How I Cured My Dandruff and Itchy Scalp

When I was 13 years old my dandruff was so bad my Mom told me to put baby oil on my scalp at night, thinking it might help. I took my showers at night at the time so the next morning I didn’t have enough time to wash the baby oil out.

I was a metalhead with long hair and all day in school my hair was not only incredibly oily (even my English teacher made a comment!), but the dandruff and itchiness was still rampant. It wasn’t a fun day.

15 years later, I finally figured out how to get rid of dandruff. You might cringe at first, but hear me out.

I haven’t washed my hair in 6 months.

You might not believe me, but it’s true.

Before I get into the process (it’s not simply “don’t wash your hair”), let’s talk about what causes dandruff.

According to this BBC News Health article, dandruff and itchy scalp are caused by overactive Malassezia fungus. This fungus is naturally found on human skin, but if it’s overactive it causes a fast turnover of skin cells. In other words, Malassezia produces flakes faster in dandruff sufferers than in people without dandruff.

If you have oily hair (like me) then you’re more susceptible to dandruff, since Malassezia feeds on sebum, the oily matter produced by the sebaceous glands in our skin.

You’d think not washing your hair would just make your hair even more oily, right?

In the past if I didn’t wash my hair for one day I’d have gross oily hair until I washed it again.

Then in February of this year my friend Rachel randomly mentioned that washing your hair every day isn’t necessary and actually makes it look worse.

I immediately stopped washing my hair.

I decided to test it out for 30 days. That means the last time I can remember washing my hair is sometime in March!

The interesting thing is after a few days my scalp seemingly stopped producing so much oil. I don’t know the science behind it, and I haven’t been able to find conclusive studies about it, I just know it works.

Some people use baking soda and vinegar. Or lemon juice. These products don’t strip your hair of its oils.

But I don’t use any product of any kind in my hair.

How To Stop Shampooing Your Hair

Even if you don’t have dandruff, not washing your hair will be beneficial for you. That’s because when your hair is full of natural healthy oils you don’t have to douse it in hair styling products.

Step 1: Commit to 30 days

If you don’t give your body time to adjust to this new way of living you won’t get any benefit out of it.

Step 2: “Wash” without washing

This is the real secret. When I tell most people they just think it’s gross and don’t hear me out. :)

When I hop in the shower in the morning I give my scalp a vigorous 15 second rinse under the water. This gets the visible oiliness out of my hair, but doesn’t actually strip my scalp of any oil.

It’s washing without washing.

When you first do this you’ll notice that your hair might feel a little “sticky.” Don’t worry, you have to give it time to adjust.

Step 3: Conditioning

The natural oils in your scalp are now your conditioner. Don’t use any conditioning products.

Step 4: Towel dry and comb

Towel dry your hair and comb it out. Don’t use a hair dryer if you can help it.

Step 5: Style without product

Style your hair as you normally would, but don’t use any additional styling products. See how it works.

If anything, you will probably use a lot less styling product than normal.

It will take a while for your hair to adjust so if you have dandruff and itchy scalp don’t expect it to go away immediately. Give it 30 days.

Comments Have Been Turned Off

After 164 comments and the same questions repeated a bunch of times I’ve decided to turn off the comments. If you have a question, the answer is either in this article (don’t skim, read) or in the comments. Cheers!

Photo Credit

{ 160 comments }

Dave M

Hi Karol:

You have an uncanny ability to always hit on topics that interest me! :-)

I stopped washing my hair about 1 month ago, but I have to admit I didn’t stick with it. I did it for about 2 weeks, and I definitely experienced the “sticky” feeling you mentioned in your article. That did go away after about the first week. However, I was using apple cider vinegar every day in addition to the “vigorous rinse”. At first, my head smelled like I had just pickled it, but I found that if I rinsed a little more thoroughly, the smell dissipated quickly.

I didn’t like the vinegar because of the smell and it would burn my eyes a bit. I was going to get some baking soda and try that, but never did. I ended up drifting back to my trusty ol’ Head & Shoulders shampoo. :-( Of course, that burns my eyes even more, and make my eyes totally bloodshot when I get out of the shower.

Maybe I need to give this another go, but without ANY product for the first 30 days as you suggest.

So…. I have to ask. If you don’t use any product whatsoever, does your hair start to smell funny after a while? Do you ever wash with baking soda or lemon juice, like maybe once a week or something?

Dave

Karol

Hey Dave!

I don’t use any products to wash ever, my hair doesn’t smell funny, and when I tell people I haven’t washed my hair in months they are amazed that it doesn’t look like rubbish. :)

Give it another go and let me know how it works out!

Karol

Dave M

I’m definitely giving it another try…. and I’m already on day 2! :) One thing is for sure, it will save money and cut down on what I have to pack when I travel.

Here’s something else I recently discovered, and this is somewhat embarrassing to admit. But for many months (maybe years?) I suffered from extremely dry irritated ear canals. They would itch & flake, and sometime even bleed because I’d keep digging at them. Gross, I know.

Anyway, after a bit of research, I found out I wasn’t alone. I was one of those people who like to really dig in there with a nice q-tip after a shower, and basically I was removing all my natural ear wax. A couple weeks ago, I gave up q-tips completely and just let me ears do what they will. I dry the outside with a towel after showering, but that’s it.

Guess what? My ears have completely cleared up and my natural ear wax has started to return – which of course keeps the ol’ ear canals lubricated. So, now, I practice the age old advice — never put anything larger than your elbow in your ear. :-)

Funny how the body takes care of itself when you just leave it alone!

Karol

Dave, that’s awesome! I used to be “addicted” to Q Tips myself (using them multiple times per day), but I never had any actual problems. Now I just don’t have the room to pack them. :)

Dave M

Wow, your blog is busy tonight with comments!

Anyway, I had to come back and drop a status update… I went almost 2 weeks on my 2nd no-poo trial, and then caved again! My hair was getting really oily and starting to have a weird smell. I even used a lemon once to “freshen” it up, but it didn’t help enough. Then, I was getting ready to go on a 4-wheeling trip with a buddy of mine, and was going to be borrowing one of his helmets. In the interest of courtesy, I decided to give in and shampoo my hair. After that, I went right back to shampooing everyday again like I used to.

I’m about to give it ANOTHER try. I just need to hold out long enough to get beyond the “icky & gross” stage.

Karol

Aww damn! :)

No worries Dave. Just do it again. Maybe rinse it more vigorously.

Dave M

I will definitely do it again. One other question though… So, even if you go out and get all sweaty and dirty working in the yard or on the car (maybe your hair gets all dusty and whatnot), you STILL don’t use any product? Do you ever throw a little Dr Bronner’s on your lid just to freshen it up a bit and get rid of dirt? I guess I’m still trying to grasp the whole concept that you don’t use ANY product at all on your head.

Karol

Never use in my hair anything no matter how dirty/sweaty it gets. Just vigorous scrubbing if I get sand or something up on the noggin.

Nicky

Amazing, I discovered this in mid-may and immediately decided to give it a whirl. The first month was a tad rough. First, my hair got very oily. I knew I had to wait it out though and suddenly, one morning, I woke up with dry hair. I was amazed and realized that, clearly, my body is able to control my hair when given the chance.

Soon, my hair was always at a nice moisture-level, but I began to get pretty bad dandruff. Again, I waited it out and my hair eventually corrected itself. I also, at this point, found combing to help keep my hair clean and dandruff free.

More recently, I have noticed a tad more oil than I am comfortable with. Occasionally, I use a bit of Dr. Bronner’s on it.

You are absolutely right, by the way, that you will be able to style your hair without any products. I am often complimented on my hair and asked what I use on it: “Hm, weird, it’s just my hair.” :)

Karol

Hey Nicky, that’s awesome that you stuck it out and it worked out well. It’s all about delaying gratification. :)

Vivien

Glad to see that I’m not alone :) I didn’t think it could also work for short hair (I have long hair), but you seem to be the living proof. Very good method, actually; I haven’t used shampoo in 4 or 5 months now, and I’m not deceived.

Oh, by the way, the whole site is very interesting !

Karol

Hey Vivien,

Thanks, awesome to hear it works for you too. And welcome to the site, glad you enjoy it!

Karol

Rodrigo Afonseca

Now what … i’ll give it a try! Let’s see what happens before a shampoo-month-free baths! Thanks!

Karol

Hey Rodrigo,

Awesome! Let me know how it works out!

Karol

Kevin

I am mystified by this. It is both a fascinating concept and somehow revolting at the same time. Its just expected that you should wash your hair every time you get a shower…So thats what I have done for my entire life. Although I have heard its not a very good thing to do, washing your hair all the time that is.

Also, are you serious about the whole ‘not needing hair products to style your hair?’

I am considering giving this a shot…but at the same time…

I don’t mind swearing and I do in my every day life, except when I am around sensitive ears, and after having read your one article…I think I am going to try it. What have I go to lose?

Just fuck shampoo! That sounds…odd. But oh well.

Karol

Yes, I’m serious you won’t need hair products. :)

Comment or shoot me an e-mail after you try it for 30 days. Let me know how it works!

Karol

Marie

I have curly hair and my scalp is very susceptible to dandruff. A couple of years ago a friend recommended I check out a book called “Curly Girl” by Lorraine Massey, and it totally changed the way I think about my hair. She is all about not shampooing because it strips your hair and scalp of its natural oils, just as you talk about in your post. She emphasizes that it’s friction, not soap, that cleans your scalp, so rather than scrubbing it with shampoo, she recommends just massaging the scalp with your fingers to loosen any debris. If you aren’t constantly stripping it away, it will normalize. She does use products – mostly hydrating products for curly, dry hair, but for shorter hair, perhaps those aren’t necessary. Anyway, since reading her book and following her methods, I don’t have dandruff any more and my hair is a lot healthier. Looks like it’s mostly guys commenting on this post but I would still recommend the book for further helpful tips on weaning yourself off of shampoo.

Marie

Karol

Hi Marie,

Thank you so much for sharing that! I’ll probably check out that book to learn a little more why this works so well. :)

Karol

Kim

As a curly haired girl, I to have subscribed to Lorraine Massey’s Curly Girl methods for years. Curly hair can go without shampoo but does need some styling product after shower to keep frizzies at bay (Korres Lime is a good product without toxic additives, and is very light hold and frizz protection. The no shampoo-no product is great for straight hair, which is totally different in structure.

Karol

Interesting, thanks for sharing Kim!

Wendilou

Hi Karol! Great blog you have here. I wanted to tell you that there is a whole community out there that has eschewed shampoo. Here’s a link to one website on the topic. http://community.livejournal.com/no_poo/tag/*the+basics

Karol

Oh wow! Thanks for sharing Wendilou!

Deborah

Hi Karol and Dave. I quit using shampoo quite a while ago. I mix shikkakai, amla, aritha (dried herbs available at any Indian grocery or online at uncle harry’s dot com already mixed up) and put them in a jar. They cost $10 total. I make a paste with water, get my hair wet, put it on my hair, work it in, then rinse it out. You can also let it sit for a while. I do this MAYBE twice a month. My hair is down to my waist but it is clean and smells good. This powder would also be very easy and light to pack with your other toiletries.

Karol

Hi Deborah,

Oh wow. That sounds interesting. Thank you for sharing. Hopefully for those who can’t stand not washing they’ll use your recipe instead.

Thanks again!
Karol

Tabatha

i also stopped using shampoo and conditioner a long time ago. occasionally i use some glycerin bar soap on my head. i have caved and bought some organic shampoo’s or conditioners in the past or used some Dr. Bronners(which is to drying for my hair anyway) but just the bar soap ever few weeks and one kind of product and i do use a flat iron has worked great for me. whenever i get my hair cut or done somewhere they comment on how healthy it looks. i probably shouldn’t even use the bar soap but i was getting dandruff and didn’t know what else to do about it.

Karol

Hi Tabatha,

Thanks for sharing. Do you find the flat iron damages your hair?

Karol

Tabatha

wow, I was reading this post again and saw that you had asked me a question, I never checked back last time I commented.

I haven’t really noticed any damage from using a flat iron but I don’t use it that often, most of the time when I shower I cover my hair with a plastic cap so it doesn’t get wet, then I don’t need to straighten it again. I can do that for a few weeks as long as I don’t go swimming or do anything else to get my hair dirty. I use a little bit of hair product now, its made by Mizani, they aren’t natural but I don’t have to use much on my hair. I do use some organic shampoo occasionally after being in a pool to wash the chlorine out of my hair, but its not very often. I stopped using bar soap on it though, and just let it be most of the time.

Karol

Hey Tabatha,

Thanks for the flat iron update. :)

I don’t go into pools (I have sensitive baby skin), but I would probably use shampoo to wash out those chemicals as well. :)

Karol

Layla

Hi Karol! Great blog!

I haven’t used any shampoo on my hair for about 2 years… :)
What you are doing sounds like ‘water only’ on the scalp only – see http://archive.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=50999 or http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=3412
There is a whole community out there too.. :) For anyone, who might use some extra support or tips!

Also, know that for some people, after the first month it’s the ‘worst’ period, and after that it can get better! Sometimes it can take more than a month too..
(It depends on hairtype, nutrition and level of stress etc – the greasier food you eat, sweets, stress etc = greasy hair.. or possibly some dandruff, any toxic chemicals in the air can cause scratching or temporary dandruff/skin condition too.. it goes away soon though..)

There is also the method of ‘no water/sebum only’ where people basically just massage/scritch the scalp and use fingers or combs or brushes, and nothing else.. old thread: http://archive.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=70652 and new thread: http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=144

There’s an article here too: http://hair-care.suite101.com/article.cfm/water_only_hair_washing (and some others, if you google a bit..)
Some people also use herbs etc, if you use vinegar you must dilute it!

Also, I noticed vinegar ‘cleaned’ my hair & scalp better (in the initial transition period) but also caused greater oiliness later on, so I learnt to stay away from it! :)

Karol

Hi Layla,

Wow, thank you for the incredibly detailed comment!

I hope anybody who is having trouble with not washing their hair will check out some of those links.

Thanks again!
Karol

Layla

You’re welcome!

Happy to be of help if I can.. I remember searching the internet for all sorts of info.. It started when I wanted to make my own natural herbal shampoo.. All recipes I found had some potentially iffy ingredients..
And then I came across articles about people who did this (no shampoo), and wondered ‘Is it possible?’ and ‘How?’

I was VERY happy to find those forums!! Awesome people there, very ready to help too, and lots of info on what worked (or didn’t work) for others..
Plus, it’s easier to persevere if you know others have gone through transition and are now happy with their hair etc.

Dave M

Great links Layla – thanks for posting them! I just read through all of them. Very interesting stuff, and I’m even more encouraged now. -Dave

Layla

Go Dave!! :)

My friend’s husband said no to shampoo and started just using water too, and he loves it!! :)

Dave M

Thanks again Layla! I’m about 1 week in on my latest attempt, and doing fine at it. The hair seems much less gross this time around. I also made it through my first “major” social event on Wed without caving in and shampooing again. And guess what?? No crisis! LOL My hair looked fine, smelled fine, and nobody was the wiser.

As I type this, my hair doesn’t really feel greasy at all. I’ve been using water only for the last 7 days. I love the fact that my eyes aren’t burning and red every time I get out of the shower too!

Layla

Oh, PS – will NEVER use Head & Shoulders again! :)

Karol

hehe, H&S is useless :)

GIANPAOLO

Does this also apply if you have a mild case of psoriasis?

Karol

Hi Gianpaolo,

It sure does. I know because I have psoriasis/eczema.

Karol

Gianpaolo

That’s good to know as I have developed a mild case of psoriasis on my scalp. I think it’s because of stress, yet… To be honest… I’m a pretty mellow fella. Today was my first day on the 30 day no wash extravaganza. Let’s see how it goes. Hope it works. Thanks again for the tip as I was getting pretty frustrated because nothing applied seemed to be working.

I was thinking of doing a post based on this topic in my blog to spread the word on this phenomenon. Perhaps when I am done, I can share the story with my readers, and of course, reference back to you.

Karol

Awesome Gianpaolo!

Please let me know the results. :)

Karol

Glen

Hi Karol

My experience was similar to yours. About 10 years ago I stopped washing my hair with anything but water and have never looked back.

A couple of observations which might help others wishing to do the same.

One, the initial few weeks are pretty gross. I used my summer holiday when I was at the beach a lot to get through this. I would not have wanted to be at work during this this. Another alternative, shaving right down to number one might help (although I haven’t tried this).

Two, when washing my hair, which I do almost daily, I find using pretty damn hot water for about a minute really removes most of that greasy feeling and my hair feels great thereafter.

Three, it feels great not to have to deal with all that chemical garbage (shampoo, conditioner, etc). Not only do I not want that stuff on my skin, but also I enjoy not paying for it, and not carrying it in my lugagge when I travel.

Go, good people, and give your hair some freedom !

Glen

Karol

Hi Glen,

Awesome, thank you for sharing your tips! It’s really important for anybody who tries this to force themselves to get past the first few weeks of extraordinary greasiness. :)

Karol

Dave M

Thanks for the additional tips Glen! I’m giving the “no-poo” thing another go and will keep at it until I get past the gross stage. It’s funny how the natural oils act as a natural hair gel and let me style my hair pretty much any way I want. That sounds disgusting and paints a picture of big globs of hair oil/goo all over my head. LOL! It’s actually nothing like that… My hair looks and smells fine (passed the wife test tonight), it just has this crazy natural ability to style however I want now. I keep it pretty darn short, so I suppose “style” is relative. :P

I really like the idea of not having to mess with shampoo any more. The greatest benefit to me right now is that my eyes aren’t all red & burning when I get out of the shower. I had Lasik surgery last year, and my eyes have been a lot more sensitive to chemicals since then. By not using shampoo, ESPECIALLY Head & Shoulders, my eyes look and feel great when I get out of the shower.

Dave

Layla

Great to hear about your experience, Glen!

Interesting how different things work for different people!

I found that cold water worked best for my long hair.. Some people at the LHC forums (I posted the links above) found this too..
I didn’t WO daily, and people at the LHC forums rinse hair with water with different frequencies too.. So some experimenting may be needed, to see what fits your hair and your lifestyle best…

Also, brushing the hair with a brush, or combing with a really thin comb (I never believed I could use such a comb without tangling before!) in transition helped a lot too..
Or wearing bandannas, he he.. (Headscarves and hairstyles like braids or buns are probably easier for girls.. :)

So, for those who are new, if something doesn’t work, try tweaking it.. or post with specifics at the forums and ask.. Or look for people with a similar hairtype and what they do..

Basically, hair is at its worst after about 2 weeks, so it’s key to persevere then, usually after that or after 1/1.5 month it starts getting better.. (Again, it’s different with regard to your hairtype, lifestyle/nutrition/environment, previous shampoo use and routine..) It may be easier and more quick with shorter hair!!

I also read at another forum, that some mums didn’t use shampoo at all with their kiddies, just maybe some herbal infusions or such..

Andy Hawkins

Hi Karol,

I stumbled accross your site after reading an article you wrote about travelling lite that was on the ZenHabits site that I also found tonight. Been a good night for following links obviously.

I wanted to say thanks for a great read, and that everything you say makes perfect sense especially if you’re like me and constantly think, “whatever did we do before [insert modern unnecessary product here].”

Until they came up with shampoo what did we do? Originally nothing most likely and then just regular soap I would imagine. We certainly didn’t go scouting for Ylang Ylang or essence of beaver nipple in order to give us hair that a supermodel would die for. Our bodies, given the chance can look after themselves and I see hair as being just another organ, like our skin. We are designed to maintain and repair ourselves but we’ve been sold not to. In the same way we spend millions on food specifically for animals we also buy a bunch of personal hygiene products because the marketeers have told us we have to.

Previously my only contribution to avoiding such hair related madness was to use nothing more than pure aloe on my hair for styling. Its also great for shaving with instead of shaving foam and an absolute godsend when you get caught out by the sun and a tad burned.

I think I might give this whole water washing thing a spin and see how I go.

Thanks again

Karol

Hi Andy,

Thanks for following all those links!

“essence of beaver nipple” :)

Man you hit it right on the head with this: “We are designed to maintain and repair ourselves but we’ve been sold not to.”

Our bodies are quite resilient and just need time to do their jobs.

Thank you so much Andy!
Karol

Andy Hawkins

Day 26 and my hair is in great shape.

It’s amazing. I’m impressed.

I read the article originally because a good friend of mine had Psoriasis and I thought it might contain some information that could help her. I went to see her a couple of weeks ago and told her all about the shampoo free lifestyle I now enjoy and suggested she give it a try.

She was a tad reluctant at first and the concept of not using shampoo was totally alien to her. But after 4 days of not using shampoo she called to thank me. I guess her hair is doing great, it has body its never had before and her Psoriasis is almost gone.

A big thanks from both of us.

Karol

That is so awesome Andy! Thanks for letting me know it has helped both of you! I love it. :)

MJ

DAY ONE- I just gave my hair a vigorous rinsing and my hair didn’t tangle at all. It just combed out really nicely. I have always used shampoo on my hair (buying the best I could with the least chemicals) but my hair tangles really badly, so then I have to put conditioner on it, in order to untangle my hair when combing. A salon operator told me once that my kind of hair tangled easily so all of these products were necessary. AMAZING. My hair looks and feels really nice today already. Also I haven’t been scratching and picking at my head like I had bugs. (I don’t) I will comment again after 30 days. WOW, the stuff one learns :).

Karol

Hey MJ,

Awesome! Glad to hear about you trying this out and so nice that it didn’t tangle on Day 1. :)

Looking forward to your 30 day comment.

Karol

David Chard

Hi Karol
You are quite correct in what you say about shampoo I have been doing it for years although i do shampoo about once every 2-3 months. However it is possible to get a fungus on the skin. (Nothing to do with your unshampooed hair by the way) Usually it shows as white spots but this applies to any skin complaint I have found a good way to clear it up is to use a shampoo called SELSUN, comes in a yellow bottle and should be used as a body wash. Most of my experience is from the tropics and may not be a problem in cold dry zones.

Gail

Hi Karol, You have a very interesting website, love the bright happy colours.
This post is for all those people who found the ‘no shampoo method’ difficult, this is the simple way that I wash my hair as follows: I have been using the ‘no shampoo’ method for nearly 8 months and my hair is in much better condition because of it.

Before I wash my hair, I make two mixtures, one bicarb soda, the other vinegar. I use two separate wide mouthed, plastic water bottles (recycled), the type with a pull up pop top lid.

The mixture I use is about 3 teaspoonsful of bicarb soda, top up with warm water and shake to mix.

Into the other bottle goes about half an inch of plain vinegar and I top that up with warm water also. I put a rubber band on the vinegar bottle to show which is bicarb and which is vinegar.

I wet my hair, pour the bicarb solution through, while massaging the solution into my hair, and then give my scalp a really good scrub and then rinse thoroughly, and then my hair feels squeaky clean,

Next, I pour the vinegar solution through my hair while massaging that in as well and then rinse thoroughly, then towel dry and comb through.

My hair is shoulder length and appears knotty when I’ve finished drying with a towel, but it combs through quite easily.

It takes a little while to get used to the routine of making the solution, but I only wash my hair every second day. Gail

ps I would never go back to using shampoo, it’s just too harsh for my hair and my health.

pps I hope you find this information useful because for me it’s just the best to skip the shampoo section at the supermarket. Gail

head and shoulders shampoo caused a very bad burning rash when my husband used it to wash his hair a few years ago, that stuff is dangerous. Needless to say he uses the no shampoo method to clean his hair as well.

Karol

Thanks for sharing Gail! Seems like a lot of work, but if it works, it works. :) Hopefully anybody who can’t handle my “absolutely no product” method will try out yours or some of the others that have been posted.

Gail

Hi Karol

The method of ‘no shampoo’ that I use may seem like work, maybe its the way I have described it, but once in the routine of making the bicarb and vinegar solutions, it goes very quickly from there, and is so simple.

No tedious rinsing out of sudsy shampoo, no slippery shower base, no waiting for the conditioner to work in the hair, no decisions about which shampoo for my type of hair, no danger to health. It really saves time, money and energy in the long run.

Alex Murphy

Hmm Great post. Sounds like it’s worth a try. Will post with results.

Kelly

Hey Karol!

Inspired by this post – and on day 12 of no-shampoo – my hair is kind of weird right now but I am giving it at least 30 days. It’s weird but looks great…Shhh don’t tell my husband what I am doing – it would freak him out.

Karol

hehe, that’s awesome Kelly! Thanks for sharing. Let me know how much more you love your hair after the weird period passes. ;)

MJ

Well…I stopped shampooing my hair on 11/2/09. ( I caved twice, but went right back to it) My hair is nicer than it has been in years. My scalp is nicer. I see no reason to ever shampoo my hair again. It looks nice, smells nice and feels nice.

Greg

well i can just repeat what MJ said above. 5 weeks with no shampoo and hair looks great. Thanks Karol! :)

BJ

I wanted to add an interesting tidbit to David Chard’s comment about skin fungus. If you have pale spots in your tan, it’s most likely skin fungus (that is if you don’t have vitiligo like Michael Jackson). It doesn’t really hurt anything, but if you want an even tan without the spots, rubbing a dandruff shampoo into the spots will usually get rid of the fungus. SELSUN is great, but any of the tar-based shampoos will work as well. The condition is called Tinea versicolor.

The interesting thing is WHY the spots happen. The fungus actually acts as a sunscreen! It blocks the UV rays from hitting the melanin in your dermis. The fungus shields the sun and you don’t tan in those areas. Remove the fungus and you remove the shield.

I can’t tell you how many people I’ve shared this with who have been able to get rid of the white spots in their tan immediately the next time they tan.

By the way, I don’t ever tan any more. Every tan is a result of the body reacting to and trying to protect itself from serious cellular skin damage.

Oh, and the rinse only system really works!

BJ

David Chard November 3, 2009 at 2:20 am
Hi Karol
You are quite correct in what you say about shampoo I have been doing it for years although i do shampoo about once every 2-3 months. However it is possible to get a fungus on the skin. (Nothing to do with your unshampooed hair by the way) Usually it shows as white spots but this applies to any skin complaint I have found a good way to clear it up is to use a shampoo called SELSUN, comes in a yellow bottle and should be used as a body wash. Most of my experience is from the tropics and may not be a problem in cold dry zones.

Karol

Thanks for adding to the conversation BJ!

MJ

Ok, stopped shampooing my hair on 11/2/09, caved twice in November,but not since. I will never shampoo my hair again. It seems strong, manageable, and thicker. So….now today, on 1/1/10 I am starting a new challenge. 90 days, vegan, high nutrition only . If my body takes care of my hair, then what will my body on only high nutrition food do for my hair?

Karol

Awesome MJ! Let me know how great you feel after your 90 day challenge. :)

Kevin

Hey Karol,

Success! I have finally completed a full 30 day cycle of not using shampoo. Actually to be honest, I only used shampoo twice in November when I first started this challenge, and not once in December. It’s such an odd thing now. When I first stopped using shampoo, I was rather reluctant and skeptical. Now, after going so long without using shampoo, I think its odd to use shampoo now.

I think the only thing I miss about shampoo is the artificial scents! Haha, fresh strawberries and kiwi passion and such.

My hair feels pretty damn light and fluffy. Its great. I think it will take a few more weeks or month(s) for my hair to fully repair itself. Great stuff Karol.

Karol

Yes! Another success! :) I love it. Thank you for letting me know Kevin.

Daisy

Hi there Karol,

Been reading your blog for a few months now – and I’m finally giving this an honest try. I’ve started a few times and was back and forth, I’d go without shampoo for about 3-4 days and cave in. I thought if I used some natural Burts Bees it would be okay, but now I’ve gotten to where even that seems to completely strip my hair and dry it out. So I’m determined this time around, I’m in the second week of no products. It actually seems okay and feels a bit sticky, like you said, but feels clean. Having longer hair, its difficult to have much style to it at the moment, but I’m determined! I will post again and let you know my progress…

Karol

Hi Daisy,

I have a feeling, although I haven’t checked the ingredients, that burts bees isn’t as “natural” as they claim.

Being in the second week isn’t easy, but great that you’re determined and trying again. :)

Paris

It’s been weeks I read this post at first, now that I’ve stopped shampooing for 5 days…my scalp is already less itchy and oily, but I feel my hair is getting sticky AND dry and fizzy (well my hair is dyed and goes down to my ‘a$$’) …
Anyway I’ll keep the xperience going for another 25 days, and will keep you updated!

Karol

Hi Paris,

Great! The beginning sticky stage is the most difficult time to get through. In 25 days you’re going to be thrilled. :)

Karol

yas

hi everyone…i am totally into the no-poo idea….but if you need to once in a while shampoo..then why dont you buy ”no-poo” or ”low-poo” made by devachan or deva curl……so i think this product does not include the lather ingredient which is what is the cleanser that takes the oil out of your hair…so it is good to use once in a while.

they have other products as well..but have only tried the no-poo
anyone try this?

Karol

Hi Yas,

Thanks for commenting.

I have not heard of or tried that brand, but I would recommend simply using Dr Bronner’s liquid soap as it also doesn’t strip your hair of oils. I actually used it yesterday before getting a haircut. It was the first time I “shampooed” my hair in ~6 months!

Karol

Daisy

Hi there!
I am just following up – today is Day 30 for me! It’s amazing the results!
No one would even know that I haven’t put shampoo in my hair unless I told them.
My only concern is that I’ve had to blow-dry it frequently b/c of cold weather, and I still seem to have some dandruff. I’m not sure if the hair dryer is the cause of my dandruff, or if maybe my hair just needs more time.
Any thoughts?

Thanks!
Daisy

Karol

Hi Daisy,

Awesome! Thanks for following up.

The dandruff could very well be because of the blow dryer.

It could also be from the weather. If you’re spending a lot of time indoors with stale heated air it’s probably drying out your skin.

Karol

Daisy

ahhh….that could be true. My skin has been very dry in general so that would make sense.

Tammy Strobel

I LOVE this post. I’m going to commit to the 30 day challenge and see how my hair does. I have really oily hair and hate it. I’m hoping this will method will help. I know the first few weeks will be hard. I’ll just be sure to wear a hat. :)

Karol

Thanks for participating Tammy! Don’t worry, your body will learn to regulate your oily hair if you give it a chance. Mine did. :)

aggie

ok karol…i’m convinced! this is my…hmm.. 4th day (i think) of not shampooing and just using your method. let’s see how it goes! i’ll keep you posted on the progress, although you’ve been there! thanks for a great blog from a fellow pole!! czesc!

Karol

Czesc Aggie!

That’s awesome. 4 days in is still a very rough period…that will last a while. But stick with it, it’s going to rock!

Karol

Gypsy

Hi Karol,
I have been reading your blog and find it very interesting! I stumbled upon it as I was looking for a remedy for my head! Its very dry, itchy and have dandruff, usually worse after I wash it!!
I am thinking about trying the 30 day trial but I have a few questions first.. I have really nice long hair that always looks extremely shiny and feels lovely and “light” after washing it, will it be the same if I try the no shampoo method? Also for those of us who dye their hair (to cover up the straying grey) what happens when you dye your hair and you need to wash out the dye etc.. because yes the dye is a chemical but I don’t know of any other way of colouring my hair!? Don’t say “dont dye” as I am only 31 and don’t want to have grey hair showing this early in my life!!

Thanks
Gypsy

Karol

Hi Gypsy,

Thank you!

Will it be the same? Don’t know, you have to try it.

Dye: don’t dye. Who cares if you’re 31 and you have grey? I’m 29 and I have a receding hairline. No sense in fighting nature or stressing about it. Accept it and live! ;)

Cheers!
Karol

Nicky Hajal

Gypsy,

The beauty of a 30 day *trial* is that you can test it out to see for yourself with no long-term consequences. If you don’t like it, no need to keep doing it.

When I washed my hair, I never felt comfortable growing it out; it just poofed. I recently went 4-5 months without cutting it and man I loved it.

I’m not sure if you’ll get light and airy, but your hair will probably feel and look much healthier with its own oils and not synthetic ones.

I think the key is experimentation here; just try things out and see what works!

-Nicky

Karol

Thanks Nicky! Your explanation was much better than mine. ;)

Jeane

I stopped washing my hair on 11/01/09 The first thing I noticed was that my hair no longer tangles, ever. Now even the woman who cuts my hair comments on how nice my hair looks. I just tell her to wet my hair and cut it, not to shampoo it or put anything else on it. (I have never told her, or anyone except my husband, but people comment on how nice my hair looks). Because soaking my head in harsh chemicals while I dye my hair is not good for my health, I stopped that also, and my hair has about 10 different colors, and yes a lot of it is gray , but it is beautiful, what a surprise and people think I have done that on purpose also. My hair and my scalp are really nice now, a diet high in nutrients helps also. I would never go back to shampooing my hair. Mother Nature never ever put shampoo and conditioner on the river banks way back when, this shampooing was invented by modern man, let your body take care of your hair from the inside out. Thanks, without your blog I never would have gotten here.

Karol

Hi Jeane,

This is so great to read! Everything about your comment rocks and I think it’ll inspire even more people to try this. Thank you for posting.

Karol

Kristof Alentijns

I stopped washing my hair two weeks ago I think (I read a post about it on another blog) and they’re looking fine and as far as I can tell don’t smell or anything. I didn’t use to wash my hair too often anyway because I didn’t like how they’d feel after shampooing them. Reading that it works for more people definitely encourages me to keep avoiding any shampoo on my hair. I wonder if the same goes for soap though. I read some stuff about people never using soap for similar reasons but I’m a bit hesitant towards trying that seeing as my armpits for example do tend to smell somewhat more than my hair..

Karol

Hi Kristof,

I’ve gone without using soap for a few days (camping and whatnot), but not using soap regularly doesn’t interest me. That’s a whole different beast than just not using shampoo. :)

Awesome that not using shampoo is working out for you!

Karol

Chris

wow thats really smart,im 16 and i have long hair it is getting bad when i walk i see flakes faling out its gross to be honest i dont think anyone notices but i hope not i always try to stay away from black shirts and darker clothing im gunna try this, but dont you think it would make my hair smell gross not sure please get back to me would be a great help.

Chris

also another thing how long does the sticky period you talked about last, and is it noticeable?

Karol

Hi Chris,

Your hair won’t smell and the sticky period might last for up to 30 days. You just gotta plow through it. Let me know how it goes!

Karol

L M

Karol.
I used to have dandruff regardless of the shampoo I used. After reading this article I tried no shampoo.

The first two months were greasy and the dandruff got worse.

It has now been four months, my scalp is healthier then it has ever been, and I no longer have dandruff.

Thanks

Karol

Yessssss! That is so great to know. Thanks for sharing LM!

Dave M

Hey Karol: I haven’t given up on this “no poo” thing, but definitely got derailed for a little while. Currently, I just ended up 3 weeks with NO shampoo and/or products of any sort on my hair. My strategy this time was to let my hair grow out quite a bit longer than normal, and then go “no poo” until I couldn’t stand the “icky” feeling anymore. Then, I shaved my head down to about your length, maybe a bit shorter, which is how I would normally wear it anyway. Now that my hair is really short again, and I already had 2 weeks of “no poo” with the longer hair, it’s MUCH better. My hair looks and feels really good now (IMHO) and I think I will be able to stick with it this time. My next business trip, there will be NO shampoo in my ditty bag! I’m cuttin’ ties with the nasty chemicals! :)

Karol

Awesome Dave! 3 weeks is probably just about to the breaking point. After that it only gets better! :)

Dave M

So, I’ve definitely made it past the 30 day mark (and beyond). No shampoo or products of any sort on my head for about 5 weeks now. I’ve also switched to Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap for everything else – even shaving! I use Dr. Bronner’s Tea Tree to shave & wash my face, and then I use Peppermint for everything else. It feels all cool & tingly and I love it! :)

Karol

Nice! That’s so awesome Dave!