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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

screw the shampoo: week 1

Well, I've gone my first week without shampoo! I know what you're thinking: jmc, what the heck are you talking about? Did I miss the first post about this intriguing topic?

I confess that I deliberately did not mention it until now. I wanted to make sure I could make it a week before I blabbed about it.

Here's the deal: I've recently read several different accounts of normal people (i.e. who have lives and don't live on the street) who went for 6 weeks or longer without washing their hair. See here and here, for example, and for a truly hilarious account, see this piece by Jason Headley. Most of the reports are positive. After a rough start, the natural oil production adapts to the new routine and the hair looks great every day without anything touching it except water.

It's not that I spend a lot of money on the small quantities required to wash my short hair, but the routine of lather, rinse, condition, and rinse again does take valuable time in the morning, time that I could be sleeping. Plus, why should I be a slave to Procter & Gamble, forcing me like a drug addict to carry around a supply of their magical potions everywhere I go?

So my plan is simple: I will not wash my hair for 6 weeks, and report on the progress. If it works out, I'll continue the experiment indefinitely...

I will be rinsing it with water whenever I shower (which is normally once per day), but no shampoos, conditioners, gels, creams, etc. will be applied to my dome. I should point out that my usual routine has been to wash my hair about 3 times per week with Pantene shampoo, then condition with Pantene conditioner each time. My hair is only about an inch to an inch and a half long, and I get it cut about every 6 weeks or so. I'm about midway between haircuts now, so if I follow through on this thing that means I'll be getting one haircut before it's over.

How do I feel after one week as a shampoo teetotaler? I think my hair actually looks slightly better than usual. All the hairs seem to be getting along well with each other and falling into place perfectly, and they even seem a bit shinier than usual. On the downside, my scalp is a little bit itchy, and I've seen some flaking come off onto my shirt when I scratch my head. I cannot see any flakes in my hair, though. As for smell, my wife took a direct snort this morning and confirmed that there is no smell whatsoever.

I'm encouraged so far; hopefully the flaking thing will work itself out over time. Who knows, maybe the change of environment will encourage those lazy slacker follicles on my bald spot to kick into action, recolonizing the dead zone with a fresh crop of sproutlings? Ridiculous, of course, but I can dream, can't I?


Blogger Ross said...

What does your wife think of this little experiment?

7:49 AM  
Blogger jmc said...

She finds it humorous, more than anything.

10:13 AM  

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