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The “No Shampoo” Method: Hair Care Routine for Curly Girls

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Naturally curly haired women - a model, Taylor Swift, and Sarah Jessica Parker
Photos courtesy of ELLE

Let me just start by saying this: My hair is ridiculously thick, coarse and curly. I’ve been at war with my locks for years; wearing it natural was never an option, since no matter how much product I used, it would end up frizzy and massive. Straightening was always a lengthy process, and any kind of humidity meant it’d frizz right back up and once again become unmanageable. It felt like a battle I could never win.

But today, the majority of my aforementioned hair woes are a thing of the past. While I still don’t roll out of bed with flawless locks, thanks to a change in my hair care routine, my hair is now the healthiest (and prettiest) it’s ever been.

How did I change my hair so radically? By giving up – wait for it – shampoo. I know it sounds a little crazy, but I swear it works, and if you can handle it, you’ll likely get amazing results like mine.

Ready to undergo your own hair transformation? Read on to learn more about the “No Shampoo” method!

The “No ‘Poo” Method

A while back, one of my friends mentioned the “no poo” method, an idea she got from Lorraine Massey’s Curly Girl. The basics, as NaturallyCurly explains, are as follows:

1. Either eliminate or seriously limit the use of shampoos with sulfates.
2. Use a clear gel to help keep frizz away.
3. Handle the hair in a very gentle manner.

Why no shampoo or sulfates? NaturallyCurly also explains the three main theories behind the method:

1. Most commercial shampoos contain surfactants that are too harsh for [curly] hair and tend to rob hair of moisture.
2. [Curly] hair tends to be more porous than straight hair, which makes totally rinsing out all traces of shampoo virtually impossible, and that residue causes frizz.
3. Most conditioners contain mild surfactants that, paired up with a little manual friction, are capable of lifting off dirt, debris and excess oil from the scalp and hair.

After hearing about the method from my friend, I figured I might as well give it a go, since I’d tried everything else, even though the idea of cutting out shampoo seemed odd to me. After all, though my ends were always very dry, my scalp had a tendency to get oily if I didn’t wash my hair every single day, and I figured that foregoing shampoo would make this even worse. Plus, wouldn’t no shampoo mean that I would have dirty hair?!

My Experience with the “No Shampoo” Method

So despite my skepticism, I decided I had nothing to lose, and jumped headfirst (ha) into the “no shampoo” world. My friend warned that there would be a “transition period” in which my hair wouldn’t look so hot, but told me to tough it out because the end result would be so worth it.

And, of course, my friend was right – for the first few days, my hair did look a little more dull and greasy than normal, but by the second week, I noticed a definite improvement.

Now that the transition period has passed, I can officially say that my hair is the healthiest it’s ever been, and it’s never looked better! I never thought my hair would consistently look this shiny and soft and be so easy to manage, but following this method has definitely given me amazing results. (And, I promise, my hair is clean!)

My Current Hair Routine

To keep my hair looking great, I now wash my hair with a sulfate-free shampoo about once every ten days, condition about 4-5 times a week, and use an oil treatment on my ends such as Moroccan Oil. (Tip: A much cheaper alternative that gives similar results is One ‘n Only Argan Oil – just be sure that you’re not using too much; a little bit truly goes a long way, and using too much will make your hair greasy!)

Girl shampooing her hair
Photo courtesy of Elle

Advanced: Extra Hair Care Tips for Curly Girls

If you’re ready to take the plunge into the “no shampoo” method, for best results, I recommend following the rules below, which are a little more detailed than the basic rules listed above. I follow these tips myself, and they work great for me.

  • Either cut out shampoo all together, or sporadically use a sulfate-free shampoo. Not sure if your shampoo contains sulfates? Read the ingredients! Common sulfates found in shampoos include sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate, among others. These chemicals will dry out your hair, which will make your curls even frizzier and harder to manage. Harsh shampoos also strip your hair of its natural oils, which makes your scalp start secreting even more oils, leaving you with greasy hair.
  • Instead of shampooing, massage a light conditioner onto your scalp as you would shampoo. Alternatively, you can try doing an apple cider vinegar rinse. Cleansing with a sulfate-free shampoo or with a light conditioner will still adequately clean your hair, so don’t worry about your hair being dirty!
  • Use a silicone-free conditioner to moisturize your hair. This website has a great list of some ‘cone-free conditioners, ranging from drugstore to organic to high-end – there’s something for every budget and lifestyle!
  • Always rinse your hair with cold water to lock in moisture and shine – hot water can damage fragile hair even further.
  • If your hair is curly, stop brushing – it causes frizz! Instead, de-tangle your hair in the shower with your fingers or a wide-toothed comb.
  • Don’t towel dry! Instead, use an old t-shirt, paper towels, or a microfiber towel to gently remove the excess water from your hair. You may also want to try a technique known as “plopping.”
  • If at all possible, stop using hair dryers. Your hair becomes damaged from the heat, and hair dryer + curls = frizz. If you cannot live without your hair dryer, use a diffuser. However, air drying is the best and most gentle way to dry your hair. Remember: Don’t touch your curls while they’re drying – doing so will cause more frizz.
  • Be sure to visit a hairdresser a few times a year to remove any dead ends.

Try the Method Yourself!

Of course, just because this method worked so well for my hair type doesn’t necessarily mean everyone will get the same results. Everyone’s hair is different, and, accordingly, everyone’s hair will respond differently to the regime.

But if you feel like you’re fighting a losing battle with your wavy or curly hair, or think ditching the harsh chemicals will be more environmentally friendly and healthier for your hair, you may as well give it a try! Just remember, there will be a short period in which your hair needs to get used to this new method (how long depends on the individual), but give it time: Your hair isn’t going to magically become healthy overnight, so results won’t be immediate – don’t let this discourage you!

What Do You Think?

Do any of you follow this hair care routine? Do you have a success story, or was your experience more like a horror story? Anyone thinking of trying it out? Have any unconventional hair care tips to share? Let us know!

Posted on on March 16, 2011 / Filed Under: Beauty & Hair / Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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107 Responses to “The “No Shampoo” Method: Hair Care Routine for Curly Girls”

  1. 1
    March 16th, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    word. I only shampoo like once or twice a week. but i am a slave to the curling iron. btw, any suggestions for short haircuts for girls with thick, curly hair?

  2. 2
    March 16th, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    Thank God for this!
    My hair is extremely thick, frizzy and un”mane”agable ( And you thought you were cheesy.) It’s also very short, now anyways, pixies are cute for girls with thick hair because it holds the shape so much better. In HS I was always very self-concious of how I looked compared to all those girls with gorgeous hair. I will definitely try this out though!

  3. 3
    March 16th, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    I second this post! I read Curly Girl, I’ve done the technique, I get compliments on my hair fairly frequently. I promise it works!

  4. 4
    March 16th, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    So, I wonder if this would work for girls with coarse, thick, but somewhat less curly hair. Anyway, it sounds like my hair has less curl to it then yours, but my hair does get dry and frizzy often. What do you think?

  5. 5
    March 16th, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    I don’t have curly hair, mine is really thick and wavy. I’ve read about this and I’m kinda curious to try it. Question though, how do dry shampoos work with this? I just found the new Suave dry shampoo yesterday and I am fully in l am fully in love with it!

  6. 6
    March 16th, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    Hmm… I wonder if this works for girls with straight hair (mine is medium thickness but extremely fine) and also if dry shampoo has an effect on it? (getting off topic, I’ve also always wondered if dry shampoo can over-dry your hair..)

  7. 7
    March 16th, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    I usually only wash my hair once a week, even once every two weeks. I usually go to the salon to get my hair straighten. I usually get my hair put in rollers and then get a blow-out. It just makes life easier and I can spend a week styling it whatever way I want.

  8. 8
    March 16th, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    Ooh I might give this a go! I used to have naturally straight hair, but after about 3 or 4 years of scrunching it, wearing it in a bun or plait and generally trying to get it to be curly, it is now actually wavy! Problem is, if I don’t brush it, it goes into sections of pretty waves but looks super messy. If I brush or comb it, whether wet or dry, it goes frizzy and the roots go lanky. I don’t know what to do :( Any advice would be great :)

  9. 9
    March 16th, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    Okay, I understand why not to use sulfates. But why should I use a conditioner with no silicone? From what I gather, it makes your hair softer and silkier. It is harder to wash out, but isn’t that good, so that the softness will last longer. If you could clear this up, I’d greatly appreciate it. :)

  10. 10
    March 16th, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    I have thick, long, wavy hair and I’ve tried the no shampoo method. Maybe I didn’t try it long enough, but my hair was totally greasy and gross and I couldn’t stand it. Instead, I wash my hair 2-3x a week with shampoo and conditioner bars from Basin (www.basin.com) and I absolutely love them. They’re all natural and my hair looks so great. In between washes, I use dry shampoo–I’m currently using Tresemme, but I don’t really love it..any suggestions?

  11. 11
    March 16th, 2011 at 7:24 pm

    i am a curly girl as well, and i am totally on board with this! i’ve spent my whole life fighting with my hair, and this really works for me. my hair is curly and fine, which is kind of a wierd combo… but it’s as manageable as i’ve ever had. totally recommend this to any curly girls out there… or any girl who has a problem with super dry ends, all. the. time.

  12. 12
    March 16th, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    I’d like to second Chloe’s question. I’ve heard Paula Begoun rave about the silicone used in hair products.

  13. 13
    March 16th, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    This is really interesting, I totally get what Jocelyn said about envying all the girls with perfect hair. I have epically fizzy, wavy-sometimes curly, brown hair this and high school don’t really mix. I might try this…

  14. 14
    March 16th, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    Thanks for this post, such a great reference! I’ve limited shampooing to about once a week, but it’s bad shampoo :( as soon as it runs out I am switching to sulfite free!!

    Honestly no one NEEDS shampoo or conditioner. If we just washed our hair with water it would naturally take care of itself. Oily hair just means your scalp is overreacting to the harsh chemicals in shampoos/conditioners. And you can always use natural shampoo/conditioner alternatives that you can make from home! I can’t wait to go au naturale.

    Anyway, this is essential for curly haired girls, definitely try it!

  15. 15
    March 16th, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    Could you do a post like this for girls with straight hair please? My hair is naturally straight and blonde and I get highlights to keep it looking nice and bright; but if I go a day without washing, it looks really greasy =(

  16. 16
    March 16th, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    I cant wait to try this!

  17. 17
    March 16th, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    the thing with silicones is it causes build up and sulfate is the only thing that can lift it out of hair. since your going sulfate free, it’d be better to use products that won’t cause build up you can’t clean out.

    This is my guess anyway.

  18. 18
    March 16th, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    I just started doing this too! It was really exciting so see how nice my crazy, wavy hair could look besides the frizzed up mess it typically was. It only took four or five days for my hair to get the swing of it and now it’s just lovely!

  19. 19
    March 16th, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    I use this method, sort of. I shampoo with cornstarch and baking soda, and condition with apple cider vinegar. I was expecting my hair to have that transition period of being gross and greasy, but fortunately that never happened! My hair stays nongreasy and big and curly for about two days, and then on the third day it’s naturally greasier (but not visibly) so I wash it using the corn starch and baking soda as stated before. But my hair has DEFINITELY improved since I stated doing this. It’s softer, curlier, shiner, bigger, and just all around how I want it to be. I would say it tangles a bit more but that’s mostly because it’s a little more difficult to comb through in the shower without having gobs of conditioner in it as I used to. But combing through with my fingers does seem to do the trick. Also, I do have a bottle of DevaCurl Low-Poo Sulfate Free Shampoo that I use occasionally just when I want that feeling of washing my hair (still not that same as using regular shampoo.), but I use rarely and barely notice a difference in my hairs condition when I do.

  20. 20
    March 16th, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    Thanks so much for the useful tips. My hair’s really curly, thick, etc. too so I also have a problem taming it! Following the advice of a friend with similar hair, I’ve tried not washing it at all for several days at a time and that seems to work too as it allows the natural oils to come out (although it’s a bit of a pain not being able to wet your hair in the shower!). I’m definitely going to give your method a go!

  21. 21
    March 16th, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    Chloe-the reason is because only sulfate shampoos can wash out most silicones. silicones will build up on the hair and create a residue.

  22. 22
    March 16th, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    Okay, I read about this and really really want to give it a shot for environmentally friendly purposes and to save money, win-win. However, I don’t have curly thick hair, quite the opposite. I have super fine straight asian hair. Is this a go or a no-go? Normally my hair is super oily within a day, but I heard that not shampooing can cause your hair to learn to produce oil at a ‘normal’ rate that’s great for your hair. Anyways, long story short, is this a good idea for me?

  23. 23
    March 16th, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    It would have been great to see some before and after pictures! I’ve always been interested in this method but never quite sold on it.

  24. 24
    March 16th, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    this is great advice! I have wavy hair but i feel like it gets so built up w/ product easily, that I made the switch to a sulfate free shampoo from Aveda! Between that and washing/conditioning it less, i’ve seen a huge improvement!

  25. 25
    March 16th, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    I second Brittany’s post, I would love to see a post about straight and very fine hair. Like some other ladies have mentioned, my hair is so greasy if I go more than a day and a half without washing it.

  26. 26
    March 16th, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    Ally – after hearing raves about tresemme I tried it and found it smelled horrible and didn’t work at all. John Frieda just came out with one that’s a lot better.. that being said, I get annoyed when I see articles about not shampooing… I mean it’s great if it works for you but my hair literally gets greasy the next day after I shampoo so I could not handle the grease lol I feel like my hair would fall out or something lol

  27. 27
    March 16th, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    I am so excited to see this post on CF because coming across NaturallyCurly.com a few years ago literally saved my life! I’m a curly girl too, and this is the routine I use:

    I use a sulfate free shampoo once a week (currently using Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat shampoo), the rest of the days when I need to do my hair I co-wash (only washing with a conditioner – I use Suave Naturals Coconut), add a leave in conditioner (Giovanni Direct leave In), and then use Curly Hair Solutions Curl Keeper (you can buy this from Curlmart.com), & scrunch in a small amount of AG Re:coil (I got that from Curlmart too). Then I let my hair air dry. When it’s about 80% dry, I scrunch in a small amount of gel (I use Fantasia IC Hair Polisher gel). If I need my curls to last overnight, I scrunch in the gel while my hair is sopping wet – but don’t do this if you want same-day curls or else they’ll look crunchy!

    Also, when the Suave Naturals conditioner is in my hair, I use a wide tooth comb to detangle. Curly girls should never, ever use a brush! And I actually do use a shampoo containing sulfate once a month to clarify. I’ve found that if I don’t do this, it causes buildup on my scalp.

    I hope this post helps other fellow curly girls – it took me a long time to figure out this routine, and now my hair looks better than ever so i hope someone looking for a curly hair routine can benefit from this too! :)

  28. 28
    March 16th, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    I have been a curly gurl now for a while! I really have a lot to say on the matter, heheh, including a homemade gel recipe that ROCKS~!!!!!! most of what i learned i learned from the chat rooms of naturallycurly.com.
    Feel free to see my hair journey diary ( I know a bit embarrassing!!!!!) at
    http://www.britishcurlies.co.uk/curl_forum/viewthread/977/
    The recipe is on there as well as tons of products and pics of my hair transforming itself :o)

  29. 29
    March 16th, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    I would also love a post for girls with straight, fine/thin hair! I can’t go a day without washing or my hair will be plastered to my head, it is so fine!

  30. 30
    March 16th, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    I have thick, wavy hair that frizzes easily. Back when I tried to quit shampoo (about 2 years ago), my hair was very oily – I washed it every night, and it would be oily by the next afternoon.
    After three weeks of washing just with water or ACV, my hair was absolutely disgusting. The “rebalancing” that people talked for never happened.

    So back to regular shampoo I went, and my hair was manageable again.

    Last summer, my skin changed (including my scalp) and no longer produces so much oil, so I wash my hair every 2-3 days. Still, I don’t think I’ll be trying the no-poo thing out again.

  31. 31
    March 16th, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    I am so happy to see this method gaining support. I was a long-time slave to the flat iron before discovering NaturallyCurly.com and embracing my natural texture. Now, I don’t even want to straighten my hair; it doesn’t feel worth it.

  32. 32
    March 16th, 2011 at 11:25 pm

    What a great post! Not enough curly-haired girls are aware of this method. I have fine, very curly hair (but lots of it), and haven’t used shampoo on a regular basis in years – my hair is perfectly clean and has never looked better.

    I would add that the best way I’ve found to keep your curls nice overnight (since you don’t really need to condition on a daily basis) is to loosely gather them into a “pineapple” on the very top of your head and sleep on a silk or satin pillowcase – or in a pinch, a clean t-shirt stretched over your pillow. Once I figured this out it made styling second-day hair a lot easier!

  33. 33
    March 17th, 2011 at 12:26 am

    I just skimmed the comments to see if anyone had mentioned it yet and didn’t see it, so sorry if someone’s already said it, but there’s this product called Wen and it’s a sulfate free cleansing conditioner that takes the place of your shampoo, conditioner, deep conditioner, detangler, and leave-in conditioner. I have straight hair, but it’s recommended for all hair types, especially curly hair. It’s a little expensive, but it feels amazing.

    http://www.wenhaircare.com/

  34. 34
    March 17th, 2011 at 1:29 am

    Do you continue to use styling creams, hairspray and curling mousse the same as before the “no-poo” method?

  35. 35
    March 17th, 2011 at 1:29 am

    Do you continue to use styling creams, hairspray and curling mousse the same as before the “no-poo” method?

  36. 36
    March 17th, 2011 at 2:31 am

    My hair is exactly like yours– thick, coarse and curly. It’s short right now, but it’s too much work to straighten every day. I’ve tried the wide tooth comb which is helpful, but I didn’t know about not towel drying. Thanks for the tip!

    Is there a way for you to compile a list of healthy shampoos, much like the site does for fashion updates?

  37. 37
    March 17th, 2011 at 6:59 am

    i’m kind of on the low end of the curly spectrum; my hair is super thick and tends to dry out, but it sill NOT form curls on its own. waves, sure, and if i curl it, it will hold a sausage curl despite my best efforts to break them up, but on it’s own…. yeah, only a bit of wave to it. i did try the no poo thing, but i think my hair wasn’t curly enough for this to be the ideal method. now i just shampoo twice a week, let it air dry, and i don’t brush my hair. it looks SO much better.

  38. 38
    March 17th, 2011 at 8:46 am

    I heard sodium laureth sulfate wasnt as bad as sodium lauryl sulfate, but now ill try giving up shampoos with that stuff all together :)

  39. 39
    March 17th, 2011 at 8:55 am

    I tried this and it didn’t really work for me. But I didn’t follow every step on here. Like rinse in cold water…that just doesn’t seem practical at all because I wouldn’t want to have a cold shower! And I’ve always toweled dried. I’d never heard of drying with anything else. I think I will give it another shot though. It is worth the shot.
    But after reading all this…wouldn’t everyone say that having curly, frizzy hair is the most annoying, complicated and involved kind of hair to have?? I got the Brazilian Blowout last month and I envy anyone who has straight, smooth hair naturally. Your lives seriously are simpler. And if it wasn’t for the stupid formaldehyde in it, I would consistently get the blowout over and over again. oh well.

  40. 40
    March 17th, 2011 at 9:48 am

    I know I already posted on here lol

    Is it harmful to not brush or comb your hair?? I always thought not brushing was bad for hair!

  41. 41
    March 17th, 2011 at 9:52 am

    You should try Wen if you haven’t already. It is a conditioner to be used in placement of shampooing hair. There are a couple different kinds/fragnances for different hair types.

  42. 42
    March 17th, 2011 at 10:11 am

    Wow great timing I was just thinking about making my hair straight perment cause I can’t manage my curly locks plus it’s very hard if your on a college budget to maintain it but this really helped me I might have to look into the shampoo rule. I did here never brush it but I do it when I have a detangler in my hair and then rince it out and condition and style

  43. 43
    March 17th, 2011 at 11:15 am

    thank you so much for posting this! i feel like on sites like this curly haired girls kind of get left out to dry since all the styling advice assumes you’re starting with straight/slightly wavy hair. i’ve been using a diy keratin kit for awhile now (QOD max, if anyone’s interested–waaaaay cheaper than a salon), but even before that i used sulfate free shampoo. Unfortunately, even though I had really curly hair, my hair is really thin, so i had to wash it to get it to look good again. Another (weird) tip? Satin pillowcases. You may feel extra vain but I promise that they will make such if a difference if you’re used to waking up every morning with weird looking hair that doesn’t go back down to normal.

  44. 44
    March 17th, 2011 at 11:50 am

    I have always wanted to try this method, but I’m so scared of the transition period. I’ve heard it last from weeks to months, and that’s just scary to me! I’m really leaning to trying it now that I’ve read this.

  45. 45
    March 17th, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    I have moderately thick wavy hair that’s pretty manageable anyway, but variations on this method worked out well for me. However, I still love the ritual of lathering up with something that smells nice, so I’m looking into recipes for homemade shampoo with natural ingredients.

  46. 46
    March 17th, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    @Melissa, I’ve found that it is harmful and I end up losing much more hair if I don’t comb at all (Not brushing though – I try to never brush my hair). What I do is, I put Argan Oil (or any type of oil works really) into my hair at night and then comb with a wide tooth comb. I lose much less hair that way.

  47. 47
    March 17th, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    @Bailey Would you please let me know which article on NaturallyCurly.com contains such information? Natural texture? Gosh, I want to live a flat iron-free life!

  48. 48
    March 17th, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    I too have crazy-thick curly hair and I only shampoo once a week, but in between when I need to style I wet my hair. I don’t use conditioner anymore because it made my hair fluffy, and I stopped using all products unless its extremely humid outside. I have noticed that my hair is naturally the way I want it now, and I’m also saving so much money because I used to rely on 4 or 5 products that weren’t exactly cheap.

  49. 49
    March 17th, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    Just so y’all know, WEN is simply conditioner with essential oils. Check the ingredients. It’s WAY too much money for what it actually is.

    NaturallyCurly has message boards, BTW. They’re great for extra information.

  50. 50
    March 17th, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    @ Kellie…. i find that i use alot less product than i did when i used shampoo, simply because i don’t need as much to make my hair look good. but don’t be afraid of using product- just running your hair under water and scrubbing with your fingers gets most of the product out of your hair. like some other girls say, if you want, you can use a little bit of conditioner when you scrub; it has cleansers without the harsh effects of shampoo. what i end up doing most is this: shampoo (sulfate free) 2-3 times a month. condition 2-3 times a week (no silicones in conditioner, those DO leave buildup). i end up styling my hair completely down for 1-2 days, then maybe half up if my curls start to get frizzy… then it’s usually time to condition again.

    @ Melissa… i heard that it’s good to COMB your hair 1-2 times a week. it distributes the oil down to your ends, and that’s really helped me. NEVER, EVER brush your hair. kills the curl pattern, creates frizz, pulls hair out… all sorts of bad things.

  51. 51
    March 17th, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    I have thick, kind of wavy (but barely) hair. FOr a while a noticed not shampooing every day did improve it, but now I just end up with greasy hair again . . . it’s unfortunate, hopefully one day a method for helping us girls with straight hair will arise.

  52. 52
    March 17th, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    @ Kaiteee NaturallyCurly.com is a great website to get you started. It has explanations and definitions for everything, and reading the CurlTalk forums can be very useful. The site also has salon and product reviews so that you can get a sense of a stylist or product before you try one. By trying a huge variety of different products, I’ve finally settled into a routine that works with my hair. So if you’re stuck, start poking around on NaturallyCurly.com; the girls (and guys!) on the CurlTalk message boards are generally very friendly and willing to help. Hope that helps!

  53. 53
    March 17th, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    This can be done for straight hair as well. I use sulfate free shampoo and conditioner and I wash my hair once or twice a week. I air dry my hair as well and don’t use any heat on it. It rarely gets greasy.

  54. 54
    March 17th, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    I keep seeing comments on WEN products –

    I bought a set of all their cleansing conditioners awhile back. I have lots of fine straight hair and it just turned greasy at the roots and a dried out, clumpy mess at the ends, even when I followed the directions.. so I gave the rest to my mom who has really thick, curly hair. She threw them away within a week.

    I feel like it was a waste of money but maybe it’ll work for you.

  55. 55
    March 17th, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    @Connie

    I have fine, straight asian hair too. I’ve been shampooing with Organix products. Sulfate and Silicone free hair products work great. My mom uses baking soda in the “no poo” hardcore treatment and swears her hair is getting thicker.
    Definitely give it a try!

  56. 56
    March 17th, 2011 at 9:46 pm

    @Phoebe

    Thanks I’m def going to give is a shot!

    Just another random question, does your hair start to smell? I don’t know if that’s an odd thing to ask, but since I’ll be “no-poo” or very little, I doubt it’s still going to smell like flowers or citrus melon any time soon.

  57. 57
    March 18th, 2011 at 3:34 am

    As a college student who originally worked in the beauty industry, most of the makeup and hair post on this site irritate me because of the lack of, or misinformation. However, the information for this post is excellent. You did a great job, I hope to see more of the hair/make up posts from you in the future.

    One thing about silicone; it’s not actually damaging to your hair. It is often used in shine and “de frizz” products because it coats the hair cuticle. It would however make hair dirtier/greasier faster because of product build up.
    The Apple Cider Vinegar rinse you mentioned is usually used to remove product buildup.

    Sulfates do damage the hair, but so does alcohol. That is why the Moroccan Oil (or any other 100% Argon oil product) is a healthy alternative to other products.

  58. 58
    March 18th, 2011 at 9:17 am

    A lot of frizz is caused by a more basic pH balance of 7 and up and most of the products we use are balanced at 7.0. This causes the hair cuticle to be raised, but if you were to take something like aloe vera juice which has a more acidic pH of 4.0 and mix some with your leave in conditioner, you would also reduce frizz. This is because hair has an acidic pH of 4.5 – 5.5 and thus needs a product with an acidic pH to close/lay down the cuticle.

  59. 59
    March 18th, 2011 at 10:19 am

    My hair always had a really rebellious personality – did whatever he wanted. No nice, tight curls, no loose curls, no waves, just something very odd between loose curls that go BOTH ways(inward and outward) and the frizz was just horrible, but I was still reluctant to straighten it all the time.
    So I was always known as the girl with the weird-looking hair.
    Until recently, I started to sort of curl my hair around my fingers right after bath and pin them to my head with bobby pins. And the next morning, voila! Nice looking curls! But my frizz was still there. About 3 weeks ago I heard about this ‘no poo’ method on wiki-how(on a tutorial about plopping) and after further research, I gave it a try.
    I cut out 100% on the shampoo(though I think the next time I go to the organic shop, I will look for a shampoo to use once a week or so). However, right now I wash my hair every other day with CONDITIONER at the roots and then I spread it out to the rest of my hair. I decided to also cut down on any hairdryers and I towel dry very little(just press a couple of times to my hair and that’s it!)
    I am currently still in the ‘transition period’ as this is the second week of the change, but my hair has definitely been less frizzy in the past few days and it’s so soft and glossy! I am simply in love with the curls!

    For the girls that want to try it , DON’T GIVE UP AFTER JUST TWO DAYS! It took me over a week to get over most of the frizz and my hair is still greasy but its definitely WORTH IT!

  60. 60
    March 20th, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    Quick quesiton… can you still do this method if you go to the gym every day?

  61. 61
    March 22nd, 2011 at 9:13 am

    Okay, here’s my story:
    I read about this about 1 month ago on another site.
    I wanted to try it out right away:

    – I showered every day but only with water

    – Once a week I used a vinigar conditioner which promissed to have only “healthy” ingredients.

    My results:

    – I discovered I had beautiful curls, which I never knew of before
    – The hair looked really beautiful
    – But I missed the good smell of the shampoo

    So I stopped after 3 weeks.
    But now I look much more on what ingredients there are in the shampoos and I am using at the moment a very good and cheap one , and my hair looks much better than before all the same.

    Now I have read this site and I got inspirated again. I think I will restart it. Because I never again had such good hair.

  62. 62
    March 22nd, 2011 at 10:30 am

    hey @888lulu888, what’s the vinigar conditioner? :)

  63. 63
    March 22nd, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    I tried this, washed my hair with only water for a month – and it worked fine, until I went to the hairdresser and I didn’t feel like telling them to drop the shampoo…

  64. 64
    March 22nd, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    I appreciate this post. I feel as if women with curly hair are often ignored or pushed into pursuing straight hair mania. I have wonderful, tight, mixed race looking blonde hair and I love it. Curls are in every way better than straight hair. That being said, I too know the difficulties of caring for curls. At ten years old when you only have girl friends with straight hair and you tell them you don’t brush your hair they think you are strange. While I continue to not brush my hair and I seldom use a hair dryer or flat iron, I do wash my hair everyday. I have discovered that my curls do not retain their shape if shampoo is not applied to them. Just using water, hot or cold is not enough to restructure my curls and neither is just conditioner. I make sure I buy shampoo and conditioner that is mean for curls- other shampoos make my hair feel like silk and that is when it gets fuzzy. I have also discovered that my curls look best when my hair is kept shorter than my shoulders. Another girl mentioned earlier that she has a pixie which is really great. I keep my hair in an a-line. If you go for this look have your hair dresser stack your hair steep in the back so that you don’t get the bob look. And I don’t ever get a cut that is flat. When my curls are all one length they crawl on each other and it makes me hair look thicker and frizzy. I hope every girl with curls can embrace them and love them as much as I love mine.

  65. 65
    March 22nd, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    Use WEN by Chaz Dean. It’s the best. It doesn’t contain the harsh detergents and it cleanses AND conditions at the same time. This line is AMAZING!!!! http://www.chazdean.com I truly suggest you use this stuff if you want to have your hair looking amazing. I’m told tons of actresses use it.

  66. 66
    March 23rd, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    No Poo is the ONLY way to go!
    Also the no heat had really helped my curly hair grow :)

    Your best post yet! <3 x

  67. 67
    March 24th, 2011 at 9:23 am

    I’ve been easing myself into getting rid of shampoo by watering down my shampoo every time I go in the shower, so eventually it’ll just be water. My hair is a lot less greasy than I expected it to be and has even gained some volume!

  68. 68
    March 24th, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    I tried it, i’ve been a week at it and my hair looks already SO much better than before… it’s amazing

  69. 69
    March 24th, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    I agree with Casey, I have been using Wen for awhile now and I was using it everyday because my hair gets oily really fast and I was styling my hair too much using heat. I use Wen about twice a week and definitely before I wear it down and dry it and all that jazz but in between Wen washes I just rinse with cold water and my hair has never been healthier. I have gotten so many compliments on how healthy it looks. When I don’t “wash” it I just twist it up and style it wet. Say no to shampoo! Use Wen!

  70. 70
    March 27th, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    thank you so much for posting this! I was bored during my spring break so i decided to give it a go. It’s only been a little more than a week and already my hair looks and feels so much better!! I have wavy hair and this method works wonderfully!!!

  71. 71
    March 28th, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    Hey :)

    I have been ‘no poo’ for the 5th week now and just rinse it when I am in the shower. That is it and it is the nicest it has been ever. I am a natural blonde which is straight and think and mid length. It took a while for my hair to adjust as I was shampooing and conditioning nearly every night so my hair produced too much oils yet by week three it had found its right balance. I only ever had one time when it was really greasy when I was on my period and traveling for two days straight. My hair has a natural wave to it now as I don’t blow dry it. I want to say not only is this good for my hair, its good for my bank account and it is good for the environment, as I use less water when I shower (because I take half the time), use less electricity and heating in the bathroom as well as don’t contribute to animal testing which has been done for most shampoos and plastic production for the bottles.
    So I say nothing is needed if you don’t have curly hair, people vary in time for the transition period but I have had a good experience and won’t go back to using shampoo anytime soon.
    I encourage other girls to consider this too. Thanks

  72. 72
    March 28th, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    This method is pretty cool! I introduced this to my friend who has uber curly hair, and it worked really well for her! Great job as usually, CF!

    -Skye.

  73. 73
    March 30th, 2011 at 8:57 am

    Hello guyz..this is my first time to leave a comment here…I am really TEMPTED to try the method but I still have one question about it…—-> won’t our hair smell??? Because the oil keeps coming out day by day and we won’t be washing it as often…so I am just afraid that my hair and my head would stink…anyone got any comments on it? Thanks a lot :)

  74. 74
    April 1st, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    Hey Ada :)

    No your hair won’t stink unless you put anything in it to make it smell. The oils only smell if there is a build up of bacteria on them dumping their waste but if you brush the oils through your hair by brushing there won’t be a build up. I know I haven’t had a build up and nobody has complained about my hair smelling (not even my boyfriend). So don’t worry it won’t unless you add hair products (which you shouldn’t) as then I cannot guarantee that it won’t smell.
    P.S. the first week or so is the worst but don’t worry it will only get better.

    Good Luck!

  75. 75
    April 1st, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    I tried this and it was HORRIBLE! I even stuck it out to try and get through the “transition period” but it didnt get any better. My hair smelt bad, and it WAS greasy and it made my face break out in pimples (which has not happened to me for quite a while). It also made my scalp itchy and my hair dull. Yuk Yuk Yuk!

  76. 76
    April 18th, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    I’ve been doing this conditioner-only washing / gel / air drying hair for about a week and i must say it definitely is making my fine, wavy-to-curly hair more curly! So far no problems with greasiness, as I “wash” my hair every 3 days. Cool!

  77. 77
    April 22nd, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    Hi! I am mixed with african american and asian and i have semi-wavy hair. In the shower my hair is nice, but afterwards, is when the horror show begins. I was wondering if this method will work for me to! I’ve tried all sorts of things but they either make my hair to sticky, to frizzy, to poofy, or have a terrible hard texture (like something you wouldn’t want to run your hands through for fear of losing all of your fingers). I also live in Savannah and we have extremely humid weather.Finally, I was wondering if anyone else has hair like mine and has had experience with any methods that really work such as this, and if you could share them with me so that I can tame the untameable! Thanks,
    -Mamie Lue

  78. 78
    April 22nd, 2011 at 11:29 pm

    Sarah,

    Some people have longer transitional periods than others and for a few days your hair will be gunky it just really depends on your hair. I did a little bit of research. It also depends on how much you used to shampoo in the past. If you shampoo all the time then it’s like a really big culture shock to your hair. It will take a longer amount of time to adjust to the fact that you aren’t stripping your hair of it’s natural oils. Just stick it out. I’m sure it will be worth the wait. My hair is an unusual texture so I want something that will be specifically tailored to my hair. If you look around I’m sure you’ll find something specifically tailored to yours!

  79. 79
    May 3rd, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    What about when your hair’s dirty from swimming (chlorine or salt water) or just being at the beach and the salt air making it sticky? Would you still not use shampoo on that day? I live near the beach and go boating all summer so this is a definite issue for me. Any thoughts?

  80. 80
    June 1st, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    It really works(no shampoo) , i have coarse curly dry hair, and i shampoo my hair every two weeks for over two years now, and no one can believe what happened to me hair, it is the first time i have long smooth and less frizzy hair,

  81. 81
    July 12th, 2011 at 11:58 pm

    I’m definitely going to try this out… it would be nice to see pictures of this person’s hair to go with her testimony. Not to be a Debbie Downer, but I’d like to see what her hair looks like so I can compare it to my type of curls.

  82. 82
    August 1st, 2011 at 11:08 am

    Actually, this is perfect for all hair textures. Actually using a light conditioner and massaging it into your scalp, then rinsing it out well will usually do the exact same thing to greasy buildup as a shampoo will, only it won’t strip the moisture you actually need. :D

  83. 83
    August 18th, 2011 at 12:18 am

    I have the ugliest hair on the planet. Nothing ever works for me, but I will give it a try because I really need help! Thanks for the advice!!

  84. 84
    October 9th, 2011 at 11:57 pm

    **now, something no one has addressed–african-american natural wooly hair–no chemicals on hair, natural. stopped using shampoo, hair is softer, etc. I don’t use oil on hair as most african-americans do, but gels.My hair styles are attachments of fake hair with dreadlocks, and nappy curls since my hair is not long, as with most african-americans. I wash with conditioners, and rinse with lots of water–what a difference!! I do color my hair, but never will shampoo again–why buy Wens, he is only using conditioners also–we can do it cheaper! smile

  85. 85
    November 13th, 2011 at 12:11 am

    For those that stumbled on this no-poo website and doesn’t have very curly hair, I can relate. My hair is fine, thick with a slight wave (mostly cowlicks on hairline). While my hair was in fairly decent condition before, it was still a bit frizzy from time and time and I thought I would try sulfate-free. I started with Wen and another knock-off product called Hair One (bought at Sally’s beauty supply). I found I could cleanse with either of these about once every 3 or 4 days, in between I just rinse in shower with the slightly warm (not hot) water and actually will scrub scalp with fingers to clean and stimulate roots. I frequent the gym and find even after sweating like a man, that usually a water rinse with a good scrub will still clean my hair well between these ‘washings’. I also will use a small sprinkle of baby powder to my roots occasionally (then blow dry hotter setting—but I don’t have curly hair) if I notice my hair to be a bit greasy/heavy between washings though this has been much less frequent lately.

    I have just tried using traditional conditioner wash for the first time today and it worked way better than I thought it would (I used Suave naturals ocean breeze on my roots and Suave professionals almond & shea butter for the midshaft and ends). I cleansed with these conditioner using the same method that wen describes for their product (using a fair amount of the lighter conditioner on roots, scrub vigorously, work deeper conditioner through rest/ends of hair, comb through, clip up and leave on for about 3 minutes, rinse well while combing through). What I have noticed if you’re going to do a co-wash, is that for me it doesn’t seem to be WHAT product you use, but HOW you use it. My hair almost feels better using this method than with the other more expensive products. The key I learned from other websites is to use a highly water based, non silicone (read–cheap) conditioner such as Suave or VO5 for the cleaning your roots and a slightly deeper non silicone conditioner for the rest of your hair.

    I have only been using this method for about 2 weeks and have noticed a HUGE difference so far. I may eventually take the plunge to no-poo altogether, but just cutting the sulfates has worked well on my fine, thick, slightly wavy hair.

  86. 86
    January 10th, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    I tried this last summer, but the transition period was too long for me. My hair was greasy at the roots for the longest time, but the rest of my hair didn’t feel like straw like it usually does (yay). I have a scalp condition and my head stinks if I don’t wash with a special soap every so often, and I was hoping the ‘no poo’ thing would help somehow. I also go to the gym often, so grease and sweat…I just couldn’t get used to it. But I hope to try it again soon!!

  87. 87
    March 26th, 2012 at 12:45 am

    Started no poo yesterday! Im super excited to see my results! :D

  88. 88
    April 11th, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    I have really thick hair that can’t decide if it is straight or wavy, or too dry or too greasy. Definitely going to try this tonight. Thanks! Keep posting! :)

  89. 89
    April 28th, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    Chloe-
    Silicones are bad for your hair because they wrap themselves around the strands and keep any moisture from getting to your hair. So, yes, your hair is shiny, but it’s not hydrated and becomes dry and damaged–prompting the need for more silicones. That builds up in your hair if you don’t use shampoo to get rid of it, but once you use shampoo you’re back to dry, damaged hair. It’s a lose-lose, which is why going no-poo requires going cone (silicone)-free, too.

    I have not used shampoo for a year and I have never gotten so many compliments on how gorgeous my thick, dry, curly hair looks. I use Mindful Minerals soaps on my scalp and silicone-free conditioner on my hair once a week and then lock in shine with moroccan oil. My hair is long, thick, and curly, and it’s never been so pretty before.

  90. 90
    May 6th, 2012 at 9:19 am

    A note on silicones – the actual silicone does not damage the hair, but it can cause build up on SOME PEOPLE. There are some silicones that cause build up on some people and not others, and others who are able to use conditioners with silicones for long periods of time, only needing to clarify every month. It depends on YOUR hair. You need to find what works for you!! Some heads of hair need the conditioner to provide the shine and frizz control they need – some others get frizzier. Some people try the no shampoo method and it works miraculously, and others whose hair doesn’t seem to want to adapt to it. Like silicones, some people have to stay away from products that contain protein, because that can upset their hair as well. The best suggestion would be to start cheap with drugstore products and work your way up, so that you don’t spend too much money on products that won’t work for your hair. There is a serious learning curve going shampoo-less, and it takes some people up to a year or more to find what works for them, if their hair is able to stand up to no shampoo. I currently use Wen, but I have it in a rotation, and it only works for me during certain months of the year (i.e. humid months). The rest of the year I have conditioning cleansers, deep conditionsers, gels, and creams that work. It took me forever to find what works!

  91. 91
    July 13th, 2012 at 8:13 am

    i’m going to start doing this now! hope it works for me..
    plz tell me how can i get oil off my hair without shampoo ?

  92. 92
    July 19th, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    Does this work if you’ve got dandruff issues? I use Head & Shoulders (which I think is very much full of sulfates), but if I stop, my hair looks like I was just out in a blizzard.

  93. 93
    July 23rd, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    Sounds like a cool idea! I’m a swimmer and have been wrestling Medusa-like curls since forever! Glad I’m not alone… :-)

  94. 94
    April 12th, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    Thank you for extra hair care tips. I have a curly hair and I have major problems with it. I hope it will be of use. Thanks

  95. 95
    May 3rd, 2013 at 7:37 am

    How do you call thiis “No-poo” clearly you use shampoo. I ve cut shampoo completely I use baking soda for shampoo and also do an apple cider vinegar rinse after i condition with placenta conditioner

  96. 96
    May 3rd, 2013 at 9:19 pm

    I have really thick, wavy hair and lately it has become very dry and damaged looking (I color it). I usually let my hair dry naturally after I wash it because it’s such a pain to blow-dry. It always poofs and frizzes when it dries. I’ve tried all kinds of deep conditioners and masks, and nothing seemed to work. I used the Shielo Smoothing Shampoo and the Shielo Conditioner and noticed immediately when I was combing it that the ends didn’t feel brittle and my hair looked shiny. It actually dried curly instead of frizzy and is really bouncy! I love Shielo – and te smell is amazing!!!

  97. 97
    May 25th, 2013 at 12:39 am

    I don’t shampoo my hair either. I stopped last month. I find it just dries my hair out.

  98. 98
    July 25th, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    My hair is thick, curly, frizzy, damaged, and dry. It has been that way for years. I have never had my hair dyed, highlighted, or anything. I have straightened it but i don’t think that is a reason my hair is like it is. I only started straightening it cause it didn’t frizz as badly as it did when i left it alone. I hope these hair care tips will help my hair.

  99. 99
    July 25th, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    Can someone tell me what conditioner is the best for thick, dry, split, frizzy, curly hair and which helps with volume.

  100. 100
    September 10th, 2013 at 10:48 am

    My hair is thick, course and blonde and highlighted. I have been using Kerastase for years and it has gotten to the point of being so dry I can barely wash it – it is hard and brittle even when wet. Silicon build up is the culprit. It doesn’t wash away and takes a while to wash out, even with a silicon free shampoo. But after one wash with the Shielo Hydrate Shampoo, my hair is back to feeling baby soft again! I love Shielo and I have never even heard of this brand! I am going to use this as my regular shampoo until it is gone. Its from the Shielo brand, called Shielo Hydrate Shampoo.

  101. 101
    February 28th, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    Blanka – I love Shielo also! Just like you, I have long curly hair that tends to dry-out and frizz. I used the Shielo Restoration OIl (applied to wet hair) helps retain the natural curl while adding deep shine and hydration. I have used Shielo’s Oil daily for 6 weeks…and my hair looks so healthy!

  102. 102
    April 7th, 2014 at 6:53 am

    Um my mom does that everyday 0.0 I’m going to give her a hug today :3

  103. 103
    April 7th, 2014 at 7:00 am

    And yes sulfate is very bad for thick curly hair that doesn’t mean you can’t buy one with no sulfates I have one with out sulfates and (I’m young don’t judge) all the girls at school are jealous of how soft and un snarly smooth + shiny my hair is my secret is (you know how you use how much hair product by quarters) 3 quarters of conditioner with no sulfates and 1 quarter of shampoo with no sulfates :) it also smells like strawberry’s :3 and I’m very very very very shy about how I look compared to the other girls I don’t have as cute of clothes in fact in my option compared to all of the girls I know I’m like Cinderella before her fairy godmother and there at the ball I’m in rags :/ get the picture but that doesn’t mean I hide from everyone I dare to dream and as long as my friends got my back I don’t hide. :)

  104. 104
    November 23rd, 2014 at 10:51 pm

    I can’t wait to try this! Ugh. My hair is being a fudge nuggets this few days. Frizzy, wild hair sticking out from every directions. My hair texture is close to Lorde. But looking at her hair, it looks super fine while mine is a nay.

    Can’t wait and thank you for this article. I have to remind myself to give feedbacks if this works wonderful ;) xx

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