Monday, March 16, 2009

What Beauty Products Do You Really Need?

OK. This is where I go out on a limb.

I realize what I'm about to say is going to sound pretty extreme. It's not something I generally tell the people I meet. And fortunately they can't tell to look at me.

But some of you may want to try it. Write and let me know how it turns out if you do.

I Stopped Using Shampoo

About 2 years ago I was hanging out in a lovely country house with my sister-in-law. She told me she'd seen a woman on t.v. who claimed not to have shampooed her hair in years. She told me the woman's hair looked great. I was intrigued.

I decided to try it.

As with most things, I went on to the Internet to get a second opinion, while I was toughing out the first few days while my hair readjusted. For the most part, the opinion was that you need to shampoo your hair:

But I also came across a few accounts of people who, like me, stopped shampooing.

So I stopped shampooing my hair. More than 700 days ago. I still wash it daily with water. But no shampoo. I swear. And no one has any idea.

My hair is healthier than ever. Whereas before I struggled to tame the frizz and breakage from sun, blow drying, and chlorine, my hair is now healthy, silkey and shiny. And you'd never know to look at me that I haven't shampooed in over 2 years. My hair looks and feels clean (and smells clean too I'm told by the few people I have openly admitted this to).

Oh, it was pretty oily for the first couple of weeks. For about a month it looked kind of ....stringy. But now it looks totally normal. A little less frizzy on humid days maybe. A little more body perhaps. Nothing dramatic. Just good.

Better Than Those High-end Shampoos and Conditioners

After almost 40 years I moved to a new climate. My hair was a disaster. It's a lot sunnier and more humid here than where I grew up. I'd always had pin-straight hair. Now I had FRIZZ.

Every salon I went to, I polled them for solutions. They sold me lots of them. Kerastase worked a little. But I suddenly found myself spending $30.00 or more on a bottle of shampoo or conditioner.

Then my stylist introduced me to hair straightening treatments. Kach-ing. For $70.00 or so I could douse my head with harsh chemicals that would render my straight hair even straighter for about 30 days. I was told that formaldehyde was a key component.

Doesn't that cause cancer?

So finally, after that chat with my sister-in-law, I just gave it up. Cold turkey, baby. No shampoo. Ever. The last time we got together she told me she'd kicked the shampoo habit too.


The No Shampoo Challenge - Not for the Faint of Heart

OK, so yesterday I went public with my "stop buying shampoo" message, by posting it to a blog carnival. Turns out there are a lot of people out there mulling over this question. I got the biggest traffic spike I've had in the short life of this blog.

It also turns out that the idea of not shampooing is gaining traction in other circles. I "stumbled" across an article on the subject recently (I'm a huge fan of You can access a link to that article here:

Other Beauty Products You Can Maybe Give the Boot:

More Beauty Products You Could Probably Do Without

Give Up Toothpaste? My Trip to the Dentist Today

This article was included in this week's Festival of Frugality. Read more here.

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