noShampoo experiments

Inspired by the overwhelming popularity of the site and video, I decided to go completely noShampoo. These are my thoughts so far.

I live in London. London is a dirty city. I realize many of the noShampoo gurus are living near beaches (it seems mainly in Australia). If you swim in the ocean everyday, and live near a beach, I wouldn’t have thought your hair (or anything) would really get very dirty. This is not the case in London.

Grease builds up. I haven’t used shampoo for several weeks, and at the beginning, there was serious sebum build up. My brush was clogged with a greyish grease. The upside was that new and interesting styles such as the one shown below can be created.

Too much grease

This style was created by brushing the hair backwards. Notice the incredible amount of lift at the back.

I didn’t see how this initial Grease problem could be overcome so I tried various experiments with shampoo replacement options.

Shampoo alternatives

The basic idea here is to find something that cuts out some of the grease and dirt, but leaves enough behind so that your scalp doesn’t increase sebum production.

shampoo oil mixture
I mixed shampoo with almond oil in a 50/50 mix. Shaking gives a white foamy emulsion. Using the emulsion in your hair doesn’t really create much foam.
Result: Too much sebum was stripped, leaving the hair unprotected and dry, and re-starting the natural sebum production.
Conclusion: doesn’t work

egg yolk
Recommended to me by an Albanian friend. Egg yolk is an emulsifier, which is something that binds oil and water. Soaps are detergents, which are very strong emulsifiers. I figured this might be the answer
Result: Success! The hair was not greasy, and it was not completely stripped.
Downside: Eggy smell all day.
Conclusion: requires addition of perfumes.

egg yolk + yogurt + vanilla extract
To solve the problem of eggy smell, I added vanilla extract. My girlfriend also suggested yogurt. I used Goats Milk Yogurt. Approximate ratio: 1 egg yolk to two tablespoons yogurt + two drops vanilla extract.
Result: Success! Washing my girlfriends hair this time (yes I convinced her to go no shampoo), I noticed that any trace of egg white in the yolk will leave snotty white pieces stuck to the hair. I removed these manually. Trick is to wash hair with coldish water or remove all egg white from the yolk mixture. Her hair was left very shiny. She was happy with it. So was I. There is almost no sebum buildup afterwards.
Conclusion: Way to go!

Where to go next
Emulsifiers are the way forward. They are weak enough to leave the sebum bound to the hair and scalp, but strong enough to remove excess oil and dirt. I will see if I can find any other natural emulsifiers that do not smell like egg.

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9 thoughts on “noShampoo experiments”

  1. i too am fed up with shampoo!
    i have tried a variety of things: conditioner only washing, shikakai paste and tea (you have to oil your hair first with coconut oil), amla paste and tea, eggs (and i cannot stand the smell) but it works really good, besan (garbanzo bean flour) works – but also leaves a beany smell – but it makes your hair silky (you can even oil before using it to get very soft shiny hair) soap with a vinegar water/lime juice water rinse, diluted lime juice – water only…. still i am not entirely happy with any of these. the lime juice and water thing seems to be the easiest but it does dry your hair out over time… and also i love to oil my hair and this definitely doesn’t take the oil off. i even tried putting coconut oil on my hair and washing with water and it takes days to get it out – but afterwards your hair is thick and shiny.
    right now i’m trying the garbanzo bean flour again. i like the idea of something that i can get at pretty much any store and some of the herbs i’ve tried have to be gotten at special stores. wish i could do the egg thing successfully without having the next few days eggy smell….
    dianna/austin, tx

  2. I’m also trying to experiment to no longer use shampoo. I no longer washed it with shampoo for several weeks. It still gets greasy, but less quick and I did use a natural shampoo-Indian soapnuts- but maybe that makes my hair still produce sebum? So I tried the eggyolk today. (1 eggyolk mixed with water, so I could work it in allover my hair). Then rinsed it with water (not warm, not cold) and put some rosewater on my hair against the eggsmell. Now it’s almost completely dry and I’m surprized it did clean my hair very well and is very soft! Now I’m going to watch and see how long it takes untill it gets greasy again. Obviously there’s absolutely no need for shampoo, even if your hair still gets greasy without the shampoo, there are enough natural alternatives. I don’t see the need to mix a special natural shampoo with several herb ingredients either, if one eggyolk does the trick perfectly!

  3. Hi!
    I’ve been off shampoo for a couple of months now(check the label “hair” on my blog for The Chronicles), and my scalp and hair feel better than ever.
    Curd, soap and baking soda do AWFUL things to my hair for some reason(curd is greasy, the other two go scummy in the water here) so I use an egg beaten up in a cup of milk followed by a lemon juice rinse. It’s been working nicely for me, but my hair’s falling out ever since the weather took a dry turn.
    I just found your blog, I’ll keep reading now 😀

  4. I love to wash my hair every day. I hate the smell of dirty hair. I use shampoo and conditioner. When my hair gets dry, I use a special conditioner and it leaves my hair shiny, and manageable. I always get compliments on my hair, have been doing this for decades.


  5. Hi Bev,

    I always appreciate a little ‘flaming.’ I too get compliments on my hair. I use noShampoo and noConditioner. My hair doesn’t get dry. I have been doing this for a couple of years. My wife just smelled my hair and she said it’s fine.

  6. Hello,
    I have recently switched to egg yolk too, because baking soda wasn’t doing it for me. I haven’t had shinnier hair since I was a child.
    People nowadays believe anything if it’s said on TV. My mom told me my grandma washed her hair once a week and had the most beautiful hair of the village. (Yes, in Spain, the 40’s were as rustic as they sound like, at least outside cities).

  7. Hi Yelik,
    Yes, we’ve been sold on shampoo. The original noshampoo video was trying to ‘sell’ noshampoo but it also shows how professional the salespeople have become. I also thought it was dangerous that there are people whose job is to sell us things.

    Here’s our chance to reclaim our hair!

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