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Washing hair without shampoo – is that healthy?

Shampoo? Please don’t! The natural hair trend “No Poo” demands the complete renunciation of shampoo, conditioner and other care products for the hair. How long the change will take, for whom the trend is suitable and what advantages “No Poo” has for our hair – experts provide answers.

First of all, washing hair without shampoo sounds disgusting: Followers of the "No Poo"trend no longer use shampoo. Even conditioners and cures do not get into their hair. At first glance, this may seem a little strange – but on closer inspection, there are good reasons for doing without.

What are the advantages of washing hair without shampoo?

Today, hair can take a lot of punishment. It is dyed, straightened, dried and, above all, washed almost every day. Kölner dermatologist Uta Schlossberger knows the problems that can arise from modern skin care rituals: "Conventional shampoos contain many artificial ingredients that can irritate our scalp or even cause lasting damage." Synthetic perfumes, for example, can trigger allergies. Surfactants sometimes influence the pH value of the scalp. The absurd effect is that the more you wash your hair, the faster it becomes greasy. This is exactly where the no-poo trend comes in. By consciously foregoing common care products, the hair is to be restored to its natural state.

Home remedies instead of shampoo and conditioner

There are different forms of "No Poo". The most radical: the hair is washed exclusively with water and then brushed out. The water should remove dirt and excess sebum from the hair, and the subsequent brushing will transport this sebum to the tips of the hair.

Those who do not like it quite so radical, should resort to home remedies as Dr. Schlossberger reveals. She suggests a small roadmap for no-poo newbies: "After a few days of washing with water only, use baking soda, which cleanses the scalp naturally with the sodium bicarbonate it contains." If you like, you can replace the conditioner with apple cider vinegar, which makes the hair soft and supple. For this purpose, diluted apple cider vinegar üover the hair is given. But beware: Especially during the wash, but also afterwards, vinegar smells very strong. So be sure to ensure sufficient dilution.

How long does it take to switch to "No Poo"?

Washing hair without shampoo is very easy to do – but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. The first few weeks in particular are a real test of endurance. Not only because you miss the usual care ritual, but also because your hair first has to adjust. The scalp often produces significantly more sebum, which makes the hair look greasy. In addition, there is an unsightly scalp formation. This change phase can last from one month to half a year.

For whom "No Poo" is not suitable

No Poo is not suitable for everyone, as Hamburg dermatologist Frank-Matthias Schaart points out. Some people are prone to dandruff and irritated scalp. If there is a predisposition to this so-called seborrheic eczema, the use of a medical shampoo with an anti-fungal substance is absolutely necessary,” emphasizes the specialist for hair problems. Who omits this important treatment, risks a massively itchy dandruff crust on the scalp, which gradually leads to hair loss.


– with expert advice from Dr. Uta Schlossberger, Dermatology at Kolumbahof in Köln