W Magazine Tackles the No-Shampoo Rage
That’s one way to put it, right? Rage? I guess once Robert Pattinson is doing something it’s fair to say it’s reached a kind of critical mass, but that doesn’t mean the no-shampoo trend has been getting any love from women’s magazines, the pages of which are usually filled with ads for and articles about, well, shampoo. I should say upfront that I do wash my hair still. I wash it all the time. But regular readers will know Alexandra doesn’t, and we’re both advocates of less is more beauty in any form it takes—which is why I was delighted when I was flipping through the new W the other night before bed and came across a story called…The Great Unwashed! Never mind that that’s the same headline the New York Times used for their story on the same(ish) topic—this two-page featurette by Christa D’Souza was absolutely charming and chronicled her funny six-week adventure with dirty hair.
Alexandra and I have noticed—and we’re generalizing here—that when most magazines tackle naturals, one of two things happens:
1) They hawk greenwashed products that have leaves on the bottle or something, and then mix those in with truly natural or organic lines, which confuses readers; or
2) They take a snide this-stuff-is-for-hippies-and-conspiracy-theorists-only approach. We are neither (OK maybe we’re hippies), and so we don’t love this.
But this piece didn’t fall into those traps. Let’s take a look:
The theory is this: Shampoo strips hair of sebum, the oily substance secreted by our scalps to ward off bacteria and wetness. To compensate, we produce too much of the stuff, leading to the dreaded greasy look. In an attempt to remedy that problem, we lather even more frequently, and soon our ends are dry and frizzy, necessitating the use of conditioner and other expensive and time-consuming unguents. We are all, in other words, hamsters on the chemical-products wheel, and if we want to get off we must cut out, or at least curtail, their use.
Right? Right! There’s more:
Modern shampoo as we know it was first widely available in the 1930s, and although formulations have fluctuated, its basic components remain the same: salt; a lathering agent; and surfactant, a chemical that allows oil and water molecules to mix. And, of course, there’s the added fragrance. If you like the smell of clean hair, don’t be fooled: It’s not the clean you’re smelling.
Love that she points out the cycle of overuse that some products create, the relatively new invention of shampoo, and the fragrance thing. From there she funnily describes the next six weeks of her hair life, and while she decides this most certainly isn’t for her—the piece ends with “after six long weeks, I’m back on the bottle—and it feels marvelous”—we like that she gave it a shot, and we like W for giving it a shot, too. Now here’s hoping whatever bottle she went back to was from our friends Alaffia or John Masters or Aubrey.
So what about you. Do you wash your hair?