This is the first time I’ve shown myself on my blog. Here I am, unshampooed hair and all.
When I first heard about people not shampoo-ing their hair, I immediately thought of the worst…that somewhere out there was a group of yucky greasy haired folks walking around. This was about three years ago when I first discovered the Mothering forums. There was a post link with hundreds of replies to this whole ‘No Poo’ thing. Gross, I thought.
Then last summer I started noticing a trend in bloggers who also decided to stop using shampoo. Amy of Angry Chicken is someone whom I admire so when she gave up using shampoo I became curious. Then I noticed that Meg of Sew Liberated converted too. If these beautiful, crafty woman were doing it, maybe I should try it too?
I first started noticing that maybe you didn’t need shampoo when I had my first son. He was born with very little hair and what precious hair he did have all fell out and he was lacking in the hair department until he was about 18 months old. So I never bothered shampooing his hair because he barely had any. And it never looked bad at all, actually it looked great. In fact I only started shampooing his hair when we was just over two years old only out of peer pressure…everyone else was doing it.
Why Would You Ever Give up Shampoo?
Supposedly most shampoo is laden with terrible chemicals, which is truthfully not hard to believe. Plus going through bottle after bottle creates a lot of unneeded waste and expense. And if you were like me, if you go a day or (gasp) two without shampooing your hair does look like a big greasy mess. Am I right? The real reason I wanted to give up shampoo wasn’t so much for the chemicals or the landfill situation, but because isn’t it always nice to give up being dependent on something that we don’t even really need? Especially something that corporate culture insists we need everyday? It’s kind of a liberating feeling.
The way that shampoo works is that it strips your hair of it’s natural oils. So your body reacts from it’s oil shortage by making more. Then you wash it the next day and strip the oils again, which means that once again your body produces more oil, you see how the cycle works. But by not using shampoo you let the hair oil factory regulate it’s oil production levels to create a healthy balance.
Using baking soda instead of shampoo is a good way to cleanse your hair without stripping it of it’s oils. In fact some people claim that they don’t even use baking soda, they just rinse their hair!
My Entry into Being Shampoo Liberated
I first stopped shampooing last August and it was a total disaster. Maybe it’s because my hair was really long or maybe I didn’t wait long enough through the transition period (it can take a while for your oil glands to slow down their production). I went back to shampoo using. Then in October I cut my hair up to my shoulders and decided to give it a try again. This time I was successful. I started out by combining a tablespoon of baking soda with a cup of water in a little ramekin every two or three days and bringing that into the shower with me, but soon I got lazy and just combined the two in the same proportion into a large empty plastic bottle (an old Dr. Bronners bottle). I squirt out about half a cup onto the top of my head and give my hair/head a good massage with my fingertips. Then I flip my head over and repeat with the underside of my hair. Then I thoroughly rinse it all out. Some people follow that up with a rinse of diluted vinegar, but I haven’t really found a benefit to doing that with my hair. My hair afterwards is tangle free.
It did take about a week of transition where I had my hair in a pony tail everyday, but after that my hair actually gained more volume. Scott mentioned that he’s never seen my hair look so healthy.
But Then I Went Back to Shampoo for a Bit
But because there is a bit of ‘girly’ in me, I started to miss the nice shampoo smells and big soapy lather. So over the winter I started to shampoo every two week or so. Then I went for another haircut and loved the way my hair felt after her shampooing that I went caved and brought out the shampoo bottles again. At first I hoped that I could shampoo just once a week, maybe every four days if need be. But I soon realized with shampoo it’s an everyday or nothing commitment. My hair got dependent on shampoo all over again.
So now I’m back to baking soda. And I really don’t think I’d ever switch back. And for those ladies who highlight or color their hair, using baking soda on colored hair is just fine. I highlight my hair (hey, I never said I was completely natural! I do have my vanities.) and the color hasn’t faded a bit. I do the baking soda routine about every four days now. Which means that those days in between I take shorter showers which helps with the whole drought situation. And the fact that I don’t have to keep buying shampoo helps with the whole financial/economy situation. And of course, Scott is back to complimenting my hair again, which is always incentive to keep going. See, it’s a win-win-win situation.
Are you also one of the crazy no shampoo-ers? Tell me your story.
Update: My hair was featured on MSNBC’s website. Check it out!
Update: A 16-Month Update.
361 responses to “My No-Shampoo Hair Saga”
I’ve always wanted to try the whole no-poo thing, but I was afraid that I would feel dirty all the time. I guess I always thought that the transition period was a lot longer than a week. I think that I read somewhere that it took six weeks? Maybe I misread it. A week, I can handle. I’ve also always wondered how my bangs would react to it. They look absolutely horrible if I don’t shampoo them every day. It would be so nice not to have to deal with greasy bangs in the morning! Maybe I should give it a try before we get into the heat of summer…
Do you use anything besides the baking soda? Some sort of conditioner or hair mask or anything?
Hi Megan, I think the whole transition period depends on the person. When I tried it in August it seemed to last forever so that’s why I gave up. But in October it was more than a week. I don’t know what went differently. No I don’t use anything other than baking soda. Not that I haven’t wanted to try a honey rinse or something else fancy…I just never find time to make one and use it! Maybe when the kids are older and I get more than 2 seconds in the shower.
In case you were wondering, doing a vinegar rinse doesn’t do anything but close back the cuticles. You can actually do the same thing with a little bit of lemon juice mixed with cold water. Baking soda can be a bit abrasive on the hair shaft. Also, those who have colored hair probably shouldn’t try it, because although it may not MAKE your color fade, it sure doesn’t do anything to protect it from UV or heat damage. Color is an investment at relatively ANY hair salon and you do need to protect it.
Hi Kendra….I’ve just found your site and have been spending hours reading! I’m wondering if you are currently still not shampooing your hair?
Hi Rita! Yes, still shampoo free! I should do another follow up post.
i’m interesting in trying this as well, I have a good friend that uses the No-Poo method. My question is this; I have short hair that I am in the process of growing out, so I use hairspray and something called glue to get the spikey look, I usually style my hair every day so I also need to wash it every day. How will this type of washing my hair work with the styling products that I am putting in my hair?
I’m just now making the transition to no-poo! So far so good with the baking soda, but… if you want an easy weekly hair mask for conditioning you may want to try mixing together 1 small, ripe avocado, 11/2 – 2 tbsp olive oil and 11/2-2 tbsp mayonnaise (adjust amounts based on hair length). Apply it to whole head, working the mixture through to the ends of your hair, put on a shower cap and let sit for 15-20mins, then rinse. I think you might be surprised by the results!! (I know I was). Very conditioning. Leaves you with very soft and shiny hair. In fact, this little mixture works better than any “commercial” conditioner I’ve used.
my name is rubie and i have dreadlocks and i am always getting questions about how i wash it and the truth is i dont, i just rinse it . the smell that most people think about when they hear dreads is from the built up scum that gets in them from shampoo. the no-poo method works for me
hi everyone, i was wondering if we could use rose water instead of regular water to make you hair smell pretty?
Starchild, I don’t see why not, never hurts to try!
Okay — firstly, you look fantastic! Secondly, I had no idea this could be done!!! Great idea!
Aw, shucks, thanks Maryann.
I started using baking soda, water and vinegar mix on my hair Whilst I had my locks. When I brushed them out, which was a horrible, time consuming experience (we used several bottles of conditioner) I started with the shampoo again. If I spend any length of time in the bush I only use water but I’m not happy about it.
I think I might try to go back to the baking soda mix.
Your hair looks great!
I do a sort of variation on this- since I put in the purple highlights I can’t wash my hair very often or the color quickly fades to orange ( since apaprently no one sells permanent bold colors, all the bright purples are only semi-permanent).
So instead I wash my hair with very mild baby shampoo once a week ( or two, I don’t keep track) and in between I just use plain ole water to rinse in the shower quickly and I use a bit of baby powder every other day or when I’m looking greasy to absorb excess oil and it gives my very short hair a nice bit of volume too.
My crazy dandruff problem has almost completly disappeared too, I guess all the medicated shampoos were only making things worse. go figure!
I’d love purple highlights. I was “this” close to getting them once. I had no idea that they could fade to orange though!
I have done the non-permanent purple strand for about a year and a half now. It does fade pretty quickly, but I find that the light purple/pink looks kinda cute in my blonde hair anyway. The best trick is that i did the strand a little under my hairline so you can never see the roots, but the color is still bold and vibrant underneath 🙂
Are you still shampoo free???
Actually Baby Shampoos are very very harsh on skin and hair and have a lot of added chemicals in them to make them tear free.
I do the curly girl method, but I use a lot of her natural recipes. The only time I use shampoo is when I have to use a tar based shampoo for psoriasis outbreaks. I also only rinse my hair most of the time because I am not oily at all, just the opposite.
On washing your hair, what is the curly girl method?
Yes..I couldn’t use any baby shampoos on my daughter, made her head flake in a major way. It really moved me along in my avoidance of chemicals….especially fragrance, parabens, phlalates (sp?), and stuff like that…I use a lot of the curly girl methods on her as well though I do buy product…at least it is good stuff. Now if only I could find good stuff in the stores..?
To Florence: http://www.wikihow.com/Follow-the-Curly-Girl-Method-for-Curly-Hair
Essentially, conditioner-only washing. I tried that and my hair didn’t feel clean afterward (I’m wavy, not curly; maybe that had something to do with it). I do baking soda and honey (1T bs:8 ozs water + drop of honey and essential oil – drop only!) applied as described herein, and distilled white vinegar “rinse” (about 1/4 vinegar or 4T:8 oxs water + liberal amounts of essential oils and a sprig of rosemary) which I keep in a spray bottle. I spray my hair after rinsing the bs wash until I can comb it easily with a wide-tooth comb (focus ears-down), and use it as-needed to refresh waves or further detangle as a leave-in conditioner as I’m styling and between washes. I do rinse what I apply in the shower and I do a cold rinse on my head only when I’m about to get out of the shower. My hair is so soft and silky I can hardly keep from touching it.
For more perminate dye use: RIT yeah the clothing dye or gentian violet. But be careful this stuff dyes your skin as well and it doesn’t for a least a week. 🙂
I have only been using conditioner for about a year now, no shampoo. My hair looks and feels great. I did not realize that there were so many people doing that until I came across this blog. Am so glad I did! 🙂 I love the tips from all of you, and now I know at I do the “curly girl” on my very curly hair.
I use a baby wash / shampoo combo which doubles as my shower gel. It’s very gentle and doesn’t strip the oils much. I wash my hair about once every 2-3 days. Then I use neutrogena triple moisture conditioner.
I just don’t think I could get over the transitional period where my hair would look like an oil slick, but I admire those who have done this.
I also need shampoo to remove 1. dirt 2. sweat and 3. the occasional hair product.
Yea but that is were the baking soda comes in, if you use it enough, your hair does not go through an oily transitional period, and I am hoping once I am through that part where your hair does produce to much oil, I can stop using anything in my hair at all, who knows!
I’ve been shampoo-free since June of 2006 – so I’m going on my THIRD YEAR! WOOHOO! My hair has never been healthier. I keep trying to get people I know to convert, but they don’t believe that it works. I get the old, “Well … it might work for you, but it would NEVER work for me.” Which, of course, is what I originally thought.
I have curly hair and wondered why it used to look so much better when I was younger, than it has in the last few years. I read the book Curly Girl and fully embraced the idea of not washing my hair. Now I just rinse it every morning and apply EO (local company) conditioner that smells great. The first week or two was rough, but now I love it! The curls look better than ever.
Okay… so I just stumbled upon this blog (great, by the way!) and have never even heard of not using shampoo, but am now interested! I too have naturally curly hair and have wondered why the curls are “disappearing”. Do you use any product in your hair? So you don’t use any shampoo, just conditioner on a daily basis?
you dont have to use conditioner! If you use an apple cider vinegar rinse, it works just as well!
Carrie, i am just now trying the no poo thing and i have curly hair too. Do you still use any kind of product to keep your hair from getting frizzy? Or does it just get healthy enough that it doesnt frizz? your advice is greatly appreciated:)
I “wash” my hair every other day with CHEEP conditioner and use a mousse. No poo has been the best thing for my curls!
( Poo free for 4 months).
i can just say from personal experience. i do a conditioner styling, so to speak. so i just use a normal condish as a leave in and mix it in the palm of my hand with same oil then i work it though my hair. i do this while its still wet. i have naturally big crazy curly hair, and this really helps with the fizz and to define it. it also keeps the hair really healthy so in the long run yes it does help with fizz.
I keep reading about this but haven’t worked up the nerve to try it. I will. It’s just got to be one of those things where I dig my heels in and just go for it! One thing tho…I think the name is what bothers me more than the thought of my hair being greasy…no-poo? How gross is that?! YOUR hair looks great…even your bangs. Do you typically have oily hair? I imagine myself trying this and having my bangs stuck to my forehead with grease! Thanks for sharing this…I’m even more intrigued than I was before!
Yes, I hate the ‘no-poo’ name too. I do have oily hair. And you know, even through the transition period my hair was never very oily. I don’t know how to describe it. It didn’t feel ‘normal’ but it wasn’t greasy either. It was just a little yucky. But give it a try! What could it hurt? If you hate it too much you could always go back to shampoo.
I did the month long oil slick approach and am THRILLED with the results. I still shampoo (using aveda, all natural) about once a week to get rid of the waxy buildup bc the baking soda was harsh on my fine hair. I also know of people that just transitioned gradually from shampooing every day to every week or so. You don’t HAVE to go cold turkey if you don’t mind waiting a few months before your scalp reins in the oil production. I used to have really oily hair and now I am proud to say my hair looks its best a few days after my inital shampoo.
I’ve been doing the ‘baking soda as shampoo’ routine for 2 months now and I LOVE it! I didn’t go thru much of a transition tho, not sure why ’cause my hair can get pretty greasy. I do use vinegar as a rinse and I comb it out under a spray of water or else the tangles get pretty bad.
I do sorta miss the suds (that’s my ‘girlie’ coming out) and at first I doubted that it would actually work, but I’ll never go back to the expense and packaging of ‘real’ shampoo.
I also used to have my hair highlighted, but with budget cuts necessary in our home have had to stop getting it done. Now on ‘hair days’ I pour lemon juice on my scalp, comb it in, and go work in the garden for a few hours (obviously I try to do this on sunny days). It’s not as dramatic a lightener as the salon, but I definitely see a difference…yea!
Your hair looks great!
I tried baking soda/castile soap/vinegar last summer. I liked that I didn’t have to wash my hair nearly as much. I suffer from psoriasis and needless to say my scalp went from bad to worse to terrible. I ended up going back to shampoo (after going to the Environmental Working Group Safe Cosmetic Database and finding the least toxic over the counter shampoo/conditioner) and although I miss the days I didn’t have to wash the hair nearly as often, my scalp is healthier. Results may vary, and I am so excited it works for you!
I’ve had the same experience. I had some mild dandruff and this made it worse. I use Aubrey Organics shampoo sparingly with a vinegar rise and that seems to do the trick.
Something else people should know is that the baking soda method does not work if you have hard water like we do in Denver. Something about it and the minerals in our water basically gunks up your hair shaft.
That must have been my problem. The less I use commercial shampoo the worse my dandruff gets and I have hard water. We just got a water filter that gets rid of most of the chlorine and it seems to have made the water softer. I think I will try the baking soda again.
My problem is I seemed to get a lot of build up and dandruff in my hair when I tried baking soda last time. I did it for over 2 months. My hair was always greasy and my head itched. It was summer too. I was so determind but it was getting hard to bare. Now I use Trader Joe’s shampoo. It doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals but again I get a lot of build up and my hair seems to be getting worse.
So recently I tried some head and shoulders. I hated the smell. My hair was really greasy the next day… BUT my head didn’t itch anymore. I still hate it though. lol
I will be trying baking soda again now that we have the filter. Wish me luck!
A little Aloe Vera seems to help the scalp, I usually mix it with Vitamen E. Most water softeners use a type of salt (sodium chloride)to make the water soft, so you might want to add a little bit of this salt to your water before running it through your filter. Info on water softening salt: http://www.mortonsalt.com/faqs/water_soft_faq.html#q4
I read on another blog that a good way to deal with hard water is to boil a cup or two or however much you need, and add the baking soda to it. It’ll dissolve, which means no gunkiness! (of course, let it cool before using it)
Try tea tree oil as your shampoo. Just rub it into the scalp and rinse out. Chamomille tea can also help. Both are good for dandruff and psoriasis. Especially the chamomille for reducing inflamation, and the tea tree oil for the flaking.
I think I could manage to avoid shampooing, but conditioning is a must. I have long, thick, curly hair that requires ridiculous amounts of conditioner to keep sane. Maybe coconut oil?
Love the blog by the way.
I’m a reporter for msnbc.com, and I stumbled across your blog while researching for a story I’m doing — about, you guessed it, people who’ve quit shampoo.
Would you be interested in chatting with me about your experience over the phone? I’d love to hear from some people who’ve ditched shampoo. (By the way — your hair looks unbelievably good in that picture! Did you think it could look that good without the use of shampoo?)
Please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we can arrange a time to chat. Looking forward to it 🙂
Health reporter/editor, msnbc.com
Coincidentally I recently tried the no-sham thing. I have rather dry wavy hair so I typically shampoo every 3-4 days. I went about 10 days w/out shampoo and my hair didn’t look to bad but my itchy scalp drove me crazy so I shampooed the other day with the mild Giovanni shampoo I normally use and my itchiy scalp is gone.
I would really love to try living without shampoo, but I’ve just hit the age where I need to start coloring my hair. Those greys can no longer be hidden! Is there something special I need to know when coloring?
Hi Heather. I highlight my hair and I don’t see any negative effects to using baking soda over shampoo. I’ll ask my stylist next time I see her…which should be soon.
Anyone have any experience going shampoo-less while swimming in a pool once a week? I color my hair, and swim in chlorinated water. I only shampoo after the pool swim…too scared to not rinse that stuff out with soap. Any comments?
Hi Amy, I wish I had experience with chlorine/hair color and going shampoo less. Maybe right before you go in for your next color you can try going without shampoo for a week or so to see how it reacts. If it’s not a good combo then at least you will be getting it recolored in a few days, right?
I wet my hair completely before I get in the pool. I typically just rinse it when I get out, and I have found that it doesn’t suck up any of the chlorine water and I don’t have any trouble.
I went swimming in a chlorinated pool the other day and didn’t use anything in my hair. My hair was waxy and stiff for days! A few weeks earlier, before I got into a pool I put some jojoba oil on the ends, and I didn’t have the whole waxy stiff experience.
I’ve always found putting conditioner onto dry hair before going into the pool works very well. Does conditioner count under the ‘no-poo’ regime?
I saw you on MSNBC website and haven’t used shampoo since. Your hair looks wonderful. Love the color too.
Thanks Becky, very sweet of you!
I’ve recently tried this just to experiment (I have fairly short easily damaged hair that I want to get in better condition so I can grow it out), except right before I get in the shower I clip up my bangs and shampoo them only. I’ve been doing it for about a week and my hair hasn’t looked or felt dirty, it actually looks great and the natural curl that I thought was gone is back. I’m still a little chicken to skip out on shampooing my bangs though, but the rest of my hair is great, I’ll probably eventually wean myself off of shampooing my bangs sooner or later, but I have a feeling they will probably look pretty greasy for the “detox” period, ha ha.
On a side note, I tried using baking soda and it makes my hair feel grimy and gritty, I just like rinsing well with warm water and using conditioner.
So you’re sure that you can just quit cold turkey with shampooing? I’m on about day 4 and my hair looks like a greasy mess. I found your blog while looking for info on others who have stopped using shampoo. I have been “water washing” and it helps a little but my hair still looks pretty greasy. I will try the baking soda idea. I am excited at the prospect of ditching shampoo and all the added cost and time that goes with it! Thanks for posting this! 🙂
Hi Lauren, Yes, do use the baking soda! My hair would be a big greasy mess with out it. Some can do without it, but I can’t. Get thee to a shower (with a tablespoon of baking soda & 1 cup of water) pronto!
Have you tried some dry shampoo?
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I love it, I just went “no poo” and Im really excited about it!
I haven’t gone no-poo, but a few months ago I started only washing my hair once or twice a week. I have very long hair (down to my waist in the back) and I always feel like it is a shame to have to have to wash it all when it just might be my scalp area that is greasy — the rest of it always looks just fine.
Anyway, I might take the plunge and try no-poo soon, just to see how long I can make it. I think if I didn’t have to go to the office for work, I would have no worries at all!
Thanks for this great post!
I also went no-poo after having my first son! Definitely for children, shampoo is an unnecessary evil. I am convinced by the fact that even though I’ve never ever used anything on my son’s hair (except baking soda/vinegar for cradle cap, and even then only twice ever), it is lovely – soft, silky and fair.
Myself, I only use baking soda maybe every few months. When I do, I ‘condition’ afterwards with a vinegar and water mix. Otherwise my hair gets very tangly! (I have below-shoulder quite fine hair).
The only thing I miss about shampooing (I hate the idea of suds, now!) is that I feel the colour of my hair has darkened quite a lot, from quite blonde to pretty mousy-brown with strands of grey (although of course this might be just age – I’m 35). So like Maureen, I highlight it when I can with lemon and the sun; it’s the best natural way I know.
I also endorse coconut oil, which one reader asked about. Since I rarely use anything at all, just water, the tangles at the ends of the hair can get quite bad. So I often just rub coconut oil into the ends of the hair, after a good scrub under water. Then I comb it. It doesn’t make it feel oily at all, and actually feels lovely and soft.
Which reminds me, some readers expressed doubt that a mere rinse under water could clean your hair. But you don’t just passively rinse. You get in there with your fingertips and really scrub every centimetre of your scalp. And if you can bear it, cooler water rather than really hot water is better – not as stimulating to the oil glands.
Hope this helps.
Thanks for such great comments Debbie. You know my hair went from very blond to mousy too, but that was before I went no-poo. I’m pretty sure that it happened as a result of having my two boys. When my hair fell out three months after giving birth it grew in darker. Which is why I get it highlighted from time to time, I just can’t accept that I’m mousy brown now!
I started going without shampoo about four weeks ago – just using water in the shower. The first couple of weeks were pretty good, but I am now struggling with dull looking, oily hair. Running my fingers through it feels like stroking an old labrador! Good news is that I haven’t had to use moisturiser on my hands since I started the experiment.
Will grit my teeth and try another couple of weeks – might give the baking soda a go and see if that helps.
Ha ha, yes, golden hair is a really hard thing to let go of, isn’t it. I recently did a yoga teacher training course and all the much older lecturers looked from the back of the room to be decades younger. I took it to be a proof of the benefits of yoga (I believe it is that, too), but when you got up close you realised the main visual trick was their artificially blonded-hair!
If even yoga lecturers blond their hair (and these weren’t Bikram-types, but rather serious, old-fashioned types), it makes you think.
I think that in this matter naturally dark-haired women start to have the advantage after about the thirty-year-old mark 🙂 . They can really age with dignity (I bet that journalist who wrote the book about being proud to be grey was originally dark).
I love this blog, and got some great tips from it. We don’t have much of a garden, being temporary rentors of our house, but I have a book coming out next month here in Australia, about raising children ‘sustainably’, and I’ve also got some hints in it there about how to get to eat as much as possible of your own produce, in a tiny garden… FWIW 🙂
Hi Kim – yes one really needs to scrub one’s head well with fingertips (good for circulation in your arms too:)) and perhaps like our blog hostess you do have to use baking soda often.
I found it took the first 8 weeks during a humid Sydney summer to be happy enough with my hair to stop wearing a scarf over it!!!
On the positive side, it was a great opportunity to wear all the fancy Parisian silk scarves my grandmother left me – you could make one yourself from an old patterned silk shirt if you can find one in an op shop? Or a nice clean cotton bandanna would be fresh-looking. I tied it kind-of fifties-style, hiding most of my hair. I bet everyone thought I was having chemo.
I know you were making a joke, but your comment about not using hand cream is actually true – I find I need less moisturiser in general after being no-poo. That’s because shampoo, no matter how carefully you apply it, always runs a bit down your face, and mostly down your body. Without it (and I also don’t use lathering bodywashes), your skin doesn’t dry out nearly as much. I found I also stopped getting rough dry skin on my feet (which previously would be standing in shampoo-lather on the floor of the shower!)
I also have curly hair and it always looks far better when I just give it a quick rinse of plain water, maybe a tiny bit of conditioner and then put a bit of cream or gel on it. I never had oily hair even as a teenager so I can get away with weekly washing, never knew there was a movement away from shampoo!
I have a revelation to share. I thought my hair was better not using anything at all, as I commented above. Based on the fact that when I used baking soda before it seemed to get really dry.
However, when I recently followed Sonomagarden’s instructions, and mixed just a tiny bit of soda with a cup of water, it worked out fine.
I did that weekly for a couple of weeks.
Then yesterday, a friend, leaning over me as I kneeled on the floor, commented, “Oh, your hair looks much better now. I used to think it looked greasy.” It seems no one is game to tell you your hair is too greasy, until after it stops being so greasy!
The other thing is, as I half suspected, the colour of my hair improved on its baking soda diet. I ‘condition’, by the way, afterwards with some lemon squeezed into a cup of water. My hair is now a lot lighter. It does feel however quite a bit drier also, and as we are now in winter, it gets a bit of static when I brush – normal? I wonder about the long term drying effects of baking powder/lemon.
I do leave the lemon solution in.
Just thought I would update on that! Cheers
Great to hear Debbie! Is your hair lighter in color with the lemon or lighter in weight? If it’s lighter in color I’m off to buy an entire case of lemons!
Good question! Actually both. It’s fluffier and a bit more flyaway (not in a bad way though) and it is blonder.
The lightening in colour is surely from the lemon, but also in part from simply being less greasy!
Disolving the baking soda in a fair amount of water really seemed to be key, rather than just massaging a bit of the powder in (as I was doing before).
I recently thought to myself, “before shampoo was invented..how did we take care of our hair?” I began to think that hair shouldn’t really need shampoo in the first place and it should be able to take care itself (mostly). So, I went researching and found a bunch of blogs on the subject. I have long hair for a guy and am always looking to make it look good (It’s very difficult if you’re a guy and I’m never above taking a woman’s advice for hair care). Shampoo always seems to kill the ends of my hair. Definitely have to try this out.
Gotta go buy baking soda because, for some reason, we don’t have any.
Hi Aaron, I hope this works out for you! Good to hear from a guy!
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I tried this when i was pregnant, i just didn’t wnat to take a bunch of time to do anything! haha but my hair when form sparkling bouncy and fresh to dirty brown shiny stingly chunks ugh i did it for like months! hoping for that transition preiod, but i just boar bristle brushed my hair and water rinsed it and put it in buns and pony tails using my grease like styling product:( I couldn’t take it anymore so i washed it with egg and went to the salon and got it cut a little bit and started shampooing again(with all natural shampoo of course)
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I’ve been using the baking soda and vinegar for over a year. I never had a transition time. It just worked. I’ll never go back to shampoo. I used to use a ton of conditioner all the time. Now, my hair is softer and doesn’t tangle near as much as it used to with all the conditioners.
Just found you via downtoearth. I’ll be back!
So I remembered reading something on the “no-poo” movement a month or so ago, and decided when I finished up the shampoo and conditioner I had, I’d give it a try. I’m on day 4 or 5, and I kind of feel like a greasy mess… not as bad as I expected, but I am Italian and prone to being quite greasy =) Anyway, I picked up some good ideas from your blog – I was only rinsing my hair, and not really working my fingers into my scalp to try and rinse it out, so I will definitely try that tomorrow. Also, this helped clear up just how to use baking soda properly to clean hair, so if my transition period seems to go on longer than I’d hoped, I’ll give that a try. I’m just to the point where I feel that less is more, and the less time spent in the bathroom primping is more time spent elsewhere, so if I can cut out shampooing, I’ll be thrilled. I was about to cave and start shampooing again tomorrow, but I’ve picked up some good tips here and I’m going to keep plugging along and putting my hair up =) Hoping for the best and I’ll try to keep you posted as to how it turns out for the extreme “grease-ball” types like myself =) Thanks!
I have now been shampoo free for over three months and my hair, whilst looking thick and being very easy to style, has never stopped feeling like an olderly dog. I’m badly in need of a hair cut, but don’t want my hairdresser to have to handle my hair so yesterday I relented and used just a little bit of Simple shampoo.
I didn’t realise how heavy my head had been with all the extra oil! I think I will try just shampooing once every couple of weeks and see how that works, but just using baking powder and water wasn’t right for me.
Those of you for whom the no-poo system works are really lucky, but I don’t think I will go totally poo-less again.
I stopped using shampoo about 4-5 weeks ago, and I’m beginning to feel the same. My hair is getting heavier by the day! When I style it, it does stay nicely in the style, but only because it is more like a helmet than hair. When I shake my head it moves as a single piece, instead of individual strands! There is definitely a huge amount of oily build-up in my hair, which the baking soda doesn’t seem to be able to shift. I really want to give this a chance before giving up, but I don’t know what else to try. My hair feels yucky and is a couple of shades darker than normal. Any ideas?
So I decided, at the start of the the month, that I was going to go completely no-poo. I had just realized how much people depend on shampoos, when all it’s doing is stripping the natural oils from your hair, and then your hair produces more oils to make up for it, and all of a sudden your stuck in a vicious shampooing cycle!! So, I figured the summer was a good time to try a new regime. It’s been almost 3 weeks now, and I’m not completely satisfied. My hair looks quite nice at the front, but it’s all stringy and greasy at the back (I am prone to greasiness)! I couldn’t decide of my hair was still in its transition period, or if this was the way it was going to look from now on. I was considering maybe just giving in and using shampoo….until I found this website! It sounds like I’ve been doing a couple things wrong, like not giving my hair a really scrubbing my hair under the water, or using colder water. I think next time I’m going to try using baking soda in a few washes, and see if that makes a difference.
I’m happy without my dependence on shampoos and conditioners…so my no-poo adventure shall continue!
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HAVE JUST FOUND THIS SITE WHILE LOOKING FOR HOW TO MAKE FRUIT ROLL UPS. WILL TRY THIS BAKING SODA THING AND SEE HOW IT GOSE.
Hey! Great post, wonderful advice! My hair is naturally big and curly, and I’m hoping to make it healthier and fluffier. I’m planning on starting a no-shampoo routine, but I have a few questions first…first off, my hair is dyed blonde, and I really really REALLY don’t want it to fade! Will the baking soda ruin my color? Secondly, is a vinegar rinse necessary? I’m a little scared of the ‘transition phase’ but hopefully it will pass by fast. Thanks so much for the great info!!! 🙂
Hi Al, I have blond highlights and I haven’t noticed any fading, so hopefully it won’t happen with you either. And I don’t do a vinegar rinse either. I know some people swear by it, and maybe it will help your hair, but I haven’t found it to be a key step at all.
I love this site! I’m allergic to corn, which is in anything processed, and almost all shampoo and soaps. After being a girly-girl for years, it’s an interesting transition to not be able to wash my hair. I can use Dr. Bronners as body soap and laundry soap, but that’s about it. I’m going to go no-poo!!
Anyway, this is my first week with no shampoo, and it’s not too bad. I use a natural brush to cleanse and distribute the oils, which works well. The time savings, and avoidance of an allergic reaction is a definite plus.
I’ll try baking soda over the next week, and maybe a rinse of vinegar and mint. I’m worried about whether my hair will start to smell. Any suggestions?
Here’s a new issue…I have night sweats. When I wake up in the morning I have “bed head smell”. I hate that smell so much! Has anyone else experienced this? How do you get rid of that if you don’t shampoo it away. Perfume?
Baking soda is a natural deodorant. I would think that it would work getting rid of your bed-head smell.
I’ve been “no-poo” for nearly 8 months now. My scalp is so much better! When I first heard about it I thought “Ew that’s so gross” but then I actually thought about it and it made a lot of sense. What the heck did people do in the Middle Ages when there was no shampoo? So I decided to give it a try.
My hair feels a lot more alive, not limp and lifeless like before. I have very fine hair and it used to get greasy really quickly. I find it still does, especially if I touch it a lot or when I rinse it in the shower in between cleans (baking soda and a vinegar rinse, every Saturday and Wednesday). Does anyone else find that rinsing it in the shower just makes it seem greasier? I don’t have enough courage to go completely to just rinsing with water.
I can’t even tell your hair wasn’t shampooed. If I skip a day of washing, you can definitely tell. I look like a grease monkey! lol
I am planning on trying this. I am open to any way to naturally save a few bucks. What I would like to know-is there a natural way to “wash the face” without having to purchase expensive/damaging facial cleansers? I have oily blemmished skin and would love to be able to ditch the face cleansers. Also, has anyone tried adding any essential oils to the baking soda hair wash to fragrance the hair? Would this be safe? I would assume you would have to be careful to avoid getting in your eyes.
I wash my face twice a day with Dove soap, use Proactive oil-free moisturizer at night before bed, and exfoliate once a week with a baking soda/water paste. I have oily skin and a moderate acne problem that’s lasted over a decade (I’m 24) and switching to soap has made little difference – my skin feels very clean and I still only occasionally get zits, usually around my mouth. Also it’s much cheaper!
Read about coconut oil, it may help you. It definitely will not hurt you, just make sure it is just coconut oil, no other ingredients needed. ☺
We use Norwex antibacterial cloths on our face and body….after our first use, we felt like we had never really been clean before. All you do is wet the cloth with water and wipe your face/body. The cloths remove dirt, makeup and bacteria and because they are antibacterial (they have silver in the material – bacteria cannot live or reproduce in the presence of silver), they kill the bacteria. I have always struggled with blemishes in my T-zone and when I am good about washing with my Norwex cloth, I have no breakouts. It is wonderful! My husband also always had blemishes on his back….gone now. We just can’t say enough about Norwex! Here’s their website if you want to check them out: http://norwex.com/
They carry chemical-free cleaning and personal care products. Good luck!
I’m excited about trying this no ‘poo deal! As far as face washing without crazy chemicals go… coconut oil! Rub it over your face, massage with fingertips and then rub off with a warm wet washcloth. I used to have pretty oily skin, but this stuff works miracles! I promise!
I use organic virgin coconut oil as a facial cleanser and moistrizer. I put some in my hand rub it to melt, massage it into my face and wipe off with a warm moist washcloth. Works great. My sister and I have both transitioned to this with wonderful results. No more Oil of Olay for me. If my face feels dry I use a little moreright before I go to bed. In the morning I use a cotton pad with a little Witch Hazel when I get out of the shower followed by a dab of coconut oil if my face feels dry.
I forgot to say I use only unrefined coconut oil. I discovered coconut oil about 6 months ago. I use it for cooking as well. Makes a wonderful substitution for shortening with none of the harmful transfats. I love it!
HONEY! seriously watered down honey as a face wash. i put a little VERY mild soap like dr bronners, like 1 tsp to half cup warm water and 1/4 cup honey. BEST fash wash EVER!
I wash my face daily with a combination of olive oil and castor oil. I have pretty ‘normal’ skin so I use equal amounts of both. If your skin is dryer add more olive oil and if it’s oilier add more castor oil. You rub the oil all over your face, then apply a hot (as hot as you can handle it) damp wash cloth and let it sit on your face until it cools to room temperature and then procede to use it to remove all of the oil from your face. I know it sounds crazy but it works extremely well. I also wear waterproof mascara and this works as a fantastic eye make up remover and face wash all in one. I’ve been doing this for about 2 months now and I swear my skin looks better and healthier every day. Hope you try it and have good results.
I actually rarely use anything at all. I have pretty oily skin naturally and as a teen I had huge breakouts and was on medicine for them. I still have the scars. After that I used lots of different products and I found that the ones that worked the best were light moisturizing soaps like Cetaphil followed by a oil free cream. This doesn’t strip the skin and cause it to go on oil production overload. Anyway, nowadays I use just water and a washcloth. The washcloth mildly exfoliates the skin. Much like the “no poo” regime my skin’s oils have evened out. Sometimes I might use a little soap from the local soap maker in the city together with my makeup remover (or lotion to remove the makeup) when I have had a lot of makeup on for a dance performance. I live in a pretty dry area in the prairies so I usually put an oil free lotion on afterwards or my skin still feels dry. I like Avalon Organics lotion in rosemary or lavender.
What about the hair stylist that told her client to add baking soda to her shampoo as such?
Step 1: Wash hair with shampoo
Step 2: While the lather is still in your hair take about 2 tbsp of Baking Soda and massage through your hair
Step 3: Rinse with warm water.
Step 4: If there is a little baking soda remaining in your hair you can shampoo again.
Is it possible she is still trying to push product? Or does this even work or just defeat the purpose of using baking soda?
I, am so ready to try the “No-Poo Liberation.” I feel like I just don’t know how to wash my hair anymore. It always feels oily and looks greasy and I do have very thick and long hair. I don’t wash my hair everyday, or I would have multiple melt-downs! I also color my hair to cover greys, which I have been getting since I was 20! Good old genetics for ya!
I broke down and bought the Wen Hair Care system, and while the smell is great, I swear I need someone to do the massaging or scrubbing for me. My hair behaves like it is holding onto years of build-up! When I go to the salon for a color or cut, my stylist really massages and knows how to make my hair look better then I ever could!!! But she uses shampoo, conditioner, gel, mousse, hairspray, etc. UGH! It is a never-ending cycle.
I am going to try the soda scrub, and then the cider rinse. What have I to lose? My hair reacts well to mistreatment and abuse, but I just want my hair to look and feel great. And it would be a plus if I could actually do something with it for once, as in a hair style. I would include a picture, but let’s wait until after my hair appointment this Saturday. 🙂
I am so happy to hear this is working for a lot of women! I am now going to poll all my girlfriends on Facebook and see what they have to say.
I transitioned to the 1Tbsp baking soda/1 cup water method about a month ago, and I didn’t have a transition period. (My hair looks wet–with grease–about 24 hours after a shampoo.) I do it just about every day, though. I’m just starting to go a little bit longer between baking soda washes, so maybe the “greasy transition” just hasn’t hit yet. I just bought a boar bristle brush, and I’m hoping regular use of that will help me move to cleaning less frequently.
I do know what you mean about your hair feeling good after getting shampooed at the salon! I got my hair cut about a week into ditching shampoo, and it felt sooooooo nice afterwards! I don’t thikn it will bring be back to shampooing, but I think I may not ask my stylist to stop shampooing.
I am on my 2nd week of no poo and I optimistic my transition period won’t be bad. Ususally, by day three of no washing my hair would be glued to my head, but using the baking soda every other day has worked fine.
For those of you who feel like you’ve got oil building up, take the baking soda and make a paste and apply it all over your scalp and use the pads of your fingers to give it good scrub.
If you miss the smell of shampoo, add a few drops of essential oil to the b. soda mix. There’s lots of hair beneficial ones out there, lavender, peppermint, myrrh, tea tree oil, rosemary… just Google 🙂
Regarding the apple cider vinegar rinse, I redyed my hair near black right before I ditched the poo and I have noticed that it has stripped some of it away. In fact, the first time using it, it left quite visible grey marks on my white towel. There’s lots of other alternatives for a conditioner/rinse, such as honey, mayo, ..again Google it and you’ll find lots of ideas.
Loving the idea with the baking soda so decided to try this myself but… what do you then BATHE with? (if you don’t mind me asking.
I have the tendency to just use the foam from shampoo instead of showergel but having used the baking soda three showers in a row, I felt I had to resort to the showergel, which kinda defeats the purpose. So… how do I get around that?
I also had a bit of a setback as, although I was almost ‘getting there’ and persevering with just the soda, I cheated a bit and used conditioner, as it felt so HARD otherwise. Then the next time, I reached for the bottle with the soda and liberally doused my short cropped head… in BABY OIL (wrong bottle hahaha). So of course had to use shampoo to get it out (which didn’t work until the third day!).
I’m ready to start again with soda but it’s what to do about gel I need to know now. Any suggestions?
Caroline, I just use soap to wash my skin. We usually buy a handmade soap or use Dr. Bronners on a loofah. Nothing fancy. I sometimes use conditioner too. Yikes about the baby oil! At least then it was well moisturized???
hahaha you can say that again!!
I felt like a greasy ‘french fry’ for days :)))
ok soap… now there’s an inovation…duh.
Will let you know how it goes.
Thanks for your help.
Ah, your hair is so gorgeous! Looks silky and soft. I’m not looking forward to the period of my hair feeling greasy and dirty but after seeing your hair I think I’ll try it. 😛
Hi. I’m on week two of no soap or shampoo. My hair feels like a cross between clean and dirty. I am doing this regimen because I have an infestation of eyelash mites (gross, but true), and I am trying several home remedies to get rid of them. (Many doctors don’t believe you when you say you can feel bugs crawling on your face!) Anyway, my body smells just fine without soap. My hair is iffy, but several people have said the body can take several weeks to adjust, so I’m hanging in there. Hope no one can smell the raw garlic I’m eating every day!
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I can’t wait to start. I have let my hair go 4-days at a time in the past year (I started working from home) and I noticed it look 10 times better than normal when I did wash it. This technique sounds much better.
Just to let you know… I’ve given up, sorry. I just can’t seem to get past the greasy and crappy stage. I persevered for a month but even my husband was commenting that nothing smelled nice any more… so bugger that! This was with a baking soda wash every two days, and I have cropped hair so not much to contend with really. I’ll try again some time, but having to indulge my shampoo addiction for now.
I have been using only conditioner to ‘wash’ my hair. I have thin, wavy hair & it looks very greasy the very next day! I feel like ditching the whole thing & going back to shampoo. Please help! Came across your blog & now I feel like am not wrong to have given up on shampoo.
One Q though, could you please tell me the ratio of vinegar to water & if you use it while in the shower? Thanks.
I think it depends on the conditioner. Are you using a commercial conditioner? Some of those in my experience can be quite oily. And I have a friend (who is a shampooer) who had to switch conditioner, but it helped.
Thanks for your blog about baking soda. I like the results. If you want a “girly” scent, try using an herb or flower infusion as a rinse: rosemary, lavender, m int, rose…orange….so many choices!
Wow can’t wait to try this. I’m a 54 year old and color my hair medium golden brown. Currently I wash it with shampoo and conditioner every third day. Our water is hard so I hope the vinegar helps with tangles. My 12 year old daughter hates shampoo so this will be great news for her. To lighten my shoulder length hair I use hydrogen peroxide full strength dipped in a q-tip and apply streaks. I also hope “no poo” will be deter misquotes and black flies. We all know how they are attracted by scented hair care products. Will let you know how we fared.
I have not been using shampoo for about 5 months now, and i miss wearing my hair down. I went no shampoo because I didn’t like the waste shampoo produced, I did not want to be dependent on shampoo again, and my hair has always had a lot of breakage, which i thought the extra oils would fix. For the first two or three months I used baking soda and apple cider vinegar. My hair was different, but it looked fine. I did have some really greasy days, and taught myself how to French braid. Then, i realized that instead of being dependent on shampoo, I was simply dependent on another thing, my apple cider vinegar and baking soda. My boyfriend had started no shampoo a little bit before this time and didn’t use anything and h is hair looks great! So, I tried nothing on my hair. Yuck! I looked gross, but I kept on going because I thought it would just be a stage. After a while, and no real change, i tried different things: longer between washes, tea tree oil, jojoba oil, lemon juice etc. now, as I sit here today, I am faced with oily flat roots, and crazy, fluffy, damaged ends. I’m really sad because I miss wearing my hair down, and I don’t want to go back to shampoo, but it looks like my hair just wasn’t meant for this. What should i do? any suggestions?
Bec — I just started this no-shampoo initiation process yesterday, so I’m sure it’s too early for me to even comment, much less try to offer suggestions! However, you never mentioned how you “groom” your hair. In my research before I started, I noticed that a lot of people emphasized the importance of grooming with the right kind of brush — boar bristle brush was mentioned the most often. The theory is that the BBB not only helps clean the hair but also distributes your natural hair oil throughout the length of the hair shaft. As I said, this is only my second day, but I think the brush is making a huge difference. There are a number websites/blogs that detail how to groom your hair using the brush.
I’m turning 60 this summer, have short, dry, frizzy, gray hair. I had colored my hair nonstop for over 40 years, and just quit — no particular reason, just tired of the cycle — three years ago. Last week, I stumbled upon some no-shampoo blogs, and decided I could be persuaded to give up my ‘poo, conditioners, serums, gels, and rootlifters, too. My hair is less frizzy than normal today, feels soft instead of dry, and is a lot more curly than it’s been in years — without product and without scrunching. It doesn’t look exactly great — but it ain’t bad, not a bad-hair day at all, I’ve had a lot worse.
Your explanation of why this works has been the best that I have read so far. I have read about the no-shampoo thing before but was scared to try it. Now the chemistry behind it makes since and I can’t wait to give it a try. I have switched to homemade versions of all sorts of things and have just loved because they involve less chemicals and best of all they save a ton of money. My most recent switch was the “Oil Cleansing Method” for my facial cleanser and that has went well so far. I wanted to ask if you had any ideas of a more natural cleansing method for bathing. I have looked into the natural bath bars but they are so expensive compared to the other soaps on the market. What do you recommend that would have fewer chemicals and also the most frugal option for a bath bar?
Hi Jen, I’m so glad you’ve decided to try the no-shampoo method. Yes that does save some money. I will be posting a handmade soap recipe soon, as soon as I try out the batch I made. I want to make sure it works well before I post it! We use a lot of natural/handmade soap so I’m hoping this handmade version helps us save money too.
I have tried going without shampoo twice over the last five years and to be honest, I have never been able to get out of the ‘transition’ phase of the cycle. I have eczema and sensitive scalp and would love love love for this to work for me, but I can’t seem to get the routine right…! The first time I went for about 2 months, and more recently went for about 3 months without. I’ve tried lemon juice, baking soda, egg, coconut oil, plain water… Maybe I wasn’t doing the dilutions right…? I even tried the conditioner only method, but that seemed to defeat the purpose of me going chemical-free for my skin. To be fair I did have one relatively good day with lemon juice – but other than that, my hair just was sticky and not moving freely. Is it true that your hair is even better after stopping shampoo? I know a lot of us will sacrifice things in order to rid our environment or bodies of toxins – and often I settle for second best results for the cause. But if you say that your hair is actually better than with shampoo then you give me hope to try again!
Hi Laura, Wow, you have tried just about everything, haven’t you? Is my hair better? I think so, it has more volume to it and isn’t as slippery or lifeless with daily shampooing. The best part is that I can go 4-5 days without needing to do the baking soda rinse, which I like. However everyone’s hair is going to react differently. It does take a while for you to figure out what exactly works for your hair, you know how often you have to do the baking soda rinse/how much etc, maybe longer than the 3 months you’ve given it. Good luck if you decide to try it again!
I’ve gone through several variations on the no-poo regimen and find what works best for my fine, somewhat curly, somewhat wavy hair is to wash with baking soda (1 tbsp in cup of warm water) with an apple cider vinegar rinse no more than twice a week; often just once. But everyday I wet my hair in the shower, apply conditioner to my shoulder-length hair from the nape of my neck down and rinse. This way the fragile ends get conditioned but the roots don’t get weighed down. If on one of these conditioner-only days, my roots feel dirty, I just use conditioner to scrub the top of my head. I also highlight my hair and find that baking soda & vinegar doesn’t strip the color. Can’t say my method saves on water, but I live in Texas and it’s hard to avoid sweaty head a good part of the year, and this way my hair always smells fresh and my hair curls and looks so much better than it ever did with the traditional shampoo & conditioner regimen.
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Hi, I have been wanting to try the no-poo thing for a long time. I have used baking soda on my hair before, but switched back to the shampoo that I have. I do have a question, I am runner and get really sweaty running. After a run shampooing is a must. Do you have a recommendation for that or just use the baking soda?
Oh I love your blog. I found it this morning looking for a laundry detergent recipe. I can’t wait to try you lotion too!
Yup – I’ve also been wondering about the running thing – I inevitably wash my hair every day or 2 because it gets totally sweatified, rather than because it gets slowly dirty. Be interested to see if this works.. erg guess I should just bite the bullet & give it a go.
I’ve been no poo since probably April. A few weeks ago we were doing some moving I this crazy heat and I had to hop in the shower even though I’d washed with baking soda a day or two before. I usually wait 4-5 days. I didn’t have the baking soda solution since we were out of town and just rinsed with water but scrubbed really good as if I was shampooing it and it was kind of an experiment I didn’t know what to expect, but my hair came out great so now if I feel like I need to wash my hair but don’t want to use the baking soda too often, I just rinse with water.
I find that even if I have had an intense workout session and sweat buckets, I still just rinse it like normal. If I actually let my hair dry after the workout and then rinse it, the salt makes it so much softer and fuller and my skin feels softer. But then again, I also live in a place with hard water so maybe I am just making my own personal water softener that way. 😉
I have been a no shampooer going on about 5 months now. I started last year towards the end of school and everybody made fun of me for it. I have noticed no difference and I agree that shampoo is an un needed waste. This is coming from someone who had luscious streaming hair, but i have since then gotten it buzzed. Shampoo is not always whats right.
I am going to start the “no poo” thing. I am even going to start my 12yr old daughter too. she has dandruff and no matter what shampoos we try it won’t go away. we both have REALLY thick hair; hers is long and mine is short. i use quite a bit of product in my hair. can i still use it if i’m not shampooing?
I have some questions but it seems that a lot of questions go unanswered. I need help with my hair also. Been doing this for 8 weeks now and still cant brush through my hair when drying it. My brush bristles are bent now from pulling on my hair. If I just use ACV it’s to greasy, if I just use baking soda it is just too dry and tangly. Would love to keep doing this but my hair is a big mess, no shine at all and I wear bangs.
Sorry to hear that you are having troubles Yoli. Sounds like you have long hair? Maybe try a little conditioner on the ends for a week or two after you rinse with baking soda? Are you doing baking soda first and then rinsing with ACV? Or just using ACV on it’s own? You should be doing applying the baking soda first, then the ACV next. Keep experimenting and hopefully you’ll find the right solution.
Thanks so much for getting back to me!!
Yes, I was using the baking soda then rinse with ACV with water. Today I just used ACV solution and my hair was a little better but now I don’t know if I should use the Baking soda again tomorrow or just use the ACV rinse. When I just use ACV my hair feels heavy with something. I don’t usually have oily hair. What do you think about using 1 tsp of raw honey with water and use that as a rinse?? i am so frustrated. I don’t know if I should try the honey rinse tomorrow and if I do should I use the baking soda first or Just use the honey rinse?? Sorry if this sounds so confusing.
Hi Yoli, I wish I could give you some better advice about what to do! I found that I just kept having to experiment, but now I just do the baking soda ‘wash’ followed by squirting my hair with pure acv and rinsing it all out twice a week. That seems to do the trick. I have heard of people rinsing with honey to keep out tangles. I hope you find the right solution for your hair!
Just wondering…do you use any sort of products, or does your hair just take the style better (I’ve read a good few testimonials that say they’ve given up product all together)? Do you ever just rinse and style your hair on the no-wash days? I have fine hair, and blow drying it has always been the way I’ve gotten some volume. I just started this experiment myself and have loads of questions…most of which will probably be answered inevitably by the experience itself. Also, I’m impressed at how faithfully you respond to comments/questions. Thanks for your story.
Hi Jennifer, I do try and answer most questions, but you know life gets in the way sometimes so I can’t answer all of them. You know, I’ve never really used any products on my hair, nor have I owned a hairdryer for oh, 5 years or so! I do care about what my hair looks like, I’m just a wash and wear kind of gal 🙂 I’ve noticed however that my hair does have more volume and does hold a style better now. When I’d put it up in a french twist or bun before I’d need a billion hair pins and now I don’t need as many. Good luck with your hair journey!
I have cut way back on shampooing my hair over the last several years trying to tame my super-dry hair and it has made a difference. I knew some people just rinse but I am an urban commuter… but I just don’t find that hot water is enough to cut the diesel exhaust, smoke, etc. that builds up on one’s hair and skin. I am going to give this a try.
One question, one of the “perks” of shampooed hair is the smell, I like the peppermint smell of my current shampoo. What about adding a few drops of essential oil to the mix? Maybe a little tea tree oil?
Ouch… I did the baking soda wash for the first time last night. I hadn’t washed my hair for about a week, which isn’t unusual for me, but it was feeling particularly oily — maybe the weather change, maybe hormones, maybe a combo. This morning my poor scalp feels abraded, scrubbed raw. I used the pads and not nails but I may not have rinsed well enough because the roots feel a bit gritty, though I didn’t rush the rinse.
My husband said it smelled warm and damp (didn’t realize those were ‘smells’), not bad or good. My normally wavy, fully hair is extra full (overwhelming –> into a pony tail) and unusually tangled. Again, we did just have a big shift in the weather, much drier air and that may account for some of the hair (though not the scalp) results.
I think I will dilute the baking soda more and add in the vinegar rinse to calm my hair down a bit.
I straighten my hair every day due to my cut of hair. If I don’t it looks just plain terrible. If I do this can I still straighten it? Can I put heat protecting product in it still?
Hi Allison, I can’t speak from experience since I don’t straighten my hair, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. Give it a try!
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I’ve been shampoo free for a bit over a year now. It’s so awesome, I will not go back! I can’t say never, as I don’t have the ability to see the future but right now I have no intention of going back.
In the summer I got rid of dandruff but for some reason it’s back again. Maybe it’s the cold? Or well, more likely it’s stress and eating too much sugar 😦
After accidentally finding articles on “no poo” I decided to try it. Eventually I began to use the baking soda method which works well for cleaning the scalp. I do use a vinegar rinse. I use about a pint of water with a teaspoon of vinegar in it. I heard that it is good to re-acidify your scalp after using an alkaline product like baking soda. I think the vinegar rinse detangles the hair. I do not use conditioner but will put shea butter or coconut oil sparingly on my ends.
I also really like to use dry shampoo. I make my own now. I use oat flour, tapioca (powder type) cornstarch and dark cocoa powder for my brown hair. You can buy mineral powders online to make dry shampoo, but cocoa powder is easier to find. My best advice is to use dry shampoo sparingly! Buy a dedicated medium sized make up brush and use it to apply a small amount of powder to your hair. Don’t apply right on top of your hair or in the part but flip up the hair and apply underneath the area. Brush hair a little. Go to bed and the next day your grease will be gone. No powdery look and that combo of grease and dry shampoo helps my hair stay smooth and styled just like product used to.
PS I have fine, thick, wavy hair and this method has tamed it in a great way.
So, on the no-poo doo….I want to make sure I get this right….you wash your hair with the baking soda “concoction” and then don’t wash or wet for several days or do you do it every day? I am a bit confused. I have tried it and like it but don’t think I have ever gotten it down quite right. My hair looks clean but feels pasty. Thanks for the help.
That’s correct Valerie. I do the baking soda every few days and nothing in between. Usually when I shower on those inbetween days I’ll put it up in a bun on the top of my head to keep it sort of dry. But on bed-head days I leave it down and get it wet. To help with the pasty feeling (I got that too a bit) I’ve been drizzling straight, undiluted apple cider vinegar on my hair after the baking soda mix and then washing it out. It does help, even if it isn’t the best early morning smell 🙂
I’m so interested in trying this, but have some apprehension. I’ve tried not to get into doing too many “home made” things other than food because I work full time and every time I try another do-it-yourself I always end up spending a disproportionately great amount of time on it that should be spent with my family. This looks like it is not any more time consuming than shampoo, though. Probably less since I wouldn’t have to spend time looking for deals! My main concern is that I work at customer service-I even have to wear a uniform- so I’m not sure how it would go over if I were to have a greasy transition period! I’ve never been one to wash my hair every day, because my mom always told me that would make my hair even more oily, so I’ve always been careful never to wash it more often than every three days, sometimes four. Do you think that would help with the transition? I’d love to hear what you think.
THAT is some very nice hair! It looks soft and luxurious 🙂 There is an urban homesteading family near me here in Pasadena, CA… The Dervaes Family, that also does not use shampoo and they love it. I use shampoo (cal-ben five star soaps) because there are no chemicals and they are sorta local.. in Oakland. There is only like 5 ingredients in their shampoo and soaps. Do an internet search to find them, I dont wanna spam. But Ive used their stuff for a few years now and like it. Since Im a guy I will give the baking soda a try… I already brush my teach with it, why not shampoo with it!
Thanks, i really loved your article. I found it through google and wanted to say thanks
Talked to my sis who is a NP in dermatology about this. She said the vinegar should be good for dandruff — it inhibits the growth of the yeast that can cause it.
She still thought I was nuts for doing so — but she saw me after an 8 hr bus trip during a cold snap and after I had stretched the time between washes to accommodate the trip. Between my scalp’s reaction to the super dry air and several hours of continuous stocking cap wearing, neither the look nor the smell were selling points. Neither was awful, but she leaned in to see how the smell held up and decided she wasn’t impressed (note: she said dusty and oily — like our farmer Dad — not rank BO).
“because isn’t it always nice to give up being dependent on something that we don’t even really need? Especially something that corporate culture insists we need everyday? It’s kind of a liberating feeling.”
That was Exactly what I thought, almost word-to-word! It’s kind of freaky. I was really excited about not using shampoo and when I thought: Why? I realized that this is the reason. So liberating to not depend on something that is so commercial and so imposed!
I’ve been shampoo free since July and overall I love it. I use baking soda or Dr. Bronner’s every 3-4 days, followed up with apple cider vinegar. I rinse with water the other days. Overall, I love how my curly hair has responded: soft, strong, better curls than I have ever had. My seborrheic dermatitis has almost completely disappeared and the skin on my face, shoulders and back is much healthier as well.
I can’t seem to get rid of a yucky french fry smell in my hair. The hair feels clean, not gooey or greasy, but there is that smell. My pillow stinks up the whole bedroom now and I wash the pillowcase very regularly. Has anyone had this problem? Any suggestions for solutions? Thanks!
YES! I am getting a weird smell as well!!…???
ooooo i love this post, my mix is 3 teaspoons of baking soda, 8 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar, half a teaspoon of coconut oil, 7 drops of lavender essential oil & 5 drops of ylang ylang essentintial oil, mix it all in a spray bottle and fill the rest of the bottle with water. its worked wonders for me and lasts for months, i only ever use 1-2 sprays aid i do it on a weekly basis
I am really interested in trying this, but I want to clarify so I understand. I don’t need conditioner if I use baking soda? As of right now, with shampoo, I definitely need conditioner. It’d be nice to eliminate this step. I’m all for the natural side of life, I am going to attempt to make my own lotions too. I’m a massage therapist and it would be super great if I could save some money and make a great lotion for my clients.
I think you will still need something for the rinse. I use 1 TBSP Apple Cider Vinegar in 1 cup of water. I use about a half cup. My hair is shoulder length. You could try the BS wash without a conditioner to see what your hair does. If I remember correctly, BS is an acid, and you need to neutralize it. Some people use lemon juice in water instead of the vinegar.
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I really admire you, you’ve made my day! Back to the roots! Yes, I do believe that all these chemicals are harmful. If you look, for example at a map like this one, you will understand that it has to do with chemicals used in developed country (just an example, look at Prognosis) :
I realized I was waiting this liberation (from the consumerism)…movement in society and I am proud to see that women are courageous to try this. Who knows?! Maybe we succeed to live on less and save more! Maybe it’s true what they say that being happy is not having more, is needing less to survive and save money and time for the real living (such as meditate, explore, socialize, read, hiking, swimming, and enjoy the world we are living in) . And I also love the idea that you want to get liberated from products such as shampoo, deodorant, hand lotions…I believe a woman pays a lot of money for cosmetics and the advertisements tell us we still need to pay more, because we have to look like the top models they create for us to compare ourselves with. It’s obvious that if you earn your money with your look, this is what you do all day, take care of your look! But not all of us are in the fashion industry, therefore, we lack the time and money to keep up with the trend. But a woman is incredibly beautiful when she’s a natural beauty! I strongly believe this. Everybody has something beautiful; every woman has her own gift. They say if you really want to know how beautiful is a woman, just go check her out when she just woke up!
I am happy to see that we’re waking up from this consumerism and take back the financial power into our hands! Your money should stay as much as possible in your wallets and the merchants have made us think we need to invest as much as possible, more and more into the way we look: make up over make up, color over color, to keep up the pace. The pace with what? With their profit? We are getting sidetracked daily! The purpose is not the look, but he personal happiness. And a happy woman is a beautiful woman, is a glowing woman that will make everybody around happy.
So, as an input, I just want to tell you that people did use soap to clean their hair in the past…I remember my mom, she used home made soap and rinsed it with vinegar. She has a very healthy looking hair.
I remember long time ago, my former brother in law told me (he had oily hair) that his dermatologist told him that he more he washes his hair, the more greasy it will get. So he was content that after not washing it so often, it needed a regular 1-2 times/week wash. I came from Europe and I was shampooing my hair twice a week and my hair was healthy and shiny. But when I came here (North America) , I was shocked to hear that people are washing their hair even several times a day or daily…because I knew this can damage the hair. Another thing, I was shocked about why and how that suddenly, by crossing the ocean to come here, after one-two month, my hair became dull and my skin got dry. In three months I was having two under-eye wrinkles. Might be the water, the soil, the food, I can’t tell. The third month, I had noticed some fine longitudinal lines on my nails that I never had. My nails were always smooth and shiny! After living here for 8 years, my hair is still dull, the lines on the nails are there, but smoother, the wrinkles are part of the landscape by now (fine wrinkles) and I noticed that if I take once in a while vitamin A and E, my hands are much better. I also use olive oil soap only for hands.
Home made is always better and healthier, but this is time consuming and since the last “liberation” of woman, we’re very busy at work and then at our second jobs at home. So I am afraid we won’t be able to eliminate totally chemicals from our house…
All the best with no poo movement!
I have been doing baking soda and apple cider vinegar for over a year now and cannot see myself going back to shampoo. At first to get through the transition period I did it almost every other day but now only once or twice a week. Although I do get my hair wet with just water and scrub with my fingers almost daily (post gym/workout)–the water does just fine to get rid of the sweat.
The only thing I could say about your no poo experiment is this….shampoo,soap etc is alkaline in order to dissolve oils. Baking soda is very very alkaline, so you are really just doing pretty much the same thing. Constantly using alkaline products is very drying to the skin/scalp….skin is slightly acidic. Other ‘no poo’ things I’ve read, the participants used conditioners to clean the hair…..oils emulsifying oils…..this also is true for skin as well.
I started no-shampoo hair care on January 1. I noticed that my already baby-fine hair was getting even finer, and very limp and staticky, regardless of whether I was using 99-cent Suave, or 99- buck Aveda.
My hair has always been very oily, so I had to arm myself with faith. The transition to cleaning up nicely with only water took only four days of daily water-washing. However, if I skip a day, water alone doesn’t clean my hair well enough. I had already tried conditioner-only washing and liked it, but didn’t keep up with it. In this latest no-shampoo endeavor, I decided that if my hair become unmanageably greasy, a conditioner-only treatment was in order.
Here is a link to a picture of my hair after a week of water-only washing.
This is my 7th day on no-poo and so far no problems. My scalp feels a little bit dry, but I think I will try today only WO wash instead of BS and ACV. Hope that helps. Hair feels great, much thicker than it really is.
This has been a huge change in my life. You see, I have also stopped using soap, deodorant and coloring my hair with the “normal” stuff.
I still sweat, but I don’t have any particular smell or odour.
I have a couple of grey hair already (I’m 43) but I decided not to color my hair anymore, in the “normal” way anyway. I have already tried color my hair with strong coffee and it worked. My gray hairs turned up as chokolade brown. I liked that and I will continue on this path I’v chosen :D….today I will go to sauna and put same more strong coffee onto my hair…(sorry for any grammar faults…this is so great I HAD TO share with you also)
One more thing…I use olive oil in washing off my make-up. After that, if my skin feels dry, I will put some olive oil on it and after that it feels soft like a baby’s bottom (a weird Finnish saying :D).
This has brought so many good things to my life. I feel like I’m in seventh heaven!
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I have been using bs and applecider vinegar for well over a yr. now. I wish I had marked a date on the calendar. I had horrible oily hair, but not since I started with Baking Soda. I have not used anything but BS and acv since and it has been wonderful for my hair texture, and for the ole pocketbook too. For those who are graying, henna haircolor found in health food stores is a good choice. I will never go back to shampoo, I had dandruff, oily hair and all. Not since I stopped using shampoo hmmmmmm. For those who miss the smell of shampoos, just add a drop or 2 of your favorite essential oil to acv rinse. I added orange because it is to be energizing, i can always use more energy. Have a blessed day and thanks for your blog.
Hello, guys! I’m really very happy to have found this blog ’cause I’m also trying to live without shampoo. I have been doing this for about two weeks. I cannot say I have a good experience in it. But nevertheless I have some results. At first I washed it with brown bread. But it was awful!My hair was very oily and greasy. Then I tried eggs, honey and a few drops of lemon juice. After this my hair felt much better. But it was still a bit greasy. I didn’t feel my hair was light and soft. I put up with this feeling and continued my experiments. And one day I washed my hair with mustard, eggs, honey and lemon juice. I didn’t hope to see my hair really clean. But I was mistaken!Thanks Heaven!))) My hair was clean and soft. Amazing feeling )))
I also want to say to everybody not to give up and to wait for the moment when your hair gets used to this way of cleaning (without shampoo I mean). The results will be great!
Great article! I have not used shampoo in over 4 years. My hair has never grown this long (past my waist), felt this soft, shinny & clean, and lasted a week or more between washings. What a time saver! I love it!!
This is what I do: Make a thick paste of baking soda and water (I use 3/4 box), wet hair, massage it into the scalp, rinse with warm water. Try not to use hot water, go as cool as you can. Rinse with 1 part distilled white vinegar to 2 parts water. Condition as usual. Rinse. Then in order to comb it out, I use a good leave in spray conditioner.
To break the every day habit: At first it is best to try to go 2 days without washing, then keep increasing the time between washings until you are starting to get itchy. Sounds gross, but to much washing (water), combing out, etc. dries & damages hair.
I have heard white vinegar makes hair darker (it does, plus our well water has some orange in it), and lemon juice and water lightens it. I tried lemon juice, and it made it really dry, so went back to white vinegar. Oh well, dishwater blonde is good as long as it is long & healthy.
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I actually did this for a long while after reading in Curly Girl that it was better for my hair type. I was amazed at what it did with my hair. From time to time, I have scalp problems (my whole life, not just since ditching shampoo), and I found that I had to use something now and then to fight that. I “fell off the wagon,” but I’m returning to my no-shampoo routine this week. I can’t wait!
Some photos, for those who are considering the change…
Here is a shampoo-using shot. YUCK!
week 2 of no shampoo: http://media1.dropshots.com/photos/162718/20070515/031618.jpg
For those of you who miss the scent of shampoo…..if you put a fistful or two of fresh (or dried, presumably) lavender and/or rosemary into a liter-sized jar with white vinegar, and let it sit for a few weeks, then use that vinegar as your rinse, your hair will smell quite nice, not salad-like at all. Essential oils into the vinegar would probably have the same effect, but here in the NW lavender and rosemary are in front of pretty much every house, so it’s easy to snip some off for this.
Awesome tip SeaSound! I’m going to try it!
wow your hair looks gorgeous!!
Hello, I stopped using shampoo about a week ago. I was an everyday shampooer due to my very greasy, stringy, straightish hair. The first day I used BS and ACV (with a stick of cinnamon and a vanilla bean to help with the smell) and it seemed to work really well. But then I found some blogs that talked about using only water, so I decided to try that instead.
I have always had issues with my scalp. One hairdresser told me that it was a fungus!!! In any case it has always been something that comes and goes. It causes me to have a yellow crusty build up (that can only be scratched away with fingernails) as well as the usual dandruff and very itchy scalp. After the BS/ACV washing the itchyness disappeared instantly. Yoo Hoo! But once I started water only washing (WO washing), it slowly has started to come back. So I think I’m going to try the BS/ACV again to see if it improves.
In any case, here are my initial results. I have always had very limp hair. But now I have incredible body at the roots. And once styled, my hair tends to stay styled much more than in the past. It’s not as slippery as when I was using shampoo so it “holds it’s shape”. My hair doesn’t look greasy at the roots, but it is very stringy. As someone else mentioned before, it’s a very odd mix of both clean and dirty. As each day goes by, it seems to get worse, though. It’s not dirty, but it’s very far from optimal in terms of style and appearance. But it’s only been a week, we’ll keep going.
I’ve also started this with my children ages 4 and 1. They’re scalps haven’t been reprogrammed over years of excess cleaning, so they don’t seem to have any problems with the change. Particularly my daughter of a year who has beautiful little curls. If anything it makes them a bit more curly and defined. I figure if they can start out with out dependence on shampoo, they’ll be better off in the long run.
On another note, while researching these techniques, I found some people who have continued the WO washing to their bodies. So I decided, if it works for hair, let’s try for the body. I give a good scrubbing with a washcloth (preferably a clean one for each shower) starting from the top and working my way down (for obvious hygienic reasons). What about the nether regions? Well, that’s one of the main reasons that I decided to try this approach. I moved to Italy 4 year ago and started to use the bidet as my new adopted culture dictates. They have special “intimate soaps” made specifically for the purpose that are “PH balanced” and “gentle” for these sensitive areas. But I have found that the more I used the bidet and these cleansers, the more I needed to use them, if you know what I mean. Plus, I noticed that my sensitive areas were increasingly sensitive. It also made encounters with my husband more difficult and uncomfortable (I hope this isn’t TMI, I’m just trying to give an accurate picture since maybe someone else could have the same types of issues).
I started this “experiment” without telling my husband about it to see if he noticed a change. So far, he hasn’t made any comments but it’s only been a week. My personal experience is that I feel clean, but not stripped and dry as I previously did. I don’t think that I have an particular odor. Very neutral. No body wash smell though. After several days I began to notice a “distinct” and relatively strong but not necessarily bad odor from the nether regions. I decided to take a bath to let them soak for a little while and that seemed to do the trick. In any case, I think that if your head goes through a transition period, then your body would, too. Again, my husband hasn’t commented and he would if there were something strange. I do take a shower every day though. I’m a little afraid of what would happen if I skipped a day, but since I’m only using water, I don’t think it’s much of an issue to shower daily, even in the winter time.
Good luck to anyone who wants to attempt this way of life. I’d love to not be dependent on anything other than water if possible. Just because it’s so simple and seems so natural. But we’ll see. I’m not a fanatic so if it doesn’t work out, I’ll be going back without much regret.
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I’m on about week 10 of no shampoo. I have medium length normal hairthat has become more wiry and wavy since getting older (I’m 45). Prior to stopping shampoo it was horribly frizzy no matter what shampoo I used.
My hair remains quite greasy despite using 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar to 1 cup warm water. I use this every 3 days or so. It feels less greasy after I use it but still remains unacceptably greasy.
The only thing keeping me going is that my eczema almost instantly disappeared as soon as I stopped shampoo.
I tried doing this about 5 yrs ago but changed from tank water to city water after about 8 weeks & it seemed to get worse. At that time I tried bicarbonate of soda which made my eczema bad so I am reluctant to try it. It also seems to go against the grain of the acidity of the skin as it is alkaline. Time will tell I guess.
We’re just starting the no shampoo journey. My husband’s hair went through transition for about a week and now he’s fine. Mine is taking a bit longer, but I was pleased to notice significant oil reduction in about four days. I’m guessing I’ll be through transition in about a month.
We purchase all natural bar soap from our farmer’s market, and these can double as shampoo bars. It’s nice to know that there is no waste when I shampoo – no bottles, jars, or anything! I am still buying conditioner because my hair tends to get dry, but I’m considering switching to coconut oil. Has anyone tried this?
@Sharon – interesting! I also have eczema and I’ve noticed fewer breakouts since I cut back on the shampoo.
I swear to God, it’s the fact that people use the revolting phrase “no-poo” that makes me never want to align myself with this movement.
I rinse my hair most of the time, and use very little shampoo, but I’d rather die of shame than say that I’ve “gone no-poo.”
Lisa, I also don’t like this phrase and that it is used in this context. However, if you think about it, it’s a natural bodily function, just like eating or breathing, not to be ashamed of, but to be greatful for. There’s nothing revolting about a natural process.
On another note, I’d like to try washing my hair with pure castille soap, and rinse with vinegar water. If it works, it will be wonderful to have an all-in-one product 🙂
I have been shampoo free for the better part of 3 months. I haven’t used any product on my hair at all, just a rinse and a rub when I take my shower. Granted, I do keep my hair very short, so I haven’t had the long hair with bangs experience, but I am going to try to convince my 15 y.o. daughter to give it a try. She suffers from excessively greasy hair and perhaps not shampooing at all can help her overcome that condition.
As for me, I don’t think I will ever go back to shampoo. Even the most “green” of poos are pretty chemical heavy and the ones that aren’t have left my hair feeling and looking poorly.
I originally found this article about a year ago, but just couldn’t get the guts to give up my shampoo and conditioner (not that it was really doing anything for my extremely fine/limp/disgusting hair). I’m all in now, and wanted to know, do you need to wash your hair everyday, or is it an every-other-day sort of thing?
I really want to switch to not using shampoo and I guess I’m slowly transitioning by using the LUSH shampoo bar which is all natural. The problem is I have very long, fine, straight hair, and when I don’t use conditioner it becomes such a painful mess. Is there something natural that I can use instead of conditioner (since it never properly washes out and is probably what’s making my hair so oily in the first place) or does hair actually become soft and silky after the transition period?
Hi Ms. CleverClocks, My hair did become much softer after the transition period. I also found that rinsing after the baking soda wash with a 50/50 water to apple cider vinegar solution also helped with combing out tangles. Give that a try. I love that you have a strand of purple in your hair!
27/12/2010 Last hair wash.
During the ensuing months my hair had to be kept tied up in a bun due to sticky, greasy locks. The frizz had gone & left in its place were streaks of grease. However, the bonus was an instant and dramatic improvement in my eczema, a 99% improvement. It was enough to convince me to perservere.
After about 7-9 weeks I think, it was not improving so I tried rinsing with diluted apple cider vinegar, about ¼ cider to 1-2 cups vinegar. I was using warm water & occasional drops of rosemary oil.
Early April 2011- 3 months and about 1 week after starting, I felt like I had to try something more. The vinegar definitely reduced the grease to something not quite acceptable but bearable for a while.
I had read about bicarbonate of soda followed by vinegar but was reluctant as it is an alkaline & I had read that the skin & hair is acid & needs to get that balance back. I also wondered if city water was the problem as my last experiment with this had resulted in a bad change after 7-8 weeks when I changed from rain water to city water.
The only other thing I tried once during this time was a rinse with chamomile tea one day in an attempt to lighten my hair which seemed to darken with the new vinegar rinse routine.
First, I tried cool water vinegar rinses the hair shaftsto no avail. As I had no easy access to rainwater I decided to try 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda in 1-2 cups cool/tepid water followed by cool vinegar rinse, to the ends, not scalp. This resulted in a dramatic result, clean hair at last! It wasn’t as squeaky clean as after shampooing but I could wear it out without fear of it looking greasy.
I washed it two days later as it was starting to feel itchy again & feel a bit greasy. Again I used cool/tepid water & 1tsp bicarbonate of soda to 2 cups water followed by cool dilute vinegar rinse (ACV).
Two days following that I decided to rinse it but I thought I’d try a water softener. I bought Lectric, (Sodium carbonate & water crystals). I was a bit worried about the effect on my eczema again but used it in the shower anyway. It seemed to foam up quite a bit even though I’d only used a few crystals, less than a ¼ tsp. The result was incredible, my hair was as clean as if I’d used shampoo, only smoother. The smell was one of hair & it was a little on the frizzy side again but not as bad as with shampoo. I’m waiting to see if it sets off my eczema now. I’d love to post a photo but I don’t know how. Unfortunately, I didn’t take any of when it was really greasy.
I hope this time a photo of my hair after washing with water softener appears with the message.
I started the no-poo treatments about two months ago. I do follow up with apple cider vinegar with a few drops of sweet orange or lavender essential oil afterwards. I love it. I don’t have any issues. I did have an oil period, but it was very short for me. I do a honey treatment on face and hair every other week. The honey is VERY hard to get in, but I love the way my hair looks afterward- very shiny.
I was so impressed with no poo that I don’t plan on ever using commercial shampoo again. I am thinking about trying a homemade healthy hair treatment using amla, neem and bhringaraj powders. They are supposed to be great for cuticles and shine.
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I am in Guatemala and decided to go cold turkey on everything from toothpast to shampoo and all the in between!
Egg whites alone has been the best so far on my hair and it even suds a bit and then rinse with vinegar. My soft hair is actually returning after only 2 egg white uses, so we shall see if it is just my imagination because i want it to be true!
Great for long hair!: I have thick, very long hair and have been using the baking soda/apple vinegar method for six months now and will never go back to shampoo/conditioner! Long hair is a relative term so you be the judge: my hair is 36” long and I have it trimmed every 10 weeks to keep it that “short.”
Before: When I was shampooing and conditioning my hair, I had to wash it twice a week because of my oily scalp. Having what I thought was oily hair really gave me pause when I thought about stopping the sudsy cleansing. After shampooing, my hair would be quite tangled and would take 8-12 hours to air dry depending on the humidity. When it finally was dry, all the oil was gone and it was unmanageable, tremendously voluminous and fly away, and finally got under control about the time it had to be shampooed again.
After: I now wash my hair once a week with 1 tablespoon baking soda in 8 ounces of water and rinse with 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in water. (I wash it more frequently if exposed to toxins like pollen or smoke, not because it’s “dirty.”) I noticed a difference in my hair after the second wash. My wet hair felt more substantial, combed out much easier and dried a lot faster – in 90 minutes instead of 9 hours. (This is because my hair isn’t being stripped of all the protective natural secretions. That stripping of the hair allows all the water into the hair shaft.) My hair is also much more manageable and shinier. After even the first wash, my next door neighbor asked what I was doing with my hair because it looked so nice. It shocked me that someone noticed!
Observations: Going through this process, I noticed white waxy residue building up on my combs and brushes. That puzzled me for some time until I looked up sebum which is the oily wax produced on the scalp. That explained why my hair felt heavier and waxier too. That is the protective coating that makes all this work. After I wash my hair, I also wash my combs and brushes in hot water with a few drops of Dawn and they are good to go.
I am really interested in doing the no shampoo. What I am worried about is the wet dog smell I have experienced when I only water rinse my hair. I was wondering if homemade soaps like the ones I have started making would be a good alternative, although I have very thick hair (being from the mediterranean) and I have no idea how I would wash all my hair with a bar of soap. I guess this wouldn’t really count as no-poo. Suggestions?
This is AMAZING…I never knew this could be done! My hair is so very oily, I cannot go a single day without washing it!! However, I have to change shampoo/conditioner every month or so or they seem to “stop working.” I would LOVE to wake up in the morning and not feel like I have to wash my hair before I take my husband to work! Plus, my head is itchy if I don’t wash it every day!
I am soooo going to try this, starting TODAY! Thank you! Any more advice so I don’t give up??? LOL I wonder if this is the whole idea behind the WEN Haircare system??
OK, just got out of the shower…baking soda mixed with water, mostly focused on my scalp, then rinsed with a little lemon water and very cold water. My hair brushed fairly easy, but feels like straw. I usually allow my hair to dry naturally, and it seems a little fried looking. Btw, I lighten my hair every 2 months or so…
Hmmm, I’ll try it for a week and see…wish me luck!
I first realized the truth of regular shampoo when I used all natural shampoo for the first time and the next day I woke up, expecting to be an oil head and have to take a shower but….I wasn’t! That was years ago. Now I use homemade lye soap (you know, stuff pioneers used) once a week on the roots of my hair and a vinegar rinse (it detangles and gets all the soap left overs off)
I’ve been wanting to retire my lye soap for only stain removing and find something else for my hair. Maybe I should try baking soda again. I did once and didn’t know about the transition period and assume it just stopped working.
Do you delude the vinegar or use is straight?
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I’ve had dandruff and scalp issues for 20 years and used prescription shampoo with no results. Two weeks ago I used the “no-poo” method and guess what?…..NO DANDRUFF!!! I like to make the no-poo-balls and right before my shower I plop one into a cup…it desolves and then in the shower I pour over my head. Works like I never thought it could. I’ll never use shampoo again
Hi there, I decided if your shampoo recipe was as good as your chap stick one, then it’d definitely be worth a try. I combined 3 cups of water with 3T of baking soda in a clean Tresemme bottle, and it’s very watery…is that normal? Should I add more of something or am I supposed to be able to get it all on my hair some how? It seems like a shampoo as liquid as this would be hard to apply 😦
Yes, it is very watery. I just drizzle it on and rub with my fingertips. It’s not too hard to apply but it is a switch from thick shampoo for sure. I do dilute my vinegar, but half with water.
and you use that as a sort of conditioner? I’ve noticed my hair is really tangled and feels like there is a lot of residue left over with using the baking soda/water mixture.
try olive oil
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I just found your blog and am so happy to read all about your journey of getting out the shampoo business. I have just started down this path. I just switched a natural shampoo and have also just started using a dry shampoo to help absorb some of the excess oils in between washings. I’m going to try your baking soda recipe!
Love your blog- I’m learning a lot – thanks! I have been doing the no-poo way for quite some time now. I do not use baking soda or vinegar though. I actually “wash” my hair with organic conditioner everyday. I have thin, blonde hair so I also use CAT once a week to replenish the protein in my hair. And it’s a must to brush through my hair/scalp every night with a boar bristle brush to stimulate the scalp and get rid of dead skin. I used to have problems with dandruff and oily hair- not anymore! My stylist says my hair/scalp has never been so healthy!
Hello again! So I thought I would check back in with the no-shampoo deal. I have been doing it for two months…last week I totally caved. I went to the hairdresser and after she shampooed and conditioned my hair…it was lovely. I don’t know, I can’t decide! I think my hair is fluffier with the baking soda, but I also have long hair, past my shoulders, and using the baking soda makes it…kind of residue-y, you know? My hair brush has this gross, sticky, build up on it now from brushing. And it is still greasy after about 8 hours or so, which I kind of expected but it has been two months…I tried adding vinegar and that helps a little, but not much. But I’ve gone back to shampoo, and my hair is limp but shiny and “clean” feeling again. Any tips? Maybe I’ll try dry shampoo…but I’d rather not have to buy plastic bottles! Your blog is still as lovely as ever!
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Hope you dont mind but I have linked your blog and posted a pic of your chemical free hair in my own blog.
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hey there! i m totally in love with this no shampoo idea…since i too dun prefer harsh shampoos… well now my problem goes like this ….i had beautiful long(beyond my waist line) brown thick natural straight hair which started to fall…drastically…and due to this, i had to go for a shorter hair cut….after which…the situation didnt change at all….my hair has been falling for past 7 months now!! i fear to think far now 😦 i do not face any breakage of hair….hair falls directly from the roots…so u can actually see the-real-long-hair fallin all over the house!
i changed several shampoos, but all in vain…later i found out in recent blogs…tht essential oils have the ability to avoid hair fall and promote faster hair growth…..so i tried tht for 3 months…but tht too doesnt seem to work now..other than leaving a good smell…infact i changed my shampoo and currently using…Dessert Essence Organics – Lemon Tea Tree shampoo…which is purely organic…but honestly i have lost all the patience…really need guidance …..will this baking soda idea avoid my drastic hair fall? pls help!!
P.S: i have oily scalp with flaky dandruff (i knw its gross! )
eagerly waiting for the reply 🙂 thanks!
I have read a number of times that a regular yoga practice may help. (as it stimulates blood flow, as well as regulates and balances your whole body).
Another oprion would be looking in your life situations: past and present (stress, grievances and grudges, etc). Healing an emotional trauma may help with its physical manifestation.Try “You Can Heal Your Life” by Louise Hay, and “Radical Forgiveness” by Collin Tipping.
All the best!
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OK I am going to take the plunge today and try the baking soda/ACV method. I’ve been dealing with thin, damaged hair and patches of psoriasis on my scalp for YEARS. I work in a professional environment and like to look polished every day (I usually wash and condition at least 4-5 times a week). I use a large barrel curling iron or flat iron to give my hair a bit of bounce and tame split ends. Then I gently tease at the roots with a pick and spritz with a bit of hairspray. I color my hair too. Are you all cringing yet?
Is there any hope that I can use this method, get healthier hair but manage to have a shiny, healthy, professional hairstyle? My shoulder length hair is baby fine and tangles very easily. In fact, even after using conditioner, it looks like cotton candy after gently towel drying and it takes ages to comb through it using a pick. I usually use a detangler. I’m worried that I’ll have a bigger tangled mess and I’ll cause more damage by not conditioning my hair.
wow, SO much info and experience on here! I am just transitioning to ridding my hair/skin routine of harsh chemicals and just had to share a couple things. I tried the castile soap (50/50 with distilled water), followed by ACV rinse (2 TB to 8 oz) for about a month and kept waiting for the scalp to reduce oil production…wasn’t satisfied. It quit LOOKING quite as greasy, but still felt unclean. Just last week switched to baking soda/water wash with ACV rinse…MUCH fresher feeling. I have fine but very thick hair below mid-back. Sometimes I can finger comb in shower without much effort, other times not. Still adjusting, but am encouraged and pleased enough to continue. (and yes, every few days I “crave” the lush lather of shampoo, but just remind myself that lather does not clean, it is just a marketing tool). Side bonus to the ACV rinse…I have red hair that is getting sprinkled with white – have done blond hilights a few times to hide this…well, the cider vinegar rinse appears to be changing this – looks almost orangy but is a natural blend – no one has commented, so believe it is very subtle and it fades quickly if I skip the cider rinse.
Also was suggested by someone elsewhere to use flour sack towels (you know the old fashioned ones, still available at Dollar General, 3 for $3) on hair rather than bath towels – apparently the terry loop towels are abrasive on the hair and promote some of the frizziness. I have noticed my hair has minimum frizz (used to use serum to control frizz) and natural curl is now tighter and stronger. They don’t absorb the water worth a darn, but I am trying to do what is healthiest for my hair.
Still trying to find the right combo for myself, but have no plans to return to the harsh chemicals of bottled shampoo and detergents (LOVE the homemade laundry detergent and using distilled white vinegar for rinse in wash machine!).
EXTREMELY exciting to find so many people here and other sites that are trying to return to some basic, simpler living…
Absolutely a no-poo convert!
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Is it too soon to feel hopeless? It’s only been 3 “washes” for me, no shampoo and no conditioner. The method I have been using is taking a Dixie cup with dry baking soda into the shower with me and using wet fingers to “scoop” it out and put directly onto my scalp. I continue this a few times to get my entire scalp scrubbed down. I also have been rubbing some, not a lot, directly on my hair. Then I use a mixture of 2oz Apple Cider Vinegar with 6 oz water and dump over my head, then comb through. I make sure to rinse thoroughly! My first day was awesome and I was thrilled with the immediate results. My hair and scalp felt clean and to my relief I didn’t smell like a salad from the vinegar. However, last night my 3rd wash, I noticed something weird. I repeated my same process but I was going out that night and tried to DO my hair. I added a dime size amount of serum to my hair (like I had before when I shampooed to smooth my dry ends. I also use it because it speeds up the time used with a blow dryer) and by the time I gave up styling, my hair looked dull, flat and heavy. It was like I had styled with Crisco! I didn’t like the way it looked at all and found myself being jealous of my friend that night who had freshly shampooed, extra clean hair! Also, like another gal, I have pink & purple highlights and it doesn’t seem to be helping keep my color like I was hoping. I am bummed too because baking soda seems to have helped others with dandruff but mine seems to be worse. Not to mention I want to scratch it itches so badly but I’ve resisted! Lastly, I tend to get sores, almost breakout like sores on my scalp and this method seems to be making them worse as well. I guess I’m almost ready to give up and go back to shampoo. Anyone have any tips on what I may be doing wrong? Thanks!
I think using too much baking soda and/or using it too often has a drying affect, which stripping your scalp of oil would cause your scalp to overproduce oil making your hair greasy. I think it’s important to dilute the baking soda in at least 8oz of water.
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I am in the transition…I hate my hair right now. It feels dry yet waxy or something. My hair is long. That of course doesn’t help. I was doing only the baking soda mixed with water/vinegar rinse but my hair was like straw. I went for a haircut and the woman did all but tell me I was insane for trying this. She told me it was only going to make it worse! I didn’t give in though. Today I washed my hair with a castile soap water mixture. My hair feels less dry but still odd…kind of waxy I guess. I looked at in the sunlight. It looks dull no shine whatsoever. Everything I have done to my hair I have tried on my daughters(they are 2 and 4) Their hair looks and feels better than mine. I kind of figured their hair would just because they have no dyes in their hair…I do, but it’s growing out. I am giving up on that too. Any advice you all might have would be very much appreciated. BTW for me it has been about five washes thus far. I usually only shampoo every other day with normal shampoo and I have been trying very hard to do that with this method but since my hair has felt odd I have washed it twice in two days simply because I thought maybe it might help. Help!
I’ve tried the no-poo during three months, after that I gave up because my hair didn’t stop to be greaser every day, as Karen says kind of waxy and no shine at all. After that I was three months more using baking soda and vinager but it keeps still waxy 😦 I was so disappointed. Why my hair don’t become balanced as the other people who are no using shampoo?¿?
Now I’m using a vegan shampoo (Korres) and my own hair gel natural recipe (I need hair gel!!!)
I’m thinking it’s very important the level of lime in the water too… actually high in my village.
Just wanted to share my experience. I want tot try again, but I thing I’m going to cut my hair before.
(So sorry, my english, learned just reading blogs and google traductor :PPPP)
Lots of comments I don’t feel like reading, but just incase no one else has mentioned this, the vinegar rinse acts to close the shafts of your hair and helps to make it smooth and soft. I find that without it my hair feels gritty – no matter how long I rinse it for. Also, red wine vinegar makes my hair softer than apple cider vinegar does.
Almost forgot. My hair gets greasy if I don’t wash it, while my scalp gets dry and flaky. After comiting the time for my body to get used to no shampoo (takes about a month), I no longer have dandruff and I can wash my hair once (maybe twice) a week without it getting greasy. For those trying it out, I stress the importance of using the vinegar rinse to make your hair soft.
Food for thought – my other body experiment is to use no soap (like in the Paleo diet) to wash my body. Just a scrub brush and water. (Except on my hands which I wash with soap after the bathroom, before handling food, etc.) My skin is super soft, only my hands get dry (the only part I use soap on), and I get practically no pimples. It takes a month of full commitment before you see any benefit, and I mean full commitment – no cheating. Your skin will freak out over this month – getting worse before it gets better, but it is worth it in the end. I was fully sold when I spent 5 days camping, no showers, and I wasn’t itchy, dry, or greasy by then end. I looked considerably good – the same can’t be said for my soap using friends.
Do you have a similar DIY recipe for face wash and moisturizer?
I have been ‘no-poo’ for two weeks now. I have used the baking soda acv combo 4 times so far. I have found that my hair is incredably clean after washings, but my wavy/curly hair is still rather dry and frizzy, but improved. It is not at all dirty except for day four or five without washing. My transition period only lasted a week if that. I do water only rinses in between so that i can redefine my curls after brushing. So far I am seeing improvement in my hair. I hope if i stick with it, my dry hair will improve even more.
I put jojoba oil in my hair and I have wavy hair….you might like it. I do.
My question is does the stylist use lighter or color on your hair because lighter won’t fade color will.
I started the baking soda routine about five days ago. As of now, my hair is in a hard to describe phase. It is both oily and dry, if that makes sense. The roots are very oily, the ends very dry. I have been doing the baking soda routine daily, just because of the excess oil (no way could I go two days with this..). I have also been using the diluted vinegar because my hair is fairly long and thick. I am still experiencing that my hair is very tangly and even falling out in the shower. I am really inspired to keep up with this, but I must admit that I am getting very discouraged by the current state of my hair. Any tips, suggestions, or encouragement??
Okay. I know how you feel! Don’t give up. My hair got better after almost a month. I know. It is sad. I did find something that made it easier for me to transition into it. my hair was super dry and I had dandruff and there was no shine to my hair. I wanted to cry. So I looked online and I ended up making some shampoo with liquid castile soap. I found some recipes online. it helped with the dryness almost immediately. It made my hair feel like it had a film or something over it…but I thought it was better than so dry. I kept my hair up a lot. 😦 (maybe cute hats might help too) I did the castile soap for a little while but found that the film stayed on my hair. I knew it was clean but still their was a brown residue of sorts on my brushes which I can’t say I was fond of. The weird thing is I am still using the castile soap mixture on my daughters and their hair looks fine….I don’t understand. I suspect that I just haven’t found the right combination for my hair but I am not sure. After using the castile soap shampoo for a few weeks I did the baking soda/vinegar thing again and my hair feels clean is shiny and I am satisfied….no more feeling depressed over my hair…haha
I do still have some dandruff which I am trying to scrub away. it seems to be working. I have been washing it only with water in between washes though. I am not sure if this is a good or bad idea but I feel like my hair seems greasy at the roots which may just have to do with maybe using too much vinegar in the vinegar rinse. I am not sure. I am still learning. I hope this helps you. I felt hopeless a few weeks ago when I first posted. Good luck and don’t give up!
Try conditioner-only rinses in between for dry hair. It works a treat. You can also put a little coconut oil on your hair shaft an hour before baking soda washes to seal in moisture. You should see some good results.
I am completely addicted to washing my hair every day because it is so fine that it will look greasy in no time at all! But I think I am going to go shampoo-less this Christmas holiday while I have a week off from work! It will be a perfect time to get through the rough patch and start the year with a new hair-a-tude (hey, I like that)!
Stefanie, my hair is super fine too, and I’ve always washed every day. Even if I washed it at night and slept on it, it would be greasy by the time I woke up. Someone else told me that it would take some time to adjust, so I thought I would give it a shot. I am SOOO thrilled with the results, but it does take a while for your hair to adjust. I think it was 3-4 weeks for me, but completely worth it! I just used a lot of dry shampoo and wore my hair up on the rough days. I’m fully adjusted to 2 days between washings – now my hair feels just the same the second day after washing as it does on the first. I do think a full blow-out and style on the first day helps. I just started to train my hair to go 3 days between (and started the baking soda/vinegar rinse at the same time). I never, ever thought I would be able to do it. Believe me, if my hair can, yours can too!
I am a hairdresser……and I am going to try the no poo method. I find this fascinating!
I color my own hair (red) at home. When washing out the color treatment, is it safe to use the baking soda/water solution or do I need to shampoo it out?
I never wash out my hair colour, only rinse. I don’t think the wash after colour is recommended.
I’ve combated dry/flaky skin at the hairline for the bigger part of my life (two decades at least), I’ve always had an itchy scalp within a day, maddeningly so in two or three days, I’ve tried dozens of commercial products, have been prescribed medical products, used oils, creams, all kinds of stuff to try and combat it to no avail.
This site made me curious and I gave it a shot, with nothing to lose I thought why the hell not. I have till now only done it four (!!) times and the last time I have been able to last six days with minimal flaking after five days! And NO itch! Four times! Less than a month to achieve this result! My entire scalp feels calm, the skin on my forehead feels calm and soft, compared to sensitive and rough.
The effect was noticeable after the second wash!
This stuff, so very simple, is a miracle! And it costs nothing compared to some of the expensive CRAP I’ve tried.
p.s. So far only tried backing soda, going to try the baking soda/vinegar combo the next time. My wife used both from the start. She too is pleased with it, she feels it’s more voluminous than with the (expensive) salon brand products she used (and it looks that way to be honest, in a try less, only three times so far, I am amazed).
p.p.s. We both have long hair, well past our shoulders.
Not only was this full of information, it was quirky, very well written and personal. You are a great writer, and oh yeah keep spreading the word… Baking soda is here to stay!
I’ve just been reading about this lately and wondering about it. My issue is that I have psoriasis on my scalp and if I don’t religiously shower at least every other day and scrub my scalp with shampoo, it itches like crazy. Even going every other day, my head itches a bunch at the end of the second day. Do you think “no-poo” would be better for it or worse?
Loni, I can offer only this….. My daughter also has psoriasis on her scalp. She’s bi-racial and her natural hair is very curly. When she was younger, she straightened her hair. Those chemicals made her condition much worse but she insisted so we treated her psoriasis with medicine. I finally convinced her to stop straightening her hair. But even after that her psoriasis continued. I read up on how to get naturally curly hair to look its best and discovered that many people suggested not shampooing. So we started her on a routine of no shampoo, just rinsing then conditioning and combing in the shower. Guess what? Her psoriasis disappeared. She still gets small spots here and there but they are so minor we don’t even treat them at all. And her hair is beautiful, she gets complimented on it constantly. I am on this blog because I think I may stop shampooing, there seems to be something to it.
Love the blog, I was super excited to try this when I came across it! I’ve been using baking soda every few days for about 3 1/2 weeks now and for a while I was liking it, but one problem is becoming very frustrating. I only use 1tbsp of baking soda to 2cups of water (my hair sits just above my shoulders) but I can’t seem to rinse out the baking soda well enough. I have tiny little white specs all over my roots that look just like baking soda before it’s dissolved. It’s hard to believe that I’m using too much, since I’m using less than most recommend… I’ve done the vinegar rinse twice, nothing has helped. Does anyone have a trick to really rinse out the baking soda? Thanks!
Definitely boil hard water for a few minutes before adding the baking soda, and use it that way. I’ll never go back! A light vinegar rinse (1 or 2 T. in a qt. of warm water) is enough for my little girls and me, and my daughter’s long hair combs through beautifully afterwards,better than traditional conditioner. She is six and loves it–as long as it’s warm.:)
Am I doing something wrong?? I tried this for about 4 days, and my hair was clean, but a tangled, crunchy mess. My hair is long (mid-back length), and we have hard water… will this not work with those two scenarios? I really would love to be shampoo-free, but not with a crunchy rat’s nest… lol any suggestions? I dissolved 1-2 tablespoons baking soda in hot water (1 cup) and then poured on my wet hair in the shower and massaged it into my scalp/roots, then rinsed. No conditioner. I did this every night for 3-4 days. Did I do something wrong? THanks!! 🙂
Hi Megan, I have the same length hair and hard water too. I think your problem is too much baking soda. Try 1T. baking soda in 1.5c water Then rinse with apple cider vinegar. You can use it straight or 50/50 with water. Good luck!
Thanks! I’ll try that!
I too started no poo method of hair care regimen….And i am too excited…My hair is completely healthy and strong and looks no natural and manageable….I agree with you …..
So I’ve been trying the no poo method and my hair is great but my scalp itches and has so much dandruff😖. What am I doing wrong? Any ideas?
It has now been almost 2 months without shampoo. I believe that i have perfected my regimine. First, I needed a good haircut. Nothing i did would have ever cured the damaged hair i already had, other than cutting it off. Next, I use about 2 Tsp baking soda in 1.5 cups water. I pour this mixture onto dry, brushed hair. I massage into scalp and let sit for a few minutes prior to rinsing. I think that applying to dry hair rather than wet, leaves my hair cleaner. I am not sure about the science behind this. I do not use ACV. I did not like the smell and i do not notice any benefit when i used it. I go about 4-5 days inbetween washings. My hair has never looked better. I usually do one water only rinse between washings. This calms down any frizzes and makes my hair wavier.
This is my first day trying no-poo and as far so fabulous! hehe! My husband has dandruff and I am planning on making another batch with tea tree oil and then yet another one with some home-distilled rose water. I have recently been washing my hair every day so I was worried that my hair would just look oily after my shower, all over again, but so my surprise it doesn’t. I was using an old shampoo bottle so I don’t know if there was any shampoo left over or not, I didn’t clean it out. But in the past I have stretched my limits with how long I can go without a shampoo, just using powder, light baby powder, or even powdered make-up was suggested to me if you are scared to put white in your hair. Today, just because my hair is long and I have been battling it lately I not only used color-safe conditioner (oddly enough I have not colored my hair in 17 months but that what I have!) but then I used a shining balm afterwards. I can’t wait to keep you posted on how this experiment and many more to come are going 🙂
Soo, it’s been two months and I forgot to even reply because the shampoo has been working lovely and not causing any stir! I do wash my hair every other day but I have very fine, oily hair. I just use some baby powder on my roots and rub it in. I put a couple of drops of tea tree oil in it but other then that I just scoop it and dump it on my head!! I even notice more volume now. My husband had to stop using it I think because the tea tree oil was irritating his scalp, he has eczema and had to start using something with zinc in it. Thank you again for this tip 🙂
I have red hair — Not the brightest, but it’s definitely red rather than orange. Which means it fades super-duper-extra quick with conventional shampoo. I do not have a problem with UV damage, etc because, well… I don’t go outside as often as I should, I am so prone to sunburn it’s not even funny, and I’m stuck in FL. Woe is me.
Anyway, what I was really getting at was, would baking soda make my hair fade anyway? How often should I use it? I don’t have too greasy hair naturally.. Day 3 of no-pooing so far, without even using the baking soda yet, and you can’t see the grease at all. Colour-safe shampoo/conditioner also seem to make no more difference than the regular types. I even went so far as to use “organic” shampoos.
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You are beautiful!
I love your blog and all of the awesome comments. I tried to live poo-free and I fear I have failed. 😦 I hope it ok that I linked your informative and inspiring post to my recent blog post.
Your newest follower,
Just found this blog today and love it! I can’t believe the number of comments on this one article. After reading I had my first poo-free shampoo(baking soda and water), and am going to get my husband on it too. We are trying ways to live healthier and with less chemicles, plus cut back on what goes into the enviroment. I even washed my face with it and then used my normal straight Olive Oil for a mosterizer(on my face). I did use a leave in conditioner in my hair because it is curly and if I don’t(for now), I would have major frizz. I’ll let you know in a few weeks how it is going. Thanks so much!
I have been shampoo free for three weeks now. I have long, fine, straight hair that even when washed in the morning, would get greasy and lifeless by the end of the day. As the years went by, I saw the front of my hair get thinner and thinner. I tried everything.
After reading about Baking soda on line, I decided to give it a try.
The first week, my hair felt weird. It was clean and didn’t start to get oily feeling for two days. But the hair texture was just odd.
Then I read that baking soda opens the hair shaft (because of alkaline I think) and that you need vinegar to close and smooth the shaft. What a difference!
1. a bowl of baking soda (about 3/4 cup)
2. an old shampoo bottle with 1/2 cup of vinegar (I use apple cider vinegar)
Take both into the shower with you.
Dip wet fingers into the dry powder and use it as a facial scrub. The oiliest part of my hair was the front, so I gently scrub that area as well.
Then I fill the bowl with water and mix with my finger to make a runny paste. I pour this onto my head and all down my hair, just like shampoo, messaging gently.
Rinse the baking soda out of your hair and off of your face with warm water.
Then fill the bottle with vinegar about 1/2 full. Shake it around and pour all over your hair, paying special attention to areas of your scalp where you scrubbed with baking soda.
Then rinse well with warm water.
Your hair will feel a bit different then when you were adding all that conditioner, but my hair has more volume, is brighter, stronger, easier to brush, and I can now go two days before it needs washed.
I won’t ever go back to shampoo again. My combination skin is uniformly “normal” now and my scalp looks “fresh.” I have read that ending the oil production cycle will help hair to regrow as well, so hopefully my thinning top wont be thinning any longer.
I just saw this blog, and I just started no poo method. Wish me good luck. My hair is very dry from the tips but greasy on the scalp. Lets see how it goes. My challange will be into getting my daughter into trying this at least once. Once I have her hooked the rest of the family will be easy to handle..
I was just wondering if you knew how to make homemade soap. There seems to be a lot of chemicals in the commercial ones.
You look very pretty! Love your hair!! Will definitely try to transition to the no-poo shampoo, just need to book a vacation from work… Thank you for sharing all the great all natural lotion making experience!
I have a quick question. Does conditioner have the same harmful chemicals? I would love to go poo-free, but I have such brittle hair that I think I would still need some conditioner. I love hopping into the shower and just conditioning, but I only do that if I know I’m not going anywhere that day.
I have already made my bottles of baking soda and apple cider vinegar. I am just having some trouble with the beginning of this process. Do i stop shampooing all together for the “transition period?” (without water rinsing or anything) The next time i plan on shampooing do i use the bottle stuff instead?
Shay, yes, stop using the shampoo all together. Good luck!
Hi-If I wanted to wash my hair every day with baking soda, would there be any draw backs?
I think it would be much to drying for your hair. When I first started using the baking soda, I washed every 2nd day and my hair started to get dry pretty quickly. It is much better for me, to only use baking soda solution twice a week. I have also found that 1/2 tbsp baking soda, to 1 cup water, works the best so far.
I use this method on my daughters hair. It’s a common thing for African American hair and taking a natural approach. Because their hair is so brittle and dry I actually mix 1 TBL baking soda to 3 TBL conditioner and mix that into a paste to scrub their scalp/hair with. Rinse and follow with the ACV 1 TBL to 1 C water. I also add a couple of drops of lemon grass oil to help freshen the smell of vinegar. The vinegar helps restore the hair to a balanced Ph level. I’ve often wonder if I could get away with this too, I’m a grease ball if I don’t wash my hair everyday and use conditioner on the ends. You’ve inspired me! thanks.
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On day 4. I think I have combo skin because I have greasy hair but my scalp itches (no visible dandriff). No shampoo has helped with the itchy scalp, surprisingly my hair is not becoming greasy during this transition. It does have a weird texture when it’s wet. After it drys it feels good (silky) all along my hairline but in the middle it retains the weird texture; probably not getting that area washed well enough. I will probably wash my hair with regular shampoo once a week as I adjust to the no suds.
Ok, I hope someone here might be able to help me. I tried the baking soda rinse (1 TBL to 1 cup water) I LOVED how my hair looked HOWEVER after 1 week my hair started to break off in clumps. So I have a difficult time beliveing that it doesn’t strip your hair of oils. After 2 weeks of being off of the baking soda rinse I am STILL trying to get my hair nourished back to health. It’s still breaking off, not as much though. And yes, I was also doing the vinegar rinse with it. I am trying my best to find an all natural shampoo I can make myself but haven’t liked any I have tried and all of them leave my hair with me unable to run a comb through at the end. i tried a recipe I saw on Pinterest, coconut milk, castille soap, coconut oil…the mix leaves my hair “coated” Can someone help me restore my hairs health and also possibly find a recipe that works?
Hello, AF, I have a question for you. When you first started using the baking soda rinse did you use it every day? If you use it too often it really dries your hair. I use it twice a week, maximum. Also, I have found a good brush, boar bristle brush, to be invaluable when using the baking soda routine. Lately, I have been using 1/2 tbsp baking soda in 1 cup water, and find that works well for me. I have been unable to use any vinegar as it just makes my hair greasy. Good luck!
I’ll wait to try this as I do have very long hair…I’m wondering about maybe trying with my kids though…would definitely help with the fear of soap getting in their eyes!! I use baking soda with hydrogen peroxide for my toothpaste too…knocking out those products one by one!!
I’m a week into the no-poo method and things are a little shaky for me. The front and roots of my hair look great, but the back feels waxy. Like I put some style product in it and didn’t wash it out. Also, my boyfriend made the comment last night that my hair smelled weird and he asked me to go put some perfume in it. Any suggestions of what I can try? I’ve ordered some Essential oils, but they won’t be here for a while. Anything I can do in the mean time to combat the supposed odor and waxy-ness?
I read your comment and your hair smelling weird. Did you ever figure out how to combat that? I’ve been not using shampoo for 8 months now and I love it. No more conditioner either. I just use baking soda and water to wash it off (that I let sit in a large bottle for a few weeks before I use it). Please let me know what’s working for you! Thanks so much!
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Hi! many compliments for you blog, is fantastic, after I read this articol I tried washing my hear with baking soda, the result was fantastic and afterwards I can also scrub! Right from the first application the result is perfect, i’m telling all my Eco-friendly friends!
Changing seasons and weather tends to affect the condition of our scalp. scalp becomes dry, scaly, and itchy. The most influential effect on climate change is dandruff, and of course also affects the quality of your hair. The following are 10 faqs about dandruff that will be described by Dr.Deepali Bhadwarj a consultant dermatologist at Rockland Hospital.
10 Faqs about Dandruff
I just recently heard about this and my husband and I are so interested. I am really concerned though. Last year I tried all natural shampoos and my hair broke so bad. I have really fine hair that is also long. Does anyone have any recommendations?
Thank you everyone,
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I’ve looked into the baking soda “shampoo” alot lately. I’ve read where it says you need to use apple cider vinegar as a conditioning rinse afterwards. Baking soda changes the ph of your hair and the vinegar restores it. That might be why some are drying out. I’m a brunette and after using this combo my hair was super shining, conditioned, and healthy looking. I HATE the easter egg smell in the shower but once or twice a week I put up with it. I end up using diluted cheap conditioner as a detangler spray but may try the coconut oil now that I’ve read this. Love the blog!
Holly, you might try adding essential oils to your vinegar rinse to help mask the smell — I use a mixture of lavender and peppermint (the peppermint is highly effective…)
Hi!, I LOVE YOUR BLOG, I am only 13 but I learned so much on your blog. I started to search up how to make home-made hand lotion, my friends mothers makes it and I wanted to hive it a shot, I make my own lip-gloss and such, but nothing big. but I think I read EVERYTHING on your blog today, this is amazing. I am going to buy a bunch of things and make alot of jam, and lotion, and alot of things this summer, and I said I was BORED. 🙂
i have big curly red hair, and use a low poo, shampoo with ou sulfates and the other chemicals. i get away with washing my hair only twice a week on average. so i thought about doing the whole no poo thing, but it still does/can damage the hair as well. the hair has a natural ph of about 5.0, bi carb soder has a ph of 8 or 9 and vinegar, ( which you have to do after the bi carb, ) has a ph of 2 or 3. most products use alkalia which throws the ph of the hair right off. same ppls hair can of cause handle this, same women has been doing this for their whole lifes of cause! but personally i would never do. i do a venigar rinse once a week which helps, but i would never use anything alkalia in my hair.
I want to start doing this, but my one concern is when I get my hair highlighted, they wash it – what do you do when you get your hair highlighted?
I’ve been using baking soda for several months now, at least 4 months. I lost count. I didn’t have a greasy transition that I remember, but even using shampoo I could go 3-4 days without washing my hair. I quickly learned I was using too much baking soda too often. It will dry your hair out. I’ve gotten to where I use minimal baking soda maybe twice week, but usually once a week. I splash a little baking soda in an 8oz bottle and fill with water and then usually only use half the solution in the shower. Sometimes I forget to fill it and get in the shower and instead of stopping my shower to prepare the solution I just rinse and scrub my hair as if I was using a solution or shampoo and it works out fine, so I’m actually trying to wean myself off the baking soda. But we’ll see. The only problem I still have is dandruff. I tried some tea tree oil but it made my hair really greasy (I may have used a not so good brand?) so I had to wash it out. Got frustrated and gave up pretty quick, I guess I’m complacent with my flakes for now. But if anyone has tried anything with positive results I could psych myself up for another battle.
have you tried a vinegar rinse? you should always follow the baking soda with vinegar anyway, that might be y you have the dandruff. i use 2 cups water and a splash of vinegar, i dont measure it out, and i dont use alot of it. then message it in your scalp. dont worry about the smell itll go away as your hair drys. when i do the rinse i add lots of herbs to it, which helps with my hair growth and shine, and moisture.
I have tried the vinegar rinse. I used to steep chamomile in some water and mix with equal portions of apple cider vinegar and spray my hair after showers. This was a couple years ago when I was still shampooing, and I don’t quite remember my dandruff status back then. I tried the vinegar again a couple months ago and it although the smell did go away, when I got hot and sweaty I could smell it then. But I will try it again! Maybe mix with some lavender which of course smells delightful but is also antibacterial and antifungal. Thanks for your reply!
Ooh! Do tell! What herbs do you use??!!
Caitlin: thats a good idea with the oil, try using rosemary oil, it is amazing for dandruff. mix it with the lavender.
Jenny: i mix my herbs depending on the season, n what i can get. right now im useing: stinging nettle, Marshmallow root, sage and green tea. i just put boil water and seep the herbs as if im making tea, wait for it to cool then i strain the herbs, squeeze them to get the good stuff out and add a splash of vinegar.
Oh boy, I have tried this method so many times. My hair went from feeling like straw to feeling weighed down. I tried just B/S and Baking soda and ACV. Those methods just don’t work for me. I tried using just conditioner and my hair felt better when I used nothing. I have bangs and they look horrible, no shine kind of glumpy, I had to wear my hair in a pony tail. I can’ go without bang and that is right in front of my face. I have tried lemon water rinse, honey rinse, just ACV with water rinse, Just baking soda rinse. Nothing is working. I do not want to go back to shampoo but my bangs are looking pretty bad. When I blow dry my hair and certain way then leave it. It changes shape however it lays on shoulders. I have go through this for around 2-3 months. Anymore suggestions?
Thanks a bunch
Yoli, try boiling a big batch of water for 10 mins first, then turning off heat and adding baking soda in proper ratio (1T:8ozs). Let it cool and store in an old milk jug. Pour 6-8ozs of mix in a cup and nuke 30 sec to warm before shower. Skip vinegar and do lemon juice and distilled water in a spray bottle to condition; finish with cold water rinse. Sounds like you have hard water — me, too! This helps a TON.
I never knew about this method wish i did though… in the early
1970’s i got really tired of my shampoo dependancy ,,, I was getting better hair days with dry shampoo and getting up at 5am to do my hair was as big a job as finding the right outfit. i decided to start washing my hair once a week just as i did as a child with a vinegar rinse. I toughed out the first week still going to work knowing i was leaving on a 2 week vacation and the entire time i did not wash my hair. Man was it greasy it looked gross. But over the course of three weeks it really dried out and from that time on I washed my hair every two weeks. And yes it is liberating breaking the dependancy.
A few years ago i was in recovery and the nurse was washing my hair everday it went right back to greasy. I am 61 now and so it was easy to dry out ……so must try this.
I also can reveal another closet hair story in 1978 i had permed hair that held through during my pregnancy. After the delivery i wouldn’t wash my hair … no tangible reason. When I finally washed it the perm was gone. I read later that many women worldwide do not wash their hair for a time after delivery with actual reasons… so knowing that it became a rule of thumb for the siblings.
Have fun being great … making freedom.
Hi, your this post is amazing but is baking soda safe if it gets into your eyes? Thanks and more power!
you would assume that baking soda in your eyes is better than shampoo chemicals in your eyes? you can eat baking soda.
This is how I am going sham-free with great success.
1. Make liquid soap useing a basic coconut, olive, jojoba oil mix. (or buy, but be very certain it is soap and not the detergent that masquarades as soap these days, Castille soap would be a good bet).
2. Optionally add panthenol (aka vitamin B) and essential oils to improve conditioning. (Available at the same place that sells soap making stuff)
3. Be aware that the basic properties of soap the cleanse also make the cuticle on your hair stand up, therefore following with a vinegar rinse is essential.
4. I noticed improvement in shine and ungreasyness immediately and didn’t have to go through a ponytail week at all, but I still follow the vinegar with light conditioning. I also use cornstarch as a dry shampoo if I want to stretch even longer between washes. Cornstarch, rice starch, and arrowroot powder are all natural ingredients that company’s package with butane in aerosol containers to make dry shampoo.
I first came axross this when I was looking for how to make lotion. My reaction was: DISGUISTING how can u live without shampoo?
I thought about it for a few weeks though, and realised that the more I shampoo the greasier my hair does get. Then I tried it maybe a week and a half ago and I like it. My hair is softer and less frizzy than ever. Some people say their hair went from strait to wavy but my hair seems to have got straiter.
Also, you said your hair got darker, here’s what I do to keep it from getting dark. My hair is naturally light, I don’t know if you would call it blond or very light brown, and it seem to work,
Make the apple cider vinegar rinse, exept put 1tbs vinegar in a cup chamomile instead of plain water. Just make the chamomile extra strong. And let the acv rinse sit on your head/hair for a few minutes. I also pour some chamomile with no vinegar after that, and then rinse it off after a few minutes with cold water but not too much water so that it doesn’t get all the way rinsed out. But you don’t have to do that, the chamomile/acv rinse is enough.
Also there is no way I would wash my hair with only water, that would leave oil on it and make it dark. I don’t see how some people can do it.
I have a question. Will washing my hair with baking soda every day ruin it? I get all hot and sweaty and dusty at school, so I have to shower every day. Will that dry out my hair? And if it will, how can I clean my hair every day?
Never mind what I said, I give up!
My hair was all soft and thicker and not frizzy, the annoying breakout on my back was 99% gone, the annoying redness and bumps and dryness all over my arms was almost gone too.The camomile helps hair stay light in color and doesn’t dry it out like lemon, and my hair went from grease-ball to almost normal. And just when I bought 3lb of baking soda, everything went wrong. I decided I can’t do it anymore.
Why? Well, my head was smelling funny for the first time, my little sister said it smelled like cheddar cheese. Also you can smell the vinegar if you get sweaty. And Then I decided to mix some lavender and tea tree oils with the baking soda, and then I mixed it with the vinegar, but neither worked. My hair got all stringy and dark and sticky and stuck together. And my scalp got red and even though I’m back to shampoo, the redness on my scalp won’t go away! And the funny smell, although it got less, isn’t gone either. I wish I could live without shampoo that ruins my hair, but I guess this just isn’t for me.
Should probably mention for ladies dying your hair dark- Baking Soda is a known way to get the color to fade if it’s too dark. I know I’ve done it myself when I decided to switch up my hair color from dark brown to auburn (I’m actually naturally blonde). So if you are purposely going dark be warned that it will definitely fade the color.
i wonder if you could just add a drop or two of doTERRA’s essential oils? like lavender or peppermint or rosemary or thyme, the usual shampoo recipes when you make them yourself?
i would love to try this and add some lavender!!! thanks!
I wouldn’t use any essential oils. They turned my scalp red. At first I thought maybe I just used too much. But then a few weeks ago I tried it again, adding 3 drops of lavender oil into the cup of baking soda water, and my scalp turned red AGAIN! And my hair got sooo dried out, even though I tried it before and it didn’t. My hair seems to be ruined for good from this experiment. I cut my hair last week, and I already have split ends, even though I didn’t do any damaging things like blow drying it. This never happened before! And the cheese smell won’t go away either! I’ll never give up my shampoo again!
well your scalp must be extremly sensitive. Yes Essential oils are strong, and not everyone can use them, (as you found out the hard way) but when they can be used they do give amazing results.
ive made an oil mixture to help my hair growth. my mixture:
half argan oil, half evening primrose oil, i then add: rosemary and peppermints oil and Vitimen E oil. of cause these are all oils and i message it in my scalp, i have curly hair, and my curls love this, but again, its not for everyone.
I think you should go and put a few drops in with your shampoo. You might get amazing results! ooh and lavender oil has a number of benifits for you hair. 😀
have you tried using doTERRA’s essential oils. i have started using doTERRA’s oils since easter of this year, and they don’t even compare to any other brand available, literally! The company goes through extremely great lengths to make their oils more pure than anything else you can buy.
In addition to being 100% pure and natural, dōTERRA’s Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils are subjected to further quality testing that ensures the correct composition of the active natural compounds found in each oil. Even though an essential oil may be 100% pure, if the right species or part of a plant has not been used, or if the plant has not been grown in the right environment or harvested at the right time, or if it has not been distilled under the right conditions, the natural chemical makeup of the extraction will not provide as predictable and powerful a benefit. In some cases, the wrong plant harvested at the wrong time may result in an extract that contains harmful levels of some constituents.
dōTERRA’s Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade® essential oils are guaranteed to be 100% pure and natural and free of synthetic compounds or contaminates. They are subjected to rigorous mass spectrometry and gas chromatography testing to ensure extract composition and activity. dōTERRA’s 100% pure essential oils represent the safest and most beneficial essential oils available today.
When i was using other oils they would clog any spray bottle that i would put them in, like for making cleaners or sprays. i was going through so many bottles it wasn’t worth it anymore. but i found that if your oil when you touch it is even the slightest bit greasy it’s not pure at all, even young livings oils are WAY greasy!! doTERRA’s oils are very dry and absorb in immediately and are into your bloodstream in 30 seconds! dr. hill used to be on young living’s team, but when they started compromising their oils he left and started his own company (doterra) and made his oils SUPERIOR to anything else. their oils are even the only ones that you can ingest! i am off $200 a month in medications by using their oils for “medicine”, and my husband has gotten off dangerous diabetes medication that he used to have his liver checked every three months because it can destroy it!
you can learn more about doTERRA’s company and oils through http://www.mydoterra.com/RanaPlocher their oils are amazing and i would never touch another brand of oils!!!! if you would like to try some or want to know how to get them let me know 🙂
also, about the lavender, we don’t know why, but normally you think lavender for exzema, but some people are sensitive to the lavender on their skin even though it’s a mild oil. so for something you use lavender on your skin for it’s best if you’re sensitive to take it internally and you get the results.
How can you take lavender oil internally? Or are you meaning to drink lavender tea or something like that? Does that help sensitive skin?
You just put the lavender essential oil in an empty gelatin pill capsule. 🙂 that’s all. but you are probably just plain sensitive to the brand of lavender essential that you are using. I didn’t learn until easter how bad most oils are for your skin and body, and how they get the oils from the plants-the kinds that you get from the stores. Most of the companies are just out for money. If you put your oil on your fingertips, is it oily even in the slightest? the oil should be so dry as if you can’t even feel it on your skin if it’s truly pure. to be called theraputic grade, they only need ONE DROP IN AN ENTIRE BATCH of truly pure oils to be called. that! most oils have warnings that they CAN NOT be ingested and can NOT be put on your skin. doTERRA’s oils are the purest you can get, as pure as in ancient egyptian times when they used the essential oils for medicine and healing. oils have such AMAZING powerful healing properties if they are pure. even the pure oils in the stores are not harvested in the right region, climate, or time and can cause rashes on your skin and harm your body. You can only safely ingest essential oils that are CERTIFIED PURE THERAPEUTIC GRADE. if you compare a bottle of DOTERRA’s oils to like the popular “Now” brand that’s “100% pure” the smells aren’t even close for things like lavender, lemon… they are weak oils and not as concentrated. doTERRA gets their frankinsense from OMAN, their lavender from either france or italy i forget, etc. where these oils give the most healing properties! and like a bottle of lemon, orange, or lime is only $10! There are three doctors who own the company, great doctors world renowned the main one being dr. david hill. he started the company to give us an oils pure because all the ones on the market today compromise their oils and he went above and beyone that for sure!!
Actually now that you mention it, my lavender oil is a bit slippery. Nothing like oil though. I don’t about it being the brand, I think my skin is just too extra sensitive. A few weeks ago I rubbed some wheatgerm oil all over my arms and they broke out. Almond oil and olive oil did the same thing 😦 And I tried putting avocado oil in my hair to moisturize it, but that made it really dry and weird. Even warm water dries out my skin, especially my arms, and turns them red and itchy. And I can’t stand cold showers :s
If your lavender oil is slippery, i would definitely stay away from it. that means it has fillers in it and is not pure, or if it says that it is 100% pure it’s either not or they did not harvest the oils correctly and it won’t be good to put on your skin. I teach a lot of classes and events like making your own products like spa, face washes, face llotions, and hand and body creams, and cleaners with natural products and doTERRA essential oils. And i have come across many people with such sensitice skin that everything makes them break out in rashes or dry cracked skin, which leads to more skin sensitivity. Have you ever tried jojoba oil as a carrier oil? It’s the closest oil that you can buy to your skins natural oils, or there’s fractionated coconut oil. People i have came across with skin sensitivity as badly as yours said that using fractionated coconut oil never bothered them, and they will mix it with other doterra oils. one lady said that there wasn’t a single of doterra’s oils that she had a bad reaction to, but one man said that a few of the oils bothered him, but the rest really helped. Everyone is different. The essential oils have changed my life. I was getting respiratory problems so badly, and i blame it on all the things that were in our house that i used to buy from the store, like cleaners and candles and air freshners… They have been linked to respiratory problems and tumors in people and pets, like when the particles are in the air and you breathe them, or you mop the floor and your dog walks on it and then later licks his paws. So sad! Or babies crawling on the floors 😦 Since i have been doing the oils i am off the steroid inhalers, they were soooo expensive!! and i don’t even use the oils any more to help me breathe! And i make my own cleaners with just water and a few drops of oils and hand creams, eveyrone who tries that asks me to make them some and sell it to them, the lady who’s blog we are writing on, i love her hand cream lotion with no water and beeswax, you can do that with fractionated coconut oil that you can try, a lot of people with your problem said that it didn’t bother them. that doesn’t mean that their oils will work for you or the coconut oil, but may help. you don’t know till you try. but if you make your own products, they are sooooo easy to do, and a lot of the products we buy from the stores can cause breathing problems and skin sensitivities. like detergent, i make my own natural, just takes like 10 minutes for a big batch! you can do a sanitizing hand spray in a little bottle with fractionated coconut oil and doTERRA’s on guard essential oil blend that won’t dry your hands. it moisturizes them and the blend of oils boosts your immune system and kills the bad bacterial while leaving the good bacteria, unlike the alcohol kind that can make you more sick because it destroys your immune system… there are so many things i can tell you!!! The following little “recipes” for excema for use with doTERRA oils
• To sooth and heal the skin – Geranium, Frankincense, Helichrysum and Myrrh
• For infection – Melaleuca, On Guard, Oregano (hot, use with caution)
· 1 teaspoon carrier such as Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
· 20 drops Lavender
· 20 drops Geranium
· 20 drops Melaleuca
· 1 teaspoon carrier such as Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
· 10 drops Lavender
· 5 drops Helichrysum
· 5 drops Myrrh
· 3 drops Melaleuca (if there is topical infection)
I just started trying the BS and ACV method this week. I washed twice 4 days apart. So far after 2 washes I am liking it. However I notice that my ends are drier than normal. I definitely have hard water. Any suggestions?
wow, thanks for all the info. You said you make your own detergent… do you mean laundry soap? If that’s what you mean then how do you do it, coz my skin doesn’t like any laundry soap I can find at the stores. I’d really appreciate any alternatives to laundry soap.
And is fractionated coconut oil the same thing as virgin coconut oil? I have a small jar of virgin coconut oil just sitting there- I’d love to use it somehow.
The lavender oil says 100% pure, doesn’t say anything about therapeutic though. The brand is aromappeal – is that a good brand?
Oh and I can’t wait to get some essential oils and try your recipes!
Hi! I have never heard of that brand. i only use doTERRA’s brand. your brand doesn’t sound very good since it’s slimy. Lavender, or ANY oil for that matter should feel so dry on your fingertips you don’t know it’s there. I like doterra because they are so open about how they get the oils, you can find out where they extract each oil, what country, and why they got it from the country they did. there are a LOT of scientific studies out on how their oils work and why they work so well, like weight loss and cancer, diabetes, etc. but i am not claiming that they can cure those things, although i have seen with my own eyes with people that i know i have seen those things happen! so amazing! You can get the oils under someone who is already buying from the company. if you want you can buy some oils to try http://www.mydoterra.com/RanaPlocher and they ship right to your house within a couple days! But they have a special this month that if you enroll in the company you save 25% on all their products. it’s just $35 to enroll like a costco membership, you pay one year, then $25 each year after, but they give you a $20 bottle of peppermint oil so it’s only $5 each year after. and if you do the thing where you enroll for $35, if you buy a kit, which has bottles of everything discounted, they waive the $35 fee and give you $50 worth of credits to buy anything you want! the kit to enroll has
1. frankinsense, the “king of all oils”, “the master healer”, names as it is known, doterra gets their frankinsense from oman where it has the greatest healing benefits, i am not claiming to cure cancer, but i know a lady who got rid of her cancer with it!!!! amazing!
2. lavender, i use on my little girl for diaper rash works great! can also use like melaleuca for cuts or scrapes. i got rid of an infected cut with melaleuca! they work great! I put this oil on the bottom of my little kids’ feet before bed and they calm right down and sleep through the night! our most used oil!!!
3. lemon, great in your water, detoxes your body and removes petrochemicals from the air, things like chemicals that get in your body from cleaners, lotions, soaps, works instantly. if you blow up a baloon and drop one drop of doterra lemon on it it will explode the balloon the second it touches it! it’s a fun demo i do at booths and classes, the kids love it!
4. peppermint, helps you in weight loss to curb your cravings for food, and enhances the flavor of what you’re eating if you drink it in your water while you’re eating so you are satisfied and eat less. in a study they did with doterra peppermint, people that drank peppermint regualerly at on average of 2800 less calories a week. my husband uses the slim n sassy weight loss blend (has peppermint in it for this reason) and he has it in the mornings and just doesn’t eat throughout the day what he needs in his caloric intake and doesn’t even want carbs or sugars! Also great taste and has lots of other health benefits!
5. on guard (the oil that boosts your immune system and keeps you from getting sick–really works from personal experience, i have kids, and they haven’t gotten sick since we started doing the oils),
6. digestzen (digestive blend, if you are gassy or have any digestive problems or nausea, even if pregnant morning sickness, stops all those problems, it like replaces peptobismol, but REALLY WORKS), 7. Melaleuca (tea tree oil, mostly externally uses like athletes foot, my brother used this on his feet and got rid of his athletes foot!, or can use for acne, any skin condition).
8. oregano (they used this in ancient times for things like the plague and they didn’t get it! it also helps prevent prostate cancer, things like that, or if you are sick you take it internally, again, only can take Certified pure therapeutic grade essential oils internally),
9. breathe (respiratory blend, this is what i was able to get off $200 a month in steroids medications with, good for asthema, or if you have a cold or sinus infection, or have a stuffy or runny nose), and
10. Deep Blue (this oil is for like sore muscles i love iit! i woke up after sleeping wrong, and usually after that it hurts for three days and i can’t turn all the way around and can only turn to one side for that long! and after i got this, the first time i had woken up after sleeping wrong i put it on and it instantly went away within three minutes!! i also use it on my dog for his arthritis, and he can walk better! he’s more comfortable.)
AREN’T THESE OILS SO FUN!! love it! Yes, your coconut oil, i would just try some on your skin and see how it works for you since you already have it. the fractionated coconut oil is more runny and solid, i don’t know the science on how they are different and which would be better, when you use a carrier oil with the essential oils, they usually do fractionated coconut oil, it’s clear and like the thickness of almond oil. they both are great oils with lots of antioxidants and healing properties themselves!
The lady whose blog we are posting on has this recipe too. for laundry detergent, i use an electric shreader like for cheese and vegetables, i figure its okay because you’re just shreading soap. you wash it with soap after you use it for food. and it’s soooo fast! i use FELS NAPTHA soap (i get it at the grocery store in the laundry section), SUPER WASHING SODA, and BORAX (all also from the laundry section at both the grocery stores in my town.) If you can’t find it at yours, you can find all those ingredients on ebay.com or amazon.com . so i just have a big container i keep refilling (a coconut oil container with a wide mouth), and shread all the soap small, and measure out one cup ratios of everything. one cup fels naptha, one cup superwashing soda, and one cup borax. it works great! i use about 1/4 cup. i love it! you can add essential oils in the mix too! just however strong you want them. and i don’t use dryer sheets, and our clotehs are never staticky and still smell good. the only reason why clothes need dryer sheets, is because people dry on high heat and leave in the dryer for too long. i just keep the temp on low heat and over time i have gotten used to the load size with the time to dry for my dryer. you can add a piece of cloth with a drop or two essential oil like lavender for kids bed sheets and pajamas to help them sleep better, or citrus bliss oil blend, or wild orange, or whatever you want! and they get the light scent of the oils. so fun!!
i could give you my number if you wanted to know more or have questions. 🙂
Cool about you getting off your $200 medicine and the lady who cured her cancer with oil! I always new there had to be ways to live without medicine.:)
I found the best thing for my sensitive dry arms: coconut oil and avocado oil. Just melt the coconut oil and mix them then put them in the fridge to harden. It actually works!
I’ll be sure to buy some doterra oils when I save up enough money 🙂
oh, they are completely worth it! If you don’t want to enroll, you can find them on ebay sometimes. If you ever shop on ebay, i am at http://myworld.ebay.com/CadhlaRain and if you let me know what you need, i can put it on my order and put it on there. i usually put my listings at the 25% off that i buy them for and add the shipping price like $2. but it’s when i have extra room on my order. you don’t have to order as little and as often as you want to or don’t want to, but i order every month because i get points back. so when i can afford it i buy extra that i don’t need and put them on ebay then i get points back in free stuff. a dollar a point. i just got $100 in free oils a couple weeks ago from saving my points, so you can let me know if you ever need anything and i will put a buy it now listing on there for you!
That’s awesome you found a “lotion” that works for you! Exciting!! it’s so frusturating when you can’t just use what everyone else uses. but it’s all the more better for your body that your body has restrictions and you get a bad reaction when you use something with bad chemicals in it. i find it a blessing that my kids and husband have sugar problems. it helps us all to be healthier when we need to be strict like that. and i get headaches from ANYTHING that’s an unnatural chemical. so i find that a blessing that it helps me not to buy bad store cleaners or bad candles, it just makes us all sicker in the long run and we learn how to be more self reliant making our own stuff 🙂
I just cut my shampoo with water at about 1:8 ratio. I still get suds, but don’t over shampoo my aging hair, which is down to the mid-thigh now. I wash about once a week. I go longer if I can. I can’t do any flipping due to the extreme length.
I have been no-poo for maybe 5-6 months now. I learned how to keep it clean when my hair was long (a bit past the shoulders). I brushed it in the shower with a stiff brush. Once or twice I would do an apple cider vinegar rinse on the middle and ends of my hair. Then I’d let my hair down to air dry. This seemed to make it easier for the oils to move down the length of my hair. If I didn’t do all of this, the top of my hair would get greasy and the bottom would get frizzy and dry.
However I recently (a few weeks ago) cut my hair quite short and now it seems to get dirty quickly, especially now that it’s summer. I have to go back to using baking soda about twice a week followed by ACV. sometimes I use my handmade soap on the top of my head. I’m considering making a shampoo bar for myself, but would rather not if I don’t have to because I would have to buy a few expensive things. Any suggestions or tips? will this go away as my scalp adjusts to my new short hair?
I will not go back to shampoo, even all natural stuff. my husband did because of pressure from his mom (lol I know). we bought expensive [$25AUD] organic shampoo. he uses a small amount once a week. his hair looks very nice the next day or two after he washes it but it gets dirty after that and looks quite greasy by the end of the week (again especially because it’s summer). It doesn’t look good, and I’m trying to convince him to get off it and use baking soda and ACV like me.
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I’m so happy I stumbled across this blog. 🙂 I read this post and tried it out immediately. I already only shampoo my hair every 3 days with stuff that doesn’t have too many products in it but I’ve also been trying to get away from using products with dyes and perfumes in them. This worked great!!! My hair was immediately fuller than it could have been using my normal shampoo. This is something I’m going to stick with. I have really long thick hair too and I didn’t have a very hard time getting the baking soda in or washing it out. I did add another 1/2 tbsp to the 1 cup of water and applied it to my scalp as if I was dying my hair so it wouldn’t just be sitting on top. Worked great! Thanks again for posting! 😀
I’ve been doing the baking soda and vinegar for about 3 to 4 weeks now. I had a really nasty week and a half where my scalp was producing a TON of oil but now it has leveled out. I’ve noticed that my hair is much fuller and my natural curl is standing out more with absolutely no product in it, where before I would have to use curling gel to even show that there was some natural curl. My husband has been using this method and we’ve been using it on out two year old daughter who has CRAZY curly hair that before was just frizzy. Haven’t used it on my boys yet though, trying to use up the old shampoo we bought for them first. I definitely will not be going back to store bought shampoo!!
.I am using the made up solution, one tablespoon to one cup of water. My water is soft, rainwater and filtered. Not only is this cleaning my hair, long and fine, it is easier to comb and feels softer. My scalp is much less itchy than it was after any shampoo I had tried.
I still brush my hair with a bristle brush, massages the scalp and distributes the natural oil, and the dry ends I took as split ends, so trimmed about 3 or 4 cm. Solved that problem.
I will be looking for some more clear henna as I have run out, for blond hair, to condition my hair, The sort that is mud and after ‘washing’ it is put on let dry (or left on under cling wrap for a few hours) and rinsed out….lasts months. This protects the hair. Camomile flowers made up into a rinse is good for fair hair too. For now, I am happy with warm water as my rinse. I am at about 4 weeks now. Every 4 days is working for me.
I have been using this method for about 6 months and I love it! I mix 1 Tbsp baking soda with 1 cup water in a shampoo bottle and just squirt it all over my head, then massage it in. After I rinse that out I rinse with diluted lemon juice. I’ve loved the way my hair has felt ever since I started this method. When I first started I expected a transition period of nasty, greasy hair, but that didn’t happen at all. I am so glad i found this post!
Hi, I have NO idea how I happened upon your blog this morning while scouting out small amber bottles to make my own cinnamon essence extract but I am ever so grateful I did!! I have sent your blog to all my girlfriends, also obsessed with making their own things- I think your blog is brilliant and already bout your book!! THANK YOU!! and I just mixed up my first batch of shampoo – but I added one feature to make it smell good- 3 drops of (Aura Cacia) Lavender Harvest essential oil. I can’t wait to try this but oddly enough didn’t have any empty bottles, as I just recycled, so I added my concoction: 3 drops lavendar oil, to 1/2 tsp baking soda and 3 ounces of water (trial size shampoo holder) – I can’t wait to try and probably won’t wait the 1 week sitting time. Thank you so much for all your sage advice. Now I am also psyched about making. Apple sauces, vanilla milk, vanilla sugar and then some!!!
I’m sorry if you have already answered this; there are so many posts I can’t get through them all! I have streaked hair so it needs to me (apparently) shampooed each time (app every 6-8 weeks). Would this undo the benefits of the no-poo recipes and approach?
I started my no poo hair care on Dec. 13, 2012. I noticed that I get the greasy, limb, tangled, helmet, sticky, darker looking hair that people talk about, when I do not use enough Baking soda. At first I thought it was the Apple Cider Vinegar but soon realized that it was the amount of Baking Soda due to the fact that I got the same nasty hair with/out the vinegar. For those who are experiencing persistent bad hair, I would definitely reccommend more baking soda. When I use less than a tablespoon of baking soda per cup, my hair turns out greasier and dirtier looking than before the wash! This takes place from roots to ends and my ends are at waist length. I still have to work with the vinegar but am currently loving a mixture of cone free conditioner (Vo5) and honey. 1 part honey, and 2 parts cond. I only apply this on the ends. I cannot believe how different my hair feels and looks. Even my sebum has changed in texture; it is lighter and thinner. My hair actually feels like hair, there is no build up whatsoever (I do not use styling products just shea butter and coconut oil lightly on the ends). Hair flows into different strands and is SO LIGHT. I am not surprised why my great grandmother and both of my grandmothers had waistlength to tailbone length thick hair… We do not need shampoos.
I became allergic to all shampoos and soap in 2011. I make my own olive oil and lavender soap, and twice each month make hair tea out of aritha (soapnuts), shikaki, bhringraj, and sometimes amla. I add potassium sorbate and tea tree oil as preservatives, xanthan and arabic gums as thickeners, citric acid to reduce the ph level. I follow up with a lavender water spray. My hair and skin are soft, healthy, clean, and smell wonderful!
i haven’t used shampoo in over a year.my hair n scalp use to be dry n my hair would get frizzy.i have natural curly hair..Over a year ago i started using wen n fell in love with it..i went from washing my hair every other day to just once a week now,but curious to try the baking soda idea
After reading this post I decided to give it a whirl! Today is day one for me and after using baking soda paste and cider vinegar my hair feels so much softer than all the pricey shampoos I’ve ever used!
I was loving this routine (1 tbl baking soda per cup of water), but my scalp started getting itchy, especially when I would lay down on the bed; the pressing of my hair on the pillow would cause me to itch in that particular area. I started to notice a little bit of dandruff which I have never had. I saw a youtube video (cannot remember the title or the creator) where she mixed her baking soda with conditioner and co washed with that. I tried it for the first time yesterday and the itchiness has decreased substantially. Combined I get a clean moisturized scalp and hair. Still got a little itchy, but nothing close to before. I know it could be the weather or not rinsing the baking soda out well, although I take a good while rinsing it out and have never gone through this in the past winters. Anyone has experienced this?
I started doing this again on beginning of March. It is just that no shampoo or conditioner makes my hair feel as fabulous as Baking soda does. This time I will be making sure to use apple cider vinegar (I was not doing this last time). It makes my greasy hair greasy so I will be using less than a tablespoon per cup. First time a washed my hair with baking soda after about a month an a half, I could not believe the softness of my hair. I am going to find ways to deal with the dry scalp (using any less baking soda does nothing for my hair so I cannot decrease the baking soda amount), but I will not leave baking soda out of my beauty regimen again! I will let you all know what helps with preventing dry scalp once I find out 🙂
Rosance, if ACV makes your hair too greasy, try distilled white vinegar. The smell is less intense, too (and plays nicely with essential oils).
I do not know if this is acceptable, but I mixed my baking soda and apple cider vinegar together the last two times I washed my hair. The first time I mixed 1 tablespoon per cup of water of baking soda. Once dissolved I added one tablespoon pers cup of water of Apple cider vinegar into the same container. So I had 4 cups of water, 4 tablespoon of Baking Soda, and 4 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. I had to leave the container slightly open so the whole gas thing wouldn’t be a problem. Myhair came out limb greasy and dirty looking after scrubbing and rinsing for the longest time ever. So then I decided to add less apple cider vinegar. I got my four cups of water, 4 tablespoons of baking soda, and 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar. My hair came out AMAZING! It was soft and flowy, not weighed down or greasy, got less frizz as well and better shine. Is it okay to do it like this? I am thinking about adding a little bit more apple cider vinegar to make sure it is enough to counter the baking soda ph. If I do, I will let you all know how it turns out.
@ Rebecca, if I counter a proble with the new way I am using the ACV mixed with BS, I will definitely try the distilled white vinegar. As a matter of fact, I have some already, just have never tried it on my hair 🙂
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I read a bunch of the earlier posts, close to 100, and then skipped to the end. Found this site a few days ago, maybe 1 to 1-1/2 weeks ago, decided to stop shampooing last Saturday. I expect that it will work just fine, given another week or two.
About a month ago, after soaping my body in the shower, I began to cover it from hair and scalp to toes with a shea butter mixture, would then shampoo it out of my hair but leave it on my body. it doesn’t get the shower messy at all, but my shower floor is river rock, it could make a regular shower floor slippery, wouldn’t know about that. In my shower, you would never know that anything greasy had been used.
The day after stopping shampooing, I further decided to stop using ANY soap on my body, except for hand washing during the day. I no longer use the shea mixture on my hair and scalp, because it would HAVE to be shampooed out, only apply the shea from face to toes, and after applying it, I scrub my body with a washcloth or brush. That should be taking the dirt off just fine, and I use it EVERYWHERE. This way, no natural oils will be stripped from my body. In addition to being an emollient, the mixture is also highly medicinal, so I am moisturizing and disinfecting my body simultaneously. As you all probably know, or you wouldn’t be reading this blog, bacteria and viruses cannot mutate around the immune systems of plants, because there is random variation in every crop. it is the manufactured antibacterials that you have to be careful about overusing.
The stuff I use in the shea mixture is almost embarrassing to list, but there is a lot, including honey and all the bee products, about six medicinal essential oils, and about seven carrier oils, maybe eight. my body takes to the shea very well, and can’t get too much of it. I have been using it for about two months, but only for one month in the shower.
Wanted to post because I have found a lot of interesting things on here. Also, there may be people who take issue with making my batches so complex. So far, they have only gotten better, although, I spend quite a bit of money on each batch. Have been taking care to get organic, unrefined carrier oils with nothing added that retain their color and smells, and whenever possible, from family farms. I made one batch, though, for some show dogs that i call the ‘doggie’ batch, that contained only the shea and avocado oil, with a tiny bit of lavender essential oil, because there is research that lavender is okay for dogs. and nothing potentially phototoxic is added to any of the batches.
Skin cancer runs in my family. I am a 55 year old caucasian woman with very fair skin. So many people in my family have been cut on, so my intent is to keep what oils are there naturally in there, and to add restorative oils to hopefully reverse any past damage, to overall make my body an unfriendly place for skin cancer to take hold. don’t know if this will make a difference, but it doesn’t hurt to try.
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Was wondering if someone could provide guidance? I decided (purely by chance) that I didn’t want to shampoo and condition my hair anymore and was quite happy to see what the outcome might be. However, I must admit to a little vanity in that I love to have my hair coloured in different ways – and have always found my plain hair colour did not really reflect my personality. I still want to go to the salon and have my hair coloured on occasion. Can I still do that? And if I do, can I instruct the stylist to wash the colour out without using shampoo so that I don’t have to start from scratch with another transition? Or will a shampoo wash be necessary? I am sorry if this question has already been touched on in previous comments but I would be grateful for any advice from those of you who have more experience with this process.
Hi Kirsty – I color my hair (single process or high/low lights). I have no-pooed for a year, but I allow my stylist to use sulfate/paraben-free shampoo and conditioner when I color (about 4-5 times per year). It doesn’t mess up the balance if it’s only every once in a while. I’m trying to color no more than 4x per year, but it’s been difficult because I had blonde highlights (lots!) when I started no-pooing in March of 2012, so I’m trying to coax my hair back to something akin to its natural color with the goal of more-or-less ceasing to color it at all (maybe 2x per year for high/lowlights). Your color or toner will wash out a little faster with no poo, though in my case, I’m washing less frequently, too, which counteracts some of the color loss (versus frequent washings with color-safe but otherwise questionable products). Hope that helps!
Hey Rebecca. Thanks so much for the advice and reassurance. It’s nice to know I can still be indulgent once in a while. As I am new to this process, who knows, I may not feel the need so much anyway – depending on what changes may naturally occur with my hair. Fingers crossed! 🙂
I love how so many people are giving up their shampoo! I’ve done this on a couple different occasions, mostly for a month or two at a time during summer. I have very fine long blonde hair with blunt bangs that have a tendency to get oily. The pros: Super easy, my hair is never healthier than when I give up shampoo, cheap, gives my fine hair more body and volume… but now I won’t lie, there were cons too. First off, I moved to CO from MN right after doing this for almost 3 months and my hair completely changed. If you go back and forth between dry/humid climates, your hair can suddenly freak out and decide to start/stop producing a crazy amount of oil. My hair also tended to be unpredictable while off shampoo. Sometimes I would wake up with volume, and sometimes it would be flat. All of the things my hair did were normal and looked good, but they just weren’t as predictable as when I would shampoo/condition/style. Finally, I gave up product along with the shampoo because it would build up in my hair when I didn’t use shampoo after. Cheap, but kind of limiting. Shampoo isn’t great, but it did prevent some of these problems from happening to me. Now that I’m spending my summer working on a farm though, where I’ll need to be lower-maintenance, I think I’m ready to give it up again 🙂
Hi Anna! Just a point that I have found that even more than climate, how hard the water is affects how your hair no-poos. (In STL, Missouri, our tap-water PH is more basic than baking soda, so I cannot WO wash at all or my hair feels coated and sticky due to the minerals.) I love it. You might try looking up some homemade hair-product recipes. Perhaps homemade hairspray would work for you? I also find some no-cone pomades (like Kevin Murphy’s Easy Rider) are fine to use in a pinch, though I avoid using them frequently as a major benefit of no-pooing for me is avoiding icky chemicals, such as retinyl palmitate, which can disrupt hormones at high concentrations according to EWG’s “Skin Deep” database.
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Part of the reason the baking soda makes your hair greasy at first is because it can be very drying- remember, baking soda is basically salt. On the other hand, it’s also the salt that does the cleaning. Anyway, my hair has always been dry, so I found the baking soda far too drying. After a couple of weeks my hair was very frizzy and brittle. I never could get past the smell of the vinegar, the smell never entirely goes away and if your hair gets even the slightest bit damp the smell comes right back. But I didn’t want to give up, so I did a little research. What I finally settled on is lemon juice. It works perfectly for me 🙂 I just use 1/2 cup of lemon juice in 1 1/2 cups of water. (You can adjust this amount and ratio depending on the length and thickness of your hair – I have long hair.) I pour this over my hair and massage down to my scalp, and leave it on for about 5-10 minutes and then rinse out. My hair is clean and shiny and looks great. For conditioner I spritz with rosewater & glycerine and comb through. (A very little goes a long way.) It smells great too 🙂
Hi Roloro! I love the feel and smell of lemon juice, too, but it lightened my hair (stripped dye, and lightened the base color, too). I think this is a great option for blondes or people who want to try to lighten their hair, but I’d be careful if you have dyed or dark hair that you don’t want to lighten.
To get around the strong smell of ACV, consider trying distilled white vinegar – the smell is much milder and with essential oils added, it’s actually quite lovely — I picked up a girlfriend (who knows I use this method) and she asked what Aveda products I’d used — it was just DWV in water with peppermint and lavender EO added (I apply by spray).
Another option is to make sure the BS is fully dissolved, which I think helps — try adding it to very hot water. Also, make sure you only apply it to your scalp and rinse very well.
I’ve been using and tweaking this method for about 14 months now. I love it and have no desire to return to “normal” personal care products.
For many years I washed my hair daily, and blew it dry to boot. I’ve gradually cut back on shampooing, but haven’t stopped entirely. At this point I wash it about once a week. In between I’ll rinse it with cold water, or spray it with Heritage rosewater, or rub in a combo of rosewater and apple cider vinegar. Never tried the baking soda, don’t see the need. On occasion I’ll do a deep conditioning treatment, such as rubbing in a bit of olive oil and letting it soak in, then washing. I usually just let it dry naturally. I color it sometimes, in the salon. I often trim it myself. My hair which is naturally fine and thin, and to my shoulders, looks and feels great and seems thicker than before, but I attribute this to special attention to diet and supplements, and daily practice of the headstand, as well as my hair routine. I do feel going without shampoo is the natural way, and we weren’t meant to be squeaky clean 24/7. Maybe someday I’ll get to the point where I won’t even see the need to shampoo at all, but I’m not going to make that my Holy Grail. 🙂
Hello again everyone. Really loving being Shampoo free (into my third month now – YAY!) and can’t see why I will ever go back to using such products again. However, I am hoping one of you out there will be able to provide me with some more advice based on your own experiences so that I can move forward with my own journey.
I did start out using a baking soda mix and vinegar when my hair got too greasy to manage. Now it seems like my hair has struck a balance so that when I use the BS it dries my hair out terribly. I am now just washing my hair (with water) and towel drying every 3-4 days and I am really happy with how it is looking.
However, my partner has commented that it now feels like hair does around the 2nd day following being washed and doesn’t ever have that really soft feeling you get after washing and conditioning your hair. Now I know the softness he is talking about is probably a “fake” softness because we are sold on conditioners to hide the reality of how shampooing strips your hair – and all conditioners do is coat the hair in plastic. So it is probably not a natural softness. But it got me wondering if there is some kind of “natural” treatment I should be / can do on my hair to condition it. Or in fact, do I really need to condition it – does my hair take care of that on it’s own once it’s struck a balance? I am keen to look after my hair but am concerned about doing anything that may throw out the balance I have achieved.
I did try an earlier suggestion of the avocado/mayonnaise mix but I am afraid that on me it just made my hair so greasy that the only way I could get it back to normal again was to wash it repeatedly with BS.
If any of you have any thoughts about what I could do I would greatly appreciate it. I am sorry if this has already been discussed in earlier posts – I did try and go through the history but there is a LOT of information there. Lol. Which is nice to see 🙂
When my hair seems a bit dry and difficult to manage, one thing I use is Matrix Biolage Exquisite Oil Replenishing Treatment. I got a sample from the salon months ago and I still haven’t used it up. A little goes a long way. to make your hair shinier and softer. I just spray it on and brush it through.
Agadir Argan Oil is a product I use. All you have to do is drip a little (depending on your hair length/thickness, about a pea-sized to several-pea-sized if that makes any sense whatsoever) and smooth it over your hair. It makes it super soft and also protects from heat damage.
Also, I read that squishing banana and adding 2-3 teaspoons of olive oil and 4-5 teaspoons of milk is supposed to be really conditioning. You might also want to try smoothing a teeny bit of coconut oil on your hair. (But trust me, a little goes a long, long, looooong way.)
Hope this helps!
I am currently going no ‘poo (I like to call it just Baking Soda shampoo thing, though…no ‘poo just sounds so harsh… ;-}) and I am in the “transition phase” (i.e. oily greasy blah stage). I do actually feel clean, despite the gross appearance. I use a tablespoon of baking soda in a cup of water and massage it into my head, then follow with a vinegar rinse (1 Tbsp vinegar with 1 cup water). The vinegar is actually supposed to balance the pH of the high-alkalinity of baking soda (pH of 9).
Despite the horror stories the transition phase hasn’t been so bad. I usually just braid my long hair before I go to bed so I don’t really have to brush it in the morning (does brushing make the greasiness greasier or is it just me?) and it doesn’t look too horrible. I am eagerly awaiting the results of all of this, because I am stubborn and won’t give up (especially since my mom and sister are waiting to see the results). So, wish me luck! I am about to go rinse my locks with mint tea. Mmmm!
Anastasia, a few tips that might help:
1. Dissolve the bs in HOT water. I microwave for 10-15 seconds and shake really well (make sure it isn’t too hot before you apply it!)
2. Leave the solution on your scalp after massaging it in for at least 30 seconds to a minute.
3. Rinse very well.
4. Instead of pouring apple cider vinegar solution over your hair, try applying a solution made with distilled white vinegar ears down with a spray bottle (use very cold water) and don’t rinse out. Use lavender or peppermint essential oil or mix of both (10 drops total) to mask vinegar scent (2T vinegar should be plenty per 8oz water.)
That should speed things up… You may be dealing with mineral deposits from hard water.
Thanks for the tips! I’m eagerly awaiting the results of my hair!
I just finished week two of no poo and I think I am over the transition phase (no oil). I can go four days (maybe more) without shampooing now. But my hair still hasn’t seemed to reach its “full potential”. My mom noticed that I seemed to have lost my natural highlights, and I have literally no shine. My hair is very flat and dull-looking. It is soft, but if I rinse it in between washes, it gets dry. There is no shine.
I use three tablespoons of baking soda in two cups of water (one and a half tablespoons a cup) and two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in two cups of water. It works well, except for shine and silkiness. My hair is clean, it just isn’t “luxurious”.
I have hard water…could this have something to do with it, and if it is, how do I fix it?
My own approach is to use a good shampoo once a week or so, using conditioner if my hair seems a bit dry, and in between shampooing, spray my hair with rose water and/or apple cider vinegar. My hair is silky and shiny. Sometimes I’ll leave olive oil on my hair for an hour or so or even overnight, and when I wash it out, I will first apply the shampoo straight, without wetting my hair first, so as to penetrate the oil, otherwise it’s a hassle getting it out. But it goes a long way for deep conditioning.
Brushing is important, too. Some hair experts advise brushing while bending from the waist, 100 strokes per day. I tend to get a bit lazy about that, but it does give results.
I color my hair often – and my hair is also really dry and damaged from the coloring sometimes. I’ve tried so many different shampoos-color, moisturizing, damage repair, curly, and they all pale in comparison to the Shielo Hydrating Shampoo. The Shielo Shampoo really brought out my hair color and made my hair not just shiny but shimmery! After using when you dry your hair, it still smelled so fresh and clean, like I just walked out of the salon.
I love this post! i recently gave up shampoos and felt a massive improvement in my hair. It was longer and stronger, around one year later. Shampoos contain really harsh ingredients (mainly detergents) which “overly clean” your hair, stripping it of its natural oils, to give you that clean feeling. These are sulfates and sodium chloride which should be avoided at all costs! Unfortunately, there are not many companies which manufacture shampoos without these 2 harsh ingredients, otherwise hair wouldnt feel as clean. I am using a natural organic soap called aleppo bar soap (made in syria) with 2 or 3 natural oils. its great for the hair so far! and i also just rinse my hair with shampoo on days between the washing..http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aleppo_soap. Great post, lets stick to natural ingredients,back to the basics!
Sorry, correction! I meant to say that I rinse my hair with conditioner on the days between, not shampoo!
You said you didn’t see the benefit of rinsing your hair with vinegar after using baking soda. The reason people do use vinegar is it restores the hair’s natural ph balance, which simply using baking soda disrupts. I, too, used to use just baking soda, but I found over time that vinegar made it feel more conditioned and contributed to my hair being less greasy for longer time periods between washes!
I was doing the baking soda method for over a year. Then I went camping for 2 weeks recently when I didn’t wash my hair with anything but water. And that worked for me so I HAVE NOT WASHED MY HAIR WITH ANYTHING BUT WATER FOR 2 MONTHS!!! It blows my mind and I LOVE IT! My dandruff has decreased, which I still was dealing with even with the baking soda method. It was a little greasy here and there at first, but not at all now. But even when I transitioned to baking soda from shampoo, I didn’t have that bad of a grease problem. I’ve been actually surprised to find that my hair actually smells…pleasant and clean, especially right after a water wash, but eventually starts taking on the smells of my environment. I haven’t really tried any conditioning methods in awhile, so I may experiment, but I’m not really sure I need it.
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It has been about 6 months since I have stopped using shampoo and I will never go back to the nasty harsh chemicals again! I understand what you mean about missing the lather and smell which is why I created my own natural way of doing things=) For my shampoo I use half organic coconut milk (the thick kind, bought in a can) which gives it moisture, and half Dr. Bronners which gives it lather. I do NOT mix it up everyday because coconut milk will only last about a week in the fridge and its a waste to throw the rest out when it turns bad. I have my own ice cube tray that I fill with the mixture every time I have to buy the coconut milk, which is around once every 6-8 weeks. An hour before I wash my hair I just pop out a cube and let it set in a glass cup to melt a bit. For my rinse I have an old large Dr. Bronners bottle that I fill with 2 tbl of organic ACV and the rest with steeped purified water from sage and rosemary that I let sit in a pot over night and it cancels out the smell completely and those two herbs are great for our hair! I also wash my hair before I jump in the shower because it is best to use cold to lukewarm water on your hair. Any heat strips it from its moisture. Baking soda messes with your ph levels after a certain amount of time so it’s good to switch it up. Also, I mainly use the ACV because it restores your ph levels completely! You should give it a shot;) I just stumbled upon your site because I am searching for a quick lotion to make with beeswax and found one! Thank you!
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is thi no shampoo effective even if i am on accutane for pimples
My skin (face, and back, too – I have long hair) is much clearer after I stopped using soaps, shampoos, and conditioners with artificial fragrance and chemicals. I have washed with baking soda, conditioned with distilled white vinegar and essential oils with a drop of vanilla extract, and only used Dr Bronner’s soap for about two years now. (All diluted.)
About five years ago I stopped using shampoo on a regular basis. Since then I may have used it ten times. I stopped because my scalp hurt, and after some research discovered it was the chemicals in the commercial shampoo.
I bought a bar of homemade goat milk soap (with only milk, lye, rosemary and lavender) and used it. I was worried the first time because my hair was very long–almost down to my waistline. I always had to use conditioner to get the comb through it. Also, my hair would be ‘flighty’ and very unmanageable. Still, I decided to give no shampoo and no conditioner a try.
To my surprise the comb went through the first time. There were no tangles. It proved to me that shampoo removed the oil to keep hair from being tangled. And my hair was very manageable.
I’ve been using bar goat milk soap ever since. Now I’m curious about the no shampoo method. I started today. I’ve decided to use nothing, just water. I love eliminating unnecessary products from my household.
I wash my hair everyday. I know that’s supposed to be bad. I started using the Shielo Hydrate Shampoo, my hair looks and feels so healthy. I barely need to use any shampoo, a quarter-size only, and I have a ton of hair. Typically I’ve had to rinse and repeat , but with Shielo – I use just the quarter-size and its perfect. Feels soooo good and its super hydrating.
I would recommend this to any gal with thick hair prone to getting dry.
I have been using Coconut Co-Wash from As I Am. It;s available at Sally’s Beauty Supply for under $8.00 for a one pound jar. It’s kinda like WEN, but better and more economical.
i’m starting my third try at no-poo. last time i stuck it out for over two months before finally giving up. my hair is very fine and limp. baking soda just tears it up in any amount. this time, i am going to try water and rosewater, or other floral waters. aren’t they slightly astringent? just now, i dipped a washrag in warm water with some rosewater added, and kept adding water to the hair that way. then i rubbed some rosewater in straight, maybe from 1/2 teaspoon in my hands, and again applied water from a washrag. then i started combing my hair with a large-toothed stainless steel comb. btw, i used bottled water, so no hard water. my hair is drying now, and it feels soft and clean. best no-poo experience i’ve had so far, but i’m only a week in.