Thinking of ditching shampoo? It's probably better to wash your hair occasionally than to suds up every day, but if you're afraid of going "no-poo" because you don't want greasy hair — well, you're right. As this video from the American Chemical Society explains, there's no way for oil glands in your scalp to magically know how much oil is in the rest of your hair. So even if you stop shampooing, you'll still have oil to deal with. They suggest using starch or clay to help absorb the oil — in other words, dry shampoo, DIY or otherwise.
I tried the no-poo thing twice. Once was an active, sweaty summer where my hair ended up full of grease and grossness. The other was after surgery — I'd been told not to get the incision wet, and was perfectly content to lie on the couch zoned out on painkillers. I didn't care if my hair was greasy. Without sweat and dirt in the equation, my hair looked mostly fine — but it's not like my oil glands suddenly gained telepathy.
What are your alternatives? The ACS gives conditioner-only washing a qualified thumbs up: it removes some of the dirt and oil, but not as effectively as shampoo. Nothing wrong with that, if you like the results. Where they draw the line is the much-lauded apple cider vinegar and bicarb soda combo, which they say can damage your hair. Check out the full video for more on what happens when you quit shampoo.
What Happens If You Stop Using Shampoo? [ACS Reactions]