The whole “no ‘poo” aka Shamphree haircare strategy is growing in popularity, but for those of us who A) used to have dreads or hair extensions or B) are lazy slobs, it’s just the way things go.
I spent 1999-2001 with a crazy assemblage of dreads and extensions, and only washing my hair once a month. Then I spent 2006-2011 wearing my hair in two pink-tipped braids all day, every day, and only washed my hair twice a month. It was awesome and it worked great.
It did mean, however, that I needed to use a shower cap to keep my hair dry when I wasn’t washing it in the shower. I had some mangey plastic shower cap I’d gotten from a hotel room, but it grossed my partner out.
“It’s like a gross drippy jellyfish hanging around the bathroom like trash,” my then-boyfriend (now husband) complained.
“It squicks me out.”
Never one to miss an opportunity to buy myself something cute, I immediately hunted down an adorable retro shower cap, complete with a big fake flower on the side. This was back in the dark-ages of the internet (before Etsy, even… I KNOW!), so the only cute ones I could find were made by some Australian sold via a Yahoo Store.
Man, it’s so easy now, you guys. Amazon sells a whole range of these cuties, and lemme tell ya: if you’re going the “no ‘poo” route, this $12 zebra print shower cap with a huge pink rose is a pretty sweet way to say “I don’t wash my hair very often.”
There are ton of cheap options on Amazon, and even more on eBay, including one that looks like an upside-down ice cream cone. (WTF?)
Fess up: who’s doing NO ‘POO?
Comments on Fancy-ass cute shower caps are kind of awesome (especially if you’re doing “no ‘poo”)
Those are so adorable I’d want to rock one just as a hat!
My Auntie lives in NW Australia and is a real shopaholic and seeker of luxury, despite living almost in the middle of nowhere.
For her 60th I bought her a luscious shower cap from https://www.sopretty.com.au/ and she loved it! I imagine her sipping champagne whilst up to her earrings in expensive scented bubbles!
OMG, I think that’s the site I got mine from originally way back in the day!! I couldn’t even remember the site’s name, but I think that was it!!
Yay! It was you mentioning Australia that prompted me to find the address in my old emails. It was 4 years ago now and the seller was very helpful as I recall.
I live in NW Australia! If it’s not too stalker-y, what town is she in/near?
On topic, I only wash my hair every 3-4 days and have some boring shower caps. The spotty one is So cute! I love spots! <3
Hey Kathryn, she lives in Karratha, but I’ve never been. I only made it as far north as Monkey Mia when I visited. I loved WA though, especially Perth. 🙂
I use no ‘poo, because I have super curly hair which, frankly, doesn’t need it. I just “co-wash” – cleanse my hair with conditioner – a couple of times a week. I do straighten my hair occasionally, though, and because it doesn’t get greasy, I can keep a straight/wavy ‘do going as long as it doesn’t get wet… so a cute shower cap is just what I need! Thanks!
Quick question, was your hair ever greasy before your no poo method?
I have super curly hair too, but if I go a day without washing it, it ends up totally greasy. Would it be the shampoo causing it?
I’m pretty lucky in that I never had problems with greasy hair – only frizz, which cutting out shampoo has really helped. But I think, in theory, that weaning your hair off of shampoo is supposed to make your scalp produce less oil because you’re not drying it out. *shrug* I actually finish cleansing by applying an oil all over my hair starting about an inch from the root and adding extra to the ends.
I have curly hair that I used to wash every day, now I use an egg yolk rinse once a week and it’s curly and bouncy in between. One reason it was greasy before was the products I had to use, which I’ve now cut out. Second, the more you wash your hair, the more oil your scalp produces. I’d be willing to bet that if you’re using product daily, that’s a big contributor to your grease.
I’ve got curly hair too, but I only ever wash it ever 2-3 weeks. There’s a general idea that the more you wash your hair, the faster it’ll produce oils to make up for all the ones you wash away. I switched to No-poo last summer, and only use shampoo if I feel my hair is exceptionally oily (maybe every 2 months?). It’s been working out well for me.
On the other hand, I always at least get my hair wet, because letting my hair air-dry with mousse or gel is the key to nice curls for me.
My hair is straight, but it tends to get very greasy after 1 day of not washing (I was washing every other day, just cause daily was too much work). I recently started working in a salon as a receptionist, and believe it or not they even encourage clients to…well not the “no ‘poo” method, but to limit washing hair as much as possible.
Most of us shoot for once a week. When we do shampoo we only use a teeny tiny amount of sulfate free shampoo and only apply it to the roots. There are some European style shampoos that don’t have the chemicals listed above, and while they don’t lather like American style, they do the job better. I’ve been getting long and longer in between shampoos(I’m down to about every 4 days)and I’m definitely noticing better hair. I colour it, and without shampooing my colour is lasting longer, and I’m noticing more of that pretty “hair commercial” shine to my hair. Plus it just feels lighter.
For days that I can’t take it but want to avoid shampoo I use a hairspray that is a “dry shampoo”. Again I just spray it at the roots and then use my fingers to run it through my hair. It really helps with the greasiness and I get another day or two before I need shampoo.
So, is not getting your hair wet the key to no ‘poo? Because I like the idea of it, but if I go one day without washing my hair, it’s a stringy, flat, mess of grease. I have very little (thinning) hair though, so maybe that’s why.
I also am super intrigued by how this works for people with fine limp (AKA stingy greasy) hair. I go more than 36 hrs without a shower and I look like Gollum…..Maybe that’s a Jessica problem? 🙂
I have SUPER thin straight hair and I haven’t washed it with shampoo since October of 2011. It used to get greasy if I didn’t wash it every day because your scalp overcompensates by producing extra oil when you strip all of its oils away by shampooing. When i quit washing it, I first cut down to once a week and it was still super greasy in between, so I wore lots of hats or pinned it up to hide the gross until my scalp adjusted and I just stopped washing it altogether. My hair is still thin, but its not frizzy, I have no split ends, and it actually has a little bit of volume instead of being stupid and flat!
Dry shampoo (aka baby powder or rice flour) is my saviour. I have fine hair but a lot of it so it does look thicker and thats what I use. I wash once a week on average.
I have super thin, fine, straight, oily hair and have been trying no-poo since November. I rinse my hair with a baking soda solution followed by an ACV solution (via http://www.crunchybetty.com/no-poo-to-you-too). I can’t go a month between washing, but I can get away with just twice a week. Hoping it fully adjusts like Hannah’s one day! 🙂
I have super thin/greasy hair too, but I couldn’t get away with no poo… my hair never regulated. However, I have cut down from every day to 2-3 times a week, which keeps the flyaways away and the grease at a minimum!
I mentioned it above, but have you tried dried shampoos? They’re sprays or powders that you can just brush through your hair and leave in, that don’t strip hair like traditional shampoo. It’s pretty awesome.
Another Jessica(h) speaking up. Fine, limp, greasy hair here too.
Different methods of no ‘poo are different. 🙂
Some people do a cold water only rinse, some use baking soda which they rinse out, some do vinegar rinses, some avoid water altogether. Most people who avoid water have extensions or dye that need protecting.
They also usually dry their hair with t-shirts, which I think everyone should do!
Please write a no poo article 🙂
I’ve just started no poo on account of being unemployed I have fine, dead straight super greasy hair. I really want to avoid the crap in hair products and to avoid the precious time wasted washing hair. I’m already no soap on the body and my skin is much happier. So I’ve done my first bicarb wash vinegar rinse after two weeks of no wash or water. Worked great hair appears thicker and still looking okay after a hot yoga class. I’m patiently waiting for it to settle down fully and really want to know detailed options and methods as I haven’t found a good website yet. Thanks!!.
I love HTHG! I actually found this site through a bridal hair tutorial on OBB.
I’m curious, why should everyone dry their hair with t-shirts?
The texture is finer and doesn’t break up curls as much.
This is true. When I use a towel I can see the frizz after, but a T-shirt doesn’t cause nearly as much.
My hair is very finely textured too and while I don’t exactly “no-poo”, I only wash my hair every 2-3 days. I started doing this because my scalp was getting way too dry from daily shampooing and I had dandruff. On my non-shampooing days I use a dry shampoo on my hairline/bangs. After brushing that out my hair doesn’t look greasy/stringy anymore.
I’ve been no-poo-ing for a couple months now, and I just let my hair get wet when I shower — I “wash” my hair with water, then rinse it with diluted apple cider vinegar (honestly, is there anything to which baking soda and/or vinegar is NOT the solution?!)… I also haven’t been showering every day, though — about once a week, and just washing off with a washcloth in between, ’cause I’m lazy about showering. I’ve found that my hair is way less frizzy when I’m no-poo-ing, so I could see it being flat if you don’t have a lot of hair.
(I do have a shower cap — stolen from a hotel room — but I keep it in my bicycle pannier and use it as a saddle cover if I’m leaving my bike where it might get wet…)
Just started not using shampoo, I was told there was going to be weeks of a transition time where my hair would look awful but seriously- the first time I used baking soda and rinsed with apple cider vinegar my hair was instantly changed. I haven’t washed for almost four days and it still looks great (coming from daily washing). I would definitely give it a chance. I did it because this winter is wreaking especially bad dry havoc on my skin and hair so I figured I could use all the natural oils I can get!
Anyone here with dandruff that can successfully not use shampoo? If I use regular shampoo or no shampoo for a few days my scalp feels like the gross grasshopper from A Bug’s Life.
Yes! I have really curly hair, so I co-wash with sulfate/silicone free conditioners. In the winter I get super flaky, so I use a tea tree oil conditioner that is supposed to help with that. I also use a deep conditioner, or one that feels thick, let it sit for a while in the shower, and rinse. That controls the flakes pretty well for me.
Try putting tea tree oil in your hair. My hairdresser suggests this instead of dandruff shampoo, and I love that there’s less chemicals in it.
How do you use it, exactly? Do you put a few drops in the bottle or in your hair directly?
Dandruff is the reason I stopped using shampoo two months ago. My scalp was always itchy and (TMI) scabby/sore. I’d read about the antibacterial properties of baking soda but didn’t take the plunge to try it as a shampoo alternative until I complimented a friend’s hair one day and she told me she’d been using baking soda to wash her hair for nearly a year.
I keep a plastic cup in the bathroom and add a couple scoops of baking soda to it before my shower, swirling it around with a bit of really hot water. When I’m ready to was my hair I add more water, mix it up and pour it in stages around my scalp, massaging it in with my fingers. It doesn’t lather and it takes a few tries to feel natural but it’s been incredible.
My hair and scalp have never felt or looked better. I don’t use a vinegar rinse because I don’t need it. my friend still uses commercial conditioner on the ends of her hair, though. I can get away with washing my hair three times a week but I know that a lot of that is because of how I want to style it and how much my hands are in my hair during the day. I could get down to twice or once a week if I were willing to endure the greasy transition period while my hair adjusts to fewer washings.
I couldn’t recommend this method more!
Me! I found that it was actually the daily shampooing that was giving me dandruff. I switched to several times a week and my scalp isn’t itchy/flaky anymore.
I love not washing my hair! Except these days I’m swimming in a heavily chlorinated pool and I’ve started washing it more often because it grosses me out.
But for a while there I washed it once a week and then once every two weeks. For people struggling with greasiness–it took me some time to adjust. I started with every other day, and once it wasn’t getting greasy after that I went to every 2 days, and then kept increasing it from there. Your scalp will adjust to how much oil it needs, and I think switching gradually is the key. It definitely was for me, because greasiness makes me crazy, and there’s no way I would have stuck out a week back in the beginning before adjusting.
And to the topic at hand–those are adorable! I actually get my hair wet when not washing it, but this does cause some dreading, so maybe it’s time to switch over!
I have been doing conditioner only washing for over a year now and I love it. I do shower every other day, washing my hair each time, and it feels great. It’s so much easier to manage and my curls get to do their thing without me hating it 🙂
About once a month or two I will shampoo my hair and then give it a cholesterol treatment, it makes my hair feel super soft when I do this.
I’m curious if any of you no-poo’ers exercise regularly? When I come out of a Zumba class, my hair is soaked with sweat (gross, sorry). I can’t imagine not washing it at that point, and actually, if I do sweat and don’t wash it, my head gets super itchy.
I do! I work out 3-4 days a week and I always shower after. I just use conditioner only to wash my hair. My hair is curly so if I don’t wet it down and comb it through anyway the curls get matted down when I sleep.
When you “co-wash” (wash with conditioner) you just lather it on and use your fingers to massage/clean your scalp. Then you rinse it out and reapply conditioner the way you would normally.
It also must be stated that in order to go “no-poo” you need to use silicone-free conditioner or else your hair will dry and break due to silicone build-up. Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods store brands are silicone-free, as are some other drug store brands.
Here is a good tutorial, though it is directed at curly girls:
I do excercise, but even then I rarely wash my hair. I don’t find the sweat to be itchy, personally, but you could try just using conditioner in place of shampoo too. That’s what people are referring to when they say co-washing.
I use baking soda instead of shampoo and have found it to be just as effective after a heaving workout. Because it doesn’t lather, some of the psychological, “I’M GETTING SO CLEAN RIGHT NOW!” feelings are gone but it’s still clean afterwards. Plus, baking soda has properties that help kill some of the itch-causing bacteria.
I wash my hair about every 5 days but in my case it is laziness and forgetfulness because while I shower pretty much everyday I can’t stand using a blow dryer on my hair and it takes hours to dry, but to be honest it does pretty good without washing it daily, I dont wash it until I notice it starting to separate and these days that is about every 5th day. My husband is on about a 4 day schedule with it but his hair is very long and he has dandruff so eventually I tell him to go wash it.
I swear by using a super absorbent microfiber towel to wrap my hair in, after showering, to shorten dry time (as I only blow dry my hair approximately once a in a blue moon). I have longer hair and doing this has really shortened my dry time, I just wrap my hair in the towel and leave it up for 10-20 minutes depending on what my schedule is that day. And I never rub my hair with a towel at all 8)
I use conditioner only, and love it. My hair, though mostly straight and fairly normal has always been a bit dry and frizzy (when I used shampoo, i could go about three days between washes). Since I switched to conditioner its been amazing. Also, I’ve always had a problem with shampoo making my scalp itchy if I use the same one for any length of time, and the problem is completely gone now. Yay for a non-itchy scalp and well behaved soft hair!
I’ve found some conditioners work better than others, and it’s a bit more expensive because I use a lot more conditioner and rub it into my hair pretty vigorously, but totally worth it. My long haired boyfriend, who has slightly more oily hair than mine, but still prone to frizz (we both have a lot of sun damage because of our work) ended up with a greasy mess when he tried it, so he’s back with shampoo.
Not the most practical solution, but being pregnant I have been able to go ages (like 10 days or longer) without washing my hair and it looks like it was washed that morning. It’s something to do with the hormones and stuff, which also stops your hair falling out so it’s heaps thicker too. But apparently some time after you give birth it starts falling out again in handfuls. Not looking forward to that!
What about no ‘poo for itchy scalps? I have thick, wiry hair, but if I go more than 24 hours without shampooing, my scalp gets incredibly, distractingly itchy (particularly around my hairline).
Last winter I tried doing a vinegar and soda rinse with a little tea tree oil for my flakiness, but that didn’t cut it. I’ve tried using just conditioner, too, and it’s okay for a day – but then the itchiness begins. Halp!
I have seborrheic dermatitis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seborrheic_dermatitis) on my scalp, but I’m interested in trying to go no ‘poo. Is anyone out there that has tried no ‘poo and succeeded in not having any flaky outbreaks?
I have the same condition. All of the pain of dandruff AND oily hair. I’m so blessed. xD I’m still on a cycle of washing every two to three days, no water or co-washing in between and using eco nature something or the other store-bought shampoo. What I’ve been doing so far (and what I did before I started no ‘pooing [teehee]) is scrubbing my head once or twice a month with Neutrogena’s T-Gel shampoo. That stuff is sludgy and thick and gets its name from the tar it contains, but boy does it ever work. Use a very stiff plastic brush (I stole one of my dad’s that fits in the palm of my hand and works on his military cut) and scrub the ever-loving hell out of your scalp until you can finally feel the fresh skin under the layers of flake. Rinse all the flakes out and treat your hair to a nice conditioning (the T-Gel conditioner has no tar and smells like cherry Sucrets). You can do this as often as once a week, if you really need it.
Thank you! I’m going to have to try this on my own some day soon 🙂
I commented above but in case you don’t see it, here are the important bits:
Dandruff/itchy/infected/oily scalp is the reason I stopped using shampoo two months ago. Baking soda has effective anti-bacteria properties and I’d read a few articles by physicians suggesting it as a shampoo alternative for dealing with scalp fungus.
I keep a plastic cup in the bathroom and add a couple scoops of baking soda to it before my shower, swirling it around with a bit of really hot water. When I’m ready to wash my hair I add more water, mix it up and pour it in stages around my scalp, massaging it in with my fingers. It doesn’t lather and it takes a few tries to feel natural but it’s been incredible.
My hair and scalp have never felt or looked better. My head is still itchy on occasion but not unbearably so and my hair line is no longer peppered with flakes and scabs. The scalp-pimples have also gone down. I suggest giving it a try; if it doesn’t work for you, you can always go back and a box of baking soda isn’t exactly an investment.
Once you find what works you can gradually train your hair to require less washing by going longer and longer between washes until it adjusts (this works for shampoo, too!).
One of you Homies has got to appreciate this sequin disco cap.
And a SHARK (in case anyone wants to bombard Megan with even more shark stuff)
I second the no-poo articles that people are calling out. I’ve been using shampoo/soap bars from Chagrin Valley soap (highly recommend- all natural ingredients, homemade, yadayada) but I want to try no-poo to see how it goes for me. (And since I’m in college I can afford to look disastrous for a while in order to work things out. ^^)
I’m really interested in no-‘poo but I have no idea how to go about it. I really hate shampooing my hair, almost as much as I hate it being wet and also using a hairdryer. I also dye my hair red, which washes out crazy fast. I start with a beautiful copper color and end up blonde by the end of the month.
How long does it take for your hair to adjust? Does it work well for everyone, even people like me with fine, straight hair but tons and tons of it? How do you keep it from getting stale and gross smelling? A lot of times I feel like I have to wash my hair just to get rid of that “old hat” smell or if someone smokes around me and my hair just reeks of cigarettes.
My mom is a hairdresser, and she kind of harrumphs my questions about no-‘poo and says she doesn’t know.
I do the classic baking soda and apple cider vinegar business. I’ve been doing it for about five years and it is working well for me. I wash my hair about once a week and whenever I get my haircut the stylist usually comments on how she can tell I take really good care of my hair.
I have thick, but fine hair and it doesn’t seem to make my hair exceptionally more shiny or full that I can tell at this point, but it does not feel dry. When I use shampoo occasionally when I am on vacation or the day before my wedding because I was too lazy to go shower at home with my baking soda and vinegar, I find my hair seems a little more straw like. It isn’t extreme but it is noticeable.
I like doing no ‘poo because I get a kick out of one ingredient hair care and by not having to buy something that everyone says you have have HAVE to buy.
I just started no-poo yesterday with a baking soda rinse /apple cider vinegar solution combo! I’m excited to see how it works. I think after the first time it feels a little fuller like I can feel the extra oils (that werent stripped out by the shampoo)
I’ve just started no ‘poo in the last week, but I’m having issues with my hair being super greasy, to the point where running my hands through my hair makes my hands greasy. I’ve noticed that if I rinse my hair and scrub it towel dry, some of the excess will come off, but not enough to make a difference. Anyone have any ideas? I’ve got more oil than my dry shampoo is working with!
I’ve managed to braid back my short hair to keep it away from my skin, which is freaking out for some reason, but it’s frustrating.
I’ve been using the oil cleansing method on my face for a while (I’m having issues where it isn’t working for the last month or so, for some reason), and I’ve switched between no soap scrubbing and olive oil scrubs to help my dry winter skin. It feels weird in the shower, but my skin feels fabulous after the oil soaks in.