It's not what you think.
Apparently there is a new trend (well, new to me anyway) to not use shampoo when you wash your hair.... "No (sham)Poo".....
I'm probably the last one on Earth to hear about it, but just in case you were out of the loop too, here's the gist. (Thank you to my friend who spoke to me about this today... you know who you are).
For those of us with curly hair, moisture can be our worst enemy and turn our lovely locks into a frizzy mess. Yes, there are many products out there to "tame", "smooth", and otherwise reduce frizz, but they don't always work. And besides, they cost a lot and often have crazy chemicals in them. You can blow dry your hair straight, but there is no guarantee that that will keep the frizz away either. And with three kids, I do NOT have time to blow dry my hair all the time. I'm lucky if I get a shower. It's getting better now that my kids are getting older (2, 4, and 6), but I still have WAY too much to do to spend that much time on my hair. However, I have vowed not to just put it up in a ponytail and actually attempt to "do" my hair as often as possible.
So, back to the "no-poo" method. (Ok, I can't really call it that. It's just weird. I'll have to think of some other name for it.) This is what I learned from my friend and some research on the internet (here). I'd like to actually read the book "Curly Girl" by Lorraine Massey, but until I have more time, I'm going with what I can get online.
1. Curly hair is more porous than straight, which is why humidity causes it to frizz.
2. Shampoos have sulfates to remove product buildup and oil, which also remove the natural oils that curly hair needs to stay smooth. (There are sulfate free shampoos, but why spend the money if you don't really need to, right?)
3. Conditioners have enough cleaners in them to use as a shampoo (without the damaging effects)..... it is important to make sure that the conditioners do not have certain ingredients that are harmful (these are listed in the link).
4. The "silicones" used in hair products causes buildup (only removed by sulfates) so if you do "no-poo" you also have to stop using products with silicone (or periodically use a special cleaner to remove the buildup).
5. Do not brush your hair and rinse with cold water just before getting out of the shower (I actually DID know this one) to reduce frizz.
If you want more details, go here.
I already only wash my hair 1-2 times a week (because I don't have the time for more and it really doesn't need any more than that), but I do use shampoo and various products to straighten or reduce frizz. I still have trouble, though, with my hair getting frizzy. And if it's raining outside or I'm in a humid climate? Forget about it. It even frizzes in a ponytail. So I have decided to try this method and see what happens. (My friend said it's been weeks since she used shampoo and it has had an amazing effect on her curls, so I'm hopeful). I washed my hair today with conditioner. No shampoo. I also did not brush it after my shower, used a cotton cloth instead of a terry towel to try it, and did not use any product. I probably should have shampooed it one more time with sulfate shampoo to remove the gel I had in it, but I decided not to (my product seems to have a low level of silicone, so I don't think I have much buildup to remove). I had to go to a school fundraiser, and I didn't have time to let it dry properly (and I didn't want to blowdry it), so I just pinned it up. We'll see what it looks like when I take it down. But it feels clean. The research I did warns me of a "transitional period" where my hair may look and feel worse before it gets better. Apparently this can last a few weeks. I'm hopeful that, because I don't wash my hair all the time already, it won't take long for it to "adjust" to the new program.
Just another way I'm trying to save money, reduce chemicals, and live a little simpler.
Here are a few more websites I found with some great information on the ingredients to avoid when trying the "curly girl" method of caring for your hair: livecurlylivefree.com, healthycurls.net, curlyhair.wikia.com, curlgirljourney.blogspot.com.
It's been almost two weeks since I started my no shampoo regime. The first few days I was pretty skeptical and my hair seemed to look worse (though this could be because I wasn't able to let it air dry after I washed it the first time). After the second "wash" with conditioner only, I was thrilled with the results. Super curls with very little frizz. Now that I've "washed" and dried my hair with the recommended steps (that you can learn with the above links) I am sold. I will continue to "co-wash" and avoid sulfates and silicones. In fact, I am so happy with the results that I have started doing the same thing with my daughter's curly hair.