No shampoo: the choice of an American blogger

The American blogger, Sarah Theeboom, decided to follow her friend’s advice and stop using shampoo. She has been following this advice for seven years now and has gone without using shampoo to wash her hair. Although she is now “co-washing,” i.e. using conditioners occasionally, she has not gone back to the shampooing ways of the past. According to Sarah, the results are satisfactory: her hair is silky smooth, clean, and looks more natural. She also explains how shampoos and conditioners contain many chemical agents that cause damage to the scalp and even the environment. Sarah is convinced that she has made the right choice and hasn’t look back since.

The Dermatologist’s Opinion

Professor Marcello Monti, Senior Consultant of Dermatology at Humanitas Research Hospital, explains where the refusal to apply hair products came from: “This girl’s choice is not a rare case, but rather it is a habit that has found many followers. This is because many people believe shampoo is hazardous to health and dries out the scalp. We can agree to the fact that rubbing the scalp is bad. The more we massage our head with our hands, the more the shampoo binds to the skin and irritates it. The irritation stimulates the production of sebum and so we always have the feeling that our hair and scalp are greasy. If we wanted to minimize these effects, we should immediately rinse the head after applying shampoo. Basically, it is the foam that is the real culprit.”

Individuals who have really dirty hair filled with dust, grease or oil, ought to use a cleaning product.

Others who wash their hair every day should use fresh running water for proper hygiene. They should take advantage of the fact that there is no need to apply shampoo to their head or massage the scalp with their fingers.

No Poo and Low Poo

“No Poo” or “Low Poo” is known as using none or little shampoo. This tendency has spread in recent years and it is becoming more and more popular. When the hair is washed with shampoo, it is stripped of oil and the scalp secrets more oil to compensate for the loss. Washing the hair again and again to get rid of the excess oils just repeats the cycle. Thus, the theory behind the “No Poo” is to use only water to wash the hair so that the oils can achieve a natural balance. Some also suggest shampooing with natural products such as baking soda, apple cider vinegar and rosemary. The basic pH level of the baking soda can be harsh on the hair however.

“Low Poo”, on the other hand, involves washing the hair once every few days with a small amount of shampoo. There are certain shampoos marketed as “Low Poo” shampoos. They are usually natural and sulfate-free.

Are all hair products on the market equally damaging to the scalp?

Not all hair products are damaging to the scalp. In any pharmacy, you can buy hair products that are less aggressive and more natural. Examples of such products are ones that do not produce foam but still help wash the hair. These products may be more expensive than those most commonly used. Therefore, not everyone chooses to buy them” – concludes the specialist.


Humanitas is a highly specialized Hospital, Research and Teaching Center. Built around centers for the prevention and treatment of cancer, cardiovascular, neurological and orthopedic disease – together with an Ophthalmic Center and a Fertility Center – Humanitas also operates a highly specialised Emergency Department.