It seems simple enough to keep hair clean and looking nice. Just add water, shampoo, rinse, repeat as needed. Ever since we were young, our mothers told us we needed to follow those steps. However, some people are questioning that logic and have cut out shampoo from their routines altogether. Called the “no-poo” or no washing movement, it has been getting attention in the media on news sites like Huffington Post and the Guardian. It has even made its way to Hesston College. Caleb Schrock-Hurst, a sophomore at Hesston, has been shampoo free for three years.
“No one really noticed when I quit shampooing, but when I tell people I don’t use shampoo, they always act very surprised, and occasionally a little grossed out,” he said.
The theory behind the movement is that since commercial shampoo strips hair of natural oils, the scalp overcompensates in producing replacement oils causing hair to look greasy within a very short period of time. If someone cuts out shampoo completely, then hair is free to restore its natural balance. While this has not as yet been scientifically proven, many people swear that cutting out shampoo has benefited their hair.
This theory is what convinced Adrienne Derstine, a Hesston student, to try it in the summer of 2014.
“Before my hair would get greasy every day and a half (between washes),” she said.
It took Derstine about six weeks to start seeing results, during which the hardest part of the transition was seeing her hair look so greasy. But once she got past the unpleasant stage of the transition she was pleased with the results.
“My hair looked thicker and it felt softer.”
Schrock-Hurst reported similar results.
“When I tried not washing my hair I was pleased that it still stayed clean and was easy to style,” he said. “My hair felt lighter but also less volumized.”
For those who are interested in experimenting with the shampoo free movement, Schrock-Hurst and Derstine have some advice to help with the transition.
“I would say to anyone considering trying to quit shampoo that it is not that hard or as scary as it seems, and if you don’t tell people, they likely won’t even notice at first,” said Schrock-Hurst.
“Hats and headbands are your friends in the beginning,” said Derstine. “When you’re two weeks in keep going, you’re right at the cusp of getting better. Your hair will be better and stronger looking. Just do it.”