The Real Reason You Shouldn't Try Self-Cleaning Hair

If you're stuck at home, you might be tempted to start a new beauty routine. But if it's self-cleaning hair you're thinking about, you might want to go back to the drawing board.

The no 'poo (shampoo) movement was born from the belief that regular shampooing strips hair of natural oils that would otherwise keep it healthy. Others had wanted to limit their exposure to chemicals which could be found in their toiletries. There were even those who thought that rejecting shampoo meant turning their backs on the pressure to spend on commercial beauty products (via Healthline).

The self-cleaning method takes the no 'poo method to a whole new level. In case you're curious to hear about how you might get your hair to self-clean, here's what happens: You do nothing. Absolutely nothing. You drop your shampoo, conditioning, and styling products and just let your hair go. Proponents of the self-cleaning method admit that your hair and scalp will get gross, but you need to power through it. Self-cleaning hair is supposed to allow nature to take its course, and give your hair a break from the chemicals found in different products. After a while, the natural oils in your hair and scalp are supposed to work themselves out in a process that will take around six weeks (via Metro).

Getting hair to self-clean is an old wives' tale

So... does it work? Dermatologist Rebecca Baxt told Slate that she's seen more people coming in who have more dead skin buildup on their heads, a result of attempts to make hair clean itself. Patients also say their scalps look drier, feel itchier, and look flakier than ever — the very same problems self-cleaning are meant to avoid. In short, medical professionals like Joshua Zeichner of Mount Sinai Hospital also told Slate that the idea that your hair will rebalance itself after a (long) period of no washing is, at best, an "old wives' tale," because hair washing is actually meant to be a way of caring for your scalp.

Proponents of the self-cleaning method have admitted that abstaining from a hair wash isn't for everyone, like if you live in the city and are always on public transport, or anyone with fine, lanky hair (via Metro). But from the sound of things, your hair (or scalp) aren't able to self-clean at all, making this a method that all of us can't really get behind.