A Year of No Shampoo




At the library recently, I started reading about Karl Lagerfeld's cat Choupette and how Cafe de Flore makes her special salad and she has a Louis Vuitton bag fitted with food and water bowls and Colette gives her eponymous water cocktails. Then I noticed the book The French Beauty Solution on a nearby shelf. In it, Caudalie founder Mathilde Thomas devotes a whole section to how Americans overwash their hair and bodies. "Our grandmothers told us to only scrub the part that smells," she writes, advising readers to wash their hair once a week at most, simply rinsing with water between shampoos. The beauty expert's favorite hair mask? A zero waste mixture of egg yolk, avocado, olive oil, and rum, which you can purchase, package-free, at En Vrac

It's been a year since I started water only hair and face washing, and I couldn't be happier. In the beginning, I thought I'd switch to gram flour or clay eventually, but I can't see that happening now. My hair didn't grow for two years; now the longest curls reach my waist. It feels shinier, bouncier, more manageable. It doesn't break easily, as it once did, and my horrible dandruff problem- which plagued me for years- went away suddenly. When I visited my grandmother, whose obsession with cleanliness reaches Pak T'ae-jun levels, she confirmed I didn't smell. My horrendous cystic acne? Gone:

 
Tarte Amazonian Clay (cruelty free but owned by Kose, which allows testing on animals :( ) / Bulk kajal / DIY beet blush / Kjaer Weis mascara / angora cat / thrifted Tom and Keiran shirts / Secondhand Louis Vuitton coat

I wash my face only at night, with a washcloth, which I previously said could damage skin. I've since changed my mind :) I use silicone based foundation every morning- if I don't, I get acne- and the washcloth removes makeup easily, without needing oil or anything extra. I scrub my dry scalp morning and night with fingertips only, washing in water once a week. Outside Paris, I've stretched washings to biweekly or even monthly, but in a dirty city, water removes salt, sweat, smoke, pollutants, and impurities. Brushing with a wooden pin brush mechanically eliminates dust and distributes oils daily. I haven't cut my hair all year, but the ends look ok. They're not splitting or breaking anymore. The longer I go without washing, the bigger my hair gets!

Thick, dry, greasy, or dandruff prone hair will probably benefit most from giving up shampoo. Before starting a water only routine, get all the junk out of your hair first. If you don't have clarifying shampoo, try washing with an egg, gram flour, or clay, followed by shikakai, aritha, or henna rinse. You may still experience a detox period, since silicone buildup isn't easily removed without surfactants (coconut milk contains saponins, which are natural surfactants, as do soap nuts and chickpeas, but they are not suitable for all hair or water types). Try to push through it. Resist the temptation to wash or use dry shampoo, and let hair adjust naturally. Subsequent wash frequency depends on hair type and lifestyle. Some people need every three days, while others find this too drying. It's an unscientific approach, but I recommend at least rinsing hair every time you get sweaty. Also this works for guys too. My friend Damian and I were in Saint Germain des Pres one night recently and I forget how this came up, but he revealed he hadn't washed his hair in three weeks and it looked super clean and fluffy and his girlfriend couldn't even tell. And girls kept coming up to me on the Metro asking if he was a movie star so it must be ok.


TROUBLESHOOTING


  • Waxy or patchy hair. Minerals from hard water deposit on strands, causing unsightly patches of buildup. Try distilled water, carbonated water, or a shower filter for your final rinse. If the wax is really bad, a flour or diluted clay wash (rye / rhassoul for fine hair, gram flour for thick hair) and shikakai, aritha, or henna rinse clarifies. You may wish to coat the hair in oil a half hour before any natural wash, as these can be drying.
  • Smell. You won't smell if you massage your scalp and keep hair free from products. Rinsing when you get sweaty, after a day of smoking, or after being exposed to smoke should cleanse hair of odors. I put perfume in my hair sometimes and it's fine.
  • Loss of hair / breakage / stunted growth. Buildup of trapped sebum can result in hair loss. Scalp massage sloughs away dead cells, leaving your head clean and clear for new growth. When experiencing breakage, avoid overbrushing. Keep your hands off your hair for awhile and avoid pulling it back too tightly. Try a protective hairstyle, like Zero Waste Vegan's braids. Periodically treating hair with castor oil, I'm told, stimulates growth. This is only anecdotal, but apparently it's like zero waste Latisse if you put it on eyelashes and brows. Lavender and mint encourage hair growth.
  • Chlorine damage. I put olive oil in my hair before swimming, especially before going in the ocean. Finer hair prefers less fatty oils, such as jojoba. Washing with an egg or using an avocado mask after sun or chlorine exposure alleviates dryness. I actually love what saltwater does to my hair, it gives perfectly crunchy curls.
  • Greasy hair. In my experience, if you bear through it and don't overwash or use stuff to soak up the oil, your hair balances itself out and looks nice in a day or two. However, this isn't always practical in corporate environments. A little cornstarch, arrowroot, cinnamon, or cocoa powder is effective dry shampoo. Brushing and scalp massage helps distribute oils, but avoid overbrushing, as hair may appear greasier. Stop using citrus or honey in your hair, which can exacerbate oil production.
  • Limp or weak hair. Massage more and reduce emollients. This may be symptomatic of a poor diet, so avoid sugar and processed foods. In the meantime, flip hair upside down and massage your scalp to improve circulation and pump up hair's natural volume.
  • Frizzy hair / flyaways. Sugar water is the best natural hairspray there is (thanks, Emma!). A lemon or lime slice tames flyaways. If hair is overly frizzy, you may be overwashing. Try reducing wash frequency, using a brush to distribute oils.
  • Itchy scalp / dandruff / white buildup / dullness. Hard water can be the culprit, or it may be a sign you're not scrubbing your scalp enough. Increase scalp massage frequency and brush away dust and grime with a wooden fine tooth comb or plant based bristle brush. If the problem is really bad, burdock root rinse helps alleviate dandruff, parsley or beer adds shine, and stinging nettle or lavender soothes itchiness.

Never use baking soda or vinegar on hair. In fact, my main advice is avoid using anything but water to the extent possible. The less you mess with your hair, the shorter the transition period will be. I don't have a blowdryer or curling iron, but I really like Lucy Liu's look, so I pull the top section of my hair back in a ponytail and use rag curling methods instead (my hair is naturally very curly). If you have tight curls, and brushing makes them dread, stick to scalp massage and an afro comb.

As for areas affected by drought, I think water only hair and face washing is actually better. Processing wastewater contaminants like shampoo or facial cleanser consumes so much water and energy- this isn't even considering the amount of water needed to produce and bottle them in the first place. I'll never have perfect hair like Selena Gomez in the Pantene commercials, or perfect skin like Selena Gomez in her Instagram pictures, but that's okay. I think our perception of what hair and skin should look like is way off base, and water only is actually good for everybody. I wish I started years ago!


Paris to Go

53 comments:

  1. Oh Ariana, thank you for this so detailed and honest blog post! No I am inspired to try it again. At the moment I am using this Sage Shampoo bar (https://goo.gl/VYUBmT) and it works fine for 3-4 days... But this routine still is kind of expensive and not as plain and simple as I would like. The last time I gave it a try I suffered from the white buildup and waxy or patchy hair which never seemed to dry. Thank you for the research you did!! May I ask you if you still use your homemade sunscreen you've once written about, even if you travel in more sunny destinations? All the zero waste options to buy seem to be only available in the states or australia.
    I send you a lot of love from hamburg :*
    ps: the mentioning of "angora cat" below you picture made my day :)
    Carolin

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    1. Hi dear Carolin! How is you cat? I hope you and your husband are well :) I have used red raspberry seed oil in SE Asia and Indonesia. I don't burn and I've done imagery of my skin damage and I don't have any yet, but I cover up and I think I have a lot of melanin. Some people like zinc oxide better. I think don't worry about zero waste when it comes to sunscreen because that's not always safe. Some people have skin conditions or are very photo sensitive and natural sunscreens don't always work on all types of skin. The Environmental Working Group has a good guide to sunscreens, because not all commercially available sunscreens are effective: http://www.ewg.org/2015sunscreen/

      I'm not sure how many of those are available in Hamburg, but hopefully some of the good ones are :) I hope you find a good hair routine! The sage shampoo bar sounds lovely but yes, a cheaper routine is always nice!

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    2. Dan and our hairy child are super fine! In fact the last one is sleeping on my lap right now... :) Thank you for those tips, they were very helpful. Covering up with my pretty straw hat is my favorite solution to protect my face but I will look for something that is protecting the skin of my legs and back while swimming. How is your adorable family? Hank sends greetings to Kar and Toffel!

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    3. You are very sweet :) Kar and Toffel send hugs to Hank!

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  2. It is incredible! How can your hair be like that only with water? Love it :)
    I hope someday I could to something like that!
    Thank you for sharing*

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    1. Hi Ana! I hope you are great! Thank you, water is the best thing possible for my hair, what a difference from last year. Take care :)

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  3. Your hair and skin look wonderful! I was fed up with my skin/hair and visited an acupuncturist that prescribed "water only" for my ailments. I have diligently stuck with water only since October. Like you have said before, it is not a quick fix but it works if you persist. Yes, the greasy/waxy period was hard to witness with my hair but I put my hair up in a pony tail/bun to avoid touching it or brushing it too much. Eventually it did even out. I don't wear much make up except for a small spot concealer I purchase from a local etsy maker so in the evenings I just wash my face with a warm wash cloth. I splash cool water on my face in the morning. My skin only suffers from occasional break outs and they are not as red and irritated as they were before. For my body, I use a little savon de alepp for my private parts and arm pits when I take a shower. My family and friends confirmed that I do not smell.n

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    1. Hi Nadya, what a testimonial! I am so happy to hear that working moms, and academics at that, can do water only too! That is interesting that the acupuncturist prescribed it. I love savon d'alep too :) Do you need any lotion or oil or anything when you use it? In the winter I used a little olive oil on my feet, elbows, and hands but that was about it. The soap seems nourishing enough but maybe I should be moisturizing anyway? I don't know.

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    2. I think the soap can be a bit drying too (maybe it is because of the laurel oil in it?). My feet can get pretty bad from being on them so much too. In the dead of winter in Boston, my daughter and I both get very dry scaly skin. I tried olive oil on my feet and elbows/hands but it never fully set into my skin. I switched to sweet almond oil (no scent to it all) and it seems to work well for the two of us and sinks into my skin. My husband uses the soap for shaving and he says it gives a great lather without drying!

      Also, I totally agree with you that we should shift our skin and hair expectations. I feel confident in my skin and hair but it is far from "perfect." I rarely look rested and "vibrant" (a euphemism for looking like you are 20 in my opinion, hah). For example, I have dark circles under my eyes, I have crows feet, and smile/frown lines, and those two lines between my eyebrows from reading or concentrating really hard because I am a real person in my 30s, with a toddler, work full time, and I have laughed and cried and you know...lived. Once I accepted me, I saved so so so much money on expensive and wasteful products!

      Okay, this is my last thing to share. I thought you might get a kick out of it too. I found this website and it thrilled me to know that someone documented all of JB Fletcher's outfits. How cool!: https://mrsfletcherscloset.wordpress.com

      Officially stepping awkwardly away from my nerd podium.

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    3. You would fit right in here. Women don't cover up their dark circles! Even the Kardashians didn't start covering their dark circles until recently lol. The lines are like trophies of a life well lived, you really expressed it beautifully. Thank you for sharing the Jessica Fletcher outfits! I love that someone did that, I am binge reading now. Thanks for the tip about sweet almond oil. I love alep for shaving too, there's nothing better.

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  4. Thanks for this post. I always joke that I need about two weeks off from work so I can "sweat out" my hair. I stopped using soap in the shower months ago and only use it after a really tough workout or if I've been sweating outdoors. I've been trying to go no product on my hair ever since. I didn't wash my hair for about 2.5 days over Christmas break and I caved on Day 3 :/ It was so bad... I have thick Korean hair and it gets greasy after a day...such a bummer... Love your Korean references in your posts BTW :)

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    1. Hi Sara! That is interesting that you don't need soap in the shower, the Caudalie founder said it wasn't necessary either, and my family in Korea has stopped using it pretty much. Also, this is off topic, but do you use Korean makeup or skin products at all? I ask because every Korean seems to have the cutest refillable or recyclable stuff. And I don't even see any pores on their skin or anything. I am interested in Korean makeup but my grandma said I wasn't pale enough for it before (lol), now that I finally am (and I'm finally running out of my foundation) I'm not sure where to start. Any recommendations you have would be great! I hope I'm not prying too much or being racist asking you this

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    2. I bought an egg pore gel cleanser by Tony Moly from Sephora because I wanted my pores to disappear lol. I don't get how some Korean women (my mother included) have no pores or dark spots??? It's baffling to me. Sephora has definitely hopped onto the K-beauty trends and I appreciate that. I remember my mother brought back BB creams years and years ago and the US has finally caught on! I've heard good things about Dr. Jaarrt and might buy the BB cream when I done my bare minerals one. I have the opposite problem as you. I am a very tan Korean! I know some people are very cult-like with Korean beauty products (but I guess you can say the same about the French lol) and love the SK-II essence and masks. I would love to try it, but I cringe at the price tag. I remember my mom using essence when I was a kid and not understanding what it really was. I don't think you are racist by asking at all! My college friends would suggest products (all white girls) and I would say, 'Listen, I have Asian hair and skin so that stuff doesn't work for me." HAHA.

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  5. Your hair looks amazing in person too! Now I need to step up my game in that department to keep up hahaha

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    1. Aww Ashley you are too sweet! Your hair is awesome, you don't need to change anything!

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  6. Hi! Thanks so much for sharing your experience! I was looking some more details on internet and some people recommended the baking soda and vinegar for the transition, but you're not, so how did you make it? Just one day you started use only water and that's it? Or for some time you were between shampoo and water? I would like to give a try but some advices for what worked for you would be great :)

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    1. Hi Marion! So, baking soda and vinegar destroyed my hair. Then I tried honey shampoo, aloe, tea, shikakai, soap, eggs, yogurt, and coconut milk :) But this was too expensive and some of the ingredients didn't respond well to Paris' hard water. So I started using distilled water only, and now I have a shower filter. The whole story of my early days is here: http://www.paris-to-go.com/2015/05/zero-waste-haircare-no-shampoo-method.html

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  7. Hi Ariana-

    I have had a nearly identical routine since July and very similar results. I rinse my hair when sweaty or when I get frosting in it or something and brush on the nights that I don't shower. I just let my hair air dry and have embraced its natural sort-of waviness. Grease has never been a problem (now that my hair isn't coated in silicates it readily absorbs its own natural oils). About a month into going water only, a whole bunch of tiny gray flakes showed up in my hair brush. I think it was old conditioner residue flaking off-- it hasn't happened since. A waxy hard-water build-up sometimes formed at the back of my head where the water hits when I shower. I just used a little olive oil soap to remove the waxy patch and have avoided it since by not standing with my head in the stream. I also use henna to color so that has some conditioning benefits. I wish I could post a "before" and "after" pic to show that water only works great!

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    1. Hi! That is awesome you've had such great results in such a short time. I've never tried henna before but I would like a little more shine so I'm considering it. Did you use a clarifying shampoo before starting your routine, or did you go straight into water only?

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    2. I went straight into water only. My natural hair color is sort of a mahogany red/brown and a henna/indigo mix blends my gray in nicely and looks sort of like subtle highlights. I was using henna before I went water-only(ish) and I used to use a ton of conditioner to rinse it out. It's difficult. Now that I'm water only, I rinse as much as I can out in the shower then fill up the bathtub and lay back and submerge and shake my hair and massage my scalp and gravity removes most of the henna. Then I wait for it to dry and brush with my hair flipped upside down to get the rest out. Henna is messy but I love it. I wouldn't bother if I weren't going gray, though.

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  8. Ariana,

    Thank you for sharing information about your water-only routine. It's so great to hear that you're having wonderful results. Currently I'm in Japan, and didn't bring my favorite hair cleanser with me from the U.S., so I'm thinking about trying out the water-only method.

    I was wondering if you could explain your revised opinion on using a wash cloth. I stopped using wash cloths when I quit oil cleansing because it was much too drying, even if it was the only way to prevent the blackheads I get. I went back to washing my face with soap, which hasn't really made my skin very happy either. I keep hearing about "micro-tears" in the skin and how using a wash cloth other than microfiber cloths can lead to wrinkles.

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    1. Hi! When I started wearing makeup again, I started using washcloths again. There was a time when I wasn't wearing makeup and just water was fine. But when I went back to makeup, water wasn't enough to remove it. I've read about microtears too but it seems like dermatologists are divided. It must depend on the skin type. My mom and grandma used washcloths on their face for years (no cleansers) and look very young. My mom still doesn't have wrinkles! It's way too early to tell if washcloths will prematurely age me, but I'm hoping that genetics will play a role in that :) Also I just don't rub too hard and I use hemp washcloths, which don't get increasingly brittle like cotton does. I know a lot of Korean spas use wash cloths too, but I think they use microfiber and bamboo muslin.

      I'm curious to hear what women in Japan do for their beautiful skin! What kind of oil did you use for the oil cleansing method? The method didn't work for me, I found it very drying too, but people rave about it.

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    2. Thank you for your reply and explanation. I wear an untinted zinc oxide sunscreen everyday, so I used to oil cleanse with high linoleic acid oils like pumpkin seed oil, watermelon seed oil, rosehip seed oil, and raspberry seed oil. Oils like argan, jojoba or olive oil would break me out because of the high oleic acid content. Oil cleansing got rid of the blackheads on my chin, but it dried out my cheeks, enlarged the pores, and made them much more prone to congestion and irritation. My lower face would be perpetually flaky, as if I messily gnawed my way through a croissant. Any kind of moisturizer I would use would just sit on my parched skin. I think I'll try your DIY hemp washcloth, because I think I'm one of those people who need some manual exfoliation to get rid of the flakes, not an acid toner or mask that do nothing or make my skin red. Fingers crossed!

      Japan has a whole range of skincare trends, with a notable increase in organic skincare offerings in recent years. Cosmetic waters, which are essentially hydrating (hopefully alcohol-free) toners, are seen as the basis of skincare. There are some people who only apply toner after washing their face with copious amounts of whipped foam from soap - tried this recently, for three months, but it dehydrated my skin. Unlike the US, Europe or even Korea, there is a dedication to using the foam from bar soap, with emphasis on your hands not touching your skin. Basically, you whip up tons of foam with a special mesh, and massage the thick foam onto your skin. This is usually preceded by a rinse-off cleansing oil from Shu Uemura or DHC, because make-up, especially foundation, is seen as a standard part of a woman's regimen. I think almost everyone wears some form of make-up, even if it seems imperceptible. Some U.S. colleagues headed to Japan talk about how they feel the need to buy just a tube of pink/nude lipstick to not feel left out when the ladies go to the restroom for touch-ups. I have zero make-up skills, so I just stick to my sunscreen.

      As for "traditional" methods, there are rice bran pouches for exfoliation. It's a cotton pouch filled with rice bran, and after wetting it you gently massage it on your skin. It is quite gentle and somewhat moisturizing. Because of how humid Japan is, after using you should place the pouch in a ziploc bag and stick it in the fridge between uses. Camellia seed oil is another beauty staple, but it's only within the past decade that the oil has been actively marketed as a skin care item - traditionally it was used for hair, especially with the elaborate up-dos that it helped to maintain, or as an exquisite oil for frying tempura.

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    3. This is so interesting! I like your description of the croissant even though I'm sorry it happened to you. Thank you for sharing this great information, the rice bran intrigues me.

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  9. Hi Ariana! I was wondering how you clean your wooden pin brush? Do you clean after every use?

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    1. Hi! I clean it once a week with soap and water. I'm worried cleaning it more will cause the wood to split. The soap is oil-based so I'm hoping it's moisturizing enough.

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  10. Hi Ariana! Your hair is GORGEOUS.
    I tried water only a couple times, and it was a disaster. I had a "aha" moment reading Minimalist Beauty--she was saying water only works wonderfully for her high-porosity hair. I have fine, pin-straight, super-slippery low porosity hair, so maybe that's why water-only didn't work for me. After trying a bunch of DIY treatments, I'm back to my usual cleansing conditioner again.
    One of my daughters has beautiful hair with what I'm guessing is similar texture to yours, and I'm keeping hair products far far away from her! It's amazing to me how different she and I are!

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    1. Hi Rachel! I remember you telling me about your daughters hair and being really impressed. I should have never put hair products on mine :( Very interesting about the porosity, thank you for sharing! That makes a lot of sense!

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  11. Ariana,

    What was the motivation behind this experiment ? Could you pick from the options below :

    1. No using any products, PERIOD.
    2. Couldn't find all natural products that work for you
    3. Saving money
    4. Didn't want to contribute to the water stream ?
    5. True sustainability
    6. Other reasons I don't know of ...

    Its great to see what you have done. You are shaking me up wrt all the things I think I need. Hitting the restart button in my head. Thank you !

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    1. Hi Archana, it was a combination of things. I wanted to lessen my impact and don't like the effects of SLS. People can debate about the link to cancer all day long, the American Journal of Toxicology says it has a degenerative effect even at low levels of exposure, and I've seen it dissolve scales off a fish, so I don't want to put that in the waterways. Using food in my hair was getting too expensive and other natural products weren't washing out of my hair in the hard water. I went into more detail here: http://www.paris-to-go.com/2015/05/zero-waste-haircare-no-shampoo-method.html

      Mostly I was sick of my hair looking bad though. Shampoo ruined my hair, as did baking soda and vinegar, and I just wanted nice hair again!

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  12. Great post! And your hair looks really fabulous! I stopped using products with silicone years ago (made a huge difference!), and recently went low-poo. For the last two weeks I've been using shampoo soap + vinegar rinse (hair soap X shampoo bar seems to be an important distinction in German, but I've never seen that in English. For instance what lush sells would fall into the category shampoo bar, what chagrin valley makes would be called shampoo soap) and my hair looks SO healthy, but gets oily too quick. But your post gave me hope that my scalp may adjust sometime! I'm incorporating the massages to my routine, I can't say its working yet, but it certainly feels great :)

    Paula

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    1. Thank you Paula! That is very interesting, I didn't realize there was such a delineation in German. I wonder why it's getting oily so quickly, but that is wonderful that your hair looks healthy. Glad the massages are soothing :) Thanks for sharing!

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  13. Your curls are what I have only managed to achieve once in my life, when I lucked out with a particular hairdresser. She was a magical wizard, wielding scissors rather than a wand. Unfortunately, I was living in country Australia at the time. She went off to have one kid, which turned into two, three, then she never came back. Anyway, a roundabout way of saying your hair looks fab.
    My foray into "no-poo" was a bit of a disaster. I'm hoping to make a second attempt at it soon. Thanks for being such a great source of information on this topic.

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    1. Thank you so much LC :) I hope you find a similar hairdresser soon, I think I kind of feel your pain though, it is so hard finding the right one, sometimes they don't know what to do with different types of hair. I'm sorry your first no poo trial didn't work out. Please keep me updated on your next attempt!

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  14. Hi, I was wondering if you have any recommendations on the shower filter?

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    1. Hi Lisette, the Arirang Ion is the one I use. http://www.arirangions.com/ It's not really a filter but an ionizer.

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  15. I have done sulfate free shampoo and only wash every 3-4 days now for years. I have only don the re-wet type cleansing when I want to refresh my curls. My problem is that I have tried using a bamboo comb at night to redistribute the oil from my scalp to my ends and all it did was make my scalp even more oily. Like, if I'm out on a windy day, the wind moving my hair around will stimulate my scalp and make it oily. Also, I get crusty weird oily scalp if I don't wash it and even get a headache. I will try out the water only thing for a week or so to see if it changes anything for me. I don't like using heating products on my hair which is why I started stretching out how far inbetween I wash in the first place. I have very long big S curls. So, combing or bushing at night will make my hair huge a fuzzy let alone create more oil.
    I love how my hairspray smells. Good thing, it brushes out or washes out with water. No need for anything harsh ;)

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    1. Hi Heather, your hair sounds beautiful! But I am sorry to hear about the oil and the headaches, how unusual and that must be frustrating. What hairspray do you use? Thanks for sharing!

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  16. hi ariana, did you wash your hair everyday when you were started this fro the very first time? i want to try washing my hair without shampoo as my hair is getting thinner each day because of the hair fall that's just so so so cruel.

    thanks!

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    1. Hi! No, I washed it every week. I was never really a wash my hair everyday type of person, so my hair was used to stretching out time between washes. Sorry to hear that, do you have hard water? Is that what is making the hair fall out? Hard water seems to make my hair fall out like crazy so now it never touches my hair. I hope water only helps! Please keep me updated!

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  17. I think this may work for inactive people, but my wife who has thick black hair like yours goes to the gym to workout every morning and does BJJ at night. So I really doubt just massaging her head won't make it stink. She does have the same problem you did however of dry flaky scalp, and hair like yours (looking at the hair picture from behind I'd think it was my wife!) which is what brought me to the article. So basically what changes do you recommend for someone who is active twice a day (and by active I mean soaked in sweat, not a few beads here and there after a gentle jog) and needs 2 showers a day? If it helps she also does anesthesia in the OR after her morning workout, so she doesn't need to immediately style her hair as its in a bun anyway, and she could easily get away with leaving some type of oil in it. I want to help her, as she currently hates her hair being flaky and dry, and I love how beautiful she looks with her hair down which she rarely does now as she hates her hair (first few years of our marriage before she became so active her hair was ALWAYS down). Love to hear your advice on this.

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    1. Hi! Wow, she is tough! Rinsing her hair will get rid of any smell or sweat. Even though they use shampoo normally, I know three professional athletes who do this instead of shampoo after workout and training and they don't smell (they have different hair types too, from coarse like mine to fine). She might need to put a tiny bit of oil in her hair before a workout so that the rinsing doesn't dry her hair out. It's almost certainly not as intense as what your wife does but I do Kayla Itsines 5x a week (only once a day though) and 3.5-4 miles everyday and I am soaked in sweat, but after brushing with a wooden brush it's fine. It will be okay once the stuff from the shampoos and any products comes off her hair and her scalp regulates itself.

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    2. I showed her your page and she read your reply. She says she currently puts about a quarter jojoba oil in her hair after shower as well as uses it on her skin. She was asking if you recommend the jojoba oil or another kind of oil for her hair? Btw she is trying the no shampoo thing today! But I remember you wrote it takes a while for your hair to adjust, so I hope she is patient with it. Thanks for your articles! We have gone ultra minimalist about 2 years ago since we started moving every 3 months for medical assignments. We are still polishing up the capsule wardrobes, we both have them paired down to very few items, but I think we also both made mistakes by following guides of "you must have X item" instead of items that work more for us and reflex our own personal style. Even if an outfit looks good if you don't feel comfortable in it because you feel it reflects someone your not then it's not the best choice for you. That's what I have been figuring out. Keep up the great work!

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    3. Hi Benjamin, thank you so much! What an interesting life you have! How great that your minimal lifestyle allows you to pick up and move easily to help others. I'm interested in your capsule wardrobes if you ever want to do a guest post :) So many think that you cannot have an active lifestyle and career with a small wardrobe but you are proving them wrong! I really like jojoba oil for hair. It's so close to natural sebum. I hope the no shampoo works out. What is the perspective of her coworkers on no shampoo?

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  18. Your hair is my dream hair. I've NEVER liked the straightened look that's been loved for 10-20 years now. It does look really stylish on some, and I have friends who look so much better for it as a daily practice because of their hair-type, but I find it boring as a 'trend' and it looks generic on me. Give me wavy curls plz. Anyway, I first heard about no-shampoo back in high school and it struck a chord. For whatever reason, I've never tried. Partly due to the threat of detox - I have so. much. hair - and while I've always been a weekly washer it does get greasy towards the end, and this has worsened recently. And, partly due to lack of hair skills in general. I can't even plait or braid my own hair, and it seems like this helps you guys keep style/shape etc.

    I've recently moved away from mainstream skincare entirely (although not water-only yet) and your blog is to be partly credited. Between that, and your dream fucking hair (!), I'm looking to transition to water-only for my hair. One can only hope! So, expect some stupid questions from me. I only found your blog recently and you don't date your posts (although I found the date in the URL), so I've been all over the shop chronologically following your process. So it's great to see this recent post to see where it's all come to. Thank you for being so informative in general about the hair care options that exist, how you have found them, and all aspects of your experience!

    I'm going to look into the shower filter and get a good wooden brush. About the brush - you have linked to two thus far - a long skinny brush and a rounder one. Which do you actually use/prefer? Oddly specific question? I'm too many tabs deep in 'research' and the thought of making a decision about a hairbrush by myself is too overwhelming. Aren't I a special snowflake.

    Thank you for this post!!!

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    1. Hi Rayna! Sorry I4m replying to this so late. The brush I use is pictured here: http://www.paris-to-go.com/2015/07/simplify-your-beauty-routine-water-only-cleared-up-acne-hair.html. The shape of the brush doesn't matter (except if you do blowouts and want a particular hairstyle) as much as the bristles. Some people prefer agave bristles but I like the wooden pin bristles for my thick hair. I never liked the straightened look either, you are exactly right- it bores me. It looks good on my friends too, but dead on me. I like big curls because of Victoria's Secret Angels though, lol.

      Don't worry, I can't braid my hair either. I know other people do it but I can't seem to figure it out. The most I do is put my hair in a ponytail and sometimes put rags in it. Otherwise, I brush out the curls and end up with similar hair to this photo, only less bouncy and "styled." Also, I agonized over the hairbrush thing too. Take your time :)

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  19. I tried going no poo a couple of years ago but it just got oilier! I am inspired by your water only skin and hair. I am going away soon to outback Australia and this will be terrific - if it works?? So I will try it again!!!

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  20. Going raw vegan and gluten-free has improved my straight Korean hair texture -- it seems softer and cleaner...perhaps there's a link between your gluten-free life and wonderful curls...either way, thank you...I enjoy your posts...

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  21. Hi, there! I'm from Mexico and new in this transition to a zero waste living. I'm about to make the change on my hair routine and I've been surfing the web looking for something that works for curly hair like mine. Some love the baking soda + vinegar solution, others rye flour, some olive oil soap, and others, like you, suggest going water only. I read in your post that you recommend "washing" with water only once a week, and massaging the scalp and brushing it while it's dry the rest of the week. I have thin, weak, curly hair. I LOOOVE my big curls. But if I brush my hair when it's dry, I break my curls and my hair becomes all frizzy. As today, I comb my hair in the shower while it's wet. So, do you have any suggestions for me? Is it wrong to "water-wash" it everyday?

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    1. As a curly haired person, with quite fine hair, I can only testify that water only has been the best form of care yet for my hair. Maybe just give it a try? No expensive products to buy, so not much to lose and so much to gain. Good luck!!

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    2. Hi! Emma is right... I actually have very curly hair too and no longer brush my hair at all. I really only water wash once a month though now! It really doesn't get oily sooner. I no longer massage really, maybe once a week to remove dead skin, but I find it sloughs off naturally. If I go swimming though, I will run oil through it first, then rinse after.

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    3. ok..I will try it. But right now, when I don't wash my hair, on the 3rd day it gets oily and I feel the sebum on the scalp.. it's itchy.

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