You might remember when I started my quest for shiny, bouncy hair without shampoo … it was angst filled and stressful!
But finally, after a couple of months of bad-hair-days, I have solved the mystery to going shampoo-free. My hair is soft, super shiny, and has good natural wave. Amazing!
Before I get to that – let’s quickly recap why you might consider ditching your shampoo.
1) More shampoo = more greasies. The theory here is that normal shampoo is a detergent, so it does a really good job removing oil from your hair. That’s why your hair is so bouncy & shiny right after shampooing. But then your scalp freaks out because there isn’t any natural oil, and starts producing oil like crazy, giving you greasy hair … so you wash again, and the cycle continues.
You might have noticed that if you wash your hair daily, you HAVE to wash it daily. But if you start training your hair to go 2 days, or 3 days between shampoos, it doesn’t get all that greasy in-between.
Stopping shampoo has similar results – you still ‘wash’, but with baking soda & vinegar, and your hair stays in a happy balance.
2) Shampoos are loaded with chemicals. Standard shampoos usually contain icky ingredients like Sodium Laureth Sulphate, DEA, and artificial fragrances (which is a generic term that can hide a multiude of sins). If you want to know more, here are some chemicals you might want to avoid in your beauty products.
3) Simplify your life! One less product to buy, store, carry while travelling. Plus, needing to wash your hair less often saves tons of time!
4) Think of Grandma – all of this daily hair washing is a relatively new invention. Somehow people lived for millenia without commercial shampoo, and without greasy, stringy hair either. Remember how your grandma had her hair ‘done’ only once a week? Seriously, if you let your hair do its thing, it might surprise you.
So how did I make the transition to no shampoo?
I tried the baking soda and vinegar plan before (see this article for complete instructions) but didn’t have much luck. Then I switched to all-natural, organic shampoos while I was working up the courage to try it again. This article from Crunchy Betty inspired me to give it another try.
What did I do differently this time?
* Give your hair an adjustment period before going No ‘poo. First switch to natural (non-detergent) shampoo. Then try going 2 or 3 (or more) days between shampoos and let your hair adjust to less-frequent washes. Then you can eliminate the shampoo completely.
* Patience! Pick a week when you don’t have any big meetings/events to eliminate shampoo. You’ll need at least a week, if not 2 or 3, where you’ll have a lot of ‘ponytail’ days. The first week I didn’t wash my hair at all, and it was ugly. Not horrible, I did leave the house, but a bit greasy and definitely not silky and shiny. After that first week, things improved dramatically.
* Dissolve the teaspoon of baking soda in warm/hot water, and make sure it’s really dissolved! Then pour it through your wet hair, massage into your scalp, and rinse, rinse, rinse! At first I was using cold water so the baking soda never really dissolved – and it got all gritty on my scalp. I suppose that could be an exfoliant of sorts, but not really what I was looking for in a shampoo!
* If you’re still struggling – check your water. We moved house between my first and second attempts … and the water seems to make a huge difference! In our old house the water was very hard, and my hair always felt tangled. In this new house I can rinse out the baking soda and my hair is really soft & smooth. If you do have hard water, try using boiled-and-cooled water to rinse your hair and see if it helps!
Are you thinking about ditching your shampoo? Have you tried it? Let us know your experiences in the comments!