Beauty oils really were the ugly duckling of the beauty world, until last year when they started gaining popularlity in the mainstream. Since then, we’ve started using oils on everything: skin, hair, hands and feet, even acne.

As part of my experiment in giving up shampoo (here), I decided to take it a step further: instead of using a conditioner to get that oil-to-oil cleansing power, why not just use a straight extracted oil?

So in the name of beauty, and quest to right every beauty wrong, I did the unthinkable: I washed my hair with jojoba oil.

That’s right, I washed my hair with 100% pure, cold-pressed jojoba oil. 

What ensues is more comedy than successful beauty sleuthing. I really took it too far this time.

A reader had pointed out in my last blog about giving up shampoo that I would have a better time washing my hair with conditioner if I put the conditioner on dry hair first (instead of wet hair), to get a good oil-to-oil, like-dissolves-like situation going on my scalp. This worked wonders!

But I wanted to take it further..

I decided that I’d skip the pre-mixed products altogether and just go to the source: super healthy, jojoba oil.

Jojoba oil is packed with tons of antioxidants and nourishing omega-fatty acids. It also mimics the skin’s natural sebum production, so I thought with some good agitation, it would do a great job of replacing my scalp’s sebum with the golden omega-fatty richness of jojoba oil. Jojoba oil is also used pretty often as a decadent hair mask (recipe here) or hot oil treament to repair hair’s moisture and shine. It’s expensive, but better than conditioner in so many ways.

It seemed like everything could add up here. Maybe this could be good? I’d never know until I tried.

The Set-Up

I grabbed an 8oz bottle of organic jojoba oil that I had lying around (yes, really) and took it to the bath with me. I knew this was no shower-job, only a bath could suffice. Even if it took an hour, I was ready to do this.. for the good of my hair!… and science!..and the blog!

I started off with a quarter-sized amount of jojoba oil that I applied to my roots. That covered about a quarter-sized area of my head. I kept pouring and pouring and pouring.. until I had used about half of the bottle. Ok my scalp was covered in jojoba oil, and so was almost all of my hair from root to tip.

After agitating that for a while–which proved much more difficult than agitating your scalp with conditioner–I let it sit for a while I oil-cleansed my body. Using my hands, I lightly applied oil to my entire body and gently used my scrubbie to exfoliate and slough off the dead skin cells (this felt ahmaaazing, by the way).

Then I went back to my hair.

Which had not moved.

And was covered in oil.

Holy cow.

I agitated some more, then tried to rinse it off, but I was basically just sitting in a bath of water with some oil floating at the top now. This jojoba oil was not rinsing off any time soon. I had sworn off surfactants, so I really didn’t know who to turn to. I kept agitating my hair under the water to try and get the oil off, but in the end.. it only half-worked.

After an hour, I gave up. I dried my hair with a towel, combed it through and tried to get to sleep. I pretty much had nailed Kim Kardashian’s slick hair look without even trying:



So I wrapped it in a towel and went to sleep.

And I woke up like that, too.

Kim K looks fabulous, but nobody wants to wake up looking like that. Nobody wants to rock that look at the grocery store. Just… nope.

In the morning my hair felt amazing, but it was so oily that I couldn’t leave the house.

Defeated, I walked to the tub again (hello, old friend) and went back to my conditioning-only routine. It took about 3 conditionings to get all the excess oil out.


The Conclusion

For me, there’s no definite conclusion yet on: to poo or not to poo. It’s a work in progress. You live, you learn, you learn some more.

Didn’t find this out until I was researching for this blog, but there are really expensive cleansing oil shampoos, like this one from Shu Uemura. I will have to get my hands on one soon and try it out.

I did check out the Loreal Sulfate-free shampoo after some comments in the last no-poo blog, but when all the “sulfates” have been replaced with “sulfoacetates”, I realized that I have more investigating (and learning) to do, first!


Until next time..


P.S. Please share your no-poo knowledge (or spoofs) below! I’d love to hear from you!

Dr. Vanessa Rodriguez is a board-certified general practitioner with more than 15 years of patient care experience. She takes an integrative approach to patient care that considers the whole person – mind, body, and spirit – and is deeply committed to assisting her patients in achieving and sustaining optimal health. Dr. Vanessa is also a skilled writer and medical reviewer, specializing in preventive care and health promotion. Her articles are written in an approachable manner that is simple to comprehend and implement in one’s own life. Dr. Vanessa’s mission is to equip her patients and readers with the knowledge and resources necessary to live their greatest lives.

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