I haven't shampooed my hair in almost a year.
And before you run far, far away, let me explain: I found a very cheap, natural, and easy way to care for my hair, and it does not include shampoo, conditioner, mousse, gel, or any other mass-produced hair care product. Now, all I use is baking soda and apple cider vinegar.
Admittedly, I was a skeptic at first. I read plenty about the "no poo" method and how it can restore your hair to its natural balance of oils and help you escape build-up from all the hair care products made with lots of chemicals. But still...I had my doubts.
So I chose to stop using shampoo in November, right around the time all my friends left Uganda for the holidays so I could avoid any judgment and keep my friends if it all went wrong. And in fact, I'm kind of glad I did.
There was a bit of a rough transition time, which lasted about 5 weeks for me, when my hair was quite oily. This, I've read, is very normal. Since my hair was used to its oils being stripped away every other day when I shampooed, it over-produced more oils to try and regulate itself; so when I stopped shampooing, it took my scalp some time to get the memo and stop producing so many oils.
Another confession: I tried several methods and recipes for natural shampoos from ingredients I could find in Uganda and I stubbornly refused the baking soda and apple cider vinegar method for several weeks. I even tried making shampoo out of the hibiscus flowers in my yard and the eggs from my chickens! There was something in me that wanted to be awesomely self-sufficient and raise my own ingredients, but in the end, this was really stupid. I finally got so frustrated with my grease, that I gave in to what everyone else to the interwebs was saying and I scrubbed some baking soda into my scalp then rinsed it with a mixture of ACV and water.
And when my hair dried - OMG - it wasn't greasy!
Since that glorious day, I haven't looked back. My long locks love my boycott of shampoo - I've had significantly less split ends and, since my scalp has learned to regulate its oil production, I often go 4 days without washing!
Earlier this year, during our trip across America, I ran out of baking soda and I badly needed to bathe. I begrudgingly reached for the shampoo sitting in the shower and I used it for the first time in about 6 months. When my hair dried, it was a frizzy disaster! That shampoo stripped all those good oils my scalp had lovingly produced and I was required to use some mousse in my hair to control it. Ah, yes. This is why I don't use hair products anymore. It was a great confirmation that I'd chosen well with my cheap and dear baking soda and ACV.
I won't be changing this habit anytime soon.