shamphree: week one

It’s been one week since I first washed my hair with the Shamphree method, all by the guidance of How To Hair Girl. So 7 days and 4 washes (4!) in, I’m feeling a bit mixed bag. 4 is a lot of washes for one week and I was looking forward to washing my hair less often with this method. However, after doing hours of Shamphree research all over the internet this week, it seems a common issue that new Shamphreers get some seriously greasy hair. Wash 3 was a highlight… I’ve never seen my hair as greasy in my life!


But let’s start at the start, shall we.

Wash 1 was a pleasant surprise. It was easy and I enjoyed it. I bought my mini collection of tools and potions for washing my hair (I’ll post the list after this) and got to work. I made the recipe according to the standard recipe HTHG uses, ignoring her adjustments for colour treated hair. My hair is super bleached, but there is no colour to lose (which is her main reason for a different ratio) and I often get comments that my hair looks healthy considering all it’s been through! I visited one hairdresser last year and she didn’t agree, but I find it easier to remember the compliments.
I followed this recipe. One tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda to 5oz. water for the ‘Shampoo’ and one tablespoon of vinegar to 5oz. water for the ‘Conditoner’. On my dry hair I sprayed the little spray bottle of ‘Shampoo’ at my roots and brushed it through with the paddle brush. I didn’t use all 5oz. and my ends weren’t wet with the mixture (as HTHG says, your ends aren’t usually in need of a clean). I got ‘Shampoo’ all over my roots and the top half of my hair. I slicked it all back to look like Mystique from X-Men.
I left it for 5 minutes, got in the shower and with my paddle brush, gently brushed out the ‘Shampoo’ under the running water. I spent about 10 minutes brushing, until I was happy that everything was gone, and then I sprayed the ‘Conditioner’ vinegar mix (with a few added drops of orange essential oil, so it smelled delicious) all over my hair. Again, I didn’t quite use all of it, but I did spray it all over my hair. I turned the water temperature down and rinsed the ‘Conditioner’ out with a few brushes. This didn’t take anywhere near as long as the bicarb mix, I suppose because it’s purely liquid.
My hair dried (eventually, took a lot longer than with a normal wash) and smelled and looked incredible. I couldn’t believe my hair was actually clean and looking good with some bicarb and vinegar.
Some pointers!
  • I bought 2 matching cheap spray bottles (69p each!) for the applications. The vinegar one still works great, but possibly because of the gritty nature of the bicarb mix, the other bottle stopped spraying altogether on my second wash. Until I replace it, I’m using an old, clean shampoo bottle but the application isn’t as neat and my head gets a bit soaked.
  • My bathroom smelled like a chip shop for a while afterwards, with the salt and vinegar hair going on. I quite enjoy this. The orange essential oil made the vinegar mix smell so good on my hair and when my hair is dry it smells fresh, not chemically and makes me think of post-sea swim hair.
  • Even during my first wash, in the shower, my hair felt fuller, thicker and more voluminous.
  • Hair takes longer to dry and, when damp, doesn’t brush through as smoothly as with a regular conditioner. However, when my hair is dry, it brushes like normal, tangle free.
  • My hair sits just above the top of my bra, and I found 5oz. of water to be a little too much liquid. Maybe start from there and adjust accordingly.
On Wash 2, I used less water so as not to waste any bicarb, vinegar or oil. I didn’t spend as long brushing out the bicarb mix and my hair felt heavier for it later. I think I still had some residue in my hair so my hair didn’t feel as light or as fresh. It was only a slight difference, but noticeable to me.
On Wash 3, I spent more time brushing the bicarb out. A day after wash 3 I noticed my hair was greasier than normal (than a regular wash or a Shamphree wash). The second day after Wash 3 my hair was insanely greasy! It wasn’t the usual greasy hair though. In a way, it was nice. It felt far more natural and almost like the oil was lighter. I followed HTHG’s advice and brushed my hair to get the oils down to my dry ends. I did this at a few points during the day and I was tempted to leave my hair unwashed on the third day after Wash 3, just put it up and let it do what it had to do. But I caved.
Wash 4 was my least favourite because my hair had gotten so greasy, I just wasn’t sure if Shamphree was working out for me. I did some research before my wash, to see if I should try a different ratio, or application etc. HTHG’s site mentioned that very oily roots are common when you first change to Shamphreeing your hair and recommended just to ride it out. So I haven’t changed my recipe or method just yet. I’m going to give it about a month before I do that, just to let my hair get used to this standard method and recipe.
After Wash 4 I noticed my hair didn’t feel as clean as the first time. It seemed like I hadn’t cleared all the oil from my greasy roots. But actually, today is the day after Wash 4 and my hair doesn’t feel greasy (yet), it feels fresh and clean and not flyaway. I also used some coconut oil on my ends last night, slept with them greased up and then washed them this morning with hot water and the vinegar spray. My over bleached hair feels lovely right now.
One more thing. I’ve been off work this week, so I’ve enjoyed having time for my experiment. I will definitely continue, even when I’m back at work, although I’ll probably rely on my dry shampoo again when I have a regular schedule. It can take longer in the shower, since you have to brush the bicarb mix out. I haven’t been blow drying or straightening my hair as much, because I’m off work and I know I don’t have to and it’s just nice to give your hair a rest. But generally, I think I’ll be able to manage this routine fine with my normal life.

Altogether, I’ve noticed interesting things and changes with my hair and I’m happy and excited to continue, see what comes next!
I’ll be back with my equipment list…


  1. I’m glad it appears to be working. Perhaps worth a try (once I’ve used up my stockpile). But I imagine mixing and matching between conventional and non-conventional shampoo would be a no go? Could use one one day, the other next wash?



    1. Hi 🙂
      As I’m reposting this ‘week 1’ diary from about 2 months ago, I am now fully into Shamphreeing. I would recommend just going ahead with Shamphree when you’ve run out of all your fancy usual products.

      How To Hair Girl talks a lot about the pH of your hair and it getting used to being without chemicals. It’s more of an experiment that way.

      Let me know if you try it! I’ll be checking your blog,



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s