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What would happen if you quit shampoo

Krissy Brady is a women’s health + lifestyle writer who’s so out of shape, it’s like she has the innards of an 80-year-old. Instead of learning how to crochet, she decided to turn her emotional baggage into a writing career (genius, no?)...

The 411 on going suds-free

Let's take a moment and picture our lives without shampoo: Do I really need to add to the scroll of reasons people think I'm weird?
Woman with hands in hair
Photo credit: annebaek/iStock/360/Getty Images

The more I learn about the no shampoo movement , the more intrigued I am, which only leaves one question: If you were to go 'poo free, what happens next? It actually makes a lot of sense:

  • Yes, shampoo cleans your hair, but in the process strips it of the healthy oil your body produces to keep your hair soft and strong. If you start thinking of shampoo as a detergent for your hair, it sounds super unappealing, doesn’t it?
  • If we’ve made the decision to not eat foods with ingredients we can’t pronounce, why aren’t we doing the same thing with what we place on our noggins?
  • Shampoo creates a cycle of dependence — you only think your hair needs it because of the side effects it's creating.

These were just some of the reasons mom-gone-viral Jacquelyn Byers went shampoo-free five years ago and hasn’t looked back. All she does now is rinse it in the shower about twice a week:

It took a few months for it to adjust to not being ‘washed,’ but now it’s great. In fact, it’s super healthy. It’s the healthiest it’s been in a long time.

If you’re feeling brave and want to take the plunge, here’s a play-by-play of how to prepare and what will happen to your hair when you go no-poo, courtesy of Michael Duenas, hairstylist and founder of Hair Room Service:

Your hair will go through an oily adjustment period

For the first few weeks, your hair’s going to feel extra greasy or oily. "When you shampoo more often, your scalp gets used to having the natural sebum cleaned off," says Duenas. "Therefore, you produce more oils to keep your scalp normalized." So for a few weeks, your scalp will produce the same amount of oils it was while you were shampooing.

Your hair’s going to be oily, and your scalp will be itchy in the beginning, but don’t let that deter you, according to Duenas: "Let your scalp normalize and you’ll see a world of difference!"

With patience, your scalp will stop producing excess oil

"After a few weeks, you’ll notice your hair has more luster and shine to it and will have less frizz," says Duenas. And believe it or not, it won’t feel oily, greasy or dirty anymore — all you’ll have to do is rinse your hair with water and your fingertips in scrub mode.

Another bonus: "Your hair color will last much longer without fading since you’re not using any harsh detergents to get it clean."

Four things to keep in mind:

1

Don't tell people what you're doing

At least, not until the adjustment period’s over — simply put, they’ll think you should be fitted for a straitjacket.

2

Make sure your social calendar's clear for the next few weeks

Could you imagine going to a special event mid-greasefest? Ew. Wait until after your event to stop washing your hair.

3

Get used to scrubbing sans shampoo

"Make sure to rinse and scrub your scalp with water every other day when you first start the detox," says Duenas.

4

Keep dry shampoo on hand

During the adjustment period, dry shampoo will become your BFF, helping soak up the excess oil your scalp is used to producing.

More hair care tips

What I've learned from not wearing makeup for two years
How the Mediterranean Diet works for your hair, too!
Top 10 superfoods for healthy hair

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