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December 1st, 2009


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05:32 pm - No shampoo
I read one of those articles the other day 'Things I wish I had known at 16', you know the kind of thing. Matthew Parris said he would tell his 16 year old self to abandon shampoo and just wash his hair in plain water.

I've often felt that shampooing every day wasn't doing my hair much good, and I need to condition it heavily with every shampoo, but the alternative people usually give is 'Don't wash your hair at all, just brush thoroughly' and I never felt I could go that far.

However, I have now gone a week and a half, washing my hair daily with water only, and I think it's working out pretty well. I think the water is enough to clean it. My hair doesn't feel greasy. I am still blow-drying it, which probably is something else I ought to drop, but I need it dry before I walk to work.

Anyone else tried this, or might like to try it? I'm not sure whether it would work with long hair. Also, when I lived in London my hair and face got a lot dirtier every day, and I'm not sure water would have been enough. But at present, it seems to be working out better than I expected.

I might shampoo once a fortnight or something. Or I might abandon this project if my hair suddenly goes horrible.

(34 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:the_wild_iris
Date:December 1st, 2009 05:40 pm (UTC)
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For the past couple of years I've rarely used shampoo and washed just with conditioner (for the moisturising), after reading that this was better for curly hair.

I haven't tried just with water, but it might be worth trying; supposedly it's the rubbing rather than the gunk that actually cleans your hair anyway.
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From:communicator
Date:December 1st, 2009 06:34 pm (UTC)
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Is it? good, because that's what I'm concentrating on - rubbing the water through. I'm glad it's working for you. I think this will become a permanent thing for me.
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From:gylfinir
Date:December 1st, 2009 05:48 pm (UTC)
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I'd be a bit scared to try this, as my hair is collarbone length and can look stringy and lanky quite quickly. I normally wash and condition my hair every day, and when I miss a day, like today, it just feels...well, ick.

But I do worry that it's the shampooing / conditioning every day that's contributing to the way that it feels and looks. I might try just washing it with water only at the weekend, just to see what happens.
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From:communicator
Date:December 1st, 2009 06:36 pm (UTC)
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I think everyone who has commented here has long hair, so it seems it can be done, but it might take longer for the hair to adjust?
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From:kalypso_v
Date:December 1st, 2009 05:54 pm (UTC)
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My recollection is that when Matthew Parris first started on this hair thing he said it took a few weeks or months to work properly - initially it got greasy because the natural self-cleansing mechanisms didn't kick in until they realised the nasty shampoo had gone away for good. Or something like that.

My mother thought washing hair (with shampoo) once a fortnight was quite enough; she said "the more you wash it, the more it needs washing". I'm afraid I've got into the habit of doing it once a week, but I have noticed that if I wait longer my hair (eventually) lasts longer, and if I do it sooner it deteriorates very quickly, so I'm sure she's right. I've never understood the appeal of doing it daily; it's such a boring and time-consuming activity.

I use a hair-dryer on average once every few years*, but then I'm lucky in that I don't have to go out as much as you do, so can just let it dry.

* Excluding when I go to the hairdresser once or twice a year. I let them do what they like there. They have eccentric notions about styling it, when all I'm going to do is tie it back again when I get out. The hairs are too fine to style easily, anyway.

Edited at 2009-12-01 06:08 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]
From:communicator
Date:December 1st, 2009 06:38 pm (UTC)
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Using shampoo I had to wash daily because it used to stick up in a stupid way in the morning. It's better behaved now I'm not stripping the oil out. Very interesting experiment, and makes you wonder what else you (I mean I) do that is unnecessary.
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From:andrewducker
Date:December 1st, 2009 06:05 pm (UTC)
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I do it. It took several weeks to work through, but I have quite thick curly hair. Once it had though, it worked fine. I just use water on a regular basis.
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From:communicator
Date:December 1st, 2009 06:29 pm (UTC)
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Good example, because your hair is long too. It's the weeks of working through that put people off I think - I haven't had that, luckily.
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From:lexica510
Date:December 1st, 2009 06:33 pm (UTC)
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I've been doing the no-shampoo thing, using conditioner to clean instead, for about eight months now, and my hair has never looked better. spiritualmonkey has been doing the same for not quite as long and also much prefers the shampoo-free results. (FWIW, I have very fine hair, very straight hair, but it's also quite thick. His is coarse, thick, and wavy.)
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From:communicator
Date:December 1st, 2009 06:40 pm (UTC)
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I thought that perhaps without shampoo you would have to braid hair, or grease it down, like people used to. It almost seems too good to be true. However, eight months - that's a good test.
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From:executrix
Date:December 1st, 2009 06:42 pm (UTC)
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I have short-ish hair. When it was long, it took ungodly amounts of conditioner to keep it from forming one solid knot. I stopped using shampoo, but wash it a couple of times a week with almond castille soap (the kind of liquid soap that you can also use to bathe in, or wash the floor for that matter). It looks much better than before, and is admirably soft and shiny and doesn't clump.
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From:communicator
Date:December 1st, 2009 06:51 pm (UTC)
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So I am starting to feel I should have cottoned on to this long ago. I think when I dyed my hair that might have messed up its natural way of being bu now I've come out as a grey haired old coot a whole world of freedom is opening up to me.
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From:matildabj
Date:December 1st, 2009 07:30 pm (UTC)
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A friend of mine uses bicarbonate of soda to wash her hair in, rather than shampoo. She's got fantastic hair.

Me, I get a straw barnet if I don't wash and condition regularly, but would love to be able to go without washing.

I leave it to dry and just go out with it wet :)
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From:trixieleitz
Date:December 1st, 2009 07:48 pm (UTC)
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My hair is very thick, and currently quite long. It's just not practical to get it wet every day, so I don't. I only shampoo it if it seems to be getting visibly greasy, which is usually once every week to ten days. And I never shampoo twice. I think that if you strip all the oils out, the glands in your scalp will just over-compensate and your hair will get greasy again faster.

When my hair was short enough to towel dry, I'd wet it in the shower daily, but only shampoo about as often as I do now.
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From:houseboatonstyx
Date:December 2nd, 2009 03:50 am (UTC)
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I think that if you strip all the oils out, the glands in your scalp will just over-compensate and your hair will get greasy again faster.

-----------------

Fits my experience. Also my hair is very fine and immediately after washing it lies down and looks dirty whether it is or not. After a few days of natural oil coming back, it starts to stand up a little and looks cleaner.
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From:katlinel
Date:December 1st, 2009 08:08 pm (UTC)
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Just to add to the anecdata, I have thin, fine long hair that gets greasy earlier. Most of what I've read 'no shampoo' suggests that it works better on thicker hair, as do some of the alternative methods like bicarb of soda. I wash my hair with shampoo every other day because it gets far too greasy looking if I leave it for longer. However I do use shampoo that is free from sodium laureth sulphate, (one from the Caurnie Soap Co and one from Neal's Yard) and such shampoos seem to be kinder to my hair - makes it less itchy and the scalp less spotty. I don't use conditioner and I blow dry my hair (which takes 2 mins) in the winter but not the summer.
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From:several_bees
Date:December 1st, 2009 10:54 pm (UTC)
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Yes, my hair is like this as well. I tried washing it with water only for a few weeks, and conditioner only for a few weeks, and it didn't work very well. Perhaps if I'd persevered longer; I don't know.
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From:emeraldsedai
Date:December 1st, 2009 08:43 pm (UTC)
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I'm a committed no-shampoo-er, and have been for more than a year. I do wash my hair with a liquid castile soap, but only about once every three or four days. My interest was primarily in cutting cost and complexity, and avoiding the sulfates that are in all commercial sudsing products.

I tried several variations of no-shampoo, and water alone is mostly enough, but city life, hot flashes, and helmet hair all make me feel the need of a little soap. My hairdresser is impressed with the excellent state of my hair and says he can't believe I wash it with soap (probably because he doesn't know about mild, old fashioned liquid soaps), and I enjoy the freedom.
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From:emeraldsedai
Date:December 1st, 2009 08:49 pm (UTC)
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Oh, and I meant to add that while my hair is now extremely short, I began this experiment when it was shoulder-length. I have untreated silver hair, and the color sprang to vivid life with no-'poo. I've always had a good head of hair, but my stylist and I agree: it's way thicker now than it was a year ago.
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From:kerravonsen
Date:December 1st, 2009 10:38 pm (UTC)
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Hmmm. I have very long hair (waist-length) and I would never shampoo it every day; it takes far too long to dry, and I would never blow-dry it. I wear a shower cap. But I'd be scared of not shampooing it at all; I usually do it once or twice a week; one shampoo and then conditioner. Recently I've been putting in a lot more conditioner than I used to do (especially at the ends), and it has been looking and feeling smoother and easier to manage.

So, for me, I don't think I would go for the no-shampoo-water-every-day method, because wet hair and me is instant catch-a-cold thing. Well, not quite, but I try to avoid it. So cast me off as an unhealthy stick-in-the-mud who doesn't do the Right Thing. 8-(
[User Picture]
From:espresso_addict
Date:December 2nd, 2009 12:15 am (UTC)
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I only wash my hair occasionally -- usually it manages without getting greasy or obviously dirty for several months. Eventually, however, I get dandruff and have to use medicated shampoo once or twice to get rid of it. As I recall, it did take a while to find a balance, so it wouldn't work well if you had a short cut that needed trimming regularly, as hairdressers tend not to want to cut without washing.
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From:watervole
Date:December 2nd, 2009 08:26 am (UTC)
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I get my hairdresser to do a dry cut for this very reason. (well, also because it's cheaper). I don't use shampoo and I don't want my hairdresser to either.
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From:watervole
Date:December 2nd, 2009 08:25 am (UTC)
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It's about ten years since I last used shampoo (or conditioner, or any other hair product).

It started when I was having my ears syringed (which was happening a couple of times a year as they kept getting blocked). The nurse commented that it wasn't wax blocking my ears, but peeling skin. I wondered what was causing the skin to peel and realised shampoo was a possible culprit.

So, I stopped using shampoo - lo and behond, my ears haven't been blocked in years.

My hair is fine and I'm very happy with it.
[User Picture]
From:several_bees
Date:December 4th, 2009 01:21 pm (UTC)
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Belated, but: when were you living in London, and what area (assuming you're happy to answer that)?
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From:communicator
Date:December 4th, 2009 01:30 pm (UTC)
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I lived in London for ten years when I was young and child free. I lived in the West mainly - Ealing, Acton etc. I also lived in Stockwell and Brixton for a year in the mid eighties. I loved it, but when I had kids it was no longer practicable. It was when I was travelling by tube that I particularly got grimy.

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