Hey. I came here after googling ‘no poo friendly hairdressers’ (still looking)
My story is that I stopped using anything in my hair other than water many years ago. Certainly 5. Maybe 7.
I’ve always been very fastidious about hair washing. This dates from my early teens. I went to boarding school, and one kid decided to bully me, telling me I had greasy hair. Maybe I did. I was 12. And then I was further humiliated by the school barber who decided to comment on my greasy hair in front of a room full of people. So - this, and puberty (I also had terrible acne on my face and back) caused me to rebound from my earlier hygiene regime (I have no idea what it was, but maybe my mum hasn’t told me how to wash before sending me away?). My new regime: a shower absolutely every morning, with through soaping and shampooing everywhere.
The result, for the next few years? Even worse acne, and hair that only looked non greasy if I kept up the daily chemical onslaught. That kept on til my early uni years, when an enlightened doctor, during one of my many visits to try to fix my acne, told me to dump the soap. Only use it on ‘your hairy bits’. Result? Instant improvement in the acne.
Fast forward 25 years, and I gradually started to do the same thing with my (head) hair. I don’t actually know how or when I decided to do this, which is curious. I can remember working with someone who declared that he ‘never used shampoo’, and thinking his hair looked horrible. And I remember a beach holiday a few years later when I got sand in my hair, which was hell to remove without shampoo. So, it must’ve been around that time.
So, anyway - what is my hair regime now, and what has my experience been?
I only use water. I shower every morning, religiously. I rub warm/hot water through my hair (and over my body), and do so quite vigorously and thoroughly. I then towel dry and take care to get my hair roughly in style while doing so. I let it air dry, and try not to interfere with it too much while it does so. I never comb it, I never use conditioner and I never use any of the frankly bizarre substances I see listed on this forum (flour? vinegar? eggs?). I style with my fingers (clean hands!) and I have to say - my hair is the best it has ever been on my life. I am a Caucasian Male in my 50s. I have always had fine but very dense hair, with a slight wave. Hairdressers have said ‘wow, you’ve got a lot of hair!’ to me before, referring to the density with which it grows. It is now mostly silver, with some underlying dark brown, and luckily it hasn’t thinned at all with age.
So how is it? I would say that now - every day is a good hair day. My hair is clean looking, thick, it styles as if I had the best subtle wax product in it, is silky and shiny, and just hangs together great. No frizzing away. The funny thing is - it gets better during the day. After the air dry it is nice - but almost ‘crunchy’. A slight feeling like I’ve put gel in it which has dried. During the day it gets less ‘waxy’ or moist feeling and thicker and drier. It’s just fun to play with.
A couple of times in the last few years, I have had set backs. One time, I made the mistake of trying a conditioner wash. My hair looked shit for weeks after, thin and flat and dull, until the natural condition re established itself. Other times, barbers have ruined it with all their incessant spraying with purple tinted water and combing (again - after, my hair is just flat). But always - after a few days or weeks of water washing and gentle finger combing, my hair gets back to its normal best.
A parting observation - I was reading a memoir recently about a guy who lives a subsistence lifestyle in rural Alaska, having been brought up from childhood in close contact with indigenous Alaskans. He mentioned how hunters, away from home for many weeks, would note how ‘silky’ their unwashed hair would become. Have a look at old photos of native Alaskan and other Inuit. They have incredible looking hair. Interesting.
Thanks for reading this little confessional.