No ‘Poo For You {well, me, but “you” rhymed better}

Friends, I have an announcement.  This is big.  I’m really excited.

Starting this month, I will be joining a myriad/of/people/in/the/world who DON’T USE SHAMPOO!

It’s the no ‘poo movement, and I’m hopping on board.

It started out like this: I have very fine hair, and I tend to use shampoo twice as fast as I use conditioner (because too much conditioner can quickly weigh down my already-limp, lifeless locks).  Because of this tragic misfortune, I have a collection of half-full plastic bottles of conditioner underneath my sink, which I save because I can’t throw them out.  See, I switch shampoo brands after every bottle, depending on what’s on sale each month, but it bothers me (REALLY bothers me) not to use shampoo with its matching conditioner.  So when I switch shampoos, the still-usable conditioner is fated to its dark corner behind the cupboard doors.

Last month before my trip, I decided to finally use all those leftovers.  I poured as many different kinds as would fit into a travel-sized container, and created a medley of conditioners for my trip to the Cayman Islands.  It was lovely.  But it made me realise, in throwing away the now-empty containers of conditioner, that I use a lot of worthless plastic in my life.  And plastic is bad (says the hippies {which I believe}).

Half-full bottles of conditionerThese are just the ones that wouldn’t fit in my travel container—I threw away many more.

Fast forward to yesterday morning, in the shower.  I was washing my hair with shampoo which is almost gone, and I thought, “Oh great, another plastic bottle has served its purpose and is going to be on this earth forever now, thanks to me.” And it hit me: I needed to make my own shampoo and refill my own bottles.

Of course, as soon as I finished showering, I started researching (read: googling™) this brilliant idea, but it proved more complicated than I had expected.  Soaproot?  Castile soap?  Borax?  Rum?  Mercy sakes, I don’t even know what half of those ingredients are, let alone where to find them or how to use them.

But THEN.  THEN, my friends, I stumbled across some links that changed my life.  A few months ago, I had heard that when hair goes un-shampooed for three months, it becomes self-cleaning and never needs shampoo again, but still looks and smells perfectly lovely.  Well, that sounded like a hoax to me, and I didn’t research it any further…until yesterday.  I found a plethora of sites claiming that shampoo is worthless, and so-and-so hasn’t shampooed in months and looks better than ever…  And I knew.  I knew, friends, that I would do this.  It wasn’t even a conscious decision at first.  It was just…chi (or maybe gas, but it was spiritual either way).

Anyway, now’s the perfect time to go without shampoo—it’s summer, so I only really see people at church on Sundays, and if I start this Monday, then by NEXT Sunday, I’ll be well on my way.

Why am I doing this? Because I want to test out the theory that I don’t need shampoo in order to have clean hair.  See, it’s like this: hair oils are sort of like breast milk, as far as my research has shown.  The more a suckling child eats, the more breast milk a nursing mother produces.  Supply and demand.  If, in some tragic circumstance, the baby dies {or otherwise stops nursing suddenly}, the mother will still produce milk for a while (days?  I’m not sure how long), until her body realises, “Oh…nobody is using this milk.  I can stop producing it.”

Enter hair oil.  Most of us born and raised in Western civilization have used some form of shampoo on our hair since pretty much birth.  And most shampoos contain very harsh chemicals which strip the hairs of their natural oils, causing them to produce even more, and perpetuating the cycle of us believing we “need” to shampoo again.  The original shampoos of the 1700s (which really only meant “head massage”) actually included oils in them—later, in the 1900s, shampoo evolved into what we know it today: soap, lather, fragrance.

Now, I’m not one for conspiracy theories (okay, maybe I am!), but does this, or does this NOT sound like Big Brother/The Man set out to make billions of dollars off of tricking consumers into depending on a product that is completely worthless from the start?  It sounds sneaky to me.

Plus, think of all that money I’ll be saving if I don’t ever buy shampoo or conditioner ever again!

I’m kind of excited about it, and, as usual, I’ll be documenting the entire process here, with un-photoshopped pictures, for all the world to see.

I mean…




…it’s not like I have much to lose.

About Camille

I'm Camille. I have a butt-chin. I live in Canada. I was born in Arizona. I like Diet Dr. Pepper. Hello. You can find me on Twitter @archiveslives, Facebook at, instagram at ArchivesLives, and elsewhere.
This entry was posted in change, It's All Good, Overall Good Things, self-actualisation, theories, what I'm about and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

38 Responses to No ‘Poo For You {well, me, but “you” rhymed better}

  1. Hmm…. So you just get your hair wet in the shower, and just dont put shampoo OR conditioner on it? Reading the majority of the article, I had convinced myself I could just use conditioner and just not shampoo, but I guess that is not the point you were trying to make….

    my hair gets VERY upset with me, if I do not wash it for lets say as long as a week. My scalp gets flakey and crazy, and oily and disgusting…. and smelly for that matter… so we will see how it turns out for you… Do you just oil your hair regularly to do this?

    I need more information… and would love to swear off shampooing.

  2. Jami says:

    CA-MILL….ok, I don’t know how I feel about this.
    I will be the first one to admitt that showering isn’t my strong point. I can go days without it, and not feel bad about myself (the way Spencers feels about me is a different story). I even bought that spray powder so that I could cover up my gross hair. But NEVER using shampoo…I just don’t know. I can’t rap my mind around it.
    I am excited to hear how it goes. But as for making your own shampoo…that is right up my ally. I have made my own detergent, and I am working on perfecting the fomula as we speak. I am making my own baby wipes. Shampoo would be perfect to add to my list!

  3. Jenn says:

    I wonder if it’s like growing your hair out – is there a horrible in between stage? Will it take your hair two weeks to stop producing the oil? But in the meantime, you won’t be shampooing, so it will be so oily – yuck! Can’t wait to see how it goes! :) Good Luck!

  4. anonymous says:

    wow! i am actually getting way into this. i think i’ll see how it works with you and if it all works out, i will follow suit. no shampoo would make life loads easier! i’m excited!

  5. Leann says:

    I ain’t gonna lie…it sounds down-right miserable to me. I have the oiliest hair in Northern Hemisphere and can’t go even two days without washing. My hair prefers to be washed EVERY day. I don’t think I could handle it. My hair stinks if I skip one shower. For me, I think stripping my hair of oils is a very good thing. A very good thing, indeed.

    But, to each his/her own, so go for it! I’m interested to see how things go.

    By the way, I have the same issues with leftover conditioner. I don’t use as much conditioner as shampoo because of the oiliness. I just condition the ends.

  6. raygon says:

    two things:

    1. not shampooing your hair gets you started on life in the hippie world. Please let me know when you stop shavingy your legs and I will throw you an induction party.

    2. Why doesnt your link work from my blog anymore. I got to this from the link on facebook. What is going on? I have read “i love you so much its cliche” about 20 times waiting for a new post to come up…..but nothing. then i find this on facbebook.

  7. Alicia says:

    I have a somewhat random story for you. While I lived in Russia I was only able to wash my hair twice a week. Once on Wednesday night, and once on Sunday morning. For the first two weeks it was torture and my hair looked nasty all the time, but after a short amount of time it was no big deal. I would go to wash my hair and realize that it didn’t look greasy or smell at all because my body had totally adjusted. I still used shampoo and conditioner twice a week, but my hair completely adjusted to not being washed everyday. I’m not entirely sure what my point is here, except that I think you are right. Our bodies were created to be self-sustaining, so why would we need to lather up with chemicals on a daily basis? I’m interested to see how this works for you.

  8. ann marie says:

    I don’t know about this either…
    I’m sure what you have stated is right about our bodies.. but I’m sure the pioneers were STINKY too.

    I have the not-lovely fine/thin hair that I wash every day, and the days that I try to be better and wash every other day…boy does it get GREASY! I have to use baby powder on days that I can’t wash daily.. ( It hides the oily really well.. )

    My head itches just thinking of not shampooing. I’m curious to see how it turns out for you!

    And … Waiting (kinda) patiently for the room make-over!

  9. jethro says:

    Those were interestings links, thank you. It’s all true, hair don’t need sham-poo.
    Yes, hair has natural oils. I support your project. If hair “stinks”, it’s picked up an unpleasant smell somewhere, like maybe global pollution, and can be easily rinsed out with hot water. (Body smell, including hair, has a good deal to do with a healthy diet, too. And most people don’t eat healthy. Trust me, i have to cook the stuff.)

    That stuff about baking soda is true too. All detergents are base, in pH, they emulsify oils, allowing for it’s removal. Baking soda is one of the most benign bases easily available, so as an oil remover, it seems reasonable. I just leave the oil in…a little dishsoap once a week, otherwise, hot streaming water cleans my hair. And i’ve got great hair. A barber told me once i had the hardest hair he had ever barbered. Nature works.

    And oh, baking soda is an excellent scrub for teeth discolouration and/or tarter buildup. I brush with it once a week. I do use the toothpaste daily, relatively benign also, but i find the ultrasonic toothbrush does more for my teeth than the paste.

    I hope you make it, if you do, i’ll thank you on behalf of planet Earth, for stepping back a bit from the toxic stream of disconsciousness.

  10. Christal says:

    Can’t wait to see how it works for you I use way to much hairspray for that to work ha ha!! You are awesome!!!

  11. CAMILLE, GOOD FOR YOU…. Maybe I was born with it (or maybe it was Maybelline) but I can go as far as two weeks without washing my hair no problem. I have not used conditioners in many many years, most likely more years than you are old, the only reason I wash my hair when I do, about every ten days or so, is because I feel silly if I don’t. Some kind of sick peer pressure I guess, although who would know if I never told them. My scalp always feels fine, my hair never looks greasy, you have seen it many times. Anyway, I think it is a great idea and I doubt it will take three months for it to work itself out. The body is an amazing thing. Keep us posted.

  12. Cristin says:

    I can’t wait to see how this turns out for you. Every time I go for even 3 days without washing my hair, it is totally disgusting when the natural oils takeover.

  13. anna says:

    You’ve definitely peaked my interest. I have super duper fine hair so it gets oily super duper quick (as in 8-10 hours). I can’t wait to see the results. PS Do they not recycle in Canada?

  14. Maureen says:

    interesting concept. good luck with that.

  15. Rachel says:

    Wow, I am very interested in how this turns out. As you know I am up for most things ‘green’ but I haven’t really considered cutting out shampoo completely. Just the thought of having to go through weeks of gross hair put me off so I’ve made do with eco-friendly shampoo instead.

    Can you not recycle your plastic? Our local organic shop has massive vats of soaps/shampoos and you can refill your own containers which is a really good idea, but maybe if your experiment works I’ll consider cutting shampoo out completely!

  16. Kelly says:

    Have fun with that! I wouldn’t last a day. My hair would be stuck to my head and my scalp would start itching.

  17. Hannah says:

    I’m not going to lie, it’s pretty hard to believe. But I’m excited for you to try it to see if it works, because if it does I will surely do it! I hate washing and my hair. I shower on a daily basis but only wash my hair like every 3 sometimes 5 days depends if I leave the house or not. But the whole breast milk thing… When I got pregnant with Nixyn I stopped nursing Avree, I continued to produce milk the whole 9 months. But that could have been just because I was pregnant. Nonetheless I can’t wait to see what happens.

  18. Hartis Dorly says:

    Scalps don’t naturally itch, irritate them with detergents, the first layer of skin is killed, and then they itch, to prompt you to itch away at the flakes, for removal purposes. Leaving a newly exposed layer of skin to suffer the wrath of the next detergent.
    Like getting a sunburn, and then soaking in a very hot bath. Good idea.

  19. Jami says:

    ok I have been thinking about this more and more.
    I thought that not washing your hair made it into dreadlocks? Is that how you spell that? Sorry if it is spelt wrong. Anyways. I just always assumed that is how the hippies got that look?

  20. Thad says:

    Shampoo and conditioner every day?
    Lemme think.
    (WTF’s’at mean, conditioner? Insult to injury?)

    K, got it, ‘at’s like dousing the garden in toxic pesticides, and then doubling the favour with a firm dose of soil shocking fertilizers.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Oh brother. I though you were just kidding. Camille, your body is going to turn green, literally green, if you keep up this malarkey. Are you freaking kidding me? Brother. I am rolling my eyes and shaking my head at you at the same time. And by the way, I think this is just for shock factor. I think you’re lying. You’re not really going to do it. You’ll have to prove it with frequent pictures and posts for me to believe that you’re actually doing this. Which, by the way, I’m not condoning. I think you need to take some summer school classes and stop worrying about plastic bottles.

  22. Whitney says:

    have you ever tried the 2 in 1 shampoo conditioner? I hear its amazing. Then you only have one bottle… now thats going green!

  23. Tierra C. says:

    Well…I’ll be curious to see how this goes for you. As for me, give me the sweet smelling shampoo. But, I do see your point on our bodies knowing how to just take care of its self but I think as far as the plastic goes…Yes, recycle but over worry? Nah. It all be fine in the long run.

  24. Geneva says:

    Good luck! I’ve heard that this is the absolute best thing for curly hair. My sister-in-law doesn’t shampoo and her hair looks fantastic. But I’m curious with how it goes for fine blond hair. Can’t wait to find out!

  25. anonymous says:

    i’ve been thinking about this and have some questions- do you not wash your hair even if you go swimming? do you not even get your hair wet when you shower? i’m thinkin about trying this myself maybe..

  26. Carmen says:

    So does that mean you aren’t going to use ‘product’ in your hair? I don’t know if I could do that. My hair is also very thin and lifeless unless I use mousse, hairspray and the like. It seems to me that to go without shampoo you can’t use any product. Is this correct?

  27. a wee mousse says:

    Shampoo Spamhoo?

  28. DeAnna says:

    Good for you! I am like a few of the above, my head gets itchy just thinking about not shampooing every other day. But when I got camping I tend to forgo the shampoo and it doesn’t seem to make my hair smell or maybe it does and I smell like too much camp fire smoke for me to notice, who knows. I’ll have to pay more attention this summer and see if my hair “feels” healthier after a camping trip with no shampoo.

  29. Jessica says:

    In the case of this theory proving false, you can always use the extra conditioner as shaving cream… then you don’t waste that can as well. But I think this is an interesting idea. Do you think it will work with my hair, even though I’m in the pool everyday?? Or do I need to wash my hair because of the chemicals in the pool??

  30. I forgot to leave a comment when I first read this, and then last night I totally DREAMED about it! Haha.

    Anyway, I’m glad you’re trying this out so I don’t have to. (I’m not sure I ever could; I’d feel to bad for the people I interacted with. My hair gets really greasy…) But who knows, if it works wonders for you I might have to give it a go. Thanks for being the guinea pig.

  31. Irene says:

    I’ve reading you for a while and I think you had a great idea!!! I’m convinced our body adjusts itself to the environment. My mom washes her hair only once a week while I need at least three times! My hair is pretty oily too but I think it’s no good to wash it everyday as shampoo really damages the scalp (which does already naturally protect itself).
    I’ve been trying to wash my hair when it really really needed it, and since I read your post I’ve been a whole week trying, but unfortunately I DO need to wash it today (tomorrow I have an important appointment, can’t be in such state). I hope your experiment goes well too, you gotta tell us. Bye!! :)

  32. Katie says:

    I am very intrigued by this, Camille. You better keep me posted! I want pictures. Lots of pictures.


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  34. Amber Barnum says:

    Hi Camille, just a suggestion if this experiment doesn’t work out well… Try shopping for shampoo and conditioner at Lush. They are very environmentally conscious, and use very little packaging. Their shampoo’s are actually a solid bar. They last a lot longer than most bottled shampoo, and I also think they work much better. They are all natural, made with fresh fruits/vegetables/herbs/oils/etc. They are also mostly vegan products. It’s a great company with great products! Of course, it would still be nice to never buy shampoo or conditioner again ever! :-)

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  37. Great post. I’ve always wanted to try no-poo but I the transition puts me off. The last thing you want is one of your work collegues to say in a meeting “what’s that smell”?

    How is it going with your hair?

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