I just started the “no poo” thing 3 days ago. I’ve already had very encouraging results which have made me excited, and I want to share!
TL;DR - I’ve already experienced some amazing changes in just 3 days, and I am really excited to see where this goes! It’s worth it for everyone to try, and even if it doesn’t work out, you should find some natural products to clean with as alternatives to regular shampoos that might be interfering with your body’s chemistry. Also, check out the photos at the bottom of the post!
Obviously 3 days is a very short time to really be able to arrive at any sort of conclusion here. Also, from the results I’ve read or watched of others, it seems like this can be a very YMMV sort of thing. Also, I think I’m seeing some results that are happening much quicker than average. I’m also a guy with short hair (around 2 inches on top, around an inch on the sides and back). So keep all of that in mind.
Just some background info: I’m 39, a guy, short hair. I’ve showered almost always daily except in rare situations where I couldn’t. I’ve used various anti dandruff, dry scalp and itch relief shampoos for a very long time. I’ve got a lot of hair on my head (some people call it thick but I’ve seen this to mean either more hair follicles or just the shaft of the hairs are wider - in this case it’s the former). My hair has always gotten poofy when it gets over a couple inches or so as there’s just so much hair that it doesn’t fall flat down. My hair has lots of body and volume, and at rare times I’ve seen glimpses of greatness in my hair. It likes to shape, and save for the very rare occurrence, it’s always been too dry for it to do much of anything.
I’ve had some mild problems with dry/dead skin every day after a shower on the back of my neck, back and areas around my face. I’ve also had some mild acne on my back and upper forehead. While the flakes have never been a problem as long as I don’t scratch my scalp, a lot has definitely come out when I did scratch. And I did scratch a LOT as it would also itch. I also often found little hard dead scalp bits quite frequently on my scalp. I also would scratch and rub on my face and neck and back to get off the dead skin that always would build up every day. My forehead and behind my ears has always gotten fairly oily throughout the day. My hair would usually start getting greasy about halfway through the day, increasing as the day would go on. With the constant running my fingers through my hair to scratch, I always ended up having residue on my fingers. And unfortunately that residue transferred to my mouse and keyboard as well as video game controllers, despite washing my hands quite frequently. Everything would get a slightly waxy, sticky feel that I touched regularly with my hands, and so I’ve regularly cleaned everything to prevent that buildup.
So why did I start this journey? I had read about this years ago when I was looking for some solutions to the long standing flake and itchy scalp issue. I never really took it serious and didn’t even attempt it. Just recently I started a new job, and on my drive to the interview I had my car vents on full blast to help dry my hair. I accidentally discovered just the right circumstances where it made my hair start to curl up and so I nurtured it to shape it up as a better looking hair style. But it only works while my hair is short, so regular haircuts are needed to maintain my hair’s ability to do that. So I was thinking, was there something I could do that would help improve my ability to shape my hair? And that’s when I remember reading about not using shampoo years back. So, I decided to try it.
So here’s how it went. I’ve only been doing a water rinse (and don’t intend to change that), rinsing it enough to where my hair no longer feels greasy. On the first day, I definitely noticed my hair felt different without having shampooed it. It felt thicker and more shapeable. Not significantly, but noticeable. Not long into the day, I started noticing a lot of oil production and my scalp was pretty itchy. Not terribly so, but still pretty annoying. Closer to the end of the day, I was getting loads of oil pouring down from my scalp on my forehead and behind my ears. I soaked a couple of napkins pretty good from continually wiping the oil off. By the end of the day my scalp was also hurting. It was more of a dull pain, almost felt as if a very mild acid had been on my scalp. It also seemed as if there was more feeling on my scalp, making me wonder if the shampoo was having some sort of numbing effect. I certainly should have felt more soreness from the constant scratching while on shampoo, so perhaps I’m just feeling how my scalp has been damaged from all of that.
The second day was better. A lot less oil on my forehead and behind my ears, but still not any less than I’ve had normally before beginning this. The scalp was still itchy, but a fair bit better than the first day. My hair felt better. I really started to notice how much different it was feeling. It was starting to feel more silky and smooth and slightly oily, holding more shape. I couldn’t stop running my fingers through my hair because it just felt so nice. And what’s interesting is that despite feeling lightly oily, it left no oily residue on my hands. Still getting used to how weird my scalp feels, and I’m not sure if this is a permanent or temporary change.
This is the end of my third day. When I woke up, I noticed my hair felt much less greasy than it normally would be. My hair feels even thicker and even silkier today. It really feels nice. My hair already looks shinier and even some of the faded hair color seems like it is more noticeable now. A little less itching today as well but it’s still there. The oily forehead and ears seem like they might possibly be a little better but if so it’s not much more than the second day. There’s been some other differences today though. I was rubbing my neck as is habit from getting off that dead skin for so long. I noticed it actually felt smooth and I wasn’t actually finding any dead skin! I’ve noticed there’s been less dead skin on my facial area as well! Even my upper back below my neck feels better, and the acne might even be improving on my back, although it’s too early to say. I’ve also had very mild dyshidrotic eczema, which is basically just little tiny bumps that usually only appear on the hands or feet. They don’t have a color and are just filled with water. I’ve had a very mild amount for the past couple months on my fingers, and I noticed today that there’s much less of it. I don’t know if it’s related to shampoo being on my fingers and causing it, but it’s been there for a while and all of the sudden it’s disappearing. There’s still some mild scalp irritation, but again less than the first two days. I’ve also noticed while flicking my hair back and forth that I’m hardly seeing any flakes come out. I’ve been using dandruff shampoos for a long long time, have always had flakes, and after a few days of using nothing it’s clearing up?
Overall I’m extremely happy already with my early results. Obviously there’s still a lot of time left to really assess the long term viability of this. But so far it looks very promising, and makes me excited to see what is still to come. I’m curious how my hair will look once it is all completely new growth since having started this. I’ve already noticed lately that I’ve been getting some looks from girls, and that’s not something that I’ve had happen in my life. It really gives me a lot of confidence in knowing that I’m actually attractive and that makes me feel really good about myself. I’m so happy that my hair is finally always what I wanted it to be and that I knew it was capable of being! I came into this just looking for something to help me have better control over my hair, and I’m already finding other benefits that I wasn’t expecting!
I think everyone should at least attempt to try this. I don’t think most people will probably have as quick of a change as I’ve experienced, but that shouldn’t stop you. I know my shorter hair length makes it easier, and I’ve seen in other’s testimonies that the oil can be pretty overwhelming for longer hair so it may be a more difficult push through to the end. It seems worth it even for what I’ve already experienced in such a short time.
Even if your experiment is unsuccessful, I think it’s definitely worth a look at changing to some natural products. My experience is clearly showing that the chemicals in shampoos are really disruptive to the scalp and skin. I’m getting less flakes and my face, neck and back are getting so much less dead skin. It seems like such a scam that shampoo has been keeping us in a cycle of product dependence, but it’s something almost everyone has used for their whole lives, and we just haven’t had a reason to question it. Not to mention you can see how the cycle of product dependence is compounded. The shampoo dries your hair, so many use conditioner to counteract that. Then you could get sucked into products that might keep your skin from getting oily, as well as acne products. It just goes on and on. There are natural products that don’t use the chemicals that cause these effects, and I highly recommend switching to those if no shampooing doesn’t work out for you.
If you decide you want to take this journey, I wish you the best of luck, and hope that your experience will be as good as what I’m already experiencing. This is something I wish I would have given a chance a long time ago. I’ve found it’s benefited me in more ways than I was even expecting.
I decided with all my talk about my hair, I’d show off some photos so you can see the difference for yourselves. (Photos are at the bottom of the post) My old photo is from last August (and I had showered a couple hours previous to the photo). You can see how it’s dry and poofy, and yet somehow still flat. It’s a pretty stark contrast to my “now” pictures. Also I’ve lost quite a bit of weight since the older photo. And I don’t use any product in my hair. I’ll probably post some more later on as I continue this journey so I can give some updates on how things are going.
** [UPDATE: Day 4] **
It probably seems silly I’m posting an update a day later, but there’s already been notable differences since yesterday. I also forgot to mention a couple things.
I forgot to mention that I used to get a lot of hair that I could easily pull out. I could gently pull my fingers through my hair and get several strands each time. I could just keep going and I would still always be able to get at least a single strand. I already have so much hair though that it never came close to looking thin. Well, today I tested whether I could still do this. I ran my fingers through my hair over and over, and only 1 hair came out! If I’m not going to be losing hair anymore, I am now wondering what it will be like with all new growth.
There’s one thing I didn’t realize when I posted the after pictures. Because I’ve scratched at my head a lot while on shampoo, there’d be flakes so I would always make sure to brush or shake it off. I forgot to do that before taking those photos, and I had been itching my scalp as it was still a little itchy over the previous few hours. Yet there isn’t a flake to be seen in the photos, and I have black on my shirt. On top of that, today I tried running my fingers through my hair that would normally produce flakes, yet after trying for a while there was not a single flake that came out!
Today when I woke up, I definitely noticed my hair was more oily and my scalp and hair felt more moist. My hair looked different than it normally did while using shampoo. In the shower I definitely noticed how much oilier it felt. My hair actually felt a little wavy as well. It was weird to me that the oil in my hair was starting to feel more like conditioner (which I never liked using as I could always feel the residue on my hands after running my fingers in my hair). I still rinsed out my hair for a bit until it felt like a decent oil level to me, but perhaps I’ve been a bit too aggressive.
For the first couple hours today, my scalp was itchy. But after a couple hours, the itch subsided and since has itched significantly less than since I’ve started this journey. This is why I think I might be rinsing off too much of the oil since it was so itchy after showering. I’ve also really started to notice just how much sensation I am feeling on my scalp. I can really feel the air on my scalp whenever there are air movements. I also get the sensation as if my hair and scalp are breathing. Every so often I’ve felt the sensation as if a drop of water landed on my scalp. It’s very weird feeling but I think my scalp is actually starting to sweat, which it never used to. When I run my fingers through my hair though, it doesn’t feel wet at all but it does still feel moisturized. It’s amazing to me how little sensation I used to have compared to this. Even my forehead and the back of my neck seem like they have more sensation in them. Overall though, what my scalp is really starting to feel like is healthy.
Today I’ve also found my skin is continuing to get smoother. My forehead and nose feel much softer and there’s been very little dead skin or buildup. My neck is still feeling smooth. My back is getting smooth as well. I’ve had problems with a lot of clogged pores along my sides and through most of my back all the way to my butt. It’s not something you could see looking at it, but you could definitely feel it by touching it. I have used a sponge brush to scrape off buildup every so often. I found out today there’s been a huge improvement with that. There is maybe 5% of what there had been previously! Most of my back and sides now feel smooth! Even the section inbetween my shoulders which was usually worse because it’s a hard to reach area.
A couple smaller things I’ve noticed today. I’ve been seeing less oil on my forehead and behind my ears. There’s still some, and it might actually be lower today than when I was using shampoo, making this the lowest oil production that I can remember. I’ve noticed how my hair actually has an oilier look, but in a good way. It kind of reminds me of how people’s hair has looked when they’ve done oil treatments, but very subtley. I also can’t stop running my fingers through my hair. I just love how it feels! It’s so much softer and silkier, it just feels really nice. That’s opposed to the straw like feel of my hair previously, on top of being either really dry or greasy depending on how long it had been since I showered. I also am enjoying massaging my fingers over my forehead, neck and back as it just blows me away how smooth it is getting.
All of these changes that have happened so fast are blowing me away! It’s just incredible. I could easily see how a girl that was in my situation could have gotten sucked into buying so many products, which would increase the cycle of product dependency. With all these amazing changes, it reminds me of products that claim to do miracles. I mean what if someone was selling a product that claimed to do everything I’ve experienced? Healthy scalp, no more dandruff, much healthier, shinier, fuller hair, elimination of dead skin, acne, clogged pores and more. That would sound like a product that was way too good to be true. But instead of buying a product, these are actual real results by eliminating a product.
Before I close out this update, I do have to say again that it’s very, very early into this journey to assume that there might not be any fluctuation day to day on how it’s going, or if there’ll be any negative experiences down the road. There really needs to be a long data set to really see what this will become. So only time will tell. But I’m beyond amazed at the dramatic change I’ve seen over the course of 4 days!
** [UPDATE 2] ** : I can’t believe I’m already giving another update, because I wasn’t expecting this continuous dramatic change. I’ve been taking notes and so in order to keep things more brief, I’m going to be doing a bullet point style. I’ve read a number of testimonies and watched videos now about no poo, and I haven’t really seen any well documented experiences. I don’t know whether it’s because they didn’t have as dramatic of changes or not?
A lot of these things I’m experiencing I haven’t even heard in any of the testimonies. I think maybe part of the reason I’m seeing dramatic changes is that the anti dandruff shampoos are so much worse than regular shampoo. I’ve still been using body wash (not in my hair), which is not really much different than shampoo as I believe it contains most of the same chemicals (it also says it can be used as shampoo) and also has SLS which is what is generally referred to as one of the big problem causers. Yet, I’m seeing significant improvements over my entire body despite that. So the anti dandruff shampoo must be incredibly bad. I feel with the lack of other experiences I’ve seen like this, I need to keep track of everything that’s happening so this information is out there.
My whole entire body feels like its been transformed and is still transforming. All of my hair and skin feel completely different, everything over my entire body. It’s like it’s been rubbed over with really nice lotion, and actually better. Even the oil on my forehead which is usually the worst and greasiest. Tomorrow I’ll be switching off the body wash and Zest soap I’ve been using to just bars of Dove instead. The whole reason I was using body wash was so that I could use one of those fake loofah balls to help scrub extra dead skin off my body. But dead skin is now no longer a problem, and since it is essentially shampoo also, seems best to cut it off completely. I’m also getting a haircut tomorrow which makes me a little nervous if they ask about what I did to make my hair so nice. It’s been already growing pretty fast (it does normally anyway) and getting a little too bushy for my taste (the bushiness is different as opposed to the poofiness with shampoo, the hair just looks way different but its just sticking almost straight out and makes my head look too round from the front). I’m also going to have to figure out how I want haircuts now because my hair is so different, and I’m honestly not really sure what I want so it might take some trial and error.
Anyway, here are my notes of Day 5 & 6:
- hair not feeling greasy in morning, not much increase in oiliness over night
- less skin oils and not feeling overall as dirty after waking up as when using shampoo
- skin/hair really smooth over entire body
- when water rinsing, I left most of the oil in my hair this time, and there was minimal itching
- hair oil felt like nice lotion on my hands, which still feel smooth and moist after having showered
- hair is already thicker and holding more body after showering
- scalp not itching much
- tiny amounts of dead skin in scalp near cowlick, possibly dead skin from the scalp healing?
- hair looks coarser, can see more color, some strands grouping together in a natural way and looks good
- hair seems like its growing even faster, already looking bushy
- scalp looks more like actual skin, very shiny and healthy looking
- lips might be getting less chapped
- didn’t feel that greasy in hair or skin waking up, never felt so “ungreasy” when waking up
- tried not to wash hair out too much and leave a lot of oil in. Hair feels amazing after drying off and hair is still wet. Has incredibly body and softness even when still wet after drying.
- scalp not really that itchy (but still a little)
- lips are definitely not chapped anymore and feel soft and nice
- acne on shoulders is disappearing
- hair is feeling coarser, but soft
- whole body feels different, like skin is breathing and improves how I feel. Seems like it is starting to sweat okay and not getting prickly heat (really bad itchiness from clogged sweat pores)
- hair on arms not coming out (I used to be able to rub my hands over my arm hair and a lot of hairs would come out), arm hair also feels different and softer
- dishydrotic eczema almost gone, still a tiny amount left
- feet are smoother, hard dry skin on heel is gone and feet are soft all around
- still feel the “water” droplets on scalp, might be oil? frequency of feeling them is a lot less
- seems like I’m getting much less dehydrated, not getting the feeling of a headache when haven’t drank in a while and drinking much less water. Even when not having had any water for a long time my mouth still has lots of saliva and not parched at all
- skin and hair over my entire body feels amazing like its had really good lotion (or better) put on it
- skin actually feels like its shrinking (getting thinner?). it’s very weird feeling, but it feels like a healthy, good shrinking and not something I expected at all. Perhaps now that the pores are working properly, the skin is less puffy from pores not being clogged and building up junk under the skin?
- oil on face reduced a lot but still there, but when touching doesn’t feel greasy any more, but actually feels nice and like lotion that feels good on the skin
- last day of body wash/zest soap (switching to Dove bar soap)
- getting hair cut tomorrow
- brother examined scalp and didn’t see anything abnormal and said it looked healthy (wanted to make sure before getting a hair cut)
- girls are getting flirty with me XD
I guess this wasn’t as succinct as I’d hoped. But, I can’t even express how amazed I am by what’s happening. My entire body feels different. I can’t believe how much of a scam anti dandruff shampoos are. I don’t even know anyone that’s taken anti dandruff shampoo that didn’t still have flakes. I’m going to stop short of saying they engineered this stuff to create product dependency, but for all the incredible rejuvination of health in all of my skin and hair seems by all measures to be absolutely ludicrous.
Again, I think I’m seeing significantly faster results compared to all the stories I’ve encountered. And also it might be because it was anti dandruff shampoo I was using. So perhaps regular shampoo is much less damaging, but I don’t want to say that for certain. I know going no shampoo is probably not going to work for everyone. I think though, with how dramatic of an experience I’ve been having, it’s absolutely worth a shot. I have never felt this amazing, it’s such a dramatic and total change! You need to see if this is possible for you, because if it is, you’ll be very happy. If not, at least there are still things you can do, at the very least cut shampoo usage or use natural cleaning methods that don’t strip scalp/hair/skin of oils.
** [UPDATE 3] **
Another update here for days 7-9. Things seem like they’ve normalized quite a bit and not seeing as much changes. But that doesn’t discount all of the amazing things I’ve already seen. There’s still been some stuff I’ve noticed and I’ve detailed some of my notes over the past few days.
- right before going to bed last night, my skin all felt really moisturized. Very strange feeling but it felt so good
- not greasy feeling again in the morning, can run fingers through hair and feels fine, not disgusting at all, body doesn’t feel greasy either
- used Dove bar soap, no more body wash. Skin is feeling nice and smooth and soft all over just as it has been.
- saw light reflecting off arms in the mirror and it looked different! Looked shinier and healthier, I could actually seel color in the arm hair!
- got a hair cut. A light gel was used (not by choice), as well as a little bit of blow drying at the end. I could really feel the heat from the blow dryer, more than I normally would. It’s not that I’m more sensitive to the heat, but more that I have more feeling in my scalp & skin. Not sure if either of those things will have any impact, but hair doesn’t feel as oily after rinsing off at home. When hair was being shaved off/cut, it bunched together more naturally in moist clumps rather than lots of dry little bits everywhere. I wasn’t getting all the dry little bits of hair that poke me and itch all over my ears and neck (sticking in shirt) as usual after getting a haircut.
- already noticing how much different I feel in the heat. Skin would always feel a little itchy and dry for a while before any sweat would form. And even though I’m not feeling as sweaty, my skin is not feeling like the heat is assaulting it and making me feel uncomfortable. Also not feeling as sweaty. Skin feels like it’s locking in moisture, skin feels more resistant to sunburn (and I’m a redhead although I don’t look it anymore)
- noticed some buildup on back, but rubbed off much easier because the skin was moisturized and it all came off and skin felt smooth again
- pores have shrunk on nose & around nose
- “hard” acne on forehead is disappearing as I’d hoped. They were just little bumps, basically small blackheads that would never come out and was almost like they lightly scarred over. So I’m surprised they’re coming out because I wasn’t sure they would anymore as it slowly got worse over a long period of time
- even areas that were pretty dry, like inbetween beard stubble which was always really dry, is now feeling moisturized
- some moustache hair right below nose looks darker than the rest. Not sure if it was always this way and just couldn’t tell before (I do have a some random hairs on my body that are different colors)
- as has been pattern now, not waking up feeling greasy on body or hair
- feel like I got my hair cut too short, it shapes more the longer it gets, but I’m not sure up to what point in length it’ll start going back the other direction. I just have to experiment to see what my new hair can do!
- things seem like they are normalizing for body oils, skin, scalp and hair as they seem to be just perfect
- got quite a good sunburn (doesn’t take much with fair skin). I’m quite surprised that for how red it is, it hurts much less than if my skin looked like this when I shampooed. It feels much less of that “hot” feeling. Scalp got burned too, was itching some later in the day. Hair doesn’t feel quite as oily but still feels soft. My skin with the sunburn and just being the good oily and moisturized makes it seem like it wouldn’t even be necessary to use anything like aloe or other.
- hair seems more colorful but could just be from the haircut, but hair all over my body all seems to be more colorful
- skin shrinking feeling might have been more losing weight, but just not able to feel it before because of deadened sensations
- again waking up not feeling greasy. Hair was feeling oilier again (in a good way of course) which I was wondering about with the sunburn
- getting “greedy” with oil, it’s awesome stuff and I want to keep it on my body! (before: this stuff is greasy get it off me, now: this stuff is like gold, don’t wipe it off!)
- things seems like they’re normalizing so not as much is changing now
- some back buildup again (not acne), not a bunch and nowhere near what it was before. Still rubs off easy because of moisturized skin. Skin is still nice and smooth. Could just be normal, could be from losing weight, could be from discontinuing body wash. Hard to say until farther into this journey
- sunburn has been way better than it would have been using shampoo, didn’t bother me the second day even though it was still really red and I got more sun on top of it today.
- I’ve noticed for the past few days that I’ve had a body “scent”. It’s not BO or anything smelly or gross. Just like it’s my unique smell that was never there before.
- it seems like I can feel my body better, like what’s going on inside - I feel more connected to my body - if that makes sense
- skin looks glowy. I think this happened all the way back to day 3, but I definitely know it’s more glowy now
- I am NOT used to the attention from the girls XD (girls never used to flirt with me, ever)
This journey has been amazing. My ENTIRE body feels different! Skin, hair, scalp. Such a complete turnaround! I mean, I never knew just how amazing my hair and skin were! The natural body oils really do an incredible job of maintaining skin/scalp/hair health. I came into this journey just wanting better hair and never dreamed I would experience all these extra awesome things! I would encourage you to do research and do as much as possible to find your amazing skin & hair!
I’ll probably not be posting as many updates (maybe weekly or monthly, just depends on if there’s anything to report) since it seems like things have been normalizing and starting to be pretty consistent.
EDIT: I apologize if I seem insensitive at all. I know there’s a lot of women who have struggled with this for a long period of time. I know I don’t have any experience with this and I’ve not been doing this long, but it seems like there might be things that could help. If possible, maybe cut your hair as short as you can possibly stand it when you start this journey? It should grow faster with no poo, although I’m not sure at what point this happens. It also seems like ACV/BS has caused people a lot of issues. I haven’t used them and never will, so I’m just going by what I’ve seen a lot of talk about on here. I hope you stick through it and make it to the end because it is totally worth it.
** [UPDATE 4: End of week 3] **
I’m just finishing up week 3 of my no poo experience. I must say again, it’s been amazing. Not much has changed since my last update, since it seems like even at that time things had already pretty much normalized. Things still feel about the same. I still get a light amount of acne and some buildup, but it’s way less than before - and comes off much easier.
I really think my results are abnormal, so I don’t want to get anyone’s hopes up of either getting results like mine, or getting results quickly like I have. My brother and nephew have both been doing the no poo like me, they started about 3 days after me. They have not seen much changes. My brother reports his hair and face still feel greasy, but the buildup behind his ears cleared up. That’s about it. My nephew is complaining about his hair being greasy. So not much going on there. My brother did say that he did not have the dry skin problem all over his body like I did. They both also were using dandruff shampoo like I was. So I’m not sure what the difference is here. I figured things would have been similar since we are genetically very similar. So apparently experiences can vary wildly even with those closely related to you.
All that said, I think it’s still worth a try for everyone. Some people have had awesome results like I have, so it’s worth it to at least try. It may not work. I don’t know why. I probably won’t update again since there really has been any changes since my last update. I just want to wish everyone the best with their journey and hope that they find the results that they are looking for.