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Rapunzel Fair, Don't 'Poo Your Hair!

The perks of pregnancy are supposed to include long, strong nails and thick, flowing, glossy hair. The nails part I have down. Check out my natural claws here. It's getting ridiculous. I keep saying to myself, "One more week, then I'll cut them." Nails this long are incredibly annoying, but I just keep growing them BECAUSE I CAN! We'll see how long I can stand 'em.

But my hair remains frizzy, dry, and puffy. I have been diligently taking my prenatal vitamins and waiting for my luscious, Rapunzelesque locks to start coming in any day now, but it's just not happening. The THICK part I have down. (Poor vacuum cleaner.) But glossy and smooth are nowhere in sight.

A couple of weeks ago, my friend Esperanzita alerted me to this article about a woman who gave up shampoo entirely. The idea appealed to me immediately--I've been having a hard time finding shampoos without toxic ingredients anyway--but I was still skeptical at first. Frankly, the girl pictured in the article (photo at the top of this post) looks like a greaseball. Cute, sure, but a little slippery for my taste. But it looks like she has fine, straight hair, whereas mine is thick and wavy and perpetually on the dry side. I decided to give a 'poo-free lifestyle a shot.

Here I am after EIGHT DAYS without shampoo:

My hair is not greasy. On the contrary, it is STILL a bit frizzy and dry, though it feels softer than before, and my scalp seems less flaky. I have been rinsing my hair with water when I shower and using conditioner (sometimes leave-in conditioner too), just skipping the whole shampooing step. At no point has my hair started to smell funky. Around day 6, my bangs started to look a little lank, so I rinsed my bangs and scalp with lemon juice, and that freshened up my roots.

So... my conclusion so far is that shampoo is an entirely unnecessary purchase for a woman with my hair type. (That is, unless I fall victim to an oil spill or an Italian food fight or some such disaster. Then I would bust out the suds.) What peace of mind, though... one fewer thing to buy, one fewer step to take in the shower, and one fewer toxic product to slather on myself. If I don't have to buy shampoo, I suppose I can splurge on the yummy and natural Aveda conditioners more often. It's a win-win-win situation for me.

So, is there anyone else out there who will admit to going 'poo-less? Has it worked for you?

UPDATE: I ended up going three weeks before I broke down and shampooed, when I started to get a little greasy at the roots. Then I indulged in Aveda organic shampoo and conditioner. It was divine. My final conclusion is that, unless something nasty gets in my hair, there is no need for me to use shampoo any more than twice a month. This has been a very interesting and worthwhile experiment! Now I can just buy the good stuff when I go to the salon... Adios, cheap shampoos with your toxic, chintzy fragrances. All I need to do is lather, rinse, and repeat in two weeks!


  1. Uh, yes. I've gone 'poo-less on trail crews and backpacking trips. But that usually means "waterless" too. I've got some serious oil and fine, limp locks to contend with. I am shackled to the shampoo.

    I haven't seen this amazing hair transformation either. I was looking forward to less of it falling out like I read about. Unfortunately, our house still suffers from inappropriately situated hairballs.

    You look fabulous, by the way!

  2. Thanks, Molly! :)

    Urgh, I can't stand going without water, at least. I have a friend who went to college for outdoor education and just ended up shaving her head. Now that she works at a vet's office and lives with a shower full-time, she has long, glossy hair. :)

    I guess shampoo isn't as evil on hair as the no-'poo movement suggests, but it is a bit surprising to give something up that seems necessary and then find out it doesn't actually do anything for me. Weird!

    I know what you mean about the hairballs. We call them tumbleweeds. I think I will have to get a dramatic haircut right before the baby is born and the hormonal change that causes massive shedding switches on.

  3. I can't go without shampoo. I've tried before, and it was really bad. I could have deep-fried something in the grease that came off my head. And this was after letting my hair adjust so it wouldn't produce as much oil. I've also tried this with my daughter since she HATES to have her hair washed. And her hair is just like mine. No shampoo = stringy, greasy, gross mess because it's thin and limp and straight.

    You look so great! If I looked like you do during pregnancy I'd have 10 kids by now. Pregnancy didn't do anything wonderful for my body except clear up my skin. That was nice. Now I'm back to normal and I hate it.

  4. Michelle: Yeah, the article did say this might not work for women with fine hair.

    Thanks for the compliments! It helps if I only post pictures when I'm dressed up to go out. Haha. I sure don't wear boots like that every day. Pregnancy has cleared up my skin, too. I had an adult acne problem that is virtually gone right now, and I don't need to use acne medication. That's another good benefit!

  5. Not in a million years could I function without shampoo, yuk, if you could get your nose up there you'd know what I mean. Aside from that, I'd be a total flat head, and that I can't do either. :)

  6. Wow, sounds like this trend isn't working for the fine-haired ladies out there. I will have to try this out with fellow thick-and-wavy diva Esperanza, and perhaps our curly-Afro pal Miss Moppet, if she's game.

  7. Wow I completely missed this post! I only shampoo 2-3 times a month. Basically I use lovely leave in conditioners but they build up so I wash it out every couple weeks. The best part of shampooing less is that I don't have dandruff anymore.

    It's interesting how much we take for granted as necessary that just isn't. When I shampooed my hair every day it looked AWFUL. It stripped all the moisture from it. Then I spent tons of money trying to put moisture back into my hair with all kinds of deep conditioning products. But I kept shampooing like an idiot. It's not til' I found black hair care sites that advocated no-poo that I realized I was overdoing it. I tried no-poo but after a while my hair got overloaded with the conditioner and needed to be cleaned.

    I use Kinky-Curly's Come Clean shampoo. It's natural and it works really well. It's pricey but since I don't shampoo often, an $11 bottle lasts me at least six months or more.

    1. Right on! It's so fun to discover that making a change that actually costs you less money and time turns out better. I love it when that happens. Your hair looks fab, I can testify. Oh, and I just bought a $30 bottle of Aveda shampoo, but same thing--it lasts for months, so it's not really a big deal.


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