I stopped using shampoo 7 years ago (summer 2008) but this is the first time I've been on this site.
I wanted to eliminate unnecessary packaging, cost and artificial chemicals from my life. I had dreads and henna at the time I started and thought it would be the perfect excuse to try it out (you can wash dreads with shampoo but since everyone assumed I was a dirty hippy I thought I might as well use the opportunity to actually become one...). At the time I washed my hair with shampoo and sometimes conditioner about once every 4-5 days. My transition lasted 7 months (I combed out the dreads a few weeks in), with the worst greasiest point being about 6 weeks in.
My transition consisted of largely WO every 4-5 days with raids of the kitchen cupboard sometimes supplementing it (egg yolk, vinegar, tea, lemon juice etc etc), and henna every 6 weeksish. I found that my scalp became itchy about 2 weeks in and there was loads of buildup of grease and skin. I developed an unpleasant head-scratching habit. However after several months of perseverance my hair finally became socially acceptable again, and looked much nicer than before. I started increasing the time between my WO washes first to one week, then two weeks. Sometimes I go three weeks and I once managed 5 weeks without any water! I sometimes use ACV- a splash in a pint-sized cup- if I'm feeling vain. I still henna too, and mix in tea and lemon juice. Overall I'm very happy with my results- I find that in a 2-week cycle my hair looks and feels great in the first 5 days after WO, then gradually gets a bit greasy towards days 6-8ish then softens out a bit, gradually greasing and becoming itchier towards day 14 or 21. I find that the longer I leave between WO washes the longer my hair can stay ungreasy, but my scalp gets itchy so that's when I put it in the shower. Also I don't really bother with soap either, my skin is dry and soap (even natural soap) just makes it worse.
Egg: White made hair very frizzy, yolk was the best conditioner ever BUT couldn't get rid of smell
Rosemary oil: Tried to rid scalp of itch- didn't do much
Witch hazel: possibly slight scalp benefit?
ACV: Really nice results, since it's a chemical change you don't need much at all.
Bs: I don't use as it's actually quite harsh (used in some commercial detergents) and I personally wouldn't consider it 'no-poo'
Tea: gives a nice shine and nice smell but usually can't be bothered
Henna: Love it! Leftover powder can get stuck in the scalp and exacarbate itching though
Hot water: I kind of feel like it's not as good as lukewarm water and it certainly doesn't melt the grease away...
Here's a picture of me looking a bit weird (was gradually making the henna less red at the time but currently my whole hair length looks like the bottom half):
Here are the problems I've never really sorted:
Itchy flaky scalp with some sore patches: I use nothing harsh (No BS) although I live in a hard water area.
Split ends, breakage and white dots: I got these when I was about 14 and neither henna nor 'no-poo' (I hate that phrase) have helped. I cut my hair and the ends and dots are back withing 2 weeks. Want to work out how to stop them before cutting off the current ones. Have just started with coconut oil every 2 weeks prior to wash.
Grey gunk: Yep, still get that.
'waxiness'... I think I understand what this is, and it tends to affect me more when I don't use ACV so is possibly related to hard water, or heat of water- certainly don't get it when I get a 'free shower' from rainwater.
Lots of the advice about these problems seems to be related to reducing BS ratios, however I have never used it. I was considering starting to use ACV with every wash to counteract the hard water but don't want my hair to become dependent on it. Please feel free tao ask me questions about my experiences as I have 7 years of them!
- 7 years without shampoo, some experiences and questions