Two of the most asked questions when people find out I don’t use shampoo is “why?” and “what’s happened since you started?” To find out the answer to “why” check out my first article on no-poo here! I did quite a bit of research prior to writing that article and its very informative about our hair and scalp needs, the types of chemicals and toxins that are found in commercial shampoos, the history of shampoo and why we, as a culture, started shampooing on a daily basis. This post is to answer question number two and give you a bit of insight into my life and my hair, and what has changed in the 7 months since I started. These are 5 things that happened when I quit shampoo!
1- My Hair (and Self) Got Healthier– Obviously, eliminating chemicals and toxins from your life is going to make you healthier! All you have to do is take a look at how my hair has changed to see a very visible difference in hair health! Before I quit shampoo I would need to shampoo everyday or every other day. My hair was course, damaged, frizzy, dry, just bad. I needed to wash my hair at night and sleep on it to help reduce my frizz. I would never dream of washing my hair in the morning unless I was going to be staying at home all day. My hair was especially damaged and bad on the underneath section. I had multiple little sections of underneath hair that would just break off constantly and were shorter than the rest of my hair. They were hidden by my top layers of hair that weren’t as bad, but it was really frustrating for me. I’m so thrilled with how soft the underside of my hair is now. I can actually wear my hair half-up and the underside is pretty! Its still a little damaged, but the short broken parts have grown out quite a bit and my hair doesn’t break off as easily and often as it did. I’m constantly trimming my ends to get rid of the damage while keeping my hair long. I’m thrilled with how my hair is coming and can’t wait to see how it gets even healthier as it grows out.
Okay- Backstory before I show you this photo: This day (in the before photo) I remember specifically because my hair was SO BAD. Why I wanted to have my photo taken is beyond me, but hey its still a cute shot of me and my mom. Haha, so remember how I said I always washed my hair at night so I could sleep on it and flatten some of the frizz down? This day I couldn’t do that. We were traveling at night and got to my aunt’s house late and had a family party the next morning so I didn’t get a shower till the morning before the party. I remember applying a bunch of crap to get my hair to behave but it just wouldn’t. I forgot to bring conditioner too, which made it even worse. In case you didn’t know, conditioner actually coats your hair with silicone (plastic!) to make it appear healthier and shinier and to hide the damage caused when the shampoo actually strips your hair down. So this is a photo of that…
The after picture is after being off shampoo and products for 7 months, and it was taken right after my wash day. No products or anything are applied in the bottom photo (or the above photo!). INSANE difference right?!?! I can’t even remember having my hair be that dry and frizzy, but it used to be my reality everyday. My hair still is far from perfect and clearly needs another trim (don’t judge), but it is worlds away from what it was before. After I had Ryan take the “hair photo” of me for this post (the photo at the top with the title of the post on it) I was just staring at my hair in the photo… I couldn’t believe my hair looked that good with absolutely nothing on it! It makes me so excited. 🙂
2- My Hair Began Growing Faster– This goes along with the above point. About a month or two after I quit shampoo I started seeing little baby hairs pop up everywhere making my hair a little frizzy looking, but its always a great sign to see baby hairs growing! We naturally shed hair a lot and hairs get pulled, so when they start growing right back in that’s what’s supposed to happen. If I wasn’t constantly trimming my hair to get rid of the damaged parts I think my hair would actually be getting longer. I’ve always had long hair ranging from shoulder to chest length, but it would never really get any longer than chest length. It would grow to that length and just stay there. It’s exciting to see my hair growing out a little longer! I can tell that the top 4-5 inches of hair at my roots is totally natural virgin hair and has never touched any chemicals or products. It is shiner and much softer and my hair gets a little more damaged as it goes down from years of products and heat styling. Eventually when I get all the “old” hair grown out I hope to grow mine even longer. I love long hair, and Ryan especially loves long hair so I have all the more reason to grow it out. 🙂
3- My Hair Doesn’t Need Products– I used to need to use hair products to get my hair to do what I wanted it to do…Not anymore! My hair is much more likely to comply now. I don’t need anti frizz creams or serums. Right after a wash my hair will sometimes look slightly frizzy, but it doesn’t last. The natural oil from my scalp is the best anti frizz serum (and heat protectant) available and its free. When my ends are feeling a little dry I’ll put some coconut oil on them and they become soft and shiny like the top half of my hair, but that’s it. Its the best! And a major money saver too. Shampoo, conditioner, and hair products are quite expensive.
4- Extra time! This is one of my favorite perks of quitting shampoo. I only wash my hair once a week now, so shower time is so much faster. Washing and conditioning my hair took some time (I have a lot of hair) and styling it every day took forever. Throwing it up in a bun or ponytail didn’t take any time, but if I wanted my hair to look presentable at all I would have to straighten or curl it every day. If I wore it natural, I usually needed some type of product in it and lots of playing with it. Nowadays I curl my hair about once a week, which is so much better for my hair. I usually brush out the curl so its a smooth slightly curly wave and it stays all week, so it saves me a ton of time in the mornings. All I need to do is brush my hair and style it however I want and it looks great. I throw it up in a bun for daily showers so it doesn’t get wet and it works great for me.
5- Smell sensitivity– One weird side effect I’ve gotten since I’ve stopped using shampoo, conditioner, face wash, etc. is that I can’t stand anything with artificial fragrances now. I know that sounds really snobby, but I promise its not that! I used to LOVE the smell of certain fragrances like cologne, some perfumes, and fabric softener!! I loved smelling fabric softener. Cologne too. (Actually, a very select few colognes I still enjoy in extreme moderation. A little really goes a long way for my nose. The other day Ryan wore cologne that I used to love. As soon as he sprayed it I looked at him and wrinkled my nose up at him. Haha, I enjoy it a lot more if its been worn off for a few hours.) Gradually getting away from the artificial fragrances has made me strangely sensitive to it. If a customer comes in at work wearing any type of fragrance I’m immediately aware of it. If I have to be around someone wearing perfume for any period of time it will actually start to give me a headache. I can’t stand it. My nose seems to know anytime there are fake chemical smells in the air and it does not like it. Recently I purchased a new shirt on Poshmark. When I got it in the mail a terrible terrible smell emerged as soon as I opened the box and I realized she sprayed it with some type of perfume before mailing it.. I’m sure some other women would love the scent but I thought it was just awful. About an hour of sitting next to the package, I had a headache. I moved the shirt to the dirty laundry pile and the headache remained. I kept smelling it still! Then I realized the card that she added to the box was still sitting at my desk. Once I threw away the card I finally stopped smelling the perfume. Ugh! Natural scents I do really enjoy still, like fresh cut grass…campfires…flowers…essential oils…FOOD! Haha but I can’t stand almost all fake chemical fragrances. I suppose that’s a good thing though!
Do you have any other questions about no-poo? Let me know in the comments or check out some of my other No-Poo posts HERE!