A couple of months ago a Facebook friend jokingly posted a status update about her husband insisting she wash her hair. Every woman who responded backed her up: Women don't wash their hair everyday. We just don't. It sparked an idea in my head for something to try for this column. I already don't wash my hair every day. In recent years I've cut it down to once every two or three days. But what would happen if I stopped washing it with shampoo completely?
A good friend suggested I try that. He said he stopped washing his hair outside of rinsing and using homemade scrubs of sugar/salt/coconut oil and essential oil for moisture and scent. He was really happy with his results and I thought I could give it a try. I set out with a goal of not using shampoo for a whole month. I figured that would give me enough time to test this out.
There are a few ways to go about this. I decided the apple cider vinegar/baking soda route would do the trick. Basically, you put baking soda in your hair, rinse it out, then put apple cider vinegar in your hair and rinse that out. Repeat every five to seven days and use water and essential oils in between.
I was miserable after about three days. I would normally reach for the dry shampoo at that point, but I felt like using a product would be cheating. I powered through instead and hated every second of it. I tried rinsing it with just water and adding a bit of dry oil to tame it. Alas, my hair only got oilier and less manageable. Eventually your scalp is supposed to normalize oil production, so I told myself I just needed to exercise more patience in the meantime.
I tried the baking soda/apple cider vinegar on day five. I didn't like it. I hated the scent of the vinegar and didn't feel like my hair was clean. A whole month of this? I didn't think I could do it. I decided to give it another week before quitting.
Week two wasn't much better. My hair continued to overproduce oil. This might work for some people, but between my hair length (at an awkward growing-out-a-pixie phase) and the fact that it's thin and wavy, it wasn't doing me any favors. My hair was limp, oily and impossible to tame. Some parts were matted down. Some parts stood straight up. This isn't a good look for anyone. I seriously considered wearing a hat every day to cover up this mess.
I abandoned my trial after two weeks and went back to using shampoo and conditioner again, with three to four days between washes. And dry shampoo. I've decided dry shampoo is my friend and I will never abandon it again.