I Skipped Shampoo & Conditioner For A Month: What I Learned

Honestly, the lack of shampoo wasn’t too difficult to get used to. I only wash my hair once or twice a week, anyway, so it wasn’t too much of a routine overhaul. The hardest part, for me, was skipping conditioner: I’m used to applying a very generous amount of product until my hair feels silky (and low-key, a little slimy).

It felt unnatural to step out of the shower with tangled hair, but my strands felt smooth again as soon as I applied the moisturizing hair serum. 

It’s crucial to feed nutrients back into the strand post-wash, but hairstylist Adam Reed, founder of Arkive Headcare, tells me you don’t have to use conditioner. You can totally rely on hair oil or serum (like I did) and have your hair turn out just fine. 

“Conditioners are designed to make your hair feel great,” he shares. Your strands might feel a bit matted without it at first, but “as soon as you put the oil in and use that as your lubrication to get that smoothness, it will actually get that shine,” he adds. For some finer-haired clients, Reed will actually skip conditioner, using oil, hair primer, and styling products to achieve a bouncier, fluffier ‘do. 

After that first wash, I grew accustomed to how my strands felt without conditioner—lighter, bouncier, and way less frizzy. Believe it or not, my hair actually looked thicker, too. “This could be because your hair is not being weighed down by the constant buildup of using both shampoo and conditioner on a regular basis,” celebrity hairstylist Glenn Ellis tells me when I asked him about my fuller locks. 

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