Giving up shampoo and washing my hair less ICKS ME OUT — how can I make natural hair care products fit my life?

Posted by

Lauren has a burning question:

Wild & red hair dayI really enjoyed the advice on brightening up red hair. In fact, Evathedefiler’s comment led me to buy natural shampoo bars from Southland Soap.

Now I’m a little intimidated by my journey into Pantene Pro-V-free living, especially since I haven’t had the best luck with this stuff before; trying to wash my hair every other day gave me icky shame. Could I get some advice on what to expect when you’re switching to less-traditional hair care? I’d like to hear about the face and body, too.

Hi Lauren! Here’s the dealio: Your head takes quite a while to adjust to changes like the frequency of washes or the type of shampoo. It takes less time if you’re going from Pantene Pro-V to Biolage because both products are, basically, detergents. Moving from Pantene to something lighter often entails a much bigger change.

Everyone’s experience will probably vary, thanks to the differences in hair texture and body chemistry. I’ve been playing with assortments of arrangements this year: no shampoo, Dr. Bronner’s, washing alllll the time and washing less often — it’s interesting to see how dropping “traditional” shampoos has changed the nature of my previously wild-and-crazy hair.

What do you think, Homies? Have you had a sweet deal or a horrible time experimenting with “non-traditional” hygiene?

Comments on Giving up shampoo and washing my hair less ICKS ME OUT — how can I make natural hair care products fit my life?

  1. I’ve been going the baking soda and apple cider vinegar route for my hair for under a year and it works great for me. Regular shampoo gave me mad dandruff, yes even dandruff shampoo, so I was willing to try something that sounded totally bogus. Everyone’s hair is different, but I wash my hair every two days usually, more often if I have an intense sweaty workout. Some people have a long transition period where their hair feels weird when going to BS/ACV, but I didn’t, once again we’re all different.

    Some days, like when I accidentally wet my hair before baking soda treatment, I use Trader Joe’s shampoo because it doesn’t have any harmful crap in it and it smells very nice.

    As for face and body I use Dial soap, but have been using baking soda to exfoliate and it was like magic.

  2. I now wash my hair only once a week or sometimes twice, and I have oily hair… Which isn’t a problem now that I switched out the products that I use. My hair, in general, seems a lot healthier and my natural red hair looks more vibrant than ever. Oh, and I have loose, natural curls that actually curl instead of frizz.

    When I wash my hair, I use the V05 super-cheap shampoo with silk protein (99 cents at my local drug store!) – I try to use a fairly small amount, but my hair is long and thick, so I use an amount about the size of a half-dollar on my palm when I lather up.

    The real thing that has made washing my hair less frequently a success is using an oil-free leave-in conditioning spray by Oyin Handmade – I use “Frank juice” which is scented with frankincense and myrrh, and smells awesome, but they also sell it in other varieties. This stuff causes your hair to suck up moisture from the air around you, meaning that it draws in moisture on horrible humid days (hello Boston in the summertime) or steam from the bathroom, and pulls it into the hair. If I see my hair getting a little frizzy during the day, I just dampen my fingertips and run them through the frizzy areas, which helps tame the curls when I’m wearing my hair down.

    Being able to skip a daily hair-washing has drastically reduced my morning routine. For a while, I had a really short, awesome bob that I flat-ironed – I worked out a routine where I would wash my hair in the evening twice a week, and flat-iron it then, and then wear a shower cap during my daily morning shower (and do a quick touch-up with the flat iron, if it needed it). This was a major life-saver when I had a job working really early in the morning. Plus, y’know, the whole being happier with how my hair looks and feels.

    • For me this is the ultimate example of how different hair can be.

      I actually cringed at the idea of shampoo that enourages your hair to absorb moisuture. That is exactly what makes mine frizzy, and as a result hopelessly tangled and eventually looking like some kind of mound around my head.

  3. Two houses ago, I did the baking soda/apple cider vinegar thing for a while, using olive oil as a leave-in on the ends, and it was AWESOME. My hair was suddenly super wavy (previously was kind of straight/limp with some random flippiness) and even lightened up a bit at the ends to a kind of reddish color, which was a cool effect. But in our last house the water was super hard and chlorinated and the baking soda/vinegar method wouldn’t work. I haven’t tried it in our new (owned) house yet but I’m hoping to achieve the results I got before! Right now I wash my hair every ~3 days with Giovanni shampoo.

    Anyway, all that to say that it does depend a lot on your individual hair, but it might also depend on your water situation. So if you’ve tried it in the past with bad results but have moved since then, try again! You never know.

    • You bring up a good point about the water. When I lived in Florida, practically anything left my hair feeling soft. Here in Albuquerque, the water is very, very hard and it is difficult to get anything to lather in my hair or to rinse clean.

    • i’ve gone the baking soda/vinegar route for four years now, and it’s done wonders for my hair. i have thick, thick wavy-ish hair, and i grew up in the south, which meant, with most shampoo/conditioner (incl. dr bronner’s), HUMIDITY FRIZZ. when i switched to the baking soda and vinegar, the frizz toned down completely, my hair curled up, and the color lightened at the tips.
      my now-husband has the same kind of hair, and i introduced him to the method when we met two years ago. we both tell everyone we wish we’d known about it as kids/teenagers – it would have saved us a lot of out-of-control frizzy days.

      i’m curious about the olive oil – i’ll have to give it a try.

  4. I have been using Dr. Bronner’s for washing my hair and body for years. If I am in the position that I have to use chemical products then my hair feels less clean, my scalp itches and sometimes breaks out. I shower and wash my hair everyday but that is my personal preference.

    • Like someone else said, it’s AMAZING how different things work for different hair types – I tried Dr. Bronner’s on my hair for a while, and it MADE my hair greasy. Every time I would use it, it was a slick mess. I was SO bummed, because I REALLY wanted to like it.

  5. I wash my hair once every two weeks and don’t use any product or brush it.

    In the distant past, I had been yelled at about washing my hair every day. Several times I attempted to go every other day without washing, but always hated feeling dirty from not showering. About a year and a half ago, someone pointed out that I could still shower, and just rinse my hair. Wow! So I started doing that, just washing/conditioning every other day, no product or conditioner in the meantime (and no brushing). There was a period of greasiness to adjust to, but eventually my hair started being totally awesome all the time. So I started to go every two days. Did that until I adjusted, and kept spreading out the time. Eventually I got to once a week, which I did for about four months or so, always ending the week pretty greasily. One day I was telling someone this, at the end of the week, and I touched my hair and it was totally fine! So I pushed it out another week. That was about four months ago, and I’m currently on day 5, and it’s like I have freshly washed hair. Maybe someday I’ll get to once a month!

    I usually use a liberal amount of shampoo, which I apply directly to my roots, avoiding the ends. Then I rinse and use conditioner (which I never do without washing first) and use a good amount. This time I avoid the roots (I’m gonna produce enough oil on my own, thank you very much!) and apply to the ends and what is occasionally a big dreadlocked mess in the back. Sometimes I have to keep conditioning till I get all the knots out.

    I have naturally curly wavy hair, and I chose to do this as a way to stop drying it out and to make it do its happy pretty thing. Also because the shampoo/conditioner racket drives me nuts. I use V05 because it doesn’t have whatever that thing is that curly hair hates, and because it costs less than a dollar. Honestly I should really brush it in the shower, which would maybe cut down on the rat’s nest issues at the end of the cycle, but I don’t own a brush. Someday…

    Advice: if you’re skipping days, try rinsing it, because it helps to not feel greasy.

    I know most people use product and love it, but if you can avoid it, there’s less stuff to guck up your hair.

    Power through the greasiness as much as you can. Most likely, your hair should naturally adjust. Shampoo strips your hair of natural oils, and conditioner puts them back. If you take out the unnecessary steps, your hair should find its own natural balance.

  6. I wash daily but have recently switched from pantene to happy hair products which are without the bad bits. Since changing I now have glossier hair, less frizz and less of an itchy scalp! Hooray!
    I wash everyday due to the fear of spots!

  7. I have oily skin, so I was my bangs every day. I do my whole head every other day. When I exercise, sometimes I put some tea tree in there beforehand, and then just rinse my head after the work out.

    If it’s sumer and gross and sweaty, try just washing your temples and hair line (including the back if the neck).

    You can rinse your hair with beer too!

  8. If you want a really killer intro to washing with baking powder and apple cider vinegar, this guide is great… – I do this sometimes and it feels amazing – sooo clean! I haven’t tried coconut oil conditioner yet. At the moment I’m still mainly using normal shampoo and conditioner, but my hair did feel amazing after doing it this way – it’s just a bit more of a faff in the shower.

  9. I have very oily hair. If I go even one day without washing, it’s disgusting. It’s also very fine and straight. I’ve tried going without washing it, but it looks awful. Any advice on alternatives? I can’t see how waiting several days will change the limp grossness that my hair becomes. :/

    • Part of that may just be because your hair is use dto being washed every day. I totally sympathize with you about fine, thin hair and its inability to look at all good when it’s gross. But maybe go for a few weeks washing it every third day or so, and see if it gets used to that. Also, using shampoos that don’t dry out your hair actually help. And personally I find that getting my hair wet without washing it makes it greasier. Anyway, good luck… Maybe try that Lush shampoo down a couple posts? I am thinking of giving it a go…

      • If you keep washing your hair, your scalp says to itself “Wow I am dry! I know what I’ll do, put out more oil!” So yeah, transitioning from frequent washing to less frequent is hard because it takes a while for your body to realize that it can ease up on the oil output. I went through about a year of weird hair before I struck the current balance of washing once a week with a very mild shampoo. I was a thick and oily hair person before that, washing it every day.

      • My hair was incredibly greasy as well. Washing it every day really dried it out badly though. I started washing it every other day, but for the non-wash days, I would wet my hair, gently rub my fingertips on my scalp to give it a scrub (don’t use your nails!). Allow it to dry, sprinkle a little baby powder on your brush/comb and voila! No grease!

        Now my hair is so used to being washed every other day/3rd day (sometimes I can go 4 days) that I can leave off the baby powder completely.

    • I have really fine hair too, which used to be prone to oil. I’ve been doing the baking soda apple cider vinegar for almost two months, and it is totally different now.

      Day two is usually the worst, but I find my hair really improves after a lot of brushing. I think the no-poo technique suggests a boar-bristle brush, but I just alternate a brush and a comb.

      I second the baby powder suggestion, or if you have brunette hair (I do)and can pull off slightly reddish undertones, I really recommend unsweetened cocoa powder as a drying agent. Just brush it on with a make-up brush or fingers, let it sit, and brush out, and it’s almost cleaner than when I’ve washed it! It gets me up to 5 days without washing.

    • I have very fine thin hair…if I don’t wash and style it, I look like Gollum.

      HOWEVER, I have discovered that corn starch really gets rid of the oil if I don’t have time to wash it. I just dip my fingers into the corn starch and sort of sprinkle it into my hair with my hands. Use little bits at a time, because if you accidentally drop a bunch onto your scalp it looks like a powdered wig! It really works great though, and definitely gets me through a morning when I’m pressed for time!

  10. While this would be considered more traditional as far as hair care…I just use Lush products. I used to switch between drugstore brands like Aveeno, Fructis and Herbal Essences, but I found I had to wash my hair either everyday, or every other day.

    With my Lush products, I find I’m only washing my hair every 2-3 days unless I’m working out (then I wash it right after). I have a solid shampoo bar and a bottled conditioner. But they’re both vegan which is awesome. I use the Seanik solid shampoo and the Veganese conditioner.

    I have really straight, flat, and fine blonde hair. This stuff I use from Lush gives me instant volume and makes it so soft! I’m never going off of Lush again!

    • I LOVE Lush! I use their conditioner (American Cream) and have used Veganese in the past, both are great. I haven’t had much luck with their shampoo bars in the past, but i find with Lush that sometimes you have to try a few to find one that works for you. If you can access a store, they can give you samples first before you buy which is a major plus for me as their stuff isn’t cheap! But it is totally worth the cost to use products which are natural and work amazingly with your skin/hair.

      • I love the smell of American Cream, but it’s sadly too heavy for my hair (better for coarse, thick, and/or wavy/curly hair).

        I have used other bars like the Karma Komba (very good), and the Godiva as well. The Godiva bar was too heavy for me unfortunately. If you go into a Lush and say, “This is my hair type, these are the problems I’m having, and this is what I want to happen”, they’ll have a perfect combo in no time. I’m going to get the Marilyn hair treatment the next time I’m in!

        I love their samples too. I tried out the BIG shampoo (made with sea salt) before I bought Seanik. I loved BIG, but I liked the lasting power and travel capablities of the bars more.

        My husband uses Lush for his skin (Angel’s on Bare Skin cleanser, Breath of Fresh Air toner, and Vanishing Cream moisturizer). His skin has never looked better!

    • I’m a LUSH devotee, too. Just went in today, actually. I’ve been using Ultimate Shine lately, which seems perfect for my short, baby fine, blonde hair. I rinse my hair in the shower every day and shampoo maybe once a week at most. The bar lasts forever that way.

      My pixie cut styles a lot better the less I shampoo it and I only need the tiniest bit of conditioner.

    • Lush is amazing! My friend works there so I get a goody bag every birthday 😀 I find I need less product to wash my hair with too (I have very thick hair down to my mid-back, and I need maybe a blob every two weeks to keep it yummy) so the high price seems to level out.

      I tried to do the “don’t wash it and let the natural oils do the work”, but it was deemed an epic failure when cuddling in bed with the husband and he said, “Your hair smells of vomit. Please shower.”

    • Lush is wonderful! A solid Shampoo bar lasts me months! Fantastic stuff too! Smells great, now if you can get past some of the fake personalities (I used to work at one, trust me) the sales ladies/gents are eager to help

    • Oh yeah, totally with you all on Lush – it’s actual shampoo, but hippy-dippy-organic, so it’s a great alternative to ‘chemical’ shampoos, and the reduction of packaging is HUGE. I use Godiva when I have long hair (although I find that the shampoo part runs out more quickly than the conditioner part, usually) and squeaky green when my hair is short. Also, there is a company called Terressentials that makes a ‘mud’ hair cleanser. I LOVED it when I tried it a few years ago, but discontinued using it because at the time I was washing my hair every day (silly me) and the stuff was expensive. But, if you are someone who can wash your hair maybe once or twice a week, that stuff was AWESOME and I’d highly recommend it.

      As someone for whom baking soda worked beautifully, I have some thoughts on its imperfections. Every time I have traveled while maintaining my hair this way, I have had different results with baking soda. In Italy, for example, it was IMPOSSIBLE to use baking soda to any effect – and that’s after I FOUND the stuff, which took a whole week. The minerality of the water was just completely incompatible with the BS routine. I found a similar reaction in Connecticut, where my sister lives. My conclusion is that the quality of your water will influence how well BS works in your hair, in addition to your individual body chemistry, etc.

      I also gave up on apple cider vinegar long ago after my boyfriend complained that he could still smell it on me two days later. Instead, I found some powdered citric acid, as one might use either for sprouting plants or in certain candy recipes. I’m VERY conservative with how much I use, but it is odorless and works brilliantly.

  11. Every time I change my hair cycles up, my hair (and often skin) kind of freaks out and goes insta-grease for about a week or two. It usually takes me about this long for my hair to get used to the new system and not feel gross.
    I now shower and wash my hair every other day. This is usually when my skin starts getting oily and I get kinda smelly. And I hate getting my hair wet without washing it (and shower caps only do so much for me), so I just always shampoo/conditioner when I shower.
    I have started using the moisture “rainforest” shampoo from the Body Shop – it’s supposed to be pretty healthy for your hair, and smells great. My hair is different than it was before, and at first I felt like it was greasier, but actually I have decided that it’s simply healthier and more moisturized. I was NOT used to that, apparently.
    Anyway, I have super-straight, thinnish, long hair, fyi. Good luck!

  12. I wash my hair every two or three days, but I rinse and comb it out in the shower in between washes.I have short, very curly hair so if I want to re-style it I need to get it wet. I usually use Herbal Essences or plain old Dr. Bronner’s, but one day my coop had Shikai shampoo and conditioner on sale and that stuff is THE BOMB. Unfortunately, it’s pricey, so we only ever had the one bottle 🙁

    A few years ago I spent a summer avoiding the shower and found that when using Dr. Bronner’s my hair feels dry for the first day, but then manages to stay clean feeling without getting greasy for longer. Herbal Essences does make my hair feel greasy, but I alleviate that by rinsing in between washes. I’ve found that my hair is at its peak of lookin’ good and being amenable to my ideas for how to style it on the second day after a wash.

  13. Since you’re afraid of stopping washing your hair (like me!), I recommend Nature’s Gate Organic Shampoo and Conditioner. Sometimes I use baking soda as well. Best of luck!

  14. I had a pretty good routine going of washing and conditioning my hair every other day. It didn’t feel greasy and it looked best the morning of the second day if I could get away with just combing it with my fingers rather than brushing.

    All of a sudden, in the last month or so, my scalp has been itching like crazy and I’ve had dandruff, which I never had before. I haven’t switched shampoos or routines and I don’t know what’s going on with my head! I have been biking more, so maybe I need to wash more often or with a different shampoo since I’ve been sweating a lot?

  15. While I’ve been scaling down on chemicals in my personal care routine for years, I finally got around to removing every chemically based cosmetic and hygiene product in my bathroom. I started over from scratch with only plant based products. It was hard… I actually think my body went through some kind of chemical withdrawals, because I had migraines on and off for two weeks after the switch.

    At first, I thought everything plant based just didn’t work. I was using the plain old 365 bottle of shampoo and a slightly better conditioner, and thought that I just should have spent more money. But as my body adjusted, all of it started to work better. My hair became less oily between washes, and less flaky and itchy and dry immediately after washes (I live in the desert.) Sometimes I put pure jojoba oil on my scalp and ends if I’m feeling super dry, and it helps a lot, and isn’t heavily greasy like it would seem to be. I also rarely brush my hair, and it is down to my waist. I comb it out when I wash it and then it is fine until the next wash.

    Anyway, this is all to say that I think getting through the transition is more important than what you are actually using.

  16. it depends so much on what your hair is like. mine is very curly and long, so less conditioning is not an option – i don’t condition for the health of my hair, i do it to detangle enough to run a brush through. for about four years i went conditioner-only, but just the cheapy-cheap non-natural stuff. it was a big improvement over that and cheapy shampoo together – much more natural curl, less dry and frizz.

    i tried a bunch of the make-your-own natural hair stuff options, to little success – mostly, not detangly enough.

    now i use a shampoo targeted towards african-americans. it is awesome. i did a *long* search for a new shampoo, and found that (typically) the products aimed towards natural black hair were *much* less chemical-laden, much more clear ingredient-wise, and as a bonus usually not scented like disgusting fake flowers. brilliant. i still use cheap conditioner for detangling, but i find that using a good non-detergent shampoo *after* i condition washes out some of the conditioner that used to make my hair look a little greasy. win.

    also, my wife has very fine, straight hair. she uses burt’s bees shampoo and (finally) conditioner, and it is great. any other conditioner had made her hair really greasy. so, a lot of it is hit-or-miss testing.

    as for face – nothing has ever been as successful for me (dry and oily, acneful) as washing my face with baking soda.

    • i have long curly hair and i do a conditioner “wash” between shampoos (i shampoo weekly). i use a sulphate-free shampoo if i’m getting pretty oily or kinky curly shampoo or dr bronner’s when i’m just a little oily. i still have an itchy scalp no matter what i do, so i just live with it.

      one thing to note about dr bronner’s is that you need to water it down two parts water, one part soap. it is really concentrated and if you put it on your hair straight-up, it will dry it out.

  17. I routinely dye my hair black, thats not changing, my mousy grey hair is impossible to match fake hair to, and black is super easy to find and usually pretty cheap too. I use fake hair because my hair is thin, how would the non-washing/conditioning to repair my hair work with dyed hair? I won’t do Henna, it doesn’t give the color I’m looking for.

  18. Just chiming in to say you’re not alone and you shouldn’t feel bad if the less/no shampoo doesn’t work well for you! I really wanted to ditch the shampoo (I have very fine wavy/curly hair that frizzes a lot) and gave it a real try but it just didn’t work for me 🙁

    I went no shampoo (but yes rinsing) for two weeks and I just couldn’t take it anymore, my head was a total grease-ball! I know it takes awhile to transition but it was only getting worse. I was getting depressed about living (or at least appearing to live) the physics grad student nerd stereotype of low-hygiene so I gave up and washed.

    Next I tried Dr. Bronner’s as a “low shampoo” option to try to get my hair used to less detergent-y cleaning so the next “no shampoo” transition would be easier. Unfortunately the Dr. Bronner’s caused a lot of gunk buildup in my hair AND caused a nasty dirty, oily ring around my bathtub/shower so I ditched it. It works great for other cleaning uses though!

    Right now I’ve settled on using Avon Organics shampoo, and have transitioned to using small amounts on my scalp only (it’s super oily while the rest is super dry!). My hair is taking it well and seems to be getting less greasy overall so hopefully it’s working!

    Well that was long, but as Cat mentioned different hair types respond differently to different treatments 🙂 I’m blaming my troubles on my super fine hair and possibly hard/chlorinated water in my building (how can you tell?).

    • My hair sounds kinda similar to yours, and I love not washing. I’m wondering if it might work for better if you tried a more gradual transition? Like going just one day until that’s not gross anymore, then going two, and so on. It took me over a year to get to a place where 2 weeks works for me, and it still is pretty dicey in the latter half of the second week, so it will be a while still before I increase time between washes, if at all. It seems like the hair reconfigures based on how much shampoo it expects to be getting.

  19. Woah I’m like…really lost. I’m interested in learning more about…all of this as I hate my hair so… here goes:

    I have long, naturally curly, dry and frizztastic brown hair.
    I wash it probably two-three times a week and blow it out because my hair au nautral is just an enormous frizz curl mess, with no definition or uniformity to the curls. I have triangle head syndrome.
    I wash with tresemme shampoo and conditioner. I use some sort of frizz control product form the drug store before blow drying.

    I don’t know anything about it really, but I need a change.
    What say yee?

    • Check out I’ve been eyeing it for awhile but haven’t taken the plunge yet, since I want to work through my shampoo backlog first. I think with most of the shampoo free methods, you need to watch what other products you use, and I’m not quite ready to give up my favorite anti-frizz product. But considering that it’s not perfect, I should probably just go for it.

      • rules! also, check out videos on how to “plop” your hair after washing or rinsing it. i make my own hair gel from boiling flax seeds and my curls have never looked better. look for a deva certified stylist for your next haircut and they will show you how to style your hair. it is really amazing what a few easy things can do for curly hair.

  20. This is something I’ve been experimenting with for the past six months or so. My hair is hip-length, fine, and straight. At first I was doing baking soda and apple cider vinegar, but then I was traveling for a month and it wasn’t practical. I currently wash my hair once a week, and it’s fine. I alternate between VO5 shampoo and conditioner and One from Sally’s. It’s a cheaper alternative to Wen, and is fabulous. I’m planning to go back to shampoo-free in the future, once life settles down a little bit. Good luck!

  21. I’m a shampoo free convert, and all I can say is that it worked miracles on my hair. I have naturally curly hair, and I used to look like one of those Goombas from SuperMario, with brillo pad texture.
    I’ve been shampoo free for almost two years now. I do wash my hair with a silicone and sulfate free conditioner (Suave Naturals, can’t get cheaper than that) that I massage into my scalp just as I would’ve with shampoo. Now my hair is super soft and tangle free, with lovely curls that corkscrew at the ends. The only products I use for my hair are conditioner and a leave in (also -cone free). Sometimes (about every 3 months), when my hair feels like it got tired from the regime I reboot it with a baking soda and apple cider vinegar rinse and just like that it is back to awesome.

    There’s a site that explains the finer details and how to tailor the system to your hair and needs: just search online for Curly Girl by Lorraine Massey.

    • If you don’t mind my asking, what do you use as a leave-in? I’m also a Suave Naturals conditioner only user, but I’m still stuck on a cone-free gel. I’d love to try something lighter for my curls and a leave-in sounds like it might help!

      • I also use Suave naturals and I’ve been using spiral solutions curl enhancing jelly (one bottle lasts forever for me!) and a tiny bit of sunflower oil… no crunchies, just soft bouncy curls! granted, what works for me, may not work for everyone.

      • Try using aloe gel as a styler. Fruit of the Earth Aloe Vera is pure other than I think one stabilizer (don’t have the bottle near me to read it). I know it sounds weird at first, but use it just like you would with a normal gel (maybe a little more than you might typically use), let it dry, and then scrunch it a bit if you don’t like crunchies. Soft, bouncy, moisturized curls. Crunchies make me feel safe against the terrors of frizz, so I let some stay normally, but it can all be easily scrunched away. Plus, any extra left on your hands can be rubbed right into your skin! Hand and hair moisture all in one step!

        Just… don’t grab the green or blue stuff you use for a sunburn, there’s too much crap in that.

  22. I’m loving all these comments!

    For many years, the thought of not washing my hair every day was foreign. Even without bangs, my roots would be unmanageably greasy the next day – no amount of dry shampoo was saving them. So I just learned to wash every day. I hated doing it, but it was necessary.

    I tried the “baking soda/ACV” routine a few years ago, but again, the greasy was unmanageable. The baking soda alone just couldn’t cut it with my hair.

    What happened was this: I had a baby, who didn’t always allow for daily showering, or daily hairwashing. And eventually my hair “equalized” itself and doesn’t get greasy like it used to. I do have oily skin, so there’s no way more than 2 days will work. But I’m thrilled that I can go at least 2 days without washing my hair. Thrilled.

    I use a tiny amount of high-quality, no-sulfate, paraben etc free shampoo, and sometimes mix a bit of baking soda in to cut some of the build-up. The key with my hair and washing is definitely using less shampoo and only using it the places that are dirty – the very root. No more.

    Don’t feel bad if your hair doesn’t work with it. For me, it was definitely just NOT washing it every day that helped cut down the oil production. But even with less oil production, just straight up baking soda doesn’t work for me either. But it was trial and error to figure that out. Good luck!

  23. I tried the baking soda/ACV thing and it didn’t work for me or my hair. I still love the baking soda as an exfoliate for face/body, however.

    What has worked best for me, is to switch to a gentler, natural shampoo/conditioner. I now wash my hair once a week, but I condition more often than that. I found that the best way for me to combat the greasy days was actually to try going conditioner only for awhile (but I still felt the need to wash every few days). The conditioner will remove debris from your hair, but instead of completely stripping away the natural oils from your scalp like shampoo, it will distribute the oil a little more so it isn’t just sitting on your scalp/by the roots. The excess oil will then wash away as you rinse out the conditioner.

    Now, I condition every other day (on no product days, I still rinse my hair thoroughly in the shower with water only) and I shampoo once a week… although the day varies. Occasionally, I will still have times that I feel the need to shampoo twice a week instead of once. Some weeks I don’t need to at all. No one has noticed either way – not even my husband, who enjoys combing through my hair with his fingers.

    I think the main thing is being patient with yourself and listening to your body. It’s good to challenge your boundaries when making changes like these, but don’t guilt yourself if the first attempt isn’t what you’d hoped for.

  24. It’s kind of funny to me that Pantene is tossed around in this discussion as the ultimate evil hair-care product because that is the only thing that has ever worked on my hair. (Pantene Pro-V smooth and sleek specifically.)

    Although I also notice that I seem to have the opposite problems to most people – my hair is very dry and I want it straight, not curly. All this talk about hair absorbing moisture and ways to make it thicker and curlier is totally foreign to me.

    Maybe I just need to trade hair with someone? They can have my thick wavy mess and I’ll take the straight, flat hair.

    • I keep going back to Pantene too! My hair stylist has warned me about Pantene, apparently it’s the example that her ongoing hair education seminars always use because they use a lot of wax (that’s how they achieve the shine).

      So, I’ve tried on multiple occassions to use a different brand, like Herbal Essences, or even $$$ Salon brands, but I keep going back to Pantene. I feel like it leaves my scalp clean and my hair less frizzy. I have large quantity of fine hair (both wavy AND straight), so it tends to just “fluff” up. I’m guessing the wax in Pantene weighs it down?

      Does anyone have suggestions for fine, thick hair?

Read more comments

Join the Conversation