My Personal No ‘Poo Challenge

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Hoping I Don't Look Like This Next Week...
Hoping I Don't Look Like This Come Next Week...

No, I haven’t given up my beans and roughage.  I’ve given up shampoo.  I know it sounds radical, but I gave it a lot of thought – at least 7 minutes – and decided I was up for the challenge.  I recently finished reading Sleeping Naked is Green, and so I was inspired to do something extra.  I’ve been using natural and chemical-free shampoos for years and with great results, but for some reason my hair has been acting up lately.  Perhaps it’s the changing seasons or (ahem) my changing age, but even while using my most trusted bottles of natural shampoos and conditioners, my hair was completely disobeying me.  

So in a strange blend of experimentalism and curiosity, I set aside my shampoo and went the no ‘poo route.  For the past seven days (did I really make it that far already???) I’ve been using either a vinegar rinse, the rosemary sage tea I talked about last week, or just plain water – and lots and lots of scrubbing!  So far the results are very surprising.  My hair feels clean and not oily, I don’t need a conditioner, and my very thick mane that has always given me fits is easily combed through with my fingers.  I haven’t needed any hair product except occasional light mists of hairspray on windy days.  I’ll be honest, I’m a little icked out that I haven’t used any shampoo, but my hair actually looks and feels good, and it’s much more manageable than I’m used to!  The rosemary keeps my hair smelling really good, but even on the days I don’t use it, I haven’t had any issues or spousal complaints.  Since I’ve always rinsed out vinegar after using it (not everyone does), I never smell like a salad bar.  

But still I’m a little icked out.  

I’ll keep up the experiment for as long as it works, and I’ll keep you posted either way.  I did a lot of research on the subject today (perhaps I should have done that a week ago), and I’m finding there’s actually a lot of controversy and heated debate on the topic!  I imagined it would work differently for everyone, but the two sides of the issue are pretty strong.  I’m still teetering in the middle somewhere.  I haven’t had the grease issues a lot of people go through, but I imagine that’s because I haven’t used conventional shampoos for a few years, so my hair didn’t have to go through the transition of figuring out how to deal with no sulphates or other chemicals.  

Overall, I’m bouncing between a self-satisfied “Bear Gryllis would be proud” moment to “Ick – what the heck am I doing?”  At least I can enjoy the survival aspect of it even though it’s hard to feel like a survivalist in the middle of suburbia.  In the meantime, please let me know if you’ve ever tried this, thought about trying it, or know someone who did and suddenly woke up bald.  I’ll keep you posted on my results and whether I get bogged down by the ick factor or eventually start up my own survival show living off dandelions and tracking wild carrots in the depths of suburbia.  Or if I end up looking like good ol’ Fido here.

10 thoughts on “My Personal No ‘Poo Challenge

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  2. actually yes, I know a girl who doesn’t use shampoo anymore, for years now, only water, and her pretty red curly hair look perfect! Not joking, don’t think any salon products could do any better! It’s really amazing, and also sounds really promising, I mean, should try it too:) I’ve been using those eco shampoos for a year or so, and olive oil soap for my hair for a month or so. and, one thing I love about it most, no need to wash my hair daily anymore! I mean, they look and feel (and smell) good even after 2 hot sunny days! so good luck to you with your experiment, hope you don’t have to use any shampoo ever again:)

  3. Thanks for the encouragement, Mia! I keep feeling like I must go wash my hair – but when I feel it and look at it in the mirror, by golly, it looks and feels clean!

  4. I’ve never lasted more than a week. It seems my hair holds the natural oils a bit too well. Maybe if I did a vinegar rinse that would help to eliminate the coating 😀 Thank you for your post, very interesting concept. I hate reading all the crap on the label of shampoo bottles. I’ve tried paraben, laurel sulphate free but wind up buying the more convenient Suave or baby shampoos that are cheap and available.

  5. Ick, what are you doing? I can’t say I would try this. My hair, I would assume, would not detangle. I have to cake my hair with conditioner or I am not getting out of the shower. Although, I have in the past few weeks left it naturally curly and found in manageable if I DON’T do a thing with it. Seriously, I wrap it in a towel for a few minutes, pull the towel off and let it air dry. Not even a comb or a blow dryer. Once it’s dry I use a shine drop/gloss drops, or a light gel. Seems to be working and my hair is not knotting underneath as it did when I combed it out. But, ya, good luck with this. You are more of an organic tester than I will ever be. :)

    Angie Schweigerts last blog post..Getting To Know Jen Hendershott

  6. I love Rosemary Hair rinses!! I usually use it after washing with a gentle shampoo.
    For all of your Blonde and light color blog readers..either Chamomile or Calendula(yellow marigold) are also great hair rinses. No need to use vinegar when using, unless desired.
    Have a great weekend;)

  7. I have been doing this for years now. The most surprising thing was the way I found out about it. A hairstylist on a TV show doing a makeover told the model that he never uses shampoo just rinses his hair with water. He told her to smell his hair that it didn’t stink. She seemed to think he was very weird but said no his hair smelled fine. At that time I was having a problem with all the chemicals in shampoo so I tried it. It took a little while for my hair to adapt, was a bit oily for a while, but soon it was perfect. For me the “Ick” factor is all the nasty and unneccessary chemicals and the inflated prices of shampoo.

  8. Question, how would this work with hair that is colored??? I’ve been trying to fight grey since I was 18 (it’s an Irish thing) and so I’ve been coloring my hair religiously since then otherwise I would be overly salty pepper. What would be great is if I could find natural products to color my hair. Any clues? Thanks!

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