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The Shampoo-Hair Loss Connection
When I was diagnosed with male pattern hair loss, I immediately went running to Rogaine® and bought a nice shampoo. It’s a natural tendency for people to try and find easy fixes to their problems, and I was no exception.
I kept up this hair loss regimen for years – applying Rogaine twice daily and using a range of shampoos from copper peptides to volumizing thickeners. My hair loss never slowed down. But short of a hair transplant (and subscribing myself to a lifetime of Propecia®), I figured I was doing everything I could to stop my hair from thinning.
I was wrong.
A few years later, I began to rethink my stance on shampooing – particularly after reading ways that shampoos may contribute to hair loss and hair shedding. Yes, much of this research is misrepresented (and overstated) by health websites. At the same time, some of it has merit. And if you’re trying to improve hair health from all angles, you’ll want to at least understand ways in which some hair-washing habits might be contributing to your hair shedding.
A quick personal note: several years ago, I decided to take a break from shampoos and conditioners. I kept this up for four years. During that time, my hair felt and looked a lot healthier. We don’t really need shampoos and conditioners – at least the way we’re “conditioned” to believe. This article explains why.
This article explains the science behind shampooing and its potential connection to hair loss. We’ll uncover the importance of sebum, the dangers of even the most “organic” shampoos, and how to transition away from shampoos without having to worry about dandruff and hair oiliness.
Shampoo Aisle: Paralysis By Analysis
Have you ever walked through a grocery aisle and thought, “Most of these things I don’t even need”?
As consumer packaged goods continue to grow, so do our product choices. This isn’t a good thing. Having more choices doesn’t always make you more informed, better off, healthier, or even happier. In fact, overwhelming someone with too many choices can lead to no choice at all. They even have a name for it… Paralysis by analysis.
There are few better examples of this than the hair care aisle.
What Does The Hair Care Aisle Look Like?
In hair care, it’s common to see product claims attached to every bottle of shampoo or conditioner. Here are a few examples:
- “…extend volume for all-day fullness.” – Garnier
- “…fights fadeouts with zero-weight.” – Pantene
- “…reconstructs at the cellular level.” – Dove
- “…24 hours of defined curls.” – Pantene
- “…lock out frizz for a full 3 days.” – Garnier
- “…fight dandruff.” – Head & Shoulders
Overwhelmed yet? You might need frizz control, or a volume boost, or stronger hair, or all three. What do you buy?
The reality: you don’t really need any of these products. To understand why, you need to understand how hair care products actually work.
How Do Shampoos & Conditioners Work?
Shampoos clean your hair in a couple of ways. First, they strip your hair of any dirt or soil by using a blend of ingredients called surfactants. Surfactants bind with things like dirt, soil, dead skin, and sebum – and when the shampoo is washed away, it takes these things with it.
Shampoos also contain purpose-based ingredients like thickeners, emulsifiers, foaming boosters, scents, and color additives. You can often guess the ingredients in a shampoo by reading the advertising claims on the bottle.
Conditioners are designed to make your hair easier to manage and minimize static. They’ve got ingredients like fatty alcohols and silicones, which help lubricate hair follicles after shampooing cleans them. Conditioners are often used to detangle the hair, make it softer, and make it shinier.
What’s The Problem?
There are three big problems with shampoos and conditioners:
- Their product claims are often exaggerated and unrealistic. Shampoos and conditioners coat your hair with synthetic compounds that boast the appearance of the claims on their bottles. After a few washes, the effects are gone. That’s why you’ll never see a claim for PERMANENT volume lifts, frizz reduction, dandruff control, or shininess.
- Their ingredients are carcinogenic and hormone-disrupting. Depending on your frequency of exposure, this can have a compounded negative effect on your health.
- Shampoos may accelerate the pathway to thinning hair. Shampoo strips your hair of the oils your body naturally produces to protect it. This can worsen the health of your scalp and potentially create the problem of excess sebum production – which, under certain circumstances, may increase inflammation and hair shedding.
But they don’t tell you that on the label.
Shampoos & Conditioners Are Full of Endocrine Disruptors & Carcinogens
The ingredients in most hair care products aren’t always safe. With every wash, you might be exposing yourself to compounds and chemicals known to be carcinogenic and hormone-disrupting. Here are just a few of the common offenders:
Parabens are manmade preservatives used in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, personal care products, and (some) processed foods.
Controversy over the safety of parabens began in 2004 when researchers found that parabens were present in 90% of human breast tumors. Not surprisingly, the same parabens in those tumors are also common ingredients in anti-perspiring underarm deodorants used by women. If you haven’t already guessed, parabens penetrate the skin and enter the body when applied topically.
Parabens Disrupt Your Endocrine System
The Environmental Protection Agency’s research suggests consistent long-term paraben exposure can disrupt your endocrine system. Your endocrine system (which is composed of your thyroid, pancreas, andrenals, testes, and ovaries) is absolutely critical to your health. Without a properly functioning endocrine system, hormonal balance is literally impossible.
Endocrine disruptors, like parabens, get stored in your body’s fat tissue and accumulate over time. In the correct concentrations, parabens can bind to estrogen receptors and alter your body’s hormonal secretions, thereby changing the way your body produces and treats hormones.
What does this mean for you? It means that with consistent paraben exposure, you may also have a higher disposition to hormonal imbalances.
Interested in a list of dysfunctions or diseases associated with hormonal imbalances? Here are some highlights:
- Hair Loss
- Cognitive Impairment
- Reduced Immune Functionality
The list could extend a few more pages, but I hope you get the picture. Nobody wants any of those.
Because parabens can negatively sway your body’s testosterone:estrogen ratios, they can also reduce your fertility, depending on the exposure and tissue concentration.
Too Many Parabens Make Men Infertile
The rise in infertility in developed countries has puzzled many scientists, but recent research suggests that increasing levels of male infertility could be the result of higher paraben exposure.
I started minimizing my paraben intake the second I learned that that human sperm was no longer viable after being exposed to 1 mg/mL of parabens. If you’re wondering what our average daily exposure to parabens is, it’s estimated to be 76 mg. Granted this isn’t directly comparable to 1 mg/mL, but I think the context helps show just how little 1 mg/mL really is.
If you’re struggling to conceive, maybe you should consider minimizing your paraben exposure for a few months.
Personal Care Products Account For Most Of Human Paraben Exposure
Since shampoos and conditioners are just one of many sources for paraben contact, you might be wondering why I am cherry picking. Let me be clear: I’m not.
Shampoos and conditioners, alongside other personal care products, account for nearly 70% of our daily paraben intake. Cutting these out will drastically reduce your long-term accumulation of the preservatives, so please consider it.
Phthalates are compounds found in plastic water bottles, shampoos, perfumes, shower curtains, body lotions, wood finishers, and hairsprays (to name a few). They’re used to make plastics more flexible and harder to break. Unfortunately, they also harbor unintended and detrimental consequences to our health and hair.
Phthalates are often disguised on labels as “fragrance”, among other terms. Sometimes, phthalates aren’t even listed as an ingredient because they’re only considered a part of a product’s package.
Phthalates Are Ingested Accidentally
Phthalates are often ingested through leaching. Phthalates can leach into foods or liquids heated in plastic containers. You might not think this is a huge deal if you don’t heat things in plastic, but you’d be surprised at how easy it is to ingest high levels of phthalates by accident. For instance, bottled water is full of leached phthalates. Even though the bottles themselves aren’t purposefully heated, they reach temperatures high enough during transportation and distribution to promote leaching into the water. So, even though you never heated that plastic bottle, you’re still likely ingesting phthalates well beyond a recommended limit.
The same is true for shampoos, only this time, you’re rubbing the phthalates directly into your head.
Phthalates Are Also Endocrine-Disrupting
Unsurprisingly, phthalates can also negatively impact your endocrine system by reducing free testosterone levels in the body. Not only that, but phthalates have also been shown to have an estrogenic effect on the body. The mechanisms behind how phthalates reduce testosterone and promote estrogen in the body aren’t fully understood. But the bottom line is, they throw our testosterone:estrogen ratio way out of whack, which means that they can create hormonal imbalances. Once again, hormonal imbalances are linked to a variety of dysfunctions and diseases, two of which are cancer and hair loss. Once again, I’m trying to avoid both of those.
The FDA Knows Phthalates Are Dangerous, But Regulation Is Limited
It’s interesting to note that certain phthalates are banned in children’s’ toys, but not in shampoos. Children also use shampoo, so obviously the FDA didn’t think this legislation through completely. If the FDA were willing to impose regulations on compounds that are dangerous to children, why would those compounds not also be dangerous to adults in higher concentrations?
The truth is, phthalates are dangerous regardless of your age. So avoid them by removing shampoos & conditioners from your hair care regimen.
Ever heard of Sodium Laurel/Laureth Sulfate? It’s usually the first ingredient listed in any shampoo or conditioner. It’s a compound derived from coconuts, but the way that it’s processed and extracted creates a multitude of carcinogenic byproducts. Those also end up in the shampoo, though they often aren’t listed. You still rub them into your scalp, and they still accumulate in your body.
Over 16,000 studies have been conducted on sulfates and their byproducts. Research aggregated by the Environmental Working Group suggests the compounds are associated with:
- Developmental/reproductive toxicity
- Organ toxicity
- Endocrine disruption
- Cancers and mutations
Obviously, the relationship between sulfates and these disorders is dose-dependent. Even still, it’s likely in our interests to keep exposures to a healthy minimum – or at least reduce any unnecessary sulfate exposure (through certain shampoos and cosmetic products).
Do you remember the Johnson & Johnson, “No more tears” campaign for baby shampoos? They reformulated their baby shampoos to be less irritating to babies’ eyes, who have a harder time keeping them closed when getting shampooed. What did they do?
They removed the formaldehyde from their formula.
It’s encouraging to see a large CPG company like J&J take steps toward bettering their products, but it’s disappointing that formaldehydes were used for so long in baby shampoos. Even worse, formaldehydes are carcinogenic. It says so right on the US Department of Labor’s website, and again in a warning they issued to hair salons when reevaluating formaldehydes’ safety in hair care products.
Aside from parabens, phthalates, and formaldehydes, you’ve still got a laundry list of other chemicals you’ll want to avoid (ammonium chloride and methylchloroisothiazolinone, for example).
It’s Likely That Your All-Natural/Organic Shampoo Also Isn’t Very Good For You
You might be thinking, “My shampoo doesn’t have any of these. I am an informed consumer, and I read ingredients lists.” You could be right, but harmful ingredients are just a partial problem with shampoos. Any type of shampoo or conditioner can contribute AND acts as a precursor to pattern hair loss.
While your hair might feel cleaner after washing, shampoos and conditioners actually create an environment in the scalp, which, over a period of time, can significantly contribute to hair loss in both men and women.
Chronic Shampooing May Promote Excess Sebum Production
The scalp produces sebum (natural oil) to keep the hair healthy, shiny, and smooth. At a certain point, the scalp and hair reach homeostasis – enough oil is produced to keep the hair intact, not too dry, and healthy.
Enter shampoos and conditioners. Remember how they clean the scalp? Shampoos strip the hair of dirt, but they also strip the hair of sebum – the natural oils you’re your sebaceous glands excrete to protect the hair. Then, conditioners replace them with synthetic compounds or “natural” oil derivatives.
The scalp, aware of the fact that it has been stripped of sebum, works on overdrive to produce more sebum to keep the hair healthy.
Think about it. Every time you use a shampoo, you wash away the sebum that your body produces to naturally lubricate the hair follicles. It’s an unintended consequence of washing dirt out of your hair, which water can do just fine without stripping the sebum from the hair shafts.
This cycle reinforces itself when we use shampoos over and over again. In turn, our scalps are always churning out more sebum than normal to keep up with the amount lost from shampoos.
The Bad News: Trapped/Excess Sebum Production Might Be Linked To Hair Loss
Research suggests that the build-up of sebum, over time, might indirectly contribute to hair loss. Here’s how.
Sebum is a food source for bacteria that live on our scalps and inside our sebaceous glands. Some of these bacteria are harmless; some are helpful; some are hurtful.
Men with pattern hair loss have higher levels of a harmful bacteria – known as P. Acnes – living on their scalps. Specifically, this bacteria lives inside the sebaceous glands. It eats sebum, and as a byproduct of its digestion, it produces something known as porphyrins. These are toxic substances that react with UV light, which create irritation to trigger an “inflammatory” response from our bodies.
The way our bodies respond? Ironically, by producing more sebum. Unfortunately, this just feeds more P. Acnes, which creates more porphyrins, which creates more inflammation, and the cycle continues.
This cycle is one way that acne can develop. But on the scalp specifically, this cycle may contribute to the inflammation associated with hair shedding. In fact, the presence of pathogenic microorganisms is believed to be one reason why men with hair loss tend to have oilier, shinier scalps.
Unfortunately, when we chronically shampoo (once daily or more), we’re washing away this sebum, which signals to our bodies to produce more of it. This behavior often just exacerbates the problem, as our bodies attempt to send sebum production into overdrive.
This is partly why some people can’t go more than a few days without shampooing. Through chronic shampooing, they’ve conditioned their scalps to overproduce sebum, so after a few days without shampooing, their hair looks wildly oily.
In order to break the cycle, you have to significantly reduce (or abandon) shampoos and conditioners.
Transitioning Away From Shampoos & Conditioners Is Worth It
I did this years ago, and I kept it up for four years. I highly recommend it.
The process takes some adjusting, but I encourage you to stop using all shampoos and conditioners. The transition will take anywhere from 2-6 weeks, but eventually, your sebum production should return to normal and your hair should look much healthier.
For four years, all I did was water-rinse my hair daily. It felt great, and I saved hundreds of dollars on hair products that I really didn’t need.
Note: my experiment ended after I headed a soccer ball that had recently rolled into dog poop. After that, I felt it was time to shampoo. Nowadays, I dilute my shampoo with water and keep my frequency to just a few times week. This works well for me and my hair, and I’d recommend you try the same.
About all else, try to break the habit of chronic shampooing: using shampoo / conditioner products once- or twice-daily. You’re likely doing your hair a disservice… and maybe your health, too.
The Bottom Line: You Probably Don’t Need These Products
Every other species seems to do just fine without shampoos or conditioners. Why are we special? These products are mostly unnecessary. We spend hundreds of dollars on them every year, and yet we shouldn’t. Our bodies evolved with built-in capabilities to maintain a healthy scalp and hair. Why mess with millions of years of trial, error, and evolution?
My hair looked great during my years of no-shampoo. Once your scalp adjusts, I don’t think you’ll regret the switch.
Rob English is a researcher, medical editor, and the founder of perfecthairhealth.com. He acts as a peer reviewer for scholarly journals and has published five peer-reviewed papers on androgenic alopecia. He writes regularly about the science behind hair loss (and hair growth). Feel free to browse his long-form articles and publications throughout this site.
170 thoughts on “Why I Stopped Using Shampoos And Conditioners”
A question rather than a comment. I am 65 years old and have been bald on top of my head for more than 35 years. Is your method likely to work for me?
While I can’t guarantee it, the data suggests that these methods should help greatly. In fact, one study referenced in the eBook demonstrates that significant hair regrowth is possible at virtually any age.
The study sampled two groups of men and woman across all ages – labeled bald and non-bald. Before treatment, men in the bald group aged 65+ showed a mean of ~90% hair loss across the scalp. After 10 months of treatment, the mean hair loss was closer to 5%, showing that near full hair regrowth is possible even at ages beyond 65.
Once you clear away scalp fibrosis, calcification, and trapped sebum, your hair follicles will receive the blood flow required for regrowth.
I hope this helps.
I started losing my hair at the age of 19. I remember it well, looking at a washbasin full of hair after a shampoo and noticing recedures afterwards that were not there before. It’s been a battle ever since but as I’m now 84 and, although thin on top, still not completely bald. So, I reckon all those years of shampooing must have had some affect as those of my peers, of the same age, with a lot more hair than me who just let it happen have overtaken me on the journey to the inevitable head of skin. Anyway, to keep my thinning locks in some semblance of order I have to use hair laquar. I suppose this is a no-no, right ? It’s either that or a grade one all over. Still thinking about that as some young bucks seem to go for it even when they don’t need to. Maybe bald is the in-thing otherwise billionaires and Royalty would not be bald or balding, would they ?
What about studies showing that using a shampoo containing ‘Ketoconazole’ every 3-4 days (or roughly 3 times per week) can slow the progression of hair loss and even has been shown to cause hair regrowth after months of use.
People who never shampoo still get thinning hair, because of genetics. People that don’t have thinning/bald genes can wash their hair with regular shampoo everyday and it does not cause any significant hair loss for them.
I believe having healthy hormonal balances is beneficial to hair of course and yes, the chemicals in shampoo’s are probably no good but for people with hair loss ketoconazole even along with these chemicals has been proven to be of benefit.
Just my two cents.
It’s a great question, and it brings up a few discussion points.
As I’m sure you know, Ketoconazole is an anti-fungal medication that is packaged into the shampoo brand Nizoral. Ketoconazole is purported to work in a few ways: 1) as a 5AR inhibitor (to inhibit the conversion of testosterone to DHT), 2) to reduce bacterial/fungal colonies that live on the scalp and are associated with pattern hair loss, and 3) to reduce excess sebum production.
There have been many studies on Ketoconazole’s hair growth effects on mice, but very few on actual humans (only 2 that I could find). Because Ketozonazole helps reduce some of the symptoms of MPB, it helps keep existing hair in the anagen (hair growth) phase longer.
This is where things get tricky… Excess sebum is produced as a response to localized inflammatory stress. The fungal/bacterial organisms that Ketoconazole targets feed on excess sebum. These organisms colonize the scalp to eat the sebum. This means that the order of events looks like this:
Scalp inflammation –> Increased sebum production –> bacterial/fungal organisms eat the excess sebum
Ketoconazole reduces sebum AND the bacterial/fungal colonies that feed on it, but it doesn’t address the underlying crux of the issue – inflammation.
So, while Ketoconazole manages SOME of the symptoms of male pattern baldness, it’s limited in its efficacy. There’s definitely a benefit to using Ketoconazole, because at a minimum, it provides hair thickening similar to the results of Minoxidil 2% solution. But, it really only treats the symptoms of the “disease”, and not the disease itself.
A more effective approach would be to manage systemic inflammation and hormonal balance with dietary and lifestyle changes. This is closer to the core of the problem and will help reduce all of the symptoms of male pattern baldness, not just DHT, sebum, and the bacterial colonies.
Here is some more information, if you’re interested:
RE: Genetic Susceptibility–
I totally agree that some people are genetically predisposed to hair loss. I’m one of them! The other component to genetic predisposition is epigenetics. Up until the Human Genome Project, people used to think that genetics determined all of biology. Now, the understanding is that genetics + environmental factors control gene expression. So, while you might be genetically susceptible to hair loss, if you can control the environmental factors that trigger it, you can also reverse it. I’ve seen it in myself and in many others with whom I’ve worked.
Epigenetics..You’ve followed Dr Bruce Lipton eh? Legend!
I have 2 questions for you Rob.
1) I bought your ebook and video a late last year but have just started doing the exercise now. I find though that no matter how intense I do the pinching I generally jut get an oily scalp, but no dandruff. I.e. just sebum – am I missing something?
2) I think I know what you’ll say to this already, but apart from avoiding styling products completely (organic ones), how do you get it out of your hair without using some shampoo? Water alone doesn’t always do the trick.
Thanks for all your glory material!
Thanks for the comments. And yes! The epigenetics-hair loss connection has been my biggest research project over the last six months. Really fascinating stuff. You’ll be seeing an article on it sometime in the future.
This isn’t necessarily a bad sign – and it’s a common point of feedback for people just starting the regimen. But in order to further comment, I’d have to confirm your technique. I’ll reach out to you via email with more specifics. Usually a video is best. That way, we’ll both know you’re on the right track.
RE: styling products–
I don’t use styling products, but maybe you could try experimenting with water temperature. The hotter the water, the easier to wash out most styling products. Hot water isn’t the best for hair health, but it might help in your situation, and it’s likely better long-term than daily shampoo use. Otherwise, if you need to use shampoo every once in a while, it won’t be the deciding factor between regrowth and hair loss. It’s just better on your system (and your wallet) to avoid these products since they’re entirely unnecessary.
Please reach out with any other questions. I’m happy to help!
what you say is so informative. Could you just shed a little light on what you mean by ‘environmental factors’that can trigger hair loss…
I am serious about the no poo method, but i like to use product on my hair so have to wash once a week at least, keep a good diet and active lifestyle..
Thanks for reaching out. The “environmental factors” come in two buckets. The first is your actual environment — the air you breathe, where you live, etc. The second is your scalp environment — scalp tension, etc. I’m writing an article on this right now that will give more clarity around what I mean. There are a few theories that attempt to explain how the wrong scalp environment develops, and how it can lead to hair loss. But they warrant a few thousands words 🙂 I’ll link you the post soon. I’m expecting it to be up within a week.
Interesting stuff. As ketacanozole is a proven treatment, and as daily shampooing is not needed or recommended for its effectiveness (once every 3-4 days). Could it not be beneficial to use it alongside these lifestyle changes?
It helps to manage some of the conditions associated with hair loss, so yes. It also seems to be much less dangerous than the oral forms, though I still have concerns over long-term safety.
I like to think of Ketacanozole in similar light to Rogaine or Propecia. These drugs help address some of the problems (potassium ion channels, blood flow, DHT levels, collagen remodeling, etc.) – but they never really attack the root of the issue. Because of this, they’re only partially effective. So you really have to compare potential regrowth to potential side-effects.
isn’t it also fair to say that if your diet and lifestyle is not in check and balance, that overproduction of sebum can be a reality even if not shampooing? My no shampoo-ing went well for a few months and the oiliness normalized after a little less than a month, but i noticed when things got out of whack that sebum production increased and seemed to increase hairloss.
Yes – that’s true and a great point to bring up. From a dietary standpoint, fat soluble vitamins (specifically A, D, and E) have regulatory roles in sebum production. For example, oral prescriptive acne treatments (Accutane, Retin-A) are derived from vitamin A, and are advertised to ostensibly “shrink” the sebaceous gland and thereby reduce sebum production. Acne and hair loss are, to a degree, both hormonally-mitigated processes – and the big levers for rebalancing hormones are diet and lifestyle. So, you’re absolutely right.
Rob, I just went to your ebook site and am interested, but would love to see “before and after” pictures of you!
Sure – I’d be glad to send them to you through email. I like to keep them private. I’ll write you an email now.
Rob, I just finished reading the book. I’m pretty excited. I found it through J.D. Moyer’s blog on his hair regrowth. I’m a young woman and I’ve been dealing with hair loss for years. I am 28 and have been dealing with a degree of hair loss since 13! I had pretty much resolved myself to a future of bandanas or wigs. Now I have hope for the first time in regaining hair and confidence. Oh and I have tried rogaine, ketancanzole, essential oils, and the like with some results but more side effects. I don’t know if I’m ready to give up my natural, organic shampoo though! I love having fresh, clean hair.
Sierra, thanks for the comments. I’m happy to help in any way. Send me an email (my address is in the book) and we can put together an action plan!
so exciting for the first time in years i feel like there is some hope. I’m a 35 year old female with diffuse hair loss that started about 5 years ago. its getting worse every year and I can’t stop obesessing about my hair, its in my thoughts day and night. I want to follow all the steps to the letter, however, I don’t know if I could go without shampoo. my hair looks so thin and weedy if I dont wash it everyday and blowdry it. What are your thoughts on using Apple cider vinegar to wash hair? also is blowdrying on a low temperature ok? thanks heaps 🙂
Hi Tarn – ACV is a good alternative to shampoos. The acetic acid in ACV also helps resolve (to a degree) some fibrosis and calcification, particularly when used as a topical. And if you use a blow drier – the cooler the temperature, the better. When you’re ready for it, try transitioning away from shampoos!
Let me know how else I can help. You can always email me (address is in the book).
Found your work via JD Moyer too. Congratulations on your results 🙂
Many medications/methods stimulate hair-growth on the crown but show little efficacy with regards to the temples and hair-line. How does your method fare in these regions?
Thanks for reaching out! JD’s article links to a study showing that temple regrowth via mechanotherapy is possible (and has been demonstrated). Additionally, unrelated research coming from Dr. Rei Ogawa also suggests that hair regrowth of any kind (vertex, crown, etc.) can be achieved through mechanical stimulation.
The key is that these methods physically change the environment of the scalp – simultaneously addressing calcification, fibrosis, and dandruff and sebum buildup – while also upregulating and downregulating genes associated with hair regrowth and hair loss, respectively. It’s tough (or nearly impossible) to find a medication that can do that!
Let me know how else I can help.
I have read the ebook and now I’m following the massage techniques and diet. I would like to see a “before” and “after” pictures if possible.
Thank you in advance.
I’m really glad you reached out on the blog. I’ve tried to email you a few times (to respond to your previous emails), but for unclear reasons, all of my emails keep bouncing back from your address.
Do you have another email I can try? I can receive all your emails, I just can’t send you any in return. I’m hoping a different email address will fix this. Once we get this resolved, I can answer all your questions and send pictures. I’m sorry for all the hassle.
Several people claim they regrew their hair by drinking apple cider vinegar 3 times a day for about 3-4 months.From reading your book this statement could have some truth in it(vinegar disolves calcium).What do you think?
Here is one post where i found this info:
Hey Claudia! Thanks for the link. It’s definitely plausible, though I need to research more about the pathways of ACV in the body versus topically applied. Vinegar can help with soft tissue calcium deposits and the biggest challenge is finding a carrier agent to get it to deeper tissues. Propylene glycol is usually the go-to agent for most cosmetic topicals, whereas some researchers are even trying ultrasound pulses as a carrier for ACV into deeper tissues, with some efficacy!
Just want to share my experience with this program so far.
I been goind the massages for about 3 weeks now, and ofcourse this is way to early to say if this is growing back anything yet. But, the first two weeks or so I dident notice any reaction in my scalp. This last week, however, I been getting a lot of dandruff like power in my hair everytime I do the exercises. I was very excitet about this since this is the first noticable reaction I ever had from anything I ever tried.Also my hair “feels” better.
So I am very hopefull:)
Hi, so I was wondering if I could get some before and after pictures as well and I have a few questions!
So I started the massage techniques and I can’t continue because I have what I call acne on my scalp. I’ve had it my whole life and went to lots of dermatologists, family doctors and I’ve never really been told what exactly I have, I’ve been given medications to treat it after it’s on my scalp and one dermatologist told me it was staff. The first day that I started the massage everything went to plan a lot of oil and lots of dandruff, the next day my scalp hurt too bad to even touch or do a massage. So I do the massage off and on when my scalps not too bad, but I have continued to not use shampoo on my hair and instead of my hair getting really oily it gets really dry and I have really bad dandruff and the acne or what ever it is it’s really bad..
I eat healthy not 100% organic because of finances, I will probably make an appointment with the dermatologist but any insight you could give me on this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks James
Hey James, thanks for reaching out. Is the acne a result of the massages? This is common and often a sign that you’re overworking the scalp. If this is the case, go easier or take a break until the acne subsides. And as far as pain and massaging, that also sounds like you’re going too hard. You want to find a balance between inflammation generation and wound healing. Use this as a rule a thumb: by the beginning of your second massage session of the day, your scalp should feel 95-100% fully recovered from the first session. That means just the slightest increase in sensitivity, but no pain, even when you pinch the scalp at the beginning of your second session. As far as photos – those will be up on the site soon!
Any word on when the download might become available again?
I think i might be genetically predisposed to hair loss, but never experienced it until 2 years ago when i had a lot of stress and for about a year, i think this made my hair fall at a very fast rate, I now had solved the stressful situation but my hair doesn’t seem to be growing back again.
I have recently come acros your website, and want to try out the method, couldn’t find the ebook ,
I would really like to get it , please let me know how
I see that your book downloads are temporarily disabled. Do you have any clue when this will be lifted? I’ve become very interested in the theory of calcification and think your ebook would be a great supplement to my reading. Thanks in advance!
I just came across your site via JD Moyer’s blog. I see you are unable to offer your ebook at this time.
I am scheduled for a hair transplant next March, and I know that the surgeon will be pressuring me to
start taking Avordart (a stronger version of Propecia). Is there any chance your ebook will become available
before then? I am looking at many thousands of dollars for this procedure but if there is a way to restore
most of my hair without having to resort to surgery or drugs, then I’m all for it!
Please feel free to respond when time permits. Thank you and look forward to hearing from you.
It’s very encouraging to read your blogs. But do you think minimum shampooing (once in two weeks) will have the same effect and also I was wondering where am I supposed to get your e-book and video?
Hey Suraj – it’s definitely a step in the right direction. I still suggest working toward no shampoo, but a frequency of once every two weeks is better than shampooing daily. You can also wean off shampoo gradually, decreasing frequency by the week or month. As far as the book, the updated version will be available in about two months! Best, Rob
Your product looks really exciting, and I’m interested to take a look at the Book/Video – just wondering when you might be looking at opening up downloads again?
My name is Ravy and I would like to ask if you could send me your tutorial book and video. Today was the day I was going to give into Rogaine but I fortunately I found your website. This seems like the only thing that is safe enough to try.
I hope to hear from you soon!
p.s. Do you have some before and after pictures?
Hey Ravy – I replied in more detail via email. Let me know if you didn’t receive it. Photos from readers will be up on the site soon. Have a great day. Best, Rob
I haven’t get your email yet since I sign up for 2 days ago? Don’t you have automatically email subscription? Need Feedback
Hey Shaf – I haven’t sent out any emails yet. I’m still finishing the book, but when it’s ready, I’ll email you and let you know the release date.
Rob my hair are fine and semi curly. And if I don’t use shampoo,it gets frizzy or you can say a lot messy. So messy that running fingers through them is difficult and I loses lot of hairs while doing that. This happens if I don’t wash hair after 3-4 days. Frizzy hair are more prone to hair fall as you know. So what’s the way out for me? I really want to ditch shampoo.
Hey Dean – there’s definitely an adjustment process, but once your sebum production normalized over the course of ~6 weeks, you should find that your hair looks just as it did before shampooing regularly (less oil). Best, Rob
I wish I had more time in a day! I just found your site. I have been researching so much on why my hair is thinning. I hate using anything man-made externally or internally. I have been using pure coconut oil (after warming it into liquid form) and can say that it helps sometimes. But I have always felt like there is a much greater problem. When you read of DHT and all the chemicals used to fight balding, you can’t help but question if it’s a bunch of crap sometimes. When will your ebook be available again? I am 24 and have experience a lot of thinning in this last year. I would really like to get a head start in combating this the right way.
Hi, Rob !
I’m a 19 year old guy who has long hair and I plan on keeping as much as possible.
2 Questions for you:
1. Is it possible to keep all of my hair for the rest of my life and never go bald if I massage my scalp every day?
2. Can this method repair even the damage done by salt water? This summer I took a bath in sea water every day for a whole week and washed my hair only after the week ended.
I’d also love to see your before & after pictures.
1) The research indicates yes – the right kind of massaging changes the epigenetic expression of our dermal papilla cells, upregulating the genes associated with hair growth phases and downregulating the genes associated with hair resting phases.
2) While the salt water might’ve made your hair stiffer and maybe more brittle, I don’t think salt water swimming should affect future hair growth. It’s the health of the follicles on the scalp that are most important for future hair growth – not the hair that’s already grown out of them.
As far as before/afters – they will be in the book update!
I began using your method after studying the ebook about 7 months ago? Not sure how long doing it; I promised myself i would get on with life and just hang in there. Well, Im 50 years old and my results started after initial shedding. The shedding was scary! However, after about 3-4 months the loss stopped altogether. And, growth ‘started’ to appear! To my surprise, those hairs started to fall again. They were only short but fell before growing full length? My hair now continues to improve somewhat, but im still getting the scalp ‘peeling’. It settles, clears up and decides to ‘peel’ again? I dont lose anymore hair when this happens but wondered why? I also found staying out of the sun helps. The sun made my head itch like crazy after short walk. I figured this due to new skin on the scalp after a few cycles of ‘peeling’. Im hoping the results I was getting a couple months ago return. Research suggested to me that my hair could simply be ‘cycling’ and will return in time? Your thoughts on my synopsis will be very welcomed.
Hey Brett – thanks for reaching out. Your anecdote isn’t uncommon – some people experience several sheds of newer hair as they grow from vellus to terminal.
Regarding scalp peels, JD Moyer wrote about a similar experience in his blog posts about hair, so check those out if you can. They might be helpful. Just keep an eye on intensity. If your scalp hurts being in the sun, there’s a chance you’re going slightly too hard. You want to find a balance between inflammation generation and recovery. By the beginning of your second massage of the day, your scalp should feel 95-100% recovered from the first session. That’s just the slightest increase in sensation, but no pain. And definitely not sensitivity in the sun hours after a massage.
Let me know if this is helpful and please reach out with more questions!
Hi Rob. When I was in my early twenties. One day when I woke up. I found that I had dropped alot of hair on my pillow. Ever since then my hair starts to thin and new hair won’t grow. My hair and face becomes more oily ever since I start to lose my hair. When I wears a cap, within an hour or 2 my hair becomes very oily. Is there any solution to reduce the oil secretion to my hair, face and even my body.
Overproduction of sebum is often driven by a combination of diet and genetic predisposition. That doesn’t mean you can’t control it through natural means. Have you tried experimenting with diet and massage?
Hey rob! I love your articles. Is there any way I could get your e book? If not I understand. Thanks so much for the help so far. I’m already changing my diet and doing the massages.
Hey Tanner – thanks for reaching out. The book update will be ready in two months, and when it is, I’ll let you know! Best, Rob
I’m wondering if you have an opinion on the wen hair loss issues. I am interested in trying a product called “new wash” from “hairstory” (from the maker of bumble & bumble), but I am nervous to try a new line of “no-shampoo” products after the learning about the Wen controversy.
Any opinion would be greatly appreciated!! 🙂
I personally steer clear from any shampoos or conditioners for the reasons above. The Wen controversy was something I hadn’t heard of – thank you for mentioning it! As far as New Wash – you’re still stripping your hair of your natural sebum and replacing it with other oils. It’s alcohol-based which might have a drying effect.
Hi there Rob,
I haven’t got a copy of the book but would absolutely love one as I have been doing the massages now for 6 months and am finally starting to feel my scalp loosen. I’ve also been on a diet of fruit, tubers, meat and some vegetables. – no grains or dairy. Exercise wise I walk first thing every morning for an hour and do strength training once or twice a week.
I take liver and taurine pills and use gelatin in stews. Health wise things have improved a lots. I understand you’re not selling the book at the moment but I feel, as a committed and otherwise healthy person, I would be able to offer valuable insights and maybe provide a before and after. Hair loss is thinning and temple recession but not too bad at all. If you would be kind enough to offer me access to the book id gladly pay and provide valuable feedback.
I have read the research and feel reversing this, and other ailments, is achievable, especially at 34.
hi rob, please tell me when i would be able to download the ebook, because i checked and it dose not let me buy oe download and it just sayd that its unavailable at the moment because you are full with the space with people, please tell me when i can get the book please, im already doing the scalp excersises for the last 2 months but i dont know if im doing it write.
Thank you for such a great site! I’ve always thought that there had to be alternative approaches to mass suplementation and ‘un-natural’ topicals!
I’ve been heading down the semi-natural route, (using essential oils and coconut/emu oil along with scalp massage/dermarolling), and have had moderate success at seeing regrowth in a bald patch, though still at the ‘peach fuzz’ stage. However I still have thinning patches typically in the frontal regions. I have been thinking to head down the semi-natural supplementation route as well, but as we well know costs of that route can become prohibitive fairly quickly, so I’ve been loathe to do that.
Any chance I can purchase your book to look at other alternative approaches?
All the best
Hey Greg – thanks for your message. I’m planning to re-release the book soon and will let you know as soon as I have more information. Until then, JD Moyer’s blog posts are a great resource!
How does this plan apply to African American women who apply straign perms 3-4 times a year?
Hey Christine – with any normalized scalp, sebum secretion should protect the hair from base to tip. Washing with shampoos and conditioners regularly strips your hair of protective sebum, so you end up with dryer hair in the long-run, and at the base, an overproduction of sebum in an effort to replace it.
As far as perms, I’m not sure! My guess is that perms also strip your hair of sebum and cause breakage / damage due to the heat exposure. This will affect existing hair, but not necessarily hair that’s yet to grow (so long as you avoid damaging the follicles and scalp).
From what I have read kinky hair is already dry because the scalp’s natural oils can’t easily make it down the entire coiled strand AND made the perming process make the hair even drier.
Hey Rob! I was just wondering if you had any plans to re-release the ebook any time soon. I have been massaging my head for the past few weeks, but would love to see what other information and techniques you have to offer.
Hey Kyle – I’m planning on re-releasing the book in two months! It’ll be more comprehensive – with before/after photos of readers, video interviews, transcripts, plus a new demo video and follow-along video, along with new research that’s emerged over the last two years.
Thank you so much for your help by writing this book and establishing this website. How I get the book, btw?
Hi, do you still have your booklet to purchase?
Hey Rick – the updated book is coming in about two months! I’ll keep you posted as I finish it up.
This is Srinath from India, I came across your article when I was browsing about Hair loss and Baldness. I went through the responses what people had shared about your eBook, found very interesting, but it is no longer available in the site, could you please share the eBook via email to me.
It would be a great help if you could help me from this issue. I’m suffering from this problem from close to 10 to 12 years. Hope I could retain the left over hair at least.
Hoping to hear from you.
Hey Srinath – thanks for reaching out. The new book will be available in about two months, so please check back then, or sign up for more information so I can email you! All the best, Rob
Greetings Rob, I am very interested in purchasing your ebook and have been waiting for an update on it for 3 months now. I’ve been doing the scalp massage for a couple months and wanted to make sure I have the right technique and would love to download your book. I completely understand that you are very busy, but I would truly appreciate it if you could send me an email as to when you think book downloads will resume. Thank you!
I just came across your website today. I understand you’ve taken the book down but if there’s still a way to get the Ebola I’d be very interested in reading it. Trying the massage technique but I want to make sure I do it right!
Hello, so my hair is starting to thin a little bit on the left temple and I want to save it and grow it thicker. I also have psoriasis and recently it has slown down a bit so hopefully my hair can start to grow back thicker a bit. I usually don’t use any shampoo just conditioner and I never touch my hairline when rinsing, just the areas around it. If you could please be willing to help me save my hair, I will greatly appreciate it. Thank you
An updated book will be available in two months, but a great place to start is to check out JD Moyer’s blog posts about his hair and the program. That should give you an idea of what this regimen advocates and some steps to take in the meantime.
Also what do you think about propecia or other treatments like roain?
I wrote an article about finasteride and minoxidil that should clarify my feelings about both. The gist — both mitigate some (but not all) of the symptoms associated with MPB, and not without unintended consequences. They’re somewhat effective in achieving hair regrowth, but because they don’t address symptoms further upstream to DHT, they aren’t an effective long-term solution.
Great article Rob!
Would love to read the book. How can I get it? And also, how can I email you directly to ask you some other questions.
Hi, So how does the transitioning process work? Do I start to ween my scalp off from shampoo slowly or can I just start rinsing with water immediately? Will my hair look oily for a few weeks until my scalp is fully adjusted to the change? and are there really no alternatives to commercial shampoos? Are there any natural concoctions that can be made at home?
Hi Josh – I stopped cold turkey, but not everyone takes this approach. Some transition slowly and decrease shampooing by a single usage every week or two, until they’re not using it at all. For a couple months my hair looked oilier, but eventually my scalp adjusted and to this day I haven’t used shampoo or conditioners for years (and without the oiliness returning).
As far as alternative shampoos, there are thousands! But most promote the same things we’re trying to avoid — overproduction of sebum, etc. For natural concoctions and home remedies, buying the ingredients can get pricey and the benefits to these are almost entirely anecdotal. I don’t advocate for topicals or homemade shampoos so I’m not much help here, but a good first step to choosing one is to avoid the endocrine disruptors and other chemicals identified in the article.
How can I get your book?
Rob, I really really hope you answer me, because I’ve been searching a lot about hair loss recently and I dropped shampooing and conditioning because of the damage they cause, and by reading this article I can see that you have a great knowledge on this subject. I’m from Brazil, so there may have some writing mistakes in my comment.
So, let me introduce my situation first. I’m a 16 years old male and I’ve been through a lot of stress and paranoia since I noticed a small thinning spot on my right temple around June last year. I think it’s funny because at the same time I noticed the thinning on the right temple, my left temple hasn’t only not receeded at all, but new little hairs that weren’t there in the first place keep growing everyday. I went to two dermatologists and both of them didn’t even look at my thinning areas right, they just said that hair loss is normal in men and told me to apply minoxidil 5%.
First time I didn’t take it too seriously and stopped after a few days, but the second time I started using it, which was like a month ago, I’ve applied it nonstop until yesterday. This, due to (I’m pretty sure it’s not psychological) side effects. I’ve lost my libido completely and don’t really think about sex anymore and I can’t get an erection unless I force myself doing it. And today in school I felt a strange blushing that lasted for like 30 min and made me feel warm and left my face, arms and ears’ blood vessels dilate and get reddish.
As I said, I’ve been searching about this a lot and I found some websites saying that there is a direct correlation between liver activity and hair health. So I thought: maybe this is my problem. I took Roacutan (similar to Accutane, both from Roche) for 7 months when I was thirteen. As the medication affects the liver directly, I was worried that there maybe was somethinh wrong with my liver, but the blood tests I had recently showed no abnormality in my health state. I found your article like an hour ago and I just read this repply of yours to a comment in which you mentioned that Vitamin A like Accutane or Retin-A based medications affect the natural sebum production.
Long story short, I think Roacutan triggered male pattern baldness or some similar kind of baldness in my body. I already regret myself so much for taking that crap. I’m pissed because most dermatologists just want to sell you a product and if it doesn’t work, they sell you another similar product and on and on, just to keep you coming back to their clinic. Anyways, do you think that’s my case, and do you think I can reverse it in any way? I’m going nuts with this thing and I spend so much time thinking about it. Just let me hear what you think, wether it can be something about vitamin A or not (also there’s no one 100 bald on my family, even my 70 years old grandpa has a great hairline, thinner hair but still pretty good for his age). Maybe I left some things missing out, but that was most of it.
Hoping for an answer
Hey Victor, thanks for reaching out and for your message. The symptoms you’re describing (low libido, difficulty maintaining erections) aren’t associated with minoxidil / Rogaine use. They’re actually associated with finasteride / Propecia / Dutasteride. So I’d suggest looking into other possible causes of the symptoms, or at a minimum, revisiting your physician to understand what else is going on.
Isotretinoin-based drugs like Accutane are theorized to reduce acne, at least partially, by reducing sebum production:
We know that androgens (testosterone and its byproducts like DHT) modulate levels of sebum production. We know this because men castrated before puberty show significant reduced sebum production (if at all) and no androgenic alopecia. And we also know that if we give these castrates exogenous testosterone (testosterone replacement therapy), sebum production begins and so can pattern hair loss:
So by this logic, drugs like Accutane might be partially protective against pattern hair loss. But it’s tough to say. Anecdotally, the people I know who took Accutane in their teens still have great hair today. But I don’t have enough data to draw a conclusion as to whether Accutane helps or hurts hair loss, and whether Roacutan had anything to do with your hair loss. I can’t say for sure, but my guess is no, as many people begin to notice thinning / recession by their late teens anyway. In any case, you’re in a great position to work towards maintaining what you still have and regrowing what you may have lost.
I realize you’re aiming for a Sept release for your updated book so i’ll skip begging for that and get to my point…I’m obsessed with regrowing my teenage hairline because I -know- it’s possible and I’m at a point where it’s beyond vanity, it’s now bordering on pathological. I haven’t really lost any ground since I was about 22ish (I’m 29 now). I wear my hair very short (razor shave sometimes) and so I notice when something is working or not very quickly because I can literally see new hair shafts as they emerge from the skin. With this in mind, I have two questions.
Have you heard of gua sha? It’s a Chinese massage that scrapes the skin in order to force blood into the tissue. I started incorporating this about a month ago, using my nails to scrape my scalp free of excess sebum (very easy for me since my hair is so short). My nails literally fill with the stuff after a few minutes. It’s very satisfying, but I’m a little bit concerned because you mention the importance of balance. The thing is, Imo gua sha has had the most dramatic effect on regrowth I’ve seen. Literally within 2 weeks I was seeing new hairs turning terminal and hundreds of vellus hairs which I thought may have been there, but simply gunked down by the excess oil.
Hey D — I’ve heard of gua sha (and cupping!), as well as nail-rubbing against the scalp. If you’re finding it’s helpful, keep it up! I wish I could give you a more clear-cut answer on whether you’re overwhelming your scalp, but it’s impossible to say since every individual is different. And these exercises are different from the massages outlined in the book — whereas massages evoke inflammation in deeper tissues of the scalp due to the nature of the presses / pinches, fingernail rubbing / gua sha is probably more limited to the upper skin layers.
Oops…double post incoming 🙁
Anyways, regarding the scraping…sometimes I do it too much and end up causing a little bit of damage, but i’ve gotten better and better to the point where i just scrape off the excess. my scalp feels pretty fantastic afterward, but i was curious whether you think removing oil like this could be detrimental?
my second question was regarding cold water. i “had” a ridge of what felt like solid tissue (imagine a really tough cut of meat vs a tender fatty strip) that ran up the central line of my scalp and in the last few weeks this has almost complete disappeared and now my scalp seems much more uniform. again, this could be a result of the gua sha (the ridge is exactly where i caused damage from scraping because it was a lot less pliable than the rest of the scalp) however i have also been using cold water to clean and invigorate my head on a daily basis and i wanted to know if you had any opinion on this? the brown fat that is required for subcutaneous proliferation is stimulated by cold temperatures, but it’s only speculation that cold water (fridge water) could actually help to rebuild this layer of fat where it’s needed. again, my scalp feels extremely good after 5-10mins of being submerged and is bright red for about 15mins afterwards, but again, i’m not 100% sure on whether this is actually a viable form of therapy. i know sometimes that things that seem good in the short term are actually detrimental long term and i wanted some wisdom from your end to save myself trouble…
anyways, i look forward to buying your book, and thanks for reading.
all the best,
Hey D – again, if you’re feeling good and you’re noticing signs of regrowth from your gua sha routine, I have no qualms with your approach. Problems arise when people become over-ambitious and begin doing scalp mechanical stimulation exercises harder and more frequently in an effort to regrow hair faster. This leads to a shorter and shorter recovery window and often impaired process as much of mechanical stimulation for hair regrowth is based on wound healing and recovery. So if you’re seeing results, keep at it, and don’t change the routine (ie: don’t start scraping harder).
As far as whether you can increase the scalp’s subcutaneous fat layer via cold water immersions — I don’t know. There’s evidence that a decrease in the scalp’s subcutaneous fat coincides with pattern hair loss. We also know that frequent full-body cold exposure increases our brown fat tissue:
But in order for your theory to be true, we need to answer “yes” to these two questions:
1) Does an increase in brown fat lead to an increase in subcutaneous fat?
2) Can you control where your body stores subcutaneous fat just by controlling the location of cold exposure?
Not much brown fat is stored in the scalp, and I think the research here is still ongoing. But that doesn’t mean you should discount your theory. It could very well work. But you’ll need to self-test. My guess is that the changes to your scalp’s subcutaneous layers, if they take place at all, will happen over a series of months versus a few weeks. So if you decide to test, don’t call it quits too early!
thanks for the fast response!
i’ll keep doing what i’m doing and keep a bugeye out for your book in the next few weeks. if my head explodes, i’ll let you know so you can warn future generations not to freeze their faces off
best of luck with getting it finished in time. i think it’s really important for the success stories to be validated and quantified. the amount of naysayers, cynics and depressed trolls that swarm around the info on hairloss nowadays is becoming ridiculous. i think what you’re doing is pretty wonderful. a little hope > pessimism any day
all the best,
Can’t wait till your book comes out! It’s really great that you’re educating and helping those like myself who want to regrow their hair naturally. Awesome work.
Regarding the scalp massages, I was wondering if there is a scalp massager (either electric powered or manual) that we could use which would replicate the massage technique you recommend? Don’t mind spending the money if it will help me maintain the effort long term (plus I’ll be saving a tonne from not having to buy minoxidil and finesteride forumlas!)
Any recommendations would be appreciated. Cheers
Thanks for your kind words. I don’t recommend a scalp massager because the massages are so dynamic and the techniques change based on the progress of your scalp (as your scalp becomes more elastic, you can massage harder). I think our hands are the best tool we have for the job!
This is to Rob. You seem very educated in what you are talking about. I just started the water method but this morning when washing my hair with water had a lot of shedding. Is that normal? I’m fighting a receding hairline but something I do wanna say is my hair is much thicker looking and has volume like it never. I’m going on two weeks
Thanks Ozzy. Have you changed anything else in your life aside from avoiding shampoos and conditioners? I personally didn’t notice significant shedding from transitioning to water. The same is true for everyone else who’s contacted me and tried going water-only. If the shedding isn’t continuous and if it’s not producing cosmetically noticeable changes, then a one-off shed probably isn’t anything worth worrying over.
So I think I what I did was that time I only washed with water is that I was being way to rough
Yesterday I was much more gentle with my w/o washing and no strands came off. I’m trying to wash every other day. I still have dandruff but my hair is getting less oily even after I run so that’s really cool. Like I also stated my hair is much more thicker looking
I’m also taking multi vitamins when I remember and I’m taking these raw green tablets. Drinking much more water and just started taking Bamboo extract
I also use to put oil on my hairline but I stopped doing that so will see
You think I should water wash every day or no?
Hey Ozzy – it’s up to you how often you want to water wash. I typically rinse my hair under water every day, but if you like to go longer without washing, then that’s ok too.
Thanks for getting back to me so quick regarding whether it is worthwhile to purchase a massager. Rob is there a video I can watch which shows the massage technique i should be using while i wait for the book to be released? I want to make sure I’m doing it right over the next month or so 🙂
Hey John – The first book’s video is staying offline as the updated video is way more specific and comprehensive. Unfortunately I don’t have anything to show you in the meantime.
Iam looking for your e book.any intimation to get that ?
Please for a while could u suggest wat should i do till i get the e-book? hope it’ll be really started to maintain my hair grow wisely.
i do massage with warm coconut oil thrice a week, but dnt know whether it will get back my hair. I just in some trust.moreover i can see lots of hair falling while i did. Ofcourse i dnt know i do massage with good manner ?
One more doubt is how can one wash and clean the dirts with plain water instead of using shampoo? And if oil applied it will be so sticky if i wash with mere water. isn’t it?
Just a quick question about DT therapy. I don’t have much hair loss but a slight bit recession around temples( the one which causes M shaped initially). The scalp at the top of head is much tighter compared to the back and the sides near the ear which might give some credence to the tightened galea theory but an interesting thing is that the skin at the temples is way looser yet the hair loss.
Why is this so ? Do you have an idea ?
I also have a habit of reading medical papers and journals and to this day i couldn’t get a satisfactory explanation why DHT could cause such paradoxical at the top of scalp but not at other areas of body ( ike face, legs etc).
Hey Dante – It’s a great question and I’m finishing an entire article about this now.
One theory involves a reinforcing feedback loop between the natural tightness of the galea, the androgen receptor coactivator Hic-5 / ARA55, tissue DHT accumulation in the scalp skin, transforming growth factor beta 1, and the resultant formation of fibrotic tissue that fuses the top three layers of the scalp – the skin, the subcutaneous fat layer, and the galea (as you mentioned).
For men, this process usually begins at the top of the vertex (which is surrounded by the galea), and the temples (which is at the edge of the front part of the galea).
This distinction is important! The vertex tends to tighten faster and more aggressively because all of the tissues surrounding the vertex are affected (meaning any tissue above the galea).
Conversely, the temples are right next to the forehead. The forehead has relatively loose skin, and since it doesn’t rest above the galea, its skin and subcutaneous fat DOES NOT fuse with the galea.
If this theory is true, it explains why the temples remain relatively looser versus the vertex — because the temples are next to skin that doesn’t fuse with the gale.
This same article also explains the exact paradox you’re talking about — why tissue DHT encourages body and facial hair growth but discourages hair growth in susceptible men.
Anyway, that’s just one of about eight different scientifically proposed theories. The article will be far more detailed than my reply here 🙂 But I’m hoping this holds you over until I post it in the coming weeks!
All my best,
So, if the vertex skin is tight and the temples are loose then the DT therapy should work only the vertex not on the temples, right? (Similar to minox/rogaine). Have you had success with regrowing vertex hair with yourself or anyone you know with DT therapy ?
Btw, your ideas sound very similar to Ray peat’s about thyroid, PUFA, estrogen and endocrine disruptors.
Hey Dante – the evidence (and anecdotes) suggest that DT can work at both the temples and vertex.
Let’s look at the scalp conditions that often precede pattern hair loss:
Inflammation, elevated tissue DHT, perifollicular fibrosis, collagen remodeling, calcification of the vessels supporting the follicles, reduced blood flow (tissue hypoxia), decreased subcutaneous fat, a fused galea, elevated TGF-B1, skin thickening, skin tightness, and increased sebum production (to name a few).
To boil it down, skin elasticity is just one of many observed conditions of a balding scalp. It’s not the only condition.
And while Detumescence Therapy improves skin elasticity, that’s not the only mechanism by which it helps with hair regrowth. DT’s stretches upregulate genes associated with hair growth and downregulate genes associated with hair resting phases. DT’s acute inflammation generation encourages angiogenesis and the degradation of fibrotic tissue. DT’s pressing helps expel trapped sebum. The list goes on. All of these mechanisms encourage hair regrowth. Not just skin elasticity. So the logic of vertex vs. temple, tight vs. loose, growth vs. no growth doesn’t necessarily make sense in the context of all the balding scalp conditions and all DT’s purported mechanisms. After all, the temples might be looser, but they still suffer from fibrosis, reduced blood flow, etc.
RE: success with DT–
I personally had success with DT. Most of my loss was at my vertex which is where I saw thickening and regrowth (I didn’t have much noticeable loss at my temples but did see very minor regrowth there as well). Past readers have reported regrowth at both the temples and vertex. You can see a few before/afters that readers emailed me on the front page. More will be added in the next few weeks. There are also many more before/afters in the upcoming book update, as some readers requested their photos stay offline and only inside the book. My before/after photos are also in the upcoming book update.
RE: Ray Peat–
I agree with a lot (but not all) of Ray Peat’s ideas.
Will your new book will still be based on ‘”pay whatever you like model” ?. I hope it will be.
I had your old e-book and i remember i bought it for 1$.( Was a non-US college student with very high exchange rates of US$ to our country’s currency.)
Hey Piyush – it will be a fixed price model with three tiers.
what’s your take on 3-alpha diol and 3-beta diol metabolites of DHT in context of MPB ? 3-beta diol is a potent estrogen with more affinity for ER-beta receptors (as wikipedia says). Apparently, i have found recent studies which state DHT has protective effects on prostate contrary to the previous dogma and this is explained by its metabolite 3-beta diol . Apparently i found a spanish study which stated that beta-diol levels were elevated in alopecia skin than in non-alopecia skin.
Hey Dante – I wrote a short article about DHT’s involvement in MPB. A larger article is coming soon. My take on elevated scalp tissue DHT is that it’s possibly an indicator of chronic inflammation, and not necessarily the cause of MPB. This seems to fit with some of the research you summarized, though I haven’t seen the Spanish study so can’t say for sure whether I agree.
Just one question
Do you thing there is a link between acne(specifically hormonal acne) and male pattern baldness?
What are your thoughts on this?
Hey Akeel – there’s definitely a correlation, though many people have one without the other (hair loss with no acne, acne with no hair loss). Depending on the afflicted body area, acne is driven by factors ranging from hormonal imbalances to external bacteria to small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. Some of these factors overlap with hair loss, but it’s a case-by-case situation for every individual.
I can’t believe how my hair has taken to this drastic change! After a lifetime of having wonderfully thick hair, it was starting to noticeably thin out. What a downer. Thought it was probably age-related, but then ran across your website. Decided to try out the water-only approach. And wow–All those hair products for washing, styling, smoothing, volume, etc., etc., seem to have been wasted on me. Never was my hair more easy to manage or has it looked better than it does now–using just water. It has body, a little spring that I like, and feels cleaner than ever. No more thinning, and I’m seeing new growth. This is only after a few weeks. Thank you!
Congrats Ibby! I’m glad to hear it.
hi rob!!i am from greece 36y old.i am facing too much thining hair all over my scalp. i am on rogaine and anti hair loss shampoos about 7 years but im getting worse.im so desperate.i need to read your approach in hairloss.i think its my last hope!!
can you answer?thanks!!
Hey, I am 18 and since last year my hair has been thinning out. I am very active and get very dirty often so many times I take 2 showers a day…I have been doing this since about 8th grade and only recently did my hair start to fall out. My dad is bald so I guess it could mean I’m predisposed to DHT, I will try this water only showers, but what if that doesn’t work. Do you recommend finasteride or Minoxidil? Aslo, how do you avoid smelling like a wet dog if you don’t use shampoo?
I’m quite interested in learning more about your system. I came across this site in, what must be, my millionth time researching shampoos and conditioners. I am a 34 year old female and all of a sudden 10 months ago, my hair started falling out and not coming back. I’ve been through all the medical tests, etc. I research, I try a new shampoo, more hair falls out, I cry, rinse and repeat – literally. When you have a moment, would you please email me and let me know how effective your system is for females, please? I’d appreciate any help you can provide.
Hey Michelle – the system has been helpful to some women, but I haven’t had the chance to work with many women since men made up 99% of the first book’s readers. With that said, none of the recommendations inside the book are only male-oriented. They benefit both men and women. I’d say a good first step is to drop the shampoos!
What about shampoo you make yourself? I make some out of yucca root,methi,and Indian gooseberry powders it doesn’t seem to strip my hair of oils the way actual shampoos did
I’ve been losing hair for over a year now thinking it was thyroid. I tried castor oil, but it seemed to make it worse. Yesterday I decided to take a look and see if shampoo is the cause. I’ve been using Pantene for a couple of years. I started researching websites and was shocked at the amount of chemicals in shampoo that can cause hair loss. As of today, I will no longer use shampoos, but I’m wondering if using an egg to wash my hair will help. Eggs contain sulfur I believe and I have used eggs in the past. What do you think of that? BTW, I’m 66 years old but in pretty good health except for my thyroid. I have had to wear wigs and hair pieces and fortunately I have been able to afford good quality, but it still depresses me to have to resort to hair pieces. I’d like my own hair back. Thanks for your website.
Hey Joanna – I’ve actually experimented with egg topicals before and left them in overnight. But I never committed long enough to see if it was helping. There’s no harm in making your own egg-based shampoo, just so long as you leave out any surfactants that might strip your hair of its sebum.
Hello. How can I get this e book? My hair are thinning on top. No drug lotion is working on me. Only for a very short period. I started washing my hair with water only because it came up to me as an idea…. And now I found many people who suggest it. I understood myself that my hair get thin after shampoo. Please send some useful information. Dimitris
Hey Dimitris – I responded to your other comment as well, but the book will be available tomorrow on the front page of the site. Best, Rob
ok no to shampo but what about the greasy content and the hair will smell bad,isn’t?
Hey Ahmad – I wash my hair with water-only, usually once daily, and haven’t noticed any change in smell.
Hi Rob, great article really helpful, I just have two questions I hope you can answer.
1- Is it ok to use a hair product to comb my hair after stop using shampoo, like a styling cream, and then wash it with only water?
2- Do you massage or brush your hair with the water or do you just shower and let the water fall in it? I ask you this because i shower daily because of my job.
I really appreciate you answering my questions you have a new fan, can wait to read the ebook.
Thanks a lot.
Thanks for the kind words. To answer your questions: 1) That’s totally fine. Most people find that warmer water works better for washing out hair products – especially when they’re oil-based. And 2) I wash my hair with water daily and have never had concerns brushing it with water or massaging while it’s wet – so I think you should be fine. Please reach out if anything else comes up.
I agree with all of it an I don’t shampoo regularly,or even soap my body.
But the problem is that in big cities air pollutions are so heavy and nasty that you let them stay on ur scalp!
Sorry I wanted to say …….you can’t let them stay on your scalp!
I use sunsilk black shine and suffering from hair loss badly. Is it caused by the shampoo? Should i stop using it?
Hey Shalu – it’s a tough question to answer without more information. It depends on your type of loss, when it started, your gene expression, your environment, diet, lifestyle, etc. In general, I’ve found my hair has never been healthier since giving up shampoos. There’s no harm in trying a no-shampoo experiment for a few weeks to see if there’s any reduction in hair fall.
Thanks at first!
The way to have a healthier hair and prevent hair loss, is to wash using water only? What about if you sweat a lot from your hair, you’re hair is going to smell? What’s the solution for that?
I workout regularly but haven’t had any issues with sweat and my hair smelling. I do water-wash my hair daily! Give it a try and let me know how it goes. There’s definitely an adjustment period, but it was well worth it for me and others.
Abandoning shampoos is just one (of many) ways to help with hair maintenance and encourage hair regrowth. The others I focus on are dietary changes, lifestyle changes, and massage.
Hey Rob thanks for taking the time to read my comment/question man I really appreciate it. My name is Brandon and I wanted to know your thoughts on baking soda to use instead of shampoo or natural oils to remove excess sebum. Is it safe to use or would it in any way distort the thyroid. The reason I ask is; after following step by step your massage regimen I did have more of my hair’s natural oil visible. But unfortunately I look unkempt and not presentable for work if I leave my hair looking greasy.I was wondering/hoping if you know if it would be ok to use maybe a quarter of a tea spoon of baking soda to clean the excess sebum or if not, is it damaging to the thyroid or hair if so is there any natural oils that will safely remove the excess sebum witout damaging the healing process of your program. Again thanks man for taking the time to read and answer my question I greatly appreciate it.
PS. Your book is awesome man very detailed, and I love how you even showed your meal plans.I just couldn’t understand why I always felt cold on my hands and feet everyday but reading the chapter about that issue, it made sense and now after following the guide I haven’t had an issue with cold feet or hands. Thanks again Rob
Thanks Brandon! And thank you for your support. It sounds like you’re on the right track and I’m excited to hear how you progress over the next year.
Thanks for the kind words (and for reaching out). In general, I’ve found that washing hair with warmer water can help remove some sebum (but not as much as a shampoo would). But if you’d also like to use a little baking soda, that’s fine too! I don’t think that occasional use of baking soda (a few times per week) should impact your hair health too drastically – or your thyroid. Typically, shampooing problems arise when people start using shampoos every single day (and sometimes twice per day). I think your strategy moving forward is totally fine – and let me know how it works!
Rob, thanks man for answering my previous question! I’ll definitely keep you posted on my progress. I apologize in advance for nagging you with two more questions I have. First question, is there a specific brand of white rice you eat or any kind will do? Second question, do you make your own broth or do you purchase it from the grocery store? Thanks again brother for your wise words!
Hey Brandon – no worries! I don’t opt for any specific white rice – I usually go for jasmine or Arborio. With that said, try to go organic. As far as bone broths – I used to make it at home but it ended up taking too long, so I opt for a few store brands now. Here are the two brands I usually go for: Epic (all three varieties, but I particularly love the beef jalapeño) or Pacific (turkey and chicken varieties). If you end up getting the Pacific brand, make sure it’s bone broth and not just regular broth (as they’ve got quite a few varieties). Easiest way to tell the difference is protein content. A serving of Pacific Bone Broths have ~9+ grams of protein, whereas their other broths have 2-4g.
Sweet! Thanks again Rob! I really appreciate it man, I’ll do my best to keep you updated on my progress in the coming year. Thanks again for the advice!
Does simply using cold water remove the very thin dirt layer seen at the bottom of the hair. I have seen when shaving the scalp hair, some hair have some moist dirt(not exactly dirt but something similar). I have stopped using shampoos for the past 2 months. How does one remove them without using shampoos?
As with everyone else, I’m very interested in your natural approach/solution to hair loss. My hair has started thinning at the temple and crown, and I do shampoo every 2/3 days, using a scalp treatment type. I have suffered from stress for many years, and am now in my mid 50s, so naturally assumed that was why the hair thinning was occurring, but having read your narrative on this site, I’m now not so sure!
My hair is also now very grey/silver/white (or salt and pepper if you like!) so I’ve started using a hair colour treatment system for it. The hair thinning started well before I began to use this treatment – I’ve also previously tried others. Can I ask if (a) cutting out shampoos alone can help hair regrowth, and (b) could my hair colour treatment impact on this regimen change. Also, do you know of any more natural way of restoring original hair colour?
Many thanks in advance of your response to my queries?
a) Cutting out shampoos will help reduce the overproduction of sebum. This may help slow hair loss, but going no-shampoo likely won’t regrow dormant follicles. This is because sebum overproduction is more of a byproduct of the chronic, progressive conditions that trigger hair loss: scalp calcification and fibrosis. You can read more here. With that said, no-shampoo is a great first step toward restoring scalp health and slowing the process of hair loss.
b) If you stop using your hair coloring system, you’ll likely see your hair return to its natural hair color (salt and pepper). The regimen outlined in the book doesn’t necessarily target greying hair – though a few readers have reported that their hairs have gotten darker from the protocol.
c) Almost all of my research is focused on natural hair recovery, and much less so on hair color restoration. So unfortunately I don’t have much advice in this department. But I am planning on writing an article about hair color, and as soon as it’s ready, I’ll let you know.
I have stopped shampooing since reading your article, but recently I just have started working in a food plant as a mechanic and use a hardhat 12hrs a day and beeing around really bad odors, while sweating a lot. Any advice of how to get rid of the bad smell without shampoo.
Hey Matt – sometimes hotter water will do the trick. If the smell still persists, reach out again and we can continue troubleshooting.
Thanks for your quick reply above 19 Jan:)
Can I ask one more question:
What is your opinion of dermarollers – are they effective, perhaps in tandem with the massage which you promote?
Hey Michael – there are actually a few dermaroller protocols mentioned in the book that can be used in tandem with the massages. The book focuses less on massaging alone, and more-so on reversing calcification and fibrosis via diet, lifestyle, and mechanical stimulation (dermarolling included). So yes, I think the dermaroller is great (as long as it’s used correctly – the right needle length, count, and spacing between sessions).
Thank you again for your quick response Rob…….I assume purchase of the book is the way forward then if I want that information…..:-)
hey rob bought your ebook and would like to set up a consultation, how can we do this?
Hey Kevin – I’ll follow up via email.
Can I still continue using coconut and argan oil even if I forgo shampoo and conditioner?
I love how these natural oils make my hair feel and I’m ready to throw away the shampoo but not the oils.
Absolutely! A lot of readers use fat-based topicals – like emu or coconut oil – and find that they can wash it out with luke-warm / warm water. If you enjoy how these make your hair feel, then keep using them!
Hi Rob, I’ve been using only water to wash my hair for a few days now and my head is flaking and itching like crazy. I know it has nothing to do with the massage since I also try to adapt “only water” last year for a couple of weeks without massage before I read your ebook and had the same experience which is why I went back to shampoo.
Although shampoo does not remove my dandruff, it does get worse if I don’t use it “plus the itch”.
My question is… is this a common experience and will eventually subside? I am not sure if I just have to stick with it longer.
Also, what product did you use to hold your hair at your demonstration video? I used to use wax when I had a full head of hair and had a style similar like yours, however they are a nightmare to remove so I just thought you can’t be using wax. Really interested to know how you did it if I get to have my hair again.
Typically, the adjustment period for no-shampoo can take up to six weeks. So I think it’s too early to say whether water-only is working for you. Personally, my hair’s oiliness and my scalp’s itchiness subsided – but it took a few weeks for the change to occur.
The bottom line is that if you’re doing the mechanical stimulation exercises and other changes from the book, then using shampoo (or not) shouldn’t make the difference between regrowth and no regrowth. So if you don’t like no-shampoo after a few weeks, then don’t feel obligated to stick with water-only.
For the demo video, I just used a little water and some honey. I don’t have any hair gel, and normally I don’t push my hair back. But since my hair was longer at the time I made the video, I realized that having it fall forward would block much of what I wanted to show everyone. So I combed it back, realized it wasn’t going to stay on its own, and decided to use a bit of honey keep it in place.
Your website is informative. I was reading through the comments from readers and your replies on the ‘Why I stopped using shampoos and conditioners forever’ article. Here is an excerpt from your reply regarding excess sebum production, in one of the responses to the comments:
“This is where things get tricky… Excess sebum is produced as a response to localized inflammatory stress. The fungal/bacterial organisms that Ketoconazole targets feed on excess sebum. These organisms colonize the scalp to eat the sebum. This means that the order of events looks like this:
Scalp inflammation –> Increased sebum production –> bacterial/fungal organisms eat the excess sebum”
And later in another reply you mentioned a fact which I have heard many places elsewhere as well, that excess sebum might be produced due to simply genetic reasons. In other words, some people just produce more oil in the scalp than others.
My questions- 1. Is there a largely accepted consensus on what produces excess sebum? 2. And from your reply above, Scalp inflammation –> Increased sebum production, can you point out where does that ‘Scalp Inflammation’ arise from?
I appreciate your efforts and would consider buying your product. I would like to know if you still reply to your customers by email if they have a few questions here and there along the 5-6 month process of implementing your advice.
Thanks for your time.
Great questions. Unfortunately, there’s no large consensus on the main drivers of sebum production in pattern hair loss-prone hair follicles, but it’s likely that the biggest driver is androgen production during puberty. Androgen production during puberty has been linked to sebaceous gland sizing and thereby sebum production. In castrate models, men castrated before puberty have significantly lower sebum production for the rest of their lives. And interestingly, men castrated after puberty — who’ve already had androgens influence the size and development of their sebaceous glands — don’t see any major reductions in sebum output (most likely because their sebaceous gland size has already been set). There are some dietary measures you can take to reduce sebum production. Retinol (the animal-based form of vitamin A) has been shown to regulate sebum output — and the studies that supported this ended up becoming the basis for Accutane (to treat acne).
In terms of what drives scalp inflammation — there’s no consensus and research here is limited. If I had to guess based on all the literature available — scalp inflammation above the galea aponeurotica (ie: AGA-prone hair follicles) is likely the result of chronic structural tension. This could be the result of adult skull bone growth, or muscular development in the muscles surrounding the galea aponeurotica. I wrote a little about this here:
I still reply to all of my customers by email, though it can take me a while to get back to those asking more complicated questions.
All my best,
Thanks for your answers, I did not know that Vitamin A could affect sebum production, will look more into it and I will surely check out the article you mentioned.
Thanks for your quick response.
No problem, Ed! Thanks for reading. While it’s less scientifically grounded, many readers (including myself) have noticed that regular scalp massages (or mechanical stimulation of any kind) significantly downregulates sebum production as well.
I am a 16 year old male and I am experiencing hair thinning. My father is bald and his father was bald, so I can conclude that my hair loss is due to genes. I am in dire need of help. I am willing to try the no shampoo/conditioner method, but what else can I do in terms of saving my hair? (dermatologist, treatments, medical procedures, etc). I also ask if you have any tips for me, such as do’s and don’t’s when dealing with hair loss. As you can imagine, the possibility of hair loss is very scary to me, especially since I’m only 16.
There are a lot of resources on this site that should help get you started in the right direction. I’d recommend signing up for the free email course on the homepage, or reading more of the site’s articles.
For what it’s worth, I started losing my hair at 16 too. There’s no reason to worry about it — it’s an entirely normal process, and while it’s healthy to take precautions and actions that — to the best of your ability — prevent / slow / reverse hair loss, always keep in mind that the hair does not make the man.
I started the water-only hair wash yesterday so I don’t have experience with it yet. However, I read somewhere that washing it daily with warm water also “rips off” a significant amount of sebum, thus makes the glands produce more. I don’t really believe it but I’m just curious about your opinion.
Shampoo doesn’t necessarily “rip” sebum out of the scalp. Rather, the surfactants in shampoos strip away the sebum that’s coated our hair and created a barrier of protection and support, and repeated stripping (chronic shampooing) upregulates sebum production from the hair follicle sites. I hope this helps clarify things.
Yes Rob, thank you!
I’ve been washing my hair (water-only) for three days and I have to say I expected it to be worse. My hair is oily though but if already feels healthier.
So do you think if it’s safe to do everyday?
Hey Aron — that’s what the article advocates 🙂
I thought the question was asked specifically about warm or hot water striping the natural oils.
Is that what happens with hot or warm water?
It can certainly happen — as the warmer the water, the more oils typically are stripped. But shampooing uses surfactants to achieve this and is thereby more impactful in stripping sebum from your scalp tissues and hair.
Hey Rob, I am really worried about the future of my hair. I am only 16 years old, and I already see parts of my scalp when I move my hair in different directions. It is mostly on the top of my hair. This article has really gave me some hope for the health of my hair. I use shampoo pretty much every day, and I dont like a day when I dont use it, especially in my teenage years. I dont know what to substitute shampoo with. I have looked at many articles and most tell me to rub essential oils. I dont know if this is right. So I am kind of at a stand still point. I already subscribed to your emails, but I only got the DHT article. I am hoping this program helps me. Please contact me whenever possible. Thank you.
Thanks for reaching out, and for explaining your situation. I think the best thing to do is to use the free information on this site to 1) educate yourself about hair loss science, and 2) understand which treatment options are available to you. At 16, I would never recommend trying to reduce DHT — as this hormone is critical to your development for the next few years. Rather, I’d explore alternative treatments like low-level laser therapy, mechanical stimulation (mentioned in the email course), and a reassessment of your diet, lifestyle, and environment — all to improve biomarkers for systemic inflammation, address any hormonal imbalances, and help slow/stop/reverse your current loss. It’s a long road, but it all starts with education.
I recently purchased your ebook and would like to commend you on some solid research and conclusions. You’ve done a great job of extending Choy’s Detumescence therapy to explaining holes in the current DHT-induced hair loss consensus.
In this article and your ebook you mention a link between trapped sebum and hair loss, and advocate abandoning shampoo in order to restore normal levels of sebum production. However, I’m not aware of any feedback mechanism that sebaceous glands have to detect removal of sebum from neighbouring hairs, I believe sebum production is regulated by androgens. Is there something I’m missing? Wouldn’t shampoos actually help (even if the sebaceous gland is stimulated) by removing sebum from the hair and potentially drawing out trapped sebum via diffusion along the hair shaft? Additionally, you mention that reducing excess sebum production could be the mechanism that underlies how ketoconazole shampoo regwrows hair. Since ketoconazole is also an androgen receptor antagonist that competes with DHT it seems logical to me that using ketoconazole would help with your recommended therapy. Hopefully I’m not irritating you with this question (I tried looking in previous comments), I only ask because it seems logical to me that ketoconazole shampoos (free of hormone disruptors) would be a great adjunct with the other lifestyle changes to removing trapped sebum and regrowing hair.
I’m also reluctant to give up ketoconazole because it’s the only thing I’ve found that removes the seborrheic dermatitis I get on my eyebrows, nose and upper lip! Annoying red spots!
Thanks for your support. And yes, sebaceous gland size is often regulated by androgen production — but it gets a bit more complicated when we dig deeper into the data. For instance, men castrated before puberty produce significantly less sebum for the rest of their lives (implying smaller sebaceous gland sizing), whereas men castrated after puberty produce just as much sebum as their non-castrated counterparts.
This suggests that during puberty, androgens play a bigger role in sebum output setting, but have less of an influence thereafter.
In terms of a mechanism identified for the relationship between excess shampooing and increased sebum output — you’re right! We don’t have one of these yet (or at least, if it’s out there, I’m not yet aware of it). The relationship between excess sebum output and chronic shampooing is based off my own experiences (and others), alongside the other commonly observed relationships we see within the body when it comes to adjusting for homeostasis. For example, when we eat more antioxidants, our body decreases endogenous antioxidant production to compensate. Similar compensation mechanisms exist in so many other aspects of human physiology — so it’s not out-of-reality for this to be happening with sebum and shampoo. But at the end of the day, you’re right — the science isn’t fully there to support everyone’s anecdotes.
In terms of ketoconazole — it’s fine keep using it! In fact, it may even be synergistic to use alongside the massages — as either a cream or shampoo — especially because its mechanisms of action extend beyond its anti-fungal properties and even toward anti-androgenic activity (as you mentioned).
Keep me posted with your progress, and I look forward to hearing back in a few months.
I recently bought your book and started doing the massages 2 times a day for 20 minutes in the morning and evening. I also rotate the massages like you described in your book. The massages are feeling great! I also started taking cold showers wich are uncomfertable at first but absolutely worth it for the rest of the day. But i have 2 questions regarding diet and shampoo’s/conditioners ..
1. A couple months ago i stopped using shampoo’s and conditioners. I only wash my scalp with cold water. You say that shampoo’s and conditioners can speed up the proces of hair loss. But since is stopped using them, my scalp is really itchy and i have terrible dandruff or dry scalp (its hard to tell the difference) but whenever i run my fingers trough my hair, i see hundreds of white flakes falling. I have absolutely no idea what to do. I also noticed that my thinning hair and receading temples has gotten worse since is stopped using products. Do i need to use shampoo’s again or do i need to wait it out?
2. I reduced the amounts of grains that i am eating. This is really hard because i do fitness/bodybuilding and i need al lot of carbs because i am really tal and skinny. I live in Amsterdam, The Netherlands and bread is our number one carb source in this country. luckely, i like sweet potatoes, white potatoes and white rice. The problem is seafood like shellfish and meats like organ meats…..they are unfortunately not available in al lot of stores here . And in the stores where they are available , they are really expensive. I’m a student and i simply don’t have the money to pay for it. I already tried working extra hours but its not enough. My question is : if i am doing my massages correctly, take cold showers, keep exercising, eat healthier overall instead of al lot bread (and still getting all the vitamins and minerals that i need), can i still get results?
Youri (sorry for my bad english)
Thanks for reaching out. To answer your questions–
1. It’s okay to use a shampoo or conditioner sparingly — as in, once or twice per week. This should certainly help to attenuate your symptoms of dandruff, and at 1-2 times per week, you’re generally out of the range of harm to hair health. But even if you continue to not use shampoos/conditioners, your dandruff and sebum production should begin to normalize over the next couple of months. I take a more hard-lined approach in this article and inside the book, but the reality is that either option is likely fine.
2. Grains in Europe are far better than grains in the US. The amino acid profile (and thereby gluten content) is entirely different. As a result, it’s likely okay for you to occasionally eat bread from/in Amsterdam! In terms of the organ meats — that’s okay, but try to find other sources of retinol (vitamin A) and B-12. Shellfish are really a great option, if you can access them. Even just once a week can be enough to stave off selenium / zinc / other nutrient deficiencies in most individuals. And it’s okay if you’re not adhering to everything 100% — for most people, doing 80% of things should be enough to see some results.
This is very interesting and I would like to know if today (2018) you are still washing your hair with only water. If yes, do you have like a kind of routine because I tried it for 2 months and sometimes I have the impression of having like a “bad hair day”. My hair seems dull or lifeless. Do you put some product or something? Maybe this is a stupid question but I would like your opinion on this please! 🙂
Hey Rob, I haven’t been using shampoo for the past month and a half and I’m a little unsure on how to feel about it.
I guess I should start out by saying that I’ve always had extremely greasy hair(possibly or eventually due to all the shampooing I’ve done throughout my life), my hair would be slick with oiliness within 12-14 hours after I shampooed it. A few months ago I started to shampoo only 2-3 times a week and noticed a decent improvement. A month ago, I read this article and gave up shampooing entirely, and within 10 days or so I noticed a huge improvement. My hair never really looks oily anymore, especially after a shower, but I began to notice what seems to be little dried up sebum crystals and/or dirt throughout my hair.
The really alarming thing is I now seem to be noticeably shedding hair. I’ve been massaging for about a month as well, and at first I noticed very little hair fallout, but now it’s definitely noticeable. I used to be able to run my hand through my hair and have no hair be shed, but now it seems to be a lot worse. I’m not sure If I should contribute this to the lack of shampooing, or something else, such as seasonal hair shedding. I just wanted to know if you had any useful feedback on this kind of thing.
In my personal case, I cannot share your experience with shampoos, on the contrary. I washed my hair as a teenager almost NEVER (!) With shampoo, but only with water. Until one day I got bad eczema. There I was 15. And it wasn’t until I was 18 when I used the H&S shampoo that the eczema were finally gone.
However, the AGA has remained and worsened further in the following years.
So should shampoos be avoided or do they offer more protection against AGA?
If I had already used the H&S shampoo at the age of 15, I would certainly not have had eczema. And therefore no calcification and fibrosis and therefore no AGA. At least the AGA would not have been so extreme , I’m sure!
do you use any gel for body or think it is not necessary?