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A young asian women washing her hair in the shower

How to not wash your hair

We’re a nation of haircare lovers here in Britain. In fact, it’s thought that the average woman spends £47,000 on her hair across her lifetime.1 While men tend to spend less than women, some reports suggest that they still spend a significant portion of their monthly budget (and time) on grooming.2 Whether you love stocking up on luxurious shampoos or prefer heading to the salon for a treatment, there’s no doubt that we enjoy keeping our hair in good condition. However, there’s a growing trend for forgoing one of the staples of home haircare: shampoo. While many of us lather up at least a few times a week, an increasing number of people choose to avoid shampoo altogether (fondly called the ‘no-poo’ movement).3

But why stop washing your hair and what are the benefits of not using shampoo? We’ve got everything you need to know below.

Benefits of not washing your hair

Avoiding shampoo might seem like a strange concept. Still, there are some reasonably logical reasons for not shampooing as much (or using an alternative cleansing method). Fans of the no-poo movement suggest that shampooing removes the natural oils that our scalp produces, leaving hair in poor shape. Instead, they advocate using a natural cleansing product or water only to rinse off grease and dirt.4

There are several benefits associated with the no-poo method. These might include:

  • May benefit hair and scalp health
  • May improve hair texture
  • Use of gentle ingredients
Many people are concerned about their hair looking greasy or oily when they stop shampooing.5 It’s thought that by not washing your hair and giving your tresses a break from chemical shampoos, your hair will eventually rebalance itself. Once that process is complete, you may start to see results.6

It’s worth considering that most results are anecdotal, with few scientific studies on whether the shampoo is really harmful to the hair. Most of the time, not washing your hair is a personal choice, and it’s really up to you to decide what’s right for you and your hair.

How to stop washing your hair

If you want to stop using shampoo, it’s a good idea to think about the right approach to suit your hair needs. The no-poo method advocates using a variety of different types of natural cleansing, as well as water-only strategies, so it’s useful to do your research before putting those shampoo bottles in the recycling.7

Some no-poo cleansers might include:

  • Water
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Egg
  • Clay
  • Soap nuts
  • Coconut oil
It’s worth considering that your hair is likely to feel quite different for the first few weeks, even if you’re using natural cleansers. Some suggest that it can take up to six weeks or possibly longer for your hair to adjust.8 You might need additional products during that time, like dry shampoo, to prevent your hair from looking too oily.9 Suppose you’re concerned about using too many artificial chemicals on your hair but don’t want to stop washing your hair. In that case, it could be worth researching what natural shampoos are available. There are plenty of organic, eco-friendly, and ethical options on the market, making it simple to find the right solution that works for you (and your locks). Shop Natural Hair Care

Last updated: 8 February 2021

Doaa Almosawi

Doaa Al Mosawi, Regulatory Affairs

  • Joined Holland & Barrett: March 2019
  • Qualifications: BSc (Hons) in Biomedical Science

After completing her BSc in Biomedical Science, Doaa worked in Research and laboratory for 3 years. Doaa was also a member of a product development team in a manufacturing company specialising in sun care and personal care products, researching and providing regulatory advice regarding international regulations.

Doaa is now an International Senior Regulatory Affairs Associate at Holland & Barrett.