Banishing Bad Hair Days since 1997!™

Wash Your Hair The Conditioner Way


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I recently wrote an article about how to Dry Clean your hair using a variety of dry shampoo formulas. The article has been generating a lot of feedback including email about how to wash your hair with water but not shampoo.

Huh? Is that even possible? Yes of course it is. It's a well known fact shampoo, even the super moisturizing kind, can be drying when used too frequently on hair that is already dry or damaged.

Although I have very pampered hair, it still defies me by being naturally dry to very dry.

I have learned over the years that I can only shampoo with the most moisturizing shampoos (Phytojoba Phytocitrus, and Phytonectar to name a few of my favs).

PhytoCitrus Shampoo 2008

I can only shampoo once or twice a week at the maximum and never ever with hot water (which I love but is horrible for my skin and hair).

Last week I had a shampoo accident. I tend to only sleep a few hours a night so I am definitely not a morning person.

There I was, slumped in my shower sudsing my dry crunchy locks with the delicious Phytocitrus shampoo. I love the aroma of citrus which helps me wake up after a long night pounding on my computer. I rinsed well and my hair felt nice but still a little dry.

I decided to do a super conditioning treatment but alas was out of Phytocitrus Mask. So I reached for what I thought was my favorite smoothing rinse-out conditioner in the stark white bottle with black lettering. I poured a big blob on my palms and then glopped it on my hair.

It started to foam up. OH NO! In my morning grogginess I had confused the shampoo with the conditioner, which is somewhat easy to do. Both bottles of the product are white with black lettering. They look alike except for the name on the bottom. Oops.

Phyto 9

Trust me, I used a lot more of the shampoo than I would ever use even on a super dirty hair day. It took me two full rinses to get the suds out. My hair felt like a total car wreck.

I lathered on a lot of Phyto 9 which is very moisturizing and I finished with Phytodefrisant (thank goodness for that miracle product) and lightly braided my waist-length+ hair so it could air dry.

My hair felt OK with all the Phyto 9 and Phytodefrisant to the rescue. However, I knew that I had overdone it with the shampoo.

Life has a way of offering me new opportunities. So I decided to grab this new opportunity to test out the "wash your hair sans shampoo" option. I waited for two days to let the natural oils catch up with all that shampooing I did.

Then I took my normal morning shower, got my hair totally wet and then ONLY applied conditioner. This time I got the bottles right and slathered on a good amount of PhytoSesame. I rinsed well. I was amazed that my hair felt like it normally does after a shampoo.


I used my normal Phyto 7 and Phytodefrisant and viola, my hair felt like it normally did. I let it air dry in a bun with a big fat barrette holding it up. Within a few hours my hair was no longer even damp. It felt and looked great. I had beautiful shiny waves and my hair felt clean. What a wonderful experience.

Yes, I have read on the HairBoutique and other hair message boards about washing your hair with water and no shampoo but I never was willing to try it. I had a hard time comprehending that washing your hair without shampoo could be a good experience. Who could have known?


Why not give this method of conditioning only shampoo a try if your hair is feeling super dry or you have damaged hair. Experiment by wetting your hair and then apply your normal favorite conditioner?

Remember to apply the conditioner only from your ear lobes down to prevent the conditioner from saturating your scalp.

Rinse well, towel blot your hair dry and then apply your favorite leave-in conditioner. Give your hair an extra rest by letting it dry in the air.

What a great way to keep your scalp and hair clean without shampoo that can be drying.

If you want to talk more about this or other hair care articles on or anywhere else, please post a message on's Hair Talk Forums.

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