30 Bananas a Day!

Results of my experiment with soap/shampoo

This is the second, but most complete stage of experimentation I've done with the use of shampoos and soaps and has completely satisfied my curiosity in regards to their uselessness. I'll share my findings for all those interested.

Beginning in February I decided to run an experiment wherein I would forgo any use of soaps or shampoos and study the results. My suspicion was that these products create their own demand through their continued use. My hypothesis, based on past experience and research, was that it is the very use of soaps and shampoos that causes our bodies to require the use of them, and that being vegan, with a thoroughly clean system, there is no need for the use of soaps.

Prior to giving up soaps/shampoos, my skin was often dry and flaky, my scalp would get occasionally itchy and I would have dandruff (not heavy, but noticeable, especially when scratching the itch). The hair on my head following shampoo use would be dry and dead/limp, and after a day or two without shampooing it would become quite greasy.

My theory was that these symptoms were all brought on by the use of shampoos and soaps, and that the greasiness of my hair after a few days of not using shampoos/soaps was the result of my body's attempt to recover from the damage done by the shampoos, but that it would regain natural balance over greater time.

I've tried many brands and types of soap over the years, but had settled into using Doctor Bronner's products... seeking as 'natural' a product as possible. I'm aware of many alternative products, but my belief is that the results of my experiment would be similar for any such product. My previous experiment was with standard products and yielded almost identical results (though at that time I was vegetarian, not vegan, and the results were not as optimal).

So, to my current results. During the first week to two weeks my skin continued to be dry and flaky and my hair was almost unmanageably greasy. I spent more time in the shower than usual, scrubbing with my fingers under hot water to try to 'rinse the grease away' before going to work (as a server)... but that did nothing to alleviate the condition. However, after about a month, the grease levels balanced out naturally and now my hair feels clean and soft to the touch and no longer becomes greasy. My skin is no longer dry; my hair no longer itches, and I no longer get dandruff. On all accounts, my hairs is as healthy as it has ever been. It also appears relatively thicker, though I think this may be due to the thickness of the hairs as opposed to new hairs having grown in. I'll continue to keep an eye on that over time, though.

My conclusion is indeed that the use of shampoo strips our hair such that our bodies react to it, causing the conditions that lead us to desire the use of shampoo. My conclusion for soap is the same. I have noticed no increase in 'dirtiness', greasiness, etc., of my skin (in any sense), and being vegan I have little to no noticeable body odor. Both products appear, to me, to be completely useless.

So, here's my testimony, from experimentation, that I believe these products are unnecessary, and, in fact, are a sort of self-fulfilling product - both the cause of and 'solution' to the conditions requiring their use. As someone who appreciates testimony as much as data or scientific evidence, I hope this helps others on their journeys. There are several discussions on 30BaD with both testimonials and science on these topics, if anyone wishes to run a search for them.

Here's a starter search to get you going.

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Tags: conditioner, experiment, shampoo, soap, vegan


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Comment by PK on September 14, 2012 at 10:20am

Thanks for sharing Jon.  

I am going to start a folder for males experiencing improvements in their baldness and or people seeing good results with thinning hair and alopecia;-D  

It seems many people, even females, come to us with this problem, and a few do have good results if they "just do it 100%" and give it time and patience.  

Peace, PK

Comment by Jon Fergus on September 14, 2012 at 9:14am

Time for an update!

I've been no poo and no soap for over 7 months now, as well as HCRV during that time. My body has completely adapted and responded very well to this. My hair is healthier than it has been in years - in fact, it seems to be getting thicker, despite my 'male pattern baldness' that has been creeping in over recent years. When I run my hand through my hair now it is noticeably thicker on top than it was even 2 or 3 years ago,  and it now has more body and is never greasy. I'm unsure if the thickness is simply the increased thickness of each existing hair or if new hairs have been growing, (I suspect the former), but I'm happy either way.

I've even gone up to three weeks without showering in one stretch and at the end of the three weeks my hair was only slightly greasy, but still easily manageable. That said, for the best results, quick daily showers with nothing but hot water seems to provide the best results (seems to help the hair retain 'body' and 'life').

No soap has likewise given positive results. Even after a solid workout and sweatin' up a storm, a quick shower with nothing but hot water does the trick. No greasy feeling, no smell, no worries :)

I cannot see myself ever returning to the use of soaps or shampoos, of any kind (however 'natural' they are advertised to be). And I hope some of you who have been trying this experiment have found as positive of results as I have! And I hope this testimonial with encourage others to give this a try. :)

Comment by Jon Fergus on July 11, 2012 at 7:39am

Feel like I wasn't able to offer much help, but hey, we're all on this experiment together :)

About genetics, I'm wondering the same. I'm experiencing the first stages of pattern hair loss. My brother and father still have full heads of hair, but my mother's side and all cousins are facing the same as me. I'll be interested to see what impact HCRV and no poo have on my hair loss, and am very curious about the role of genetics.

If you haven't been exposed to epigenetics, look into it. It's very interesting - the basic premise being that our genes are sort of 'turned on' or 'turned off' by lifestyle and circumstances - bringing the 'nurture' aspect into genetics. Quite intriguing.

Glad you're sticking with it... looking forward to the six months update ;-)

Comment by AnnaBanana on July 10, 2012 at 5:34pm

Jon Thank you for replying and offering advice, I really appreciate it : )  Yeah most of the time I ruffle my hair out and it doesn't look so bad.  I'm sure its been getting better, but I guess its just taking a long time.  Maybe in three more months I'll report how my hair is doing lol  Also, I've been told that I've my dads hair gene,-the waviness and the tendency to get greasy really fast.  Could that  be a factor?  (is that even genetic?)  either way, I'ma stick with this and see what happens lol I'm devoted to this because it makes perfect sense to me (just like 811)  :-)

Comment by Jon Fergus on July 9, 2012 at 9:15am

Hi Rawnna. Never apologize for a lengthy post like this - I'm happy you gave us so much information. Honestly, I'm not really sure what the issue might be - you seem to be following the same steps as I've done. My hair isn't nearly as long, of course, so perhaps if there was more quantity I'd have more to deal with in terms of grease.

Here's an experience I've had: if I shower, then let it air dry, it'll dry but with almost the look of having had product in it. After it's fully dry though, if I just run my fingers through it, or even just place the palm of my hand over it and pet it, it seems to lose that greasy look and become more wavy and loses the greased appearance. Not sure if that helps at all, or if that's similar to what you've been doing with brushing it.

Hoping someone here can help you out; maybe one of the ladies with equally long hair ;-)

p.s. I'm very impressed with your devotion to the experiment! :D

Comment by AnnaBanana on July 9, 2012 at 6:41am

Hi everyone! I went no poo on April 12th 2012 (I left a few comments on this thread)  so its been almost three months since I haven't used shampoo.  during the first month my hair was extremely greasy and after that it only got a fraction bit better.  By fraction I mean the middle of my hair length didn't look so greasy anymore.  The rest stayed the same.  My hair is still greasing up so much that sometimes I have to shower and scrub my hair really hard twice a day.  When I get out of the shower and touch my hair I can feel the greasiness of it and see it on my palms.  when I brush my hair I see the shine of the grease and my hair starts to look greasy and dirty again as well as my hairbrush cakes up in some weird greasy substance.  Sometimes I consider using some sort of alternative shampoo method or maybe just incorporating lemon water, but I just cant find the nerve to do it cuz I'm still hoping.  Please if someone had experience with this, please offer advice and insight. I'm getting really tired of having a greasy dirty looking head of hair all the time.  not to say that I didn't have any other improvements, I did.  My ends aren't looking so dead anymore and see-through which is a huge bonus.  My thickness somewhat improved and I think my hair growing much faster(probably from all that scrubbing that my scalp gets),  and also my hair is getting its waviness back(after I destroyed my hair with styling products and a SAD diet, my hair lost all of its waviness and looked really pathetic).  A couple of things; I've been overt fat free since I went no poo and I'm strictly raw, get my two liters of water, go jogging a couple of times a week (six miles), I get plenty of sunshine and still working on getting more sleep, but I'm getting better at it (I get at least seven hours, and thats on rare occasions, usually its eight or nine).  Its not that my hair looks super greasy all the time; after a shower I let it air dry(also I don't use any styling hair products, or any hair products for that matter)  and then after I brush it and it begins to take on the greasy look...please if anyone had the same struggle and overcame it please help.  oh and I've been raw for almost seven months now...sorry its a long post, just wanted to cover everything, Thank You!

Comment by Jon Fergus on May 5, 2012 at 1:43am

That's awesome Franga! :D

Comment by J on May 4, 2012 at 12:37pm

That definitely helps!!  Thanks, Jon.

Comment by Jon Fergus on May 4, 2012 at 11:33am

@Peaches: Good to know I'm not the only server with no poo hair ;P. I would suspect that the conditioner would have nearly the same effect as shampoo, so perhaps you won't find the same progress so long as you're using it. But, that said, my experience has all been through experimentation, so if you're willing to be a guinea pig, it'd be great to hear a testimonial of your experience with and then without conditioner.

@Chanda: great to hear! Keep going and let us know what kind of results you experience. :)

@J: Well, that's a tough one, as my journey to HCRV included A LOT of back and forth and experimentation with diet, so there's no real fine-line or specific date of when I became HCRV (I'm not the "day one" type ;). Overall though, even as a cooked vegan I hardly need any deodorant, and HCRV just makes it completely obsolete. My 'educated' guess for timing for most folks would be upward of around a year into full HCRV, or cooked low-fat vegan, before no deodorant would completely work - and all that is, is allowing for enough time to fully detox. Once the detox phase is over (however long it takes each individual), I'd suggest everyone try going with no deodorant, and I'd bet most would find they don't need it.

Hope that helps. :)

Comment by J on May 4, 2012 at 10:51am

Very interesting and well-written.

May I ask, when into your lfhc raw lifestyle, that you found you didn't need deoderant?

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