We’re pretty familiar with the concept of not washing our hair. Sometimes we’ll go a full week with a little help from our favorite dry shampoo, and many hair types can go longer without even using the product. Vlogger Alyse Brautigam of the YouTube channel Raw Alignment set out to see what happened if she could go a full month without lathering up.
This is not to say that her strands made no contact with her shower, she just wasn’t using shampoo.
“I’m all for natural living and natural methods of hygiene, and I just wanted to try it out and see if this was something that I wanted to do long-term,” she explains in the video above. Aside from coconut oil and a handful of natural products, Brautigam keeps her beauty routine pretty minimalist to begin with. She used a natural shampoo and conditioner prior to her experiment, then ended up using whatever shampoo was stocked in her hostel while traveling.
Though rinsing your strands sans-shampoo isn’t a new concept—it’s a method my boyfriend actually practices and he has this glorious head of hair—there’s certainly something to be said about washing your hair less. Even if you have fine hair like Brautigam’s, lathering up every day could cause your scalp to over-produce oil.
The vlogger noted that in her first 12 days doing her experiment, her hair was easier to brush through. In the days that followed, however, the process wasn’t as enjoyable. “I’ve been putting it [my hair] up in a bun almost every single day because it doesn’t feel as soft, or smooth, or silky, or anything as it did when I used shampoo and conditioner. It’s kind of dry, but oily at the top,” she says on day 20 of not lathering up.
By the last day, her feelings from day 20 hadn’t changed. It was hard for her to run her hands through the top portion of her layers, and described how oily it felt when she attempted to do so. “I can’t really say that I want to continue, which I’m surprised about because I’m all into natural stuff, and I thought that I would enjoy this more than I did,” she adds. Then again, Brautigam was hiking the Appalachian Trail every day during the experiment, so her method was pretty extreme.
In the case of my boyfriend, who has been been doing this for years and actually laughed when I told him about this, he’ll use a shampoo once every few weeks just to get rid of excess oil, and give his scalp a really aggressive scrub while doing so. His coworker told him he had the best head of hair at his company (and I agree but I’m biased), so he’s probably doing something right.