When was shampoo first used in China

Part 3: washing hair without shampoo experiences - from hair soap to water only.

Yes, I admit it: At the beginning I was also more than skeptical about washing my hair without shampoo. But since I wanted to do without industrial shampoo for the sake of the environment, my curiosity was greater - so I tried various No (Sham) Poo washing options. In the article on washing my hair without shampoo experiences, I'll tell you which methods I tried, which advantages and disadvantages I came across with the individual options and which I finally got stuck with.

  1. Wash your hair with (organic) natural cosmetic shampoos
  2. Wash hair with hair soap
  3. Wash hair with healing earth / lava earth
  4. Avocado seed "shampoo"
  5. Rye flour shampoo
  6. Water only
  7. Washing hair without shampoo experiences - My current washing method
  8. Conclusion

I've wanted to get away from conventional, industrial shampoo for a long time. Why? There were several reasons for this:

  • My hair was shiny, but it was very thin. I really wanted more fullness back, like I used to. There had to be a way, right?
  • I was tired of using shampoo (and the occasional conditioner) to regularly produce plastic waste due to the packaging. Wasn't there another option?
  • I didn't want any more chemical additives on my hair and skin, which then ends up via the drain in the water and thus not only sooner or later in our drinking water, but also in our food chain (see Article 1 about bye, bye harmful Ingredients in the shampoo).

An alternative was urgently needed and so I tried various alternatives to shampoo: From hair soap and organic shampoos to various no poo methods (you can read about everything that is available in this article: Natural cosmetics & no poo methods ).

In this article I am sharing my shampoo-free hair washing experience with you.

Wash your hair with (organic) natural cosmetic shampoos

The advantage of (organic) natural cosmetic shampoos is that they usually only contain natural ingredients. Before the whole microplastic and no poo topic, I had also been washing with natural cosmetic shampoos without silicones or artificial surfactants, etc. for a long time and was always very impressed (e.g. by the shampoos from Alverde).

The vegan natural cosmetic shampoos from the Speick brand do not contain synthetic fragrances or dyes, silicones or parabens, or any mineral oil-based raw materials. Excellent!

Especially manufacturers of organic shampoos are way ahead, such as the manufacturer Speick, who has a few organic certified natural cosmetic shampoos in its range, all without synthetic fragrances and dyes, silicones, parabens and also without Mineral oil-based raw materials get by. Top!

Natural cosmetic shampoo: application

Of course, it's nice that you don't have to get used to using natural cosmetic shampoos, as is the case with other alternatives, for example.

However: Unfortunately (all? / Most?) Shampoos are packed in plastic bottles again ... And since I personally also want to avoid plastic in general, such shampoos at least for me are now out. Nevertheless, it is a significant improvement over conventional shampoos!

(Organic) natural cosmetic shampoo: advantages & disadvantages

(Organic) natural cosmetic shampoo benefits

  • Better than conventional shampoos.
  • No getting used to the application.
  • Foams and gives the feeling of being cleaned.
  • Depending on the manufacturer, neither synthetic fragrances and dyes, silicones or parabens, nor raw materials based on mineral oil.

(Organic) natural cosmetic shampoo disadvantages

  • Packed in plastic bottle.
  • Possibly still too unnatural for one or the other.

Wash hair with hair soap

You should not confuse hair soap with "normal" body soap, because its ingredients are specially tailored to the needs of the hair. The difference is that hair soap only contains a very small amount of strong fats (such as palm oil or glycerine) so that your hair doesn't feel or look greasy after washing.

There are numerous manufacturers who produce vegan, plastic-free (both in terms of packaging and ingredients) and certified organic soaps for washing hair.

In contrast to conventional shampoo, hair soap does not contain any synthetic surfactants (based on petroleum), but only natural surfactants. These natural surfactants are saponified oils that care for the hair and provide moisture support.

Instead of strong fats (like in body soap), thanks to natural surfactants, only nourishing oils are used, which usually do not weigh down the hair or make it greasy. Depending on which hair structure you have, it can be useful to try hair soaps with different strengths of so-called "excess grease" and a more or less strong vinegar rinse afterwards and / or oil for tip care to counteract the drying out of the hair.

Hair soap: application

When I started with No Poo, I started with a hair soap from the organic market. At the beginning I wasn't really informed and just wanted to try it out. It seemed like the easiest way to replace conventional shampoo.

I was enthusiastic about the application: Simply lather in the hair, massage in like a shampoo, rinse. My hair squeaked after washing and was also a little harder to comb, but on the whole it worked great. The hair soap also made my hair more grippy with every use, which I was happy about, but it also “flew” more and often protruded a little confused from my head.

After three months of use, the end came for me: I had very dry tips, my scalp itched and I had slight dandruff. So not an option for me in the long run. And then I didn't want to try a hair soap with a higher degree of excess fat at the time.

I now know that after washing my hair with hair soap, I use either one Vinegar rinse (or lemon water) or with cold water Should have rinsed, because washing with warm water and hair soap opens the cuticle of the hair and this has to be closed again (which applies to almost all hair washing methods, but more on this below). In addition, it doesn't hurt to care for the tips with a high-quality oil (I just use organic olive oil for this).

Keyword: lime soap

In October 2018 I started a second attempt at very short notice because I had no way of mixing my rye flour shampoo. But I had Aleppo soap on hand, which I had read about that it is often used for washing hair, although it is not a special hair soap. But after the first hair wash including the vinegar rinse, my hair felt very stiff and greasy and it was difficult to comb. I also had what I thought was a lot of dandruff on my scalp.

But after some research I found out that it was lime soap. This occurs when you have very hard water and the lime in the water "reacts" with the soap. The result is chalky, white flakes and deposits around the hair shaft. Super ugly ...

Usually a vinegar rinse helps, but apparently I dosed it too weakly for the calcareous water (we were in Greece at the time). After the following wash with rye flour the next day and another vinegar rinse (this time a little stronger), I luckily got all the lime soap out.

Hair soaps: manufacturer

Savion processes high-quality organic vegetable oils into natural hair soaps that are completely plastic-free.

Unfortunately, I cannot (yet) give you a good manufacturer of recommended hair washing soaps from my own experience. But you often read about Savion, for example. The company produces the soaps from high-quality vegetable oils from controlled organic cultivation and dispenses with unnecessary (plastic) packaging.

The soaps from Dr. According to the manufacturer, Bronner should be suitable for shampooing. The soaps are 100% completely biodegradable, so nothing gets on your hair (and skin) that is not allowed in nature.

Two friends also recommended the hair soaps from Manna (especially the soap for healthy hair) and from Lamazuna. I'm currently testing the latter, but have only used it a few times in combination with a vinegar rinse. For now I'm not averse, but let's see how it behaves in the long-term test (although it won't be my main washing method, but more on that below, where I go into my current washing method).

Hair soaps: advantages & disadvantages

Hair soap benefits

  • Simple application.
  • No leakage.
  • Space-saving and easy to transport when traveling.
  • Depending on the manufacturer, natural ingredients.
  • Plastic-free packaging, depending on the manufacturer.

Hair soap cons

  • It may take longer to find “your” hair soap (keyword excessively greasy or dry hair).
  • Possible formation of lime soap possible.
  • Use of a vinegar rinse necessary (possibly cumbersome / time-consuming for one or the other (especially on the go)).
  • Use of regular hair treatments may be recommended.

Wash hair with healing earth / lava earth

Many users swear by washing their hair with lava earth. Unfortunately, I had not found this in Croatia (we were there at the time) and therefore bought myself healing earth.

Healing earth: application

Lava or healing earth must be mixed before shampooing. To do this, depending on the length of the hair, put one to two tablespoons in a container and fill up with enough water until a shampoo-like consistency is achieved by mixing with a fork. The best thing to do is to let the mixture swell briefly.

Then wet your hair and work the healing earth into the hairline in sections. Rather leave the tips out. When everything is distributed, massage in the healing earth briefly with your fingertips - just like with normal shampoo, only without foam.

Then rinse very, very (!) Thoroughly so that everything goes out again and rinse with a vinegar rinse so that the cuticle can close again.

I felt as if I literally smeared damp earth (which it is) in my hair. In and of itself, the application was a bit annoying to me, and even while washing, I had the feeling that my hair was getting dull and dry. It also took forever to rinse, because for a long time I didn't have the feeling that I was going to get everything out again. Finally the vinegar rinse. All in all, it was a very tough affair and combing the hair wasn't that easy either, as everything tugged and pulled.

After using it three times, I stopped washing my hair with healing earth. Relatively quickly, I know, because you should actually do things like this for at least four to eight weeks. But …

  1. purely haptically, I didn't get warm with it and
  2. In addition, I had not only got split ends within the almost two weeks of use, but my hair was so stiff and somehow smeary that I couldn't even run my fingers through it properly. A very unpleasant feeling, I'll tell you (if you know what I'm doing wrong, please write me a comment with your tips!)

And that although many are really enthusiastic about the use of lava or healing earth as a shampoo. Because it not only gently removes dirt and grease from hair and scalp, but also supplies them with various minerals, depending on the color of the healing earth.

To cut a long story short: For me, what it takes to be absolutely in the bin and to "supposedly look good" and make my hair supple again until the next visit to the hairdresser, I ended up using conventional natural cosmetic shampoo again.

Healing earth: advantages & disadvantages

Healing / lava earth benefits

  • I couldn't find any for myself.

Healing / lava earth disadvantages

  • Depending on the hair structure, the hair can dry out (at least that was the case with me).
  • Very earthy smell (you have to like that).
  • I feel it is very difficult to rinse out.
  • Packing is relatively expensive compared to other no poo methods (depending on the brand and product).
  • Use of a vinegar rinse is absolutely necessary, but may be cumbersome / time-consuming for one or the other (especially on the go).

Avocado seed "shampoo"

Yep, you heard right. After all the hair soap and healing clay dissatisfaction, I still didn't want to give up. My desire for no poo on my skin and hair (and in the sewage) was simply greater.

While researching, I came across a homemade shampoo made from avocado kernels, for which the kernel of the avocado is processed.

The advantages of this shampoo were as follows: Thanks to many antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, it should not only care for the hair very well and donate moisture, but also prevent dandruff. Sounds great, doesn't it? It was worth a try!

Avocado seed shampoo: recipe

In and of itself, the recipe is totally simple:

  • Let 1 avocado seed dry so you can remove the brown peel.
  • Grate the core with a grater or pulverize it in a good blender (the rasp will turn reddish in the process).
  • Pour the powder / flakes into approx. 500-600 ml of water, bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Strain through a fine sieve and pour into a bottle.

It is best to store it in the refrigerator, as it will last for several weeks (although it will probably not survive that long). Shake well before each use.

The avocado seed shampoo is a real DIY care shampoo!

Avocado seed shampoo: application

Making the avocado seed shampoo yourself is not difficult, but it takes a bit of time and involves a bit of effort. Nevertheless: The shampoo completely convinced me!

To wash, you simply put the liquid (it is liquid like water) into wet hair. I did this little by little and repeatedly massaged it well into the individual areas (works best if you have a bottle with a small opening or even use a spray bottle if necessary).

The Avocado Core Shampoo doesn't lather, which is unusual at first, but it feels really nice. I also found the scent very refreshing. After the rest of your body care routine, simply rinse thoroughly, rinse your hair with cold water and you're done.

After drying in the air, my hair made a great, well-groomed and above all clean and very smooth impression, which I personally liked!

Avocado Seed Shampoo: Advantages & Disadvantages

Avocado Seed Shampoo Benefits

  • Cleans the hair mildly and gently.
  • Provides suppleness.
  • Provides care while washing.
  • No vinegar rinse necessary (or only from time to time or due to the hardness of the water).

Avocado seed shampoo cons

  • Elaborate to manufacture (especially when traveling when you don't have a mixer).
  • Only lasts longer in the refrigerator.

Rye flour shampoo

When washing my hair with rye flour, I was a bit skeptical at first, but I wanted to try that too. In contrast to normal wheat flour, rye flour does not clump and also has not only a cleaning, but also a nourishing property.

Rye flour shampoo: recipe

To make rye flour shampoo you need 1,150 rye flour. Depending on the length of your hair, you put about 1 good (up to 2) tablespoon (between 15 - 30 grams) of this in a bowl and mix it with so much lukewarm water that a pulpy, shampoo-like consistency is created when whisked.

Then let it stand for a few more minutes so that any lumps can soak up with water and then dissolve more easily when you whisk again.

1 tablespoon is enough for short to medium-length hair. If you have long hair, 1.5 to 2 tablespoons won't hurt, but after the first few washes you will find out how much rye flour you need to wash your hair.

I then put the shampoo in a silicone bottle, as it allows you to dose it optimally for the corresponding head parts (temples and back of the head)!

Rye flour shampoo must always be made fresh. You shouldn't stir it for more than 12 hours beforehand, as there is a risk that it will start to ferment.

Rye flour shampoo: application

The application is very easy: Simply wet your hair and then work it into the hairline in stages with the silicone bottle. I make sure that I do this thoroughly, especially on the temples and the back of the head, as this is where my hair regreases the fastest.

When everything is distributed, I massage the entire scalp through and rub it down to the tips every now and then so that the shampoo is also distributed there.

It's nice that the shampoo is relatively creamy.It feels very pleasant when you work in it and gives the impression that it is foaming somehow.

Then rinse thoroughly, otherwise the flour will dry and crumble.

At the beginning I always used a vinegar rinse that I didn't rinse out. Now I just rinse with very cold water to close the cuticle. Works great!

In addition, I always put some oil into the tips immediately after washing my hair (I just use organic olive oil, which we also use in the kitchen) to care for them. You have to be a little careful with the dosage, because if too much oil is used, not all of the hair can be absorbed and the tips then look greasy.

I was simply delighted with the result with rye flour! I had more fullness again, my washing rhythm has been extended to three to four days (instead of every two before) and my hair looks much healthier and shinier!

After about five months of use, when I washed my hair with rye flour, I noticed that the tips of my hair were getting dry again, but I couldn't say whether it was the rye flour or the vinegar rinse. But since I also wanted to try another no-poo method, I quickly switched again and now found a great solution for myself (more on this in the next point).

Rye Flour Shampoo: Advantages & Disadvantages

Rye flour shampoo benefits

  • Pure paper packaging.
  • Absolutely of course.
  • Caring for and easy to use.
  • Inexpensive: A 1kg pack costs 1 - 2 €, depending on the brand.
  • Super economical (depending on hair length and washing rhythm).

Rye flour shampoo cons

  • Some preparation is necessary for mixing (should always be made fresh!)
  • Due to the packaging, it is a bit awkward to take with you when traveling or generally on the go (because it is large and bulky).

If you want to read more on this topic, then take a look at Shia from WastelandRebel. She has been washing her hair exclusively with rye flour for several years and reports on her experiences:

Water only

Washing hair only with water is also very much the trend for some no-poo enthusiasts. Of all the methods presented, it is probably the most natural and easiest way to wash your hair, as you really don't need anything else except - what a surprise - water.

I couldn't even imagine it at the beginning. Does Water Only (short: WHERE) really make your hair clean? If you believed the users, then yes. I wanted to try that. But there are a few things to consider at Water Only:

  1. There may be another changeover phase and the hair sometimes looks (faster) greasy again - depending on which washing method you used before. In addition, the washing result can vary due to the hardness of the water (I have had the best experience with soft water!).
  2. The hair should be brushed thoroughly from the roots to the tips with a (vegan) natural hairbrush at least twice a day in order to distribute the sebum produced (the sebum) to the tips (this is, so to speak, the head care).
  3. The hair should also be brushed thoroughly before each wash and again as soon as it has dried a little after washing. Has the advantage that you always work with the natural sebum, which cares for, protects and moisturizes the hair. However, the hair oil is also a possible breeding ground for fungi and bacteria and that's why you should brush thoroughly every day.

In practice it looks like this:

Water Only: application

Pearwood hairbrush from Croll and Denecke. Thanks to natural bristles, it is ideal for gentle hair care!

Before the first Water Only hair wash, I combed my hair thoroughly with a natural bristle brush (some swear by boar bristles, but these are out of the question for me). Many rely on the well-known 100 brush strokes.

In the shower it is extremely important to wash with relatively warm water, as it makes the sebum more fluid and so it spreads and washes out better. In addition: the harder the water jet, the better, as the water pressure also rinses the hair (and thus the sebum) better.

When washing, you proceed as normal: the entire scalp is massaged with the fingertips. Back to front, front to back, left to right and back again. You should work particularly carefully on the temples and the back of the head to mobilize the sebum. It also helps to run your hands over your hair as if you were rubbing out the water or washing it upside down (you may find that your hands feel a little greasy - that's normal!).

You wash definitely longer than with other methods, because you really have to be thorough! You can then rinse with sour rinse or with really cold water.

I then comb my hair with a coarse comb or the TangeTeaser and then usually let it air-dry. As soon as they have dried a little, I go through it again thoroughly with the natural bristle brush - from the roots to the tips. It was also recommended by many Water Only users on the Internet in order to distribute the sebum even better while the hair is still slightly damp.

The first times my hair felt really clean, shiny and looked good. The first one or two times I couldn't see any greasy deposits or the like. The reason for this, however, is that the hair is usually still used to the previous washing method and needs a few days (or washing cycles) to change.

From the third or fourth time on, I noticed the change: on my brush. Excess sebum, which could neither be rinsed out by washing nor absorbed by the hair (anymore), settles as a white layer on the natural bristle brush. That is also quite normal. It is important to brush thoroughly in order to distribute the sebum in the lengths. Excess sebum will settle on the brush. It is important to clean the brush thoroughly afterwards (I do this with a bar of soap) and let it dry thoroughly.

After a few Water Only washes I could see the sebum every time I combed my hair and I noticed how it was spreading better and better in the lengths and making my hair more and more supple.

It is important to wash the brush thoroughly after each use so that it is free of hair grease again for the next use!

At the beginning I struggled every now and then with a more or less greasy attachment to the temples. This happens again and again even after more than three months of use, but most of the time the hair looks completely normal, as if it had just been washed. The sebum also only spreads in the first two days after washing your hair with Water Only in the brush. After that I hardly see any of it when I comb my hair every day. Until the next wash.

The only thing that struck me negatively is that I can no longer run my fingers through my hair as easily. They are much "firmer" on the scalp in particular, which I find rather uncomfortable. But that can be completely different for you, or maybe you don't mind that much at all.

Water Only Advantages and Disadvantages

Water only benefits

  • No equipment needed.
  • Completely free of packaging.
  • Totally natural.
  • Applicable anywhere.
  • The hair tips are wonderfully cared for by the sebum.

Water only cons

  • Needs a lot of water ...
  • When you wash, you don't have the feeling that your hair is getting clean (even if it really is).
  • Takes some practice to find out how long you have to wash in order to distribute the sebum well and not to leave any greasy spots behind.
  • After a long Water Only use (between 4 to 8 weeks) my hair becomes very "firm" / "stiff" at the roots and is difficult to comb with your fingers ...

You can check out what Water Only looks like in the long run at dear Ariana from Paris to Go - she has only been washing with Water Only for years!

Washing hair without shampoo experiences - My current washing method

Lately I have washed my hair almost exclusively with water and from time to time a kind of "rinse" in the form of a very, very thinly mixed rye flour shampoo, which mainly only comes on the temples (I get greasy the fastest) applied. Every now and then I also make myself an avocado core shampoo, because it is so nourishing.

After washing, I always rinse my hair with ice-cold water (now and then with vinegar or lemon rinse) and put some olive oil in the tips for care.

With the combination of Water Only and rye flour / avocado shampoo or conditioner, I ride really well and have meanwhile been able to extend my washing rhythm to four days (!!) - how awesome is that ?! However, I always stick to the recommended combing rhythm: twice a day thoroughly and thoroughly before and after each hair wash. I always try to get at least 70 brush strokes.

My hair has not been so well cared for in a long time!

But as I said, the longer I wash Water Only, the hairline is also very stiff and a bit greasy (you can't see it, but you can tell when you run your fingers through your hair). Personally, I just don't think that's nice and now and then I would like to have a “proper hair wash”.

But I would never want to use conventional shampoo again if it can be avoided (especially since then, according to No Poo’s, the whole change should be in the bucket and you have to start all over again).

When traveling, washing my hair with rye flour shampoo is feasible, but the big pack that I have to take with me bothers me (and I have to because you cannot easily find rye flour everywhere). Water Only works sometimes better, sometimes worse, depending on the hardness of the water, but with vinegar or lemon for the rinse it actually works quite well.

In my opinion, the easiest option (especially when traveling) is really to wash with hair soap. That's why I currently do it so that I mostly wash water only and also have a hair soap (currently from Lamazuna) with me. So I can wash it up spontaneously in case it doesn't work with WO.

Fortunately, you can find organic olive oil for the tips pretty easily almost everywhere!


It may take a while to find the method that is right for you. In addition, you sometimes need a lot of patience, because the transition is sometimes not as easy or smooth as you would like it to be. And besides, there can always be setbacks in between. Our scalp doesn’t tick the same every day and we’ve irritated it for years with conventional shampoo with ingredients and to a certain extent conditioned it.

For me, washing my hair only with water in conjunction with a rye flour conditioner (very thin rye flour shampoo) or with an avocado conditioner has proven to be the best. Try it out and the long-term test was more than worth it.

I've never had so much fun with my hair! They shine, look very healthy and now they are almost neat to the tips.

My hairdresser is also positively surprised by the result and has confirmed that my hair is very healthy, although she was rather skeptical at the beginning whether it would work that way. So far, I've only received positive feedback from family and friends.

Sometimes I long for some foam or scent on my head, but only sometimes (and either the hair soap helps me or I can continue to resist the urge).

On the whole, I'm just happy that washing my hair doesn't have to be too laborious, even without conventional shampoo, and I'm really happy to be able to completely avoid microplastics, plastic packaging, surfactants, additives and other chemical agents when washing my hair!

How about you: Have you ever heard of these no-poo methods or hair soaps or is this completely new to you? Do you maybe try one or the other method yourself and if so, how is your hair washing without shampoo? Experience with shampoo soaps or rye flour shampoo? Or do you just think all of this is total nonsense? Let me know - I'm looking forward to your comment!

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