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To shampoo or not to shampoo?



  • Well,

    I have been “lurking” in this post! Count me in too ladies, week 2 ‘poo free. I live on an island in the mediterrenean so I take a dip every day in the summer, and between the swimming in the sea and shampooing it was stripping what little oil my hair had. So its swims in sea water, rinse with water the shower and some coconut oil on my tips and roots too. My hair seems softer, more manageable and definately not as stripped and brittle as when I was shampooing in addition to the salt water. As an african american, having sufficiently oily hair is a problem for me..quite the opposite of other ethnicities. Every day a layer of modern world lifestyle comes off and we become more the Goddesses we are meant to be. Peace and blessings to you all, Dea.

  • queenfluffqueenfluff Raw Newbie

    Hi Satnam – I never heard of “top shots of Common Juniper” – it almost sounds like a drink! Ha ha! If you have a link can you post it – I am interested in hearing more about it. Yes, in all baking soda is better than regular shampoo, if you had to choose. I haven’t tried it yet and I don’t know if I will. Oh, for itching scalp, I am not really sure – I haven’t had that problem yet – I think the AVC is supposed to help with that but not sure- maybe someone else might know for sure. Also a scalp massage to get the flakes off will help too. Glad you joining us!

    Hi deasmiles – That is great! You are in the perfect climate for this. Getting to take a dip in the sea salt every day is ideal – I will I could do it. How do you do the coconut oil exactly? Do you just rub it in your hair right after you rinse the sea water out? Do you rinse it out right away after or leave it in? Yes, I think you will notice as time goes on just how stripping the shampoo was. It is really amazing isn’t it? Glad you are joining us.

    Ok, I’ll give an update on my hair – unfortunately I STILL have not gotten around to taking picture yet. Last week I was so sick with detox it was ugh! For a whole week, I basically neglected my hair – some days I didn’t even rinse and you would think it would be a huge yucky oily mess right? No! Honestly it is still dry (I am starting to wish it was silkier!). That whole week I didn’t even brush or hardly comb it – it basically looked like a fluffy nest on my head! ha ha! ( I was in bed and had no strength to do anything!) So yesterday was a PAIN to comb it out – today I plan to do a good sea salt rinse as I got a lot of fuzzies building up. But anyhow it is basically the same – I still have oily parts at the crown (when will that go away??) – and I will be 3 months at the end of this week! :)

  • Hiya Queenfluff,

    I think Satnam means top shoots of the common juniper tree, it sounds like a lovely norwegian natural cure. Love those, old natural cures and remedies usually passed on by women.

    As for the hair I just massage it in while still wet and leave it there. I put some oil on the tips and then massage it into the scalp. My hair went through a moment where it got really thick and puffy, usually a sign in the past that it was time to wash it but I just lived through it and now its nice and soft and shiny and doesn’t itch at all.

    What is AVC and BS all these acronyms …I have been out of the US for too long lol :)

    Can’t wait to see some of your pics as soon as it is the right length I will start wearing mine au naturel..41 yrs old and I have never worn my hear natural as is, always blow drying, taming, plaits, dominating it. I just want it to be free flowing and form natural, as meant to be yay!

  • queenfluffqueenfluff Raw Newbie


    I was searching and I just found this: A VEGAN natural bristle brush. OOOO!!! Unfortnately the site is in German. But here are the directions to which brush it is. I found on the Long Hair Community.



    I might order one someday. Funny but the boar bristles on my BBB are starting the falling out since I went no poo. – clearly it can’t take all the white fuzzies or something. :)

  • Queenfluff, here’s a wikipedia link about “common juniper”: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_juniper Deasmiles is right, it’s a cultural thing from back in the days, passed on by women ;-)

    It worked out fine by the way, with the rins! My scalp hasn’t been itching, my hair doesn’t feel very oily and I’m very excited about the whole thing – how long will it take until it looks bad? Hehe. Hopefully it will never. I’ve had dreads for years, and haven’t been using a lot of products in my hair, and washing every 2nd-3rd day. So if I’m lucky, my scalp doesn’t have much to detox ;-)

  • kundalalitakundalalita Raw Newbie

    Hi everyone!

    Well its week 3 for me, and actually my hair hasn’t changed much since about a week after i started… I think it helps going in the ocean a lot. I am loving how my hair naturally stylizes itself! I haven’t found the bristle brush to be very helpful, i can’t even seem to get all my hair with it, how long do you guys usually brush?

    Lucy, I remember earlier you were saying that your hair had gotten a lot darker. I noticed that with mine too, did yours ever lighten up again?

    Deasmiles, I’m interested to see how your hair type reacts to this! My sister is also african american and she goes through the same kind of domination tactics as you mentioned. She gets her hair chemically relaxed and constantly suffers sever shower drain clogging. I mentioned to stop shampooing to her but she didn’t seem to think it would work with her hair type, which as you said doesn’t produce much oil and has tight curls, she’s afraid it will just turn into a tangled afro… do you have any encouragements/ suggestions?

  • Kundalinita,

    Tell your sister to try it for one month, as far as the hair going towards the natural shape its meant to be, in my case sort of a very soft, soft afro…that to me is rather the point for me anyway. I haven’t relaxed my hair in over 2 years. My hair isn’t tangled at all because I comb it. Nutiva coconut oil is great and if she has time, she should go for a swim in the ocean a few times per week as this will help or put some ocean water in a spray bottle and spritz her hair with ocean water, rinse it with regular water and then massage her scalp and tips of the hiar with cocount oil. My routine is swim, take a shower rinse the salt water off, put coconut oil on the tips and scalp, comb the hair, let it dry and then wait. I use scarfs, ribbons, cords to sort of tie it back to make it look more manageable during the week. At night and weekends I just let it be. To me a blk woman who for years has been conditioned to make my hair look acceptable (according to whom’s standards btw?) I find jut letting my hair be incredibly freeing and beautiful. As soon as I get a camera or can make my cell phone camera take a decent pic I will post it. Tell yr sis to try it.

  • odalysodalys Raw Newbie

    queenfluff – thats for the links! yayy now i can get a natural bristle brush. I speak some German, and it helps that my boyfriend is German :D I’ll beg his mother to send me one! I’m excited!

    Does anybody else have frizzy hair?? I don’t have any split ends, which is AMAZING since I can’t remember the last time I got a haircut, but the length of my hair is not cooperating. I’m afraid using oil will weigh my hair down (I have thin hair). Does aloe vera work? Or does it stink too much to be used as a “leave in” conditioner? I’d like to hear your thoughts on this!

  • queenfluffqueenfluff Raw Newbie

    Hi odalys!

    When you get the brush let me know how you like it. I am thinking about getting one too. :)

    Right now my hair is on the drier and frizzier side and it normally isn’t like that (I mean, before on shampoo), It is a common part of the “transitioning” process for peoples hair to get dry and frizzy at times – esp on the ends. For a leave in conditioner, I have been reading many raves about people using like an either essential oil or herbal “spritz”. It is basically an essential oil (like lavender) and water mixed and you “spritz” on your hair (dry or wet) when it feels dry. Some also use a dried herb mixture instead of the essential oil. Some even says it makes the greasey or waxiness feel and look better!.

    Jojoba oil is also pretty popular as a hair condition. Use little bits. I “scrunched” some coconut oil into my hair last time and I didn’t rinse today and it helped a bit. I didn’t brush yet either though. Right now my main problems is my hair is dry but still has the waxy sticky sebum on it.

    I found out something last night though reading about this. Hot water rinses (if you have the excess sebum problem) is due to doing hot water rinses which open up the pores and sebums comes out which is why if you do a cold water rinse last you still won’t fix this problem. HMmm…interesting. I am probably going to try a “sprtiz” though.

  • odalysodalys Raw Newbie

    queenfluff – i like the idea of using a herbal spritz, is jojoba oil expensive? That’s what I’ve been worried about, EOs seem to be too pricey for me. What you described is basically how my hair is right now, dry and oily at the same time. It’s kind of frustrating because it makes me want to keep washing with baking soda/acv which probably is making it worse. As for the hot water rinses, that is pretty interesting considering that most people talk about washing with hot water and doing a cold water rinse at the end. Since it’s pretty hot here I will see if cold showers will make my hair less oily… hopefully it’ll balance out.

    lucy-you’re very lucky to be in brazil! I wonder if you can buy these seaweed “gels” online. I am curious about the urine rinses that you do, is this practice a tradition in brazil, or anywhere else in the world for that matter? I’m basically just wondering how you knew that urine works well for the hair. I’m sure you didn’t just take it upon yourself to experiment one day :P

  • Ok..I know that this is not good for me, but I do it anyway! I swim almost daily in a chlorinated pool at the gym! I can hear the gasps! I am interested in this Wo method but my hair is INCREDIBLY DRY and Frizzy..infact I put about 1/4cup jojoba/coconut or olive oil with eos on my hair everyday just to get my curls to come out instead of frizz mess puff ball. I love the idea of no shampoo or soap. I am a Massage therapist (from Norcal …come on up Queen Fluff we would love to have you…CHICO CA >>>I LOVE IT HERE!) so I have to look and smell good…I went one day without shampooing and I felt like I had done the clay thing…my hair was one big dread…it was horrible. What would you do if you were me (ok…besides stop swimming at the pool…not gonna happen…but I’ll get a hair cap if that will help)

  • ambikalee: I’ve never been a swimmer, but I would wet my hair, put a cap on it, and put oil in afterwards if its dried out/damaged. I might even wet it and put some oil in before hand to repel the chlorine water. I’ve found that ever since I stopped shampooing, I don’t need to condition, no matter how much I scrub my hair in the shower..the oils seem to let my hair detangle itself!

  • For those of you interested in truly detoxing your hair and scalp, and for true hair and scalp care, this is a great site with vegan, raw products for the hair, scalp, face and body: http://www.morroccomethod.com/press.shtml

    Good luck!

  • odalysodalys Raw Newbie

    amikalee – a hairstylist once told me that a baking soda and water paste will get the chlorine out of the hair (much better than shampoo too) so maybe you can try that. I don’t know if its good for everyday use, though, so you’re going to have to experiment. I have to say though, if you’re going to the pool every day, I don’t think WO will do the job, there’s just too many chemicals in your hair… so you will definitely want to wash with something. Ive also heard good things about a flax seed shampoo. It should replentish your hair with nutrients, which is super important for curlies. That’s all i really know.

    Good luck!

  • queenfluffqueenfluff Raw Newbie

    amikalee – Yes, use a cap and put the oil on your hair before putting the cap on as al! suggested. This is a pretty common thing people do who swim in chlorinated water. Definately stop using shampoo – it is only drying your hair out further! Having the cap on with the oil should keep out most of the chlorine smell, but if you still have some you can try some Essential oil sprays on your hair – it basically essential oil (like lavender or peppermint) mixed in with some water and it helps to fragrance your hair.

    Chlorine is bleach so it will dry out your hair pretty bad. You will probably notice that you won’t get much of the greases when you stop shampooing like most get because the chlorine will strip it all out. But since your hair is already dry keep doing the oils.

    I would not use baking soda just yet. Wait until your hair is in better condition. Baking soda is drying too. The other thing to try to get the chlorine smell out might be a vinegar rinse but if you hate the smell of the vinegar worse than the chlorine that might not be an option for you. Use a dilute form of either ACV or white vinegar (don’t use every day – too drying) like a half an ounce to 2 cups of water – rinse it in and than out right away.

    devachal – Thanks for the link. Actually we have already discussed Morrocco Method on this thread and I have tried it and I was very disappointed. It is super expensive and doens’t really do much. Just letting you know in case you are thinking of purchasing it. Their leave-in conditioner spray is pretty nice though – but not the shampoos.

  • queenfluffqueenfluff Raw Newbie

    Hey guys!

    I tried something new yesterday that really helped with the heavy, greasey sebumy feeling that seems to still be lingering around by my crown area. If any of you are at the stage where you get the whitish grey stuff in your brush when you brush – you will know what I mean.

    Anyhow, yesterday after I did my cool water only rinse I used a solution of white vinegar (only 1/2 ounce) to 2 cups of water. I concentrated it on the parts of my hair that were still sebum-y and were bugging me. I left it it on for one minute and rinsed it out. (I used the whole thing)

    At first when my hair dried I thought it seemed a bit dry and sticky (my hair is already dry which is why I used a lower concentration of the white vinegar in my solution). But someone on another no poo board gave me the tip of using a wooden fine tooth for the areas that seemed greasey – Well, it combs through it so much nicer than using the BBB. So my hair was nice and light and airy once I combed through it. There is still a bit of sebum there but today I just rinsed with cool water really quickly and it still feels a lot better than it did a few days ago before I did the vinegar rinse.

    So, I think I am going to use this vinegar solution maybe once a week or as needed on the spots that still get heavy. YEAH! It is so nice to get rid of some that excess sebum! I had to rinse for a lot less time today too. :) Plus I was getting tried of trying to brush it out of my hair – it just wasn’t working!

    I am learning that most people who have been doing water only for a while (like a year) use the white vingear rinse as needed – normally once a month to get rid of any excess oilness that they might have – it seems to keep the hair cleaner for a while too.

    Oh also someone told me beer worked really well at melting any excess sebum but I haven’t tried that yet. I don’t normally have beer in the house. :)

  • LucyLucy Raw Newbie

    Hi Odalys,I just came back to US,and I’ll try to find that seaweed here.About the urine,it’s a tradition in the whole world.There are many books about urine therapy,and I know many people in Brasil that do that. My brother told me about that 4 years ago,and I just spoke with a friend that was bold and his hair came back with urine application evry day for 5 minuts,than washed it with water. Your hair gets beautiful,all the gray hair goes away and many other things.Urine is practically your blood,and all the vitamins that you need is in it. www.biomedx.com/urine and http://www.shirleys-wellness-cafe.com/urine.htm and http://www.vanderbilt.edu/AnS/psychology/health…

  • WOW …Crazy Urine…Thats great…a little hard to swallow (HAHA pun intended) wow….again wow… Thanks for the great info!

  • LucyLucy Raw Newbie

    Hi Ambikalee, welcome !! Hope you like it.It is very safe and extremly healthy.

  • I think I’m on my 11th day now with no’poo, and I’m loving it! No heavy detoxing as yet, and only using saltwater once. :-D

  • raw apple cider vinegar does wonders to get rid of buildup and to replace the acid mantle of the skin. I put it in an applicator bottle like you would use for hair dye and apply to my scalp once a week. Then rinse it out. It’s also a great toner for the skin.

  • This is something my mom done with my hair every since I was little. She took a boar bristle brush and put it in a stocking or panty hoe. She would push the bristles of the brush through the pantyhoe and brush my hair with it. The pantyhoe acts as a net and traps oil and dirt that you cannot see or even know you had in your hair. After a decent brushing, take the pantyhoe off the brush and you can see all the gunk that is in there. It works really well for those of use that have dry scalps and need a way to get rid of greasy flakes or dry scalp flakes without shampoo and excessive rinsing. The flakes and oil stick onto the pantyhoe.

  • kauaigirlkauaigirl Raw Newbie

    I’m still here! Day 57 for me, almost two months. Been using the BS a little bit but It seemed like it was making my hair shed again. Need to try the white vinegar rinse that you recommended, queenfluff.

    Happy to see that so many are experimenting and enjoying this process. Good luck to all!

  • queenfluffqueenfluff Raw Newbie

    Hey kauaigirl

    I just did the vinegar rinse again this morning and my crown area is nice and clean. I still feel a tiny bit of oil in my hair but it is just enough to make it soft and not greasy and oily!

    It really works nice, I might try using an ounce of vinegar next time instead of a half and see if that gets it even cleaner. I don’t want to use too much though because than it get too clean and it is all dry and staticy.

    My hair is pretty nice and clean right now!

    Yeah day 57! Keep going! I am just over 3 months! :)

  • Hi Queenfluff and everyone,

    well its week 3 for me of no shampoo. I cannot ever put things like baking soda or vinegar on my hair. I have the opposite problem of you guys, not enough sebum oil is my deal. I must say I was worried about my hair being dirty, scalp itchy etc and really its been fine. I swim in the sea every day, I rinse with water in the shower and then I apply pure coconut oil and my hair has been more managable, smells lovely and is not as brittle or as much of it is breaking on the brush.

    Lucy: I am fascinated with urine therapy. Do you drink it or apply it. I do not have grey but I have heard it makes the grey go away my SO has grey hair. Also he is very much bald and I read somewhere it makes hair grow back. I am fine with his baldness but it affects him so I was just curious, drink it or apply it. Thanks for the info you gals are great! :) Dea

  • Hey All! Thanks for all the tips, I am with you deasmiles, dry hair! I havent got a cap yet but I did stop shampooing my hair…I am only using conditioner and it is really helping my hair out alot! I plan to only use conditioner and then eventualy phase that out as well. I havent needed to put any oil in my hair at all! It is soooo soft and managable its great for my curls and frizz! Keep up the good work!

  • queenfluffqueenfluff Raw Newbie

    Hi deasmiles -

    One of the reason you may not have enough sebum oil may be due to the fact that you DO swim in sea water everyday. While the salt in the water cleans your hair and removes the excess oil (which might be why you you don’t notice any since the sea water cleans it out everyday), it can also dry out your hair. I know too that African American hair types tend to to be drier so you may not have enough oil to begin with. But if you are happy with your routinue and your hair that is great – otherwise, try wearing a cap every other swim and see if you get some natural oils building up. Just rinse with fresh water after. Rising with fresh water won’t remove all the oils from your hair like the sea water does so you might notice some oil in your hair possibly.Sounds like you are doing so great though! I am glad it is working out for you!

    Oh, the urine therapy thing, when using it for hair, is put on the hair. I have heard of people drinking their own urine but that won’t do anything for your hair. You use it as a rinse on your hair and it is supposed to help clean it. I haven’t used it yet. Lucy will be the expert on that for this thread! :)

    For baldness, I am not sure if urine helps with that. I haven’t heard of it. But one thing your SO might try is doing alot of scalp massages and taking MSM (there is also MSM shampoo or lotion you could apply to the scalp). David Wolfe claims that there is some bark or sap that comes from the base or root of the cacao tree that is supposed to reverse male pattern baldness – I have no idea whether it is true and if it is, where is the world would you get any of this bark or sap? But I don’t know if eating cacao itself will help at all – something to think about though!

    Hi Ambikalee – Isn’t it weird how much of a difference just quitting shampoo makes? It really helps you realize just how drying the stuff is! Using Conditioner only is actually a quite popular method for girls with curly hair or dry hair! I have read lots of stories online of people who are loving using just the conditioner. I thought about doing that myself at the beginning of my “experiment” but only my ends are really dry and I don’t have any curlies. So glad to hear it is working out for you!

  • Hi All – this is one wild topic! I’m really not sure if we’re supposed to drop name brands here but I’ll risk it. I did a lot of research on shampoo and I found that Paul Penders makes a nice natural line with a lot of herbs and good stuff. It washes out clean and has no SLS or other chemicals. But hey, that urine thing sounds like a blast. I’m going to try it to see if my little grays will fade back to their natural color. Massage into hair for 5 minutes and then rinse? Is that it?

  • Hi! I have a question. Has anyone done this who has hard water w/possible (I say definite) high chlorine content AND they color their hair. I was speaking w/my dh and said I’ll probably just start doing the lemon juice to lighten it. But where we live now, I’m pretty sure it’s hard, and has too much darn chorine. Thanks. I just haven’t seen this addressed and I just read through all of the threads. Thanks!

    In light and love, Sunshine :D

  • Hi all! Let’s see if this works this time! Since I just tried to post. Has anyone done this who has hard water with a high chlorine content and you’ve colored your hair? I read through the thread and did not see this addressed. Thanks!

    In light and love, Sunshine :D

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