• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com pie forums private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Leigh Tate
  • Nicole Alderman
stewards:
  • paul wheaton
  • jordan barton
  • r ranson
master gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • Jay Angler
  • John F Dean
  • Nancy Reading
gardeners:
  • Mike Barkley
  • thomas rubino
  • Beau Davidson

Have any of you stopped using soap/shampoo?

 
                          
Posts: 1
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I went chemical free about 4 weeks back. No shampoo, no shower get. Just plain water. My skin seems to have dramatically changed for good
 
Posts: 19
11
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I am so happy to have found this thread.  I have had to keep secret from almost everyone (even girlfriends!) for nearly 15 years that I do not shampoo or shower very often, usually about once a month.  Now that I have long hair, I give it more attention than I would otherwise.  Almost daily I spray it with filtered water (chlorine is awful for my hair) and occasionally use conditioner.

My big epiphany about this came when I was playing tennis regularly in Florida.  It was hot, humid, and I was soaked from head to toe in sweat.  I was in the mindset that "when you sweat, you need to take a shower afterwards".  But on the drive home, I would leave the window open, letting the air evaporate the sweat and cool my body down.  So by the time I got home I was dry, clean, and surprisingly had no odor.  Why would I need to shower?  Ever since then, I've regarded the soap industry as such a tragedy, basically making money by convincing people they're filthy and therefore unattractive.
 
Posts: 18
5
tiny house wood heat homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Hyper Crypton wrote:....My skin seems to have dramatically changed for good....



I've had this same experience. There's something to be said that our bodies know what they are doing. The oils are good for us. We overproduce oils because the soaps in the mainstream market strip them away, causing our bodies to go OH GOD WHAT THE F*CK WHERE DID THE GOOD OILS I CREATED FOR YOU GO??? I WILL MAKE MORE NOW!!

I went thru a process where I didn't wash my hair (except with water and a good scalp scrub using my nails) for about 6 weeks because I was DETERMINED to break the oil cycle my hair had been stuck in after years of regular shampooing. After all, that is what mainstream society teaches us. And, as I suspected, the overproduction of oil eventually stopped after I stopped assaulting my hair with chemicals that stripped it... I've never had more healthy hair. Same with my skin. I had a similar experience to you. I shower (nearly) every day, but it's usually a quick 3-5 minute shower of just water. Once a week I might use soap on the important bits because I do sweat so that needs to be addressed, but for the most part I've found that after a couple years of doing this, my body compensated and managed its oils itself. My hair and skin has never been more healthy.
 
gardener
Posts: 410
Location: Monticello Florida zone 8a
134
homeschooling hugelkultur monies foraging wofati building wood heat homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I tried it and at first I probably didn’t scrub my scalp enough (my hair was also longer) so dandruff was the only problem I had so I went back to ivory soap. Weeks later I got a buzzer and keep my hair at 5/8ths inch once a month then did ivory only every other night a couple weeks before dropping it altogether.  Now I only use a really natural shampoo after a haircut to get the clippings out. Never had problems with oil. Just keeping my hair short and well scrubbed keeps the dandruff down.
 
Posts: 85
Location: Franklinton, NC
5
dog books homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
First step is to cut your own hair shorter, so you have less to deal with and save on washing gear ;). Next, a couple spoons of baking soda in a quart container filled with hot water to wash your hair, then a couple splashes apple cider vinegar in a quart of water to condition. There are fancy ways to condition hair, with egg whites and such, and for the fancy among you who would like something like that I'd recommend Maurice Messegue's books, which are fantastic.
 
Joe Banks
Posts: 85
Location: Franklinton, NC
5
dog books homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Forgot to mention, as to soap. Dr. Jarvis in his book "Vermont Folk Medicine" also questioned the need for soap, and recommended apple cider vinegar (that and honey are his only two medicines, just about) as a rinse for the skin which would maintain favorable ph. He worried about the ph effect of soap on skin, and did question the need for it. As for me, I use very little. I had a supply of lye soap from a local market here in town which lasted me five years. This last year I ran out, and that market was closed, so I researched making lye soap. Dead easy to make. You need three ingredients: oil, distilled or rainwater, and lye (one can get lye at the hardware store, or make it fairly simply from hardwood ashes and water). Follow the proportions of these ingredients and the cooking instructions online, but I recommend heat-curing your soap, as thenyou won't have to stir your mixture for a day, and you won't have to cure your soap for several weeks.
 
pollinator
Posts: 221
Location: South Shore of Lake Superior
61
homeschooling hugelkultur home care forest garden foraging trees chicken fiber arts medical herbs writing wood heat
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I wash my hair with clay. Sometimes I rinse it with plain water, but if I'm more organized, I will rinse with something acidic (cold water with food-grade citric acid, or leftover coffee/tea from the day before). It took about a month for my hair to stop overproducing oil, and now I wash it a couple times a week, hoping to get to less and to be able to just quickly scrub it with sand when swimming this summer. I have average-to-fine straight hair to my waist. It used to look oily 24 hours after washing it with regular shampoo. Here's a link to the method I use - I think my hair would've adjusted quicker if I paid more attention to the consistency (was diluting too much) and how long to leave it on my hair before rinsing!
https://mommypotamus.com/how-to-wash-your-hair-with-clay/
(Her site has tons of recipes for natural hygiene & beauty stuff!)

I have only been doing this about six weeks (although I have gone no 'poo in the past a couple times), and my hair isn't at peak health yet, but it has a lot more body. Using conventional shampoo and conditioner, my hair is really slippery and flat. I like that it appears fuller now, and when pulled back / put up, it isn't slicked to my head.

I use soap to wash my hands. Otherwise, I brush my skin. In the shower, I get my hair wet, put on the clay slurry, turn off the water, brush my skin clean, turn the water back on to rinse my skin and hair. Again, when it's warm out, I'll scrub my skin with wet sand instead. If my skin feels dry, I'll moisturize with oil. If my face feels dry, I first use witch hazel as a toner, then moisturize with oil if necessary. I don't need much - my skin is really healthy and happy!

For deodorant I use this:
https://corvusbotanicals.com/collections/bathbody/products/earth-deodorant-cream
otherwise I will be stinky, probably because I still like to indulge in the occasional junk food. I think if my diet was totally clean, I wouldn't be stinky.
 
Posts: 87
Location: Rural North Texas
21
purity solar homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Cindy Skillman wrote:I tried going without shampoo for over a year—I used variously: hot water, massage, vinegar. I honestly just ended up with dirty, stringy hair. It doesn’t work for me... I’ve no doubt it works just fine for anyone who says it does... just not for me. I’ve never been much of a soap user, though, except for hands of course. When I do use soap on my body, I invariably notice a sudden need for deodorant (which I otherwise seldom need.) Weird. I guess it must interfere with my microbial balance. Maybe I ought to have tried kefir on my hair.



Start off by putting 25% conditioner into your shampoo bottle.  I went no-poo ages ago and I've helped several friends transition.  It's almost like your scalp becomes addicted to sulfates in regular shampoo.  Some people take longer than others to transition but most have success starting at about 1/4  or 3 parts shamppo + 1 part conditioner and gradually increasing the amount.  For me, I can't just use water or my scalp is so dry it's itchy and my curls turn into a frizzbomb.

My frequency of bathing depends on my activity level.  Being female, I do NOT sweat.  I glisten and if I glisten a bit too much, then the soap comes out.  I mostly make my own.  
 
pollinator
Posts: 822
Location: Kansas
197
forest garden fungi bee medical herbs writing greening the desert
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I went water-only a few years ago. I still use soap when I shower, and see no reason to discontinue that practice. I make my own soap, so no weird chemicals.

One of the reasons I went water only (I prefer that to "pooless") is that my hair had essentially stopped growing. Maybe an inch a year, if that, lots of split ends and essentially unhealthy. I chopped it off last spring and it's grown about six inches this year. I just cut it again. It's much healthier.

I was washing my hair almost every day, and slowly eased back. I was down to washing it about once a week when I decided to stop the shampoo entirely. Saves some money, my hair is healthier, my scalp is healthier, and honestly not as oily as it was before I stopped using shampoo.
 
pollinator
Posts: 228
Location: Southern California, USA
91
homeschooling kids purity books cooking composting toilet
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Wow! Seriously it was so awesome to read the many posts on here. In my circle of friends, I’m the oddball who only showers and washes my hair ONLY once a week. I use various types of the  Acure brand shampoo & conditioner, which is a 0 out of 10 on the EWG’s (Environmental Working Group’s) App: Think Dirty. I highly recommend downloading the free app which lets you scan items at the store to find out their ratings.

I really wanted to write a research paper on why showering isn’t good for people’s skin and hair because I get so much flack for my once a week. Now , if I get really dirty working with manure or sweating a ton or something, of course I make exceptions to my rule but my skin and hair aren’t usually happy with that.

I too went through a kinda training time for my hair... started at washing every 3 days, then 5, now up to 7.

I’ve tried the no poo method but with the hard city water, it felt like my hair was breaking off.

When I was in Southern Mexico, I found a shampoo bar which worked well and will help me get closer to my zero (or minimal) waste goals. One of the online reviewers said the bar lasted a friend of hers for over 1 year!

Seriously, upon reading these posts, the cliche saying rang true for me, ‘I found my tribe.’
A6A8632B-AA2B-4FB6-9695-AD0B8DECA1BF.jpeg
Think Dirty App
Think Dirty App
0B761DE0-D9E4-435B-92A3-AD9650BF9162.jpeg
Shampoo bar
Shampoo bar
 
Posts: 92
Location: Seattle, WA
37
kids personal care foraging urban food preservation fiber arts medical herbs ungarbage
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have long wavy/curly hair. I've tried co-washing, water-only, no-water, baking soda, oils, and various kitchen ingredients.

As a kid/teen I shampooed only. After all the point was just to get it clean right? Why would I bother with anything other than shampoo? My hair was a dry, frizzy mess, always tangling, and my scalp was always oily.

For many years I did co-washing only, every day, except for the occasional light shampoo when my hair got stringy, and it worked really well. A good substitute for conditioner has been a hard one. I've experimented extensively with oils, but they work differently than conditioner. Conditioner isn't just oil, but it has a very emollient surfactant in it too (this is in fact the active conditioning agent, and why co-washing can work so well over a long period of time, because there's still a surfactant cleaning your scalp).

No water, just brushing dry, worked well too. It didn't preserve my curls at all (it straightened my hair dramatically) but my scalp oils were all I used, just needed to distribute them onto my hair. This method requires daily scalp massage and brushing/finger brushing to distribute the oils otherwise the scalp can get buildup. Overall it was more time-consuming to get good results.

Eggs did nothing and mayo made my head smell like a deli sandwich for weeks. I do use gelatin on my hair about once a month or so, after shampooing. Most food proteins are too big to penetrate and do much to hair, but gelatin protein is partially broken down so some can actually enter the hair shaft and strengthen the hair.

Water-only didn't work for my hair. The natural scalp oil repels water so the scalp didn't get clean efficiently and the oil didn't move efficiently through the hair. Combing the hair while wet with no product to give it lubrication is damaging to the hair - wet strands are liable to stretch and break, and the water adds weight which exacerbates this. Even hot water didn't move the oil too well and it dried out my ends. I ended up with a greasy scalp, dried out ends, and a lot of short hairs.

Baking soda and vinegar damaged my hair. Baking soda is very alkaline and can rip open the cuticle of your hairs very fast. This is what happened to me. Even with a vinegar rinse, the birds-nest texture from the damage lasted for weeks before heavy conditioning made it unnoticeable. If you try this, start with a very dilute solution of baking soda and always always always follow-up with an acidic rinse. Hair is naturally slightly acidic and alkaline products can be highly damaging. Commercial shampoos and conditioners are all neutral or slightly acidic for this reason. Same goes with using bar soap on the hair - it tends to be alkaline unless skillfully made so use caution and follow up with an acidic rinse.

Recently I've been oiling my scalp, shampooing, and then conditioning well, but only once every week or two. In between I wet my hair and use a bit of homemade curl cream (conditioner, glycerin, and coconut oil) to enhance my curls. This is the least-work method that has worked for my curls yet, and overall uses less product than co-washing daily. I don't use a lot of shampoo - about a pea sized amount for my mid-back hair. No suds are visible.

Everyone is different. My husband has straight short hair and any conditioner or oil on his hair makes his head look plastered. I tell him to only use shampoo. Any damaging drying effect from the shampoo will be cut off before it's noticeable. When my daughter was born, I assumed co-washing would be best for her, as it was for me. However, her fine hair was weighed down quickly so shampoo and conditioner was best. However, when her hair got very curly after puberty, co-washing started working better and is what she's doing now.

For most of my life, I did not use soap on my body at all, except for my hands and if I was actually *dirty*. However after giving birth, I have had much more of a propensity to rashes and have found soap to help with that, so recently I have been soaping and moisturizing rash-prone areas of my body once a week or two. For my face specifically, I cleanse with cold cream rather than soap. I discovered as an acne prone teen that harsh soaps/scrubbing made acne worse despite what all the beauty gurus would say. I came to the conclusion that acne gets worse with stress. When the skin is stressed from being dried out or scrubbed, it will have less resistance against acne bacteria and you get acne. Cold cream or oil cleansing is much gentler and doesn't dry out the skin. It works on the principle of like-dissolving-like (oil dissolving and mobilizing oil) and it removes dirt and excess oil, but always leaves a layer of oil behind to keep the skin moisturized. As I've gotten older and my skin has dried out, cold creams still work for me because it's creates an ideal balance rather than going to an extreme. These days, a traditional cold cream can be hard to find. The famous Pond's changed their recipe and now it's just a bunch of petroleum and preservatives. So I mostly make my own with water, olive oil, beeswax, and rose oil, and sometimes a little borax to help it emulsify if needed. (look up Galen's cold cream recipe - it's 2000 years old!) In a pinch, any liquid oil will work, so I will grab a cooking oil from the kitchen (olive oil at home) if I run out of cream. I use the same cream/oil for moisturizing the rest of my body and used it on my babies instead of diaper cream.
 
Lauren Ritz
pollinator
Posts: 822
Location: Kansas
197
forest garden fungi bee medical herbs writing greening the desert
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I've been water-only for a few years--three? I'm not sure. My hair is smooth and healthy, but sometimes I wonder if my scalp is getting clean.

So today I used shampoo, just rubbed it through under the hair and scrubbed.

My hair is dead! It was really hard to brush it after my shower, it's dry and rough. I didn't realize what a difference water-only had made. I don't like it. Now I'll go back to water only, and keep scrubbing the scalp rather than using shampoo. Once was enough!
 
pollinator
Posts: 198
Location: 18° North, 97° West
56
kids trees books
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I went soap and shampoo-free for several years many years ago. I was living in a high desert sort of climate, teaching and not really getting "dirty" I scrubbed my body with a homegrown loofa and occasionally (once a week I think) scrubbed my scalp with baking soda--it's important not to do that too often, certainly not daily, it will dry your hair way out.
Why did I stop?
I moved down to an area only about 30 meters above sea level with temps over 40°C most of the year. Air quality there was terrible due to the burning of the sugar cane fields and in addition to the constant sweating, I got DIRTY! really dirty. I had no aircon, I and was doing housewife thingies all day, so I had sweat, soot, and other dirt all over me. I needed to WASH my skin and my hair.
I eventually moved back up the mountain. I didn't give up soap or shampoo--though I use bars of each now. I shower when I need it and up in the dry mountains that's not everyday.
 
Alana Rose
pollinator
Posts: 228
Location: Southern California, USA
91
homeschooling kids purity books cooking composting toilet
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Melissa Ferrin wrote:
Why did I stop?
I moved… I needed to WASH my skin and my hair.

… I shower when I need it and up in the dry mountains that's not everyday.



I think these are really good points. I think if I lived in a humid climate like south Florida or southern Mexico, I would want/need to shower more often.

In Baja California Norte, many people still burn their trash on their property. I enjoy saving water and bathing more sparingly than the average Americans I know, but my porous hair absorbing that toxic smoke (or even after I hug someone with lots of artificial perfume)… washing my hair with more than just water was necessary to get rid of those nauseating smells.

I think it’s important to pay attention to the changes in our lives and balance out those changes with our needs/wants of being a permie…  internal and external life changes: Moves, stress, exercise, jobs, environment, allergies, physical changes like hormones, or even the input from important people in our lives… can change our ‘norms’ or desired norms

My hair is naturally wavy and I’ve noticed implementing aspects of “the curly girl method” have improved my hair (and skin) like using a silk pillow case, drying my hair with a cotton T-shirt or microfiber towel (I use an old camping towel I got from REI.) Wearing natural fiber clothing also has helped me body temperature regulation with alleviates the need to shower as often. I find if I wear a polyester blouse for most of the day… I want to shower.
 
I wish to win the lottery. I wish for a lovely piece of pie. And I wish for a tiny ad:
Compost Everything: The Good Guide to Extreme Composting ebook by David the Good
https://permies.com/wiki/142750/Compost-Good-Guide-Extreme-Composting
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic