NoPoo Experiment

September 12, 2010

Bad ideas, Eco-Freaky, Lloyd

Lauren’s not the only one who can do experiments. Having run out of even reasonably useful things to do this Summer, I was reduced to conducting experiments on my own body. Sometime during last winter I read that if you wash your hair everyday, your scalp “noticed” that there wasn’t enough oil around and ramped up production.

I could relate to that. I washed my hair everyday, and right after I was done washing it, I would rub some sort of petroleum product back into it. Crew-goo, a very waxy product, on those odd moments when I had a crew-cut. Got-2-Be:Playful, a pomade, during the normal hair cycle.

This did not seem like the sort of thing that you would want to embrace during the school year, so I put it off. During the Summer I started looking for information on this, and was initially stymied. I kept finding results that mentioned “NoPoo”. It turns out that this does not mean what you think it means. Instead, it’s a play on “Shampoo”.

The consensus was that everyone is different, but you can expect your hair to get a lot oilier and then for your scalp to notice that things were really pretty oily now and tone it down. People said that it took from 3-8 weeks for your hair to get to a state of equilibrium.

I began my experiment on June 28th. I told Lauren about 2 weeks later. She was somewhat more fascinated than horrified. It took about 7 weeks for my scalp to come to grips with the new situation. We are on week 10 now, and Lauren has Outed me to two people in the last two weeks. I have taken this to be a subtle way of telling me that we’re done with this now. Surprisingly enough, she doesn’t want me to go back to normal. She wants me to move on to whatever she considers the next stage of the experiment.

I'm not sure why she didn't take a front shot.

So here’s my report on stage one of the experiment:

I decided that I would go through the motion of washing my hair every morning but only use hot water. One nice benefit of this was not getting soap in my eyes. There was some talk near the start of the experiments to gradually ween my head off of shampoo, but I went the cold turkey route instead.

I really figured that I would be in the terminal stages after 2-3 weeks. So I was a little disappointed about that time and seriously thought of giving it up. I don’t think my hair looked much different (than it did after I applied the pomade anyway), and Lauren said it didn’t smell any different. But it felt rather waxy, like I was still using crew-goo.

I kept with it, and by week 7 my hair wasn’t waxy anymore. But it definitely feels different. Oily is probably too strong a word, but it certainly isn’t dry. I’m sure Lauren will add her point of view in the comments. I’ll keep you informed of whatever new direction Lauren decides for stage two of the experiment.

About Lloyd

Lloyd Sommerer is a middle/high school teacher who likes to build websites, read books, grow beards, make fun of Lauren’s prototypes and eat the sauce of the picante.

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11 Responses to “NoPoo Experiment”

  1. Brad Said on:

    I’m intrigued by this talk of a “stage two”. What are the options? Is one possibility showering without water? Will you just use chinchilla cleaning dust in a giant bowl?


    • Lauren Said on:

      Ha! First of all, I want to say that I was shocked that it was Lloyd doing this kind of experiment. Crazy.

      Stage two is to see what physical -- not chemical -- washing will do. I asked him to try using a washcloth on his head in the shower. That’s not so awful, is it? I want to see if it will change the appearance and texture of his hair.

      Stage three will be to try a baking soda dilution as ‘shampoo’ followed by a diluted vinegar rinse. Lots of no ‘poo people swear by this, and I want to see if it turns his head into a diluted volcano diorama.


  2. bekahcubed Said on:

    I love it--and can’t wait to hear the results of stages two and three.

    I tried the no-poo thing for a week before I gave up. I couldn’t handle the “detox” stage.


  3. Peggy Said on:

    I have never heard of no poo before so I looked it up and I am most eager to find out if your hair ends up being softer, more managable, thicker (yikes, that could be a problem) & shinier…all claims from the current non-pooers. Not to mention the saving on plastic for the world. You are a good sport Lloyd to try this!

    (but just so I’m clear…you haven’t used any soap on your hair since June 28th…and you’ll use the baking soda/vinegar when? When your hair starts to feel dirty? Or is it never necessary to use anything but water…once your scalp adjusts & produces the right amt of oil???)


    • Lloyd Said on:

      I decided at the start that if I ever actually got my hair dirty, I would use soap to get it clean. But getting dirty usually involves work, and I can safely say that I have done nothing in the last 8 weeks that my father would call work.


  4. Quiana Said on:

    I’ve always been tempted to try this. But I have that troubling multi-ethnic scourge of African-typical oilier complexion and hair coupled with lily white/blotchy flushed Irish skin and superfine, straight hair.

    I assume I would come out of this looking like a greasy version of the girl from The Ring.

    Bumble & Bumble makes a dry powder shampoo-like thing that you can sprinkle in though. Maybe something like that would work for Lloyd?


    • Brad Said on:

      Ha! “…the girl from The Ring.” I laughed out loud!

      That Bumble & Bumble stuff sounds exactly like what I was suggesting: chinchilla powder!


  5. Kristi Said on:

    Okay, I didn’t wash my hair this morning. Anyone else in on the experiment? How long can you go without shampoo?


  6. Kristi Said on:

    I think it’s time for an update.


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