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So I'm going to do this "not washing hair" thing. What's in store?!

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  • #16
    I can't remember the last time I used shampoo. It was probably 2 years ago or so. I kept increasing the amount of time between washings and finally just quit. There was a period of adjustment, with extra greasiness, then it settled down and became really normal. It is definitely much easier to style now than before.

    If I start getting dandruffy, I use a bit of cider vinegar, let it sit for a few, and rinse it out. I do this maybe once a week or so.

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    • #17
      I stopped using shampoo (and almost all personal care products) in 2007. I read a ton on the long hair forum at the time, and here's what I remember of what I learned:

      - Your hair, like all mammals, has natural oils that help to keep it from getting soaked in a light rain, clean itself with little help from you, and other wonderful features.
      - If you simply run your fingers through your hair daily to get out the tangles, it is entirely self-maintaining. Some people (like me) need to "preen" daily, too - run the oils from the scalp to the ends after a very brief scalp massage. You can do this with fingers or a boar's bristle hair brush.
      - If you don't run your fingers through your hair daily, and it's long, you will get natural dreadlocks.
      - During the hygiene obsession following Pasteur's discovery of bacteria, people started washing their hair regularly. This is what shampoo does - it washes out all your natural oils. What you think is "dirty" on day 2 or 3 after a shampoo is actually your natural oils overproducing to try to get spread out throughout your hair again. (This also happens with your pets. That's why your dog stinks when it gets wet. Mine doesn't. :P My cat looks like it just came from the groomer's bath every day, thanks to a combination of good diet & no washing by humans, ever.)
      - Since the shampoo rinses out all your oils, your hair becomes limp, flyaway, more tangly, and suddenly, you need "Volume & Body" shampoos, and most definitely, conditioner.
      - When you stop using shampoo, there will be a transition period when your scalp is still overproducing oils, then it realizes it doesn't need to do this and slows up. It helps to wear hats, wear your hair up, or be on vacation during this time. The length varies individually from a few days to a few weeks. My short-haired hubby was the former. I'm the latter.

      So I just went cold turkey. I did it at the beginning of summer when I knew I'd be wearing my hair up nearly every day, and it took several weeks. I made a ton of oil, and had to massage it and de-tangle it daily, but it was still less time than taking a shower every 1-2 days, and the ridiculous 30 minutes of blow-drying I had to do (I had THICK hair) if I didn't want the two-hour air dry time.

      A few months later, I convinced dh to do it while we were on vacation. He has short hair an is an attorney at a major law firm. He can't look like a greasy hippie. His transition lasted about two days, and then he discovered that he didn't get hat hair anymore and he was totally sold. He no longer needs tons of styling products, either (he used to use hair spray & gel). He just uses a tiny bit of coconut oil and gets the same style he always did.

      Benefits for me:
      - Volume out the wazoo. My hair is never limp anymore.
      - 3 minutes a day, max, to brush & massage. If I ignore it for a few days, it's fine, too
      - Camping is a breeze
      - Water bill way down
      - My hair now has a natural wave to it! It was board-straight my entire life!
      - No more dents from hair implements, pony tail holders, etc.
      - Air-dries in 30-minutes now
      - Not nearly as heavy (water-logged) when I get out of the water now
      - Very rarely ever "fly-away" anymore.
      - My hair cleans itself. I was in my sister's wedding and the stylist plastered my hair with hairspray. I expected I'd have to wash it, but instead, the next morning, all the spray was gone. Ditto for when I went to karaoke at a very smoky bar. You know how smoke stays in your hair for days if you don't wash it. Well, the next morning, it was *gone*. My clothes still stank, but my hair did not.

      Downsides for me:
      - When I go in chlorine, it seizes up and feels like a wax factory. I *have* to wash it then if I don't want it nappy for a week.
      - I have to preen daily. DH does not. If I don't, after about a week, the back of my crown gets greasy and starts spreading around.
      - Doesn't have that "Breck girl" shine that shampoo used to give me

      I have bad hair days every now and then, just like I used to. More rare now.

      If I neglect preening, or hit chlorine, I just do a baking soda & vinegar wash. 1T bkg soda in warm water, wash with that. 1T apple cider vinegar in warm water, rinse with that. Done. I do find that the more often I do the BS/ACV wash, the more often I have to do it.

      I don't even use water. I only take a shower once every other week or so, and don't take baths unless they're ice baths. I do not stink. I have friends & family who wouldn't hesitate to tell me if I did, and I ask. I don't. I don't use soap unless I'm "showing or smelling". Like your hair, your skin makes oils that do the cleaning for you. Even water is usually unnecessary once your body gets back into "clean itself & don't overproduce" mode, and when dirty, water alone is usually enough. Soap is a last resort.

      I don't use lotion. First I transitioned to olive oil; then I decided to work on my skin from the inside out through nutrition, and now I don't need anything, after a lifetime of dry skin, and eczema for dh.

      I don't use commercial deodorant & certainly not anti-perspirant. When my diet's spot-on and I'm not detoxing, my sweat does not stink at all, just like the stories I used to hear about farmers. But when there's anything to worry about, I use my mix of 50:50 coconut oil & baking soda in the morning, and I never, ever stink.

      My skin glows and is softer than ever.

      I know it makes me a hippie, but at least I'm not a smelly, greasy hippie.

      There is NOTHING like being able to take off into the woods for a week and not worry about personal care products, or stinking as a result of a lack of it.
      5'4" 39yo mother to five sweeties & married to their AMAZING DaddyGrok
      Current Weight: 175lb__________________________________Goal: 135lb
      Deadlift: 240lb________________________________________Back Squat: 165lb
      Bench: 130lb__________________________________________Pre ss: 85lb
      ***Winning a 20-year war against binge eating disorder***

      Comment


      • #18
        MamaGrok, that's truly inspirational! I'm dying to go poo-less, but must wait until my pixie is long enough to pull up. I currently wash my hair every 2 or 3 days, starting with a lavender oil massage, and use an ACV rinse once a week. My hair's responding beautifully. And I'm always pulling oils from my scalp down to the tips, esp. the day after washing.

        I just couldn't give up showers and baths though. There's nothing more soothing to me than a warm, fragrant, oily bath or a steamy shower after a long day.
        “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” Rumi

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        • #19
          MamaGrok, you mentioned that your hair needs to be 'preened'. What do you do to preen?

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by jfreaksho View Post
            I can't remember the last time I used shampoo. It was probably 2 years ago or so. I kept increasing the amount of time between washings and finally just quit. There was a period of adjustment, with extra greasiness, then it settled down and became really normal. It is definitely much easier to style now than before.

            If I start getting dandruffy, I use a bit of cider vinegar, let it sit for a few, and rinse it out. I do this maybe once a week or so.
            Originally posted by MamaGrok View Post
            I stopped using shampoo (and almost all personal care products) in 2007. I read a ton on the long hair forum at the time, and here's what I remember of what I learned:

            - Your hair, like all mammals, has natural oils that help to keep it from getting soaked in a light rain, clean itself with little help from you, and other wonderful features.
            - If you simply run your fingers through your hair daily to get out the tangles, it is entirely self-maintaining. Some people (like me) need to "preen" daily, too - run the oils from the scalp to the ends after a very brief scalp massage. You can do this with fingers or a boar's bristle hair brush.
            - If you don't run your fingers through your hair daily, and it's long, you will get natural dreadlocks.
            - During the hygiene obsession following Pasteur's discovery of bacteria, people started washing their hair regularly. This is what shampoo does - it washes out all your natural oils. What you think is "dirty" on day 2 or 3 after a shampoo is actually your natural oils overproducing to try to get spread out throughout your hair again. (This also happens with your pets. That's why your dog stinks when it gets wet. Mine doesn't. :P My cat looks like it just came from the groomer's bath every day, thanks to a combination of good diet & no washing by humans, ever.)
            - Since the shampoo rinses out all your oils, your hair becomes limp, flyaway, more tangly, and suddenly, you need "Volume & Body" shampoos, and most definitely, conditioner.
            - When you stop using shampoo, there will be a transition period when your scalp is still overproducing oils, then it realizes it doesn't need to do this and slows up. It helps to wear hats, wear your hair up, or be on vacation during this time. The length varies individually from a few days to a few weeks. My short-haired hubby was the former. I'm the latter.

            So I just went cold turkey. I did it at the beginning of summer when I knew I'd be wearing my hair up nearly every day, and it took several weeks. I made a ton of oil, and had to massage it and de-tangle it daily, but it was still less time than taking a shower every 1-2 days, and the ridiculous 30 minutes of blow-drying I had to do (I had THICK hair) if I didn't want the two-hour air dry time.

            A few months later, I convinced dh to do it while we were on vacation. He has short hair an is an attorney at a major law firm. He can't look like a greasy hippie. His transition lasted about two days, and then he discovered that he didn't get hat hair anymore and he was totally sold. He no longer needs tons of styling products, either (he used to use hair spray & gel). He just uses a tiny bit of coconut oil and gets the same style he always did.

            Benefits for me:
            - Volume out the wazoo. My hair is never limp anymore.
            - 3 minutes a day, max, to brush & massage. If I ignore it for a few days, it's fine, too
            - Camping is a breeze
            - Water bill way down
            - My hair now has a natural wave to it! It was board-straight my entire life!
            - No more dents from hair implements, pony tail holders, etc.
            - Air-dries in 30-minutes now
            - Not nearly as heavy (water-logged) when I get out of the water now
            - Very rarely ever "fly-away" anymore.
            - My hair cleans itself. I was in my sister's wedding and the stylist plastered my hair with hairspray. I expected I'd have to wash it, but instead, the next morning, all the spray was gone. Ditto for when I went to karaoke at a very smoky bar. You know how smoke stays in your hair for days if you don't wash it. Well, the next morning, it was *gone*. My clothes still stank, but my hair did not.

            Downsides for me:
            - When I go in chlorine, it seizes up and feels like a wax factory. I *have* to wash it then if I don't want it nappy for a week.
            - I have to preen daily. DH does not. If I don't, after about a week, the back of my crown gets greasy and starts spreading around.
            - Doesn't have that "Breck girl" shine that shampoo used to give me

            I have bad hair days every now and then, just like I used to. More rare now.

            If I neglect preening, or hit chlorine, I just do a baking soda & vinegar wash. 1T bkg soda in warm water, wash with that. 1T apple cider vinegar in warm water, rinse with that. Done. I do find that the more often I do the BS/ACV wash, the more often I have to do it.

            I don't even use water. I only take a shower once every other week or so, and don't take baths unless they're ice baths. I do not stink. I have friends & family who wouldn't hesitate to tell me if I did, and I ask. I don't. I don't use soap unless I'm "showing or smelling". Like your hair, your skin makes oils that do the cleaning for you. Even water is usually unnecessary once your body gets back into "clean itself & don't overproduce" mode, and when dirty, water alone is usually enough. Soap is a last resort.

            I don't use lotion. First I transitioned to olive oil; then I decided to work on my skin from the inside out through nutrition, and now I don't need anything, after a lifetime of dry skin, and eczema for dh.

            I don't use commercial deodorant & certainly not anti-perspirant. When my diet's spot-on and I'm not detoxing, my sweat does not stink at all, just like the stories I used to hear about farmers. But when there's anything to worry about, I use my mix of 50:50 coconut oil & baking soda in the morning, and I never, ever stink.

            My skin glows and is softer than ever.

            I know it makes me a hippie, but at least I'm not a smelly, greasy hippie.

            There is NOTHING like being able to take off into the woods for a week and not worry about personal care products, or stinking as a result of a lack of it.
            Amazing and inspiring!!

            I was hoping to go cold turkey because my hair is super delicate and shampoo never serves me well. It's been 6 days now since I used shampoo and it looks stiff (as opposed to greasy). I've resorted to plaits But I might try the Apple cider vinegar / nettle rinse once I get sick of them. I've got short hair so don't have many up-style options!

            Sophie screams, that Rumi quote is one of my favourites - love it!
            "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

            In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

            - Ray Peat

            Comment


            • #21
              For me, "preening" means a short scalp massage, and then using my fingers and/or BBB (boar's bristle brush) slowly from scalp to ends throughout my hair. I have to use the BBB once on the inside of my hair and then once on the outside b/c it's so thick!

              Every now and then, I want to throw in the towel b/c I've gotten out of the daily de-tangle & preen thing (b/c daggumit, I've gotten so used to doing almost nothing to care for my body that I actually get the idea I can do NOTHING!) and grease builds up, but even if I did quit, I'd go to BS/ACV, never again shampoo. BS/ACV gives me nearly the same results as shampoo in sheen without totally losing the body, and of course, without chemicals and much cheaper.

              SophieScreams, DH does no-poo with short hair. It was even easier for him than for me. He used to wash his hair with water daily, simply bc he couldn't imagine not taking a daily shower, but he doesn't even do that most days anymore.
              5'4" 39yo mother to five sweeties & married to their AMAZING DaddyGrok
              Current Weight: 175lb__________________________________Goal: 135lb
              Deadlift: 240lb________________________________________Back Squat: 165lb
              Bench: 130lb__________________________________________Pre ss: 85lb
              ***Winning a 20-year war against binge eating disorder***

              Comment


              • #22
                i tried not washing my hair for a week once. i forget my reason, but it had something to do with the bad chemicals in shampoo. actually, i did it for several weeks, gradually lengthening the time between washings. i felt stinky even though i showered the rest of my body daily. currently, in winter, i wash with store-bought shampoo every other day, and usually every day in the warm months.

                Comment


                • #23
                  I "wash" my hair daily with a mild organic conditioner, and then condition with another conditioner. I have very fine, curly hair and hate the smell of unwashed scalp so this compromise works quite well for me.
                  Using low lectin/nightshade free primal to control autoimmune arthritis. (And lost 50 lbs along the way )

                  http://www.krispin.com/lectin.html

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    That reminds me of another thing. I made sure to threaten dh with certain demise if I ever smelled bad and he didn't tell me. The first week, I knew to expect a lot of a certain "earthiness", and told him that. I asked if I smelled "earthy" (the scent of the oils that are overproducing and haven't yet backed off their overproduction) or "just plain bad" and he told me after a few days, it was earthy near my head, but only if he got really close, and after a few more days, that was totally gone and has never come back..

                    Another thing I forgot - like my armpit funk, my hair gets grosser when my something in my body is off. It reflects food I don't do well with, getting sick, die-off, or something like that. My hair, skin, & pits really "talks" to me well now! (Thankfully, most of the time their "talk" is "happy, smooth, smell great!")
                    5'4" 39yo mother to five sweeties & married to their AMAZING DaddyGrok
                    Current Weight: 175lb__________________________________Goal: 135lb
                    Deadlift: 240lb________________________________________Back Squat: 165lb
                    Bench: 130lb__________________________________________Pre ss: 85lb
                    ***Winning a 20-year war against binge eating disorder***

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      I wash my hair about once a week. Even pre-Primal I wasn't a fan of daily shampooing (which btw seemed fairly strange to me many years ago, when I moved here to the US). Anyway, it doesn't have much to do with the original topic of the thread, but since I've dropped all grains and pretty much all processed sugars I have noticed my hair no longer gets greasy and I could go even longer between washes.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        MG, I have the unfortunate combination of fine/full/wavy hair. I have previously cut back on shampooing, only to have greasy and frizzy hair at the same time. And my hair is a comical mess every morning, has to be wetted and re-tamed.
                        And I live in OK, which gets really humid and suffers 100+ degree temps for weeks at a time. Can't go to work or out into the singledom-nightmare dreamscape like that.

                        I will give the BS/ACV method a try though. Should I start with every other shampoo while extending days between to start? Should I keep the lavender oil massages up?
                        “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” Rumi

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by MamaGrok View Post
                          Another thing I forgot - like my armpit funk, my hair gets grosser when my something in my body is off. It reflects food I don't do well with, getting sick, die-off, or something like that. My hair, skin, & pits really "talks" to me well now! (Thankfully, most of the time their "talk" is "happy, smooth, smell great!")
                          mamagrok - you have some great stuff going on ! I agree with you about the underarm/antipersperant. I haven't used any for many years, and I don't smell etc... althou do notice a smell if I am unwell or brewing something. However I cannot get away from using soap in the shower, and I still wash and condition my hair at least twice per week.
                          I will try showering without soap ( I use the dove which is half moisturiser/half soap), but just havn't gone there as yet.
                          If you have done some heavy work in the garden, or done a hard workout - do you still go without showering ?
                          I would love to hear your thoughts
                          G
                          "never let the truth get in the way of a good story "

                          ...small steps....

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            I'm glad mamagrok put it all out there. I've been afraid to share that I only shower once a week, whichis for the purpose of washing my hair. We don't have a bath tub, so I don't bathe.

                            I also do not stink, and I've even had people complement me on the "scent" that I'm wearing -- asking me if it's this or that essential oil. It's usually just coconut oil, which I often use to moisturize my body if it is dry (the tops of my feet get dry. If i feel a little sticky, I'll use a wash cloth and water).

                            My hair is currently arm-pit length, though it needs a trim, and it's curly.

                            This whole thing is so wonderfully low-maintenance. I just love it. The more low maintenance my life is, the better.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              I'll bet that if cavemen had soap and shampoo, they would have used them.
                              Peeeee-eeeeeeww.
                              Last edited by counterpuncher; 01-06-2013, 01:13 PM.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by counterpuncher View Post
                                I'll bet that if cavemen had soap and shampoo, they would have used them.
                                Peeeee-eeeeeeww.
                                First, i'm not mimicking cave-man times.

                                Second, no one is saying that someone doesn't bathe and/or use methods to get clean. Everyone here has asserted using water, oil, herbal and natural rinses or pastes to wash their hair; using natural soaps or water or oil to cleanse the body. These have been used by people for generations -- long before harsh soaps were developed.

                                Third, we have all stated that we are clean -- those of us who do this. Instead of having major skin conditions, or yucky hair, or smelling bad -- we smell clean, natural, and have beautiful hair and skin.

                                So. You can go on asserting that it's "peeee-eeeeww" if you want, but it certainly denies the several n-1s here.

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