Forums > Hair, Makeup & Styling > Shampoo - Do we need it?

Model

Jay Dezelic

Posts: 4842

Seattle, Washington, US

I met a guy a couple weeks ago who says he hasn't used shampoo since 1985.  His hair looks as good as anyone else you see coming out of a salon. 

He said his father was a cosmetologist. He had learned about all the harmful stuff that was used in shampoos back then and decided it was better to just use water.

I have tried not using shampoo for a couple of weeks--just rinsing with hot water every couple of days.  So far, my hair seems a little less dried out so I don't need to use conditioner. 

I am beginning to wonder if shampoo only necessary to strip out the moister and damage your hair so that you have to spend money lots of money on fixing it?

Aug 08 12 10:05 pm Link

Photographer

ELiffmann

Posts: 1406

Baton Rouge, Louisiana, US

I've had the same thoughts.  You take oil out of your hair with shampoo only to put it back in with conditioner.  The water where is live is too soft for me to get away without shampooing unfortunately.

Aug 08 12 10:22 pm Link

Model

Jay Dezelic

Posts: 4842

Seattle, Washington, US

Eric Liffmann wrote:
I've had the same thoughts.  You take oil out of your hair with shampoo only to put it back in with conditioner.  The water where is live is too soft for me to get away without shampooing unfortunately.

The water here in Seattle is considered soft and very clean.  That probably helps the situation.

Aug 08 12 10:36 pm Link

Photographer

DWShoots

Posts: 300

San Antonio, Texas, US

If you're using product in your hair, it will build up over time.

You should at least wash it every 3 days or so.

Aug 08 12 10:50 pm Link

Makeup Artist

EmElle Makeup and Hair

Posts: 5013

San Jose, California, US

I think it depends on the person - sex, hormones, climate, to name a few factors.  I try not to wash or condition my hair every day, but sometimes that just isn't possible.  I definitely cannot go longer than two days, and that's with rinsing it in the shower in the "off" days.

Aug 08 12 11:05 pm Link

Makeup Artist

Elizabethmakeup

Posts: 338

Hereford, England, United Kingdom

A person probably can do without shampoo but I wouldn't want to.

Aug 09 12 10:44 am Link

Makeup Artist

Dani Jaye

Posts: 319

Princeton, New Jersey, US

DWShoots wrote:
If you're using product in your hair, it will build up over time.

You should at least wash it every 3 days or so.

You should wash every 3 days or so?  Most all of the women I know wash their hair once at most twice a week if really needed and that includes use of styling products.  Dry shampoo stopped us from having to do that years ago.

I've never tried using just hot water but my water is hard even with filters (we have a softener and I have the colour couture shower filter system).  My hair is long and thick and water alone would just make it tangle but I wish I could do water alone.

Aug 09 12 10:50 am Link

Model

J Jessica

Posts: 2325

Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, US

Most shampoos are very harsh.
This includes Tresseme and the Herbal whatever people seem to love so much.
Such shampoos aren't really needed.

Aug 09 12 11:13 am Link

Photographer

AJ_In_Atlanta

Posts: 12825

Atlanta, Georgia, US

That is a good question, when I wore my hair military short I didn't use any.  Even as it grew out to more common short length hair it still felt unneeded.  Now my hair is long for me and I feel it does need it every couple of showers, more so if I use any products in it.

Overall I tend to think we use too much stuff on ourselves in general, not that I am going to go without toothpaste or anything any time soon.

Aug 09 12 11:25 am Link

Makeup Artist

FacesByNiki

Posts: 51

Germantown, Maryland, US

I use shampoo maybe about once every 2 weeks.

I wash my hair with conditioner, it's called co-washing. 

If he hasn't used shampoo, his hair is just fine, he might be just co-washing.

Aug 09 12 12:50 pm Link

Makeup Artist

Heather J M

Posts: 718

London, England, United Kingdom

Styling products, particularly those containing oils and silicones do require shampoo to remove them. If you forgo those then you can also forgo shampoo. But if you are a model please don't arrive in my chair declaring that we can't use product in your hair - fine if you are paying my tab or there is a very very specific brief, if not then I am unlikely to be able to work with you.

To limit your damage however, you can certainly switch shampoo to natural stuff - vinegar rinses are popular, as is using honey. Google reveals lots of foodstuffs which are fine on hair. If you still need that shampoo bounce you can compromise by using a sulphate-free shampoo(this won't lather - the sulphates provide lather which we don't actually need..) and a silicone-free conditioner.

Aug 09 12 01:16 pm Link

Artist/Painter

JJMiller

Posts: 616

Buffalo, New York, US

A lot of people go poo-less, I remember a quote from Brad Pitt saying something similar. Many thousands of years or attraction, versus 50-60 years of cosmetic advertising and selling products, you be the judge wink Hell, in the 50's people would only shower a couple of times a week, hence the classic date refusal "I'm washing my hair tonight."

  I've gone poo-less myself, and find that my hair gets to a nice state, as opposed to some frizzy one that needs product to keep it in line.

Aug 09 12 01:30 pm Link

Model

CPS

Posts: 32

Winchester, Virginia, US

I think less is more
I wash my hair 1-2 xs a week tops
Keeping some of mother natures oil in your hair keeps it soft

Aug 09 12 02:13 pm Link

Photographer

DAVfoto

Posts: 2324

New York, New York, US

my hair is quite long now (being a male its down to my shoulders)  and I have to use shampoo at least once every 3 days or else the oils get really thick in this humidity.  i use garnier

Aug 09 12 02:18 pm Link

Model

Jay Dezelic

Posts: 4842

Seattle, Washington, US

I just tried washing my hair with baking soda then with apple vinegar after reading this article:  http://simplemom.net/how-to-clean-your- … t-shampoo/

Seems to work great for me anyway so far.  I will try to remember to report on this in a couple of months.

I am tired of paying money for things that just create consumption without purpose.  The whole hair products market seems like snake oil to me after doing a bit of research.

Aug 09 12 08:08 pm Link

Makeup Artist

ThirdEyeMakeup

Posts: 309

Los Angeles, California, US

I tried the baking soda / apple cider vinegar method for a few months instead of shampoo, but i eventually gave up. My hair started getting a buildup of oil that would not leave and my poor boyfriend put up with the smell (a mix of vinegar and dirty oil). It may work for some people, but it didn't work out for me. Even when i returned to normal shampoo, it took me a few washes to get my hair clean again. I now just use sulfate-free shampoo (3 bucks at Trader Joe's). It's not ideal, but it's better than harsher detergents.
Keep in mind that living in L.A., there are a lot of environmental factors (i.e. pollution) that also require us to wash our hair more frequently than say people living on the country side or 200 years ago.

Aug 09 12 10:02 pm Link

Model

P I X I E

Posts: 35327

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

I use L'Oreal Vitamino Color Delicate Color. It has no sulfates, which is great and it feels lighter. I wash my hair like once or twice a week tops, and only with cold or lukewarm water.

Aug 10 12 08:57 am Link

Model

Retiredmodel

Posts: 7884

Monmouth, Wales, United Kingdom

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QL15Ya5fsgo

Without shampoo and good conditioner I look like the wild woman of Borneo; I am in big trouble lol

Maybe some have good natural hair; but if you dye it and stuff you need good product.

Aug 10 12 09:11 am Link

Model

Retiredmodel

Posts: 7884

Monmouth, Wales, United Kingdom

double post sorry. x

Aug 10 12 09:11 am Link

Model

P I X I E

Posts: 35327

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Eliza C wrote:
Maybe some have good natural hair; but if you dye it and stuff you need good product.

Truth.

Aug 10 12 10:40 am Link

Makeup Artist

Allison Watson

Posts: 3

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

You need to do what your hair needs. There are a lot of ingredients in all shampoo and conditioners that are not good for our hair and scalp. I use and retail Enjoy Hair care. The great thing about these products is that they are PH balanced for our hair. It makes a big difference if a shampoo and conditioner are between 4.5-5.5 rather than up in 9.0 and higher. So you might want to try a shampoo from them.

Aug 10 12 12:17 pm Link

Model

LC Mtl

Posts: 3599

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

I also think ; less is better.

My friend has a friend (yeah... that kind of story, but it's true) that hasn't wash his hair for a long time ; they're long. He doesn't put any product in it either and he washes it with water. She told me he smelled perfectly fine and his hair were looking really healthy.

I think it can really work but as previously stated ; it has to be natural hair (no colours in it) and I guess it depends on the type of hair.

I may try that someday!

X.

LC

Aug 10 12 12:45 pm Link

Model

Jay Dezelic

Posts: 4842

Seattle, Washington, US

Allison Watson wrote:
You need to do what your hair needs. There are a lot of ingredients in all shampoo and conditioners that are not good for our hair and scalp. I use and retail Enjoy Hair care. The great thing about these products is that they are PH balanced for our hair. It makes a big difference if a shampoo and conditioner are between 4.5-5.5 rather than up in 9.0 and higher. So you might want to try a shampoo from them.

The thing that I don't like about the special products that are suppose to be good for you is that they are expensive and every time you need a new bottle, the hair salon no longer carries the brand you previously used.  I have learned to trim my own hair anyway.  It's not that I am cheap.  I just want to spend my money on other things--like good quality food that keeps my hair and everything else healthy.

I think there is a lot of good points brought up in this thread.  Going without shampoo probably only works for some people who have access to clean water and have a healthy lifestyle.  Human hair is probably not much different than the fur on animals.  It's basically made up of inert material that gets continuously coated with moisture and oil from your skin.

Young people generally have healthier hair too because they have not had as many years to screw up their bodies as older people.  They system that grows and maintains hair in your body probably changes over time--especially due to nutritional and environmental influences.  So older people who smoked and ate a lot of meat or processed foods for instance might need shampoo more than others?

Aug 10 12 08:54 pm Link

Hair Stylist

Dinah Raphaelle

Posts: 28

Los Angeles, California, US

Jay Dezelic wrote:
I just tried washing my hair with baking soda then with apple vinegar after reading this article:  http://simplemom.net/how-to-clean-your- … t-shampoo/

Seems to work great for me anyway so far.  I will try to remember to report on this in a couple of months.

I am tired of paying money for things that just create consumption without purpose.  The whole hair products market seems like snake oil to me after doing a bit of research.

***I questions someone's hygeine who hasnt washed their hair since 1985.  Soap, shampoo in particular is antibacterial. some shampoos are UV protectant and most have proteins (veg or animal) to bond with your hair and make it stronger.  while overshampooing can dry it out, product buildup, debris buildup from sweat, dead skin cells, can be a haven for bacteria.  the vinegar you are using is too acidic for your skin and scalp and with continued use can give you sores.  let us know when you decide to stop smelling like a salad and picking nits out your head like a caveman.

Aug 11 12 03:46 pm Link

Makeup Artist

Heather J M

Posts: 718

London, England, United Kingdom

Allison Watson wrote:
It makes a big difference if a shampoo and conditioner are between 4.5-5.5 rather than up in 9.0 and higher. So you might want to try a shampoo from them.

I doubt there is a shampoo anywhere with a ph of 9. That is very alkaline. What you are describing are mildly acidic shampoos which are very good at closing the cuticle. ph neutral is 7.

Dinah Raphaelle wrote:
***I questions someone's hygeine who hasnt washed their hair since 1985.  Soap, shampoo in particular is antibacterial. some shampoos are UV protectant and most have proteins (veg or animal) to bond with your hair and make it stronger.  while overshampooing can dry it out, product buildup, debris buildup from sweat, dead skin cells, can be a haven for bacteria.  the vinegar you are using is too acidic for your skin and scalp and with continued use can give you sores.  let us know when you decide to stop smelling like a salad and picking nits out your head like a caveman.

They have washed their hair, just not with industrial strength degreasing products packaged in pretty bottles. Washing with vinegar doesn't leave a smell. Soap and shampoo are not intrinsically antibacterial. Otherwise, why would there be antibac soap.

Shampoo also can't have UV properties that mean anything - it combines with the dirt and oils in order to rinse them from our hair. Shampoo really shouldn't be leaving residue. Leave in conditioner could possibly have UV ingredients. Same applies for protein in shampoo.

Vinegar is also antibacterial and is used all over the world to clean houses - it is a very good glass cleaner because of it's degreasing properties and if you ever have a persistently smelly top you can put vinegar on the underarms prewash and it will remove the bacteria and smell.

Aug 11 12 04:48 pm Link

Model

LizzyB

Posts: 2194

Rochester, New York, US

wow...i wash my hair every other day and i thought that wasn't so great bc there are people that wash it every day (maybe guys- and girls- with ultra short hair.)

maybe hair type is a factor? my hair is pretty thick but the individual strands are fine. if i wait til day 3 it's kinda gross lol

Aug 11 12 06:19 pm Link

Model

LizzyB

Posts: 2194

Rochester, New York, US

ooops dp due to stupid slow internets

Aug 11 12 06:19 pm Link

Hair Stylist

Dinah Raphaelle

Posts: 28

Los Angeles, California, US

Heather J M wrote:

Allison Watson wrote:
It makes a big difference if a shampoo and conditioner are between 4.5-5.5 rather than up in 9.0 and higher. So you might want to try a shampoo from them.

I doubt there is a shampoo anywhere with a ph of 9. That is very alkaline. What you are describing are mildly acidic shampoos which are very good at closing the cuticle. ph neutral is 7.


They have washed their hair, just not with industrial strength degreasing products packaged in pretty bottles. Washing with vinegar doesn't leave a smell. Soap and shampoo are not intrinsically antibacterial. Otherwise, why would there be antibac soap.

Shampoo also can't have UV properties that mean anything - it combines with the dirt and oils in order to rinse them from our hair. Shampoo really shouldn't be leaving residue. Leave in conditioner could possibly have UV ingredients. Same applies for protein in shampoo.

Vinegar is also antibacterial and is used all over the world to clean houses - it is a very good glass cleaner because of it's degreasing properties and if you ever have a persistently smelly top you can put vinegar on the underarms prewash and it will remove the bacteria and smell.

cleaning your house with vinegar is one thing.  and of course it leaves a smell.  but its not the same ph for your skin/ scalp.  "antibacterial soap" kills 99.9% mircrobes, shampoo/soap is antibacterial, just not to that extent.  it is not "just a de-greaser", it gets rid of bacteria. invest in your health and your look and pay the extra dollar. are you really defending someones lack of hygeine?  this is foul.

Aug 11 12 06:20 pm Link

Model

Jay Dezelic

Posts: 4842

Seattle, Washington, US

Dinah Raphaelle wrote:

cleaning your house with vinegar is one thing.  and of course it leaves a smell.  but its not the same ph for your skin/ scalp.  "antibacterial soap" kills 99.9% mircrobes, shampoo/soap is antibacterial, just not to that extent.  it is not "just a de-greaser", it gets rid of bacteria. invest in your health and your look and pay the extra dollar. are you really defending someones lack of hygeine?  this is foul.

So are you saying that spending more for special anti-bacterial shampoo is better for your health?  In what way?  Will it make you live longer?  This sounds like a sales pitch to leverage money from those who have germ phobia.  Antibacterial products are actually harming the environment by making stronger strains of bacteria.  For this reason, antibiotic resistance is one of the top concerns of the CDC:

http://www.cdc.gov/getsmart/antibiotic- … -faqs.html

Aug 11 12 10:35 pm Link

Photographer

JaysonPolansky com

Posts: 816

Cleveland, Ohio, US

Eliza C wrote:
Without shampoo and good conditioner I look like the wild woman of Borneo; I am in big trouble lol

Hey, My wife is from Borneo. But then again her hair is pretty wild :-)

Aug 11 12 10:50 pm Link

Model

Frances Jewel

Posts: 9149

Dayton, Ohio, US

Lizzy Borden wrote:
wow...i wash my hair every other day and i thought that wasn't so great bc there are people that wash it every day (maybe guys- and girls- with ultra short hair.)

maybe hair type is a factor? my hair is pretty thick but the individual strands are fine. if i wait til day 3 it's kinda gross lol

no, I am right there with ya! I have very fine hair, and I can skip a day, but on the 2nd I have to wear it up. Which when you have fine hair is harsh in its self! If I wait till the third day I look a hot mess, and there is NOTHING out there that will make it look fresh. lol.

Aug 11 12 11:02 pm Link

Hair Stylist

Dinah Raphaelle

Posts: 28

Los Angeles, California, US

Jay Dezelic wrote:

So are you saying that spending more for special anti-bacterial shampoo is better for your health?  In what way?  Will it make you live longer?  This sounds like a sales pitch to leverage money from those who have germ phobia.  Antibacterial products are actually harming the environment by making stronger strains of bacteria.  For this reason, antibiotic resistance is one of the top concerns of the CDC:

http://www.cdc.gov/getsmart/antibiotic- … -faqs.html

i appreciate the link for any layman who doesnt know about the concerns about antibiotics, but if you think this is relative in why you should probably use some soap when you wash i find it a stretch.  i was saying that shampoo as well as a degreaser gets rid germs. not that you need a special antibacterial shampoo.  the "extra dollar" i mentioned was to say buy soap not vinegar as i mentioned many reasons, ph in particular, as to why.  best of luck to you and those in your "friend's"  immediate presence, and hope they are kind enough not to hold their noses as im guessing shampoo isnt their only issue.

by the way i probably wash my own hair about every four days so i get the texture i like from my products and not to dry out my hair.  there are also grades of shampoo of light moderate deep cleansing and various others for more specific hair and scalp cleansing.  look into any one of them.

https://www.google.com/search?q=shampoo … =firefox-a

Aug 11 12 11:49 pm Link

Makeup Artist

Elizabethmakeup

Posts: 338

Hereford, England, United Kingdom

I agree that it comes down to hygiene. I work out everyday and I can feel that my scalp sweats. I use argan oil shampoo and conditioner to not only clean my hair but also to clean all the crap off my scalp. Under circumstances where I haven't exercised for about a week, I find that I have to wash my hair every other day, which has been the case regardless of the type of shampoo and conditioner I use. My hair is greasy I guess and I would never be able to cope with not washing my hair.

I pesonally find it really gross when someone doesn't wash their hair with hygiene being their primary concern but then I guess that it's each to their own.

Aug 12 12 02:30 am Link

Makeup Artist

ArtistryImage

Posts: 2832

Washington, District of Columbia, US

This thread contains some rather non-conventional information (I'm being politically correct here) and might be better served in an off topic or general discussion Forum... While I appreciate the OP's premise and desire to "avoid toxic substances" there are indeed compelling reasons for washing one's hair... of prime concern is lice... head lice have been pretty much eliminated from the mix in the US in the past half century owing to increased awareness of personal hygiene...  and for those longing for the good old days of millenniums ago look no further than life expectancy data...

That said, what disturbs me more are make-up artists recommending vinegar, baking soda etc for standard hair grooming... Vinegar (acetic acid) has a pH of approximately 2.4 while Baking Soda (Sodium bicarbonate) has a pH of 8.0... Prolonged use of agents at these extremes will indeed (without doubt) cause severe dehydration, resulting in breakage of hair, scalp itch & flaking...  Bake Soda and Vinegar also can cause serious eye irritation...  Please, this is an industry forum... let's keep it real, thank you...

btw, an interesting "old wives tail" is to brush your entire head of hair with 100 strokes of a brush... this came from a dreaded and very real fear of lice... brushing actually helps destroy lice eggs thus the reason for the lore...

food for thought... far more destructive than shampoo is your local swimming pool... Chlorine is one of the most damaging elements to hair... swimming then going "poo" free is a sure way to irreversibly damage one's tresses... remember your hair shaft is dead, it can't restore itself... take very good care of it, k?

Aug 12 12 07:08 am Link

Model

J Jessica

Posts: 2325

Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, US

Lizzy Borden wrote:
maybe hair type is a factor? my hair is pretty thick but the individual strands are fine. if i wait til day 3 it's kinda gross lol

It is.

BUT... Some people with my hair type don't wash their hair for months at a time.
Like... 2+ months. One would think that it would be ever-so itchy...
o.O'
That's quite ridiculous, imo.

Aug 12 12 07:49 am Link

Model

J Jessica

Posts: 2325

Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, US

ArtistryImage wrote:
That said, what disturbs me more are make-up artists recommending vinegar, baking soda etc for standard hair grooming... Vinegar (acetic acid) has a pH of approximately 2.4 while Baking Soda (Sodium bicarbonate) has a pH of 8.0... Prolonged use of agents at these extremes will indeed (without doubt) cause severe dehydration, resulting in breakage of hair, scalp itch & flaking...  Bake Soda and Vinegar also can cause serious eye irritation...  Please, this is an industry forum... let's keep it real, thank you...

Nuh-uh!
I'm a member of a few hair forums and Apple Cider Vinegar rinses are highly loved on said forums. :3

These rinses are diluted, of course.


The same is with bentonite clay, cat nip tea, essential oils, henna...

I can link you to said forums if you want to see.
big_smile

Aug 12 12 07:53 am Link

Photographer

AJ_In_Atlanta

Posts: 12825

Atlanta, Georgia, US

Ironically many models know that shampoo is bad for their hair and don't use it or use it very rarely yet none of us have a problem shooting for shampoo companies tongue

Aug 12 12 07:59 am Link

Model

J Jessica

Posts: 2325

Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, US

http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/sho … hp?t=64570
^When they refer to ACV, they mean Apple cider vinegar.

http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/sho … hp?t=97492
^Tomato sauce

http://www.nappturality.com/forum/showt … -ACV-rinse
^BC = she chopped all of her chemically processed hair off

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQ1fH_MMM74
^video tutorial for vinegar hair concoction

Aug 12 12 08:18 am Link

Model

LisaInLondon

Posts: 707

London, England, United Kingdom

Perhaps I should stop using shampoo all together as well. If I don't use any product, my hair simply doesn't get greasy. My scalp is actually pretty damn dry which sucks. Shampoo's contain cleaning agents which are also used in a lot of other chemical super cleaners, and are way too harsh for your skin and hair to be benificial. If your hair gets greasy very fast, you should probably wash it less, because your skin is trying to protect itself with skin oils, but the oils get washed away very quickly, so the skin is basically producing oils on turbo mode, to keep up with all the washing.
I also don't think it's a matter of hygiene. We live in the first world, real hygiene problems don't even exist here. Bacteria aren't dirty, they are creatures we absolutely need to stay alive and healthy, for instance: I hardly ever get sick, but someone I know who washes his hands at least 10 times a day is constantly sick, he isn't challenging is immune system, so it's very weak.

Aug 12 12 08:53 am Link

Photographer

J I M

Posts: 524

New York, New York, US

I am 100% Sicilian. My hair is average length and when I get up in the morning my hair is so oily, if I didn't wash it with a clarifying shampoo, I would look like a homeless man.

I actually wash my hair first with soap (simple, Dial or Ivory) and then with shampoo.

Luckily, I have two options out there: Suave or VO5. Both make the shampoo I use and a bottle costs a whopping 88 cents on sale.

Aug 12 12 09:26 am Link