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To shampoo or not to shampoo?

I was wondering how many do not use shampoo?

I am at 5 weeks no shampoo and my hair is slowly “detoxing” out and normalizing from all those years of shampooing and conditioning every day. It still has some waxy and greasiness to it but it is getting better and cleaner as time goes on.

I still have “white fuzz” on my comb and brush when I comb or brush. I used to be a hairdresser so in my experience this is product build-up coming out since the fuzz is waxy feeling (I don’t see any dandruff on my scalp).

I hear that one to two months can be a normal time for your scalp and hair to go back to its natural state – (guess it is going to take two months for me!).

Right now, I am doing water only rinses and a few sea salt water rinses when I feel I need them.

Any other experiences with this? Tips for me? :)



  • I did this when I was at summer camp growing up. It’s amazing that it actually works- but it does. We were swimming a lot and in the sunshine all day so that may have helped speed up the process. I have always wondered about chemicals going down the eustacian tubes of the ears (which drain right down the throat to the stomach). So natural, edible shampoos should be used- Dr. Bronners is a good biodegradable soap that can be used for anything like shampoo. Also yucca is a traditional soap.

  • Hi Queenfluff. Thank you so much. I’ve never thought that the shampoo is getting inside of my ears and making all the oil problems.It’s so right!! It’s so simple.I’m brushing my skin for 4 months now,before shower,and I”m not using skin cream,I’ve stopped using too much soap,or none,and my body smells so good,my skin is so soft,and it’s the same with the hair. Massaging the sculp is the same as skin brushing.You are right,I’m doing that from now on.Think about the freedom of not having to buy any shampoo anymore.And about the blowdrying,I’ll try the cool setting at the beginning.It would be amazing if one day I could dry my hair air dry,but like you said, it will dry faster on water only.Umbelievable!!! Thanks again.

  • writeeternity – You are correct about the sun and swimming. I have talking to one girl on another raw forum who hasn’t washed her hair in years – she spends alot of time in the outdoors and sun and get her hair wet very often (either in fresh water or ocean) and her is is so beautiful. She said the sun and and water help keep her hair clean. Another thing to consider is that your scalp is part of your skin too and your skin aborbs so many things you come in contact with – think about all those chemicals geting absorbed in your scalp. Also into your nose too – what problems might they be causing that you don’t think about? Eyes too. I used to be a hairdresser many eons ago and I can’t tell you how many products I used on myself as I was always trying out new colors and products. I shudder to think! Natural is the best way to go!

    Lucy – I have stopped using any products on my skin also. Same time I went with the water method. No soaps – I just use a pink salt soap on my underarms if I have some smell at all. I don’t really have dry skin so I only use MSM lotion on my face (for scars) and I use coconut oil if I have some dryness. I don’t smell and neither does my hair. Massaging the scalp actually helps with the transition phase when you go to water only method – it will help distribute the oils and remove any dead skin from your scalp (help with hair growth too).I love all the money I am saving on not buying prodcuts too! I sold a bunch of my old stuff on Ebay – my dresser top is so uncluttered now!

  • Queenfluff -

    I haven’t used shampoo or conditioner in nearly 6 months. I only use water in the shower and scrub my scalp with my fingers. I blow dry it once or twice a week, and I shower once every other day. I also don’t use soap, except to wash my hands. I had the inital greasier stage for about a week of not washing, but it has totally normalized itself, and nobody even thinks twice about my hair. I love the looks I get when people ask about my routine/products and I tell them what I’m doing (and not doing) to my hair. Good luck, it’s worth it to stick with it!

  • Salad_Loving_Violinist,

    That is so great! More inspiration for all of us! It only took you a week! Wow! Lucky you! I don’t care how long it takes me – I am sticking with it as I like it this way! I figure that 2 months or so is nothing to wait in comparsion to the years and years I have been shampooing my hair. Thanks!

  • This is an incredibly awesome/informative topic.

    I know this might be far fetched- but what about natural hair bleaching? I assume just use lemon juice.

    This is probably going to be the hardest transition for me. I don’t know if I could ever give up coloring my hair :[

  • Queenfluff,I water- washed my hair yesterday and it had some oil on it.I had to wear a pony tail to go out.This morning I did my skin brushing,and my hair-skin massage in the morning and washed it again.It came out beautiful,no oil,much more thick then before(my hair is very fine)and very black color.Interesting because I have a dark brown hair,at least I had it.Let’s see what is going to happen.

  • ecclecticchameleon – Lemon juice would probably be your best bet. BUT there is also a food grade hydrogen peroxide and hydrogen peroxide can also bleach your hair although it is alot weaker than bleach. You can get some at rawfood.com. I haven’t tried the food grade stuff in my hair before but maybe it will work. Of course, if your hair is super dark – it is going to take a lot of time to get it super light (like in your picture). With either lemon juice or hydrogen peroxide you need to get heat on your head for it to work – With the hydrogen peroxide, you might be able to use a hair dryer to get it lighter (it won’t be the same effect as bleach – believe me I have tried it before with regular peroxide!) and the lemon juice will give you highlight but it only works with sun as the heat source – doesn’t work with a blow dryer.

    It seems that some water only people do still color their hair but it is mostly henna users. Of course, henna doesn’t bleach hair – it only coats it – you can rinse it out pretty well with just water though. Obviously, bleach isn’t natural for the hair and your scalp would still absorb the chemicals thereby, sort of cancelling out some of the purposes of water only (dries up the natural oils on your scalp and hair) but if you only bleach once a month or less – perhaps your scalp and hair could handle it. On the other hand, it is very difficult to rinse out all the bleach with just water – you would definatley be rinsing for a long time. And with bleach, it seems like some sort of shampoo is necessary to “stop” the processing of it. Maybe you could do a natural shampoo just for those times – like a flax shampoo (made from soaked flax seeds). It’s a tough call.

    Lucy – That is so great! Glad it is working! You will probably go up and down with the oilyness – my hair did that too at the beginning. My hair was looking darker too – probably because of the oil. I got 3 hours of sunning in at the beach today and some fresh water soaking on my hair so that helped. The sun and the fresh water really helped to make my hair feel clean. I kept dunking my head so I could get in as much fresh water as possible since I don’t get to the beach that much. :)

    Another great thing I noticed was that now, my hair doesn’t tangle up as much when it is windy – I can leave the car window down and let my hair go wild and it doesn’t knot up as much and I can get any tangles out very easily! Nornally, it would take forever to get the knots out of my hair.

  • Queenfluff, my hair still nice and soft and it’s not so oily.It’s great because I couldn’t stay a day without washing it. I noted that it was the shampoo that was making my hair oily (and it was an oily and fine hair shampoo).It’s good news that your hair doesn’t have knots anymore.Since a child that was a problem for me.My hair had many knots and I never could leave the car window open because of that. Ah! Seems that from now on I wont habe ear problems,oily hair,and many knots to deal with.Thank you for open this door for me.

  • Lucy, that is so great! I am so glad it is working for you! I noticed that lots of people are interested in trying this since I have been posting on here and on a few other sites. I would say almost 10 people so far are saying they are trying this now. :) We are all on the road to better health and hair!

  • JoescJoesc Raw Master

    I shampoo my hair usually once a week or two. I use the natural product shampoo also but I know it still has chemicals.

    The longest I went without washing my hair was 1 month maybe a little longer and it was from sheer laziness. I put conditioner in it, which consisted of coconut oil, shea butter, or honey. I used vinegar to rinse out the flakes here and there. I don’t think I could go forever without using Shampoo. The only difference was my hair wasn’t as dry.

    I can live with using the coconut oil for my hair but sometimes I like the creamy conditioner that detangles. With very curly hair that helps. I am actually going to cut it all off this weekend. I am going very close to bald.

  • Day 17 for me…oilier since my last post on day 11 but it is starting to move down to the ends which is GREAT since at first it was oily at the scalp and dry/frizzy on the ends. My hair is MUCH curlier and not itchy at all which was my biggest concern.

    Also, my hair doesn’t seem to be falling out as much which was getting to be a HUGE concern for me since it seemed to be half it’s size since starting to fall out over a year ago. (Went off pill/went vegan…not sure which or if it was both) Maybe it was just poisoning my head with all those nasty chemicals.

    Still lots of white waxyness on brush and BIG, full hair. This is FUN! I may do another clay mask next week on my day off.

    Thanks for your inspiration, queenfluff!

  • kauaigirl – Sounds like your going to stick with it then? So great! I did notice an increased shedding for about a week (I think it was in my 5th week) and I was freaking about a bit but than it stopped – but my hair didn’t seem any thinner. I think that was just my head and not something everyone gets in their 5th week since everyone hair goes through shedding cycles. But yes, overuse of chemicals on your head sometimes can cause hair loss.

    I am almost at 2 months! My hair is actually wavy! If you can tell from my picture (which is old), how straight my hair was on shampoo. Now, it has this cool ‘tousled’ look (if I don’t comb it right away after it dry) and has thickness and body and fluff. It isn’t the same sort of clean feeling as I had with shampoo but it feels so nice and thick there is no way I am going back to the shampooed thin feeling hair. I feel like one of those hair advertisement models (HA! HA!).

    My oils still have not made it down to the ends yet but I admit I haven’t really been brushing like I should. I am not too worried about it. I am trying to rinse as much as possible. I still have some oilness/heaviness in certain areas (still the crown/back area) but nothing near like what I had. I still have some white waxy on my brushes and a bit in my comb but nothing bad.

    Certain areas of my hair which were not growing much before are now getting longer! Yeah!

    I still haven’t done the clay mask yet. Can you let me know how you did yours? I want to do one just haven’t had the time and I wasn’t sure how I should mix mine as I reading conficting info on what to mix it with. Thanks! Glad it is going so well for you!

  • Yes, I am definitely sticking with it…esp. since I’m in Hawaii, I can let my hair air-dry everyday and put it up for work. That ‘tousled’ look is what I’ve been trying to get with all those products… who knew we could get it naturally! For the clay mask, I just used Bentonite Detox Clay, mixed with some water. I layed out in the sun until it was mostly dry, then rinsed off. Can’t say I really noticed a difference, but I figure it can’t hurt to speed up the removal of chemicals.

  • kauaigirl – Thanks for the clay recipe! I have some of the Bentonite clay but it says to mix with ACV. The ACV dried out my hair so I didn’t really want to use that. I am plannning on doing my detox bath tonight which is mostly Bentonite Clay so I am just going to get my hair soaked in it anyhow.

  • Hi Queenfluff, in Brasil we use dry clay in a wet hair.Cover up and stay for 1/2 hour,then take a shower. Today is my 5th day on a WO and my hair is very oily.Yesterday it was dry.I’ve never had a dry hair before,it was an experience ! It still dark,black,...very weird.Let see when the original color dark brown will come back.

  • I am sitting here with the clay on my head right now. I just did the mix with water and put it on dry hair. I think next time I’ll wet my hair first and than put it on – just because it gets so tangily with the dry hair. I am going to wait 1/2 hour and than try to get it out. It was like putting Henna on – I hope this stuff comes out. :) I am sure it will be alot of rinsing. :)

    Lucy – the first week is one of the worst. My hair was dry some days and very oily the next. Now, my skin is mostly dry. I think I might do an avocado mask next week maybe it will add some moisture back in because I think this clay is going to make my hair dry. My scalp is tingling a bit though.

  • Queenfluff, clay makes the hair very dry.It takes all the oil of it,but it’s great to suck all the toxics of it.I might do it too.I drink water with clay though.I hope this week my hair gets drier.Today is very oily and soooo black collor.Looks like in my blackn’white picture. About my face skin I’m putting aloe vera. We have an aloe vera plant here,and every day I cut a piece of it and put it on my face.My face skin is glowing.Just amazing !!!Maybe you could do it with your hair.Aloe vera will make your hair less dry,I believe.

  • Ugh, yes, my hair is super dry – not sure i like it. It is still air drying and I am afraid to comb it right now. Lucy, have you done the clay before than? I am hoping I didn’t ruin my 2 months of no shampoo. I guess I won’t be doing anything to my hair for many days and wait for some oils to come back! I wonder if the clay alters your scalps natural balancing. I am thinking it can’t be that bad since it is more of the detox thing and not a chemical.

    I concentrated on the scalp especially the parts where it was still has oiliness. I had put some on my length and I am thinking I should have skipped my lengths and just did the areas that were still oily. I heard about using the aloe vera too but I can’t remember if it was for conditioning.

    I might actually put some coconut oil in my hair if I can’t comb it. I hope the oily areas are less oily now. But the rest is so dry – almost matted! Esp on the top – probably should have avoided that area because it was actually balanced really well but I figured do the whole thing. I kind of rinsed it weird – I could tell in the shower that my hair was feeling dry when rinsing it.

    I am sure it will be nice again in a day or two. Well, at least, that isn’t something I will have to do that often. I have read that people who use the clay only do it on their hair a few times a year.

  • spiritedmamaspiritedmama Raw Newbie

    I have inspired my husband to not use shampoo or soap any more…yeah! I had to show him the posts from this site, because he wasn’t that convinced with me not using shampoo since my hair is in dreads and he can’t really ‘see’ the difference as readily.

    queenfluff, I am so glad you started this string!

  • Spiritedmama- that’s great! I am happy i am inspiring people! I kinda wonder if most people had pretty dready hair naturally before combs were invented. I am sure their hair stayed pretty clean with just water rinsing and getting some sun on their hair.

    My hair started to feel better after it dried out completely last night and I was able to comb it with no coconut oil. It still feels on the dry side but I am surprised at how nicely the oils are coming back. I gave myself a light scalp massage to stimulate a few oils to come up. One good thing is the areas that were still oily and heavy before are now cleaner! Hopefully they will stay that way. So, the clay was good all in all – your hair will just feel really “brillo-pad-y” when you first rinse out. Oh and today is my 2 month anniversery of no shampoo! YEAH!!!!

  • Happy Anniversary, queenfluff! Time really flies by, I can’t believe it’s been almost three weeks for me. Will probably do the clay on Tuesday…will use your advice to focus on scalp/oilier parts.

    P.S. spiritedmama- My boyfriend also stopped using shampoo when I told him about this and WOW for men it is so much easier. He already has great texture and body with no worries of tangles or greasy long locks. Lucky him!

  • Queenfluff,I’m glad you are feeling better with your hair now.Yes,I used to do the clay, a lot,and that was very good because my hair is the most oily hair in the world.I believe that the aloe is better for oily hair,but I remember Elaine Love talking about washing with honey and put some coconut butter at the end of the wash. Also,try to comb with a wooden brush.It’s amazing !!!Don’t worry about the clay because its minerals are excelent for your health. I am extremly insecured to say that,but maybe you could put some pee on your hair.It is wonderful!

  • Hi Lucy,

    I have heard about urine for hair but never got around to trying it as I always forget to collect it.(although, right now, I do not think my pee is very healthy as I believe I have an internal yeast problem so I probably won’t try with for a while).

    I have a wooden brush myself and I notice I use it more now that I am no shampoo. I like the way it leaves my hair. For scalp and oil stimulation, I have a boar bristle brush. I also have a wooden comb too but it has the fine teeth which I don’t like as much so I have a plastic wide tooth comb I normally use to comb out my hair when it is wet (it is the same comb I have had for almost twenty years back when I did hair! ).

    For the next few days I am leaving my hair alone so it can replenish some of the oils. It is dry but clean feeling and fluffy. I feel like the clay definately pulled some stuff out of it. I could see how it is really good for super oily hair. :)

  • Hi Queenfluff,yes urine is amazing for evrything,not only for the hair. Go to www.youtube.com and search : urine for a treat

    Just amazing!!! You have great brushes there! I love wooden brush,and it’s very good for the hair and skulp. Hope you feel better about your hair.Mine is extremly oily today.I might do the clay this week. About the clay,do you feel ok?Because clay takes a lot of energy of the body,a lot of toxins,and evry time that I did some clay on my hair I got to be extremly tired.It’s good though,but it is powerful.

  • Hi Lucy

    Yes, I feel fine about the clay. I didn’t feel tired or anything after using it. It felt like I had a huge helmet on my head after it dried though! I am actually planning on doing a Detox bath which is for mercury which I think I will NOT get on my hair and I hear you are supposed to feel pretty tired after that according to the instructions.

    Yesterday, I brushed my hair and it was actually static-y on the ends which shows you how dry it got – it hasn’t been staticy since the first week of no shampoo. It looked more flat and sleek than big and fluffy after I brushed. It kind of reminded me a bit of how my hair looked when I used to shampoo a bit as I could see the breakage on the ends which I couldn’t see after a week or two into no shampoo. This also makes me think of how drying shampoo must really be! It still looks thicker than it did on shampoo though and I have some nice wavy on the bottom.

    The bummer part is that after i brushed I STILL had white waxy fuzz in my brush. :( Which leads me to believe that the white fuzz is NOT product buildup. My hair was so dry I was sure that clay should have sucked out everything but than again who knows!

    So, I am not sure what causes the white fuzz anymore. Maybe my scalp is still normalizing. Many people say it is caused by sebum. I have talked to a few people who said they no longer have the white fuzz anymore – but these are people who are years into water only method. Oh well, I guess I will just keep washing my brushes alot!. At least those areas that were oily before are staying clean – so that is a definately plus!

    If the oil in your hair is getting on you nerves I would recommend doing one – I would just avoid the ends and the majority of the length though (unless your length is super oily too.). Most of my hair was already on the dry side and I probably should have avoided the length but the oils are starting to come back. At least I detoxed out my hair really good! :)

  • I bought a travel size shampoo about eight months ago and still plenty left in the bottle! I also only use soap at my kitchen sink for my hands….I’m athletic and still only shower every other day or so no matter what the weather’s like…no deodorant either…once when I got a new job I bought some thinking that I SHOULD…and so I picked a nice natural aloe vera brand thinking it’d be extra mild…it smelled so strong to me that I couldn’t take it after a few days….if I ever try again, I’ll definetly go with the salt stick deal….

  • Hi Queenfluff,I’ll do the clay today.My hair is so oily ,and still so black.Unbelievable !! Interesting about this waxy fuzz in your brush.Wow !! I believe that I’ll have a lot of sebum that will come out soon.Many years of shampoo and conditioner….

    My husband met a woman that told him that the biggest percentage of eye problems in US is because of shampoo.Shampoo is so toxic that can give you catarats in your eye,after many years using it.I’m not surprise.So many chemicals…I’m so glad that you told us about this WO method.

    Blujett8,you could use baking soda instead of deodorant.

  • Hi Lucy

    Yes, maybe the fuzz will go one day – when I think about the fact that I have been shampooing and conditioning every day for SOOO long – I don’t blame my hair for taking its sweet time to heal. I am not too worry about it – as long as the white fuzz isn’t invisible on my head!

    I am a big believer in that all those shampoo chemical get in all our ‘openings” and cause problems – ears, nose, eyes. Nothing worse than getting shampoo in your eyes and, for me, my ears are a bigger worry. I am glad I found this too. I am really loving it!

    Blujett88 – if you do baking soda for deodorant, try mixing in some corn starch with it if it starts to irritate you. I used to use the baking soda for deodorant and I found that my skin got irritated after a while and that adding the cornstarch to the mix helped out alot. Now, I have several “natural’ deodorants I am trying to use up and once those are gone I am going to just use a pink salt stone or a spray salt.

  • Hi Queenfluff, I just washed my hair with aloe,pee,and red clay.It looks very good. I did put some aloe after it got dry and it helped with the oil.I believe honey would be great for the dryness of your hair,and lemon juice after helping your hair with the blond color. I just told a friend of mine about WO and she will do it.See,you are doing a revolution !!!!!

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