Saturday, 26 May 2012

The hair experiment - 5 weeks in

It has now been five weeks since I began The Hair Experiment. 'What is that?' you may ask. Well, in the interests of health, skin problems and just to satisfy my curiosity, I've given up shampoo. For the last five weeks I've been washing my hair with water and rinsing with a very dilute vinegar solution, which I then rinse off with water.

As I explained in my last post, the first two weeks were completely problem-free. No greasiness, just soft, clean hair. Since then, things have pretty much continued the same way. In the third week I could feel a bit of oiliness near the roots, but it wasn't visible, at least not to me peering in the mirror. By Week 4, this had gone and my hair looked like this:

Inspired by these exciting results (yeah, ok I have no life!), I decided to see what would happen if I stopped the vinegar rinse and just used water on my hair. I did this for a week, 'washing' every three days as usual. By the end of the week, there was some visible oiliness near the roots. The next day I did the vinegar rinse again and all is well :)

This is what my hair looks like now, five weeks into the experiment:

Pretty amazing hey? That's five weeks using nothing on my hair except water and dilute vinegar - no shampoo, no conditioner, no dye, no sprays, no hair products whatsoever!

My hair is clean and soft and my scalp dermatitis has definitely improved. The experiment will continue...

Out of interest, my niece, aged 6, has also never had her hair shampooed. I wanted to include some pictures of her beautiful, long hair, just to prove all those baby shampoo ads wrong ;)


So there we are. So far, the experiment is a success and all is hairpy and hairlthy (sorry!). I wonder what the next month will bring.

I've had quite a lot of interest in my hair experiment, both on and off the blog and I know some people are even giving this experiment a try. Good luck and I would love to hear updates from you all.

Update: people have been asking me exactly how I 'wash' my hair. I wet it completely in the shower and give the roots a massage with my fingertips. Then I pour a dilute solution of vinegar and water over my scalp (1-2 tablespoons white or cider vinegar in 1.5 cups water), massage again and rinse with water. I do find that my hair can be a bit tangled and difficult to comb out after washing. This is not a huge problem, but I may try using conditioner in the ends to see what happens.


  1. Thanks so much for sharing. I'm going to try this...

    1. Cool! Can't wait to hear all about it :)

  2. Very cool. I've been making my own shampoo for the last few years and now can't handle the smell and stickiness of the usual stuff. I might have to try this :)

    1. Wow, that's interesting. I am amazed at how many people have shown interest in this. I thought everyone would just think I'm gross and weird!! Thanks for the comment.

  3. Megan, what do you do if you had a swim in the ocean and hair is thick and salty? Do you just rinse with diluted vinegar? Also, what is the proportion of dilution that you use? I want to try it too :)

    1. Hi, I haven't actually been for a swim in the ocean since I started this experiment. I don't venture into the water unless it's at least 35C outside as I'm a woosie Perth girl! At the moment it's mid 20s, so much too cold for me. However, my husband and children both went swimming on the day this beach photo was taken. They all washed their hair with water only afterwards (they don't use shampoo either) and their hair was fine - shiny, clean and not salty. Let me know if you try this.

  4. @Megan I just found your blog, and I love it!! I've been using a shampoo/vinegar combo for awhile, but I'm definitely going to try plain vinegar and water now. I didn't think about it before. If you are interested in a natural conditioner, I use coffee. I basically "brew" it from already used grounds, then pour the coffee through my hair like a rinse. It doesn't make my roots oily, which I'm prone to in part because my hair is thick, and it still condidions the ends of my hair my hair. I usually let it sit in my hair a couple minutes before rinsing. I've got really long dirty blonde/light brown hair, and in case you're wondering, the coffee hasn't effected my hair color, unless you count the fact it no longer looks light and dried out. :) Anyway, I thought I'd share for those who would like a conditioner to complement the vinegar!!
    (It smells a little better than the vinegar. - I also reuse coffee grounds several times, and I haven't notice a difference between stronger and weaker coffee. Hope this helps!! <3 your blog.

  5. @Anonymous Hi, thank you for the comment and the great coffee rinse idea. I will definitely brew some up and give it a try. I have been shampoo-free for over four months now and my hair is really healthy. I will post another proper update on the blog soon. So pleased you like the blog :)


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