I have been doing the No shampoo challenge (or low shampoo) for a year now.
in this guide I will tell you my story, how to do it and a very useful secret I wish I knew when I started.
Great hair mister ! (After one year of No/Low shampoo)
Those pictures are RAW (untouched/unphotoshopped)
and I have no product in the hair
What is No shampoo ?
No shampoo (also called No Poo or Low Poo, Low shampoo) is a lifestyle where you reduce your shampoo usage to the minimum, ideally once a week at most.
Some do completely without it and some just use it not very often, it depends of how much sebum your scalp generates, some people have more than others.
Why do the No shampoo challenge / lifestyle ?
Using shampoo removes the natural protective oils of your hair, and this triggers sebum secretion of your scalp (that tries to protect itself with the oils).
Using shampoo too often puts you in a cycle of heavy sebum generation requiring shampoo to remove it, without having the natural oils benefits and dries your skin.
Reducing shampoo usage is said to keep the hair stronger with more texture and volume, protected with the natural oils, shinier, and stay in place naturally without using product.
One year ago I was growing my hair out, I wanted to try long hair so I started reading about hair online, how to have healthy hair, etc. So I came by this new No Poo challenge thing, and gave it a shot.
I completely stopped using shampoo, I washed my hair with only water.
The first weeks were terrible, my scalp produces a lot of sebum and I still had silicone from the last shampoo I used which made everything very greasy.
Eventually I started over with a basic shampoo without silicone to clean it from the silicone leftovers and continued washing with only water.
After a month it got better but still a bit greasy, after 3 months it was fine. It does not smell. It smells good, natural.
Now after a year I would say I shampoo about once a month maximum, because at this point my scalp sebum generation is healed from the crazy shampoo cycle and it doesn’t affect it, so why not, just to clean up a bit . I feel it’s a good balance.
How to properly do a No shampoo challenge, and the secret I wish I knew…
First, and this is the secret I wish i knew, you must start your No shampoo challenge with one last but important wash with a shampoo that contains sodium-laureth-sulfate and no silicone. My mistake was to skip this !
The good thing is lots of low end simple shampoo are just like this
look at my finger, the ingredients must contain sodium-laureth-sulfate, this is a GOOD example:
again look at my finger, the ingredients must not contain silicone: no word finishing by CONE must be in the ingredients list. This is a BAD example:
So to recap:
The ingredients must contain sodium-laureth-sulfate
and NO word finishing by CONE
Here is a good simple shampoo that fits the requirements.
so wash your hair once with this, the reason is because if you have left over silicone in your hair from using shapoo that has some, the remaining silicone in your hair is what will make it greasy ! Sodium-laureth-sulfate removes the oils and the silicone !
One your hair is purified of all silicone, all good, now you can either:
Incrementally reduce your shampoo usage (with NO SILICONE remember !) to every two days, then every 4 days, then once a week, then once every 2 weeks, etc.
Or go full warrior like I did and just stop (it’s going to be greasy the first few weeks) but it will be faster to heal your scalp from the bad shampoo routine.
Give a shot to the shampoo challenge if you dare, it’s a fun experience.