What if I told you I haven’t used store-bought shampoo in my hair since August 2008? Or that I haven’t shampooed my hair every day since then, either? If you assume my hair looks like greasy rodent fur, here’s a picture to prove it looks just as good as the average shampoo user.
Despite the fact that my mother never shampooed every day, I grew up feeling that it would be absolutely disgusting not to shampoo at least once a day. (I’ve been guilty of shampooing twice a day on more than one occasion, as well.) All the commercials and ads in magazines seemed to imply that beautiful, healthy women always shampoo at least once a day.
When I was about 28, and getting my hair cut at a fancy salon, I overheard two of the young, fashionable stylists talking behind me. One said to the other, “Can you wash my hair this afternoon, after my last client leaves? I haven’t washed it in two days and it’s starting to get a little grimy.”
I looked up at my stylist in shock and said, “Why did she go so long between shampoos?” My stylist replied, “No one should wash their hair every day. It is so bad for your hair.”
I decided her advice would only work on young, gorgeous women who didn’t have oily hair like mine, and went on with my daily routine.
In the spring of 2008, however, I started reading more about the dangers of chemicals in bath and body products. These are not only harmful to the user, but to the marine life that ends up swimming in the chemicals that leach into the water systems. According to EcoFriendOnline, our water systems are being polluted with a number of chemicals, including “parabens and other suspected endocrine disruptors often found in laundry soap and shampoo — chemicals that seem to be turning male frogs and fish into females.”
I was also hearing more and more that it simply isn’t good for your hair to wash it every day. I even heard that over-washing leads to oily hair.
[The] trend toward everyday cleansing might have triggered a vicious cycle, some experts say — shampoo cleanses by stripping the hair of its natural, necessary oils, causing the scalp to produce more oil in response, making it impossible for some to skip shampoo for even one day without sprouting a gigantic greaseball. – Melissa Dahl, MSNBC
Not to sound like Carrie Bradshaw here, but “I couldn’t help but wonder” if dialing back on the shampoo would help counter the oily hair problem.
I started to cut back to showering/shampooing every other day, rather than every day (even in the summer). I researched different eco-friendly shampoos, and ended up making my own, as well as experimenting with no-poo. I don’t dye my hair, I don’t use any styling products on it, and I try not to use a hair dryer whenever possible.
Yes, I have my bad hair days (maybe more than most, without having hairspray and a straightening iron), but I am generally very happy with my hair. My current stylist always comments on how healthy it is.
If you have been considering giving your hair the chance to re-balance itself, stay tuned. I’ll be sharing more information as the week goes on – a shampoo recipe, the no-poo movement, and more.
Imagine not fighting your hair anymore and still looking good…it is possible.