haven’t been very raw at all lately and I noticing more oilies – so I am sure it is my diet right now. So, I am the only one to blame for that!(which is fine – it is interesting to see how what I eat effects my hair oiliness). When I am close to 100% raw, my hair is definately more on the dry side with less oil.
I really believe my water has something to do with it too. I have very hard water. I so badly want to get a water softener! I notice how much longer my hair stays clean if I go swimming in river water (which I can’t do every day). It doesn’t stay clean as long just doing showers in tap water.
The soapnuts that I have been using sometimes seem to work and sometimes don’t. If use all the time, it seems to be OK. If I wait many days betweeen rinsing, it doesn’t seem to work as well – I don’t think it is good for getting out several days of sebum but nice for every day or every other day use to keep hair clean. I did use vinegar yesterday because I had too much sebum. That definately works to get my hair clean.
does the brushing with water picking up alot of the sebum? that makes sense that that would work actually – water is great at just “freshening” up the hair. I am sure it removes alot of excess sebum too.
How do you make your lavender rose water spray? I want something for just my ends for leave-in conditioner but not sure what to make. I heard lavender works good – smells nice too. Plus I like the smell of roses.