One of the many things he doesn’t tell his friends about me…

LilZ was telling us about how in one class this week they were taking samples of things and seeing if they had bacteria on them. He said they decided to use one girl’s hair because she admitted to not having washed it in two days. I asked proudly, “Did you tell them I haven’t washed my hair since June of 2003?”

Needless to say – he did not tell them that.

Many of you have asked about that when I make a reference to my stance against shampoo. Probably because most of you have normal hair (like my husband) and one day without shampoo would turn your hair into an oil slick. But you have to understand – at no point in my life has my hair ever been oily. EVER. Exactly opposite – if I ever went more than one day without putting conditioner in my hair – it became so brittle it would break in my hands. I had severe issues with dry hair.

Then, during the summer of 2003 when my hair was at it’s longest, I was recommended by a Black hairdresser to stop washing my hair. I haven’t looked back since.

Essentially – I do what you would do with shampoo – but I do it with conditioner. There are no harsh soaps to strip my hair of what little moisture it has, but it still gets clean. You would have to trust me on that, I guess. Or my husband, he can vouch for it. And my hair has never been healthier. My curls are much less influenced by the weather, giving me less days of complete frizz and more consistent days of awesome hair. Now – it’s not for everyone – because some people with curly hair have oily scalps. I don’t have that problem. My scalp is as dry as my hair.

I will admit, however, that when I get my hair trimmed every six months, I let them shampoo it. Mainly because I’m a little embarrassed to ask them not to. The idea that I don’t use shampoo tends to gross some people out. So, I suck it up two or three times a year and let them shampoo my hair. Other than that? I never even touch the stuff. I use loads of whatever “Dry Hair” conditioner is on sale that week at Target and I style with Suave mousse. Dove is my favorite, but a little pricey when it’s not on sale. I use so much I prefer to go cheap. Cheap conditioner. Cheap mousse. And no shampoo. And truthfully? I love my hair. I never loved it before – but now? I do. It tortured me from 7th grade (when it started really getting curly) on – but once I got used to not using shampoo? It became a head of hair I truly love.

Now – how many of you are really grossed out? You can be honest – I won’t cry. Much.

41 thoughts on “One of the many things he doesn’t tell his friends about me…”

  1. I don’t think it’s gross. I mean, how dirty does hair really get? The main reason people have to wash their hair is to make it less oily, and if you don’t have the problem then why mess with it? Your hair always looks really awesome in your photos, so it seems you’re doing something right!

  2. My hair is dry and color-treated, too. My latest hairdresser recommended that I stop shampooing (except right after I dye my hair) and I’ve cut back to about 2-3 times per month. My hair is much shinier and although I’m still dealing with some frizz, I think it’s better, too. And it’s still clean and smells fine.

  3. You are washing it, just not with shampoo. So no, I don’t think it’s gross at all.

    Also, I live 1500 miles from you, so it’s not like it have to smell you.

    LOL

  4. I’m not grossed out, I’m totally and completely envious of your hair.. It always look gorgeous!

    I have baby fine “angel hair” ..the more you brush it, the softer and straighter it gets. I must wash my hair every 24 hours or I can not stand it! I’d hoped after chemo made me bald, that it would come back with some curl or with a different texture or something..and it actually did come back with more body, and a much less oily scalp. That only lasted a year. I admit to being worried I’d end up with a head of pubic hair I wouldn’t know what to do with…

    I swear I’m not complaining..I’m really quite glad I actually HAVE hair.

  5. My son has very dry hair. He now loves you because we are trying your idea of no shampoo only conditioner. Being only ten he thinks this is GREAT.

  6. I didn’t know such books exsisted. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised because there are books about EVERYTHING. I wonder if the library carries them.

    And no, I don’t think it is gross that you don’t shampoo your hair. Now if you didn’t bath. That would be a different story.

  7. I saw you mention this in your About page or your FAQs. And I have had a serious obsession with it. Because it is such a foreign thing to me. Mainly because I wondered about the oil.

    I shampoo every other day because it makes my color stay longer and because the Man says it is healthier. But any longer than that, it gets super greasy and my scalp starts to itch. And I always wonder “How does Zoot do it?”

    (Yes, I need to get a life.)

    But now that you explained the dryness, it makes perfect sense to me. I don’t think it is gross at all. (Actually, I never thought it was gross.)

  8. As long as you’re still showering, I’m not grossed out πŸ˜› Of course, since you’re over 5000 miles away, I don’t suppose I’d notice if you stopped! Your hair always looks great though, so I’d say you’re probably doing what’s right for it!

  9. Totally not gross. However, my sister the stylist is going to DIE if she reads that you use mousse. It’s bad for dry hair apparently….. she says use pomade or something instead.

  10. I’m not grossed out at all. In fact, I probably should try skipping the shampoo myself. As long as I keep my hair short, it stays nice and healthy, but if I let it grow out long (which I’m trying to do now) it gets really brittle and starts breaking off. My hair is always dry so I have to use the extra super moisturizing stuff. Plus, my curls are a massive frizzfest most days. I shampoo and condition every day. Maybe I’ll start skipping the shampoo a few times a week and see what happens.

  11. My hair gets really oily without shampoo, but using only conditioner makes sense – have you ever looked the back of the bottles? Take a bottle of the same type (like Suave) shampoo and conditioner and compare the ingredients: they’re essentially the same!!

  12. I’ve tried this with my daughter’s hair (dry and curly, the total opposite of everyone else in the house – which is straight and oily) but being 9 years old, sometimes the shampoo just needs to be used.

    That being said, we have tried nearly every shampoo/conditioner combo for curly hair out there and you know what works best?

    Pantene for sleek and shiny hair. Yes the stuff that’s actually for straight hair works wonders on hers. The first time we used it I was amazed at how soft her hair was, because it usually feels coarse and frizzy.

    So long story short, so totally not grossed out, because I’ve heard that for dry, curly hair, skipping the shampoo and moving straight to conditioner is the way to go.

  13. I’m not grossed out. I actually tried going without shampoo, but it didn’t work for me. Now I just moved from Memphis to Colorado, and my hair is much drier here, I might give it a shot again.

  14. I am with you on the no washing. In the summer I only wash a couple times of week. Of course the freaky curls require me to wet it down in the morning (or I would look like the bride of frankenstien) and a splash of conditioner.

    I think my hair is as curly as yours, but not as dry. My scalp is a little oily, so I do need the occasional shampoo. If you look at my profile pic, my hair is bone straight. Compliments of my bored hairdresser one day. (She has freaky curly hair too.) We used a flatiron and some anti-friz potion and it worked.

    I love my curls too, but when I straightened my hair, people looked like they were going to faint dead away! If you ever want the name of the stuff she used, let me know. I will email it to you!

  15. I haven’t used shampoo more than 5-6 times on my 5 year olds hair in the past year. She has super tight corkscrew curls and hair that NEVER looks oily. I have to shampoo every day or I look nasty. She showers pretty much every day and I either just wet her hair or wet and condition then finish with detangler and her frizz ease. I’m sure people think I’m wierd when I tell them I don’t ‘wash’ her hair but it doesn’t need it!

  16. Not grossed out. Not at all. I have curly hair. I tried, for a while, to do the stick straight look. Will.Not.Work. I may try your trick for a week or so. See if the frizz will abate.

  17. It is that book – and after reading it two summers ago, I cut WAY back on the shampooing. I have dry hair, dry skin, dry scalp, so I know how it is. Now I shampoo less than once a week. For conditioner I use whatever Suave strikes my fancy, and I use a leave-in treatment as well (right now I am digging the Citre Shine “milk,” but I also like the Garnier Fructise leave-in).

  18. I worked about 6 months in a hair salon, while in between jobs and I was amazed that most of the stylists would wash their hair once a week at most. I don’t think our hair really needs shampoo like we think it does.

  19. I am so going to try that.. my hair is like yours and ANYTHING that might actually defrizz it would be the greatest thing ever.. I don’t think I”ll actually admit it until I’m convinced i don’t smell weird πŸ™‚

  20. I love you Zoot!

    I’m walking over to the bookstore by work on my break & totally getting that book. I work w/two other curly girls (our nickname for ourselves) and often commiserate about hair. You will rarely see a pix of me w/my hair in curls, even though that is how I wear it 60-70% of the time. It’s just so unmanageable & unperdictable. I’m lucky? to live in a mostly dry climate so I can blow it dry and leave it for several days w/out too much frizz (just hit it w/a quick iron in the AM) I’ve been more at peace w/it since I started using the Bumble & Bumble curly hair products, but I’m totally going to try no shampoo this weekend & see how it goes. Thanks for being you and embracing it.

  21. I’m not grossed out, and you’ve actually influenced me to cut back on the shampooing. I do have the oily scalp at times (you get boob sweat…i get head sweat) but…I cut back to only shampooing once every two or three days and…I think my hair is a lot healthier and less dried out. I’m not ready to give up champoo completely but this is a start.

    So…totally not gross when you’ve got curly hair πŸ™‚ Mine started getting really curly around 8th grade and hasn’t stopped and using conditioner, less shampoo, and mouse has made such a huge difference.

    I apologize for the typos I know are in here…me and my browser still don’t like to let me see everything I type in comments.

  22. After reading this post and all the comments, I officially think I’m the oiliest person alive. Whereas before, I thought I was just a contender. I must wash my hair with shampoo daily. Granted by the end of the day, my hair looks great, but first thing the next morning…greasy girl!

    I don’t think it’s gross you dry people out there, but I’m an oil machine and I’ve been a few days without a shower. So if you want gross, come on over. πŸ™‚

  23. This is a totally accepted way to care for curly hair. It sounds similar to the problems faced by african americans. Black hair is really difficult to care for and you have to do it just right because of the brittle issue.

    I tried doing this, because my hair tends to be brittle, too, but it is so fine that it looked horrible. It made me sad because I wanted a solution.

    :S

  24. What a coinky-dink! No, I’ve not gone years not shampooing, but I did just decide to only shampoo every three or four days. My hair is way thick. It was oily in my younger days, but now it’s fairly dry. (We have a pool, so I’m surely drying it out in there all day.) Anyway, I just started a few days ago. No discernible difference except I’ve now gained another 72 seconds each day by not lathering and rinsing with shampoo. Still pretending, and I don’t know that I’d ever have the fortitude to go years.

  25. My mom has long straight hair that’s pretty thin. So the exact opposite of yours, I guess. But back in HS she and a friend had a contest to see who could go longer without washing. It was the 70s, I don’t think they had TV yet. Anyway, she said after a few weeks her scalp adjusted to the change and compensated. To this day she washes her hair weekly. And you’d never know. It’s not like she a grease ball walking around. I’ve heard from non-Americans that we’re all a little too obsessed with the bathing. That’s why we need 37 different lotions & potions to not turn into tissue paper.

  26. I have been told numerous times that you should really only shampoo your hair every other day or so because it is much easier to work with when it has a little grease in it. Not to mention my hair gets crazy frizzy when I shampoo every day. Who cares? As I would say to my son, did you brush your teeth and did you shower? Okay then, the other stuff doesn’t really matter.

  27. One thing I’ve read (and not tried yet, but I’ve got friends who have) is to use a tablespoon of baking soda in a cup of water to rinse your hair once in a while – it removes styling residue without stripping the hair (TOO MUCH, but I’m sure it does some) then further rinsing your hair with apple cider vinegar. In your quest to become more green, this could be one more thing you try. I would suggest continuing on with the “real” conditioner, though. Or maybe try a week with the baking soda/acv idea and let us know how it works with your hair type?

  28. I think it’s a great idea. After I read that you do this, I actually tried it, but my scalp is way too … um … active for that. Did I gross YOU out?

  29. zoot – we’re in the same boat, i haven’t bought shampoo for myself in Y E A R S …… my dad used to always make fun of me when i lived at home, but now — after college, my boyfriend doesn’t even notice.

  30. I’d love to see a picture of you before your hair got super curly–was it just moderately curly? Bigger curls? What do you mean?

  31. I am so going to try the no shampoo thing. My scalp tends to get itchy and flake a bunch so I’m hoping it will help with that.

  32. I have very curly, very dry hair, too. I figured out a couple of years ago that my hair is way better when I just use conditioner.

    I found that out because I ran out of shampoo and kept forgetting to buy more.

  33. OH, I FORGET TO ADD THIS!! My grandmother (also had curly hair, only much, much curlier than mine) used to use vinegar to wash her hair. It stinks, but it makes your hair super soft. Apple vinegar doesn’t stink as much though.

  34. Maybe you should buy 28 bottles of Dove when it is on sale….

    πŸ˜‰

    I wonder if the lady with all of the mayo was donating it to a food pantry for making tuna fish salad or something…

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