Instructables

How to get Self-Cleaning Hair: The Survival Guide (Health & Hygiene)

Picture of How to get Self-Cleaning Hair: The Survival Guide (Health & Hygiene)
Disclaimer: Much of my work is an elaboration and compilation of other sources material as such I will post my resource links at the end of the Instructable.

(Health & Hygiene)
A Short History of Hair
Human Hair is naturally self-sustaining and will clean itself without use of shampoo or hair care products (same thing applies for toothpaste, though it whitens them) if taken care of correctly. The hair on our heads is called Terminal Hair because of both its definitive coarseness and maturity. This Instructable is in reference to Human Terminal hair on the head. Hair can and will clean itself after it has been weened off shampoo and conditioner...How else did people keep their hair clean in ancient societies?

Materials
A. You + Willpower
B. Hot Water (Not scolding)
C. Someplace to bathe or shower
D. Scalp Massaging Brush (Can be bought at Amazon or in some Health & Beauty stores)
E. Vinegar (To strip Hair of excess oils)
F. Regular Hair Brush
 
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Step 1: 1. Forget the Shampoo and Conditioner

Picture of 1. Forget the Shampoo and Conditioner
1. Getting rid of your "Shampoo Habit" is the first step to rejuvenating your natural hair oils as shampoo and conditioner strip your hair of the its essential oils which prevent a buildup of dirt, making your hair dry. When your hair tries to restore these oils, it overcompensates and makes your hair greasy leaving you uncomfortable.

This process seems counter-intuitive as "Shampoo" has become a way of modern life because it seemingly keeps your hair "clean". A sentiment that is projected by many family households as well as perpetuated by the USD $ 24 billion dollar skin care industry (USD $12 Billion in Hair Care,2004). Who see their projected market as "Baby boomers are still the core consumers, but the next generation in their 40s and beauty obsessed youth are also great potential customers for skin care industry.(Researchwikis.com)" Thus if there is a large sum of money in the picture, many of the "facts" could be in fact false.

RoBear6131 year ago
Most shampoos contain sodium laurel/laureth sulfate which is not only damaging but has been linked to health problems like poor eye sight in children. It is a very cheap surfactant (breaks water tension).

Ammonium laurel/laureth sulfate (surfactant) is much gentler. It is what you find in the baby shampoos (No Tears Formula).

Massaging the scalp and brushing with a natural bristle brush help to distribute the oils.

Corn starch was one way women used to extend the time between washes many years ago. My mother grew up in the depression and she often used it to help absorb any excess oil. Then the brushing helped remove the corn starch.
nichayes15 years ago
Don't scold your hot water now, be nice to it. :)
I noticed that one, too. It should be scalding water, not scolding it.
This was more or less forced on me when a severe leg fracture left me totally immobile for 3 months. I had washed my hair daily for probably nearly all my adult life. I thought I had to do this and blow it dry to tame it as it is thick and wavy.
Having had to stop dead on this and despite my general health being bad at that time I have never had better hair. So easy, definitely not smelly!
I now still only wash my hair once in a blue moon, and it is really good condition. It is great not having to fuss with it for an hour every morning.
Although I would never have voluntarily stopped washing my hair , and just had no choice- I would recommend anyone to give this a try.
Strangely enough, if I tell anyone this, they can readily accept that we shampoo far too often for no good reason-it is just that they can't or won't break free.
ajhalaska2 years ago
I like this instructable, I am starting week four of no shampoo, and my scalp looks great, but the hair is getting very oily...I welcome it! Winter in Alaska is very hard on skin and hair, and dries it out terribly. I use a wood brush every am and pm and that keeps the scalp looking great, and also massage with my fingertips. I only rinse with water once a week because I don't like having wet hair in the cold, so I simply wear a hip looking cap to cover up the bed head in the morning after I brush.

So glad I am at this point, my hair is shinier and is behaving better than ever, and it is very wavy, so it needs the extra oils. will let you all know what it looks like in another couple weeks, so far, so good!
Would this still work if you use hair gels or heat products in your hair? (not frequently, but the occasional use...)
They will probably build up, requiring you to use something stronger, like a clarifying shampoo or regular shampoo to get rid of the build up. There are recipes for natural gels out there, usually involving aloe vera.
Foaly74 years ago
Can you dye your hair and still be able to have self-cleaning hair?
Vampberry4 years ago
This may be near impossible if you have hard water. I at least haven't found a natural way to clean hair that works with hard water.
eenmijay5 years ago
Funny that I just happened to stumble across this. I recently reached 'steady state' and I am shampoo free, with non-greasy hair. I weaned myself off shampoo by using baking soda, then using that less and less frequently. It's interesting to note that it doesn't matter how sweaty you get your hair, the sweat just rinses out once all the body chemistry is in balance. I go mountain biking in the summer, and a hot water rinse still does the job. I'm going to try the cold water rinse and scalp massager to see how that goes.
parhelion55 years ago
Have you done this personally? the reason I'm wondering is because my room-mate and I did this experiment a couple of years ago, going 6 weeks without using shampoos or conditioners. The one problem is, though, we really noticed no decrease in the amount of oil production, and thus gave up the experiment. It's possible that the grease cutting mixtures might help with that, but wouldn't that also kind of count as a shampoo? This isn't meant to be major criticism or anything, I was just wondering.
ThomasReyesOsborne2 (author)  parhelion55 years ago
Yes. the common misconception is that you have to drop shampoo completely. I found that sporadic use of shampoo will not strip you of your essential oils if you use "a small amount". I prefer this over the vinegar mixture but those work very well too.
Bardouv5 years ago
I have self cleaning hair because I'm just that lazy. Seriously, it happened by accident. Nice instructable!
I like this instructable, but I have 2 questions; Where it says "2. Shampoo and rinse as usual." that is meaning with the ACV mix, right? and would mixing the ACV with regular tap water instead of distilled water make an important difference?
Yes the AVC mixture is what it means by shampoo. Use a bit of regular conditioner (not too much) to re-saturate your hair. I have found that a small dallop of dish soap works as well. Remember that the AVC and alternate mixtures are to be used to strip extra hair oil; do not use the mixture everyday. The most important steps are showering with warm water and using a scalp brush to stimulate your scalp and keep from dandruff. Remember to use a regular bush to comb your hair if it is long to keep it from dreading.
ok, thanks.
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