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To shampoo or not to shampoo?

queenfluffqueenfluff Raw Newbie

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? :)



  • spiritedmamaspiritedmama Raw Newbie

    I have dreads in my hair, so I don’t know if I will be the best of help to you, but I don’t use shampoo more than one time a month. When I do use shampoo, I use an all natural lavender shampoo. The rest of the time, I just rinse with water.

    On another note, I also don’t use soap or deoderant. Since being raw, I don’t need to!

  • My daughter and I have very oily hair – if we just rinse our hair with water will it come clean? I’m scared to try because I don’t want to have the greasies! But,my daughter’s hair has lots of gross gunky buildup in it that she just can’t seem to rinse out. Maybe I should tell her to only rinse her hair for the next few weeks. Any tips or advice?

  • spiritedmamaspiritedmama Raw Newbie

    I know that when some people “transition” to no shampoo, they will do a 1x week vinegar or salt rinse to keep the grease down. But, your hair does have to get greasy during the “detox” process to get all the toxins out. Then, you hair will find a natural medium.

  • This is an interesting concept I’ve never heard before, so do these people not use conditioners at all either? My hair is very healthy but curly so I comb out the occassional tangles. but lol talk about a money saver!

  • spiritedmamaspiritedmama Raw Newbie

    I don’t use conditioner either. The only thing I put in my hair is some hemp balm every 3 months or so to keep the dreads a dreading…LOL!

  • queenfluffqueenfluff Raw Newbie

    Here are some of the links I have been following in my “transition” to no shampoo (or “no ‘poo” as it is called). I want to just be doing water only rinses. Some people do a baking soda/ACV vinegar rinse. Some people do other sorts of rinses (like with herbs or lemon).

    Water only method: http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread….

    Baking soda/acv rinse: http://www.naturalfamilyonline.com/go/index.php…

    A few “raw” shampoo recipes here: www.rawglow.com/Naturalbodycare.htm

    FYI, Viktoria Buetenko uses a flax shampoo as on this link.

    Community of “no ‘poo”: http://community.livejournal.com/no_poo/

    Also, a thread I started – take a look at the girls hair who said she hasn’t shampooed or conditioned for years: http://www.sunfood.com/forum/ultimatebb.php?ubb…

    So far I have tried acv rinse, lemon and water, sea salt and water. I like the sea salt and water the best. It takes the greasies out for me (I am a bit waxy and greasy though but it does help) – doing it everyday can be a bit drying for my hair. It really depending on your hair type. Mine longish and straight on the fine side (don’t know if you can tell by my picture).

    I haven’t been using conditioner anymore either (I didn’t always use it before when I shampooed).

    There are people who do conditioner only rinse. In my opinion, conditioner adds a lot of buildup to your hair. As do all the products people use to style their hair.

    This link explains some stuff about shampoo. Basically, shampoo strips all the oils out of your hair and conditioner replaces them. Why not just leave the natural oils instead of buying all these products to remove and than replace?


    I took a closer look at my scalp today and I do see some little flakes – so maybe I do have a bit of dandruff but my scalp isn’t oily – it is some of my roots that have the waxy feeling. I am determined to see this through those so I am hanging in there. Also, I read about how even the more natural shampoos on the market can be bad for not only your hair but being absorbed into your scalp and getting in your ears. - Also, I love all the money I am saving so far! :)

    Oh, spiritedmama – I haven’t been using soap on my body either – I use a pink salt “bar” for my underarms and that is it. I using up some old natural deodorants – but as soon as those are gone I am going to stick with coconut oil or a natural sea salt spray.

  • Okay…so I’ve been slowly but surely moving towards natural body products that are void of animal products and animal testing. I use Kiss My Face shampoo, conditioner, and body lotion. Jason’s deodrant. Tom’s toothpaste. Alba’s face wash and body wash. Almond/aloe face lotion. I don’t seem to have a build up or lots of oils in my hair. It seems “normal.” I will add that I am a runner and sweat a lot in Texas, not using hygeine products doesn’t seem like something that can be in my future;) I have been experiencing some excess oils on my forehead and outbreaks on my face since increasing my raw intake…Detox is joy, eh?

  • spiritedmamaspiritedmama Raw Newbie

    Om….I am a high altitude endurance athlete in Arizona…not using hygeine products is possible! But, you are right, you are probably experiencing detox.

  • queenfluffqueenfluff Raw Newbie

    Om – I used to use Kiss my Face hair care products also. There was nothing “wrong” with my hair when I was shampooing it – it was clean and full and in good shape -“normal”.

    The reason you don’t have “build-up” or “oils” in your hair is because you shampoo it. Shampoo unnaturally takes all that way. Even the “natural” shampoo’s have some chemicals in them. To get “suds”, you have to have some chemicals.

    Remember too that shampoo is something that has only been around since the 1930’s before that people used soap (no conditioner) before there was soap people used clays, oils and water to clean their hair and skin. Definatley something to think about. You can always make natural shampoos and conditioner at home – so much cheaper than buying the stuff.

    But everyone is on their own “progress” level of course – it took me a while to get to using all the natural products myself and, after years of using them, now I am progressing to this.

    For myself, I see other advantages to this: saving a lot of money on products, no plastic bottles to waste, no polluting the water, no energy wasted in making the products, returning my hair and scalp to its natural state, saving me tons of time in the shower!

  • NagevNagev Raw Newbie

    I seldom shampoo my hair. I was in a few plays and I had to get some stuff out of it but besides that I have not washed in it 2 years. The longest period of time I’ve gone without washing was 8 months. My hair is not as clean as most peoples but it doesn’t smell and is way easier to brush. And i don’t need to use conditioner becuase the oils in my hair keep it smooth.


  • Spiritedmama, I think Texas has a lot more humidity than Arizona, I remember my grandpa used to leave my grandma every summer and go to AZ to escape the humidity. He said Arizona had dry heat and that was good for his joints and other body parts. Not being divisive, just sayin’:) Queenfluff, I’m not “there” yet, don’t know if I’ll ever be. I have a profession where personal appearance is a part of my annual evaluation. Hair is really key to the overall impression.

  • I had never heard of not washing your hair, I guess I’m not as green as I thought. Om, I’m with you, I don’t think I’ll ever be there but I applaud all of you who are.

  • spiritedmamaspiritedmama Raw Newbie

    Good point Om, I forgot about the humidity. I was just thinking heat.

  • queenfluffqueenfluff Raw Newbie

    Well, I think my hair is finally getting there. It doesn’t feel so oily and heavy today. I didn’t rinse yesterday as I was too buys. Weird thing is that my hair feels dry and a bit stiff today (maybe that product buildup is making its way down my hair)- also to me it seems thinner and I think I may be shedding more hair. I don’t see how the no shampoo would have anything to do with this though. This happened the last time I was almost 100% raw for two months (what it is with two months?) – that my hair seemed to get dryer and it shed a bit more.

    Nagev – when you don’t shampoo your hair what do you do? Just rinse with water?

  • kauaigirlkauaigirl Raw Newbie

    Wow, I wish I had read about this sooner! The whole process that I used to do every day….shampoo, condition, apply 2+ product, blow-dry, curling iron…drove me so crazy but I couldn’t get my hair to look good without it. After reading this thread and doing some research, I jumped right in, no baking soda/ACV washes or anything. Just some ocean and fresh water rinses. I am on day 11 and already feeling great about it. Days 4-9 were probably the worst but with my hair up you couldn’t tell. Lots of white waxy fuzz on my brush as mentioned earlier but already getting better. Maybe I’m being optimistic too early….we’ll see!

  • NagevNagev Raw Newbie


    ya I just rinse it with water and give my scalp a scrub. When I first started doing it my hair went crazy for a few weeks. It as really oily and gross. But if you stick it out, the natural oil cycle will sort out and you will be left with better hair; It is way easier to brush and feels better. Now if I wash my hair with shampoo, my head is itchy for literally 3 or 4 days and my hair feels really “dead”, there is no volume. By the way I have long hair, its about 24” long.


  • queenfluffqueenfluff Raw Newbie

    kauaigirl – That is great! Keep posting your progress! I am glad I am not the only one doing it right now – helps to know that others maybe be having the same transition as me (white fuzz etc) so I know I am not having any “abnormal” things going on! I was an everyday shampooer myself. My ‘white fuzz’ has died down a lot. I still have some but it doesn’t bother me as much. I just keep washing my brushes and combs in Dr. Bronners to keep them clean. I am at 7 weeks as of today. My hair actually feels more on the drier side than the oily esp the ends. I still have a few areas that still get the waxy oily feeling a bit – “crown area” – but the rest of my hair is fluffy and clean – almost too fluffy – I got some BIG hair going on which if fine by me because I was afraid of losing the fluff when I stopped shampoo. Yeah, the first week is pretty bad. What I hear is it can take up to 4 to 6 months to totally normalize on water only (depending on your volume of product usage before that too) that your hair will go through a few stages of feeling really clean to getting oily a bit again to being clean again and than it will be fine. I figure I am already at almost two months so why should I turn back. I keep reading some of the links I posted here and looking at success pictures to keep me motivated.Hang in there!

    Nagev – Thanks for the advice! My hair was easy to comb and brush the first week I started doing it. Right now I feel a bit like ‘bush woman’ so it is fluffy and my hair was normally (when on shampoo) fine and straight. My hair is long too (haven’t measured it – almost mid back). I hear that about people who shampoo after not shampooing for a while – their hair goes totally dead. I am so happy to hear that others have success with this. Mine looks so much healthier and thicker already – I am just waiting for it to calm down a bit and lose the last of the oily bits. :)

  • LucyLucy Raw Newbie

    Wow !! This is great !! I’ve heard Elaine Love talking about honey and lemon on her hair,but just water? Never. Very interesting.I’m going to try it.Thanks Queenfluff.My only problem and question is about drying the hair with the blow dryer.I’ve always had ear ache since a child and I’m always afraid of letting my hair dry by itself.Could you help me with this problem?

  • queenfluffqueenfluff Raw Newbie

    Hi Lucy – I have ear problems myself not really ear ache but hearing loss and tinnitus (alot better since I have been on raw AND I notice a difference since stopping shampoo too!).

    One thing I notice that is weird is that since I stopped shampooing the skin inside my ears (and some outside) is drier! In way since makes sense because when you shampoo, the shampoo can definately get inside your ears and maybe, just like with your scalp, alter the oil production inside your ears. Maybe my ears are detoxing out too? :) That was one of the additional reasons I actually stopped shampooing – having ear problems and such – I wondered about the effects of the shampoo entering my ears! Something most people probably never think about. I feel better about my ear health knowing that nothing chemical or unnatural is entering them now. I have enough problems with them already!

    Other than being drying to your hair and maybe causing some damage, I don’t see how blowdrying would interfer with the water only method of cleaning your hair. The heat might make your scalp produce a little more oil. The point of doing water only is to let your body (scalp in this case) return to its natural ‘cleaning’ state which was altered by using shampoos. The blow drying might increase oil production on your scalp it might not – if you use the cool setting on your blow dryer than you might be fine. Or perhaps keep your hair up in a towel until any excess moisture is gone from it than once it is just damp let it air dry and no water should drip into your ears.

    I have been letting my hair air dry for eons. I don’t even own a blow dryer anymore (this was before my ear problems started too). If I have go out and it is cold and my hair is still wet, I put a hat on that covers my ears. Oh! Your hair will dry faster on water only washing – odd but it is true – i think it is the natural oils that help that. I think also because it isn’t coated with conditioners anymore which unnaturally seal moisture in the hair shaft and weigh hair down.

    The other thing I would suggest (which is something I should be doing but I don’t) is to wear some ear plugs when you rinse your hair so your ear don’t get wet.

    I found another link where someone very nicely summarizing some water only facts: http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread….

  • writeeternitywriteeternity Raw Newbie

    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.

  • LucyLucy Raw Newbie

    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.

  • queenfluffqueenfluff Raw Newbie

    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!

  • queenfluffqueenfluff Raw Newbie


    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 :[

  • LucyLucy Raw Newbie

    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.

  • queenfluffqueenfluff Raw Newbie

    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.

  • LucyLucy Raw Newbie

    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.

  • queenfluffqueenfluff Raw Newbie

    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.

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