Is Not Using Shampoo Good for Hair Loss?

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Miss A

Question: I would like to try the 'No-Poo' trend for not using shampoo as I think it may be better for my thinning hair given I won't be rubbing it so much, like I do when I shampoo my hair.

Do you think not using shampoo is a good idea for people with hair loss? Also, will my hair really be clean enough without washing it? My hair is thinning on top and I have a history of hairloss in my family so I assume it is female pattern hair loss. I would appreciate your advice.

Answer: Thanks for your question, Miss A. This is one haircare and beauty trend that we recommend you avoid - and not just because you have thinning hair.

Is the No-Poo Movement of not using shampoo good for hair loss?

The 'No Shampoo' or 'No-Poo' movement aims to remove excess chemicals from advocates' lives, starting with shampoo. Whilst this is an admirable ideal, can you really have clean, healthy hair without washing it? The answer is no, not really.

Hair is self-cleaning up to a point, but even if you don't use shampoo, following the No-Poo trend is just as time-consuming because ideally you have to thoroughly rinse the hair at least once a day to get rid of the everyday dirt and dust it will pick up.

Additionally, rinsing your hair is not going to be very effective after certain activities that make the scalp sweaty, such as exercising or using a sauna. Rinsing will also not remove bacteria or clean the excess oil from your scalp if you have greasy hair.

Another aspect to consider is that, if you come into contact with something you are allergic or sensitive to, simply rinsing your hair rather than washing it leaves the allergen in place for longer, increasing the risk of developing dermatitis.

Poor scalp hygiene, such as not washing your hair regularly, can cause a number of problems including further hair loss as the build-up of skin and sebum on the scalp which can lead to bacteria and potential infection and inflammation.

You mention wanting to lessen the effect of manually rubbing your hair from shampooing but there is no need to worry about this as the friction caused to your hair during washing is minimal and should not have any effect on your hair loss.

Furthermore, whether you use shampoo or not has no impact upon female pattern hair loss. If your hair follicles are being attacked by DHT, rinsing instead of washing will not make any difference to the hair loss aspect although there are still the hygiene implications already outlined above. Hereditary hair loss in women can only be treated by using the medically-proven treatment, Minoxidil.

Whilst it's understandable that you may wish to avoid harsh chemical ingredients in their shampoo, one thing the No-Poo movement seems to have overlooked is the number of good quality, harsh chemical-free, organic haircare products that are widely available. If you are concerned about the environment as well as your hair, we would recommend you investigate haircare products rather than give up shampoo as there are a number of brands producing highly effective gentle, organic and sulphate-free formulas.

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