No Shampoo – The First 30 Days

My (ongoing) transition to no shampoo has been a challenge.

I’m not sure I could have managed this if I had still been working as I just wouldn’t have been able to go into the office with my hair feeling so disgusting!

However, I will say that now I am 5.5 weeks in, my hair seems to resemble something far more normal and isn’t bothering me too much with being greasy or smelling horrible. It’s even looking fine (and not greasy) for a couple of days following a wash now.

Before I started my hair was generally very dry after washing, even with liberal conditioner. It would gets greasy at the roots after a couple of days. My hair has always been fine, but I have lots of it. It’s fairly straight, flyaway and prone to static.

Here’s how the first month went:

Day 1

First wash.

I use about a dessert spoon of sodium bicarbonate (SB) diluted in a cup of water.

It’s like washing your hair with water. Cold water.

My hair feels very odd after the wash but lovely and smooth after the vinegar rinse.

I get out of the shower and despite lots of rinsing I can still smell vinegar. I hate the smell of vinegar. Once my hair is dry I can still detect the teeniest hint of vinegar. I used distilled malt, rather than apple cider vinegar, which is quite strong, so I’ll pick some apple cider vinegar up (ACV) and see if that is better.

On the plus side my hair feels so soft I can’t stop touching it.

Day 2

I washed my hair as it looks frizzy and flyaway when I get up. Maybe I should have damped it down with water? After my shower it really smells of vinegar to me (I left the rinse in longer this time). I must get some ACV.

There is no vinegar smell once dry, but I am not loving my hair. It must be greasy at the top, as feels heavier and lays flatter there, although when I touch it, it just feels very smooth. The bottom half is frizzier and more flyaway than ever. I’m guessing natural oils need to distribute all along the hair shaft or something. I tie it back to stop it annoying me.

My hair looks darker too, which highlights my dozen grey hairs nicely.

Day 3

AM
washed hair again (i think I’m doing this out of habit). switched to acv, but if anything it smells worse when it’s drying! I hate the smell – I think I might need to use less. I’m not loving this AT ALL. Bottom of hair still horribly flyaway and static. Decide to put a bit of jojoba oil on the ends to stop the static. Even the tiniest smidgeon of oil turns it into a greasy-locks nightmare that looks like it’s still wet. Eugh. I keep it tied back all day.

PM
My hair is rank. It looks such a dark brown too – I think because it is laying flat at the top and it’s usually pretty fluffy. In the evening I rinse and rinse it in the bath with lots of warm water, but still can’t quite shake the vinegar smell. I tie it back while it’s still wet. I want to ignore my hair.

I’m guessing this is the “transition” everyone talks about. Glad I don’t have any public appearances booked.

Day 4

Brush hair with water (which releases yukky vinegar smell) and tie it back. Later wash hair and tie it back. smells of vinegar.

Day 5

Brush hair through with water (smells horrid) and tie it back.

Day 6

Hair is so heavy (from grease??) I have to wash it. Use about a quarter the vinegar from last washes and it’s much better today. No stinky vinegar smell at last.

Day 7

Wash hair as going out in the evening. Smells much better now I’m using less vinegar. Clean even.

It looks so dark, and you can see all the tones and colours of my natural hair really clearly. You can also see my gray hair – they seem to have doubled. I think it’s still too ‘stiff’ to wear down, so I tie it back.

It lays perfectly flat and stays put – no need for anything other than a hair clip, and no frizz either. Quite pleased.

Day 8

Tie it back. Don’t even bother looking at it. Feel like a greaseball all day.

My hair gets hugely static whenever I brush it. Start looking at natural bristle brushes online. They are quite expensive!

Day 10

Haven’t washed hair for two days, just tied it back. Wash it today. No vinegar smell (think I’ve got the hang of it). Dries and for the first time doesn’t look totally disgusting. Doesn’t exactly look soft and fluffy, but I leave it down after drying and it’s OK. Go out in the evening, but tie it back as it’s looking a bit worse for wear by the end of the day. Friend says your hair looks different! but thankfully she seems unable to find the words to say it looks like it hasn’t been washed for a week and a half.

Day 11

Skip the hair wash as I think it looks OK on a water rinse. Then I brush it to go out and meet friends and find it is thick with dust and fluff. And so is my hairbrush. Hair and hairbrush need a wash.Where is this coming from? My hair seems to be attracting stuff rather like the DVD player gathers dust. I tie it back and hope no one notices how disgusting it looks.

Day 13

Am on verge of giving up. hair still greasy, doesn’t smell nice (too much vinegar again) and now I have dandruff too. It. Is. Horrible.

Day 14

Washed hair last night but by 10:30am today I am convinced it smells. It feels thick with grease when I brush it, and my hairbrush feels disgusting again, even though I washed it two days ago.

Contemplate cutting all my hair off as it seems preferably to returning to shampoo (and my short fringe generally looks ok).

Research method online to see what I’m doing wrong. Apparently transition to no shampoo might take six weeks or so and longer to cut down the amount of times a week you need to shampoo. But apparently your hair should be clean and fresh the day you clean it with BofS. Hmm. Mine definitely isn’t. Seems I might be using too little BofS for my hair (my hair is fine, but there’s tons of it).

Make a paste this time (which uses a ton of my BofS so not that economical…) and rub it all through my hair and over my scalp. I up the vinegar again as I really need the rinse to make it feel less “sticky”, but this time I water rinse for 3 times as long afterwards.

Come out of shower and hair does not smell of vinegar. Hurrah! Think I have cracked the vinegar smell, which is a relief as I hate it and switching to lemon juice seemed like a big hassle.

Let it dry and it is so much better. I wear it down without feeling self-conscious for the first time in 2 weeks.

Day 17

Tied up for two days, so wash hair, again using paste and plenty of vinegar for rinse. Hair stays down today, doesn’t feel greasy at all. It’s the best it has looked since I started 🙂

Day 18

Water rinse and wear hair down to meet mum friends for picnic in the park. It looks great! Feeling very pleased to have cracked it and so relieved to have decent hair back after two weeks of grease. Wonder how long I need to go between proper washes.

Day 20

Wash hair as going out for a kids party in the morning and after 3 days it might scare people. Feels great afterwards.

Day 23

Wash hair – it’s really greasy again after 3 days and it smells awful. This time I use some lavender essential oil in the vinegar rinse. The vinegar smell is almost entirely absent – even in the shower! After I get out, my hair smells divine! It’s the cleanest and freshest it’s felt since I started.

Day 24

Wore hair down even though washed yesterday. Looks fine!

Day 25

Tie hair up – not brave enough to wear it down, although it doesn’t seem to greasy.

Day 26

Hair finally feels dirty and smells a bit funny.

Do a water rinse in the shower. My hair smells clean and fresh afterwards – maybe even the tiniest hint of lavender. And it looks great down – even though I haven’t washed it for THREE DAYS!! No static either (that problem seemed to gradually resolve itself). Wow – I am astonished. Never in my life have I gone out in public after not washing my hair for 3 days. In fact I think the only time I’ve ever done that is when I’ve been ill. Walk DS1 to preschool with my new hair swinging around in the wind and love it. I think the grease production may finally be slowing down.

Cancel tomorrows wet cut hair appointment…

My grey seems very noticeable though. Not sure if I have actually acquired more grey hair in the last 3.5 weeks or if it’s just because i have been examining my hair in the mirror a lot more.

Really need to do something about it.

Day 27

Wash hair, although not sure it needs it. Isn’t greasy and smells fine, just looks a bit unkempt and psychilogically not having washes it for 5 days is making me think it needs it. Might have got away with water rinse.

Switch to comb as old friend boar bristle brush just isn’t getting through my hair. Lots of hair is falling out at the moment. Including some grey ones :-).

Have got the vinegar rinse down lovely. Labender oil makes it much better and now i instantly feel the softness as i pour it over my hair. I always rinse thoroughly so NO vinegar smell at all even when wet afterwards. v good as hate vinegar. Actually starting to enjoy it.

Bicarb wash still a bit of a faff and I still prepare both before getting in shower so spontaneous washing is tricky.

Wondering about just pouring powder over wet hair? Might try that next wash (in about 5 days, heh heh).

Haven’t chucked away old shampoo and conditioner yet… but I think I might at the end of my 30 days 🙂

Day 30

Didn’t chuck old shampoo and conditioner away. The faffing around in the shower is probably the worst part of this whole routine. Not sure I am in it for the long run!

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