The Sebum Only Method: The Natural and Effective Way to Hair Care

sebum only method

Human hairs and scalp possess the inherent ability to properly care for themselves. You don’t need shampoo, conditioner, or other products to maintain it.

This is what Sebum only method is all about. It is a natural and effective way of hair care and part of the no-shampoo method started as the No Poo movement.

In this article, I will talk about the sebum only method, what it is, and how to do it. Also, I will mention the result people got after sticking to this method for months: what problems they encounter and what results they got.

What is sebum and what is its role?

sebum only method

To understand the sebum only method, first, you need to understand sebum.

Sebum, a naturally occurring oily substance, is produced by the sebaceous glands in the skin and scalp.

The sebaceous glands secrete sebum to the surface of the skin, where it mixes with sweat and other substances to form a protective barrier against environmental stressors.

Other roles of sebum on hair:

  • Acts as a natural conditioner, helping to keep the hair moisturized and shiny
  • Prevent the hair from becoming dry, brittle, and prone to breakage
  • Provide a protective barrier against environmental stressors, such as pollutants and UV radiation
  • Moisturize skin and scalp and add a waterproof layer to it.
  • Contain fat-soluble antioxidants such as Vitamin E that prevents oxidative damage
  • Help in combat bacteria that cause dermatitis and dandruff. It also has anti-inflammatory properties.

Sebum in small amounts has many beneficial effects on skin and hair. However, its overproduction causes different problems such as

  • Oily scalp and greasy hair
  • Excessive sebum along with dead scalp cells form a plug that blocks the pore of the sebaceous gland and helps bacteria to thrive leading to infection and inflammation of the scalp.

Also, you need to understand that the production of sebum is influenced by hormones, environment, and lifestyle.

Now, you know about sebum, you’re ready to understand the sebum only method.

What is the sebum only method/ No Poo?

In this method, you let the sebum do its job on the hair. You’re not allowed to use any shampoo or hair product on your hair.

After a few months, sebum will take care of your hair and makes it silky and shiny without needing any product.

It sounds like you don’t need to do any work. That’s not true. You still need to take care of your hair. You can’t just ignore it.

In the serum only method you still need to massage the scalp to increase blood flow and remove the flakes; preening to distribute sebum through the whole length of the scalp.

Boar bristle brush becomes very handy in this method, and you should have it too. It helps in massaging the scalp, removing loose dead skin cells and dirt, and untangling hair.

How do sebum only methods?

Here’s the right way to do sebum only method:

  • Though it may sound contradictory, first, you need to wash your hair with clarifying shampoo. It will help remove the build-up and leave a clean scalp for sebum to act.
  • Then, leave your scalp and hair alone. You don’t need to wash it. You don’t need to use any hair products. Let the sebum nourishes your hair.
  • Meanwhile, you need to massage your scalp and preen hair strands for equal distribution of sebum on your hair.
  • Use the brush to untangle hair and stimulate the scalp. Boar and nylon bristles are best for this job.

You need to remember that in the sebum only method you will reach the transition phase before noticing a significant change in hair texture.

Benefits of Sebum Only Method

As I said earlier, sebum-only method, sometimes known as the no-poo method, is a natural hair care approach that involves refraining from using commercial shampoos and conditioners. Instead, you let your scalp’s natural oils (sebum) condition your hair. This practice has been gaining traction due to its perceived benefits, which include:

Natural Moisturization: Sebum is a natural moisturizer produced by the sebaceous glands in your scalp. It forms a protective layer over your hair strands, keeping them hydrated, smooth, and shiny. This can be especially beneficial for those with dry hair or scalp.

Less Chemical Exposure: Many shampoos and conditioners contain synthetic chemicals that can strip the natural oils from your hair, leaving it dry and brittle. The sebum-only method allows you to avoid such chemicals, potentially reducing the risk of scalp irritation, hair damage, and allergies.

Cost-Effective: By not purchasing shampoo and conditioner, you could save a considerable amount of money over time. Plus, you’ll avoid the plastic waste associated with these products, making this method environmentally friendly.

Balanced Oil Production: When you consistently strip your scalp of its natural oils, your body compensates by producing more sebum, leading to an oily scalp and hair. The sebum-only method can help balance your scalp’s oil production over time.

Improved Hair Health: Many people who follow the sebum-only method report healthier-looking hair with enhanced shine, softness, and volume. They also often notice less hair breakage and split ends.

Drawback of Sebum Only Method

While the sebum-only method has its merits, it also has several potential drawbacks:

Transition Period: When you first start the sebum-only method, your hair might feel excessively oily or greasy as your scalp adjusts to not having its oils stripped away. This transitional phase can last for several weeks or even months, and can be discouraging for some.

Buildup: Sebum, along with dead skin cells and environmental pollutants, can build up on your scalp over time, leading to dandruff, itchiness, and even scalp infections in some cases.

Difficult Maintenance: Especially for those with longer or thicker hair, distributing the sebum evenly from roots to ends can be a challenge. If the sebum is not well-distributed, it can lead to oily roots and dry ends.

Odor: Without the fragrance from shampoo and conditioner, your hair may develop a natural odor due to the accumulation of oils, sweat, and environmental debris.

Limited Styling: Sebum can weigh your hair down, limiting your styling options. Plus, many styling products are designed to be washed out with shampoo, so they may not be compatible with the sebum-only method.

The sebum-only method can be a great natural alternative for hair care for some individuals. However, it does come with its challenges, and may not suit everyone’s hair type or lifestyle.

If you’re considering this method, it’s important to thoroughly research and consider both its potential benefits and drawbacks. You might also want to consult with a dermatologist or a hair care professional to make sure this method is suitable for your specific hair and scalp condition.


Bottom Line

In conclusion, sebum only method is a way of haircare where you don’t use any hair products. You let the sebum, naturally produced oil on the scalp, do its job: nourishes hair and makes it healthy and shiny.

Though it does not involve using any hair product, you still need to take care of your scalp. You need to massage, preen, and untangle hair using bear bristle brushes.

You need to invest some time and require a lot of patience to see the result. And, you have to deal with an ugly transitional phase where you’ll have oil and an itchy scalp.

If you have the patience and motivation to get naturally healthy, silky, and smooth hair, the sebum only method is right for you.

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