TikTok users are snipping ties with traditional shampoo in a new movement to restore hair health, but what people are using instead might make some reel — and raise the eyebrows of hair experts.
The #nopoo tag has over 111 million views on TikTok as anti-shampooists share their at-times oily, messy journeys to rejecting shampoo.
“It was pretty horrific at first,” Rebs Curtis-Moss, whose wife committed to a no-shampoo lifestyle, told The Wall Street Journal. “It looked greasy and unwashed for quite a few weeks.”
One TikTok user Aiden Keryn, who goes by @aidenbeany, has documented her two-year journey of not using shampoo and only rinsing her hair with water.
But Keryn wasn’t the first family member to join the #nopoo movement: Her mother, father and brothers all stopped using shampoo, too — a choice she says is for the better.
“My no shampoo family,” Keryn wrote on TikTok. “We all have long, thick, healthy hair as you can see!”
The hair quality of other TikTokers speaks volumes about their methods, too, including creator @primalphysique, who says in a video that got over 3 million views he only washes his hair with seawater when he goes spearfishing, along with freshwater and coconut oil.
Other members of the #nopoo movement use concoctions of pantry ingredients to create alternatives for washing their hair, including lemon water rinses, chickpea powder paste and other products.
Some of the methods work better than others, #nopoo enthusiasts say.
“I smelled like scrambled eggs,” California artist Ella Smith told The Wall Street Journal about her experimentation with switching out warm eggs for shampoo. “Which is good when you’re walking into a house. But not when it’s on your body.”
Some hair experts on TikTok are weighing in on the movement, like cosmetic chemist Javon Ford who urged people to simply switch to eco-friendly shampoos.
Some #nopoo experimenters shared their dislike for the movement with Ford.
“I didn’t wash my hair for two weeks because I was depressed and I looked (and felt) like a weasel dipped in grease,” someone commented on Ford’s video.
Despite skepticism from shampoo-users, #nopoo aficionados swear by the transformation of their hair, with some even showing photos of their hair growing back after they stopped using shampoo.
Many #nopoo advocates shared their stories of oily, imbalanced scalps that they said suffered from hair wash with too many harsh chemicals, which they claim were resolved once they ditched traditional shampoos.
Head and Shoulders addressed the #nopoo movement and warned people that using natural cleaning routines can sometime backfire by creating imbalances in the hair’s PH and oil absorption process.
Eggs might coat hair strands with too much protein, the company advised, and clay might not properly remove dirt and oil from the hair.
“If you do still suffer from oily scalp even with shampoo, don’t dig into the kitchen cupboard — just choose the right shampoo for oily hair,” Head and Shoulders said. “This will help keep your hair healthy, your shampoo will last longer, and you won’t have to figure out what to do about eggshells in the shower.”