The no-shampoo method is a concept explained in Lorraine Massey’s book entitled Curly Girl. There is a section for black hair, but unfortunately it doesn’t cater to unaltered coily hair. It touched on straw-setting, twist extensions, texturizing and “type 3″ hair.
However, there are three sections in the book I found interesting which includes “towel-scrunching”, the homemade hair recipes, and the “no-shampoo method” (or “no-poo” which is short for “no-shampoo”) in which I will discuss this routine in detail on this page.
If you find that after shampooing, your hair is hard, tangled or take a few days to ‘recover’ back to normal, you’ll definitely want to read this page or buy the book.
Note – I’ve received tons of e-mails from women (and men) of all racial backgrounds and hair types and with/without chemicals who said that this routine works for them as well.
Here are some highlights from the no-shampoo section of the book:
1. Curlies should not use shampoo as often. There are a few mild shampoos out there, but most containsodium laurel sulfate and/or sodium laureth sulfate. These ingredients will dry out your hair. Hair needs moisture – especially curly/coily hair. You can use a conditioner to “wash” your hair and it will get your hair clean. Her theory is that using friction from your fingertips along with water and conditioner gets the hair and scalp clean.
2. Instead of using shampoo, try using doing a “Conditioner Wash”.This a gentle way to cleanse your hair and to get rid of product buildup. For better results, try using light, inexpensive conditioners such as VO5, White Rain, or Suave. As long as the conditioner it is not heavy, it should be fine to use since there are enough detergents in them to cleanse the scalp & hair. (Also you can simply rinse your hair with water).
3. Try to avoid silicones. These are any ingredient ending with “cone”. They weigh down and coat the hair shaft so moisture can’t get in. Silicone products may look great at first (shine/softness), but they may cause a nasty buildup that’s hard to get rid of without shampoo.
4. Stay away from blow drying.Try towel-scrunching, air-drying or wear styles that don’t require heat like twists/twist-outs etc.
5. Lastly, try to accept your curls/coils & work with them instead of frying them.
This is the theory: This routine *may* work since you’re not drying hair out with shampoo, you’re keeping hair well conditioned, removing build-up of styling products in a gentle way, and you’re using products that do not weigh hair down.
Here’s an interesting quote from the book Curly Girl:
“You’d never dream of washing a good sweater with detergent. Yet most shampoos contain harsh detergents (sodium lauryl sulfate or laureth sulfate) that one finds in dishwashing liquid. They’re great for pots and pans because they cut grease so effectively.
You’re hair on the other hand, needs to retain some natural oils, which protect your hair and scalp. Stripping them away deprives the hair of necessary moisture and amino acids and makes it look dry and dull.”
The truth is that lathers don’t cleanse at all – manufacturers put lathering agents into products so you’ll buy into the joy-of-suds myth.”
You may need to clarify you hair once in a while to remove build-up. If your hair is starting to look dull or not responding to products, try using anyone of the these hair-clarifying treatments. It will help bring you hair back to life, get it clean and most importantly they are all gentle on the hair.
I always clarify before doing a deep conditioning treatment. Otherwise you will be deep conditioning over product buildup which really won’t benefit the hair. These are all great alternatives to those harsh clarifying shampoos:
There’s quite a few women on many hair message boards with kinky hair that tried this method and had success. Some reported the following:
This method may not work if:
Here is a comparison pic taken 2 months after starting this routine. Sorry it’s not clear, but you can still see the difference.
When I stopped using shampoo, I wasn’t having any specific problems with my hair. My routine at the time was working for me. However at times my hair seemed a bit dry at times or after shampooing my hair needed a few days to recover. I never thought it was from the shampoo though. I just dealt with it by piling on oils.
When I first heard about the no-shampoo method I was like ‘that’s gross!’ After reading about it and realized the method is not about promoting dirty hair (lol), I decided to try it because of the simplicity of it. Also, the concept made sense to me. I figured…I have nothing to lose. It’s free and it won’t damage my hair. If l liked the results, it’s just one less product I need to buy. If I didn’t like the results, I can always go back to shampooing.
For those of you who are concerned with doing this method, I have no problem keeping my hair clean, it doesn’t smell and it’s not itchy. I go to the gym at least 4-5 times per week and I don’t have problems with cleanliness. It did take me a few tries to actually go through with this. It’s so engraved that bubbles = clean, which is not really true. It may take you a few tries to wean your hair from using shampoo and seeing bubbles.
I noticed changes after the first two weeks (so did my friends and family). After being on the “no-poo” routine for almost 4 years now, my hair seems to get better and better. It’s much more bigger, softer and moisturized than ever before. Since I don’t use any chemicals, I don’t think I will ever use shampoo again, I really don’t need it! In fact the conditioners I use has a little sud action going on when I massage it in my hair. Here are my experiences:
If you’re not ready to give up the shampoo completely, here’s a list of some alternative things you do or use instead of using traditional shampoo:
If you use shampoo, lookout for these ingredients in your products: