Conditioner Only Washing (No Shampoo) | Crunchy Beauty Tips

Facebook fans: You spoke and I listened! Here is the first in our series of crunchy (read: natural or low-effort) beauty tips. I don’t pretend to be a beauty expert, but I know what makes me feel good. And if it makes ME feel good, maybe it’ll make some of you feel good, too! If you don’t like this series you should probably become a Facebook fan so you can shout me down when I float these hair-brained (HAIR BRAINED, GET IT?) schemes of mine. xo Rebecca

How I gave up shampoo and made my hair better!

What’s blogging without a giant confession, right? I have one. But first, I have to say, I can’t even believe I’m doing a Beauty Tips post. I’m no Audrey Hepburn or Audrey Tatou or any other Audrey for that matter. I’m a stay-at-home mom of five boys. BOYS. I ask them to brush their hair and they run screaming from me like I’m brandishing a hot poker at them instead of a hairbrush. I grab for a warm washcloth to fix a pudding smeared face and the screams might make you think I’m wiping them down with acid. I suggest that perhaps they might want to change the shirt they’ve been wearing for a week solid and it’s greeted with a befuddled look, shrugged shoulders and a “NothankyoumomI’mcomfy.”

In short? I’m pretty much on my own here. I don’t even have a frame of reference for what is trendy or hip or even socially acceptable any more, so honestly, I don’t know how many people are going to get squeamish over what I’m about to say.

…Which is this…

I haven’t used shampoo in two and a half years. Yes. That is my beauty tip. No shampoo. (I can hear you now, “…And you’re surprised your boys are gross?”)  Obviously there’s a bit more to it or everybody would be doin’ it, right?

Here’s a little history. After I had my youngest son a little over nine years ago, I felt perpetually rumpled. I had just given birth to my fifth child in eight years. Translation: I was lumpy and hormonal. Translation of the translation: out of shape, shedding hair like mad and had spotty skin. The hair that remained attached to my head was scarcely behaving better than the stuff that fell out in handfuls in the shower/on my pillow/standing still. It was cottony looking, dry and my scalp itched like mad. (Boy, do I sound like I was a looker or WHAT?!?)

I embarked on a path that seemed like a good idea to clear up my lumpybumpy body, skin and hair problems. I started buying expensive creams and shampoos from the salon. And that? Well, it didn’t work and it left me with bottles and pots and jars and squeeze tubes of things that were disgustingly expensive and useless. Then I tried all-natural shampoos/conditioners/beauty products. That didn’t work at all either. And the blue aloe mud bug organic herbal tinctures and shampoos and salves and whatnot were even more expensive than the professional products.

About five and a half years ago, my bathroom closet was overflowing with what amounted to more than a car payment’s worth of things I’d never use again. As a last ditch effort, I turned to the internet and googled a string of keywords that sounded like the punchline in a fairy tale:

“Straw, Hair, Pimples, Balding, Magic Shampoo, Smooth, HELP”

Rumpelstiltskin didn’t show up, but I got a list of websites that said, “No Poo”. “But I’m not constipated, my hair just looks like cotton balls!” thought I, until I read a little further. These blogs were all talking about giving up shampoo and solving their hair problems. “Er, okay. Whatever.” But I was desperate enough at that point to keep reading.

Over the next couple of weeks, I tried the baking soda/vinegar solution that many no-poo-ers recommended. That worked for a while, but left my hair feeling sticky. My husband had sniffed my hair when I got out of the shower and told me I smelled like a pickle. (From him, that’s a compliment. Hubby loves pickles.) I, on the other hand, missed the pretty smells of shampoo.

I tried Wen by Chaz Dean because I saw the commercial on television and any guy who can toss his hair like the Breck girl seems like a pretty solid authority on silky hair. The problem there was that it was insanely expensive and I had long hair. I knew it wasn’t a tenable long term solution and I was only feeling so-so about the results so it was tough to justify the cost.

I turned back to the omniscient interwebs for help and discovered yet another no-shampoo group who was less intestinally know as the co-only (short for conditioner only) crowd. The long and short of co-only is that you only wash your hair with conditioner. Again, there’s a little more to it. You can’t just pick any old conditioner; it must be a silicone-free conditioner to keep from weighing your hair down. There’s good news, though. ANYTHING in the Suave Naturals line is silicone free. In other words, one of the cheapest conditioners out there is perfect for the job, and it’s a good thing, too, because co-only washing consists of massaging palms-ful of conditioner in your hair and scalp and letting it stay there (preferably under a shower cap) while you complete the rest of your shower then rinsing it out.

In October of 2010, I tried it. I didn’t really have any great expectations. I figured I’d get out of the shower and find my hair lank and greasy and my scalp itchy. “This is it,” I told myself, “If this doesn’t work, I’ll just cut my hair short and go back to using shampoo.” I was shocked to find it was the opposite. My hair felt as smooth as silk and not weighed down in the least bit. For the first time in almost a decade, my scalp didn’t itch to the point where I felt like clawing it off. And ladies? When I tell you my hair looked good, I mean it looked goooooooooooood. As in it behaved and did what I wanted it to when I wanted it to do it with little effort and almost no product and smelled pretty to boot.

The next time I went to my hairdresser, I screwed my courage to the sticking point and confessed what I was doing. She said, “Wow! Are you kidding? Your hair looks great. I’ll have to tell some of my other clients about this.” I haven’t looked back from that point on and I’ve been conditioner only washing for four and a half years now. IMPORTANT UPDATE: My hairdresser has gone on to recommend this to many of her clients and they have reported back with great results.

How I gave up shampoo and made my hair better!

I wouldn’t yank your leg on this, folks. It truly has been the holy grail for me. When I gave up shampoo, it didn’t just clear up my hair problems, it eliminated my skin problems completely. The pimples and acne that I had been blaming on my poor choice in beauty products and/or hormones went away almost overnight.

What I learned AFTER finding what worked for me was that shampoo was stripping the natural, protective oils from my hair and scalp and face (by virtue of its proximity to my hair- thank heavens). In order to make my skin and hair behave after doing that, I had to replace what I could with conditioner in my hair and lotions on my face. For whatever reasons, my fish-belly pale skin was too sensitive for this routine. Eliminating the shampoo/conditioner cycle did the job for me.

Is this a solution for everyone? Maybe, maybe not. Some people have reported an adjustment period where their hair  and skin acted like a petulant, oily child for a week or a month or so before becoming bouncin’ and behavin’. I had zero funky down time with my hair when I switched to conditioner only. In the interest of full disclosure, I have never in life been a wash-my-hair-every-day kind of girl. The only time I’ve washed my hair two days in a row is after exceptionally sweaty gardening excursions or after a child threw up in it or used my hair as a napkin or -worse- a hanky. Oh, come on… you KNOW it’s bound to happen with five kids, right?

How I gave up shampoo and made my hair better!

Here’s my point. It’s worth a try if you’re frustrated with how your hair is treating you or horrified by the amount of money you have to spend to make your hair do what you want it to do. Let me break down the specifics on how I conditioner only wash my hair.

How to Conditioner-Only Wash Hair:

  1. Wet your hair thoroughly in the shower, massaging your scalp.
  2. Squirt a palmful of silicone-free conditioner into your hand and massage it into your scalp and the hair near it.
  3. Squirt another palmful of silicone-free conditioner into your hand and massage it into the rest of your hair. Repeat this until all of your hair is saturated with the conditioner. If your hair is thick and lower-mid back length like mine, you’ll need about 4 palms-ful to coat your hair and scalp.
  4. Pile your hair on your head to keep it out of the shower stream. If you have one, put a cheap-o shower cap on to keep the conditioner from rinsing away.
  5. Complete whatever else you need to in the shower; wash your bod, shave, whatever.
  6. Add a splash of water to your hair and scrub your scalp again, then rinse your hair fully.
  7. Dry/Style/Whatever your hair as usual. For me, most often this means blow-drying my bangs so they don’t lay funny and letting the rest of my hair do whatever it wants. This is what works best for me!
  8. Do this two to three times a week. Unless you’re working out HARD daily or having someone wipe boogers in your hair, this should be sufficient.


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How I gave up shampoo and made my hair better!

I’m feeling a little sheepish about even bringing this up here, so help a gal out. What do you think? Am I nuts? Would you ever try it? Do you want to sniff my hair to verify I don’t smell like a fryolator before giving it a shot or is this just completely off the table for you? Talk to me!

How I gave up shampoo and made my hair better!

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Update: This post was originally published February 15th, 2013. Because it has been more than two years since publication and because I am still going co-washing strong, I wanted to bring it back to the front for the benefit of those who may not have seen it yet. The number of people for whom this has made a huge difference -as evidenced by the comments below- is pretty awesome.


  1. says

    seriously, people, rebecca has the best hair EVAR. (yes, valley girl style). sadly, i learned about this whole co-only business after two years of wanting to pet her hair (only a little), and right after i bought a gallon each of fancy shampoo and conditioner. when that stuff’s gone, i’m going to co-opt the co-only.

    real-life friend

  2. Jeanene says

    Great post! I have been no-pooing for a while, the baking soda and vinegar routine, and haven’t had many problems. I might have to get some conditioner and give this a try though! I do tend to have an itchy scalp, but it’s much better since I gave up shampoo.

      • Michaela Watts says

        Yes! This ACTUALLY works! I’ve been doing it for a couple weeks now and my hair feels and looks awesome! Shampoo did terrible things to my hair, dried it out like crazy considering I have very thick but fine hair. I greatly recommend this to everyone!!!

          • says

            Hi there! If you read the body of the post, I’m pretty sure I mentioned that I used Suave Naturals Coconut Conditioner. It is thankfully wicked inexpensive and widely available at Walmart, Dollar General, Target, and many grocery stores.

  3. says

    I used to be a wash EVERYDAY kind of girl but as I have let my hair grow out I have noticed it looks better to wash every other day. I still am dealing with very oily hair and skin though….I just might try this.

    • Gaby says

      I’m not gonna lie. I was going nuts because i ran out of shampoo and i came across this and i’m about to try it out! I ALWAYS finish my shampoo before my conditioner because of my long hair, and i honestly can’t wait to try this! If it works i’ll be sticking to it.

      • says

        That’s awesome, Gaby! That’s one of the exact problems I used to run into. Hair down the middle of my back and I always ran out of shampoo first. 😀

  4. Kym says

    I’ve been conditioner only for about the same period of time, and my naturally curly hair is AMAZING. The best, healthiest hair I’ve ever had. I wholeheartedly recommend it!

    Ps: I just found your blog a few weeks ago and ohmygodiloveitandimahugefangirl…. Ahem. Thanks. We wnt speak of this again.

    • Leslee Caauwe says

      I’m going to try this as well. I have fine hair and because I have to take Rhumatoid arthritis medications it has been thinning lately. My hair is white so it looks like I’m going bald in spots. A friend sent me your link. Thanks for the info.

  5. emily W. says

    Sooo… I’ve been an Aveda girl for several years now, but after my husband realized how much the stuff cost he decided I need to find something else. Poop. I was thinking about asking for shampoo and conditioner for my upcoming birthday (uh, hello lame), but then he went all awesome on me and sprung for tickets to Cirque’s Quidam, of which it has been a (nearly) lifelong dream of mine to see live. Anywho. Point being…
    This post could not have come at a better time as I a) am about to run out of my Aveda, b) was interested in but rather skeptical about the vinegar methord and c) happen to have an abundance of Suave natural shampoo/conditioner sitting under a cabinet taking up space. So…seriously, thanks. I’ll have to try this. After church on Sunday, though. I can wear at a hat to the gym. Not so much to church.
    P.S. Is it creepy that I think we’d be buds in real life? Do you get that a lot? Except I’m way behind on Dr. Who. As in never seen it. But all my good friends have.
    P.P.S. Looking out for more crunchy tips…

  6. says

    I remember you telling me about this a year ago. I never tried it because I exercise so vigorously every day, I couldn’t imagine not washing my hair. But maybe… I don’t know. You know how Orphan Annie curly I am. I willing to bet it wouldn’t work on my nest :( I’d kill for your hair.

  7. Alexis S says

    I feel like I’m right at that stage where you were trying all sorts of expensive products. None of them really work! The price of my hair and face products increases with each child I have! haha! It’s getting ridiculous and I’m running out of options (that don’t make me feel super guilty for buying). I’m DEFINITELY giving this a shot!!! Thank you :-)

  8. Marian says

    I have fine hair and I’m in my late, God help me, 50’s. It’s also oily, so I wash every single day and I do not use conditioner. Ever. I let my hair air dry. I don’t have any problem with not rinsing until I’m done with the shower because that’s my routine. I’m having a major c-spine surgery real soon and showering and washing my hair could get to be an issue so I’m game to try this. I use Suave anyway. My hair has been falling out from pain meds or something, maybe stress. I’ve wanted great hair since I was a kid. Am I going to come out with a great neck (after 4 tries) and great hair? Finally?

    • says

      I hope your surgery goes smoothly, Marian! I’ll say a prayer for you. And please let me know if you try out the co-washing! It really did make the difference to me.

  9. wenders says

    Thank you for this post. I seem to be ok with the shampoo/conditioner I use, and I switch it up to what’s on sale at Costco. But…I have been wanting to try the all natural, no shampoo business, because it’s way cheaper, and the shampoo ingredients are all foreign….I’ve been just too scared and lazy to try. However, I have never heard of the conditioner-only method. And to use Suave too boo! Funny thing is, I’ve been avoiding Suave shampoo because it seems to strip the oils from my skin/scalp. I used it in college and gave me the itchy skin. But…. the Suave conditioner is actually helpful? That is news to me….so for that alone, I thank you for this post!

    My pre-teen daughter seems to have itchy, dry scalp even right after she showers….I’m inclined to have her give this a try. And my aging MIL, whom I help wash her hair, seems to be shedding a lot of her hair when I wash it, which has been concerning, and we were just using V05 shampoo-only. And well, she just ran out of shampoo yesterday and I need to get her more. Perhaps I shall try it on her too, and skip the shampoo altogether and just use conditioner!

    Other than Suave, what other silicon-free conditioners are out there, and does the conditioner out right state that it is silicon free or that the words “silicon” is listed in the ingredients? We get V05 when it’s on sale, will that work?

    Thanks again for your willingness to post this, I have certainly learned a lot!

  10. BornInaZoo says

    I’ve been conditioner only for 7 years. The last time I went in to get a trim there was a new stylist at the salon. When she saw that my stylist didn’t wash my hair before conditioning she said, “I think you missed a step.” All of the other stylists told her that I don’t wash my hair. (They know me well.) By the look of shock on her face, you’d think she was about the get run over by a Mack truck.

  11. Rie says

    My sister-in-law has become a devotee of the Big-name (read: expensive) no shampoo stuff. I am going to pass this along to her. I think I will give this a try myself when I run out of my shampoo. Thanks for sharing!!!! Please continue to post “stuff” like this as I don’t have a face book account (I know…….please don’t think me crazy). So enjoy your blog. Have made several recipes and planning on doing the clarifed butter today/tomorrow. Wish I had your Amish neighbors as suppliers….You are a lucky girl….

  12. says

    Yes! Yes!!! No-poo is a big thing in the curly world. We NEED those scalp oils to help our curls look pretty. I use a LOT of product to tame this mane, so when it starts getting gunky, I mix a paste of baking soda and water and scrub out all of the build-up….then follow with a good deep conditioner.

    It’s funny, whenever I get my hair cut, when they ask what products I’m using and I say, “no shampoo,” they quietly say, “good job…keep doing that!” I guess they don’t want the salon managers to hear them NOT selling product.

    You DO have the prettiest hair, Rebecca!

    • says

      Aw thanks, Bridget! I envy your gorgeous curls and I think it’s funny that we’ve spent this much time together without divulging our mutual no-poo status. :-)

  13. says

    Read this post this morning before I showered…so…conditioner only!! – Hair looks great today and my scalp feels very good. Early days but I have very high hopes.

    For the record: I have fine, oily hair – my skin no longer oily – I’m 57. I have rosacea which got to the “pimply” stage the last 2 years and I hoped it was just m-pause but I’m done with all but the occasional hot flash and the rosacea continued. Finally got the rosacea under control with an intense course of anti-biotics and a follow up very spendy cream at which point it retreated to my scalp. My latest try at the scalp part vs another round of anti-biotics is a black seed cumin shampoo and conditioner which seemed to help. Also taking the cumin oil internally.

    Brings me to this morning and I used the cumin oil conditioner only so will see how it goes. Co-only makes a lot of sense to me. It may be that with my oily hair, I need to use a bit of ‘poo every couple of days or once a week. But bottom line, thank you for the post and good luck to all who try it. Itchy head is no fun!

    • says

      It has been a week and a half and I am still on conditioner-only (every day) – a good water rinse, then conditioner. I am using EO Rosemary-Mint instead of the cumin stuff.

      Had my hair trimmed yesterday and my stylist was amazed and is going to try it for her own hair. She has one other client, a man, who does this.

      My mom, 77, started also. Her hair is dry and she normally shampoos every other day…no co only and experiencing a more comfortable scalp and more manageble hair.


  14. Terri Betz says

    Def trying this! My hair is as long as yours and I’m still using shampoo n condioner. But… more! Tonight I will use just my ceapo Suave natural conditioner! Awesomeness! Wish me luck! So jazzed about trying this! Thanks!

  15. MomToOne says

    I’ve tried this once for a few days, I liked it…. But I have lots of expensive shampoo and conditioner I wanted to use. As someone who has never cut or trimmed her hair its important to me to take very good care of it. The past couple years I’ve been using the expensive salon products because they work so much better, but once I’m out of shampoo I’m giving this a shot again. Thanks for sharing. I’ve never been a wash everyday person either, hair does better if you give it time for the natural oils to redistribute. On a funny note did anyone else think of Weasley Wizard Wheezes when they read no-poo? Worrying about you-know-who, you should be worrying about u-no-poo!

  16. Amber R says

    I have been experiencing some hair loss and an EXTREMELY itchy scalp since my early twenties…I am 33 now. I have tried all kind of shampoos (OTC and prescribed) to battle the itchiness and every doctor has been baffled by my hair loss. I am so trying this! Thanks so much for posting this tip, I look forward to more in this category (I am a new subscriber to your blog and I love it!)

  17. says

    Well I’ve never had trouble with my hair or scalp, but I do have trouble with itchy, blotchy skin, esp. in the winter. So I use olive oil on my skin. It’s supposed to get rid of acne as well — oil cleans oil. I would guess that’s how the conditioner part works as well. I’m definitely going to remember this though. Thanks for such a great post!

  18. Anita says

    I tried Wen about a year ago when a friend gave it to me for Christmas – I bought one more bottle after that (on Amazon) but it was just too expensive for me, though it worked really well. I then tried the Sally Beauty Supply brand which was decent, but not as good and now I’m onto DevaCurl (also bought on Amazon). Since I started Wen, I only wash 2-3 times a week, even when I exercise (I often rinse out afterwards) and my hair is so much more vibrant and curly than before – I’m not quite orphan Annie curly, but close. I now get compliments all the time on my hair and I find that it’s easier to manage. I can’t wait to try the Suave method after I finish this bottle of DevaCurl – so much cheaper! Thanks for sharing!

  19. Jen says

    I heard someone talking about no-pooing at work and then I see your blog and now I’m definitely curious! I have medium-length hair that use to be thick and wavy, and in the last few years I’ve developed an autoimmune disorder that has dried my skin and hair our something fierce! I shampoo every day and condition every few days and never felt like that worked… My question is: does the conditioner really clean the hair? I often use hair products to set whatever style I have for the day and am concerned that using just conditioner wouldn’t get the product out and it would start to build up…

  20. says

    This is almost exactly what I’ve been doing for the past few weeks. I believe this is pretty similar to the curly girl method (at least my understanding of it). I have incredibly thick, naturally curly hair and it’s been slow progress for me, but I actually wore my hair down and curly the other night, which is a huge step for me! The no-poo didn’t really work for me when I tried it.

    Glad to know this works with straight hair as well. Your hair looks great and keep those crunchy posts comin’!

  21. tammie says

    I use Suave Naturals conditioner as shampoo, also. My scalp started itching around 2010, and I started trying to research it and fix it. Hadn’t heard about the shower cap and letting the conditioner sit, I will have to try that. The vinegar rinse made my hair sticky, but after a while of using the conditioner, the baking soda rinse works as a shampoo for me. I also started using California Baby as shampoo/body wash…. its expensive, great when I’m late and in a hurry but my hair is better when I don’t use it. I wanted to try Wen, but same as you I have long hair, and no sells it where I live. I was really glad you wrote a review of the product. I’ve tried the coconut milk and Dr. Bonner’s… lol I’m not sure making homemade laurel sulfate (sp) is any different for your hair than buying it, but of course I had to try it. :) Still like the co-only or baking soda rinse followed by suave conditioner better. As someone who has found relief and better hair through co-only, I wanted to say hey, I do that too! Also because I never know what to say when people ask me what products I use in my hair. lol I just say baby shampoo, I’m too squeamish to say I only use baking soda sometimes and mostly just conditioner. I also started using Aloe Gel for my hair gel, just to minimize the chemicals going near my scalp and because my hair is curly/frizzy/a pain so it needs something to calm it down. Glad you spoke out, thanks for the post and I can’t wait to get a shower cap (haha never thought I’d say that!!) and try leaving the conditioner in longer. :)

  22. Jen says

    I haven’t used shampoo either for over 3 years and I love it. I have naturally curly hair and it has never been healthier. I’m impressed that you can do it with you long straight hair. And your hair is beautiful!

  23. Wendy says

    I think this DEF is worth trying! You researched a long time and it’s been working for you awhile, so I say KUDOS!

    Will let you know my results and thanks!!! Best, Wen

  24. Dixie G says

    I’ve been no-poo, conditioner-only for going on 7 years now and it’s the best! Not only is my hair manageable, but I can go for 4 or 5 days between washes if I want, I have next to no split ends, and my hair is always shiny and never frizzy. It’s the bomb-diggity!

  25. Jennifer says

    Thank you for sharing! You mentioned that not using shampoo has also helped your face. So, I guess I’m already asking for another crunchy beauty tip…what do you use to wash your face? Face moisturizer, or is that necessary for you? I’m 35 and a mother to three boys. I feel like it’s time to have a little more of a beauty routine, but I’m not willing to break the financial or time bank. Take care. :)

  26. says

    LOVE THIS. I use WEN right now and I find that when, I men wen I do, it’s softer than when I use normal shampoo. But I have some other conditioner I’m going to try once WEN is out. Cuz that ish ain’t cheap!

  27. Courtelizab says

    I haven’t been able to get my hair to grow since I pixie cut it after the wedding..It just keeps breaking and they have to cut it off again! I’ve been thinking about this non stop since I read it. I think I’ll give it a shot.

  28. Karen B says

    I will give this a try….I was told by a stylist don’t “poo” every day just rinse a couple of times a week. I tried that but my hair seemed dull. I have very fine naturally curly hair and not a lot of it. Your hair is beautiful and thanks for sharing this with us. Just because they sell it and we use it doesn’t make it good for us.

  29. Kelley {mountain mama cooks} says

    I’ve been on the no shampoo thing for years. I thought it was a curly thing but obviously it’s working it’s magic on you too! I don’t do the conditioner thing more than 1 or 2 a week. I’m below low maintenance……

      • Arlene Cohen says

        I have very short fine hair that has been falling out. I will give the no shampoo a try.
        Did you find that your hair stopped falling out? How long before you noticed a difference?
        Thank you

  30. says

    I went conditioner only a little over a year ago now and haven’t had any problems. It’s great! I look for sulfate and paraben free conditioners and Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Conditioner is great (and budget friendly).

  31. Michelle says

    This is great! I will try it tomorrow! I have super dry skin/hair and since having kids and getting into my 40s, plus well water, my curly hair has been the bane for me! I’ve done the expensive shampoo/conditioner thing, masques, nothing seems to work! This might be the ticket, thanks so much! Also, love your site!!

    • says

      You’re awfully sweet.. Honestly, I wash mine between two and three times a week with the conditioner. When I don’t have to go anywhere, and I’m feeling particularly lazy, I only wash between one and two times. I just keep sounding better and better, right? At that point, my hair is a bit greasy, but that’s my fault, not the fault of the conditioner. :-)

  32. says

    Yesss!! While I don’t have kids, I have particularly dry hair and the solution I found is a combination of not washing my hair every day, using only conditioner (as you described) most of the time, and using a sulfate-free shampoo max twice a week. I find my hair gets a bit stinky w/o the shampoo (I do a lot of physical activity) and the reduced number of uses has proved the solution for me. I use ‘Yes to Carrots’ shampoo & conditioner.

  33. Kirsie says

    I have a quick question. When you say to do the process 3-4 day a week. what do you do on the otheres? just wet it and leave it? or do a tiny amount of conditioner?

    • says

      On the others, I do nothing, honestly… I have very dry hair and skin, so it’s okay. I’d imagine if you had oily hair or skin you’d probably want to rinse well with hot water.

  34. Karn B says

    Ok Rebecca I was a little unsure about all of this but I went out and bought Sauve conditioner. I got up a little early this morning and gave it a try. Well I am so impressed…..I thought my hair would be greasy looking and I would have to wash the conditioner out but I didn’t. It looks great and this is only day 1!!!! I have very fine naturally curly hair which I wear curly and it looks and feels fantastic. I can’t wait to see what my hair is like after a week or a month of doing this. Thank you so much for sharing….I love your blog and I can’t wait to make Grandma’s cookies with my Granddaughter. :)

  35. Amy says

    Two questions. 1) I looked at my conditioner and it doens’t have silicone in the ingredients… but I wondered if this is something specific to look for on the label. And 2) Does this really work on one try? Or does it take time for your hair to adjust?

  36. Lillian says

    Thanks for all of this! Does anyone know if you can use this “no-poo” method if you have colored hair??? Thanks!!

    • Wendy says

      I have colored hair and have tried it and it works great. In fact I don’t need to use a flat iron any more. I have straight hair but used the iron to get the polished shine I was missing. Also my husband (very short hair, but not colored) has tried it and likes it.

  37. says

    I’ve been thinking about trying this for a while but your post gave me the push I needed. I went conditioner-only this weekend and so far, it’s awesome!

  38. says

    What do you think this will do to short hair…I mean really short. Over my ears short. As much as I am interested in this idea, I worry that I will have flat greasy hair. This especially since I don’t have long, flowing locks to begin with. Anyone with a short cropped ‘do try this before??

  39. Jennifer says

    Love this post! I still shampoo, but only every third day or so (even if I run on the no shampoo days). I do “wash” with conditioner on the other days I shower. I have curly (and color-treated) hair, chin-length with layers, and I swear it looks best on that third day of no shampooing!

    I have also taken a similar approach with washing my body…and this is where I shy away from confessing to those around me. But, I wash everything once a week, and just the “dirty” parts (underarms, lady parts, feet) the other days. I try to bathe my kids only once a week, too. Yep. They’re girls and young, so maybe they don’t get so messy… But, my older daughter (5 years) has never had her hair shampooed more than 1-2x per week her whole life, and her hair is absolutely gorgeous. Anyway, enough of me. Thank you for this post – I am a huge fan of this “crunchy” beauty stuff!

    • Lydia says

      Question. Do you condition everyday then? My hair has always been super oily so I’ve always washed everyday with shampoo

      • says

        I do not condition everyday. Depending on heat and activity level I do it every third day or so. It it’s really hot out or I’ve worked out hard, I might rinse it daily, but that’s about it!

  40. Sonya says

    I actually started doing this a week ago after stumbling across it on another blog and I will tell you so far I am amazed! I have incredibly oily skin and hair and have suffered with Seborrheic Dermatitis for nearly twenty years. I have tried every single dandruff related shampoo known to man and have fought with the frustration of my unruly flakes to no avail. I am a licensed esthetician and have spent countless hours studying the skin and how it reacts and finally determined that stripping my skin of all of its natural oil was not the answer and my skin has never looked better! So when I read about doing this with my scalp and hair I realized it really only makes sense. Some of my coworkers and friends think I am crazy but the change I have seen already has me hooked!! Thanks for sharing your story, I hope it can help others tame their skin, scalp and hair!

    • says

      And thank YOU for weighing in and sharing your story. When I think back, it’s crazy that I stumbled upon the solution, but I’m so glad I did!

  41. Carol says

    Saw this on your blog and thought I would give it a try. I have long, color treated, naturally curly hair, that I normally straighten. The co-only was great! My hair was silky soft, little or no frizz and no need for additional products. Thanx for passing on this awesome idea!!

  42. M says

    Thanks for the tip! I have always been skeptical of this washing method, but since any shampoo makes my hair dye fade in a week and I’d really like to keep it black, I think I’ll try this :)

  43. Michelle J says

    Thank you!! I’ve been trying this for a week! I love it! I have curly highlighted hair and dry skin/scalp, especially in the winter….tried your method with Suave, my hair is so soft and not nearly as frizzy! Also well water is hard on hair, thanks so much for sharing this! It’s really changed things for me!

  44. Maryam says

    I just recently started on the ‘no poo’ method and let me tell you how my hair is CRYING for some pretty smelling chemicals! I miss shampoo and conditioner so when I read this my hair did cartwheels. I definitely don’t want to give up on the all-natural solutions that I’ve started on but honestly my hair is feeling stickier and stickier so I don’t know if it’s working out for me. I would love to give this a try, but I’m apprehensive about a couple things. Usually while shampooing and conditioning, my hair tends to fall out ALOT during conditioning. I guess I’m afraid what this much conditioner is going to do to my already-shedding hair. Secondly, my hair feels very silky but limp with lots of conditioner, so is this also a possibility? Lastly, I already feel like I cannot get all of the product out of my hair because conditioner is so sticky, so what’s it like washing it out? I just feel like I would have to scrub endlessly to get it all out and still wouldn’t be able to. Anyways, I guess I’m just looking for some positive reinforcement before I start this. I’m excited! Thank you for sharing!

    • says

      Honestly, I think the reason hair comes out when you condition is because hair that has already fallen out loosens from hair it’s tangled to. Does that make sense? Of course, I’m not a hairdresser- it would be awesome if one would weigh in on my theory :-) the thing is, my hair got sticky with a steady no-poo approach, too. Doing co-only seemed counterintuitive, because my hair did the same thing as yours (seemed dull and weighed down) when I used the ‘normal’ amount of conditioner. When I used the method I described in the post, though, my hair was awesome.

      What it boils down to is this- if you’re interested I think you should try it on a day where you don’t have to go anywhere so there’s no pressure to look good. Then, if you don’t like it, no harm done. You may be shocked!

  45. Rebecca says

    I have undergone a hair “revolution” in the last two years as well and suffered many of the same symptoms you were. My hair seemed dryer, thinner and generally lackluster. I started shampooing only every other day and just conditioning in between but due to the product I used in my hair, couldn’t really go more than two days without “poo-ing”. I did change up the products I was using and found some great volumizers that do not make your hair overly sticky or greasy….but alas, my hair was still not what it was prior to having kids almost ten years ago. After reading this post I went directly ( and I mean DI-RECTLY) to the store and purchased the Ocean Breeze scented Suave naturals………and LOOOVVVEEEEE this method! I too noticed much improvement already the next day! I was concerned that it wouldn’t get my hair clean enough on workout days but as long as you spend diligent time massaging that sweet nectar into your scalp, my hair and scalp come out feeling clean but not overdried. I also have noticed that my skin seems much clearer as well. I have fairly oily skin that is acne prone. Since switching to no-poo, I definitely feel like my facial skin is reacting positively as well. Thanks, Rebecca!!!

  46. Nadia says

    Loved your blog :) I’ve been co washing for about 2 years now and even got my hubby into it. Works great for us!

    • Mary Jo says

      i am going to try the co-only method after having tried the no-poo method with mixed results. I would like to never have to buy shampoo again if I get the same results others have. My concern is that I have a teenage daughter and son, both in 3 high school sports. They shower alot, two and three times a day each alot. Do you think the co-only method would work for a boy with thick short hair and a daughter with waist long straight hair that get sweaty at least 2x a day?

      Thanks for any insight

  47. Chanda says

    Great article! Love your writing style. I’m going to try this. I have medium length very wavy (most people would say curly) fine (not thin) hair. I can blow dry it straight or scrunch it really curly but I want to just wear it natural and I can’t figure out how to do it. When I just let it dry, it looks like crap. I look like I slept in the woods except there’s no leaves in my hair. I tried the baking soda/ vinegar thing and it’s okay but if I work up a good sweat, then I start to smell like Captain D’s. Like you, I ain’t got gobbs of money to throw down for something that might or might not work. I’m a health nut too so all natural is what I’m looking for.

  48. says

    Well, it took me a month to work up the courage to try this. I am here to tell everyone that it works!!! My hair looks and feels wonderful. Between this beauty tip and all the recipes from your blog that are now standards in my home, you have my everlasting gratitude. Keep up the good work!

  49. nicole says

    I had the same problem with baking soda/vinegar! My hair was clean, but was sticky and very, very tangled and dry. So I decided to read up on other no poo options and I found your blog. Going conditioner-only has been amazing for me!
    I started CO with a conditioner with silicone, and I agree about the weighed-down look
    Fortunately, the BEST conditioners for CO are dirt cheap.
    I’m glad someone else had the same issue with soda/vinegar, because I was not going to go back to an itchy scalp. Thank you!

  50. Ann Marie says

    So what do you do on the days you do not use the conditioner? Do you wet your hair with just water ?Want to try it and see…I have lifeless hair and am trying to figure out what to do with it…don’t have time to do anything with it with 4 kids and usually it end up in a clip :-)

    • Nicole says

      I don’t wet my hair in between. I just style it in the morning. (I use the term style loosely, because with a little kid, who really has time for much.) Usually the second day I can wear it down again. and the 3rd and 4th day I wear it in a messy bun or pony or something. I still use dry shampoo if my hair feels really greasy. I don’t know if that is against the “rules” of conditioner only washing, but I love the stuff.

  51. Rahel Moore says

    I think this is a neat idea and I will want to try it too! Now just to get the courage up and do it! :)

    • Ursula says

      Rachel, you don’t need courage just think about it. This won’t hurt your hair, and if you don’t like the results don’t do it again. But what you’ve been doing isn’t pleasing you 100% or you wouldn’t be thinking of switching.

      Women and men on long hair forums all do this–and they would not risk their hair!

      I do this. I DO use silicones, the water soluble kind. Those begin with PEG- or end with –amine. My conditioner is also Suave. My hair instantly looked FABULOUS!

      Also immediately resulted in a lot less shedding, but I don’t know if that’s due to CO washing, or another treatment I am using.

      Go for it!

  52. Christy Snyder says

    I’m sick of having really bad acne. I know it’s because of hair shampoo/conditioner. Some make my hair feel waxy and oily and gross. I usually shampoo and condition my hair every other day. I just can’t take having an irritated face anymore! So here I am searching Google trying to figure out what’s causing my acne. Is it shampoo or conditioner. If I wash my hair Monday morning, it will be oily by Tuesday night and I will be washing it Wednesday morning. I was using Dove product and I switched to Suave Professional Naturals? I think that’s what it’s called. Here we go again with all this acne. Unilever owns both of these companies. I was using Pantene when it started to clear up. From what I’ve read Pantene is the one that usually causes acne. So, I’m really confused! I was thinking about doing shampoo only and I read this and I can’t decide what to do. I have sensitive skin, acne prone skin, silky curly beautiful hair but it does frizz like most curly hair. I just want it to smell good, not be greasy, and to not have acne!!!!!!!

    • says

      Christy- I’m not a dermatologist, so take my advice with a grain or five of salt. If something works for you- do it regardless of what works for other folks… I know how frustrating the acne is. I hope your solution is nearby!

  53. Diana says

    I’ve been doing the conditioner only for about 4 years now. What lead me to it was looking for a way to color my hair without the $125 a session price tag, the damage to my hair from hairdresser mistakes and the harsh chemicals which are known carcinogens. Not to mention I hated rearranging my entire day to go to the hairdresser every 6-8 weeks for 2 hours to cover my grey roots. That search led me to a website called, and I discovered the wonders of using natural henna for hair color. I did it and never looked back, and I’m still loving it 4 years later. I could select any hair color from blond to brown to black to red with any shade in between. My hair is healthier than it has been for decades, and I constantly get compliments on it, I’m loving it.

  54. laura says

    Just tried this – I am amazed! Wasn’t sure how I expected it to go as I have quite oily roots and dry, splitty ends (I have highlights & my hair is pretty damaged) but having just dried it my hair looks fuller and bouncier and not greasy or weighed-down at all! Definitely a Co-Only convert; thank you so much!!!

  55. says

    Rebecca, I got “best hair” in high school but it’s been all downhill since then. I am forever grateful for the tip. I am on day 6 of no poo/co wash. My hair is fine, curly and long. I condition every third day. And I rinse it on the other days. It’s like my hair has been given new life.
    Thanks again

  56. Jessica Hebert says

    I have been co-only washing for 6 months now and have experienced the same Wowwww !! Moment. My face is clear and my hair is bouncy, healthy and finally growing!! My favorite is VO5 cucumber, it smells sooo good and is super cheap. My husband loves my new hair.

  57. Carol says

    I’ve been using Wen for over a year now and love it…the problem is though, the expense! It’s ridiculously expensive for “conditioner” and the amount I have to use. I was my hair about twice or three times a week (yucky housecleaning, hot humid days of “sweat-head”). Every time I’m using the Wen I think…hmmm…why wouldn’t ANY conditioner “wash” your hair since Wen is a conditioner? I just haven’t had the courage to mess up my hair even for a day (and have to wash it again – its very long and curly and frizzy and a total pain!) but I’m going to try using my Jason Organic conditioner to WASH my hair! I’ll let you know! If that doesn’t bide well, I’ll get the Suave…Thanks for the great advice!

  58. says

    I am dying to try this but am afraid of the transition time… I have bangs and the opposite problem you had. I have overly oily hair. I’d like to try it b/c I imagine the shampoo is causing major overproduction of sebum making it worse than it need be but my bangs literally look greasy and clumpy by 5pm even with the daily wash.

    • says

      I suspect you’re right about it kicking your oil production into overdrive, but I’m just a food blogger! :) Would you try dry-shampoo (See for a recipe!) between conditioner washes?

      • Ursula says

        You might also try WO in between.(Water Only). Other longhair wearers do this. If it works for you, great.

        Pay attention to how your hair looks, needs, and growth rate after these treatments, so you can go with the best for you!

  59. says

    Thanks for this post. I’ve been doing the “no-poo” method for a little over a month now. It’s been sketchy but not horrible. Recently I read about rinsing your hair with white vinegar first, then try the bs/acv combo. I showered last night and my hair felt awesome and was drying well. Woke up and a bit staticy and rumpled. Maybe I shouldn’t sleep on it to let it dry :)
    As the day progressed the static continued. Fortunately no waxy nape of the neck yet – maybe that’s the white vinegar.
    I’m going to give it a bit longer to see if it can’t right itself but if not this is a great alternative. I appreciate your info and candor {boogers in hair sounds like fun :p not really :)}
    Check out the progress on my blog

  60. Lisa says

    I’ve got curly hair and have been condition only for gosh, almost 10 years now. I knew it worked wonders for curly hair, but didn’t know it would work for straight hair. Interesting that shampoo is pretty damaging for non “curly girls” as well as non “curly guys.”

  61. says

    Oh my!!! When I saw your first pictu re I thought you were either an older looking teenager ir in your early 20s,, and then I saw that u have five kids!! holy crap!!!

  62. Eloisa says

    I just tried CO today and liked the outcome, I have long naturally curly hair, my hair gets oily and I was worried, but it felt clean and styled great. I was wondering what everyone who has seen an improvement in their skin is using to wash and care for their skin?

    • says

      I’m glad you are having success with it! I use cetaphil facial soap and either extra virgin coconut oil or Argan (Moroccan) oil for moisturizer. It is good stuff!

  63. Mimi says

    I have curly hair which over the years has turned dry and frizzy so I’ve been straightening it. Which is time consuming. I’ve been washing with conditioner only for a week now and have tons of shiny curls. No frizz at all. This is amazing and I’m happy with my hair again. No more fighting frizz.

  64. Chayan says

    I have very curly and dry hair? (short) how often should I try this method, and the conditioner I use is dove-daily shine, is it proper?

  65. says

    I’m so glad I found this. I’ve been a no poo’er for 3 weeks now and my hair is shot. I used to color, tease, style, braid, use extensions WAY too much. No Poo has brought all those years of damage to the surface. I’ve been trying to go chemical free. This sounds like a good thing to do for a few years until nicer healthier hair grows in. Thank you thank you thank you.

  66. Nicole says

    Love this post! I can’t wait to try. I have stretched out the time between shampooing for years (I can now go 5-6 days using a little dry shampoo), but the no-poo method of baking soda never worked for me either. I have fine, straw-like hair and am so tired of it. I’m off to “wash” my hair right now. Thanks again.

  67. Sabrina says

    I just tried co-washing my hair tonight and so far so good. I have super oily, fine hair but it is also really thick. It gets weighed down by the next day after I shampoo. I have recently been looking for ways to try to extend the time between hair washings because I shampoo every day and I’m tired of it. I have dark blonde hair with lighter highlights and this fall I want to get some color. Everyone says don’t wash your hair every day, it will fade the color. I just didn’t want to go through a months long transition period and didn’t want to smell like a pickle so I washed my hair tonight with suave naturals rosemary mint conditioner. That happened to be what I had on hand. I then let it air dry, expecting it to be stuck to my head. I figured worst case I shampoo in the morning. My hair is the opposite of stuck to my head, it is full and clean and bouncy! Why have I never done this before? Can I do this to the kids too? I suppose I can. I only wash their hair once or twice a week anyway. I guess time will tell how my hair will look tomorrow. Or after a week or so of doing this, I will let you know! I happened to run across this article after I tried co washing.

  68. Corina says


    Thanks SO much for all the details. I just started co-washing last week, but i wasn’t really sure if i was doing everything right. I do have a question, though. Since we don’t have any of the suave products in the backyard of civilization which is Romania, the closest thing that comes to a no cone product is the cheapest thing on the market, which has only one “cone” listed, dymeticone. Would you happen to know if this would do the trick? Have all your conditioners been cone-free?

    I’m trying to grow my hair after taking it from almost waist length to chin bob, due to unhappy experiments around christmas. I’ve been using henna for 5 years now, and i’d really like to pair it up with some healthy washing.

    Thanks again!

    • says

      Corina- a little further up in the comments, I left a link to a site that discusses cones… I know there are one or two that are okay, I think it’s dimethicone, but I don’t recall off the top of my head (HAIR PUN!) I do know that once I glommed onto the Suave Naturals Coconut, I didn’t really try anything else. It’s so perfect for me!

      • corina says

        Hey, thanks for replying! I noticed the link after i’d posted the comment, sorry for rushing into it. I read it and found a product with the good kind of cones, buying later today.

        Once more, thank you for posting this! My hair will definitely appreciate it :)

        p.s. i’m in love with your gorgeous hair, Rebecca.

  69. Stan says

    I have a fine hair and Im thinking of buying the Suave product as the baking soda and ACV dry out my hair completely. Im just worry about some ingredients in the Suave conditioner, like the perfum. In on article is written this :

    Phthalates are platicizers than have been regarded in many countries to be potential carcinogens. Recently, Phthalates are found in perfumes in some shampoo ingredients that give the ‘lovely smell’. This product has been found to cause

    birth defects
    liver cancers
    hormonal disruptions

    in laboratory tests. Some products that contain Phthalates are banned in California and several countries. See this Wikipedia article on Phthalates here.

    The best way to avoid Phthalates is to choose shampoo ingredients that do not contain perfumes or fragrances

  70. says

    I stumbled upon this entry after i googled not using shampoo and only using conditioner. I’ve been shampooing every other day and just conditioning every other day without shampoo. I was surfing researching if using only conditioner was fine as I’ve heard that shampooing is not good for your hair. I was excited to read your ENTIRE entry and find reassurance :) I’m gonna bump my shampooing down to twice a week and just condition in hopes that my hair will stop calling out and I’ll have the same results as you. I at least notice that with just washing and conditioning my hair does not get oily like my sisters would so no harm in just conditioning :)

    thanks for sharing this!

  71. Margot Adams says

    Just washed my hair with conditioner this morning. So. Good. My hair felt light and fluffy, no grease, no static. Thanks so much!

  72. Alyssa says

    Definitely worth a try! Thank you so much for this post. :) I’m a girl with mid-back length hair who just cut 6 inches off about 20 minutes ago!! I was tired of my dead old hair and looking for something to keep it feeling nice again. My girlfriend and I have both decided to give this a try from September to August and see what we think :)

  73. Linda says

    I am loving the whole co-washing experience. For the first time in YEARS my hair looks healthy & doesn’t have the tell-tale straw-like consistency that screams “old”. Seems like so many women who normally wear their hair shoulder length or longer have to go short as they age because of this. I have a question – I like to be able to put a conditioning product on after my hair has dried & had to ditch all my old expensive stuff as they had cones, parabens etc. I saw pure argan oil at the health food store today – said it is from a nut and can be used on skin and hair. Will using this cause some of the problems that have been mentioned or is it OK?

  74. Rena says

    I am going to give this a try as I have been told by several people that I should stop using shampoo. I love the fact that Suave products are silicone free and you don’t have to buy expensive conditioners. Will let you know how this works for me. Thanks for the great article.

  75. Anita says

    After using Wen, the Sally Beauty Supply version of Wen and then DevaCurl, I started using the Suave naturals conditioner a week or so ago based on your post. I love it and love how cheap it is! My hair is short and _very_ curly, so I don’t have to use very much, though as you mentioned, I do use more of this than any of the 3 brands I previously used. I only wash my hair twice a week and I signed up for a “Subscribe and Save” on Amazon for the conditioner, so I don’t have to worry about running out and I can afford to keep extra bottles in my gym bag and at my boyfriend’s!

  76. Debbie says

    I just wanted to throw in a few lines of advice for clear skin. I have extremely sensitive skin, and no product, no matter how expensive has ever cleared or kept my skin clear. Acne has always been and on/off again issue, mostly hormonal. After reading a similar blog many months ago I tried – of all things- coconut oil on my face. I could not wrap my brain around how “oil” could clear skin- but holy WOW… in my 41 years, I have never had such clear skin and it was almost over night. It has cleared every blemish and leaves my skin so much healthier than it has ever been. Coconut oil is inexpensive and you only need a tiny bit. It comes solid and turns “liquidy” upon application. And smells like coconuts. The BEST acne/blemish cure ever. It’s so high in antioxidants and is a natural antibiotic. I am excited to try this condition only regimen. I have very thin/fine hair (lost a lot due to thyroid autoimmune disease) and ALWAYS have tangled unhappy hair. Thanks for the idea! Cheers.

    • Lisa says

      Debbie – do you wash your face and use the coconut oil as a moisturizer? If so – what do you wash with? Also – would it work for teenagers with acne? Going to try the no po method but want to include my skin.

      Thanks, lisa

  77. Stephanie says

    I had been watching something on TV the other day can not recall and there was a mention of No-Poo. I had heard this term a few years ago and found it rather gross. But the reason I found it so gross was the guy who did this only washed his hair every 3 months. He kept it shoulder length and it looked oily and well gross. So I never did any further research into it till early this week. I read some of the things you could put in your hair to clean it. I was not pleased with the idea of putting vinegar and lemon juice etc in my hair. So I kept reading up and came across your blog. And because of your blog I am giving the CO a try. I only decided to try this because I have sensitive skin and have never found a shampoo that does not make my back break out. I am sure that shampoo is the cause of this. So far I have conditioned my hair twice this week. It might seem odd but I have less headaches. If I do not brush my hair at least 4 times a day I get bad headaches from tiny tangles in my hair. (I have long hair as you do.) But the day after my first conditioning I did not have to run and grab my comb to ease my headache. So thank you and here is hoping it works out for me. :)

  78. says

    I haven’t tried this yet, but I’m going to. I got the idea through a totally different vector, when I used to give myself an oil-based deep conditioning treatments, and found through trial and error that conditioner took the oil out better than shampoo.

  79. Melissa says

    THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! I was a shampoo every day kind of girl and my curl has fallen out and gotten so frizzy and dry. I tried the BS/ACV and it was gross. Stuck with it for about a month, but I couldn’t blow dry or straighten my hair, it was disgusting. Finally went back to the co-wash. LOVE my 79 cent bottle of conditioner! I still shampoo about once a week because I work out every day and sweat like a gross man. My curls are so nice and smooth now, and have gotten some of their bounce back. Yay!! My boyfriend even noticed and said my curly hair has stopped “exploding” :)

  80. Ashley says

    Sooooo for years I’ve had dried hair and lots of breakage when my hubby plays with my hair all I hear is crunching and my hair breaks off !!! This is my last hope. I’m gonna try my conditioner that I have. I don’t see on ingredients silicone. So if It don’t work I’ll try suave . I’m getting in the shower right now and trying this!!!!

  81. Ashley says

    Update. I’m in shock my hair hasent felt this healthy in over 15 years this is awesome!!!!! I’ll update in a week toodles!!!

  82. Danielle says

    Just came across this article yesterday as I was desperate to find info online about how to make my hair look healthier. No one has replied in awhile…but I’m super excited to try this out!! I have medium length hair…strands are medium sized I guess but have a lot of it…I have some natural curl to my hair. And I do highlight my hair. Somedays I go with the curl and somedays I straighten it…how well does this work if you straighten your hair…does anyone know? Thanks!!

    • says

      I straighten my hair from time to time and it seems to work beautifully! Welcome, Danielle! I hope it works as well for you as it does for me. I’m going on 3 years in a week!

      • Danielle says

        Okay, so I just replied to this last night saying that I couldn’t wait to try this! Well, I tried it last night…always clip my wet hair up and let dry naturally as to not damage it further by blow drying. I straightened my hair this morn…verdict?!?! WOW!!! I’m in awe!! My hair seems so much more moisturized! The straightening iron seemed to glide through hair more effortlessly. My hair doesn’t tend to get weighed down often from product/conditioner because it has a lot of volume…I could’ve went a little less even on the conditioner (probably) but I am so impressed! I am so excited to continue this. I do workout hard daily and I may still shampoo once a week, not sure yet!! Have you found that your hair continues to improve in health with doing this regularly? Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I’m telling all my friends about this lol!!

      • Diana DeBarr says

        I am a chef in a kitchen tho, so do u think this would be a good idea for me considering a deep fryer is involved in my everyday life??? =\ Curious on ur really? Thank u

  83. Cherryl Gibson says

    Thank you for this information, Rebecca, and thank you for making me laugh. I was looking for information about using conditioner to cleanse hair. I enjoyed reading this very much. XXXXX

    • Michael Gast says

      Hey, Rebecca! Just stumbled upon this advice. I live in the high desert in NM and, trust me, it’s dry as a bone here. My hair looked like a slab of unbuttered, three-day old toast roosting on my head. Then I tried your conditioner technique and I’m here to tell you my hair after one treatment makes Little Richard’s hair look like a dried-out mop! It WORKS! I am forever in your debt, dear lady!

  84. Lyndsay says

    I just started the conditioner-only routine for my pixie cut, and I already love it! I have suffered from an itchy, flaky scalp for as long as I can remember. I also have thick wavy-to-straight hair that poofs after I shower, no matter if I blow-dry or air-dry. Since cutting my once-long hair off, I’ve noticed that I always like my hairstyle so much better the day after shampooing, so I’m mostly an every-other-day washer. Back when I had long hair, the weight of my hair pulled the hair flat to the crown of my head and it looked dirty and greasy the second day, but not with the pixie cut – it just looks shiny and healthy on the second day, BUT I would get whiffs of that dirty-hair smell – ugh. I stumbled upon this conditioner-only trend, and I started with Avalon’s Tea Tree scalp treatment conditioner. Without any heat styling or creams, my hair smells clean, is soft and shiny without my usual post-shower poofiness, and my scalp feels great. I think I’m going to like this new routine!

  85. jasi says

    i’m so trying this! i hope it works. literally every product in my hair makes me break out on my scalp and on my hairline and jaw. if i tie up my long hair right after the shower it’s only my scalp so obviously.. i need to try something else.

    • says

      Hi there,
      Have just LITERALLY stumbled across this site (went to use the ladies after we’d been WHOMPED (as my grandmother would always say when a big snowstorm hit & this was not just a snowstorm but an actual blizzard with 30mph winds & a temperature in the single digits! Again, my grandmother had a better name for this type of wind, she called it a lazy wind because it was too lazy to go around you so it went right through you!) by almost 18″ of snow! Nobody told me the bathrooms were gonna have a sportsman theme but it did ’cause I walked in the door & immediately went sailing! So, I’m sitting here reading this wonderfully honest & very well written blog post(?) which my Galaxy decided to go to when it hit the wall a fraction of a second before I did!! Well only my pride was injured, I walked out of that bathroom, head held high, just like our cats do when they’re running so fast chasing nothing or each other but don’t see the wall till it’s too late! If you’ve cats you know how that goes they get up , give you a dirty look if you laughed, compose themselves & wall away lookimg at you in a way that if they spoke English they’d say “I meant to do that, it went off as intended do get over it all given with Tyne shake off a back leg as they walk away from you which means ‘shag-off’
      Now, yup I’m finally there, tictac, have you seen a dermatologist? Off not I would like to suggest you not do anything else before you do as there are medications which can actually clear this up & clear it up FAST! I would not have thought there’d been so many advanced cases just clear like magic! My husband suffered an advanced case of staph for over three years which hot so bad her was losing his hair & nothing I suggested he try so he finally relented to seeing a dermatologist (when your wife’s a doctor & you’re.middle age & generally used to dealing with doctor mom for minor things you come top expect mom to be able to treat everything our just about & matter

      • says

        I didn’t see a dermatologist mainly because I’m lazy and it’s a heckuva drive, and since the conditioner only washing worked like a treat, I didn’t have to try anything else :) I’m glad you stumbled upon me, though! Welcome!

  86. tictac says

    I am going to try this, my hair is coming out by the handful when I wash it, I am beginning to see my scalp, always had thick hair, and am very depressed over this hair lost, and all that I have done to try and stop it

    • Mandy says

      Are there sulfates in your shampoo/conditioner? I was having mass fall out and learned that sulfates can be a big cause for it. I have been doing the no poo (baking soda/water and ACV/water) for 11 months now and my hair does not fall out nearly as bad as it used to. Switching to all natural has made a world of difference.

    • Miss K says

      Get your thyroid checked. I had the same thing happen and it turned out I had an extremely overactive thyroid…..seems hair loss is a symptom.

  87. Mary says

    This is great! I’ve been looking for ways to make my hair look healthy and gorgeous and none of the shampoos were working. But after seeing this, I’m definitely going to try it out!

  88. Stephanie says

    Okie, So I am at a bit over two months of doing thing. I ended up cutting 5 inches of dried out hair. Ok well it was 2 inches because 5 at a whack really freaked me out. Then another 3 inches earlier this week. Pretty happy with my hair as far as how healthy it looks and feels. My skin has cleared up by at least 80%. But, here is my issues, Sauve really does not cut it when it comes to my happy place. I like to smell my hair when I am relaxing or having a good time. It might seem odd who knows. But Sauve smell does not last, like Aussie does. So any one know of something besides Sauve, Vo5, White rain that is sold in Wal-mart, rite-aid, or Walgreens? I ran across a site that gave a huge list of water soluble cones conditioner but I can not find a single one of them besides the three listed above.

  89. momof2 says

    THANK YOU for this post! I have heard of co washing several times before, and as I was reading your post, I found myself having tried all the same things you have before, all without success. I was meant to go cut my hair this morning as I had reached my wits end. I thought what the heck do I have to lose, I decided to wash up this morning with a tonne of conditioner and a cap, and see what happened. my hair is full of bounce, wave and is seriously gorgeous. cant thank you enough for sharing and your instructions!! x

  90. E. Rochelle says

    I wear a natural and I can relate to the entire article. I ran into a lady just passing in traffic about a month ago. She complimented my hair and she also mentioned that African Americans don’t need shampoo,just condition your hair. I tried it and loved it. I’m glad someone else is using this technique. My scalp is better and I don’t have to worry about the harshness of shampoo on my scalp or skin as well. Suave is what I use also and you can get it for only $1 in most stores.

    • says

      My answer is kind of a non-answer in that it works a little differently for everyone. I suggest giving it a try because there really isn’t much to lose and there’s so much potential gain. There’s no real *investment* other than a $2 bottle of conditioner and a little leap of faith. Worst case scenario? You rewash your hair with what you usually use! You may be like me and find that it is the answer your hair was looking for, or you may be like the folks who didn’t really care for the effects.

    • Anastasia says

      I have thin curly hair that I bleach every couple months and dye stop sign red. Needless to say the bleach does some damage and I straighten every day which does more, so shampoo wasn’t helping and red hair is so hard to keep. After every shampoo my bathtub looked like a murder scene. So one day I decided to mix a tiny bit of shampoo with a ton of conditioner instead of just shampoo, followed by another deep condition as usual. Noticed a tremendous difference in the dye that came out so I started taking out shampoo completely and just conditioning twice. I use volumizing conditioner as I did before and deep condition regularly, and really rub it into my scalp, and my hair has never looked better without requiring product. There’s almost no breakage anymore, it’s thicker, and softer. I rarely even have frizz. And the best part aside from helping the damage is I went from needing to dye my hair once a week to once about every six weeks. I highly recommend it, ESPECIALLY for thin and colored hair.

    • Michelle Van Epps says

      I have thin hair with a full head of blonde highlights. My hair gets greasy if I don’t wash it everyday, but yet was getting straw like on the ends due to the highlighting. I was skeptical but used some Organix Coconut water conditioner (that was all I had) to wash my hair after reading about cowashing. It worked great! I have been using it for two weeks now and only used shampoo twice since starting I scrub my scalp really good with it and make sure to rinse super good. No greasy or weighed down hair. I am hooked now!

  91. Joan says

    I have been doing this for about a month and it’s a miracle ….my hair has never felt so clean and soft!!! I have been using Aussie brand..but I will use Suave to compare the difference

  92. Diana DeBarr says

    I am a chef in a kitchen tho, so do u think this would be a good idea for me considering a deep fryer is involved in my everyday life??? =\ Curious on ur reply? Thank u

    • says

      I honestly couldn’t say because I’m not you! I used to have your job (deep fryer and all!) and I really don’t know if it would’ve worked on me when I was working pub-grub every Friday/Saturday night. The best way to find out is just to try it!

    • Sarah says

      Just put a few drops of shampoo in with the conditioner and by few I mean 2 to 3 drops scrub your scalp really well rince and repeat with the same mix rinse well and then just conditon the ends with a very small amount of container about the size of a dime my hair feels amazing. I don’t work in fast food but I have a tendency to get really greasy hair.

  93. Teri says

    I have fine, thin, colored hair with some natural curl. I have been using this method for a month and love it! Just make sure you rinse well, it’s best to use cold water to rinse.

  94. Annabelle says

    I’ve actually had amazing results using Garnier Fructis Fall fight for my scalp and Pantene Ice Shine on the length. The silicones in those two products are build up resistant and I have body in my baby fine hair. Suave, White Rain and VO5 were all not conditioning enough for my hair.

  95. Meredith says

    Do you think I can try this with homemade conditioner? I just made a bunch today and I want to try it, but then I wanted to try making homemade shampoo and I came across your website. Now I’m interested in going co-only because my hair gets dry, frizzy and it breaks very easily. My skin also gets irritated and dry really easily so this sounds like a really good idea. But I still want to use the conditioner I made. (assuming the conditioner works, that is!)

  96. Meredith says

    So I just tried my homemade conditioner last Friday, and I couldn’t spread it through my hair! I was left with a greasy-looking area on the crown of my head where I poured it. However, it didn’t FEEL greasy – it was actually really soft, and so was my skin. I also used a lot and it left bits of avocado and green tea leaves all over the shower (plus in my hair and towel), which was difficult to clean.

    I’ve decided to buy regular Suave conditioner with no parabens or silicone, and use the homemade conditioner on occasion. I think it would be okay to use without shampoo, as long as it isn’t frequent. Next time I use it, I’ll also dip my hair into the jar, instead of dumping it on my head. Also, I haven’t put on any more than a dot of tea tree shampoo since Thursday. My hair seems to like it so far!

    Also, I know it could be different for me, but do you condition it every day or just a few times a week?

    • Gabrielle says

      Hi Meredith! I just wanted to caution you against using Suave. It still has many harmful detergents and chemicals in it that will strip your hair and coat your scalp. I found 3 brands that I LOVE: Acure, beautiful Curls, and For Goodness Sake. All can be found at Whole Foods or any local Health Food store. As for your homemade recipe (which sounds wonderful!) just might need some more trials. I heard that avocado might be a better occasional hair mask as opposed to a routine system. However, avocado oil, neem oil, argan oil, coconut oil, and melted shea butter are recurring motifs in some of my favorite hair care recipes!

      Good luck with your no-poo transition. Check out ‘EWG – skindeep’ on google. Great website. You can type in any cosmetic product and it will show you the toxicity level and which ingredients are harmful. It’s a fantastic go-to resource for me :)

  97. Almmi says

    I am definitely going to try this as soon as I can get my hands on a silicon free conditioner. What brought me here though isn’t that I got problems with my hair but I have had it colored blue for a while now (a bit on and of though) and shampoo takes the color out of my hair in just a few washes which makes it really expensive and tiring to entertain. I’m hoping that this method might be kinder to the color so that I don’t have to re-color it every other week and spend a shitload of money on my hair every month. (and I can actually mix conditioner and hair color to make it look good even longer, yay) :)

  98. Anne says

    I used to suffer from exzema on my scalp. I had flakes and really gross looking rashes on my scalp. I used to have to put heavy duty steriods on my scalp for the flare ups. A couple years ago I switched to a cleansing conditioner and it worked wonders. After using that I decided to just use my regular conditioner like you described and it was amazing. Saved money by only using a store bought conditioner rather than a “cleansing conditioner” and regular conditioner. No more steriods, flakes or rashes. When I get my hair cut the lady that washes my hair always comments how healthy my scalp is. : ) Salon visits are no longer humiliating!

  99. Regina says

    Hi, just wanted to send you a huge thanks for posting this! My hair has become frizzy & just plain horrible over the last couple of years & I’ve tried lots of (expensive) stuff to calm it down. In the end I just put it up in a bun or tie it back in a braid so no one sees it, because nothing worked. Then I came across your post while randomly surfing, tried it once and … it’s like magic! All I used was just a bottle of supermarket conditioner that I had in the cupboard, nothing special at all, and the difference was remarkable. Can’t thank you enough for this, you’re a genius!

  100. Melanie says

    I’m so glad I found your blog! I own horses and I go riding often after work. I find I’m always washing my hair to get rid of the horse smell, but my hair isn’t really dirty. If I don’t ride I usually go 3-4 days without washing so I hate to do it more often. It’s mid-back length and dyed and this winter has been particularly harsh on it. I didn’t want to shampoo my hair last night after I got home from the barn so I Googled to see if just conditioning it would be fine and found your blog. I used my regular conditioner (Tresemme) but couldn’t find anything that said it was silicone free so I may have to go pick some up! Regardless, my hair isn’t greasy or heavy like I thought it would be today. This seems like a great thing to try! Thanks for sharing!

    • says

      I’m so glad it worked for you! What’s nice is that my hair smells great even a couple of days after ‘washing’ it with coconut conditioner!

  101. Chrissy says

    Great to hear this is working for so many of you, I too have been noticing after
    washing that my hair will feel like straw and I loose a lot of strands! I know you can
    loose up to 100 a day but this seems excessive. I have not tried this yet but I break-out
    easily on my back and I think its from conditioner or its the shampoo but I think its
    the conditioner. But maybe its the shampoo it will dry your skin out not sure,
    because when you skin is over dried out and you take hot showers like I do you strip
    you skin of its good oils the oil you need and then you’re left with skin that is prone to
    break out so I’m not sure which it is to tell you the truth!?!

    I do color my hair a dark brown and my hair has felt dry often well with winter and
    this one being brutal it been even more drier than the norm. So I’ve been doing a lot of
    re-search on shampoos and conditioners it so happens before I came to this site that is.
    So, I have so input on what to use and what not to use well Suave is great for those
    who have fine thin or fine hair but a lot of it like me but for those with coarse hair or
    thick hair you might need something thicker. TRESemme NATURALS makes a
    SILICONE FREE conditioner and the ingredients aren’t that bad, it has Aloe and
    Avocado Oil in it and the price is under $5 bucks so that’s not bad. This is for the one’s
    who want to try something other then Suave or Vo5. I think Aussie might make a
    silicone free one not sure??

    But there’s also a all natural brand that you can get at Bed Bath and Beyond not sure
    if its carried else where its called RENPURE their line is really nice and if you get a
    coupon to save 20% it should be under $6 bucks their line is ALL natural. They made a
    a new addition to their line one is called CI for colored hair and a BB which it for
    moisture and balm and another I think its a CC not sure on that one what it stands for
    but they are all for your hair.

    Tips; Watch out for Sodium Chloride it is not good for the hair at all and it can be in
    both shampoo and conditioners so stay clear of that along with Parabens, Harsh Salts,
    Sultfates, Paraffins, Gluten, Mineral Oil, Propylene Glycol, PABA, DEA, Phthalates, Synthetic Fragrance and no animal testing if you can!?!
    But if you are looking for a conditioner or a shampoo that will provide all that and at
    a cost that isn’t to bad then try SHEA MOISTURE they carry this at Ulta, Bed Bath
    and Beyond,Walgreen’s, and Target and maybe SALLY’S, and CVS or a RITE-AID.

    This a great product and they make soaps that are fabulous to say the least and the lotions are great as well as their Baby Line which I’ve bought the Raw Shea
    Chamomile & Argan Oil, BABY head to toe wash and shampoo. I would use it as a
    face wash their line runs $10 bucks & if you get a coupon like for Bed Bath and Beyond
    it will save you some or sometimes you can get one on the bottle for a $1 off.

    There is also another one at Bed Bath and Beyond not sure if its somewhere else but I’m also not sure on the full name I know it’s named after a gal named LISA but I don’t
    have her last name and it’s kind of like the RENPURE line. Nice line price about the

    So I hope this has been helpful and I hope others can put some more info that can help
    us along our journeys with beautiful hair days to come!! Thank you so much for your
    time and listening. Hoppy Spring!!

  102. Chrissy says

    Oh and as if I didn’t add enough the SHEA MOISTURE LINE would be great for those who have thick or coarse hair and even those who don’t have either the “Retention Line” is great for us gals who color are hair.

  103. ginger says

    Hello. I have been co-washing since 2/2013. I have a lot of fine wavy hair that is down to the middle of my back. I have oily hair and pretty bad scalp psoriasis that does not respond to topical steroids or medicated shampoos. I have only co washed with the occasional washing of my hair line with Cetaphil facial soap when psoriasis is really bad. I have used mainly inexpensive brands-sauve, vo5, walmart knockoffs.

    I am noticing that my hair feels heavy and oily at times. I have also noticed that my hair smells dirty at times. I was wondering if anyone else had found this with co-washing? My hair itself feels great compared to past. Has not made a change in my psoriasis though. Thanks in advance.

  104. Tina says

    I am a junior in college and I haven’t used shampoo (well I have used it every now and then but that is only when I visit my parents and use their shower. Mom doesn’t use conditioner) since before my senior year of high school. When I tell people that I don’t use shampoo, the look of disgust on their face is hilarious and sometimes frustrating. People just jealous of my beautiful curls.

  105. Monique says

    Wow I always thought that you needed shampoo but now that I see you don’t I’m throwing out all the 20 bottles of shampoo I have in replacing them with Condtioner… Thanks a lot

  106. Beta says


    Great website and post. Just wanted to share my thoughts and experiences. I am a Guy in my late 20’s and I have always had short hair for most of my life. I started surfing and snowboarding a couple of years ago and I have always liked that long surfer hair look of some guys.

    I eventually came to the idea and conclusion that I would save my hair long to see what I would look like with a long surfer style hair before I get too old and eventually not doing it at all and regretting it. Its been 2 years and my hair is the longest its ever been in my whole life. Up until a few months ago…I knew that if I want to maintain and keep this long hair style…I would eventually have to find ways of maintaining it and taking care of it. Because…like everyone else on here…I too have many of the same problems. Dry, itchy, flaky scalp with dry crunchy poofy hair that I could never seem to style or manage the way I want. I would also lose a lot of hair in the shower and while combing/styling.

    These are some of the tips/tricks/advice I have come across on the internet in my search to keep my hair looking as healthy as possible:

    1. Use conditioner ONLY. I too gave up shampoo about 3 months ago and I have noticed my hair is WAY more healthy looking and feeling. Never going back to shampoo.
    2. Wash with cold water. Warm/hot water is bad for your hair.
    3. Air dry. Do not blow dry. Heat is the number 1 problem/issue for most peoples hair.
    4. Wash your hair every 2-3 days. You don’t need to wash your hair everyday. If you do…your just stripping the hair of its natural oils which is best for healthy hair. I used to wash my hair everyday as I shower everyday but have since gone to washing my hair about 2 times a week. This worked wonders for my hair as it does not feel so dry, crunchy and lifeless.
    5. Don’t touch/play/fix your hair if it doesn’t need it. The more you play/touch your hair…the more stress you are putting on it.
    6. Try and keep hair products to a minimum. I used to use so many types of gels/pastes/creams and it did nothing to make my hair healthy. Now…I only use a paste that I know works for me, is very clean and can be washed out with water plus lotion if I just need a little more hold or touch up.
    7. Don’t comb your hair when its wet. If you need to comb it when wet…use a wide toothed comb or brush. Your hair is very vulnerable/weakest when its wet.
    8. Take a daily multivitamin. Your hair needs vitamins to be at its optimal health.

    I started doing all of the above for about 4-5 months now and my hair feels healthier than its ever been in my entire life. Hope this helps out some people. Thanks.

  107. Mare says

    I’ve been co washing for 3 weeks now and at first I loved the results. But now my scalp is dry, itchy and flaky. I read somewhere that caucasian women are suppose to wash their hair once a week with a sulfate free shampoo. But as soon as I did my hair went back to being a dry Frizzy poofy mess. So what can I do to stop the itching? Also my hair falls out a lot and it’s a little greasy in certain areas. Help please.

  108. annie says

    has anyone tried organix conditioners? It is sulfate free and also cruelty free!
    I have only been shampoo free for one week and so far I am happy happy happy…. I spend less time in the shower, my hair is soft and shiny and having long hair down to the middle of my back can usually take a very long time to wash in the shower… now I am out in no time. Im 53 so im probably a lot older than most of the posters here. My kids think I am crazy but cant wait to see their reaction to my hair in a few weeks when its noticeable how my hair has changed!

  109. erica says

    I wash my hair everyday. I know that’s supposed to be bad. I started using the Shielo Hydrate Shampoo, my hair looks and feels so healthy. I barely need to use any shampoo, a quarter-size only, and I have a ton of hair. Typically I’ve had to rinse and repeat , but with Shielo – I use just the quarter-size and its perfect. Feels soooo good and its super hydrating.

    I would recommend this to any gal with thick hair prone to getting dry.

    • says

      I hate to be vague, but you’ll have to experiment a bit, probably. I’ve had GREAT luck with Suave Naturals Coconut, but haven’t tried many others.

  110. Jen says

    I’m so happy to see that I’m not the only one who gave up hair-washing all together! I have very thick and curly hair, and had nothing but issues with it, so about a year and a half ago I chopped it all off, and at the same time I stopped using both shampoo and conditioner. I didn’t even pick up any baking soda regimen or anything, and now my hair is absolutely great!

    However recently, I’ve been thinking about trying to grow my hair out again, and I’m afraid that it’ll go back to being it’s gross, frizzy, messy mess again. I’ve been considering picking up a conditioning regimen to try to keep it from drying out too much (alongside regular trimming), but I was afraid that it’d mess up my hair again. It makes me feel more confident to give this a go after reading your experience with conditioning only. (:

    My coworker recommended Tresemme Naturals, which is dye-free and silicone-free. It’s a pretty good deal in my opinion; it was $5-$6 at Walmart for a decent sized bottle, so it can be added to the list of reasonably-priced conditioner brands people can try out.

  111. says

    I’m a 16 year old girl. I have black, shoulder-length hair and no matter how hard I try, I can NEVER find anything that helps my ball of fluff stop being–well–a ball of fluff….
    I am native American so I have been trying to grow my hair out like many of my reletives, but im afraid to do so because my hair is so hard to take care of!! I can always brush through it but it’s always so frizzy. I have naturally straight hair, and I don’t use any heat (I.E. blow dryers, curling irons, flat irons) or chemicals like hairspray in my hair, but my hair is always dry and crunchy. echhhhh. I hate it. I forgot my original point now, but here’s a different question: if I start this co washing thing, and the tips of my hair is still frizzy like always, should I get them cut, and then continue to co-wash, or should I keep co-washing and it will fix my split ends? help please!!! thanks.

    • says

      Hi Tia- I’m not a hair dresser, just a lady who tried things out until she found what worked! I’d absolutely suggest you try this out and see what it does for you! Have you tried rubbing Argan Oil into the ends of your hair when you get out of the shower? That might be worth trying, too. You can get it inexpensively on (you can use the search box in the sidebar here to help look for it if you’d like! If you do buy through that link, I get a small commission.) I rub about 8 drops into the ends of my hair after conditioner washing it. I have waist length hair, so it takes a good bit to help me! Co-wash for a while, and maybe try the argan oil for a bit, too, if you’d like to avoid trimming it. A trim isn’t the end of the world, though! Hair always grows back!!!

    • Rebeccah says

      this sounds counter active but try to brush your hair as little as you can especialy as soon as it dries out of the shower. if you do itll frizz up faster. also shea butter. if you find a recipie where you can whip it with some vitamin e and coconut oil. i have some i use on my face and hair all the time and it dosnt leave it sticky or greasy. your hair will soak it right up and hold together more and be less frizzness

  112. Andrea says

    I’ve been doing a lot of research on no poo or co-only, trying to fins what works best for my thick, waist length hair. I stumbled onto your blog quite some time ago but never got to read this post. Absolutely love it and appreciate that you posted pictures of how great your hair looks. Going co-only is my next goal now that my current hair products are nearly gone. Thank you again for the post. It’s been super helpful.

  113. tanya says

    I started not using shampoo just as a fluke and was surprised that my hair was just as clean as if I’d done shampoo n conditioned… So that’s what I started doing consistently for about a month n a half now. I like it, my hair is not fly awaybdryand feels softer and kinda heavier,.. . like more solid. Anyway, I saw the Wen commercial thingy and felt a bit more justified since it seems like the same process. So I googled it and aaw your story. Thank you. Thank u, I was beginning to feel like I had a bad hygiene secret, but my hair really seems healthier already. I will try the suave or another silicone conditioner. Thanks again. I will check back soon, and maybe think about telling my friends…..

  114. Nikki says

    I’ve been using only Suave Naturals conditioner for a couple months now and my scalp still gets dry. Do you have any tips for combating the dry scalp issue without completely undoing all the time I’ve put into going without shampoo?

  115. Rebeccah says

    first off we have the same name witch is wicked awesome [=
    so about two weeks ago i started the no shampoo only water wash. I have had dandruff severly since the begining of high school up until two weeks ago. my dandruff is GONE! i would show u pics if i could. the hair near my scalp isnt greasy but its a little heavy? or thick? i know its a build up of sebum. my hair used to come out of the shower after shampoo and conditioing super light and frizzy and then the next day it would be greasy as all hell. well now when i get out of the shower its wet a little longer and then it magicaly is perfect! and the longer i go without washing the less heavy it feels. i got a boar bristle brush to distribute the oils and sebum my scalp naturaly makes. my hair feels healtier and looks longer somehow. i noticed the best way to do my routine is before showering seperate my hair like 10 times across my scalp in rows and each time brush from root to tip with the boar bristle brush. using a reglar brush inbetween to get the tangles. and then shower with it burshed back so theres not knots and clumps. then like they say scritch or scratch and massage that scalp. i do hot water cold water normal shower temp water then a cold rinse. ive been taking pics every day of my scalp and hair and im telling you the results are unbelieveable. i think i will try some conditioner in it just to see if it makes it a little less tangley. love your hair and your blog Rebecca!!

  116. Brooke says

    I stumbled across this post in May and decided to try going conditioner-only, even though I have extremely oily hair. As of today, I have YET to put shampoo on my hair. So after roughly five months of conditioner-only every day, my hair has suddenly begun to grow, it’s not nearly as frizzy as it was, it feels thicker and stronger, and it’s SO shiny. I can’t recommend this enough! I’ve used Suave Naturals the whole five months. I have noticed, however, that when I travel and go somewhere with harder or softer water, my hair gets “confused” and frizzes a little more. But it’s temporary and always goes back to normal. So thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for this post!!

  117. says

    Two days in to “washing” my hair with conditioner only…I love it! My hair is easier to blow dry, do NOT have to use a flat iron to smooth out the kinks of my somewhat wavy hair, and I do believe it dries faster…or maybe that’s just my imagination, but the last two mornings I have been ready and out the door at least 10 minutes sooner!! The best part, though, is that it has more body and no longer feels a bit like straw…very soft!! I am a believer!

    I love your website by the way…makes me laugh, teaches me a few things, and my husband has enjoyed all of the recipes I’ve pulled from this site. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  118. Bela says

    I too have gone the no-poo route. I know that not every product works the same for everyone, but for me I have found that VO5 works great on my hair and I love that they’re silicone free, don’t test on animals, and really inexpensive. It’s a win win win for me! :)

  119. Darla Desautel says

    hi, you’ve been an inspiration… I didn’t know anything about the no-poo or co-only crowd until reading your blog but I was intuitively about to do that very thing… I watched a television show one time when I was about 10 years old where a beauty queen confessed to not using soap… except in certain unmentionable parts, and I followed that advice ever since, and that was more than a few decades ago… when I tell people that I don’t use soap, they tell me that might be why my skin looks young for my age, which just means it’s not wrinkled like a prune… so all these years it never dawned on me to eliminate shampoo, and it’s an aha moment for sure reading your hilarious blog… I’m a convert… it’s late but I’m tempted to head across town to a 24-hour drugstore to buy some Suave conditioner… I’ll let you know how it goes… by the way, you probably have many talents (not to mention child-raising, to say the least) but I want to recommend that you write more funny stuff… your writing reminds me a lot of Erma Bombeck, and a few other humor writers I’ve been addicted to over the years. Yours was the FIRST EVER blog that had me laughing out loud! Thanks, Darla

  120. Victoria says

    SO HAPPY that I found this. My colorist just made me feel like a toad because I confessed that I had been co-only for six weeks. But guess what? No color fade, and my hair is soft and manageable. Which for someone with thick, curly hair is basically a miracle. THANK YOU!

  121. Daina says

    I’m going to definitely give this a try – my hair comes out in HANDFULS in the shower! I figured it was just aging and changing hormones. I don’t wash my hair daily either (it’s naturally curly so the longer between shampoos the better the curls), and I sometimes already just recondition it and skip the shampoo.

    Question – do you just do the conditioner thing on days you “wash” your hair, or is this daily since you stopped using shampoo?

  122. says

    I heard about conditioner only washing just recently. My hair is fine, straight and short. I am considering this because my hair ALWAYS looks greasy. We spent a year in Hawaii where I trained my hair to only need to be washed once a week (because Hawaii is the perfect place to have greasy unkempt hair) but then we moved back to the mainland and got a pixie cut, started shampooing regularly again and now those days are long gone. I have one question for you, do you ask your hairdresser to not shampoo your hair during appointments?

    • says

      I actually filled my hairdresser in on what I was doing AFTER I already had success with it. 😀 There was no way to argue with it at that point. She has used shampoo on my hair only a couple of times and those times were after I got my hair coloured and she needed to wash the remaining colour out. So shampoo has hit my head on the average of twice a year. 😀

  123. Greer says

    White Rain Conditioner Apple Blossom with Active Botanicals does not contain silicon. I emailed the company to ask. I purchased it at the Dollar Tree. This morning I bathed our Golden Retriever using it; so far, so good!!

  124. Michelle Van Epps says

    I tried co-washing for the first time 2 weeks ago. I used Organix Coconut water conditioner because that was all I had. I have a full head of blonde highlights and thin hair. I have to wash my hair every day because it will look greasy. It started looking like straw on the ends after two years of highlighting and I either needed to stop highlighting so much or find something healthier for my hair. The Organix Coconut water conditioner worked great! Felt weird to “wash” with no suds, but I scrubbed my scalp and rinsed very well. My hair was clean, not greasy and soft. I’ve used shampoo only twice in two weeks. I think this is the way to go especially if you have treated hair! I was checking out your site to find other conditioners that I can try and appreciate the information!

  125. Bbett says

    You aren’t crwzy, I’ve been doing this for years. I have then type of hair that needs to be washed twice a day, so the people saying they can’t do this because of greasy hair just need to TRY it. I still wash my hair every day, but my hair isn’t getting damaged from it. My hair grows twice as fast, isn’t frizzy, has more volume than ever before, and feels AMAZING. Shampoo is awful for your hair.

  126. Julie says

    I don’t think you’re mad at all! Really enjoyed reading this post :-)) I used to have lovely hair (when I was a lot younger) but over the last 10 years it has been soooo thick and unruly and frizzy and only looks any good straight after going to the hairdressers. I have tried blow-drying, drying naturally, drying with a hat on (I know, desperate!) straightening, expensive products, non-SLS shampoos, washing with cold water (yikes!) nothing really works but THIS makes perfect sense! I like my hair 2 days after washing (for about 24 hours, then it needs washing again) so it stands to reason that the shampoos are stripping away the natural oils. Also, I never use soap on my face and my skin is smooth & non-greasy and non-dry. Why didn’t I think of this before?

    Thank you for writing this I sticking your neck out with your confession ;-)) Nice one!


  127. Stacie says

    I tried this for the first time last night and my hair looks and feels so great! I too thought my hair would look like an awful greasy mess but it looks better than when I wash with shampoo. Took FOREVER to dry but my hair root to tip looks so healthy and not at all dried out like it used to.

  128. says

    I am soooo excited to try this!! I was wondering what I could do for healthier hair after my stylist telling me I had very dry hair due to daily washing..I do know we are not supposed to wash our hair daily but I just could not imagine not washing it as I have a busy life and four kids which is usually a mess by the next morning, with food or something or another in it just like yourself lol!! And then this morning in the shower I thought “why not only use conditioner and no shampoo?” I decided to google it first and I am so EXCITED to have found your post and positive outcome!! I will stopping at the store today and purchase silicone free shampoo…can’t wait!!!!!!

      • Rachel says

        You are a fantastic writer I giggled at the funny bits and then jumped in the shower only conditioner washed my hair and I don’t like to blow my own trumpet but it looks pretty great x

  129. Jennifer says

    I’m going to give this a shot again. I have thick curly hair, and it hates a lot of shampoos and things. I color treat too, so I knew the baking soda/acid combo would be a no go. Have tried this in brief spurts, but have never gone more than 1 “wash” in a row.

    It makes perfect sense…shampoos strip the oils, then our scalps work overtime to remoisturize, which makes us oily, which makes us say oh yuck, and shampoo again, just making it worse. It ends up the same with face and body washing too. I only have three boys, but I get you with the gross things that happen!

    • Brianna says


      I have thick curly hair too and I haven’t used shampoo on my hair in 5 years! I’ve found d that using a regular silicone-free conditioner doesn’t work for this washing method, but I HIGHLY recommend a product called Renpure cleansing conditioner (I get it at target). I “wash” my hair with it every other day and it has never looked better! For styling I use Shea moisture curling gel soufflé (also at target) and the curl definition & hold is amazing. I hope you don’t find this to be unsolicited information, but as someone who has struggled with thick curly hair for so long, I had to share.

  130. Sue Bunton says

    I would like to suggest co-washing to my hubby who has rosacea and itchy, picky skin. My concern is that he uses a paste (Paul Mitchell Lab) on his hair after showering to slick it back. Do you think he should stop doing that too?

    • says

      Hey Sue-
      I am not personally familiar with that product and I’m not a hairdresser, so keep that in mind as I say that if I were him and having a persistent skin issue, I’d chuck all the products I HAD been using and try from ground zero to clear things up. I say that because that’s pretty much what I did 😀

  131. LB says

    My son does this. Actually he probably doesn’t even use conditioner but his hair is curly and he likes it better this way. My hair is very straight and I don’t know what would happen if I tried it. Plus I exercise a lot so I’m always sweaty. Who knows, maybe I’ll give it a shot.

  132. Abby says

    Yep, I’m going to try this… I must say even in the picture your hair just LOOKS clean, there’s no guessing and so shiny too. Really like the curly hair picture to ! Thanks so much for revisiting this post.

  133. says

    What a fun, fun, fun read, and your hair looks beautiful!!! I just love this idea and actually have Sauve conditioner in my shower right now. I’m going to try this tomorrow and am super excited about it! I too have tried Wen but don’t buy it anymore because it’s too darned expensive. I’ll bet this is just as good and is probably what Chaz uses in his bottles too. LOL

  134. says

    Umm, your post is cracking me up! It is all true. I have had similar issues and zero results with all the spendy products. I’ve reduced my hair washing down to once maybe twice per week. I’m going to give this a try and give up shampoo all together! Thanks for sharing your tips :) Pinning, pinning, pinning!

  135. Jan R says

    I have used conditioner only for more than 15 years. When I tell women this I can almost hear a “gasp”. I use all brands of conditioners, so the “silicone” doesn’t matter. I have been looking for the hydration ones lately. I use a dab of argon oil also before blow drying. I wash (co-only) everyday.

  136. says

    I have stopped using shampoo and conditioner for about five years now. My hair is thicker and softer. What I use on my hair is the same bath bar I use on my body.

    I still have build up problems. I washed my hair twice last year with shampoo to try and get rid of the build up, and thought all my hair was falling out for three months after! I am generally very allergic to suave shampoos, but will try the conditioner washing. Who knows! It might be just the answer I am looking for!

    Thank you for sharing, and making it a fun read!

  137. Beth in Iowa says

    I too have become a co-wash only person. I have very thick, very curly hair that hangs about the middle of my back. I have been using conditioner only for about 2 yrs now and have not looked back – I also use the Suave products and have very little need to put much of anything else in my hair to tame and control the crazy curls. I also just let it air dry. The $$ saved is AMAZING!! Give it try, you will not be disappointed!!

  138. Erika says

    I”ve always been scared to try this, but might give it shot. I trust your opinion much more than other posts I’ve seen about this :) And bonus…Suave is such an affordable brand!!

    You have beautiful hair!

  139. says

    Wow, I’ll be trying this – have had problems with my hair and scalp for years and nothing helps – I’ve been attributing my hair loss to my low thyroid, which is probably partially true, but am willing to try most anything at this point

  140. Heather says

    I recently started having nightmarish dry/flaky scalp issues, and decided that the only solution was to just stop shampooing my hair. I had tried the baking soda/vinegar combo, sulfate-free shampoos, witchcraft, etc. Nothing was helping. But conditioner only seems to be working thus far. I have really thick, wavy, reddish hair, so it requires a lot of conditioner. But if it’s working then I’m in! Thanks so much for the article, it’s comforting to know that I’m not alone!

  141. Brenda says

    I rarely use shampoo on my hair during cool weather, but working in a commercial kitchen during the summer, I have to shampoo every now and then. I found that my mature (graying) colored hair responds much better with conditioner only.
    My question to you is….have you ever tried “oil pulling” for your teeth? People think I am crazy, but this is truly wonderful! A spoon of coconut oil swirled in your mouth each morning and my teeth and gums are so much more healthy and all without toothpaste! Just wanted to give you a heads up!

  142. says

    OK! You are awesome. My head, scalp, brain has been itching for 2 years. I’ve been using an (expensive) natural, peppermint-oil infused shampoo to help remedy this.

    It only helps temporarily….. then the itching returns. No, I don’t have lice.

    I am all over this. Sign me up for the co-only crowd!

  143. Erika says

    I’ve tried this for about 3 weeks, and it works! I wouldn’t say my hair is drastically different, but I do think it is softer and a little shinier.
    My favorite part? $1.00 bottle of Juicy Green Apple Suave compared to the $20+/- dollar of Aveda!!! :) :) My pocketbook certainly likes this method.
    My scalp issues aren’t any better or any worse…I imagine I really need to find a truly fragrance free version, but I just love that juicy green apple smell.
    I’m amazed that my hair feels just as clean – it doesn’t even feel like there’s any residue.
    Thanks for sharing your experience; for some reason I trusted you over a lot of the beauty bloggers that talk about this…I always trust a great cook! lol

  144. says

    I have to say that I am going through same feelings as yours. I’ve tried many expensive as well as organic shampoos, I’ve also tried some steam therapy but none of them worked effectively. Thank God, I am reading your article. I am going to try this and will get back to you with results!

    BTW you are looking awesome with your hair in second last image.

  145. Mandi says

    I have been reading a lot about the “no poo” method and was looking into trying the baking soda/ACV routine with my hair, but I may start out with the co-only first.

    My hair is shoulder length and it is dry, brittle, and riddled with split ends because I blow dry it, flat iron it, and curl it. I shampoo/condition 3-4x/week. My hair doesn’t have a lot of volume unless I curl it and tease it. When I flat iron it, it is pretty straight. It doesn’t get greasy until day 2 of not washing. When I blow dry, it gets really frizzy. But I have to blow dry, if I air dry, the top part frizzes and kinks like crazy and the ends curl up like crazy! Do you think the co-only method would work for me? I just worry about it weighing down my hair and making my ends crunchier than they already are :(

    • says

      My best advice is to try it out, Mandi. I’m not a hairdresser, so I have no special claim to knowledge other than that it worked for me!

  146. unop says

    I have hair down to the middle of my back and have cut down to washing every other day. I use the Somaluxe Exotic Conditioner from just below my neckline and down through the ends. It rinses out nicely and I can comb through my hair nicely (I use a wide tooth comb and the “wetbrush”). I love that it has argan oil already in it, so I dont have to spend so much money buying an extra argan oil!

  147. Ashley says

    Hi I have use your co-only idea for the first time and it totally didnt worked for me at all instead my hair are now more dry even the hair on my scalp beause I put the conditioner on my sclap as you said and I have a little dandruff and I have curly hair.So my question is that shold I try it again or leave it.Thank you.

  148. Viv says

    Great article! I sort of came at this from the other direction. I’ve been water only for a couple of months, and I’m away for the weekend. I felt my hair needed something, so used my daughter’s silicone free conditioner for a wash this morning. Looking rejuvenated!

  149. Kimberly says

    Well, I am desperate here. I have been bleaching (roots only) my hair for YEARS. I do this because I use bright colors in my hair. But, I am having a considerable amount of trouble with split ends. I will get my hair trimmed, as I did yesterday, and it still ends up splitting again – without putting any more product on it. I tried this for a few days this past week, but my roots looked greasy….though the ends and underneath felt better. I did not put it up in a cap or anything, just left it on until the end of the shower. Am I doing something wrong or is there a suggestion for that?

    • says

      I have to say that I’m not a hair dresser, so any advice I’m giving should be taken with that in mind… that being said, maybe your hair ends are more brittle because of all the bleaching? Many people report an adjustment period with their hair when switching to conditioner only, so you can try to stick it out for another week or two, or maybe it isn’t for you. I’m also curious about how often you wash your hair… You said a few days last week, so it makes me wonder if you’re co-washing daily which -like any daily shampooing or washing regimen- is going to encourage oil production on the scalp.

  150. linda says

    Both my daughter and I had ‘sticky’ hair at the same time, rather weirdly! Never had it before and then started researching it and found it was quite common. The Somaluxe Shampoo came recommended by my doctor so I decided to try it – after the first wash, the difference was amazing. Immediately after rinsing I could feel my hair as ‘squeaky’ clean again for the time in weeks / months. Now it has fully air-dried, my hair is back to it’s usually dry bounce once again and feels great….my daughter said the same. So pleased and happy to spread the word that the Somaluxe Shampoo works for sticky hair!

  151. Georgia says

    Hello. I am glad that I found this post, since I have a question you could help me with. I am 40 and natural brunnete. I have been dying my hair blonde for the past 4-5 years. The last year my hair got very dry and LOTS of breakage begun, although all my life I had strong thick hair. I literally lost HALF of my hair length! I stopped bleaching my roots, and switched to dying it blonde in the salon only with the use of hair dyes with no bleach at all. And lately I decided to switch to silicone and sulfates free products, since I keep reading all over the internet how good that treatment can be for our hair. But I really hate how crunchy it feels with all those products (shampoo, hair mask, hair oil etc) having no silicones at all in them. I know it is normal to feel your hair crunchy and dry when switching to a silicone-free treatment but I really miss how soft my hair used to feel when back in the days the products I used had silicones in them…. :(
    Taking under consideration, that I am no natural blonde, do you think switching to your method with just the conditioner or hair mask (silicon free) used when washing and no shampoo, would make a difference to that cruchyness I feel? Or the fact that my hair are dyed could actually be an obstacle and maybe this works best for natural colored hair? I really love my blonde color, and deep down I want to keep up with the silicone free method I adopted lately, but I find it very hard when my hair feels soo dry and crunchy….. :(

    • says

      Gosh. I wish I was a hairdresser so I could tell you whether it would work, but I would like to encourage you to try it anyway since it’s no more expensive than a bottle of conditioner and an extra shower if you don’t like the results! 😀 What if it makes all the difference in the world?

  152. says


    I ‘ve always been told to use hair conditioner for the ends of the hair n never on the scalp as it causes the hair to

    drop. (as advised by all the hairdressers I go to. ) As such I am hesitant to give it a go as my permed coloured hair

    is already thinning. PL help!

    • says

      Again, I’m not a hair dresser. I’m just a person sharing what worked for them. If I were you I’d go for it and try it at least once or twice, but that’s just me! If it works, wouldn’t that be great for you?

      • Chrissie says

        Oh my god been trying so many different conditioners for years and have just tried the conditioner only method.

        Amazing really shocked always assumed you had to shampoo first but just conditioner works really well thank you for the advice :)

  153. says

    I am going to give this a try, I do wash my hair everyday, if I don’t then I get terribly itchy, hoping this will help with that.

    • says

      Hi there! I don’t use products much, so I’m afraid I don’t have any first hand knowledge, but like I’ve mentioned to other folks, what can it hurt to try? I say give it a go on a day you don’t have to go anywhere so if you need to re-wash, it’s no biggie!

  154. Vanessa says

    I have just started the no shampooing. I read that you condition 2-3 per week. I shower everyday, should I rinse my hair or keep it dry the days I’m not conditioning?

    • says

      I don’t actually know, clickob. As a non-hairdresser, I really am only sharing what worked for me. I’d try it, though! And please come back and fill us in if you do try it! I’d love to know how it works for you!

    • Kat M says

      clickob–Try the Aveeno Nourish and Dandruff Control Conditioner on your scalp, scrubbing firmly; use other conditioner on the rest of your hair. However, if your dandruff is related to seborrheic dermatitis, you might need more treatment than that. One thing to try: Omega-3 supplements.

  155. says

    Yeah sure I will. I actually forgot about trying this trick. Plus I haven’t decided the conditioner brand till yet. Actually, I never used any conditioners before as they get me hair fall issue. I started once then I left using conditioner. But I’ll try this one.

  156. Angie says

    I too am a fair skinned gal with obviously overly sensitive skin. I’ve been a co-only gal for about 2 years, and I love it! It’s the absolute best thing I’ve ever done for my hair! I grew up washing my hair daily, but after my mid-30s, began losing lots of my hair. After suffering with thinning hair for years, and experimenting unsuccessfully with several remedies, I found the no-poo option and decided ‘what the heck’ and gave it a shot. After a few different methods, I landed on the co-only approach and have regrown much of my lost hair! I have been using Pantene Pro-V sheer volume weightless conditioner which has very little fragrance, and is also silicone free. I didn’t know it was the lack of silicone that made it work so well, but now that I do, it will give me more options for fragrance. Thank you!

    • says

      Oooooh! I love having another conditioner to try. Thank you for telling me which one worked for you, Angie! I’m not in the least bit paranoid, but I sometimes wonder why so many people use shampoo when so many people have hair trouble!

      • Angie says

        Rebecca, I think we’ve been ‘sold’ on the idea that no shampooing makes us dirty … we don’t realize the shampoo is stripping all the good things from our scalp & hair. I just had a friend tell me that she’s been advised not to put conditioner directly on her scalp. I’m sure some of the issue is that every conditioner formulation is different and many of them really don’t do us any favors. I gave up on conditioning for years after using silicone based heavier conditioners and had them weigh down my hair and make it oily fast.

        I switched to the Pantene for the volumizing benefits. So it was kinda by accident that I was using silicone free conditioner. When I first started using the co-only method, I would still get some sebum buildup after roughly a week, so I would shampoo to get rid of that. The time between needing to shampoo became greater and greater until I eventually didn’t need to shampoo at all as my poor, abused scalp was eventually healed and rebalanced. After I completely stopped shampooing is when I began to see lots of regrowth! I’m still shocked at how much more hair I have now than even a year ago! :-)

  157. Goldenhorse says

    Thanks for this wonderful, informative post. I came across it a couple of months ago and decided to give it a try but it still took me awhile to do it!!! I kept having so many things going on that I couldn’t risk an experiment on my hair and not having time to rewash. Shouldn’t have been concerned…….my hair turned out the best ever!!!! Shiny and lots of volume. Now I don’t have to buy those expensive volumizing shampoos. Plus it saves time in the shower… less step to do!!! Can’t thank you enough!!!


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