150 Days of No Shampoo

posted in: Uncategorized | 113

June 7th, 2011



A few months back I reported on the quest I’ve undertaken to live a shampoo-less life. Well, it has been 150 days. Actually just over 150 days (I started January 4th, 2011).

I had previously read a number of articles that indicated the benefits of a poo free life. So being the forever-life-experimenter, I jumped head first into a shampoo free lifestyle.

Now understand, my hair is (was) always naturally damn oily. I could lather up and be looking pretty and by the end of the day I had the look of a pre-teen working the grease pit at a fast food joint. Bah, life isn’t fair.

So truly, I had nothing to lose. And now I can report to you all 150 days later, my hair hasn’t touched a drop of shampoo or soap. And it has never looked healthier. Now mind you, I do wash my hair thoroughly with hot water damn near every day in the shower. But no shampoo. It just isn’t necessary.

Understand that this has taken a bit of discipline. The first two weeks or so was spent wearing a lot of hats and hiding the grease mop that my hair had become. But then something clicked and my hair began cleaning itself. It no longer looked greasy and it actually smelled neutral. The best way for me to explain this is to have you smell your skin. Does it smell like anything? I mean right now, smell your forearm. That’s how my hair smells.


It’s been so successful that I’ve had a number of friends convert to the ‘poo free life. Even my beautiful yogi girlfriend uses less shampoo, Β though she’s found that it’s closer to once or twice a month for her. Something about a lot of long, thick hair may be the difference, I don’t know.


But I can report on my behalf. It works. I’ve gone to bonfires and then just washed my hair that night in the shower, using lots of hot water. Always fresh, always clean.


I encourage you to give it a try. What’s the worst that happens? You end up hating my advice and walking around with dreadlocks. Worse things will happen to you.


But what will probably happen is that you may start to consider to question all the silly things you’ve been taught you whole life. Yes, even shampoo has been sold to us. We’ve bought the idea and culture of ‘clean’ hair, but it turns out mother nature already takes care of it for us.


Hot water and a good head rub and scrub can go a long way.


113 Responses

  1. Wow – I think I will try this. What I love is your point that we have been taught a lot of silly things we think we have to do. One of my favorite sayings is “Who made that rule?” I even say it to my kids to get them thinking differently about what they “have” to do.

    I love how both you and Meg are inspiring me to think differently about some things. Thanks!

    • Liane, that rule is the best dang thing we can teach kids. And ourselves!

      ‘Who Made That Rule?’

      Okay, there is a gem of a blog post sitting in there.

  2. Philipp Knoll

    Congrats! I am not astonished by the results. My granddad, one of my heros, did that all his life! He has never ever used shampoo on his hair but always looked fresh and sharp – a real gentleman!

    I decided to go completely without hair a couple of years ago. It feels like it was yesterday. You won’t believe that at times I used to have hair to my shoulder. It had to be that way playing the guitar in the 90s. πŸ˜‰

    • Philipp, I mentioned on twitter that your granddad is the kind of man that I want to be known as… Those are such good words to say of someone. He must have really known some tips for life. And it shows in the little things (no shampoo for life!)

      Once I clip all my hairs, I won’t ever look back. Til then, I will enjoy the locks. But yes, not quite like the 80s or 90s guitar thrashing, though that is always fun!

  3. This is interesting. I’ve heard of people not needing shampoo when they’ve switched to a raw diet. And when I’ve done extended periods of raw diet I’ve certainly noticed the oil my body produces is much less than normal. But this makes a little more sense, since I would imagine a lot of what our body produces is related to diet. But I wouldn’t think about going months and seeing the same results. Interesting. Maybe I’ll try this.

    • Russ- I have heard that eating a raw diet helps this process but I also think when you eat a raw diet you have more of a chance of drying out your hair and body. You have to make sure you are eating an eclectic raw diet so this does not happen. Maybe when I try this experiment again I will focus more on a raw diet as well. Good thought.

    • Russ, I may have to try this raw diet business. My gf is incredibly health conscious but if she has taught me anything, its all about diversity!

      I can see the benefits of less oils in the diet though. I’m amazed that going 6 months has been so good to me. Truly, I am inspired to keep it up for good. Next step: deodorant

  4. Yay love! I am so proud of you… and I can attest that he is not cheating. He truly has gone 150+ days without using shampoo. Crazy. I on the other hand have extremely thick long hair and I feel like being a women it is much a harder to hide the grease. I am not a big hat person so throwing on a hat for me is not really an option I would go for. In my trial I have never reached the point of my natural body taking over and making my hair look better. When I go a month without shampoo and then I finally wash it I think it looks 100x better after a wash. I am wondering if this trick works best for people with oily hair. Also, I do hot yoga 5x a week…. I don’t have the option of going several days without getting it wet, the yoga does that for me. I am going to take one more stab at it this summer when it’s easier to leave the house with wet hair but it may not be my thing.

    Good Job Babe! I am very proud of you and your sexy mane.

    • Okay okay, you’re right. The hot yoga and complete body sweating may be a disadvantage for longer hair. That’s the benefit of short hair: it dries so fast.

      This summer, lets do it! No shampoo! No deodorant!

  5. Gorgeous!

    Just glorious. My ma-in-law preaches “meleleuca”–most people think it’s a snake oil (it may be). She buys me these “gold bars” that are just chunks of the stuff.

    I’ve begun to use this, and only this in the show. My hair is short so it doesn’t really matter. It’s a good way to look good a little like a rebel, and a little like Anton Chigurh (sp?).

    Keep it real in SD. I come homeHOME on June 12. Keep it slimy, David.


    • Mark! You best hit me up when you’re back in the motherland! And bring some of this meleleuca.

      I didn’t recognize that actor til I hit the ole google, but geez my man, spot on! I prefer either longer or shorter hair, but sadly I am at the awkward in-between phase. Oh well, its summer in SD and the time is right for beach hair!

  6. I just ran out of shampoo and money simultaneously so I’m thinking it might be a sign to try this experiment myself. Like you, my hair turns into a grease mop by the end of the day. And if I wash at night, it’s a grease mop when I wake up again. I suppose my biggest concern is that since I wear my hair shaggy the grease will just deposit on my face and bring back my nightmarish adolescent acne… Any trouble with this? Doesn’t look like it, but it’s been 150 days so maybe it passed. Maybe I’m just paranoid. Your hair does look great though. I’d never know you were an unwashed heathen!

    • Chase, I’d say that the stars are going out of their way to make you try this. No shampoo? No extra jingles? Shoot, make it happen! You and I have similar hair. Do it and become a believer. I will convert you!!!

      As for the acne, strangely it hasn’t been an issue. I do try to keep my hair off my forehead for this reason, but I think I’ve found a better benefit to changing my pillowcase often.

      But yes, either way, I am an unwashed (or rather unshampooed) heathen. Guilty as charged.

  7. Lori Popkewitz Alper

    Really? 150 days? Your hair looks so shinny and clean. I don’t think I can do it….but you raise such a good point: we are taught to do so many things and we have no idea why. Mother Nature really does take care of us in so many ways.

    • Lori! Truly, give it a shot. I sound crazy, I know, but you will be impressed. If not, you can hate me and forever ignore my wisdoms. πŸ™‚

      And yes, good ole Mother Nature knows best. She designed us after all!

  8. Joseph Post

    Yes, this works great. I’ve been ‘poo (and deodorant) free since Oct 04 2008. When it was hardcore greasy in the beginning, I would periodically do the 1t + 8oz water scrub followed with a 1t apple cider vinegar + 8oz water scrub in the shower.

    • Joseph, I am going to connect with you again in 6 months when I do a one year follow up. You will be featured here. You must! That is an inspiration to know others have gone before me and not been completely mad.

      I’d be happy to hear thoughts on soaps and deodorant. I am bent on this next step!

      • Joseph Post

        At first I dropped everything. Just warm water. I eat a plant-based diet, probably about 1/2 raw foods, which helps. The girl I was seeing at the time didn’t say anything, but did give me that “oh boy, that’s interesting” look. The next girl politely suggested I use soap, so I got a bar of soap made of pure sandalwood oil. I still use this today. It’s great before participating in more traditional social situations.

        If I remember correctly, the girl I was seeing used cocoa butter and tea tree oil, maybe other things too, but it was always natural. I’ve heard of people using diluted Lavender Oil for nice-smelling hair and healing acne!

        I have a thing that’s just salt in the shape of a deodorant stick, but I stopped using it like a year ago ’cause it didn’t seem to do much.

        • Joseph, thanks for all the info! It really does help. I’m going to focus more on the raw diet. I’ve been hearing that it helps a lot. Your soap stories crack me up. I feel the same pressures from my girl.

          I’d like to experiment more with the more hippy solutions like you’ve suggested. Lavender oil will be first since I think I have some floating around the warehouse.

          I may have to keep seeking out advice as I go though. The hair situation worked so well, I struggle to imagine that the deodorant thing will be so successful too. I guess I just need to believe in it!

  9. I currently wash my hair once a week, but the main thing I gleaned from this post is:

    “But what will probably happen is that you may start to consider to question all the silly things you’ve been taught you whole life.”

    I don’t want to be a consumer (I confess I bought an iPad) of things just because the world tells me to. I want to appreciate the simple things in life and be content with that.

    • I leave it to my good friend Matt Bruce to enjoy the actual life lesson here. Yes, the consumer in us is deeply ingrained. It doesn’t have to be such a bad thing, but we owe it to ourselves to at least question the motives here. That in itself is a good post idea. Hmmm… I like it. Thanks Matt!

  10. Baker Lawley

    Yeah! Nice experiment! I love how a little act, a small personal experiment in wrecking the rules we’re told, can be so radical. This is the kind of thing that spreads ideas to lots of folks. Most excellent work, David.

    I feel like I have to use something because I swim so often and the pool is chlorine (my kingdom for a saline pool!), so I have a shampoo bar that’s mostly olive oil. Not nearly as cool as what you’re up to. Thanks for the inspiration to be nonconformist in even little things!

    • The olive oil move is arguable cooler, in my opinion. Since you’re wreaking havoc on the mop just by swimming, you’re making wise decisions on how to combat that. Arguably that is at the core of this post. And what is more bohemian that olive oil? Damn I love the stuff.

  11. Well I didn’t wash it today. I chose not to use “stuff” in my hair today either which was a slight disaster but manageable.

    I am inspired. I have incredibly thick hair though so we shall see how this goes. I am intrigued…

    • Liane, I am happy you have been so inspired! Please keep me posted on your findings. I’d like to gather some thoughts on this for the next post re-cap (probably in 6 more months as a one year celebration).

      You can do it! Be the inspiration for all the pretty ladies!

  12. Hanging out for the no poo 1 year anniversary..

    Nice one, looks really clean from the photos? There must be a breaking point where after a month or so (?) you go past having greasy hair to the natural oils & stuff kicking in?

    There was something about this on TV, and the only problems were scalp problems..

    Any other experiments up your sleeve?

    • Andrew, you know we’ll be kickin it in China on some old vintage motorcycles, dirt in the hair, and not a drop of shampoo to be found. The one year mark will be good.

      That said, you nailed it. After a few weeks, it starts going the other way, looking cleaner and cleaner. Now I prefer to warm water wash my head and scalp every two days or so. That may also help curb the scalp issues.. Of which fortunately I haven’t had yet.

      Future experiments? Shoot man, forever. I’m always up to something. If you have any ideas, bounce them my way. This no deodorant thing is now a go. I want to be smell free and deodorant free! We will see…

  13. dude, balls. I have heard of this no shampoo thing and how it’s ACTUALLY better for your hair etc etc but social convention tells you otherwise and even with renegades like me (haha), it’s hard not to! I mean, I’m still a woman and I LIKE to smell nice (with fragrance) and I love those super designer craft handmade soaps/shampoos that I can’t afford. anyway, i actually am kind of trying this though as i have no shampoo here (it’s so expensive and i get free soap/shampoo at my expensive gym) and am finding myself a little bit lazier at going to the gym and a little bit bolder at using the bucket method with unfiltered water…

    • Janet, it’s true. Social wisdom has created a need for a daily shampoo. It’s crazy, but from what I’ve gathered it really wasn’t until the 1970s that there was such a huge marketing push for soaps and shampoos. And no one blames you for wanting to smell nice. I think the trick is using natural fragrances…

      What better way than making your own? C’mon! Get those creative juices flowing!

      Oh, and good for you for making the bucket method work! Now that takes some stones!

  14. annie Andre

    I saw this title and immediate thought NO NO NO, this can’t end well. But alas, you have changed my thinking. This is so radical.

    It never occurred to me to NOT use shampoo. I am constantly hounding one of my sons to use shampoo but maybe i’ll just let it go and see what happens. It will be very easy for him.

    But are you sure you and Meg should forgo the deodorant this summer? Oh man, let the pheromones begin.

    • Annie, you are always such a delight! I’m glad I was able to pleasantly surprise you! I hope your sons find the same enjoyment I do when I can forgo the ‘poo.

      Now as for the deodorant, it will be a bit trickier. Today I made it through and I was working construction (volunteer day with Habitat for Humanity!). I got a little sticky, so I need to figure out this make it yourself method of deodorants. So much to do. But yes, the pheromones will be raging around here! πŸ™‚

  15. Todd | Channelingmyself

    Hi David,

    I gave the poo free lifestyle a try not too long ago. I have to admit that I really couldn’t tell the difference with my hair being off shampoo. However, I did notice a difference with my scalp not feeling clean. I have cut down on the number of times I shampoo every week. Thanks.

    • Todd, interesting feedback. I noticed results and changes immediately. Now, I don’t think I’ve ever go back. In the very least, I’ve found that shampoos aren’t necessary (or if I do need to, 2x a year will do). I suppose it’s all about finding that personal balance though.

  16. This is such an interesting experiment. I have to say that I went a few weeks without Shampoo once while traveling. I ended up using bars of soap instead of shampoo. It did not work well.

    I might have to go poo-free just to see it work firsthand. Who knows, maybe I’ll end up saving a lifetime of money spent on unnecessary shampoo.

    • Steve, I gotta say just go for it. Soap is far harsher than shampoo, so that may explain the lack of results.

      And yes, if I no longer have to buy deodorant and shampoo ever again, then I will save lots of jingles for better purposes. Like delicious stouts and porters.

      Most importantly though, it does cause us to consider the things we consume and how necessary they really are…

  17. Paul @ Local Honcho

    Nice hair mate πŸ™‚ Well, in the Philippines, if you decide not to use shampoo for 150days despite the intense temperature and pollution, your hair will be gone lol! I think this only works on places with not so hot climate.

    • Paul, you raise a good point. I am planning to see how long I can stretch this for. I’m also planning to do an extended travel around the world, so I will soon see first hand the possibilities of no shampoo in the temperature extremes. I’ll drop you a line when I’m in the Philippines so you can see first hand how awesome or awful it has become.

      • you are fine…i just did an around the world trip including africa, middle east, india, asia and ended in the philippines. barely ever used shampoo if at all and my hair was perfectly fine…even in the philippines. if you go swimming a lot and shower you’ll be fine.

        • Camilo, thanks for the encouragement! It is good to know others have had some success with this too. I plan to do a lot of swimming and what not, so we will see how crusty it gets!

    • Try a baking soda wash and an apple cider vinegar rinse. They are both excellent cleaning agents without all the stuff that shampoo and conditioner has. Plus they are cheaper.

      • If I am ever forced to shampoo again, I will try to sneak this route first!

  18. raverture @ personalized wedding favors

    That’s pretty amazing! You really managed to go out of the house and mingle with other people without them noticing the greasy hair? :). And if you will base it with your season, the intensity of the temperature is not that really high. Unlike in the tropical area, people could not live without washing their hair with shampoo.

    • You bring up a great point, and one that I hope to investigate further… I’m not sure how it’ll work out when I’m sweating in the humidity, but from what I’ve been learning, hot water is a great cleaner. In fact, so much so that I haven’t had to use soap or shampoo in almost 6 months!

  19. Like so many things big and small, it comes down to thinking critically. Do I use shampoo because there is a clear benefit or do I use shampoo because I / my parents / me peers have always used shampoo?

    It sounds silly to talk about shampoo, but the bigger lesson is pretty profound.

    • Caanan, you are dialed in here. This comment precisely sums up my entire motivations here. The thing that I am pleasantly surprised with is that I’ve found greater benefits to not using it (my hair looks better, is more manageable, feels softer/healthier, small money saver, and confirmation that even in the little things we are sold bologna).

      • Wanted to let you know I put this on Reddit and it kinda blew up! Some pretty funny comments too.

        BTW – There is something very “Pert Plus” about saying your hair is more manageable. πŸ™‚

        • Caanan, this was incredible. Thanks for the shout on Reddit. I am happy to see this was so well received. I never would have thought anyone would be so interested in a topic like this.

          I guess it’s the benefit of being able to sound like a commercial, naturally πŸ™‚

  20. I am a woman with long hair. And I find a wash with baking soda-water paste and a rinse with apple cider vinegar works quite well. Especially if you feel water is not enough.

    • Thanks for a long hair perspective, MC! I haven’t had to use anything yet, but if it gets to that point, I will be trying to baking-soda and apple cider vinegar. The thing is, I don’t fully understand baking soda, so I may try more all-natural solutions first. Crazy that hot water has been enough so far though.

  21. I’m not going to wash my hair ever again – Left Hand Karma

    […] by this guys blog, I will be forfeiting my shampoo, or rather NYSC’s shampoo, in favor of straight hot […]

  22. You are starting to go bald. You can see the outline of male pattern baldness . So sorry.

  23. I’ve considered this myself. Right now I do ‘organic’ shampoo and conditioner. The thing I’m wondering/worried about is, I have very fine hair that tends to tangle very easily. Any suggestions? Or is it just something I shouldn’t worry about?

    • My hair is the very straight, very fine, very soft variety. I never needed conditioner, but I’d say give it a shot. Worst case scenario, its a total bust and you never do it again. Best case, your hair becomes more easily managed.

  24. Supplement Ratings

    Will it work for me? I’m bald lol

  25. Has anyone tried this who regularly uses “product” of any kind in their hair? Can i still use a bit of gel for styling purposes and get it all out with hot water and do I need to completely au naturale’? I think perhaps thats where our heavy use of ‘poo’ came from. All the hair spray from way back when made it necessary.

    • Joe, this is a good point. Perhaps we have created a need for shampoo. I don’t use any product, so it perhaps isn’t important if I don’t use shampoo. Interesting food for thought though.

  26. its been a little over 2 years for me without the ‘poo’, I use a gel a few times a week and just washing with warm water cleans it up just fine. I do still condition it about 2 times a month although once this current bottle is gone….

    • Greg, good for you. Two years makes you a hero in my book! Well done πŸ™‚ I’ll get there too!

  27. Stephanie

    I’ve had long hair since I was a little girl and I was always told to wash it once a week. I tried washing it more often in summer but generally felt like it was too time consuming because of the drying time. Always seemed like it took 3 times as long to dry when i shampooed it. Now it’s summer I’ll try to cut back the shampoo even more than I already have.

    Has anyone tried the same thing with soap? I’ve seen where they say that after the first couple of weeks your sweat will be less rancid and your skin will be better.

    • I’ve been weening myself off the soap thing, but it’s tough because I am also trying to not use deodorant. I have been using a lavender and tea tree spray in lieu of deodorant and I am really liking these results.

  28. Hey David, nice results! This motivates me to stick to a almost all natural lifestyle. By the way, do you also only use water to wash your body with?

    • Timmy, I’m glad you found some motivation here. There certainly is no harm in aligning life with a more all natural presence. That said, I haven’t stopped using soap, though I use my gf’s organic stuff, so it’s made of ingredients I can pronounce.

      I’d like to get to a hot water only life, but then again I’m not against any of these things (organic shampoos and soaps). I’m really more interested in questioning even the little things we are taught from an early age.

  29. Wait a second. If you don’t have hair long enough to reach your nose, then how do you know what your hair smells like? πŸ˜‰

    • Bill, you almost got me πŸ™‚

      I depend on others, but you can get a good smell of your pillowcase or cap. There’s no hiding from that!

  30. I actually know what my deodorant smells like. It’s Oldspice swagger πŸ™‚ My arm smells more like my cat. She also smells surprisingly good, last night I was smoking and hanging out with my roommate when he pointed out that was just holding my cat, smelling her. If I had to guess, I’d say my arm smell is a mixture of both mine and my cats natural smell.

  31. All these possibilities have led me to smell my arm far more often than I had anticipated, and at work of all places. It’s possible, the stuff I smoked last night was pretty good.

    • I was hoping people would actually give their forearm a good smelling.

  32. Ive actually done it before and It usually smells pretty good. Smells kinda like my cat. (Yes I have smelled my cat, who hasn’t. Dont look at me like im like some crazy cat smeller or something…)

  33. I haven’t used Shampoo for over 5 years and I’ve found VERY similar results! I have healthy, grease-free, natural smelling hair.

    I always run hot water throughout my hair for an extended period of time, esp if I wear product.

    But, I’ve always had REALLY functional hair. Out of all my friends, I can groom it much easier and with much less product. Shampoo makes my hair too smooth and requires me to use additional product to get the look I want. But, by not using shampoo, my hair maintains a lot of natural body and is much easier to style.

    I’d HIGHLY recommend no shampoo if you spike your hair or wear it messy.

    • Nate, thanks for corroborating! You bring up a good point about using the hot water throughout the hair for an extended period of time. I think that has been huge for my own success.

      I don’t know if I’ve always had functional hair. My hair was/is the type that gets greasy within a day of no shampoo. It was tough to break the cycle, but I think I’ve officially done it.

  34. […] no-shampoo for 150 days post received a bit of attention recently (thanks to reddit!). As you can tell, I’m […]

  35. Cambodia Trip Planning and Packing Light

    […] towel gets the nod. Only taking carry-on luggage on the flight restricts packing aerosols or too many liquids. The pinnacle of mankind’s development was discovered yesterday, the small yellow package next to […]

  36. This is fascinating…a viral post for sure David. Reading all of the comments and responses has been a steady part of my daily entertainment. I went a couple of days without shampoo but gave in. I need to give it another go I think.

    so what will you write to top this one? What other personal hygiene experiments might you throw our way??

    • Liane, I’m glad you’ve been following along too! It has certainly been an interesting ride. Just yesterday I went to the motorcycle shop that I work at and the owner came up to me and asked me how my 150+ days with no shampoo have been going. Geez, even he saw this post!

      Keep going strong. It takes a few weeks to really get over the hump, but it’s worth it! Just stay strong. Really…

      As for future experiments, I’m always scheming. And I’ll always take on new ideas… Hopefully I can keep it interesting πŸ™‚

  37. I’m going offline for five days while camping in North Carolina, maybe I will quit shampoo then too.

    • There may be no better time to start than then! Just be sure to keep your hair and head clean with hot (warm) water so you still feel fresh! Its crucial!

  38. Laura M. | smash your t.v. and have adventures

    Going poo-free has so many traveling benefits too – no need to pack shampoo and you can keep yourself clean anywhere! Glad to see you’ve had success with this!! I took a break from my poo-free life to use [organic] shampoo (twice a week) the past few months but have just switched back to no-poo this week and intend to stick with it. It is easier to do with shorter hair, though. I might cut my hair after I get married this year. Maybe.

    • Laura, you’re right about the travel benefits. That is one thing I am excited about too. If I can successfully knock off deodorant too, geez, then all I’ll need is a toothbrush and toothpaste. I’m not interested in going without those though….

      Congrats on the wedding btw!

      • Annie Andre

        EEERRRR! tire sound screeching. Thank goodness you draw the line at toothpaste and toothbrush. You could always brush your teeth with an old dish rag and arm and hammer.. MMM minty fresh.

  39. I am acting like you for a years, you are right no need of shampoo! if you have no hear on your head:D

  40. Rosemary

    my hair is totally white and very thick so I tend to only wash it twice a week otherwise it goes like a dandelion, however, in two magazine articles this week it has said about white/grey hair needing to be wasned and conditioned every day as it shows the dirt more. like a sheep I have followed their advice until today when I read your post. I shall now try not shampooing and will let you know what happens. Thanks.

    • Rosemary, interesting feedback here. I’d be curious to hear how your results work out. I can’t imagine that simply washing your hair with hot water wouldn’t do the trick. Perhaps giving your head a break from daily washing/ conditioning will do you good. In the very least, you’re exploring outside the box! πŸ™‚

  41. I read through several of the comments, but one thing I didn’t see was the further questioning of soap. I do believe we have a bit more necessity for soap, but I think it is over used as well. That especially goes for most of us who are in an office the majority of our day.

    Not sure when exactly I started it, but I generally only use soap on my face, pits and privates. I’ll wash my feet on days that I run. My skin has continues to be healthy.

    This has also help cut down on shower time, and helps conserve a lot more water. Unfortunately, one of my roommates cancels this out by showering twice a day several days a week…

  42. […] thing is I’m posting this to tell you about a new blog I’m doing. I’ve heard some interesting things about going without shampoo. The thing that irked me the most when I was researching the […]

  43. Love the post. Actually, love everything you write.

    I’ve been going with no shampoo for about 2 months now. My hair has also hit its stride and started self-cleaning. But I have one question.

    What do you do about “wet hair” smell? I notice that if I get rained on, or take a quick shower and go out, suddenly my neutral-scentless hair becomes very, very scented. And not in a good way.

    To be honest it reminds me of the smell of wet dog, which does not make me happy.

    Has this happened to you? Does it go away?

  44. Divya Kashyap

    So I read this blog post and it really got my attention. I decided to give it a try, and boy it works! I started about two weeks back. At first, my hair felt really dry but now I’m starting to see and feel the change. It feels healthier and looks healthier too! I’ll be continuing this for EVER! Thanx πŸ™‚

  45. Interesting to say the least. But I don’t know about not using some sort of cleaning agent, that seems kind of gross. I prefer just using baking soda/apple cider vinegar because apparently it doesn’t have harmful chemicals that will seep through your pores and does a good job of cleaning. Oh, and it is VERY cheap for a pretty good amount of it.

  46. […] up, aesthetic and odour-wise, just fine by the end of the 30 day period. My friend David, from the Almost Bohemian blog, has gone even longer without shampoo, just over 150 days actually, and you could not tell he […]

  47. I also don’t use shampoo, soap, deodorant, perfume. Have not used it all year. I use the same stuff on my body as I do to clean my home… baking soda, diluted organic apple cider vinegar and olive oil for conditioner/body and face cream. I also live (most of the time) in a 9×12 Tiny House built in 10 acres of Ontario forest. I have no running water, nor do I have heat or electricity. I will be installing some solar lights hopefully Friday.
    FYI: I also do not stink. I take sponge baths daily with water that I carry in, and I go to a friend’s place and take a real shower about once a week. More if I am doing heavy work like moving stone or something.
    I write and paint in my spare time… which is basically always because I retired… I am 47…
    I like your blog!
    xo Laura

  48. This is a great conversation. I love it. Not only am I inspired to stretch out and see about my own shampoo cycle (currently 1-2x a week) but the overall undercurrent of questioning what we do is BIG. So thanks.

    And by the way–I DID give up toothpaste and I LOVE IT. I use a product instead that is 100% pure almond, spearmint and peppermint oil. It’s amazing. Check it out if you like I got it thru a dentist I like, but it’s made by ORAMD and they have a website.

    Experiment on!

  49. Hi all πŸ™‚
    Am going to stop using shampoo as of today – its great that I stumbled across this site just as I ran out of shampoo/ started questioning the things in life that we are taught we “have to” do. What I really want to know is if anyone has has results with not washing their face? I assume that, like hair, the skin will also stop producing oil if not washed? Also can you tell us more about the no deodorant thing you plan to David? Will you just not use anything?
    For anyone who is interested in questioning how much of what society tells us is actually useful to us, I found the following videos amazing (they are part of a “lifeclass” by Oprah, with Eckhart Tolle).
    The first video (2 mins) has a ridiculously simple exercise you can do to work out who you really are and what is actually important to you:
    The second is a great explanation of how, from childhood, we are trained to accept social expectations:
    Enjoy πŸ™‚

    • I’ve used zero deodorant for the majority of the year. More specifically anti-perspirant, there is a big difference for those of us who sweat a lot.

      For the most part I never had an issue. I’d be in an office all day, then come home and have a chance to freshen up before going out. If I was exercising I was always getting sweaty enough to necessitate showering and getting my clean reset.

      The summer heat did start taking its toll on me. I live in Florida, so it was mostly unavoidable. Yes, we have AC, but when you have beautiful weather you have to get outside. I’d often walk somewhere for lunch, then be dripping by the time I got back to the office.

      What I did find was a slight earthy smell which was never noticeable to anyone but myself. And my brother’s dog Sadie. She loved to bury her nose in my pits. Overall, now I use a judgement call as for what I have planned for the day. If it is a regular 8 hour day deodorant isn’t a big need. If I’ll be going out longer, and meeting up with people after work, or doing a lot of moving around I’ll put some on. Not as much as I used to. Less is more.

      • Sadly I had to abandon the no deo attempt. It wasn’t working well for me, and now that we are traveling full time, I have to be careful not to be that crusty crunchy traveler on the bus or train. I have found that deodorant at night is a good trick to using less during the following day… But Charlie, your technique with the dog has to be one of my favorites.

  50. My comments gone πŸ™
    I was asking about how the no deodorant thing works? Going well without shampoo – finding that after only a week of washing with just hot water the oiliness is going down already!

    • Sorry Megan, it was just a temporary issue with the links getting marked as spam. Let me know if the no poo life works for you. I’m now just an occasional shampooer, but it is good to feel less dependent on it.

  51. Love the blog. Thanks so much. Started with no soap and poo today. Wish me luck!

  52. Glad I found this post and the rest of your blog!

    I’ve been poo free for nearly a year now and love it. Granted, I buzz what little hair I have left…but still, love it!

    I also went no deodorant and love that just as much. For those who aren’t sure, or have days when they feel something is needed, just sprinkle some baking soda in the pits and call it good. Keeps the sour away for a day or two even.

    And if anyone’s wondering, no, nobody ever notices a thing!

  53. I am one week in to the no shampoo life. My hair is having some adjustment issues and I am still trying to find what works for me, but I am not giving up. David…off topic…are you from El Dorado County?

  54. […] get is in response to my (recently former) warehouse living art space. Though my piece on not using shampoo for six months received over 40k views, I rarely ever get emails about that. Yet, I get at least […]

  55. thats funny, as a cheap college student i have always secretly wanted to try this but I was scared my hair would become….unthinkable! after seeing someone else has done it, I think ill give it a shot!

  56. I can attest to the no shampoo as well…

    My hair-type is not unlike the author’s – pretty fine, pretty straight. And I was stuck in a vicious cycle. After a wash, my hair would be dry, dull, frizzy, and lifeless. Like straw. Conditioning would help only marginally.

    So I would wait for the natural oils in my hair to bring some life back, but within 12-24 hours my hair would just go back to looking greasy, dirty, and gross. Worse is that the grease would clump my already-fine hair together and make my hair look less full, making scalp visible. Just not good.

    The only cure seemed to be keeping my hair short.

    After frustration had led me to researching beauty tipes, here’s what’s worked for me:

    1. No shampoo

    2. Cold water – I still take hot showers of course, but I rinse my hair with cool water. Cool water helps close the cuticles and cause less frizz.

    3. Conditioner. I “squeegee” my hair with my fingers to remove excess water, and apply conditioner. Remember to let conditioner set a few minutes so it can do its job. This seems to remove surface dirt and help my hair retain moisture. This is commonly referred to as a “co-wash” so maybe I’m cheating.

    4. Air dry. After rinsing again with cold water, I might do a little pat-dry with a towel, but dryers and towel-drying can cause breakage.

    In sum, these steps have taken care of the frizz, my hair has shine, has some life to it, and won’t turn into a big greasey mess in 12 hours.

    I feel very confident in saying that shampoo was stripping natural oils in my hair that are essential for hair beauty – I think my fine hair was/is much more susceptible to the harshness of shampooso my case seems to be much more extreme than a lot of people.

    However I’m convinced shampoo is not an essential product now – and certainly does not need to be used everyday which is what I was led to believe growing up.

  57. But isn’t the smell of shampoo sexi? Maybe its just me. Who wants the smell of your arm all around you?

  58. I love this idea…in theory. And I think it’s a testament to the fact that Mother Nature equips us as we need to be equipped – cave men didn’t have shampoo and weren’t any stinkier than any other animal in the wild. Animals in the wild (or at least on a proper diet) have beautiful skin and hair without shampoo, so why don’t we.

    But I can tell you this:


    …the worst that can happen includes the possibility YOUR HAIR MAY SHED – so be careful.

    I know because this happened to me. I started doing the paleo diet (basically no grains or legumes or most dairy) and I noticed that I didn’t need deodorant anymore. Now that was interesting, because I used to need it bad, so bad I got the most powerful stuff just so *I* could stand to be around me all day. Now, I just need to make sure I shower every day. So if you feel you still need deodorant, you could try experimenting with your diet.

    (Oh, and speaking of poo, my poos came out crystal clean, nothing on the TP…cave men didn’t use toilet paper either, right? TMI, you’re welcome.)

    So after about a year I run across a paleo blog where the guys says he stopped soap and shampoo. But it takes 2 weeks to get used to it. Brilliant, I thought. So I try it during 2 weeks where I wasn’t being super socially active. Showers, but no soap or ‘poo.

    Well, after 2 weeks, my head smelled kinda bad. I think I got dermatitis. And when I tried the shampoo again to kill it, my hair started coming out all over my head in droves! I’m not sure if that was happening before I put the ‘poo back on, but I couldn’t stand a smelly head, and the baking soda and vinegar approach didn’t seem to do it either. So, maybe I should have figured some thing else out, but the end result was a ton of hair shed off my head and it’s STILL growing back…

    So if your scalp starts getting itchy, be careful! The worst that can happen is unpredictable.

  59. Ha ha, thank you for an awesome post! I’ll start straight away!

    Try one of my challenges on minimalsm.com… I dare you! πŸ˜‰

  60. I have began the no-shampoo hairstyle ever since I’ve cut off my straight hair and embraced my curly Afro hair. It was sad how stripping shampoo is and how much conditioner I had to use to resurrect my curls. So I use Apple Cider Vinegar diluted with water and spray it on my hair, rubbing it on my scalp to my ends then rise it with cold water. That is my shampoo which I use twice a month. Once a week or as I needed I use conditioners (Shea Moisture and As I am collection) to wash my hair. Because Afro curly hair is like a dry sponge, I use many oils to keep it from getting dry. So I use Castor oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil, olive oil…etc daily.

  61. Other than using only hot water do you do a lot of brushing or massaging to loosen up dirt?

  62. Regarding no deoderant, i read that if u eat/supplement enough magnesium, your sweat will not stink. So i started to use magnesium spray instead of deoderant. It works in the desert!

Leave a Reply