NoShampoo Challenge – Join the revolution

The greatest journey begins with a single step.

Join the NoShampoo revolution. I’m interested in hearing from you about your experiences without shampoo. Go ahead and post your stories in the comments.

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31 thoughts on “NoShampoo Challenge – Join the revolution”

  1. Okey, i stopped it 3 days ago, cold turkey, coping with the grease attack at this very moment,, do you people think it could help grow back some of my fallen hair ? im balding ((((( I’m a 24 years old dude…

  2. Hi Dimitri,

    Cold turkey can be hard, but it’s easier with short hair, so maybe get a haircut and then go noshampoo.

    As for hair loss, I can tell you from my own experience that using noshampoo definitely helps. I have a slightly receded hair line like my uncle and grandfather. The hair used to be very thin in there, but it certainly thickened since I started. Of course shampoo strips the hair, making it look thinner that it actually is, so there is that as well.

    It takes about 6 months to really find your own rhythm. A friend of mine gets a wash when he gets a cut. My brother washes once a week. My sister stopped altogether. My wife stopped altogether. I usually get a wash at the barber as well and that’s it, otherwise I use baking soda before I go to the barber.

    The ideal shampoo was once made for me in St. Lucia. It involved grating a cocoa pod and then straining the result through a t-shirt or other fabric. What comes out is a kind of jelly which is what the Rastafarians use to wash dreadlocks. In a perfect world, we’d have a cocoa tree in the garden, but since that’s a tropical plant, there isn’t much chance of that happening. The guy who made that shampoo for me cleaned his ear with a feather he’d trimmed into a cotton-bud shape and then twirled in his ear. It took him about a half hour to trim the thing. It just goes to show the thought that can and should be invested into the way we cleanse our bodies!

    Good luck!

  3. Quick note that I’ve been inspired by y’all to go shampoo-free. In terms of regrowing hair, obviously I’m not an MD, but I doubt it will. HOWEVER- healthier hair looks thicker and that goes a long ways to hide the thin (I’m a dude). Good luck all.
    Cheers!

  4. hey guys,
    found you with google…!

    I’m totally feel you and stopped washing my hair some month ago…But now, there s a weird kinda odor!!! My hair smells! I’m wondering, if it’s better to use some kind of parfum or coconot-oil to do some “lube change”??

    What is your experience??

    regards from Germany
    Lanie

  5. Hi Lanie,

    The odor is natural, but some people can find it a little distressing. I don’t recommend trying to ‘cover’ the odor, but you can reduce it by using a small amount (about a teaspoon) of baking soda powdered onto your wet hair, rubbed in thoroughly, and immediately rinsed (it can make your scalp tingle if you leave it in. Follow this by rubbing a slice or quarter of lemon onto your hair and then rinsing this. You’ll have a nice lemony smell. You can also use lime.

  6. thx, for the answer…!
    Just tried it…coool!

    Well, does the sebum in the hair get rancid in the first place??
    Because I read wool grease is not getting rancid at all! Thats why wool fat is a great emulsifying agent: It’s anti-bacterial, will not get rancid and doesnt have a beeding ground for funguses!
    So if a sheep has got that great sebum, doesnt we have it as well??
    regards

  7. Hi Lanie,

    No, the sebum does not get rancid! However, people are particular about the way they smell, and we are used to using perfumes occasionally as a form of communication. The important thing is that perfumes are used whenever desired, and I find the lemon smell is excellent!

  8. I have been no ‘poo for 6 months. It definitely has taken awhile to get my routine down, but as a chemist I know too much about the chemicals (and contaminants) in shampoo to want to go back.

    I have long, curly, hair, use baking soda and vinegar about 3 times a month, and brush regularly with a wooden brush to distribute the natural oils. I also oil my ends with olive oil and wet down my hair every other day to make it curl. I plan to try coconut oil in the future.

    My hair has regained a lot of curl which it lost after I had a baby. I’ve always had low maintenance hair, and it remains easy. My hair is a lot shinier, and significantly fuller than when I used shampoo.

    No odor–but I do put essential oils in my vinegar rinse.

    My husband stopped using anything other than water, and my two year old has never used or needed anything. It’s very freeing. There is nothing to knock over in the shower now =).

    I think the hardest part when recommending the switch is that sometimes it takes a few months to adjust and that scares people.

  9. Thanks for posting the link to the EWG’s Skin Deep database. I’ve been using it for a year or so, but I always love when I see other people passing around as profusely as I try to. It’s an invaluable resource!

    I’ve been trying for a while to find a shampoo that is good for me and my skin, which actually works. Can’t find one. I’ve considered for a while that it can be as easy as just not washing it… or just using vinegar. Did a search today and find that you are one of a number of people on the web talking about it. I honestly can’t wait to try it – although I am scared to death of my fine hair being completely disgusting and unmanageable. I know it’s a process though.

    On a related note, I have been using the Oil Cleansing Method (for skin) for about six months now and cannot rave enough about it. For you or any of your readers who are interested in a more natural and body-friendly way of cleansing your skin (including acne-prone faces), try this. I was battling terrible cystic acne and this is the ONLY thing that has helped, and has completely cleared my acne with exception of a few minor flare-ups.

    http://www.theoilcleansingmethod.com/

    The only thing I would caution is that olive oil is not for everyone. It was too thick for my skin. I switched to grapeseed oil and it has been great. Like the “No ‘Poo” movement, it takes some getting used to and you have to figure out what works for you. My combination: I’ve stopped washing my face at night (using mineral makeup). In the morning, I splash a palm-full of organic apple cider vinegar with about five drops grapefruit essential oil onto my face and neck (avoid eyes), message a palm-full of 50/50 grapeseed and castor oil into skin until the pores start to loosen and let go of the dirt, then get in the shower and wipe of gently with a soft washcloth in the direction of hair growth. Moisturize if necessary with the tiniest fingertip of shea butter and a drop of tea tree oil. At night I use the grapeseed/castor combo to remove eye makeup, and dab on a little shea butter in problem spots. My skin has never felt and looked better.

    Now, to get on with this shampoo/conditioner thing. I’m also hoping to lose the body lotion soon.

    Thanks for the great conversation, and best of luck to everyone not afraid to let your body do what it’s supposed to!!

  10. I haven’t used shampoo or conditioner since July 12th 2007, over two years ago. I keep it short and don’t have a dirty job so it’s no biggie for me.

    I told my barber when I was going to do it, he shrugged, “It’s just soap” he said. He hasn’t had any complaints, I got a haircut today as a matter of fact.

  11. You’re in my position. It will be interesting to see how my girls adapt. They don’t seem to mind… I think soap is much harsher. I believe it’s quite alkaline for a start (shampoo is acidic). Shampoo probably has a milder emulsifier or detergent, while soap is an age old grease remover. I’m not sure the point is about whether shampoo is bad for you or not (in moderation it probably is benign) but rather: why bother? The use of plastics and chemicals certainly isn’t good for the environment, so all things being equal, we ought to stop using it…

  12. Hi,
    I’d like to go no shampoo but I have a question:
    If you go no shampoo, except for when you get a haircut, do you have to go through all the first stage (where your hair is a disaster)?
    (today is day 5!)
    friendly regards

  13. Hi greasy,
    You don’t have to go through the disaster stages, but it is usually easier. You can simply lengthen the time between washes from 1 week at the start to 2 weeks, 4 weeks, two months, four months, and it should basically be alright. That’s what I’ve found from my experience. If you have short hair, then it really never goes through a disaster stage. It just looks really funky…

  14. I’ve got straight hair down to my butt and have always had pretty oily hair – will it eventually go back to the point where I can wear it out and not look gross?

    I haven’t used shampoo in months, but I have been using bi-carb soda once a week. Now I’m trying to do water only. I haven’t touched it with anything (not even water) for 3 weeks. It’s icky, but I put it up and it doesn’t bother me.

    But eventually I’d like to be able to go back to wearing it out and have a fringe.

  15. Hi Mimpy.

    Send us a picture!

    Well, with longer hair, it’s more complicated since the farther the hair gets from the scalp, the less it changes over time. What you need to try to do is get to an equilibrium where the scalp produces enough sebum to spread over all your hair, but doesn’t over-produce. I’d recommend not using shampoo for at least a year or perhaps more to reach this point. Then you can see how things are and take it from there.

    It is also worth noting, as others have pointed out, that hot water and cold water have different effects on the scalp, with hot water stimulating oil production (sebum comes off in hot water, so the scalp produces more) while cold water essentially keeps the status quo.

  16. I am on the no shampoo program only for a week and a half and I am extremely excited about the outcome already. I have fine frizzy hair. Suddenly it has volume and looks much more healthy.
    It was very strange to start it, as i am used to wash my hair until it is sqeecky clean.
    The hair feels thick.

    What i find works well is, i am normally taking a bath not a shower. I lie in the water with my hair and use a very fine comb to comb through the hair. It glides through the hair easily with no tangles. I also make vigorous washing movements with my hands. Also, using a bathcloth to “wash” the hair, takes away access oil. Drying the hair naturally in the sun, is also something i am trying to do in order to put back some natural highlights.

    The only thing that bothers me is how to get a haircut. I do not want to have my hair washed with shampoo.

  17. I went noshampoo for a week now. My hair itches at night but I’m coping. I have slight dandruff, it doesn’t show if I just water it down. However as I’ve previously dyed my hair to a lighter colour the roots are showing like crazy. I’m holding back not to re-touch the roots. I’m trying to grow out my hair and don’t really want to cut the colour ends. Anyways, I don’t care what people say. Last night I was tempted to just shampoo my hair but I resisted after reading the ingredients on the package. Right now I’m wearing a cap to conceal the hideousness but after another week I’m sure I’ll get adjusted!

  18. Hi David,

    As you can see in the Guide to going noshampoo, there is a lot of worrying at the beginning. I once heard that if you want to quit something, you need to think of something else to do instead. My advice: think about the meaning of life…

  19. I just counted the weeks since I went no poo, and its been 12! It seems like its been much longer, only because my hair grew like it was on steroids! Ive always had wavy-curly hair, but never was able to tame it to look wearable. It was always frizzy, dried, just UGLY! People at work have all asked me if I got a perm, or am wearing extensions, and they all think I lie when I tell them that I just stopped washing my hair! It got super curly, the color deepened and was extremely rich chocolately brown, its stronger not brittle and breaking. This was the best thing I’ve ever done! I was once a week with 2 drops of tea tree oil, 1 tsp baking soda for the shampoo and 2 cups water and enough apple cider vinegar to stain it and a dash of cinnamon to make it smell nice. At first I didnt use tea tree oil or cinnamon, I also tried to make an organic homemade dry shampoo with ground up oats corn meal coco powder (just a lot of different things I read ppl tried) and that didnt work. But experiment and google and find what works best for your scalp! I use tea teee oil because I developed slight dandruff and I read tea teee oil is an anti fungal and kills the dandruff. So try a few things but never overload your hair! ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. One week no-shampoo…so far totally awesome! i agree with comments above…once you ‘know’ there’s no going back really,especially for those who are pregnant or have children and are worried about the effect of chemicals on their body.
    Side-note:drastic improvement in the skin condition of my face as well since going no-shampoo, extremely soft, no spots at all(I decided to go no-soap or chemicals of any kind on my face as well,only water). And ladies, for those who pluck their eyebrows…yesterday I was amazed at how painless it was!seems that the natural moisture and oils must have made it easier for hairs to be plucked I guess…really cool discovery,can’t wait to see what happens next:)

  21. Been over five years since I stopped using shampoo. No regrets. Get your hair cut real short and then go for it.

  22. I started the challenge about 5 weeks ago (cold turkey) and I was really looking forward to the results! Unfortunally I was expecting them too soon. I STILL have greasy hair! I heard that it’s harder for people with straight hair, so I assumed I had to wait longer. But I have a bad feeling it’s because I’ve been wearing my hair up every single day. Maybe having it up keeps in the grease, thats what I’ve been wondering. I just hate having my hair down, it feels very uncomfortable. I’ve also had a bad build-up of dandruff! I guess it just shows what I’ve put my poor hair through. But I’m still carrying on, and I’m never going to touch shampoo and conditioner again. I can’t wait to get better results!

  23. I’ve been shampoo free long before I even knew it was a thing (how hipster of me XD). Sucks that this is several years old now and is probably just a blip in huge bank of Data that is the internet. I’ll say something anyway.
    I’ve been shampoo free for a few weeks now, I still use conditioner though (with all the money I save not buying shampoo I buy the best conditioner I can find). My trick is that I “shampoo” with egg yolks, olive oil, and honey. My hair that has been dyed red repeatedly feels like silk threads between my fingers. I only wash it once a week with this method sometimes even less than that and its like without the soapy shampoo and over washing, my scalp has been able to regulate its own oil production so it would take a really long time for it to get too greasy. Then again i’m a college age girl, so balding and thinning isn’t really a problem for me and maybe it never will be if I take care of my assets.

  24. Some of us are ahead of others! I think your shampoo recipe is great and I’ve tried similar recipes before. I’d watch out for egg yolk. I know it’s an age old recipe (used by bulgarians) but in modern plumbing, egg yolk can really wreak havoc. Try finding another emulsifier, like soya lecithin or even something like aloe vera gel. The caribbean people use cocoa pod gel, grated and pressed through a t-shirt. That is the rastafarian recipe. Good luck!

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