UHF: Shampoo I - Hair today, gone tomorrow

As it has been over a month since my last (and first) Undercover Hippy File, I bet you were thinking you wouldn't be seeing another one. Well, obviously you were wrong, but only because we had such a fancy contest for it's name that I felt I had to keep going. This post has been in my head for several weeks, I just haven't had time to write it out.

It all started this spring when quite a few of the blogs I read all started talking about a "No-Poo" movement, as in no Sham-poo. What were you thinking they meant? I saw it and laughed. I mean, I'm not that into fancy hair products but I do like shampoo. And if you look at my three conditions (cost, health and efficiency) there was no reason for me even to consider this. Between coupons and sales I can get shampoo for $1 or less a month. I guess a dollar is a dollar but still, I'm not kept up at night worrying that my shampoo is taking me over budget. And there are lots of weird chemicals in shampoo but it sits on my head for all of 30 seconds before I wash it off, again, I'm not worried. Maybe I should be, but I figure that the big mac I ate last month did my more harm than a year's worth of shampoo.

And as far as efficiency goes, I always thought shampoo did a good job. If I didn't wash my hair, it was yucky. If I did, it was nice. Seems efficient to me.

But then they all started talking about how it was a little weird at first but soon they loved how it made their hair feel. It smelled nice, it was easier to style, it was soft and shiny. I started to take notice. I too wanted soft and shiny hair - I just didn't want to go through the messy stage to get there.

There are lots of ways to do the "No-Poo" thing, just water and lots of brushing, baking soda, baking soda and vinegar rinses, etc but they all seemed to involve a longer adjustment period than I wanted. But then I saw a 3-step method guaranteed to make the transition easier. What could I lose?

Here are the steps:
1) Slowly reduce frequency of washing (goal is every 4-7 days)
2) Switch from washing with shampoo to washing with soap
3) Switch from soap to baking soda or other "authentic no-poo" method

When I started I was an everyday shampoo-er. My hair seemed gross to me if I didn't wash it even one day. But after about two weeks of washing every other day, the second days hair seemed every better. It wasn't oily anymore and it was actually nice. Since April, I have been working on increasing that and I now wash every 4 days or so. (I took a bit of a break while job interviewing, more so because of my perception that my hair looked bad than anything else).

I don't think I will ever go back to every day. My hair is in so much better condition and even on day 4 it doesn't seem bad. And it doesn't smell bad, I made Craig check the first few times. (Isn't he so great, but it's not like I could smell it myself; it's like tickling yourself, it doesn't work).

Step 1 - successfully completed.

I have started trying to find a step 2 that will work for me and I will let you know when I do.


  1. I was just thinking about 15 minutes ago that I wanted you to post on this topic. I've been very curious.

  2. Hmmm... I am an every day shampoo girl. I went two months shampooing every other day and it didn't get better. Maybe I should try it again.

  3. Oh, I also stopped conditioning, cold turkey. My shampoo is a moisturizing one and with my hair being in better condition, I found I didn't need it and it just caused greasiness. So perhaps if you do try again, you might want to stop conditioning, or reduce frequency of that too.

  4. i have been dying for this post!! sorry for my absence - i have been soooooo busy! tell craig HI for me. i miss him on FTP. i haven't quit shampooing (i don't think i can... but i have reduced the washing to once every 3-4 days. my hair loves me for it.

  5. Hey MacKenzie - how's the no-poo experiment going? Have you moved onto step 2 yet? I'm getting a little curious to try this.

  6. I was just thinking about how I need to write a new post about this. Look for it in the next week or two.