So in the last 2 weeks I've washed my hair just once and last night I decided I won't be washing it ever again. Yes, you read that right. Yes, I wash everything else. No, I'm not nuts. No, my hair isn't smelly. This picture was taken today. So far, so good!
At first my goal was to just wash my hair less often - about once a week (typically I was washing it every 3-4 days so it's not a HUGE shift to go longer) because I know how regular shampooing strips the hair of exactly what it needs, creating an endless cycle of washing, then greasy/oily hair, then washing it again to relieve the condition that was created by shampooing in the first place. Our hair doesn't get oily like that when left to its own devices. It does it to compensate for what WE put it through and/or take away from it.
Up until now I primarily used the Live Clean brand for my hair because it's vegan and my waves loved the results, although when money is tight I will grab any brand that's on sale. I've never been too picky. I also used spritzes of Coconut Oil or Argan Oil as a leave in conditioner.
Despite loving the product I already use, last night I began to research natural homemade shampoos. I figured since I'm already trying something new (extending the time between washing), I may as well explore a new way of washing my hair that doesn't rely on store-bought concoctions. Turns out baking soda + water for shampoo and apple cider vinegar + water for conditioner (get the measurements here) is a big thing in the hair world and I had no idea.
I read a bunch of articles on that and there were mixed reviews. It worked for some but made hair super wonky for others so I wasn't really keen on experimenting with that. I wanted guaranteed results that my hair will thrive even more than it already does.
Which is why I googled what would happen if you just stopped washing your hair completely. Being that I already don't use styling products and I don't straighten, curl or blow-dry my hair (what you see in any of my photos is just what my hair naturally does unless it's been straightened after a cut), I would genuinely LOVE the freedom to never have to wash it either. I'll take no maintenance over low maintenance any day.
I came across Jacquelyn Byers who hasn't used anything but water twice a week for over 5 years now (read her story here) and Lucy Aitken of Lulastic and the Hippyshake who has been shampoo-free for years as well (read her story here) and is the best-selling author of Happy Hair: The Definitive Guide To Giving Up Shampoo.
Turns out that letting your hair do what it does naturally, inevitably creates thicker, shinier, brighter, softer, and sometimes even lighter and richer coloured hair because all the junk has been removed for good and your hair is free to work as it should. I've even read accounts that hair grows much faster as well but who knows if that's true. Makes sense that it would be though if you're no longer stressing your hair out with chemicals and all the hard work of needing to replace oils on the regular.
There is a transition period at the start (from a few weeks to a few months depending on your hair) but once your hair no longer needs to work so hard to replace all the oils you've stripped with the stuff you've been taking away and then adding to it, the pH balance is restored and all is well in your hair world. If you can withstand the in-between, then maybe this hair option is for you.
From what I've read, most have opted for this route for environmental reasons, and while that's a great bonus, I'm doing it because I want my hair to be as free and as happy as it can be and I also LOVE simplicity.
So far, my hair is pretty fluffy and full which surprises me since I thought I might end up looking like a drowned rat by this point. I do have more oiliness at the roots than I'm used to but I know that's only temporary so I'm ok with it. If it does start to bug me while I'm in the transition phase, I will just add some cocoa powder to the roots. I read that works great and who doesn't want to smell sweet?!
Have you gone shampoo-free or know someone who has? I feel like a whole new world just opened up for me last night and I'm so excited to see and feel how my hair transforms over the next few months! Time will tell.
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P.P.S. Explore my other Shampoo-Free posts here.
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