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For a period of time, I stopped using shampoo to clean my hair. I still washed it, just with simpler ingredients and less frequently than what the store-bought products recommend.
When I first came across the concept on the blog-o-sphere, I was simultaneously appalled and intrigued. My hair lends itself toward the oily end of the spectrum if it doesn’t get the cleansing it needs. So, while reading about women who had ceased embracing suds, I could only surmise they had naturally magic unicorn hair that stayed perfect no matter what. Using the same routine for decades can make you resistant to a change. But the deeper I dug, the more interesting and approachable the no-shampoo concept sounded.
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I eventually decided to forgo convention and give the method a try. The Web-sourced recipe I used was a combination of water and baking soda, mixed in an empty shampoo bottle. The main difference I noticed while applying the mixture was the lack of that bubbly, squeaky sensation you get with store-bought shampoos. It had to be specifically applied to different sections of hair (rather than just suds-ed up all at once) and rubbed thoroughly into the scalp and roots, then worked out toward the tips.
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After the baking soda-and-water combo was washed out, my hair definitely felt as clean as it did after a regular shampooing. The quality was on par, but I found the entire process took longer, which is why I eventually went back to my usual hair care routine. Hair length was a deciding factor for me, too, in returning to my normal shampoo. If my hair had been shorter, it would have made for a quicker experience.
I can definitely see why skipping shampoo is appealing. I like knowing exactly what I’m putting on my body, but there are ready-made natural shampoos that make this easily possible, too.
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The second part of this adventure entailed increasing the time frame between hair washing. Using commercial shampoos can make your hair dependent on frequent washing. Stretching the days in between chemical applications on your hair, rinsing it with only water or not at all (within reason!), can end the shampoo-everyday cycle. It takes a while to train your hair out of its shampoo-dependence, but time and creative styling (hats, bandannas, scarves) to deal with interim periods can make it work.
Overall, I did the no-shampoo thing for a few weeks, and I’m so glad I tried it. It opened up a world of hair care possibilities that I had never before considered, making me more willing to alter my rigid routines. No more will I just lather, rinse, repeat, Phoebe Buffay! In fact, right now, I’m breaking all the rules and conditioning before I shampoo. (Wild, I know).
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What do you think: Would you give the no-shampoo experiment a try? Are you already skipping it?