Is It Okay to NOT Shampoo Your Hair? And 6 Foods That Make Great Conditioners

February 27, 2012  |  

By Chrissi J

To Po or Not to Po? Is it okay to not shampoo my hair?
“Can I not shampoo my hair?” is a commonly asked question from some of my clients. The answer is: no.
It is important that your hair is shampooed at least once or twice every month. ‘Co-Washing’ or only using conditioner, can be great for in-between shampoos. Co-washing can definitely eliminate the need to comb your hair so often, and it also leaves your hair soft just the way you love it. I definitely recommend it.

However, with time, hair accumulates dirt and lint from outside, as well as build-up from products. Too much dirt or build up can lead to an offensive smell, breakage, and/or Malassezia (a fungal-type dandruff that develops in the presence of lipids, oils, waxes, etc). Shampooing your hair is a must, but for curly hair it isn’t necessary to do it so often. Just make sure when you do shampoo, as you must shampoo, to use conditioner afterwards.

When it comes to what conditioners you should try and how often is too often to wash your hair, these are the most common questions I get:

Q: What conditioners would you recommend?
A: I personally really like Organic Root Stimulator’s ‘Replenishing Conditioner’ & Aveda ‘Shampure’ Conditioner. Why? Well, because they work well with a lot of different hair types, which is always a great thing…but there are a lot of really great conditioners out there. Find which works best for you!

Q: If I shampoo & condition my hair twice in one month can it dry my hair out?
A: Not necessarily, it’s important that you always condition/hot oil treat your hair after you shampoo to replace the moisture in your hair. Everyone and their hair is different, so it’s important for you to consciously notice your hair and patterns that form as a result of using different products and trying different shampoo and styling routines. Do what makes your hair happy & healthy.

Q: What can I use in my homemade conditioner?
A:  Before you start, I suggest that you are aware of what type of hair you have and the condition your hair and scalp is in. Do research on products that will cater to you and what is best for your hair and scalp. The following is a list of some of my favorite conditioning ingredients…

Source: medicsites.com

Avocados

Avocados are great for fine hair, loose curls, and straight hair. I would not necessarily recommend avocado for locks or really curly hair and hair in an afro form.
Before using, mash the avocado and put in a bowl/container;  thoroughly rinse your hair with warm water, scoop the avocado in your hair and massage throughout your hair – rinse thoroughly.

Source: best-hair-growth-products.net

Egg Yolk

Egg Yolk is great for all hair textures and is great for repair! The egg whites give your hair protein and the yolk is cholesterol, which is great for moisture.
Before using, mix one cup of warm water and one egg and whisk together until watery; mix one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Thoroughly rinse hair with warm water, and then pour egg mix onto your hair and massage throughout. Of course, rinse thoroughly.
*For thick and long hair, double the recipe as many times as necessary.

Source: chriskresser.com

Coconut Milk

Coconut Milk is great for all hair textures. It also benefits hair growth, tames frizz, and can defer hair loss!
Before using, thoroughly rinse your hair with warm water; pour the coconut milk on your hair & massage into hair and scalp – rinse thoroughly.

Source: ruleofthedice.com

Mayonnaise

Mayonnaise is great for fine hair, loose curls, and straight hair. I would not recommend mayo for locks or really curly/afro hair.
Before using, thoroughly rinse your hair with warm water; scoop the mayo in your hair and massage throughout your hair – rinse thoroughly.

Source: charlesisherwoodsyogurtshop.tumblr.com

Yogurt

Yogurt is great for all hair textures! It promotes growth, helps tame frizz, and is also a gentle cleanser. Yogurt can be used as a detangler & a base for any conditioning treatment.
Before using, thoroughly rinse your hair with warm water; scoop the yogurt in your hair and massage throughout your hair – rinse thoroughly.

Source: ecofriendlyfreckles.blogspot.com

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar is not a detangler. ACV is more of a cleanser. It helps remove build up and helps to balance your hairs pH levels.
Use a bit of this if you like to mix a lot of products together. It helps to remove homemade conditioners more easily from your hair when you go to rinse it out and can make heavy, dirty hair feel brand new and help give it some shine. Be sure to mix it with water of course.

Chrissi J is a hair-care specialist currently based in New York City, specializing in creative natural hairstyling and overall hair care. She is the originator of the Keepin’ It Kinky Campaign. Check out her work and videos at Keepin’ It Kinky and through her YouTube page.

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  • Mspolished

    Great article. Really, REALLY good. Thanks.

    I MUST FIND YOU!! Where are you in NYC? I need your services for my daughters and me.

  • Butterflies and Pearls

    Congrats if it works for YOU. So many women harm themselves and hair with so many suggestions. I am a licensed cosmetologist and I apologize we have been out of the loop while you all struggle to get a handle on your hair. Great if it works for you. If it is not working, help is out there. Do not give up. When in doubt. Shampoo. No conditioner for a month. Light water/shampoo soluble styler only. Use spring water for daily restyling.Then lightly condition and rinse only once per 4 shampoos.

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  • Rah Truth

    All hair gets dirty “build-up”. Wash it or be nasty. And, no, i’m not going in my kitchen and making any special concoctions for my hair as if it is abnormal or needs some type of extra help. Creme of Nature shampoo and condition work fine for me, and my hair is down my back.

  • Kandykane

    FALSE. You do not have to shampoo your hair. In fact for afro text hair I do not recommend anything that lathers. Much better off with a clarifier or my personal fav apple cider vinager. Been using ACV for years and my hair and scalp gets very clean without being dried out or extra tangled.

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  • Msmykimoto2u

    DO NOT mix egg with warm water! Seriously? That will cook the egg and then you will be picking egg pieces out of your hair for hours… And mayo can be used on afro hair no problem. its just as easy to wash out as a thick conditioner and so can avacado if you blend it smooth enough. Other than that good article

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  • guest

    I co-wash and deep condition my hair once a week. I shampoo once a month. It’s working well for me. When I shampoo, I use a moisturizing sulfate-free shampoo. Shampoo does dry my hair out,so I only use it once a month to clarify my scalp,

  • I can cosign on the ORS replenishing because it balances protein and moisture.  Yay! Follow up with Roux Porosity Control.

  • Coco Black

    If washed my hair once or twice a month…my scalp would itch like crazy and my hair would smell!! I wash and deep condition weekly and I have a very healthy head of hair. I didn’t listen to my hair dresser when she said “black hair doesn’t need to be washed as often..once a month is fine!”. I changed salons.

    • sweettea

      It all depends on the individual. In the summer i have to wash my hair weekly or it looks limp and it’s itchy. In the winter i can go 10 days maybe 2 weeks. I let my hair tell me when to wash it. But you absolutely have to wash it sometime and conditioner doesn’t get it clean

  • Nursekimberly89

    I’m kinda surprised this list did not have extra virgin olive oil on it..that’s a fave I see mentioned on hair care forums. 

  • Sugar_Spice

    Wow, I never heard of using yogurt.  I use coconut oil for my 3b/3c mix hair & it really does tame the frizz.

  • FaDiva™

    How many times should one co wash or only use conditioner if hair should be washed once or twice a month?

  • Neecee401

    What kind of question is that?

  • L-Boogie

    Anything with marshmallow root.