From Dr. Mercola:
The “no-‘poo” trend — short for “no shampoo” — is all the rage. Taking part is easy; just ditch your shampoo (at least typical detergent varieties) and “wash” (or simply rinse) your hair less, such as once every five days instead of daily or every other day.
The idea is that over-shampooing your hair strips it of its natural oils. Dr. Lisa Donofrio, cosmetic surgeon and associate clinical professor of Dermatology at Yale University School of Medicine, told HealthDay News:1
” [B]y leaving the natural oils on the hair, the hair doesn’t need any styling products If you don’t apply any styling products, then there is no need to wash your hair. No products, no need to wash them out.”
Beyond this, there’s growing recognition that perhaps we’ve become too clean as a society. Your skin is teeming with bacteria and other microorganisms, much of it beneficial.
All of that washing may be disturbing this microbial balance. Not to mention, the shampoos many people lather on their scalps are chemical-laden and problematic in their own right.
Washing Your Hair Daily Is a New Phenomenon
The “trend” of not washing your hair too often isn’t actually new, relatively speaking. The idea of a daily shower was virtually unheard of 100 years ago. It wasn’t until the early 20th century, not coincidentally when advertising became prolific, that Americans began to be very concerned about personal hygiene.
As Gizmodo reported, the advertising industry created a “need” for newfangled products like “toilet soap” and “mouthwash” where one had never before existed:2
“Americans had to be convinced their breath was rotten and their armpits stank. It did not happen by accident. ‘Advertising and toilet soap grew up together,’ says Katherine Ashenburg, author of ‘The Dirt on Clean.’
Even our very notion of ‘soap’ changed. Until the mid-19th century, ‘soap’ meant laundry soap, the caustic stuff used for scrubbing soiled linens and clothes.
A kinder, gentler alternative was invented for cleaning the body, and it had to be called ‘toilet soap’ to distinguish from the unrefined stuff. Today, ‘toilet soap’ is a superfluous designation. Toilet soap is simply soap.
Initially, most people washed their hair with the same all-purpose soap they used to wash their bodies. In North America, the first shampoo popped up in the mid-1930s, around the same time that marketing and advertising increased.
Even today, most people do not wash their hair during every shower. In the U.S., for instance, even though most people take close to seven weekly showers, on average, there are only four weekly shampoos.5
Is Ditching Shampoo Good for Your Hair?
Many members of the “no-‘poo” movement claim abstaining from shampoo leaves their hair healthier, shinier and less frizzy. When (and if) shampoo is needed, only non-detergent cleansers, or