What Really Happens When You Quit Shampoo?

Want to know what happens when you stop using shampoo? Take it from someone who gave it a go. I tried to quit using shampoo for 30 days and I looked like a greasy mess for 29 of those days and it was awful. Zero out of five stars, do not recommend. But some people swear this is a great thing for hair and the environment.

If you haven’t heard of it, there is a ‘No Poo Method’ of cleaning hair that doesn’t rely on contemporary soaps. This method has been around for a few years and, every once in a while, it reemerges as a fascinating alternative lifestyle in the public’s imagination.

The general idea is that modern soaps and shampoos do too good of a job and that when they are applied to hair and get rinsed away they take more than just dirt and oils, they take too much oil, which can dry out your hair. Because of this, when a person waits a few days before the next wash, hair can look even oilier because it trying to make up for all that lost precious oil from the previous shampoo.

But here’s the thing; it turns out that if you stop washing your hair it can get pretty gross. After a month of only rinsing with water, my hair smelled terrible, my scalp was itchy beyond words, and I looked awful. My hair is stick straight and fine, which meant that the oils from my scalp easily and quickly coated my hair. But all the oil collected dust, dirt, and dead skin cells.

This same observation was discussed in an interesting conversation between Business Insider and Dr. Angela Lamb who described in detail the way in which not using shampoo can lead to some unpleasant side effects.

“After six months to a year, all that gunk can clog up your hair follicles, which can prevent new hair from growing and, over time, ultimately lead to hair thinning or even hair loss,” Business Insider said. “There’s also a risk of your scalp getting infected from all the bacterial buildup.”

The idea that eliminating shampoo from a daily hygiene regiment is good for the environment has some merit. Plastic shampoo bottles as well as other single-use plastics, cause a huge amount of damage to the environment every year.

According to the Earth Day Network, people buy a combined total 1,000,000 plastic bottles per minute. That’s a mind-boggling number. Sadly, though, only 23% of those plastic bottles are recycled within the US

Groups like Unwrapped Life promote the use of shampoo bars over plastic bottles. So, if you want to skip the plastic but you cannot do the ‘No Poo’ Method, the alternative is to use shampoos and conditioners that come in the form of a bar of soap, which is a great compromise.

In the end, you don’t have to put up with stinky, greasy hair in order to help reduce your carbon footprint by ditching plastic bottles. For more ideas on ways to replace plastic in your life, check out Unwrapped Life.

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