6 Weeks No Shampoo! – Find Out What Happened to My Hair

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If you are a regular here on Gypsy Soul then you will already know that on the 1st March I decided to give ‘No-Poo’ another go after my failed attempt last time. In case you’re not familiar with the term, don’t panic I didn’t stop going to the loo. I stopped washing my hair with traditional shampoo. 

I first attempted to go no-poo back in 2013. I lasted 7 months in total but I just couldn’t get it to work for my hair. There are so many alternatives to shampoos out there that it can be hard to find something that not only works with your hair type but also with the type of water you have in your area. I’ve been informed that hard water is particularly difficult for no-poo hair care.

Related Post: 7 Months & No-Shampoo

If at Fist you Don’t Succeed…

In March this year, I decided to give it another go but this time using soapnuts which I bought from a company called Living Naturally. Soapnuts grow on the Sapindus tree. They contain a natural soap called Saponin.

People use them to wash their hair, shave and even wash their clothes. I bought my soapnuts in the form of shampoo bars.

Related Post: No Poo Hair Care – Giving It Another Go

When you make the switch from shop bought shampoo to natural shampoo there is always going to be an adjustment period. It takes your hair a while to get used to the new way of washing. A lot of avid no pooers claim that you should start to notice a real difference in your hair after 6 weeks.

So my plan was to try the soapnut shampoo bars for 6 weeks and see how I got on. Here’s what happened…

Week One

This is what my hair was like before my first no-poo wash.

no poo before shots

After the very first wash with the soapnut shampoo, my hair seemed fine. It was a little oily in some places and felt waxy after washing but I did wear my hair down that day. So it can’t of been too bad.

I used the Coconutty shampoo bar for my first wash which is supposed to be nourishing and conditioning.

coconutty soapnut shampoo bar

and then it all went downhill!

I washed my hair on Sunday and by the Tuesday it was so greasy that it was literally sticking up on its own! I did not wear my hair down AT ALL!

Week one no poo

It was at this point that I decided if I was going to continue to go down the no poo route I was going to have to grow out my fringe.

Scritch and Preen Method

My plan was to start the ‘scritch and preen’ method. Which is where you first massage you scalp to get the oils loose on your head. Then you literally scrape the oils down between your fingers to the tips of your hair. You are physically moving the oils around on your hair so that they are more evenly distributed.

I quite enjoyed doing this as it’s very relaxing although it took a good hour and a half just to do it once with my hair due to the length and thickness of it.

Week Two

By week two I had washed my hair once with the soapnut shampoo bars. I was still continuing with the scritching and preening every other night, which did really help as the next day my hair didn’t seem as greasy.

week two no poo

I still couldn’t wear my hair down at this point and had to pin back my fringe every day.

I did my second wash in week two using the lemon soapnut bar.

Lemon and avocado soapnut shampoo bar

Week Three 

At the start of week three, I had washed my hair twice with the soapnut bars. I was aiming for one wash a week but during this week I had to speak at an event called the Westcountry Wonderwoman Workshop for International Women’s Day. I really wanted to wear my hair down and look half normal so I did an extra wash during the week.

I used an egg and lemon wash which always makes my hair feel and look amazing! It got rid of a lot of the grease. This enabled me to wear my hair down but only for one day.

I started to feel a bit more positive about the whole no-poo thing.

week three no poo

Week Four

Then it all went wrong again!

During week four I was starting to get pretty frustrated with my hair as it just seemed to be betting worse and worse. My hair started to go really dark, probably because of the amount of grease (or sebum) on it.

During this week I started washing my hair with the soapnut bars about every 3 days just to try and get it looking half decent.

week four no poo

I bought a boar bristle brush which I had been told is great for anyone attempting no poo. It helps to pull the oils down your hair and I must say it did work pretty well. Although you do have to clean the brush out regularly.

As my hair is so long it was taking ages every night to brush it through. Ideally, I believe you should do it every night but I was doing it every 3 days. If you have short hair I imagine transitioning to no poo would be a lot easier!

Week Five

I have nothing interesting to report during week five other than my hair constantly looked like it just hadn’t be washed for three days regardless of whether I had washed it or not.

Week Six

By week six I had worn my hair down a couple of times but only ever for one day or night. It didn’t look particularly dirty but nor did it look clean. It was just stuck in some sort of in-between phase.

I was having to wash my hair every 2 days.

I still wasn’t able to wear my fringe down. It was at this point that I called it quits and washed my hair with shop bought shampoo. We had a wedding to go to one weekend and I just wanted my hair to look nice!

So What Went Wrong?

6 weeks no shampoo - Find out what happenedI’m not entirely sure what went wrong. I was still doing the scritching and preening every other night and using my boar bristle brush.

I was eating healthily and exercising every day so I don’t believe it was diet related. Our water had stayed the same.

I do now regret caving and washing with shop bought shampoo and I keep thinking maybe if I had just held out a little longer it would have suddenly got better.

I think perhaps if I hadn’t already attempted to go no-poo before and failed I may have continued for longer but last time I did 7 MONTHS and still didn’t see any improvement.

If you have any ideas on what I did wrong I’d love to hear it!

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Gina Caro

You may also like: Switching to Natural Hair Dye + 126 Days, No Shampoo!

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8 thoughts on “6 Weeks No Shampoo! – Find Out What Happened to My Hair”

  1. Oh my gosh!!!! I can’t believe you made it so long, that’s some serious dedication! You’re awesome. I bet your hair feels amazing now though! Kudos to you. Maybe someday (when I build up the guts) I’ll have to give it a try. Great post!

    1. Hi Megan,
      Thanks for stopping by!
      My hair did definitely feel healthier. It’s always so dry and frizzy when I use shop bought shampoo. I just wish I could get it looking clean with a no-poo method.
      I have no doubt I will try again one day, much to the other half’s disgust 😉

  2. I wish I could go without using shop bought shampoo – I would save a fortune! But my hair is just so thick and frizzy, and it’s fairly dark too, so I can’t imagine it working too well for me! Who knows, I may give it a go and be proven completely wrong.

    1. Hi Toni, I’ve been told that it’s a case of finding what works best for your hair type. That means a process of trial and error which definitely doesn’t appeal to everyone. You may be able to find some information on Google to match your hair type, it’s worth having a look and see what comes up.

  3. Never thought of trying to do it, but I have read of other people attempting it. No advice. I’m impressed you hung in so long, when it wasn’t showing any improvement. I’ve used soap nuts for clothes washing and had good results. Will you try again?

    1. Hi Cheryl, I am still using the shampoo bars in between ‘normal’ washes. If only to try and cut down on the amount of shampoo I use.
      I may go back to using the natural shampoo I used previously called ‘MooGoo’. It worked really well and clean my hair the same as any other shampoo.
      I like the idea of the shampoo bars because of the zero waste side of things but I don’t want dirty looking hair all the time 🙁

  4. Oh dear, looks like you had a bit of a rough time with no ‘poo-ing!

    I’ve been no poo for 2 or 3 years now, I had some greasy hair days to begin with, I’d say it took 2 or 3 months to settle down. I transitioned to no poo really slowly, I swapped to a SLS free, all natural shampoo bar and Lush conditioner bar, then started skipping them every other wash, then every 3rd wash, etc until I’d stopped using them. Now I hair wash with water only, I can go at least 2 weeks between washes but usually wash it once a week, and sometimes do a lemon juice rinse, or put some aloe vera or coconut oil on my hair and that’s about it. It’s so freeing, I have super thick, frizzy hair and used to spend hours washing, deep conditioning, putting mousse and gel and frizz ease on my hair and now I don’t have to worry about any of that! 🙂

    1. Hi Susie,

      I have been wondering about the Lush shampoo bars although some people in our No Poo haircare group say they aren’t that good for your hair.
      I love the fact that shampoo bars are zero waste which is why I decided to give them a go but as you’ve seen in my post the soapnut ones just didn’t work 🙁

      It’s great that you’ve found a way to make no-poo work for your hair! I’m sure I will try again with the whole no-poo thing at some point in the future.

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