The Sauna noShampoo, or how Saunas clean your hair

It’s been a long time since I used shampoo, 7 years.  It’s been even longer since I used a Sauna.  That all changed since I inherited a Sauna with my latest home.  What follows is a description of the wonders of the Sauna, especially for your hair.

First of, a Sauna, for all of those not familiar, is a small wooden room fitted with a heater.  The room is small and well insulated, usually just big enough to fit the desired number of people, most often two, and the heater.  Most Saunas are five feet wide, seven feet long and seven feet tall.  There is a particular type of wood used for the walls, ceiling and benches which give a Sauna its unique and pleasing smell.  The heater is typically electric and contains three heating elements surrounded by volcanic rock.

The ritual of the Sauna is as follows:  The heater is turned on for about 30 to 60 minutes prior to use.  This brings the temperature in the Sauna upwards of 160 to 200 degrees (fahrenheit, of course) or hotter.  You then enter the Sauna and, depending on your preference, add ladles of water to the hot rocks.  Thus you vary the humidity to your personal preference.  Usually, you stay inside for 15 to 20 minutes at a time and people do it anywhere from one to three times per session.  In Finland, this is a daily ritual.  I will always take a cold shower at the end of each session to close the pores  The results are well documented and I won’t go to much in depth.  Suffice it say, you sleep better, your appetite lowers, and you generally feel great.

But, my recent experiences were the first since I stopped using shampoo.  What were the results?  Nothing short of astounding.

First of all, after the first session, much of the oily buildup is washed right off in the post session cold shower.   The result is perfectly balanced hair that feels great for several days. Each proceeding Sauna feels less spectacular for the hair, as the hair is now balanced.

This is a nice cold beer.
This is a nice cold beer.

Needless to say, this got me interested, and so I started looking around.  According to saunascape “Saunas make your hair look great.”  They go on to say:

We spend a lot of time and money on different hair care products to keep our hair looking natural. The truth is, we don’t need to. Our body has many specialized organs that condition our hair better than the synthetic products on the marketplace. The trick is getting them out.

A few minutes in the sauna will activate the sebaceous glands on your scalp, releasing a set of compounds that moisturize and condition your hair. If you wash the dirt away and spend some time in a sauna, a quick rinse is all it takes to reap these benefits.

Glenn at Sauna times summarizes his hair care routine:

I used no shampoo for 74 straight days.  I took a sauna 3-4 times a week.  Each sauna, I took 3-4 rounds, jumping into the clear cool lake water between rounds.  That’s it.

So, readers, the take home message for the evening (cause that’s when you take saunas) is: enjoy a regular Sauna and forget about your hair, forever.

PS. An avid reader asked me about sweating and how to ‘clean’ hair after sweating.  The answer is: sweating is cleaning your hair…

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2 thoughts on “The Sauna noShampoo, or how Saunas clean your hair”

  1. right on.

    Take a quick shower or wet hair down before entering sauna. As one heats up, wet hair helps keep hair healthy and fluffy without drying out.

    Three sauna rounds are key, clean rinse after every sauna round. As a regular sauna user, I am free from having to buy, use, or be marketed to any cosmetic product sold at Walgreens.

  2. Hey Glenn,

    Thanks for the clarification. I find it unnecessary to wet my hair as the sweat appears pretty quickly once in the Sauna. I do make an effort to spread the sweat from the roots out. The cold shower after each round guarantees a fully wet head. Keep up the great work. The benefits of the Sauna cannot be overstated.

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