ManPHree: Derek tells us about his ShamPHree life.

7U6A7961Sometimes, a real gem of a man shows up to work at the front desk of your Salon. And when that happens, and when he sticks around for years, and brings smiles to peoples faces, and thoughtfully runs shit, holds down the fort with calm and finesse, and your clients ask you constantly if he is single ( Sorry ladies, this silver sparkled fox is happily married to one lovely Audrey)……..let’s take a minute to appreciate the gem-ly men out there.

Derek was an enthusiastic supporter of ShamPHree from the beginning. He offered great advice and feedback through the process of developing the kit, and was one of the first humans to receive a kit.


He is on the front lines at Vain, the downtown Seattle salon that we work at. He sets the pace with his savvy customer service skills and his fix-it mentality. His general style is classy/casual, hip and professional. His hair is very well groomed and precisely cut into what I call a dapper-man do, ( Here is a great styling tutorial from another gem of a dapper man.)

Today, Derek tells us about his ShamPHree journey.

Interview with a PHree Man.


  What do you call yourself? Personal branding statement? ( super-human, undercover brother, mr. fix it?  Something corny? you can get creative or not:)
I don’t really have a name for myself outside of simply “Derek;” I’m always open to a nickname; but prefer that to happen organically and sort of wear many nicknames as badges of honor, bestowed upon me by various people in my life. There’s anything from “Markland,” my last name, to “D-Mark,” to “D” to “D-Tek” (commonly used at the front desk because of a simple typo of Derek to Detek). I’ve been called Darryl, Darren, Eric, Aaron, and a multitude of variations upon similar phonemes; but ultimately, I’ve never had a nickname stick that I’ve carried through life.  If I had to brand myself or think of a term that best somes me up, I’d say I’m a functional workaholic.

 When did you start your ShamPHree journey?

I started my ShamPHree journey about two or three months ago; but gained interest in it probably six or seven months ago; and simply didn’t take the initiative to pick up the various odds and ends needed until they were gathered in one box and offered as a complete ShamPHree kit.

What inspired your switch?

I think there’s a multitude of things that inspired my switch; I feel like there’s been a new awakening in communities across the country–either geographical communities, or the broader sense of collections of like-minded individuals as communities–that have focused on a back-to-basics approach to living more simply. Whether you look at foodies focusing on eating organic, local, vegetarian, vegan, or some combination of all three; or the rise of indie-game developers and the advent crowd-funding sites; or the general desire of people looking for more environmentally friendly products and business–you get the sense that people are paying attention more than they used to. I know I may simply be speaking for myself, but I feel like it’s really the case. What I’m also noticing is that these communities are beginning to overlap, and be aligning your thinking with one tribe or another, you will start to see just how much in common two disparate groups have.

For me, it started with food. I’m definitely not a snob when it comes to food; I’ll eat almost anything, but what I try to avoid is highly processed foods. The list of chemicals can be overwhelming. When eating pre-packaged foods I try my best to make sure it’s seven or less ingredients and I know what each of them are and can pronounce them. I cook a lot at home and like to make my food from scratch. I’ve really been getting in to homebrewing beer as well over the past couple of years. When I found out about ShamPHree, it really aligned with my ideas about food. If I’m trying to avoid needless chemicals in my body, I should try to avoid needless chemicals ON my body. I say needless, because I recognize that many chemicals are harmless or even helpful and necessary. I try to avoid nagging on chemicals negatively as a buzzword, so “needless” to me simply means chemicals added for a purpose outside of what is necessary; like sodium laurel sulphate in shampoo to add lather (even though your hair would still be clean without it). So as your start stripping away all of the needless chemicals, you eventually get down to the basics. When I read on the HTHG blog about the ShamPHree method, I was sold; but at the same time needed a little hand-holding to get me to make the plunge.

Did you have an adjustment period before you were sold on it? If so, how long and what was it like?

I could tell right away that ShamPHree was a good fit for me. I like the routine associated with mixing the ingredients. I like that there’s no “prescribed” way to do it; that it’s a little bit of jazz chemistry. It reminds me a lot of cooking; I typically look at a recipe or two, get an idea of what the goal is, and then make it my own without looking back. Reading the instructions in the ShamPHree kit got me started, and I got to experiment and make it my own. My hair took an immediate liking to it, my hair has never felt so clean, and my scalp has never felt so healthy.
 What changes have you seen in your hair/scalp that you like since going ShamPHree?

I’ve really noticed that my hair wants to curl and wave more than it used to. I like to think that my hair is actually waving, saying “hello, it’s good to be PHree!” I didn’t expect my scalp to change at all, but it hasn’t been itchy at all, and I’ve always had a slightly itchy scalp that was often exacerbated by certain products. ShamPHree has helped to clear up the dandruff I would get from time to time; which I’m sure went hand in hand with the itchiness.
Have their been any surprises?

The biggest surprise for me really goes back to having a healthy feeling scalp with minimal dandruff; I just didn’t expect anything to fix it. It was never a bad enough problem to see a dermatoligist, but OTC solutions like Head & Shoulders had not worked for me in the past and I had resigned myself to just sort of shrugging it off as a fact of life that my head will itch from time to time and that I’ll have minor dandruff. It’s weird, because I’d stopped caring about it, but was super excited when I noticed the change.

Ladies? Are you listening? Tell your dudes, if they have any scalp issues…..Go ShamPHree!

What would you tell a friend who was on the fence about going Shamphree?

I’ve recommended it to a few people; my wife, sadly wasn’t a fan. Her hair tends to get dry really easily, and she felt that it made it worse; but I’ve also told coworkers about it and a few friends and they’ve given it a try. I think it definitely needs to be the right person to be able to nudge them into giving it a try; but to some people it’s just something that’s not even on their radar… yet. I’ve been proselytizing to anyone who will listen, and one of the most common questions I get is, “Why would you put THAT on your head?” In true Socratic fashion, I respond with a question, “Why would you put a litany of other chemicals on your head?” I think one of the great things about marketing something that can easily be acquired at the store is that it legitimizes the practice to people who would otherwise be skeptics or cynics.

Has your experience with going ShamPHree inspired any other positive changes in your self-care routine/ life in general?


I’m a pretty low-maintenance guy. But I’ve actually felt more motivated to style my hair over the last few months than I ever have in the past. I think it’s partly based on me being more aware of modern styles and trying to keep up with my haircuts, instead of falling into my regular routine of cutting it short and then growing it out for 6 months and then cutting short again. For the first time in years I’ve been experimenting with keeping my hair about the same length, and making minor tweaks to my cut until I find the right balance. That, combined with my hair’s renewed wavy texture, has sort of forced me into having to tame my hair a little more when styling it. I think by taking my hair’s cleaning and conditioning into my own hands and controlling the proportions of baking soda and ACV that it’s helped me to feel empowered over other aspects of my hair. It’s all been part and parcel to an enlightenment about my own hair that prior to this has seemed like a mystery that I couldn’t solve.

Anything you want to add about ShamPHree, hair, life in general?

I’m just really happy to see HTHG get ShamPHree off the ground. Without the kit; I probably would never have made the effort to collect the necessary things to do this on  my own.


Thanks Derek. Keep on shinin like a diamond. #freeyourhair


xoxo, HTHG


No-poo testimonial!

As part of my ShamPHree journey, I started spreading the word of my awesome ShamPHRee ( no-poo) success.

A friend of mine, Brookie, decided to try it. She is sold too. Share this post with your friends to help get the word out on the ShamPHree technique. It may just be the key to the hair you always wanted;)

Here is what Brookie says…

“ok so here’s my no-poo experience in a little nutshell for ya –

I’ve been searching for the right shampoo and conditioner for as long as I can remember. When I found out what sulfate does to my hair, I reached for the shelves at the natural food store where they promised bottles of sulfate-free, chemical free experiences. My hair only looked worse. I felt resigned to a life of never knowing what my hair would look like the next day, resigned to loving my hair even if it were lackluster.
Enter no-poo! As Roxie was cutting my hair a couple of months ago, her hair was bouncing around beautifully as she described the proportions of baking soda and apple cider vinegar, how the baking soda cleans the roots, and how the apple cider serves as conditioner. Why not try it? It was clearly working for her hair.
From the first time I tried it, I noticed a remarkable difference… mainly in the texture at first. My hair is thick but very fine, and texture has never been my friend. Also, the flyaways in my fine hair were always out of control. The flyaways noticably decreased by the first treatment as well.
I am two and a half months in and my hair texture is what I’ve always dreamed of. I barely ever mess with it besides my normal routine of washing once or twice a week and brushing daily.
When I style it, due to the increased texture, it falls right into place without fuss, and then stays all day without product! When I wake up in the middle of the night, I catch myself in the mirror and can’t believe how nice my hair looks!
I have the hair I always strived for but rarely achieved. From fine and limp, I now have thick, wavy, effortless hair.
Baking soda and apple cider vinegar is my new ‘poo and I’ll never go back to the old ‘poo again.”

Sound like 2 thumbs up to me. Curious about switching to the no-poo method?? here is the no-poo method video that I put together.


More ShamPHree testimonial…

“…..I always thought I couldn’t have long hair because it was too dry and unmanageable but now that I am ShamPHree-ing and not using heat tools or hair products I’m realizing my hair actually kinda rules ;] I was just holding it back (and frankly torturing it) before.” E

“Just wanted to say I love your blog! I, too am a ShamPHree convert for the past year or so. I have fine, straight hair that used to get oily after a day without washing. Now I ShamPHree once/week and. Jen, I do think it will work on your son’s psoriasis, it’s been great for my winter dandruff and sore scalp issues. I’m thinking about dropping hair washing completely, as I’ve read about on a few other blogs, although I haven’t been able to get through the rough patch of greasy hair that lasts for the second week. (after 2-3weeks it’s supposed to even out its natural oils and be fine with just water washing) My hair is so great now, I want to know how far I can go!”  -S

“…..Another fascinating thing is that my hair appears to have reached a wonderful equilibrium thanks to no-pooing. Before starting NP, my hair would be visibly greasy and itchy at day 3. I literally have not wet my hair in a week and it’s not greasy or gross at all– it looks positively voluminous. I am so blown away! And I have you to thank!” -K

“Tried No Poo for the first time today! So far it feels great. Love all your info about it.” -J

“I’m 3 weeks in and things are going much better. I got a long overdue haircut which took a ton of bulk out. I’m still having some dry scalp issues but hopefully doing the baking soda wash once a week (instead of twice) and trying a coconut or jojoba oil scalp treatment will help. I used coconut oil on my ends and slept on it(per your example) and that did an awesome job! I’m thrilled that my slightly wavy hair is much curlier with this method! I’m tempted to try the homemade gel recipe floating around (with flaxseed)…have you heard of it/tried it? I’d love to get a qredew because I think it would work fabulously with this method but they’re still a little too expensive for me right now. I live in the dry mountain air so static has been a problem but I’ve heard that boar bristle brushes can help with that so maybe I can look into getting one of those. I brush with mine paddle brush every night and greasy roots aren’t a problem any more. Thanks so much for your encouragment! I appreciate you leading us on this awesome journey!” -K

“I finally took the no-poo plunge and love it. I tried it about a month ago and found that my after putting the baking soda in, my hair felt really slimy. So I washed it out with shampoo. My wife convinced me that although it has that feeling at first, it really works better than shampoo. So I tried it again today. This never happens, but she was actually right! My hair, short as it is, came out clean and shiny. I’m hooked. Now I don’t have to pay for expensive shampoos that are harmful to the environment and that support multi-national corporations. And its better for my health. Thanks How To Hair Girl!” -N

“Ah, so amazing to read your Laura Ingalls Wilder reference. I also grew up on the entire series! I’m pretty sure I inherited my DIY spirit from LIW. I’m about to go take a shower to give my first go at nopooing and also try a baking soda scrub. Thanks lady!” -K

“3 weeks into no-poo and the hair is softer and seems to be growing faster than usual. My scalp is also noticeably healthier. I just ordered a custom consult from you– I want to achieve no-maintenance haircut and color next. Love your website! Thank you!” -T

“I use ACV at the end of my hair washing routine and I love it! I think it makes my hair softer and more manageable (I have major tangleys- I don’t think I could no-poo since so many tangles). I would suggest diluting it with water and adding some essential oil. I like adding rosemary- it takes away from the strong vinegar scent. Hope you love it!”-M

“I switched earlier this year. Love the change!! Thanks, Roxie !!! Did not know about substituting lemon for acv. Great for travel!” -K

“I love this and have only done it a handful of times. Not. Going. Back. Thanks!!!!!” -L

“I’ve been doing it since first of the year. It took a few times to get into the routine. I get compliments on how shiny my hair is. Only wish I’d started sooner!!” -R

“… I should make my confession public. I had been shamphree for about a month or so and loved that it made my hair shinier and wavy but had always hated the lack of volume from not blow drying or using mousse and the few days of greasiness (since my hair is fine and thin). So just this very morning I fell off the wagon and shampooed my hair and did the usual product/blow dry routine (feel free to gasp in horror at this point). I thought I would like returning to the land of volumosity (that term being pretty debatable to my hair type) but instead it just looked fluffy and fried. Not a good look.” -Amanda

“I’ve been toying with the idea of going ShamPHree for a while- over a year in fact. Last year I did co-washing for about 9 months until I stopped. This weekend I decided to just jump in.  I figured that since your directions were spot on for the DIY perfect ponytail cut (I did long layers-twice!) I would use your advice with the shamphree. Right now I’m on day two without looking greasey. My ends feel a little gummy, I figure that’s the build up working its way off. I have a basket full of ribbons, bobby pins, chops sticks, and hair ties to pull make it through these first few weeks until my hair is free of gunk. I took my hair down today after work and thought I was going to be blinded at how shiny it is!”

“Just wanted to share my success story after attempting to do a coconut oil conditioning for the second time.  My ends were getting hella dry and tore up, so I did the perfect layers cut and took an inch off.  Then I took just like a dime sized amount of oil, rubbed in my hands to warm it up, then ran it through the ends.  Combed it through, braided and slept on it.  Then took a shower this morning using ganga baking soda and hot hot water, and finished off with lemon water and cold rinse.  My hair ain’t one bit oily after it dried and it’s super smooth.  Success!”

– Nessa

“I finally tried it last night and my hair feels great today!! I have struggled with oily hair for a while and have fairly successfully transitioned to shampooing (with regular shampoo) every other day – I’m excited to begin my shamphree journey!”


“I’ve been doing this for almost 8 months, and I’m a HUGE fan. I will sing from the rooftops that I don’t use shampoo and it’s the best beauty decision I’ve ever made. I think everyone should give it a try for the same reasons you mentioned. We don’t need corporations profiting from us and making us feel bad about ourselves. I feel so free now and so happy with my hair I’m now planning on going natural in other areas of my life, and will soon start making my own cleaning products.” -Anonymous

“I have been ShamPHree for just over 4 months now and am still completely sold. I got a pretty major hair cut right as I started and still have ZERO split ends. Did you read that thoroughly? ZERO. I have very fine hair that would start severely splitting about a month after every cut or trim and just became used to that as a part of my thin haired life. I had resigned myself to a life of shorter hair cuts because of how badly my hair grew out, but now I’m testing the waters of length with full confidence because of how magnificently my hair has reacted to this process. I put moonflower oil that I was given as gift into the ACV mixture and my hair smells like heaven every time I wash it. I also use regular styling products and practices which I’m pretty sure is not totally going along with the all natural practice of this process, but I have to tell you that it still works just fine! I still use mousse every time I wash, and I definitely still blow dry my hair every time it’s w
et. It styles wonderfully and feels so sleek and clean. I sometimes even have to wash it the next day if I got super gross at work and it always reacts just great to frequent care- as well as when I go 2 or 3 days without cleaning it. I can’t express how excited I am to have found this website and the information on how to revitalize my hair. It definitely took me a few weeks to get used to, but was so worth the wait. I look forward to seeing how healthy and beautiful my hair is going to continue to be from now on. I usually try trendy interesting things for a brief moment and can never break the routine of what I’m used to, but I am completely used to the ShamPHree lifestyle. ShamPHree forever!”- Lena Wallace

“Just wanted to say a big “Thanks” for all the helpful information on your site.  I’ve been trying the ShamPHree method and so far it is working out well.  I have curls and wanted to share that I’ve had some success with adding aloe vera gel to the routine.  I rake it through my damp hair and then scrunch in a bit of coconut oil to seal in the moisture.  I’ve just been using aloe from the garden–not sure if the results would be the same with a commercially prepared product.” -Anna Thomson

“I have been using baking soda and AC for almost a year now, but just last week my husband told me for the first time that I smell like Vinegar even after my hair is dry and he asked if I would be willing to stop.  I am so HAPPY that I read your FAQ sections and I will be trying it with lemon juice next time.  Thank you for the information, I didn’t want to start using shampoo again.  Thank you.” -Tasha

“I’ve been using your shamphree system on my colour treated hair. Today I went to my usual salon and my hairdresser was great in working with me to maintain the shamphree system. I had foils and a tint redone today, and we rinsed the chemicals out first and then she mixed a paste using a tablespoon of bicarb soda with apple cider and honey vinegar which she then massaged into my hair after rinsing the chemicals out. This was then rinsed and a neat solution of the vinegar was used.

Cutting, styling and drying then took place and my hair is sparkling, clean and gorgeously soft and shiny! Usually after being coloured (bleached foils) my hair is dry and brittle, but not this time. My hair feels luscious and in great condition.

I thought I would pass this info in because I couldn’t find any info on what to do when colouring hair except to use shampoo to wash the chemicals out. I can assure you that shamphree works a treat as a cleanser for the chemicals without any hassle. My hairdresser was completely cool with it, even saying they use bicarb on hair that has a lot of product in it.

Hope this helps others wondering about keeping the shamphree system going if they need to retouch their colour on a regular basis.

I also took in my own product so there was no opportunity to say “don’t have any”. -JR


“I finally tried it last night and my hair feels great today!! I have struggled with oily hair for a while and have fairly successfully transitioned to shampooing (with regular shampoo) every other day – I’m excited to begin my shamphree journey! Thanks for the thorough tutorial – I probably wouldn’t have been brave enough to try it without seeing how you do it first. I did use the white vinegar because my hair is so oily and I was surprised at how easy it was to detangle – I thought I’d have a lot of problems with that part of it! Thanks again! Love your blog!”

“I switched to the ShamPhree method about a month ago. My biggest issue with conventional and even “natural” shampoo/conditioners was my scalp reaction. It was always irritated and flaky. Since transitioning that has completely subsided so thank you, thank you, thank you for that! It’s a life changer.”

“I chickened out a week ago when I went to go no poo after the scalding comments by Kathy and Hoda. Wasn’t impressed with their critical attitudes, so I wanted to try it. I found your website by chance, because I wanted to cut my own hair and spend less money. I got curious and stared looking around on here. I saw your video, read your articles and tried again. I am impressed! My hair is usually a frizzy mess AFTER a shower and product. Right now my hair is drying from my first treatment almost completely frizz free. It looks like I just went to the ocean in the middle of February in West-by-God-Virginia. It feels light, not heavy and this time I will be sticking with it. Thanks for your blog!”
“I just ShamPHreed for the first time three nights ago, and was immediately amazed by how little my scalp itched afterward. I have had problems with dandruff my entire life, and have tried so many products to treat it: H&S, more natural remedies, shampoo bars that smell like campfires. Nothing has ever left my scalp feeling this neutral or calm. Thinking it far too good to be true, I did a quick scratch-and-shake (a lá Ally Sheedy in The Breakfast Club) and the change was unbelievable!!! There was barely any dandruff, and that’s a mighty conservative statement. I feel like there was none, but still want to leave a slight margin of error.
I can’t believe this is my hair!!! Hooked for life!
I’m also super excited to try some of the DIY products – especially the honey spray. Thank you so much for passing this on!”- Shaina



Don’t forget to hashtag your #shamphree photos so we can see and inspire this hair revolution!

More no-poo love

Reader submission

Hey Rox,

I just wanted to thank you for posting that video on your no poo routine. I just started using your routine a few weeks ago (as well as a sage/rosemary rinse to help with some natural color). To be honest, I wasn’t sold on it. The transition period was particularly horrendous and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to carry on with it. Then yesterday it was like BAM! Amazing hair! I was gobsmacked. I have straight hair but it sorta helps give me a natural wave, which I like.
Here’s a photo for you…yeah it’s a goofy expression, but I didn’t mind. Check out that bouncy, shiny hair!
Keep up the great tutorials, as usual 🙂