It’s not for the faint of heart.
Too dramatic, I know. But I have heard both success stories and horror stories of those who tried going off commercial shampoo. Some (like me) have lived to tell the tale (and I’m still experimenting with it). While others, well.. are regretfully living with their gummy hair. You get the picture.
So why even do it? Here’s why.
My background story
If you’ve followed my skin story (or if not, here are the links: here, here and here), you’ve heard me mention about HORMONE DISRUPTORS. These are chemicals that mess with our bodies and produce harmful effects. In my case, it gave me acne. Now, again, it was a complete overhaul for me – from diet, to skin care products used to lifestyle changes. So I can’t say whether it’s one or the other that helped me get rid of acne. It could be one. It could be the other. Or it could be all.
So why get so drastic? Now that I’ve eliminated 90% of my acne (still a few that pop out every now and then, and on my back. Grr..), why still continue it?
I do this because I believe in it.
These are harmful chemicals that we use on our bodies. Five hundred years ago, our ancestors did not have access to shampoos, conditioners, serums, dyes, leave-in masks and so on. And they did just fine. Call me backwards but the simple life does appeal to me.
But enough about that. Here’s how it went on for me.
I first read a whole lot about it. Some suggest using baking soda (cleaning) + apple cider vinegar (conditioning). But some suggest against it. I read about the water only method and decided to go that route first.
This is the scary part. This is the part where your hair will go through an identity crisis, not knowing whether it should continue producing oil or not. When we use traditional shampoo, we strip our hair of its natural oils so it produces even more. So while we wean off using shampoo, it continues to produce the same amount of oils, until it realizes, that hey, I no longer need to put out as much oil!
I slowly weaned off traditional shampoo, only shampooing every other day, then every 2 days until I could go on longer without it. Some days I would only wash with water. My hair was so oily and gummy, and thick and heavy (from all the oils) at this point. I would just tie it up. It just looked wet, which is good. But it didn’t smell good.
After about 2 weeks, I used shampoo bar and bought a boar bristle brush. Here’s what it looked like for me:
Day 1 – Wash with shampoo bar.
Day 2 – If I exercised and my hair’s all sweaty, wash with cold water only. Use boar bristle brush.
Day 3 – Wash with honey. Use boar bristle brush.
Day 4 – Wash with shampoo bar.
The problem was, my hair was still kind of oily on days 2 and 3 when I don’t use the shampoo bar. So I tried not washing it at all even if I get sweaty. And it worked out fine! It doesn’t oil anymore.
I miss the shampoo scent! It doesn’t smell bad. It just doesn’t smell like anything at all. It just smells like hair. Also, there are days when my hair still feels gummy, like the residues were not completely washed off. Some days it can also feel flat.
Why it may not work for you
- It’s too much work. You don’t have the time or luxury to wait out for your hair to stop being oily.
- You can’t afford to be seen out with greasy gummy hair.
- You’ll miss working up a nice lather when you wash your hair.
- You’ll miss the sweet shampoo smell too much.
Yeah, I miss the scent too. That’s why I’m now trying to wash with castile soap and see if there’s any difference.
The experiment continues. Let me know your experience going no poo.