Hair Update

Stay-at-home, no-shampoo experimentation

Hi, I’m Edith, and this is a newsletter with comics and links. I’d love to know what you think; please feel free to reply to this email!

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Some backstory: A few months ago I got curious about what it would be like to stop using shampoo (inspired by a documentary about the microbiome). I made a comic about it and afterward started corresponding with a reader, Jamie, who also started a no-shampoo experiment.

Here, we go even deeper.

The drawing doesn’t do it justice — here is the actual photo:

Weeks later: I’ve been doing the baking soda/ACV rinses a couple times a week since I drew this comic. My hair looks and feels good, and it smells better. (Is it possible that it’s … blonder at the ends? A little wavier?) I can officially recommend this method, although I’m not sure how long I’ll keep it up. I had hoped, starting out, that there was some equilibrium I could find, where I could not wash my hair at all and have it still look okay, but I’m now less sure that something like that exists. But I do like the BS/ACV ritual.


**UPDATE: Some people have mentioned that baking soda has a tendency to damage hair, after prolonged use, and I regret not looking that up for more info. Here’s a link to a Prevention story about using baking soda as shampoo.


  • “Sometimes I was doing my hair (and choosing my outfit with such care) in direct response to my mortification that my mom was not.” I liked this meditation from Anne Helen Peterson, in her newsletter, on “quarantine grooming.”

  • Hyperbole-and-a-Half creator Allie Brosh is back with a new book, and she’s running an excerpt on her site: “Richard.”

  • “You, there in the mirror, there in the lens of your phone: What do you see?” I enjoyed this cool NYT feature on “the birth of the self-portrait.” (Based around “the greatest self-portrait ever painted.”)

  • Thanks to Erik Jones for recommending “In Deep,” a podcast about water systems. Episodes one and two are about cholera and “microbial goo.” [Hurt Your Brain]

  • Jim Behrle also has a newsletter, and it’s great.


  • In my last newsletter, I meant to share a Psychology Today story called “Let Go or Be Dragged,” but I got the link wrong and wanted to include the correct one this time around. I’m sorry about that.