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View Full Version : My experience with a DIY no rinse, rinseless shampoo experiment!



esfand
July 11th, 2017, 06:49 AM
I was tired and sick the past couple weeks, and my grandma gave me a rinseless shampoo that she uses. I was inspired by this product (https://www.walgreens.com/store/c/no-rinse-shampoo/ID=prod3946587-product)when I read the ingredients to see what makes it safe to leave on the hair.

Ingredients: Deionized Water, Triethanolamine Lauryl Sulfate, Propylene Glycol, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Diazolidinyl Urea, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Fragrance, Citric Acid

Another rinseless shampoo: Medline Aloe Shampoo/Body wash (https://www.amazon.com/Medline-Soothe-Rinse-Shampoo-Fluid/dp/B009I30R26)

Ingredients: Aqua, TEA-Lauryl Sulfate, Propylene Glycol, Cocamide,DEA, Fragrance, DMDM Hydantoin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, , Iodopropynl Butylcarbamate

These are so gentle, I guess, that they both say that you can "use as much as necessary". I noticed that these ingredients kinda look like regular shampoo ingredients, though relatively simple. They also use the same surfectants that most shampoos use. What gives?

So I thought that maybe if regular shampoo is diluted enough, it can be used as a rinseless shampoo. Except, you can make a larger batch of it and "use as much as necessary".

Unsatisfied with the rinseless shampoo (cleaning my scalp alone would take the whole bottle), I tested my DIY formula by diluting regular shampoo in a large bowl of water. I used just enough for the water to smell a bit like the shampoo and be mildly sudsy, and rinsing my hair in it. I didn't rinse it with clean water after, just towel dried it. My hair came out clean, and glossy. It felt fine, I didn't feel it dry out or feel dirty or irritated. I did it for two weeks, washing in no-rinse water every 3 days. Even bathing in it.

I remembered using rosewater or witch hazel, both astringent hydrosols, as a rinseless shampoo to spray on my hair in the past. It actually seemed to clean my hair and leave it smoothed out and soft without buildup, so I thought of using another astringent in place of hydrosols. I tried alcohol, because it can be diluted to make a large volume of astringent, and see if it helps my rinseless hair bath formula. I added herbal tinctures (rosemary, mint, and dandelion root infused in alcohol) to the bath, just a teensy bit enough that the water had more slip and became easier to work with. I smell the herbs, but I can't smell the alcohol. I was hooked! My body came out refreshed and clean, which is especially nice during the summer, and my hair became lightweight, bouncy, glossy, and tangle-free without feeling stripped. Rinseless, saving time, saving water. I think it might even be good for my hair, especially after adding the alcohol. I forgot to use conditioner because of how slippery and conditioned my hair felt. I heard that alcohol, rosewater, and astringents help flatten the cuticles. Now that I tried it on my hair, I think it's possible.

I was wondering if anyone else tried rinseless formulas before, or if you want to try coming up with a rinseless recipe as well. Would anyone want to try my method, including the tincture, and see if you get good results as well? Alcohol sounds scary but I think in such a diluted formula, it wouldn't be any worse than using any other cleanser/astringent. Even vinegar is harmful for hair in higher percentages. Flat beer (that has alcohol in it) is already used as a rinse, so maybe it's not just the hops and the proteins in the beer but the alcohol as well.

Seriously though, I want to hear your experiences if you try it. I am so stoked, especially since this seems so water-conservative and hassle-free for exhausted people.

truepeacenik
July 11th, 2017, 07:03 AM
Intriguing.
I wash with very dilute shampoo (although I was heavy handed post move, spacing out on a "fill the bottle" task, and currently am running 60:40 water to shampoo).
I wonder if I could dilute further and save some water in the shower? I condition the length prior to washing, and hit the ends again after rinsing.
If a very dilute shampoo would work as a no rinse option, with oils on the ends, this could be a significant water savings.


Curious to see if alcohol becomes drying despite the other ingredients.

Anje
July 11th, 2017, 07:52 AM
Intriguing.
I wash with very dilute shampoo (although I was heavy handed post move, spacing out on a "fill the bottle" task, and currently am running 60:40 water to shampoo).
I wonder if I could dilute further and save some water in the shower?

Curious to see if alcohol becomes drying despite the other ingredients.

I think you'd have to dilute a lot more. I tend to wash with a sulfate shampoo diluted in the neighborhood of 10:1 to 20:1 and would absolutely still need to rinse. A bottle of diluted shampoo still lasts me quite a while.

Water conservation isn't an overriding concern here. I mean, I don't waste it unnecessarily, but I'm hoping we don't lose power in today's storms or my basement may flood.

esfand
July 11th, 2017, 09:48 AM
Intriguing.
I wash with very dilute shampoo (although I was heavy handed post move, spacing out on a "fill the bottle" task, and currently am running 60:40 water to shampoo).
I wonder if I could dilute further and save some water in the shower? I condition the length prior to washing, and hit the ends again after rinsing.
If a very dilute shampoo would work as a no rinse option, with oils on the ends, this could be a significant water savings.


Curious to see if alcohol becomes drying despite the other ingredients.

I've done the tincture bathing with and without oil on my length. There's people who go water-only, so if diluting further works for you, by all means! I think the alcohol boosts the cleansing power of the shampoo without making it harsher, and I think it's because it makes the water easier to work with. I don't know the chemistry behind it, but it seems chelating in hard water.

My no rinse shampoo ratio is:

2 to 3 gallon water
1/8 oz alcohol
1/8 oz shampoo, either straight or slightly diluted on your greasiest spots, or diluted straight into the water
The alcohol and shampoo is only 0.08% of the whole water, which is far less alcohol than a flat beer rinse, and far less shampoo than the normal diluted shampoo rinse.

For a whole body and hair math I just double the amount of the tinctured shampoo water. I wash my hair first, then wash the rest of the body in the soapy water. It takes 5 gallons to wash everything. You can even do it every day. You can always do a quick rinse in clean water afterwards too if you want.

Drought is a problem in California and you can get fined for watering your lawn on certain days, so anything to conserve water is always good if you live in a dry area. I take my shampoo water to the garden after I am done, and they appreciate it very much!

pandabarrier
July 11th, 2017, 06:15 PM
I use a cotton ball with witch hazel (non-alcohol based) to clean my hairline in between scalp washes and full washes, done every two days. It cleans without drying. Or I even just rinse my hairline with plain water, to get rid of the sweat.
I use diluted sulfate shampoo, about 1 tablespoon to 12 ounces of water in a squirt bottle.

Add: I forgot to write, I still rinse the shampoo, I think I sweat too much and my scalp is too oily for no rinse.

Cherriezzzzz
July 11th, 2017, 08:13 PM
:couch::run:
I'm lurking! Hehe I'm not brave enough to not rinse?! Maybe it's from my past hair falling out due to shampoo perfume allergy? I've a hard time even using conventional shampoos now apart from one brand, which I also stopped using... But I'm super curious and excited to see results here! Very fascinating! Like this could be great for camping?

PixieP
July 12th, 2017, 11:03 AM
I NEED to try this! I have skin that is allergic to water, and I have fibromyalgia that makes it painful to lean into the shower to wash my hair, and I struggle with extreme fatigue. This sounds like something sent from heaven for me. Especially if I can find a lightweight leave-in conditioner too.

How do you make the alcohol/herb infusement? Is your shampoo conefree?

esfand
July 12th, 2017, 04:30 PM
:couch::run:
I'm lurking! Hehe I'm not brave enough to not rinse?! Maybe it's from my past hair falling out due to shampoo perfume allergy? I've a hard time even using conventional shampoos now apart from one brand, which I also stopped using... But I'm super curious and excited to see results here! Very fascinating! Like this could be great for camping?

You can always rinse after if you want. It still saves water than having a shower IMO. Yeah campers can use it. I think campers already use regular shampoo in a bucket away from the water source anyway.

You might like Free & Clear (https://www.walgreens.com/store/c/free-%26-clear-shampoo/ID=prod6055613-product) or regular liquid soap. Castille soap leaves a tangly, gummy mess in my experience, but I wonder how it would work if mixed with alcohol and diluted in water. Or maybe not castille soap, but some other liquid soap. Rice bran oil soap sounds interesting in my opinion, as rice bran oil is my hair's favorite plant oil.


I NEED to try this! I have skin that is allergic to water, and I have fibromyalgia that makes it painful to lean into the shower to wash my hair, and I struggle with extreme fatigue. This sounds like something sent from heaven for me. Especially if I can find a lightweight leave-in conditioner too.

How do you make the alcohol/herb infusement? Is your shampoo conefree?

But this recipe HAS water, and even the commercial no-rinse shampoos have water. However, doing a quick hair bath keeps your hair and skin in contact with water for a much shorter time than in the shower, so it could help that way.

I started doing this because I was so fatigued as well, and it definitely doesn't leave me feeling claustrophobic and exhausted as being in the shower. This is actually how many people, including the Japanese, bath. (https://www.treehugger.com/clean-water/save-water-shower-japanese-style.html) I think most people in the world sponge bath.

For conditioner, I've just rinsed with vinegar or added a bit of conditioner to fresh water, just like how I'd dilute shampoo.

I take any liquid (vodka, brandy, rubbing alcohol, whatever) that is at least 35% alcohol. I then add herbs in it and let it infuse. You can use it right away, even though the herbs will be stronger the longer they stay in the alcohol. It's the alcohol that you want, the herbs are just cherry on top. I like to use 91% rubbing alcohol (isopropyl) because it's stronger and cheaper, but ethanol definitely smells better as you infuse it.

PixieP
July 12th, 2017, 04:44 PM
Sorry for being unclear; I mentioned my allergy because it means I cannot shower normally. I can get my scalp and hands wet without issues, but it's my back, shoulders, upper arms, chest and stomach that reacts to water (sometimes my legs too). I get a burning sensation in the skin, it's really painful. So normally I wash my hair by standing outside the shower, leaning in, washing upside down. But that is very painful for my body too, and with the fatigue then I sometimes don't have energy to wash my hair and I go around looking dreadful (or using lots and lots of dry shampoo...). So that's how I can see this being super helpful for me :) I will try it hopefully tomorow and let you know. I have some clear rum that's been hanging around forever (I don't really drink anymore) so that can probably be used for this.

PixieP
July 14th, 2017, 12:59 PM
Oh my god, WHAT IS THIS MAGIC?!!! :O

I tried this today. I filled my bathroom sink with water, had in approx 1 teaspoon of shampoo (I added a drop at a time, stirred it with a whisk to see if it sudsed a bit, and kept adding a drop until it did). I also left some dired rosemary hang around in a little bit of white rum, and added about two teaspoons of that (I had no idea how much alcohol I should add... the rum I used is only 40%). I leaned over the sink, so my lengths were lying in the water, and used a cup to pour the rinse over my scalp repeatedly, massaging a bit, rinsing more, massaging more, rinsing more. I then pressed out most of the water of my hair. The notion of leaving my lengths with traces of shampoo and unprotected still feels unnatural for me, so I added a tiny amount of conditioner and aloe vera to the big bottle I use for my vinegar rinse, and mixed up my vinegar rinse as usual. I lightly rinsed my lengths under the faucet, and then put them inside the bottle to soak in the vinegarmix for a minute or two. Then pressed out water and put it in my microfiber turban. All of this was much quicker than my normal wash routine, and it didn't hurt my body at all. And best of all, when I'm feeling really bad, my husband can do 99% of the work for me, so all I need to do is lean on the sink.

My scalp doesn't feel as clean as it usually does, but it doesn't feel oily either. All of my hair feels different than it does after my usual routine, but I think it's in a good way (it's currently 95% dry so I can't tell quite properly yet). But it's SO WAVY! My hair has never been this way before! It's looking like a 2b/2c now! :D And it's super fluffy and light, right now it's in a huuuuuuuge loose messy bun and I LOVE IT!

PixieP
July 16th, 2017, 07:06 AM
So here I am again, babbling :laugh: On day 2 and my scalp feels rather greasy. I thought this might happen, as my hair was rather greasy when I tried this (5 days since last wash). And I haven't clarified in a long time, and been using a silicone serum a lot. So I think I'll need to properly clarify, and then try again. I still count it a success, as it will give me a way of making my hair more presentable without having to do a full-on wash when I don't have energy, and it cuts down on my use of dry shampoo :P

01
July 16th, 2017, 02:10 PM
Oh. Rosewater cleans hair?? Does that mean that'll clean my face strongly if I tap it into my face without rinsing it out and without cleansing my face with something else before applying it? I was hoping it'd be moisturizing, feels pretty moisturizing to me... I mean I heard it's astringent, but... THAT much??

esfand
July 26th, 2017, 11:46 PM
PixieP, good to know it works for you! Yeah it's great in a quick run.

Alcohol feels moisturizing to my skin if mixed with other things, I don't think astringent necessarily means drying. But yeah it cleans the hair IMO

Soliloquy
August 27th, 2019, 11:13 AM
I am going on a camping trip and I need a way to wash my hair without rinsing. I will try this ideas.

One method someone told me about but I can't find online is the pony tail method. Put your hair in a ponytail. Using a squirt bottle of highly diluted shampoo, rinse your scalp thoroughly. Remove the pony tail.

MusicalSpoons
August 27th, 2019, 11:27 AM
I am going on a camping trip and I need a way to wash my hair without rinsing. I will try this ideas.

One method someone told me about but I can't find online is the pony tail method. Put your hair in a ponytail. Using a squirt bottle of highly diluted shampoo, rinse your scalp thoroughly. Remove the pony tail.

That's scalp-only washing :) many of us so that as part of our normal routine. If you search the forum for 'scalp washing/washes' you'll find lots of info and different ways people do it.

Waveurly
August 28th, 2019, 04:43 AM
Interesting! I'm Keen to try something like this but it won't be anytime soon as I'd have to buy the alcohol and I can't see myself going to the liquor store very soon. Would you recon it's possible to use rubbing alcohol instead? Cause I could get that at the pharmacy as well. Anyway according to the following page on Victorian era washing methods, rum was one of them https://www.ourheritageofhealth.com/victorian-shampoo-alternatives/.
I personally would not leave in any sulfates in my hair, even heavily diluted, but I'd like to rinse with my usual rinse which is citric acid in water. Hopefully I'll be able to try next month to wash it with diluted shampoo with an alcohol mix in it!

Waveurly
September 11th, 2019, 11:58 AM
So I tried this in a different way. I filled my sink with water, added some sulfate free shampoo and a bit of 70% alcohol. I rinsed it out after washing and then did a final rinse with citrix acid and 2 teaspoons of the same alcohol. I like that it is astringent and my hair feels nice now but I'll have to see tomorrow and probably do it the next time as well to see what kind of results it gives me. For so for I like it.

lapushka
September 11th, 2019, 12:10 PM
So I tried this in a different way. I filled my sink with water, added some sulfate free shampoo and a bit of 70% alcohol. I rinsed it out after washing and then did a final rinse with citrix acid and 2 teaspoons of the same alcohol. I like that it is astringent and my hair feels nice now but I'll have to see tomorrow and probably do it the next time as well to see what kind of results it gives me. For so for I like it.

But in how far is that easier than just washing the hair. I don't get it?

Mind you, I wash bent over the bath, so never in the shower or so, so maybe that's what you're trying to avoid? But washing the hair in the sink is easy enough to do as well, if you like. :flower:

Waveurly
September 11th, 2019, 01:08 PM
But in how far is that easier than just washing the hair. I don't get it?

Mind you, I wash bent over the bath, so never in the shower or so, so maybe that's what you're trying to avoid? But washing the hair in the sink is easy enough to do as well, if you like. :flower:

I understand it doesn't seem logic but it's easier for me to get to the scalp in the sink sometimes but the main reason I did it was as to dilute the shampoo and then dip my head in the mixture and pour it a couple of times over my scalp. If I would have done it below the shower then usually I can't really get to the scalp area sufficiently, especially with diluted shampoo as it just goes over my top hair and then I'd have to repeat and take more product. For this I preferred the sink :) my hair is like a waterproof helmet sometimes when showering haha

lapushka
September 11th, 2019, 05:51 PM
I understand it doesn't seem logic but it's easier for me to get to the scalp in the sink sometimes but the main reason I did it was as to dilute the shampoo and then dip my head in the mixture and pour it a couple of times over my scalp. If I would have done it below the shower then usually I can't really get to the scalp area sufficiently, especially with diluted shampoo as it just goes over my top hair and then I'd have to repeat and take more product. For this I preferred the sink :) my hair is like a waterproof helmet sometimes when showering haha

Yes but my point was if you are going to use that "mixture" in the sink, then why not wash it with regular shampoo in the sink.

Waveurly
September 12th, 2019, 02:46 AM
Yes but my point was if you are going to use that "mixture" in the sink, then why not wash it with regular shampoo in the sink.

I can't wash it with regular shampoo (if you mean sulfates?) As I'm sensitive or allergic to them. I've tried to many times but they always make my scalp react badly. I wanted to try this mixture to see the effect it has on scalp and hair.

lapushka
September 12th, 2019, 12:48 PM
I can't wash it with regular shampoo (if you mean sulfates?) As I'm sensitive or allergic to them. I've tried to many times but they always make my scalp react badly. I wanted to try this mixture to see the effect it has on scalp and hair.

Oh I didn't know that! I'm sorry. If anything I would be careful with the alcohol content, as it might irritate as well, but if up to this point you are fine, why worry? :shrug: :thumbsup:

Waveurly
September 12th, 2019, 03:03 PM
Oh I didn't know that! I'm sorry. If anything I would be careful with the alcohol content, as it might irritate as well, but if up to this point you are fine, why worry? :shrug: :thumbsup:

Don't worry! Yeah you're right, if the alcohol content would be too strong it would probably be irritating :)