Alberto VO5 Tea Therapy Clarifying Conditioner in Vanilla Mint Tea
It’s usually standard operating procedure to wash your hair with shampoo every day. While this may work for many women, it doesn’t work for me because my hair is thick, wavy and dry. No, I don’t walk around with a stinky head of hair a la Pig Pen. I “shampoo” using a cheap drugstore conditioner!
Why Skip Shampoo?
I started skipping shampoo when my hairstylist noticed my hair looked and felt overly dry. She asked what my routine was, and I told her I was coloring my hair, and then on top of that washing and blow drying it straight every day. She suggested skipping a day (even skipping two or three days if I could handle it) between washing and blow drying. That way, my blow out would last longer and I wouldn’t have to subject my hair to the daily abuses of heat styling. Another alternative she mentioned was to skip shampoo entirely a few times a week. She suggested using water to rinse my scalp and hair and then following up with a conditioner.
I did this for a few years until I realized that I hated spending so much time with my hair dryer. If you have thick, long, curly hair and wear it straight, you know it can take from 45-60 minutes to blow it out. If you’re blowing it out at least four times a week that’s four hours spent with your blow dryer! When I had this epiphany I realized, holy crap, all that time I spent fighting to get my hair straight I could’ve been doing other things like learning French or building a better mouse trap.
So about a year ago, I decided to stop fighting nature and embrace my wavy hair. That’s when I learned about the world of conditioner washing.
How to Use Conditioner to Wash Your Hair
I found the Naturally Curly site online and looked up curly hair tips. There were many posts about using conditioner to clean your hair instead of using shampoo, so I decided to try it.
When I’m in the shower I rub conditioner between my palms and then start vigorously washing my scalp with my fingertips, not nails. I add more conditioner to my palms and then wash the rest of my hair in the same manner I’d use shampoo.
My conditioners of choice are cheap drugstore ones – I’ve used Suave Naturals Conditioner in Tropical Coconut and Alberto VO5 Tea Therapy Clarifying Conditioner in Vanilla Mint Tea. I use cheap conditioners because I need to use a lot of the product – about the total of a full palm’s worth — to get my hair clean.
After “shampooing” with the conditioner, I rinse it all out and then follow up with a moisturizing conditioner. Currently I’m using DevaCurl One Condition.
I’ve found this method makes a significant difference in keeping my hair from drying out and leaves it softer and smoother.
Your Hair Will Feel Dirty When Transitioning from Regular Shampoo to Using a Conditioner Wash
If you’re going to start skipping shampoo I have to warn you that at first your hair may feel dirty until you get used to not having lather. It does take time to get used to not having bubbles. You may want to transition by alternating the conditioner wash with your regular shampoo for a few weeks, and then going every two days, then three days, etc., and thus slowly weaning yourself off your shampoo as you get used to the feeling.
Also, if your hair is fine and limp this method may not work for you because the conditioner at the roots may way your hair down.
Working Out When Using a Conditioner Wash
I’ve read that some women on the Naturally Curly website skip shampoo entirely and solely use conditioner to wash their hair. I can’t do this – I work out daily, so my scalp starts to feel gross if I don’t use a lathering shampoo at least once a week. What works for me is to shampoo my hair every day with conditioner, and then use a lathering shampoo every third or fourth time.
Your Shampoo Free Options
If you decide to try decreasing your shampoo use or going shampoo free, here’s a summary of your options:
1. Skip a day between washing and blowing your hair dry, or even try skipping two or three days.
2. Skip shampoo entirely a few times a week and wash your hair with water. Follow up with a conditioner.
3. “Shampoo” with a cheap drugstore conditioner and follow up with a moisturizing conditioner.
For some unknown reason I woke up at 5:30 in the morning. I’m sooooo not a morning person … I love the nightlife, I love to boogie on the disco ’round (oh yeah). As you can tell, waking up pre-dawn on a Saturday morning makes me wacky. But it’s the weekend, so it’s all good. Whatever your plans are, I hope they are fun and involve somebody you love (or at least have a crush on).
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,