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To shampoo or not to shampoo?



  • stylistchickstylistchick Raw Newbie

    there is a “celebrity stylist” who believes in the no shampoo theory, if i can ever remember his name i’ll post it

    i still stand behind pureology, and after using countless kinds of shampoo in the salon, i honestly feel like this is a truly different product. not even comparable to aveda, which i think didn’t feel worked well at all. i’ve noticed i don’t need to shampoo nearly as ofen with the pureology, way before i switched to raw foods. now i can wait even longer.

    but bravo to all you that don’t need to use shampoo at all! i support it! maybe someone has already brought this up, but i think a high quality brush (preferably boars’ hair, but something with bristles really close together, maybe you could find synthetic) would really help to remove excess oils. maybe do 100 strokes a day, its great for your scalp!

    (sorry if i’m repeating things other folks have said, i don’t have time to read through the 8 pages of responses!)

  • queenfluffqueenfluff Raw Newbie

    Hi Taizy -

    Keep doing the sea salt rinse (don’t forget to leave it in) – I think your hair will be much more presentable by next Monday. You might want to try uping the salt (maybe do one that is 2 tablespoons to 2 cups of water – leave in 5 minutes). Another thing that works is white vinegar – the oilier your hair is the higher concentration of white vinegar you can use. Since white vinegar can be drying, the lowest concentrate would be 1 tablespoon to 2 cups water. You can go all the way up to equal parts depending on how oily your hair is. Don’t leave it in too long (only a minute at the most).

    Hi Stylistchick -

    I never heard of a celebrity stylist who supported the no poo. Very interesting! Yes, tell us know the name if you can remember it.

    If I were still a hairdresser, I would probably still be supporting products myself. Understandable as it is part of your profession and all. :) I think I would maybe make natural raw rinses and such and sell them myself and use them in my salon – would definately be different!

    I am honestly not sure which brands I would recommend to people if they really wanted a market product to buy – the last one I was using before I went no poo was Giovanni. Not a bad product compared to others I used but still left my hair thin and limp and dry. The best shampoo and conditioner I ever used on my hair was when Bath and Body works had there first lines of products – they had a revitalizing shmampoo and leave-in conditioner plus a banana mask. They came in purple containers. Of course, like all products that worked on me, they discontinued it and the new ones they came out with didn’t work as well. :(

    Funny thing about the boar bristle brush. I have been using one for a while and it was holding together well until I went no poo. Now because I had to wash it so much because of all the sebum – the bristle have started falling out! The brush isn’t really that old either – maybe a few years. So I am using wooded brushes and combs now. A fine tooth wooden comb works well to comb out any excess sebum ( the farther along I get the less I have anyhow). and I use a wide toothed wooden brush for fluff. I still use the BBB once and a while but notice I don’t need it that much – It worked OK when I went through the super oily phase and move the sebum around well. :)

  • stylistchickstylistchick Raw Newbie

    i just remembered something that might be of interest. the “old school ” way of neutralizing a permanent wave, was tomato juice! so if it can neurtalize a perm, certainly it would normalize hair to some extent, at the very least it would take out any smells that are caught in the hair. still trying to remember the celeb. stylist name…

  • thanks again for the encouragement…..

    Yesterday a whole lemon rinse . Today a sea swim and left in. No itchyness, no dandruff. :)......Still no “poo”....the grease is lessening.

    The only thing is that my highlights are growing out and my “grey” bits are springing up more noticably. Any advice for natural hair dye ? I’ve read about natural Henna.. I used to use it as a teenager.

    Anyway the experiment continues…

    Taizy :)

  • I tried the no poo idea for 8 weeks, it got pretty nasty, I still don’t use shampoo but I went back to conditioner, My hair is very, very thick, long and course with wave and curls, and it has always been hard to control, it is very dry,and frizzy, very agrravating most of the time, about a year ago it just started breaking off, you can see the breakage all around the top of my head,and it seems also like it is falling out a lot lately, we have hard water here, I’m also not sure if it has anything to do with being somewhat raw as my sister is having the same problem and is not raw, what gives? I eat mostly raw for breakfast and lunch , dinner is cooked, so far most of the people that talked about the no poo, when I first started researching it, seemed to have fine hair, so it seemed to work great for them , not sure how many of you out there have my type of hair, but I’d love to know if anything worked for you.I would love for my hair to be softer , well at least managable. When I get up in the morning,and i brush my hair,it bushes out and by the end of the day it looks like i never brushed it. it’s a drag

  • queenfluffqueenfluff Raw Newbie


    Have you tried putting in coconut oil or avocado to condition? They impart alot of oil to the hair. Although, I hear that lots of people with curly hair say that the conditioner only method works well for them. I believe that shampoo is worse for your hair than conditioner. Try to use the most natural conditioner you can find and avoid any with silicones in it – the silicones will coat your hair with a build up that only shampoo will be able to get off (or it will just take a very long time to come off). You might want to try a leave-in conditioner too.

    I have heard of no poo working for people with thick curly hair. They say their hair is less dry and their curls are healthier looking. The hard water definatley could be a factor as it is very drying to hair. When I can afford, I am getting a water softener for my shower. There a bit pricey (around 100$) but it is worth it to me.

    Instead of brushing (what kind of brush do you use?), use a wide toothed wooden brush or comb – you won’t end up with a big bush of hair then. And than when it starts to clump together again at the end of the day just use the comb to freshen it. From my experience, people with curly hair should avoid brushing unless it is a wide toothed brush.

    Although I don’t have the same hair you have – I still have the same problem that my hair doesn’t look like I brushed it later – it goes into pieces and I have to fluff it or comb it to make it look smooth again.

  • rawladyrawlady Raw Jr. Superstar

    This is the best discussion on this topic I’ve seen anywhere. Thanks for all the helpful info. I’ve tried to go “no poo” before, and didn’t make it through the “greasies”. I had long hair then, and could wear it up, and still only lasted a few weeks. I now have short hair, and am going to give it another try.

  • Hey All, just wanted to say what a great discussion and that you all inspired me to stop poo’ing too. It has been 6 weeks and my hair is the beat it’s ever been in my life, thick soft and easy to care for. Of course it is easier for a guy, I suppose, to get through the initial greasy period with shorter hair, but the results are worth whatever it takes. Thanks again for all the great info.

  • hey ..I’m still “no poo”...and slowley degreasing . the salt worked great and I am going to try an vinegar rinse this evening before I go on my flight tommorrow.

    My hair is really starting to settle – getting some natural waves and curls back – and I know now how to deal with scalp itch. .............


  • rawladyrawlady Raw Jr. Superstar

    Been doing “no poo” for a couple days now. Really hard to tell how it is going because on the first day I managed to get a heap of oil based paint in my hair and had to douse it with olive oil to get it out … so the first day was quite greasy. This morning I used only baking soda paste – no rinsing in diluted ACV, and it is much less greasy, but definitely not shiny and bouncy. Looks kind of dull and draggy. I’ll see how the rest of the week goes and try to keep my head out of the paint!

  • blujett8blujett8 Raw Newbie

    anyone looking to try the lemon juice without the drying factor, you can brew some chamomille tea, add a little honey and add some to the lemon juice. Oddly, its not sticky, just doesn’t dry out the hair so much : )

  • odalysodalys Raw Newbie

    bluejett8 – thanks for the tip. Would you recommend it for dark hair though? I believe chamomille, honey, and lemon brighten hair.

    So a little update – I’ve chopped off my hair, mostly because it was too dry and time for a haircut anyways. I’ve stopped using baking soda and am now officially on sea salt rinses (with the occasional acv rinse) My hair is greasy no matter how much salt water I use. Oh well, figure it’ll stabalize soon enough.

    anyone know how to get oomph in your hair??? I’d like to know how to add volume to my super thin hair (naturally, of course)

  • queenfluffqueenfluff Raw Newbie

    Hi odalys -

    If your oilyness is due to sebum buildup, try a diluated white vinegar rinse. Start off with 1 tablespoon of white vinegar to 2 cups of water and leave on for about a minute and rinse out. If it is still oily next time you do it, up the white vinegar. One girl said she used equal parts of water and white vinegar once a month and it leave her hair super clean.

    Also, some people say the ACV leaves their hair feeling greasy so I would hold off on the ACV. It is more for balancing the phd of the hair so it is more like a “conditioning” vinegar.

    What is the mixture of sea salt rinse you are using? Try using 2 tablespoons to 2 cups of warm water. Apply to dry hair focusing on oily parts and leave on 5 minutes and rinse out. You can leave it on longer if you feel it is not helping.

    For volume, actually sea salt is the best. Make a natural hair spray with sea salt and water.

    Also nettle or horsetail (if you can get some) is good to strengthen and add body and volume to hair – you would have to boil some dried nettle or horsetail in water like a tea and use that on your hair.

  • kauaigirlkauaigirl Raw Newbie

    Hi No ‘Pooers! I am still experimenting but I may have cheated a bit b/c I have been using some Dr. Bronners just on the oily parts. To me, it seems to be cutting some oil but not really stripping it completely like shampoo. It feels like it is maybe 1/4 strength or something. I’ve been doing it every other day plus some ocean rinses and I am happy right now with this routine. I guess I caved a bit when I started dating a new guy ;)

    I’m still having a lot of shedding. In the past two years I’ve definitely lost at least half of the hair I used to have when I was taking the birth control pill. I’m starting to think that this is a good thing. When you look at children, their hair is thin, silky, and fine. Someone on the hair loss thread mentioned something about your hair shedding when your body switches from acid to alkaline. I’ve noticed so many changes in my body that I can’t help but think this may be the case here too. The hair near my scalp is thick and healthy, it is just the long, old hairs that continue to fall out. I’m trying to stay away from the “deficiency” mind-set and feel positive about the changes.

    Thanks for that hairspray idea, queenfluff, I love to dampen my hair throughout the day and this will be perfect. I’ve been spritzing with water and coconut oil so I may add a bit of oil to this recipe too.

  • germin8germin8 Raw Master

    So, what is the “sea salt” water rinse? Is it specifically for hair? Sorry, I’m not really reading all the details in this post (it’s so long… but very interesting). I do a salt water flush every now-and-then… can I use that sea water? I have Pure Inland Sea Water.

    Rosemary? Is it just as good as using sea salt? If so… it sounds less messy and how would I use that for oily hair?

  • queenfluffqueenfluff Raw Newbie


    A sea salt water rinse is just a rinse you make yourself out of water and sea salt – so you are like creating your own ocean water.

    For example, I make mine with 2 tablespoons of sea salt (I use the Celtic grey) and 2 cups warm water. I let it dissolve and than I pour it on my hair. I leave on 5 minutes and rinse out. Just like swimming in ocean water and getting your hair saturated, the salt helps dry up the oil in your hair.

    Yes, rosemary is excellent for hair. Especially to help out with the oilies.

    Here is a recipe for rosemary rinse for oily hair:



    Every since I became a vegetarian 18 years ago my hair has always gone towards the thin side. It seems to stay stuck at this thickness. But I did read once that a few people who went raw said they lost a lot of hair and their hair got thinner and than it started growing in thicker again. They thought it was the shedding of their old “cooked” hair. It could be possible.

    If your roots are thick, that is the newest hair so it could be that that is your new strong “un pooed” hair. The old hair that was exposed to shampoo will still be dryed out and will have grow out. One person even said they noticed a “line:” (maybe of color difference) between where the new “un pooed” growth was since they stopped pooing their hair to where the old pooed hair was.That definately makes sense to me. Like when you color your hair and you decide to stop and let it all grow out. You see where your “virgin” uncolored hair is as compared to your old processed damaged hair.

    My hair is still growing slow but I am thinking that once all my hair is just unpooed hair (meaning it will take several years and I would have to cut off all hair that existed over six months ago) that will be the healthiest hair.

  • odalysodalys Raw Newbie

    Thanks for the tips queenfluff, I actually thought white vinegar and ACV would do the same job. I guess not. I really like the idea of spritzing sea salt water, makes me think of sexy beach hair :D

    kauaigril – I agree with queenfluff about the hair shedding. It’s a good thing it’s falling out in a way because when it grows back it’ll be much healthier. I imagine the new no poo hair will be easier to grow long (maybe even less haircuts?) since there’ll be significantly less damage. That’s definitely something to look forward too!

  • I never use shampoo and haven’t for almost a year now. I have curly hair and shampoo just kills it. I do use natural, organic sulfate-free conditioners or shea or cocnut oil for conditioner, but only sparingly. I have not had any weird transition because curly hair tends to be on the dry side.

    My hair has never felt healthier and is less tangled then when I was shampooing and using conditioner all the time. (I use conditioner once every 1-2 weeks.) I think that, like with anything, it’s a process. I do have bad hair tays and bad hair periods. During those times, I usually try to tie it up and forget about it and then it always gets better. I guess hair detoxes too!

  • queenfluffqueenfluff Raw Newbie

    Hi RoxieJolie -

    So, you never had any oily roots or sebum buildup near the root? Lucky you, I am noticeing mine has gone back to being a bit more oily at the roots lately. could be the fact that it is been humid out and I haven’t been eating very raw lately.

    How often did you shampoo before you quit? What sort of hair do you have (caucasian, african american…). Do you just water rinse or you do use anything else beside the conditioner?

  • QueenFluff

    I know the topic is shampoo, but I have a question for you.

    I noticed you have mentioned using MSM lotion on your scars in some of your posts. I have acne scars on my face and have not been able to find anything to help them go away. How is the MSM lotion working on your scars and is there a certain brand you would recommend? After I saw one of your posts mentioning MSM lotion, I looked into it. I found an organic MSM lotion on the internet, but wanted your feed back. Are you seeing a great difference? This would be a dream come true to see my clear skin again.

    Once again, I apologize for interrupting the shampoo forum.

  • queenfluffqueenfluff Raw Newbie

    Hi simplyraw -

    Yes, I am using MSM lotion on my face for some acne scars – The scars are not totally gone or anything but they have greatly smoothed out compared to how they looked before. They were the “ice-pick” scars that you get from cyst acne.

    I am using David Wolfes MSM lotion. He has several different scents to choose from. They are the same lotions just different scents. I use the Berry Vanilla – smells like cotton candy.


  • Thanks so much for the info.QueenFluff. My scars are from cyst acne as well.

    I cannot wait to start using it!

  • I am new to no “pooing”. What I am wondering is if I can use something like mousse in my hair? I have curly hair and I find if I don’t use something my hair is a big frizz ball! Will this defeat the purpose? Any suggestions?

  • kundalalitakundalalita Raw Newbie

    Hey no ‘poo friends!

    Well its been about 2 1/2 months since I stopped using shampoo and I have to tell you my hair just keeps getting better. A few weeks ago I did ‘crack’ and shampoo once because the intensity of my oil situation was unprecedented, but i’m kind of glad i did because it wasn’t like i had to start over, my hair just picked up where it left off. i’ve just been using plain water rinses every few days and i stopped using salt water and it has been a lot better, i think using the salt water going into the ocean so often made my oil situation so bad.

    I’m still definitely getting the ‘white/grey fuzzies’ every time I brush, but honestly if my hair was like this from now on i wouldn’t care, its so thick, shiny, soft, like when i was 9 years old. My hair used to be frizzy but now it acts like its straight hair that has been styled. And the oil really isn’t that evident. Can’t wait to see what its like 4 months from now! just have to make sure i can stick to the raw diet just as committedly lol.

    i’m gonna try to upload a more recent pic!

  • germin8germin8 Raw Master

    I just had the worst hair day! I’m taking it slow… not shampooing for 3 days at a time. But, I must have WAY TOO MUCH oil in my scalp. By day 2, I can scratch it off my scalp. It is disgusting… hence, the bad hair day. It’s like this residue on my scalp… that’s semi-oily. Gross. I washed my hair 3 times tonight… how long do I have to wait for this to go on and have a good hair day? What is this??? blagh :o)

  • rawladyrawlady Raw Jr. Superstar

    Germin8 – I’m a little over a week not shampooing. So far it is okay – a tad oily, but not much. I am using a tablespoon of baking soda made into a loose paste – I put it mainly on my scalp and massage with a small scalp brush. Leave on for about a minute, then rinse it out well. I “condition” with 2 tbl apple cider vinegar in a large glass of water, I do the ends first and then pouring it all through my hair, and rinse with plain water. Using a plastic tooth scalp massager brush may help with the residue—I haven’t noticed much actually. I actually “shampoo” every day because I tend to get paint and junk in my hair on a daily basis.

    I picked up some rosemary essential oil today that I’m going to add to my baking soda scrub, and will perhaps add a drop of lavendar as well.

    Hope it gets better for you!!!

  • queenfluffqueenfluff Raw Newbie

    Hi nisolu -

    Yes, mousse will defeat the purpose – mostly because it is so unnatural that the only way to get it out of your hair will be shampoo. If you keep using it and just do water rinses, eventually you will end up with a big sticky mess of hair (I was a huge mousse user back in the 80s – ah, who wasn’t back then?). When you stop shampooing your hair, you will notice the fizziness disappear after a while. The natural oils that your scalp secretes (called sebum) will moisturize your hair and smooth down your curls and the fizziness. People with curly hair have great results with no poo – they say it make their curls look even better than they do with products. You might want to try a little bit of coconut oil on you frizzy parts. .

    Hey Kundalalita-

    I was wondering how your no pooing was going. Wow! Your picture looks great! (Anyone ever tell you you look a little like Brooke Shields?) Funny how you mention the salt thing – I have been using the sea salt rinse pretty often lately and I am noticing increased oiliness and I think I have some salt buildup. It seemed like if I used it everyday – it didn’t always work as great. I had more grey fuzz (sebum) too. I wasn’t getting them for a while when I brushed but than they seemed to come back for a while. It could be the humidity too – making my scalp produce more sebum.I am at 6 months (I think it is 6 months – I started on Easter). How are your ends doing? Just wondering if they are staying soft with your length of hair. What kind of brush do you use?

    hi Germin8-

    What you are scratching off your scalp is probably sebum. It is supposed to be there. At the beginning of switching to no poo, your scalp will still over produce the oil. Since you are going the route of slowing weaning off shampoo, make sure you really dilute it.The longer you use full strength shampoo the longer it will take. Yeah, you will have a gross period – most people do but it will go faster if you stop using the full strength shampoo.

    Try some diluted white vinegar to remove excess sebum (start with 1 tblsp to 2 cups water – apply and rinse out). You could also try the baking soda/acv method that raw lady suggested. That is a very popular method with those who want to go no poo but don’t like just water rinsing. Corn starch is another thing that will help absorb oil between shampoo.

    Another suggestion is if you have a massage setting on your shower nozzle. Use that on your scalp – the harder pressure will help clean your scalp off. I use one and I haven’t had any buildup on my scalp at all. I feel like it helps keep my hair cleaner.

  • germin8germin8 Raw Master

    Thanks for tha advice rawlady and queenfluff. I washed my hair yesterday 3 times, and it feels so nice and soft today. But, I don’t want to use such strong shampoo… I was desperate to get that gunk (sebum) off my scalp! I’ll try the vinegar… I think you mentioned in an earlier post about sea salt, is that good for the same reasons? I wish this no-shampoo transition was easier. Will I smell like vinegar? Thanks.

  • queenfluffqueenfluff Raw Newbie


    The white vinegar works the best for removing excess sebum. Sea Salt works more for general oilyness. The white vinegar should be used only occassionally as it can be drying. Sea Salt is good to use more often because it is not as drying.

    No, you shouldn’t smell like vinegar. :) The concentration is low. Just make sure you rinse really well. If you are still sebum-y afterwords, next time increase the vinegar or leave it on a while (like a minute). Keep in mind since you are at the beginning of the transition you will still have an overproduction of sebum for a while. You might just have to stick it out and put back your hair or something because you don’t want to use the vinegar too often. You want to have some sebum in your hair because it protects your scalp and hair and naturally conditions. But yeah, I know, too much is so yuck! The white vinegar really helped me when I had it. :)

  • germin8germin8 Raw Master

    I had no idea sebum has a real purpose.

    Does sebum clog my pores/follicles? Can hair fallout because of this sebum clogging follicles?

    What a relief to not smell like vinegar. I would be very self conscious with greasy hair and scratching the sebum off my scalp creating a dandruff appearance. Looking groomed is important when people already think that eating raw is “weird”.

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