The end of shampoo?

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Is it the end of shampoo?

Fast Company recently wrote an article that raised a provocative question – is it the end of shampoo? In the article, they highlight a growing movement towards not shampooing on a daily basis, which is fueled by the belief that washing your hair will lead to more oil production, since you’re removing the sebum. Having read exactly this case for non-daily shampoo routines a few years back in a book, No More Dirty Looks, I was super curious to learn more about why this movement is gaining traction.

My first guess is the popularity of the “effortless chic” look e.g. “I woke up like this” or the “perfectly imperfect” or more specifically for hair – “second day hair” or a “lived in style”, which was made possible, often perfected, by dry shampoo. But dry shampoo can only go so far. What about the morning following an intense work out? Or what if you’re someone who prefers a cleaner feel to your hair versus the grittier feel from dry shampoo? And of course, while you might be into the look of second day hair, I doubt anyone wants to be recognizably labeled as the person who doesn’t shampoo every day – that just raises questions around hygiene.

Enter these next gen cleansing formulas.

They are not shampoos; they are “an all-in-one cleansing and nourishing treatment” that are similar to “co-washing” (i.e. washing with conditioner, and no shampoo), a practice common within the curly haired community to help keep curls hydrated. Starting with more craft brands like Wen and DevaCurl, it’s exciting to see some of the bigger players like Bumble and Bumble, L’Oreal, and Pantene offering a solution to address this makeshift behavior of co-washing, and essentially carve out a new space for hair care.

As an avid co-washer since 2007, I’ll be curious to see how these products take on in the market, and how they potentially change our hair care rituals.

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