“No Poo Shampoo” Story: Shampoo Free from Now On!

by Allyson

“No Poo” is a nickname for going shampoo free…
Everyone has a different experience when ditching shampoo.  Here is Amber’s story…. And you can read mine here!

So I decided to stop using shampoo and jump on this tiny “no poo shampoo” train that was starting. In theory it made sense to me, that commercially made hair washes strip your hair and scalp of their natural oils which makes your scalp freak out and produce more and more which makes you rely more heavily on soaps to clean it. Meanwhile, since your natural oils never get a chance to make it to the ends of your hair, you have to rely on conditioners to soften it and protect it. From the standpoint of shampoo manufacturers it makes a whole lot of sense. From a more natural beauty standpoint, um, not so much.

Still. I have very fine, oily hair. Just two days without shampoo and my hair is a stringy nasty oily mess. Could I really go without using shampoo? Could my scalp recalibrate and stop being so oily if I stuck it out long enough? Just how long would it take?

So this is when I decided to do a little experiment. And take photos. I didn’t expect it to go on so long. It is now over a year later and I don’t think I’ll ever go back to using shampoo. There just isn’t any reason to. My husband and two kids also are completely shampoo free. For someone as skeptical as my husband was about this experiment, this says a lot. My husband in particular always battled dandruff and used special dandruff shampoos but now he doesn’t have a problem with it anymore.

My “No Poo Shampoo” Story…through the weeks

Week One 
no poo shampoo
Okay, so this is bad. There is just no getting around it. After one full week my hair was a greasy, stringy and yucky. During this first week I once gently massaged my scalp with a 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda and warm water in the shower. All other showers I got my hair wet as usual but didn’t use anything.

Why baking soda? – Baking soda is used to physically, gently clean my scalp. Baking soda gently helps remove dead skin cells and dirt but it doesn’t chemically strip all the natural oils away like shampoo does. I eventually weaned off from baking soda and (a year later) use it less than once a month now.

The first week was horrible (I wore a lot of ponytails) but I kept telling myself eventually my scalp and hair would detox and recalibrate. I was happy that I picked a week where we didn’t have many plans. It wasn’t stinky though and that was a relief. Since I was still showering my hair was “clean” it was just oily. Oily with my natural scalp oils that are supposed to be there, mind you. The beauty industry teaches us these oils are gross and should be removed, but let’s just give them a chance to do their job…

Week Two 
shampoo free
Okay, getting a little better but yes, my hair still looks like crap. By the end of the second week, I could see some improvement which inspired me to keep on going. Rather than keep getting worse, my hair now looked a little less oily. Phew. The back was still the most oily part, but the front was most certainly better. Again, I massaged with 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda in warm water just once during this second week.

However, another problem had cropped up. My scalp was itchy. For this, I added just 1 drop of tea tree oil to my 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda and the itch was gone immediately.

Week Three 
stop using shampoo
By the end of the third week I could see that it really was going to work. My hair was still greasy, especially in the back, but much less now as my scalp was getting used to not being stripped of oil all the time from shampoo. I had faith that it would continue to improve. Just once a week I used 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda and all other showers/baths I just rinsed with plain water.

Week Four 
not using shampoo
By the end of the fourth week something funny began to happen. First of all, my hair was no longer greasy and oily. My scalp recalibrated! However, my hair started to get a little wavy. For someone with absolutely stick straight hair her whole life to suddenly have some waves after washing? What on earth was going on? It still didn’t look very good and it even seemed a little dry, like my scalp got confused and stopped producing enough oil. Yikes, was this ever going to work?

Week Five 
week five no poo
By week five suddenly there was a huge change. My hair looked good after five weeks. Yes folks, it took a full five weeks but I finally made it. It wasn’t greasy or too dry and it honestly seemed thicker and more wavy. I did it! My scalp is doing the job it is meant to do! Hey, our bodies actually work!

Week Six 
no poo
So after six weeks my hair is looking better than it has in years. Yes, I need a haircut in this photo you can see how it has grown, I haven’t had a trim in almost two years at this point, so ignore the ends please.

Current Routine: 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda + one drop of tea tree oil every other week. Once per month I rinse just the ends with apple cider vinegar. All other showers are just rinse with water.

UPDATE: After 6 months 
no shampoo
I finally did get my hair trimmed a few weeks ago and told my stylist all about the “no poo” method and how I’ve been shampoo free for nearly six months. He couldn’t believe it and said that for how long I’ve gone without a trim my hair looks remarkably healthy. He hadn’t ever heard of going without shampoo. I requested that he didn’t use any shampoo on my head and he said it was no problem, he just wet my hair with a water spray bottle. Now that the ends of my hair are cleaned up with a trim it looks fantastic. Shiny and healthy.

Current Routine: 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda + one drop of tea tree oil a little less than twice a month or so. I have a small bowl in my shower where I mix my baking soda with a bit of warm water and then just dump in onto my scalp and then gently massage in with my fingers and then rinse out with water. About once per month I rinse just the ends with apple cider vinegar. All other showers I just rinse with water and sometimes massage my scalp.

As I mentioned earlier, my husband stopped using shampoo once we ran out, which was about 3 months into my experiment. He always had dandruff so he uses 1 drop of tea tree oil + 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda every other week. The interesting thing is that we always bought tea tree oil shampoos for him that were for dandruff yet he still would get dandruff if a couple days would go by without shampooing. He hasn’t had dandruff since the switch. Not kidding.

So is trying no poo shampoo worth it? For us, yes. We alway bought expensive, natural, SLS free shampoos from our natural foods store and it was quite costly for a family of four. Not to mention that my hair was still oily and limp and my husband still had dandruff back when we were using different shampoos. All those plastic bottles that we no longer have to use make me feel better too. Much simpler this way to use safe products that we already use for our natural, homemade cleaning recipes and most of the time just water!

What do you think? Where are other places we can substitute more natural beauty products? We’d love to hear your thoughts and stories.

Please Note: – This is my personal experience only and I describe my trials and errors and what ultimately worked for me. Everyone has different hair and you’ll have to experiment to find what works for you at your own risk. I will not be held responsible for bad hair days.

 

What Are Your Thoughts?

{ 191 comments… read them below or add one }

Jill June 6, 2012 at 5:57 am

Nice, thanks for showing the pic’s. I have a young friend who is balding at 23 and he stopped washing his hair 100% just wetting it in the shower that’s all and he has stopped loosing his hair.
I do the baking soda (1 Tlb.) every 3 or 4 days. I do use hair spray and all that junk but I love not having to wash it every day and I knowing Im getting all the buildup of products off makes me feel ok… not the best but baby steps I just love hair products :/ I hope to get to what you are doing with your 1 tsp twice a month, sounds balanced and beautiful.

Reply

Allyson June 7, 2012 at 2:48 am

That’s incredible about your friend’s hair loss story. I need to tell my brother-in-law!

Reply

Karen June 6, 2012 at 6:26 am

Hi! I think that’s a great idea and it’s awesome that it worked for you, but I have a few questions.
Did it ever get tangled? I have curly hair and I rely on conditioner and creams to untangle it and shape it. Do you have any ideas of what I could do to untangle my hair without using conditioner?

Reply

Allyson June 7, 2012 at 2:50 am

Many people find apple cider vinegar to do the trick when it comes to untangling. Also, brushing in the shower helps.

Reply

Karen June 7, 2012 at 5:00 am

Thank you so much!! My sister and I will try it this summer.

Reply

Kayla March 11, 2013 at 6:48 pm

I just started the no poo method today. I am very excited. However, the comment above about brushing your hair in the shower is not good. It is oober damaging to brush hair when it is wet. But great blog.

Reply

Ivall April 25, 2013 at 2:44 pm

I’ve heard brushing would do damage to my hair when it is wet as well. But I still do so, haha. Then I found that brushing my hair gently do no harm to my hair actually. The only key is to do it gently. So, hope this advice could work for you too!

Reply

Anaïs July 24, 2013 at 10:56 pm

Combing instead of brushing tends to do the trick

Reply

Korina August 5, 2013 at 6:14 pm

You are actually NEVER supposed to brush wet hair if you have curly hair, as this can cause more hair breakage. Combing wet hair is ok, but stay away from brushing… as much as possible (even dry since that is nearly impossible).

P.s. I have fine curly hair and my mother is a cosmetologist.

Reply

Jessica January 24, 2013 at 1:45 pm

I use Apple cider vinegar regularly. It doesn’t go on the scalp much, mostly the middle to ends. I rarely use shampoo either. I have very curly hair and my hair has never looked better than the last few years. I do use Shea butter cream while still wet, but rinse it out before bed.

Reply

Dana June 6, 2012 at 4:01 pm

I have have been shampoo free for almost 3 years! I do however have curly hair so conditioner free I am not. I am always looking for home made alternatives to the organic purchased conditioner I currently use. However I have yet to come up with a homemade solution that will aid in the detangling process in the shower as well as aid in rinsing away the little bit of frizz control product I use. I now keep my hair cut shorter as this uses less product and have much less of a tangle issue. Plus, now with 2 kids it is just less time consuming to wear it shorter. Sill I am a believer in less is more however just can’t get my hair to completely commit to this theory. I would love to know other curly head’s suggestions.

Reply

Allyson June 7, 2012 at 2:51 am

Are your kids shampoo free too?

Reply

Julie July 12, 2012 at 11:17 am

I am just starting out on this poo free journey, and I have wavy/curly hair. I found a recipe for a leave in treatment for curly hair:

Aloe gel
Jojoba Oil
Water

I just mixed half aloe, half water with a few drops of jojoba oil in a spray bottle. You can also add a few drops of rosemary oil…but I didn’t have any. I’ve only used it one day, but my hair was curly and not frizzy. Hopefully it continues to work!

Reply

Bobbi September 2, 2012 at 1:12 pm

I have mid back length very curly hair… I’m still working on the solution of cleansing-baking soda kills my scalp and drys my hair, homemade castile/herbal tea shampoo leaves hair greasy and scalp not smelling so nice. I’m currently trying out a simple Green Tea (2 c)/ vinegar (3 T)/honey (1 T) rinse to cleanse… this morning, so we shall see. A strict vinegar/water/sea salt rinse has been my go to for conditioning, however, I do need to use a commercial split end cream for my ends about every other to every third day as my hair drys very easily. Live Clean is vegan and one of the cleanest products I’ve been able to find…. it’s also inexpensive, 5 or 6 $ for a 4 oz bottle, and I use only a dime size amount. As for anti-friz and hold, which is an absolute necessity, I use homemade flax seed gel-flax seeds and water, that’s it. Google will give you plenty of results and each is essentially the same. It may be messy the first time but don’t give up. I’ve just made my 4th batch and I’m slowly perfecting the method. Add Rosemary oil if your hair is dry and Lavender if your hair is oily. Good luck!!

Reply

Aine Mc Carthy Fuller August 12, 2013 at 5:24 pm

I remember hearing about egg yolks being used as a good natural hair conditioner. DEFINITELY NOT the whites!!!!! Worth a try!

Reply

Jenni June 7, 2012 at 11:04 pm

Do you use any hair products like gels or hairspray? I was also wondering if you use blowdryers or straighteners?

Reply

Sarah June 8, 2012 at 8:41 pm

I’m currently thinking about doing this. But, I work almost every day and sometimes when I haven’t washed my hair in awhile, I use some baby powder to get some of the grease out. If I decide to do the no shampoo route, is baby powder “cheating” in a way? I thought it might be okay, but then wasn’t sure if maybe it would just dirty it more.

Reply

Allyson June 8, 2012 at 9:05 pm

I’ve wondered the same thing about baby powder. In my opinion, if it helps you continue with the no poo, than it’s worth it- better than going back to shampoo, right? I try to limit the baking soda, and it would probably be the same with baby powder. Just use enough to get by.

I’ve also heard people use cornstarch to soak up the oil.

Reply

Sarah June 9, 2012 at 1:21 am

Cornstarch? How interesting. And thanks! I’m currently 5 days in! :D

Reply

Brittany July 18, 2012 at 8:53 pm

Brunettes can also use cocoa powder :) Smells really good in your next shower too!

Reply

M October 6, 2012 at 2:49 pm

Cocoa fights free radicals!

rose water January 18, 2013 at 10:27 am

Hi! I started my “no poo” journey today and since I have very fine (blonde) and oily hair, I just had to put something in it today to soak up some of the oil. I have always used cornstarch for that and it works very well :-)

Reply

Alina February 12, 2013 at 12:45 am

baby powder is made of talc, which is dangerous when inhaled

Reply

jill February 24, 2013 at 7:50 pm

Not all baby powder as talc. i nopoo and use straight cornstarch or cornstach baby powder. Its 100% cornstach with a lavender smell.

Reply

Brittany May 1, 2013 at 9:15 pm

Where do you get cornstarch baby powered with a lavendar scent?! that sounds great! I need something to keep the no-poo going and something about using plain baby powder seems like cheating. I workout a lot and i am nervous of the stink!!

Reply

Darla May 7, 2013 at 2:20 am

Talc is actually pretty hard to find. Not sure they even make it anymore because of the inhaling danger mentioned above. It’s definitely not in any baby powders I’ve seen in the last… well… my oldest is 19. Been a long long while.

Cornstarch would be great for those of us who would prefer not to smell like a baby.

Thinking of trying this. Came across this blog when googling straight hair low poo–just to see if anyone with straight hair has tried it.

Reply

Laura August 6, 2013 at 5:25 pm

UHHH – TALC is the only ingredient in Johnson & Johnson baby powder….not sure what you have been using. My baby is also 18 and everything is talc that I have ever seen

Reply

Julie August 13, 2013 at 6:43 am

I use Johnston & Johnston baby powder on my hair in between washings (long before going no-poo, which I just started a week ago! Woot!) mine is 100% cornstarch. Talc was banned years ago in baby powder due to inhalation risk.

emma October 17, 2013 at 8:32 am

I think maybe companies just told everyone talc was banned lol. I have a bottle bought last year, johnsons, ingredients: talc,parfum. And it has the warning on the back about inhaling. If johnsons doesn’t ban it I dont see why cheaper and store brands would bother

Hannah October 25, 2013 at 2:56 pm

I really like to use cornstarch. I feel like it’s more natural than talc, but I could be wrong. I like it because works really well without leaving any sort of build up on my hair like dry shampoo does or baby powder.

Reply

Lori June 10, 2012 at 12:00 am

I am on my second week of not shampooing, and I have not used baking soda, vinegar or anything. Just rinsing with water and massaging my scalp. I can see at the roots that my hair is no longer oily, but my old oil has made its way down the hair shaft. I feel that my scalp has already recalibrated, but how can I get rid of the existing oil on the lower shaft without freaking my scalp out? It’s greasy to the touch and I hate it!

Reply

Allyson June 15, 2012 at 2:40 am

You could try a boar bristle brush. It’s helping quite a bit to get rid of the waxy feel.

Reply

geo June 11, 2012 at 2:13 pm

I’m thinking to give it a go this summer. The thing is that I use hair dye now, red. Do you think it’s going to work for coloured hair as well? I’ll definitely leave my daughter shampoo free.

Reply

Claire June 12, 2012 at 9:47 am

I’m going no poo right now, started just a week ago, and found your site while reading anything I could find about no poo.

Week one is indeed quite bad, and I went first with just water everyday. I now tried baking soda yesterday, which definitely improved it. After only one week, I find that my roots are no longer oily. The hair shaft is not great, but a good combing this morning made it much better. I used a thin metallic comb, which got quickly covered with the gray waxy gunk that I had read about… I had to clean my comb several times in the process, but now even the shaft is quite okay to touch (still feeling a bit waxy, but I don’t find it gross, rather interesting to know something is going on… )
I’m definitely keeping going!

Reply

Allyson June 15, 2012 at 2:39 am

I’m using a boar bristle work and it’s pretty good. Definitely collects the gray waxy stuff. The first week after I used baking soda, my hair looked good for one day, and then like crap again. Then at the end of week two when I used it again, my hair looked pretty good for about four days. I’m going to use it tomorrow, at the end of week three and I’m hoping for nice looking hair for even longer!

Reply

geo June 12, 2012 at 2:34 pm

I decided not to postpone it anymore and started the no-poo. In addition I gave up my known-and-tried face wash method and went for all natural olive and castor oil. Going all natural this week. Wish me luck!
I m so excited, can t wait to see the results.

Can I prepare a mix of baking soda and keep it in my bathroom for when I need it? Instead of preparing it every time?

Reply

Sarah June 13, 2012 at 1:13 pm

I’ve read other no-poo stories where they use a clear squeeze bottle and they add baking soda and water to it and they keep it in their shower.

Reply

Pia December 17, 2012 at 5:51 pm

Yeah, I do that too. It works fine

Reply

Claudia June 15, 2012 at 12:47 am

love this… we´ve been in the process of “no-pooing” our lives completely for the past year. I just recently started with the vinager and baking soda for our hair, but we live in Mexico, a part of the country that can get HOT, many months of the year. I sweat a lot and feel like maybe, just maybe, this wouldn´t work the same for me as it would for someone who lives in a cooler place… thoughts?

Reply

Allyson June 15, 2012 at 2:36 am

I live in Colorado and we are having a very hot summer. My hair looks worse when I sweat, but as soon as I cool down, it starts looking fine again. I’m almost three weeks in, so I don’t know how it will be long term yet. I’m also headed to Florida next month, so that will be a real test of how the no poo goes in heat and humidity.

Reply

Sarah S. July 4, 2012 at 6:50 pm

I live in Texas and just finished 3 weeks of no poo. We have VERY hot summers and i can say that my experience seems to be the same as everyone elses. The heat doesn’t seem to be making it any harder for me. Granted, this summer has had way less days of 100+ weather, but so far it’s going good.

Reply

Vera February 3, 2013 at 9:04 am

Hello,I live in Thailand, very warm over 32 degrees C most of the time. I just started a week ago but Ilove the results so far. I’m using the baking soda and apple cider vinegar to clean my hear. Hoping to getting to use this less in the future( now using is every day). My hair already looks much healthier and has more volume.

Reply

sofia July 3, 2013 at 3:55 am

Hi Vera, I live in the hot climate too. I recently find my hair flat and no volume at all. How is your shampoo-free journey going? Are you happy with it now?

Julie June 15, 2012 at 6:00 pm

How cool! I am amazed.Our bodies know exactly how to take care of themselves if we just LET them!!!!
I might try this…if I’m brave enough get paste those first weeks! lol

Reply

Sara June 17, 2012 at 2:51 am

I love this! I started about a week ago, and my hair’s been acting kinda weird. My roots are oily, but the rest of my hair is really dry and prone to breakage and coming out when I run my fingers through. It’s never been like this before. Any tips? I only used water the first week.

Reply

Allyson July 2, 2012 at 4:12 pm

I use a boar bristle brush to get the oil in my roots to move down through the rest of my hair. If that doesn’t work, I know people have success with apple cider vinegar to help with the breakage. My hair is so thin and at 5 1/2 weeks, I still am producing enough oil that I haven’t needed the vinegar yet.

Reply

Lala June 19, 2012 at 9:55 am

Hi!
Very interesting.
Sorry for the question but I just have to ask you: How does you hair smell?
Doesn’t it smell bad? I would love to try the no-poo-thing, because I have to wash my hair EVERYDAY with shampoo :(

Reply

Allyson June 19, 2012 at 4:37 pm

I’m 3 1/2 weeks in and while my hair is still a little greasy, I can honestly say there is NO smell. My husband is no pooing too, so maybe we can’t smell each other, but I’ve asked other friends. They all agree that there is really no odor at all. When I shower every day, I get in my hair and scratch really hard, trying to get rid of any funk that might be sticking around. Once a week, when I baking soda, I add a drop of tea tree or lavender oil, and it makes my hair smell like that for a couple days.

Reply

Simona June 21, 2012 at 6:58 am

Hey Allyson,
I started it 3 weeks ago and my hair looks pretty ok. Yesterday after I used the baking soda my hair got super sticky and it looked worse than it was. Why do you think is that?
Also what if I dye my hair? I know, you could say why are you not using shampoo if you so something much worse to your hair by dying it. But I have a lot of gray hair so I must do it :(
Thanks, Simona

Reply

Allyson July 2, 2012 at 4:15 pm

Oh that’s odd! I wonder if the baking soda didn’t get fully washed out…? Have you tried it again? My guess with the hair dye is that it will just dry your hair more than if it was natural. In which case, you might find that using apple cider vinegar to condition helps.

My hair felt waxy for about three weeks before it got soft again.

Reply

Pim September 7, 2012 at 7:06 pm

Hi Simona,
I know this is quite late but I have experienced the same thing. After the first wash my hair was great for 4 days but then I had a bath and I didn’t wash my hair with any baking soda, just rubbed some water in which made it super greasy… So the next day I had to get the baking soda out again and I think my mistake was to not massage it in thoroughly, I treated it more like a normal shampoo and my hair was just as greasy after as before. I was thinking a lot about it and two days later I gave the baking soda another try and really massaged my scalp and now my hair is lovely again. So make sure you really rub it in thoroughly.
I’m just past my first week myself :)

Pim

Reply

Elizabeth August 6, 2013 at 5:21 pm

Simona, try using henna in place of the hair dye. I switched a couple years ago and my hair is much happier. Buy it from Mountain Rose Herbs. It’s organic and they have many colors available. It covers my gray quite well. I use distilled water and apple cider vinegar. The ACV opens the hair shaft so it will absorb the color and cover the gray.

Reply

jennifer August 15, 2013 at 9:26 pm

Elizabeth- when using the henna, at what point do I use the apple cider vinegar? Do U wet down with the distilled water, then run the acv over it before putting in the henna? Then just rinse with more distilled water? Thanks!

Reply

jennifer August 15, 2013 at 9:27 pm

- when using the henna, at what point do I use the apple cider vinegar? Do U wet down with the distilled water, then run the acv over it before putting in the henna? Then just rinse with more distilled water? Thanks!

Reply

Mel June 22, 2012 at 12:50 pm

Thank you so much for this post! I was really scared about making the switch to “no-poo” so I hunted down an all natural homemade shampoo recipe and have been using that for about 2 weeks now. The first few days I felt like my hair looked great. I knew it was probably going to get worse before it got better…but somehow even knowing that I was still really discouraged when the ends particularly started to look super oily even after I just washed it. I was wondering if there was something wrong with my shampoo formula or maybe I wasnt using enough. I think I’m going to alternate a few days a week with just water to see how things go, but your post has given me the courage to keep going! Thank you!!

Reply

Andy June 25, 2012 at 7:44 am

Great to see someone actually do this with some success! Thank you for writing such an informative post, especially with pictures to see your progress along the way. I am currently one week in. I’m only rinsing with water and using a scalp cleaner/massager in the shower. I’m a guy but my hair is quite long, probably not the best time to do it with this hair length, and I’m also spending the summer in Japan to work at an international school and it is incredibly hot and humid here. The odds are heavily against me as my entire family is giving me crap about not using shampoo. After one week my hair is very greasy, my scalp is getting a little itchy, but it feels great after I rinse my hair and massage my scalp with water. I told my family they can make fun of me all they want and that in the end I’ll be the one saving money and that I’ll be the one with natural nice hair. I showed your article to my family and they snickered lol. Thank you for inspiring others including myself to continue “no pooing”!

Reply

Luna June 25, 2012 at 11:44 pm

Just curious if anyone would have any suggestions for my hair situation. After years of abusing my hair I chopped my wavy/curly locks to remove all damage. It is now 4” long and a total mess after using baking soda and apple cider vinegar rinse for two weeks. It feels clean in the shower but grimy and gritty when dry. I use a solution of 1tsp baking soda in 1/2 cup of water that I keep in a bottle. I have been washing every 3-5 days. Any suggestions would be wonderful, thanks!

Reply

Allyson July 2, 2012 at 4:18 pm

I am now a strong believer in the boar bristle brush solution! I have no idea how it will work on curly hair, but it works wonders on my straight hair. I use the brush just before getting in the shower. After a couple of minutes brushing my hair, I notice gray gunk on the brush, so definitely need to rinse it after every use. But then when I get out of the shower, the disaster I was seeing before is gone.

Reply

Renee July 12, 2012 at 10:38 pm

Luna – Try boiling your water and then adding the baking soda. You want the baking soda to really dissolve in the water before you use it. If the water is really hard, boiling it will make it work better. Good luck!

Reply

Polly June 26, 2012 at 7:55 am

I’m having this same issue, my hair is very thick and very long (about halfway down my back) and I think I used too much bicarb and didn’t wash enough of it out and it got quite corse and very heavy and waxy at the roots (plus I was nearly washing it with bicarb every day which couldn’t have been good). I did find the apple cider vingera diluted did work making it easy to brush through when wet, but it just got so thick and dense when it dried (however the ends of my hair greatly improved in condtion)

I wore my hair up for most of the time, and it looked great, but I couldn’t wear it down as it was very heavy and stiff at the roots.

I re-washed my hair with shampoo and conditioner this morning, but having just read through this womans story and seeing the photos, I’m definitly going to try again and stick with it.

I might just reduce my washing with bicarb schedule to twice a week and use water the rest of the time.

You have inspired me, Amber :) thankyou so much for sharing your story xxx

Reply

Carg June 28, 2012 at 2:04 am

Do you ever straighten you hair?

Reply

Janelle June 28, 2012 at 9:51 pm

When I first started No Poo, I used a paste mixture of water and baking soda, and my hair was terribly greasy. The next day I tried again and mixed one Tablespoon of the baking soda with 8 oz. of warm water in a cup that has a cover with a hole on the top. I slowly poured the entire cupful over my hair while massaging it in. This worked great and I had no oils. I also follow this (which I do about every three days since I use hairspray) with spraying on Apple Cider Vinegar that is mixed with water (1T. ACV + 8 oz. water) and sits in a spray bottle in my shower. Then rinse it out at the end of my shower.

When I started this I did an experiment and didn’t wash my hair at all for 10 days and it stayed completely fine and did not get greasy. So the baking soda mixture really can work! After that, I had to wash it because it just felt weird going so long. Definitely like saving the money and plastic bottles!

Reply

Ariel June 29, 2012 at 1:08 am

Hi… I have already started this experiment. It sounds I have the same hair type as Amber and I’m hoping to have the same experience you did. I’m only in my first week… my last shampooing was sunday and it is now thursday. I anticipate that my head will start itching as well and that I will need to use the drop of tea tree oil and I was wondering how strong the smell was for you, if maybe there were any alternative oils that I could use, and or if I could add lavender oil or some other scented oil to cut the smell of the tea tree oil. I have never been a fan of the smell of tea tree oil but if it doesn’t have a huge impact on how I smell and I don’t constantly smell it that will be ok.

Thanks

Reply

Allyson June 29, 2012 at 3:00 am

The smell of tea tree oil is not strong at all. I just put one drop in the baking soda mixture, and can barely smell it at all. I’ve read about people using lavender oil and it seems like that works great, too. Good luck! I’m nearing the end of week 5 and things are finally starting to look good for me.

Reply

danie September 12, 2012 at 3:09 pm

I tried every shampoo and my hair is getting thinner, next week Ill try it. Thanks for posting.

Reply

Carg June 29, 2012 at 12:39 pm

Swimming in chlorinated pools?!

Reply

Darla July 1, 2012 at 5:50 pm

I have dry, sensitive skin with eczema. Two years ago, I developed a very dry scalp which was diagnosed as scalp eczema. I wasn’t sure about that diagnosis because it didn’t itch and wasn’t red or inflamed, but I followed the treatment protocol prescribed — without success. Last summer, it improved after I spent lots of time in the sun and swimming in the ocean. But, this past winter, it came on with a vengeance and nothing would cure it. I tried rx shampoos, OTC shampoos, tanning beds, sea salt baths, and every strange remedy I could find. None of it helped. I have thin, fine, highlighted hair so it is pretty fragile and all the products and messing around not only didn’t help my scalp, it damaged my fragile hair. My scalp was covered with what felt like a coating of cement. I noticed that when a hair fell out the scalp end was covered by a hard, white knot. How in the world could new hair break through the coating on my scalp? Then, I read about the no poo method and decided to give it a go. I have been washing my hair with just water for 7 days now and I can’t stop raving about it! Each day my scalp has gotten a little better. There is still some dryness but there is a 75% improvement. Plus, my hair is more manageable and I have more volume and thus the appearance of more hair. Here is my routine. I stand under the shower head and soak my scalp with moderately warm water. Then I massage my entire scalp with a nubby scalp massager I purchased at Sally’s. I do circles with the massager all over my scalp. My theory is the water softens the hard scalp coating and the massager further loosens it and also stimulates blood circulation. I do this for several minutes. Then, I rinse with cold water. I dry with the blow dryer on low temp and moderate speed. I use a high quality boar bristle brush while blow drying. I can’t believe the volume of my hair after blow drying. My hair springs up from the scalp where before it was too coated at the shaft to stand up. I have to do very little styling with the curling iron because my hair is so bouncy. I am just thrilled. I haven’t experienced any greasiness or problems but then I have never had oily hair issues — just the opposite. Time will tell, but so far so GREAT!

Reply

Angelica July 2, 2012 at 4:06 pm

I started no poo in April. I have shoulder length, thick curly hair that I always wear straight. At the same time I started no poo, I stopped using traditional face wash and now I use raw, local honey and follow up with a tea tree oil and water mixture as an astringent. I’m 30 and my teenage acne is finally gone! Anyways, thankfully I didn’t have the awkward stage when I started no poo. I wash 2-3 times a week, depending on how often I do yoga. To wash, I use a glass mason jar to mix warm water with baking soda. I rub it in and let sit for a minute before rinsing. To condition, I use a glass mason jar to mix warm water with apple cider vinegar and a few drops of tea tree oil. I let that sit for a few minutes and rinse with cool water. After washing and straightening, I can avoid wetting my hair the next day and will just do a rinse the following day. If I go to yoga, I will rinse my hair immediately after class and straighten. Before I went no poo, I could not wear my hair curly. Over the last few years, I have complained that I had lost all my curls and just couldn’t wear it natural. I was always told that years of straightening my hair every day caused the curls to go away (total BS by the way). If I did attempt to wear my hair curly, I would have to use 3-5 products just to make it look presentable and by mid-day, I would have to pull it back in a ponytail. I always disliked this process because my hair would feel crunchy and when I showered, I could feel all the yucky stuff going down the drain. After going no poo, I can now wash and go. My curls are back! This past weekend, I was running errands and didn’t have time to straighten my hair after I showered. As I left the house I brought my baseball cap with me so that I could let my hair air dry a bit before putting on the cap. When I got to my destination I looked in the mirror so I could hide my hair, I almost started crying because I didn’t need to. My curls look so much better now than I have ever seen them. This morning, instead of straightening my hair for work like I usually do, I decided to wear the curls and enjoy a nice breakfast at home :) I will probably never go back to shampoo and conditioners.

Reply

jessica September 19, 2012 at 5:27 pm

raw local honey…in a soap form??? or just rubbing honey on your face???!!! i’ve had bad skin my whole life and am approaching 30:( and i have bad skin from head to toe:(!

Reply

brianna July 3, 2012 at 12:07 am

Hello! I love how your hair turned out. I have currently been experimenting with the ingredients you have listed such as the baking soda and vinegar and I have tried grapeseed oils and avocado oils. I have not used commercial cleaners for about 3 months now because its a never ending cycle of wash rinse repeat, destroy, mousse the frizz, tangle, repeat. my question about not shampooing at all is, what is the climate where you live during this experiment? I live in hot humid florida and I love to workout (personal trainer in training) so how can you keep your scalp clean when sweating a dozen times a day? I have cured my frizzy hair with the avocado and grapeseed oil with my mixture (since my hair is extremely thick and curly), but I can’t seem to go long without baking soda-ing my scalp since it gets a kind of thin layery paste from sweating and the occasional itch from sweating. it also sometimes clogs the pores on my scalp in the front from sweating which can make tiny white heads on my head (the joys of florida haha). I know it takes time for the scalp to adjust, which is why I haven’t stopped doing what I’m doing, but the bothersome results of sweating are not comfortable on a daily basis. let me know if you have any ideas about climate related no poo cleaning! thanks and your hair looks real nice!

Reply

Allyson July 3, 2012 at 4:09 pm

I love your grapeseed oil and avocado oil ideas. I’ve never heard of that before.

No Poo is working great for me in Colorado. It is a record hot summer here, but no humidity. I’ve found no problems getting my scalp feeling clean after a hot day and a hike. I use baking soda once a week, and all other days, when the water is running through my hair, I scratch all around with my fingernails and that feels great.

I’ll be in Florida in a couple weeks though. I’m interested to see how it does down there. I’m hoping that some salt water will help dry it out.

Reply

ssmattie August 19, 2012 at 9:26 pm

Great idea with the avocado and grapeseed oi! As for your thing layery paste problem, maybe you could adjust the amount of baking soda you use? And for your whitehead problem, you could try a honey face wash like angelica up there in the comments.
Also, there is no rule in No’pooing that you have to wash only once a week or something. I wash every other day with bsoda and v, and other days with water.
Keep up the good work and I wish you the best!

Reply

Michelle July 8, 2012 at 2:51 pm

Hey! I’m glad the no-poo has worked out so well for you and your family!

I was just wondering what type of water you have–hard, soft, filtered?

Reply

Kelly July 10, 2012 at 8:42 pm

I have stinky scalp to begin with. I can always hide the smell by using baby powder if I did the no-poo, but will the no poo eventually ‘cure’ my stinky scalp problem?

Reply

Wendy August 6, 2013 at 11:41 am

I had a stinky scalp after a hot, humid summer. I felt it was a bacterial problem ( my dog had that stinky doggy/secondary bacterial skin infection at the time- that’s what gave me the idea.) I massaged a bit of Triple Antibiotic Ointment into my scalp and left it on overnight. It worked wonderful for me. I’ve since read that if a person washes well but developes smelly zones -to try a small amount of Triple Antibiotic Oint on that region (inguinal/axillary/etc) and the oint will kill the bacteria causing the odor. It works great!

Reply

Maria July 11, 2012 at 2:30 am

Ive been doing the no shampoo myself but am not seeing results as quickly. I have naturally oily hair and Im going on 4 and a half weeks no shampoo. My scalp is itchy and my hair is still too oily to wear down. Im using the baking soda every other week but should I use it more often? Ive also read about using vinegar in hair as a rinse and cornstarch as a dry shampoo alternative. Should I try these or just keep waiting and maybe it will just have to take longer? Also Ive been swimming and was wondering if chlorine has an adverse effect on the process.

Reply

ty July 18, 2012 at 2:14 am

Hello!

What was your motivation for starting this No-Poo method?
I’m also curious about historic methods of hair care and cleaning…

Thank you!

Reply

jean July 18, 2012 at 4:39 am

Hi came across your blog and wanna say congrats on being no-poo! I’ve been no poo for exactly 2 months now. I find that I’ve to use my vinegar rinse every single time I use the baking soda. Tried doing without the rinse and my hair so tangly that I cldnt even comb through half the length.
I mix abt 1tbsp of baking soda into abt 1 cup water and put in into a spray bottle with a few drops of rosemary oil and spray it onto my scalp in sections massaging in as I gom I have not tried the paste because I’ve lots of hair so I think it’ll take me forever to wash my hair

Just wondering if your hair smells now? Not in a bad way but there’s a weird smell to my hair after it dries. Its the same smell that I get when I used to shampoo last time (my hair never ever takes the smell of my shampoo or conditioner because its so coarse and thick).

Reply

Brittany July 18, 2012 at 9:09 pm

I recently threw out my shampoo, too and I am going water only-not even baking soda or acv. I have long, thick, wavy hair and I have had great results already. My hair is so shiny now (not in a gross way..lol) and pretty. It doesn’t smell at all. In fact people have randomly told me I smell good…kind of weird, but that’s cool. I haven’t told my husband, kids or my sister-we all live together-and nobody has noticed anything…maybe I’ll keep this one to myself for awhile…
A few tips though: I only ‘wash’ my hair at night before bed and NEVER brush or comb it when it’s wet. When I wake up it’s fully dry and easy to brush-very few tangles.
I don’t blow dry but I do curl my hair almost everyday and my hair is undamaged do to the protective oils, and it holds curl for days!
Lastly, I brush my hair with a boar bristle brush before styling in the morning and for at least 15 minutes each night (before shower)-section by section. I know it’s a lot but these steps have been awesome for me, hopefully they can help someone else, too!

Reply

Ally July 21, 2012 at 11:09 pm

I stumbled over your blog when i was looking for hair products to give me silky hair. I really want to try this now because its so true, we don’t need shampoo; its unnatural. But its really hard, I love my hair products and i too buy expensive shampoo’s and im going to be really sad trying this at first but i know its for the best :). But since i have a 6 week holiday from school, why not give it a go.

Also i don’t know if you used to dye your hair but your hair looks really blonde at first and then in your latest pic a really rich brown. I think it was the shampoo stripping your hair of colour :)

Also, going all natural, and using vinegar and baking soda, does your hair smell?

Reply

ssmattie August 19, 2012 at 11:32 pm

If you’re working out, you might smell the vinegar, but otherwise, you’re fine.
If you’re really want a nice smell, add some essential oils to the vinegar, I use orange but I heard people use lavendar, tea tree and mint.
Good luck!

Reply

Leea July 23, 2012 at 5:41 am

Hey! I want to start trying this, but im wondering if it slows down hair growth? Im really tying to grow my hair out so my short curly layers wont look so much like an afro haha! Did you notice your hair growing slower or was it normal? Thanks xoxo

Reply

Alinya July 27, 2012 at 10:49 pm

So I really tried to stick to this…I was one week in and my hair was a greasy mess. I could deal with the greasy hair but I felt like it was affecting my face as well? I began getting huge, painful pimples on my face and finally broke down today. I feel guilty and want to take it back already but my face just hurts so much. Any way to prevent the oil from making your face breakout? I have long hair and I constantly kept it in a ponytail so the hair wouldn’t touch my face, but I feel like when I was taking a shower it would run down. I washed it after but apparently that didn’t change anything.

Reply

Alinya August 12, 2012 at 10:32 am

Edit to my last post:

Immediately after I’d washed my hair I felt like I’d cheated in some way with what I wanted to do. So now I restarted and am three weeks in, and my hair seems to be doing exactly what yours was. I just learned to deal with the unsightly and painful pimples, which I still have but they are gradually getting better!

In conclusion, don’t give up guys, this WILL work if you give it time. I know it’s a pain when you start out but just look at those amazing results.

Reply

Betsy September 14, 2012 at 10:46 pm

Alinya,
My daughter and I have been “no poo” for 9 weeks now and she had the same problem with breaking out. I have her wash her face at the absolute end of her shower (after she’s rinsed the ACV mixture out of her hair), with JUST a face cloth and water. Before she even steps out of the shower, she uses a very tiny dab of coconut oil and gently massages it into her face until it is completely worked in (we do the samething for all over body). Air dry and if there is still an abundance of oil on her face she simply wipes the ecxcess off with a tissue or towel. Her face is clearer than it hs ever been (and as a teenager, she has struggled with acne since the DAY she hit puberty).
I hope this helps, but if not there are a ton of natural remdies……just google it! lol

Reply

Cassie November 25, 2012 at 1:08 pm

I’ve found that calamine lotion works WONDERS on constant breakouts. I put it on twice a day and I’ve not had a single zit since. (And I’m pregnant and hormonal.)

Reply

Kara July 31, 2012 at 2:19 am

By going without shampoo, don’t you miss the smell of your hair from the shampoo and conditioner? I’ve tried just wetting my hair instead of washing it and it feels like straw and doesn’t look or feel very nice. My hair is also very thick, long, and curly. Being a hairstylist, I need to use product! And do you flat iron your hair or use any heat? If so, what about products in your hair? I’m thinking about giving this a shot!

Reply

Pia September 16, 2012 at 6:23 am

You can use water saturated with sugar as hair spray :) I use it all the time. Just google ‘hairspray diy’ or whichever product you would like to make yourself.

And you can add scents to your hair in the form of essential oils.

And for the long transition period, it might be a good idea to cut your hair short. That way you could give the impression that the oils in your hair is product. That’s my strategy :P

Reply

Isabel August 3, 2012 at 9:45 pm

I was wondering what you would do after swimming in the pool? You look gorgeous by the way!

Reply

Nikki Hall August 5, 2012 at 8:44 pm

Allyson,
I am on day 16 of “no poo”. So far my hair has been greasy, dry, flaky, waxy, stiff and crunchy. Depending on what I use.
I have been using baking soda on my scalp and coconut oil on my ends every 3rd day. Then I use apple cider vinegar every other day. My scalp has become very dry and flaky. I have never had dandruff before, but oh my! do I have it now! At first I thought it was chunks of baking soda left over, but I rinsed my hair out really good today and it is still there.
I just went and bought tea tree oil, so hopefully that helps. From now on I am going to try your routine. There are so many different blogs and everyone uses something different…but I will try what you did. It seems like it works great for you.
I am hoping if I stick to the baking soda, tea tree oil and apple cider vinegar- after 6 weeks, my scalp will produce less grease and my hair will be soft and feeling great!
Nikki

Reply

Allyson August 16, 2012 at 4:14 pm

How did the tea tree oil work out for you? It’s so interesting hearing the different ways different hair types react and adjust to no poo.

Reply

Shayna August 8, 2012 at 6:54 am

I’m ending my first week of no-poo and I’m loving it! I cant see how people with long hair can start no-pooing though! About 2 months ago I shaved my head bald out of curiosity since I would be out of school with nothing to fear. I wish I would of started the no-poo then! My hair is naturally EXTREMELY oily and right now is a little less than an inch long and is taking to the new routine fantastically! Just water only showers wash out most of the oil. By the end of the day though, my hair is back to being terribly oily. Oh well, its not like anyone is going to see my oily hair at night. I dont think I would of done this if I had long hair still. Thank you so much for writing this article as it has inspired me greatly!

Reply

kusra August 13, 2012 at 8:08 pm

i’ve been doing this for about 2 weeks with only water. Since i dont even have baking soda at home and its great. I wash my hair every 2 or 3 days. I have medium length pretty coarse/dry thick black hair. And im so glad not to waste money on shampoo anymore. I als sometimes condition my hair or put oil on it. IM LUVIN IT. and i used to buy expensive hair shampoo but this is great

Reply

Christa August 15, 2012 at 7:41 pm

I am currently a week into this no poo thing, and I must say that I have had better initial results than most. My hair is super short in the back and only chin length in the front. Maybe I am used to having greasy hair, but it has definitely started taking on a different texture which I think is referred to above as waxy. But really I don’t think my hair looks all that different than when I put all that product in it. My husband says it smells like “skin” – not good, not bad. I will be trying to boar bristle brush.

My concern in this, I am going to the beach this weekend and I don’t want to have ocean stink in my hair. Any thoughts, suggestions?

Reply

Allyson August 16, 2012 at 4:12 pm

I live in Colorado, so the majority of the time my hair is in really dry conditions. I spent the month of July in the SE and within days of being in the humidity, my hair got back to super greasy. Going into the ocean was great for my hair. It helped to dry it out and made it feel much better. There was no smell at all, but if yours is stinky after the ocean, you could dilute a drop of tea tree oil and rinse that through your hair. If your hair gets too dry after the ocean, maybe you could try a little apple cider vinegar while in the shower.

Reply

Mateo August 16, 2012 at 10:05 am

Ive found this page rather inspiring and go back to it for reminders. I saw other pages with 1-tablespoon-per cup recipe for both the bicarbonate and for the ACV. I seemed to get on ok with that, needing to do it weekly. That was easy for me as I’ve always used mild shampoo and never more than once per week. I’ve not been thrilled by the quality of my hair using the no poo and I’m not sure whether I need more bicarbonate or more ACV. I’ve come to understand that the hard water is causing problems and using boiled water seems to have helped, though the ends feel tangled and I never feel like I can run my hands freely through my hair. My hair seems to become freer if I don’t rinse everyday. I wonder if you have any thoughts? Oh, the other thing: your method of using 1/2 teaspoon… How much water do you add to that? I don’t know how that would cover my scalp.

Reply

Libby November 24, 2012 at 3:23 pm

I’m also in a hard water area. Look up borax. Do your own research. There are a lot of posts with people freaking out that it is toxic. I mix it with baking soda and did notice improvement- a little more softness than bs alone. The recommended combo on the borax no poo sites is citric acid instead of vinegar. My hair definitely shines with the citric acid. It may have lightened slightly but it was also summertime. Still experimenting with the exact routine. It’s been 7 months. Comb through your hair in the shower.

Reply

Bill Louis August 17, 2012 at 9:53 pm

Day 1 for me because of this article. 24 hours of no shampoo so far. HERE WE GO!

Reply

Ewa August 19, 2012 at 8:13 pm

I loved this “through the weeks” description so much that I added it as a reference link to my post about going no-poo as a prime example of what the transition period actually does to the hair. (Let me know if that’s something you are not OK with.)

I also wish I would have found it when I went no-poo 2 years back, though it still serves as inspiration to get my wash-to-wash periods extended from 7 to 14 days. ;]

Reply

sara August 24, 2012 at 4:47 am

I love that others are doing this. A couple of years ago I went “no-poo” for almost a year and I loved not having to buy shampoo or conditioner. I used baking soda and warm water for a wash and apple cider vinegar and water with a few drop of essential oils (I don’t like the smell of vinegar lol) for a rinse, I do this about 2-3 times per week….for some reason I went back to shampoos and conditioners (I feel so ashamed). I have very long straight medium blonde hair and I hate what the bottled shampoos and conditioners are doing to my hair and I think the break outs that I am getting is cause by them too. I’ve gone back to no shampoo for about a week now… the getting used to the change over is driving me nuts though lol …..I’m going to wash my hair in the morning and have decided on making it a little different and seeing how it works. I mixed up some baking soda, little bit of sea salt, in some aloe gel as a loose paste for a wash and apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, water and a few drops of lavender oil for the rinse…..hope it works well :)

Reply

jodi September 13, 2012 at 11:27 pm

well i too have long straight hair.
i am about 15% grey and have a lighter brown reddish tinge.
i have decided to do alot of things natural for some time now.
I have always had a full bore bristle brush, mason and pearson brand since i was 21.. they are a great standard for long hair. i am 43 now..
i only use cold pressed organic coconut oil for my face and skin, as a sunblock and as a moisturizer. no other moisturizer at all and apply at the end of a day, when i know i am going to sleep i will also put it on as an eye cream..
after i did my last hair wash which was a week ago i put some coconut oil in my hands rubbed it to melt then lightly put it through my hair.
i wear a plait in my hair each day very neat and tidy. at night i let my hair down and it is wavy like you had plaits in it as you could imagine and now the oil is allowing that to hold and it looks soft instead of harsh, where on dead straight hair anything , a curl a crimp falls out immediately.
come morning i brush my hair thoroughly at least 100 times and then replait it. when i let it down at night it is starting to look shiny and like a light dry type of oily/shiny, not so much the heavy dull oily look like you get when you wash your hair everyday (if you dont wash your hair). if i went out in the wind now my hair would not turn to a knotted dry/oily birds nest.
I never use any gel or hairsprays or dryers on my hair. so there is no reason for it to smell etc and it does not smell.
I can see how my hair will keep improving as i keep at this. it has been one week now. If only i knew this when i was younger i would have had long luxurious hair naturally without having to wash it everyday to get that look.
I have only rinsed my hair once this week with warm water in the bath.
i have three very long haired daughters with straight fine hair. two are the reddish brown teenagers and they have never put any thing in their hair, sprays, dryers etc. but they will not do this experiment with me. I will have to prove to them why and they will come round after seeing my result.
but my younger is a blonde head and she has agreed to do this starting from today. i will wash her hair etc and then put sweet almond oil lightly in her hair, and then she can follow what i have started to do same practice.

jodi

Reply

shari melahn March 4, 2013 at 3:21 pm

Dear Jodi~
Hi I have been a noo poo girl 4 1 year. I love it. I m a fun cute 56 yr old granny who HAS 2 keep the grey at bay. I have tried natural remedies n nothin works. I no even gentle hair dye is yucky chemicals. What do you do? I need grey at bay help :-).
Thank you
Shari

Reply

Pia September 16, 2012 at 6:17 am

I’m on my third week of no poo, but I was at the hairdresser the other day, and didn’t have the guts to ask not to be shampooed… So no I’m back to square one…

You can also make your own hair products. I use water saturated with sugar as hair spray. I use it just to keep my bangs out of my face.

And I use 6 Tlb coconut oil mixed with 3 Tlb corn starch and 3 Tlb baking soda for deodorant. As this is less harsh than the aluminum-containing deos, be aware that you might need a transition period… I didn’t need it though, and I find that it works just as well as the mild deos I used before.

Reply

elizabeth October 6, 2012 at 2:23 pm

I’m on day 3 of No Poo. So i have only just wash my hair for the second time so far. And both times I have static. Anyone one have a idea on how to handle static? Should i decease/increase bs or acv? I’m a little confused. My hair otherwise feels clean and awesome. I have super fine hair that loves to get oily. I use to shampoo almost daily because of that.

Reply

Jesse October 13, 2012 at 9:25 am

Thanks for posting this! I went no-poo for a while last year, but the itchy scalp and frizzy dry hair sent me back to shampoo after a few months. I’ve tried everything for dry hair, nothing worked. (I’ve never had greasy hair, ever. There’s just no oil on my scalp.) Recently I’ve started experimenting with rinsing my hair with water every day – my twisted logic is that washing hair too often is supposed to make it greasier, so perhaps that’s a good thing for dry hair. Also, swimming daily without earplugs can cause ears to produce more wax – perhaps scalps are the same.

Now, re-reading your post, I saw that you rinse your hair every day in the shower! Aha! I don’t shower, so I’ve always understood no-poo posts that talk about washing once a week to mean wetting your hair once a week.

One week into a daily rinse with no shampoo and no baking soda, just a drop of tea-tree (thank you for that tip, it’s brilliant) my hair is no longer dry. It might even become greasy, which I’ll welcome :)

Reply

Tanya October 16, 2012 at 5:34 pm

No poo will not work for individuals who have wavy to straight hair. The basic rule is if you can put a brush through it then you can brush the oils from your scalp to your ends. For anyone with wavy to straight hair you can try low poo or a shampoo that has a low soap content. Hope this info helps.

Reply

vegjess November 28, 2012 at 8:09 pm

But the pictures show wavy-to-straight hair and it’s worked BEAUTIFULLY for her! I am inspired!

Reply

Anna October 18, 2012 at 7:56 pm

Thanks for posting, I just decided to start mine ‘no poo’. I used to wash my hair twice a week so maybe it will be easier? Also, a few people asked about hair straigteners. Do you think it’s wise to use them? that can be the most difficult part.

Reply

Laura JW October 28, 2012 at 3:10 am

Thanks for being so thorough in your report about No-Poo-ing. The thought of trying this process has been in my mind for years now, but I’ve been too afraid of the grease-factor. I really appreciate that you posted pictures to show how terrible or not-terrible it is. Hopefully, this is the final push I needed to join you in the No-Poo Revolution.

Reply

Marsha November 1, 2012 at 3:53 pm

My hair is badly damaged, so I am only into my 4th day! I am in my late 50′s and my hair is noy only breaking off, it is coming out. This makes sense, but I can tell you one thing, your head smells after several days of not washing it! Don’t know if I or other people can stand to smell of a head not being washed!

Reply

garden gal November 5, 2012 at 2:03 am

My day of magic has finally arrived! I was ready to give up on WO washing until I read your post about brushing with a wooden bristle brush and wide tooth wooden comb. I had both, but had read that a natural bristle brush was the way to go. Not so for my hair. What also didn’t work for my hair was baking soda and vinegar. I lost more hair with that method than I did at the salon during my hair cuts. Anyway, after washing and towel drying my hair, the waxy feel is there but you wouldn’t believe the curls I have. In fact, the waxiness sets my curls in place the way gel would. I brush my hair before washing it and then comb it in the shower under both hot and cold water. That’s it. This makes for a healthier head and definitely easier while travelling.

I also haven’t used soap for about six years. All I used is a wash cloth and scrub. Even after gardening, my calloused feet come clean. I no longer need to worry about allergic reactions to soaps or lotions and my eczema has cleared up completely.

As for washing my face, I use a warm wash cloth before bed and and tepid water rince in the morning. I’ve also no need for moisturizer on my face since the sebum from washing my hair gets on my face creating a natural moisturizer.

Our ancestors had it right all those years ago! I will never go back to shampoo or soap of any kind. Thanks for sharing your tips on the wooden bristle brush. I’ve had one for many years, but didn’t really know the benefits to using it. Thanks again.

Reply

Sofi November 9, 2012 at 12:15 am

I was wondering, I sweat a lot because I have basket ball practice and dance. Can I use Tea Tree and Lavender, and rub my scalp with that instead of just using water?

Reply

Britt October 26, 2013 at 4:40 am

I also dance, and Instead of washing with baking soda after each class, or after a run I just wash thoroughly with hot water (I also comb my hair in the shower which is apparently a big no-no but helps me make sure it’s all clean). I also sweat a lot but found that this works perfectly to get my hair back to normal, even makes it better in my opinion =]

Reply

Sarah November 10, 2012 at 6:31 pm

What would happen if you were to use shampoo just once like if you got a haircut and the stylist washed your hair? Would you have to start all over again or would it be fine?

Reply

vegjess November 28, 2012 at 8:21 pm

Even when I used shampoo, I always just showed up at the salon with very wet hair – I’d wash it immediately before getting dressed and getting in the car – and never had a stylist complain. It saves them work washing it! : ) If your hair starts to dry while he’s cutting, he’ll just spray it with water.

Reply

Misty November 17, 2012 at 12:32 am

So I just finished up week three. My hair a little thicker than yours so my progress is a little slower. However, it’s working! I’m so excited. Here’s how it started. The baking soda was not working so I was trying to go cold turkey with just a water rince but my hair was so waxy and oily, I couldn’t stand it. So after a little research, I found that if you use raw egg then it washes and conditions. An all in one. Brilliant! So once a week I use two raw eggs to wash my hair. On the other days, I only use a hot water wash. My hair doesn’t stink and it’s started to get ringlet curls. So cute! A side note about rinsing the eggs out of your hair. Use cold water to rince, rince, rince. Take it from my experience, if you don’t rince with cold water, you will have scrambled eggs. It’s a bit comical!

Reply

Kay November 21, 2012 at 7:21 pm

Could you use almond oil instead of tea tree oil or is there a difference?

Reply

Lar November 22, 2012 at 9:42 pm

Hi,

I’ve been no poo for two months now. I used to have greasy hair if not washed daily with old SLS containing shampoos. Now it’s gone dry and tangled and knotted. Due to the tangles and knots I put some lorael conditioner on and now I’m gutted as it’s greasy on roots and dry at bottom but still knotted. Any ideas how I can stop the tangles and knots. I tried cider vinegar once but it was still quite knotty do I need to try it more? I was using 2 tablespoons of the bicarb now today for the first time I used one and it’s gone greasy and dry. How do you know if you need more or less bicarb and how do people do it? I’m using an old plastic shampoo bottle and adding hot water. Any help would be so gratefully received?? thanks x

Reply

Bibi November 23, 2012 at 6:59 pm

I did this and had almost no bad hair days at all by solving one question… if shampoo taxed my scalp and it over produces oil can’t I just untax it while quitting shampoo? YES

I washed my hair with all natural (home made) hair conditioner every day. Just like non-greesy hand cream removed eye makeup so my conditioner removed dirt from my scalp and left it smelling like the scent I added to my conditioner. Most of all it kept my scalp calm during this change and moisturized the skin on my head so it NEVER over reacted. I never itched either.

It still took about 3 weeks for my scalp to calm its self down from years of using shampoo every day, and from over producing oil… meaning: I can now go 2 or 3 days with out my hair feeling or ‘looking’ greasy or dingy.

I love showering every day and I love the smell of the essential oil I put in my conditioner so that each day I smell how I choose to smell… I am just not letting Shampoo deposit perfume in my hair and strip my scalp. My hair is never dry at the ends and oily at the scalp. I hope this helps anyone else who tried this and doesn’t have the kind of job, life or tolerance for going at it hard core cold turkey battle style.

xoxo

Reply

Stacey Gibbons June 30, 2013 at 3:31 am

would You Mind Sharing Your conditioner recipe?

Reply

vegjess November 28, 2012 at 8:29 pm

I’m in my second week and enjoying the process (if not the “look” yet). So far my results are a lot like Allyson’s (and I think my hair is a lot like hers to begin with).

Has anyone here tried ONLY water for more than a week or two at a time? I’m trying to understand why I need the baking soda and apple cider vinegar. Wouldn’t just WO work, at least if I don’t use product/gel to style my hair? I certainly don’t need conditioner at this point, as the copious oil in my hair is doing PLENTY to prevent tangles! ; )

Allyson, I’m just praying that my hair will look like yours by Week 5! Do you think if I stick religiously to only water, I could hasten the process?

Thank you, thank you to all who have posted here to give support and information to those of us who are following in your footsteps.

Reply

vegjess December 14, 2012 at 8:12 pm

I just wanted to update my earlier post now that I’m in my fourth week. It’s WORKING! I am so grateful to Amber for posting and including her pictures. (Allyson, I’m sorry I was confused in my earlier post. Thank you for providing this great site.)

I went cold turkey with water only (which included ocean water and jacuzzi water in the first week), because baking soda seems like a hassle I’d prefer to avoid, and certainly something that other animals don’t use. It’s really working! My hair has been following Amber’s trajectory, and I am really excited.

Now (fourth week of nothing but water) it looks like it used to after one day of not washing it with shampoo. Amazing. I have been experimenting with how often I need to rinse with water and how often I can skip getting my hair wet at all. So far I’ve been getting it wet and massaging my scalp every two or three days. The following day, I always have tiny grey flakes which need to be combed out, but otherwise no fuss!

I’d love to hear from others who are trying water only.

Thank you to all who came before us on this journey!

Reply

Anna November 28, 2012 at 11:01 pm

My ‘no-poo’ goes well, shampoo free and happy , and baking soda makes miracles but keeps my hair clean for 3 days only and I don’t know what to do for the rest of the week, don’t want to use soda too often…any ideas? water only doesn’t work;( do you think using baking soda twice a week is a good idea?

Reply

vegjess December 14, 2012 at 8:02 pm

Anna, for how long have you tried water only? Weeks? It definitely takes time to adjust, but I’m convinced that water only will work!

Reply

Susie November 30, 2012 at 2:26 pm

Thank you for this! I’m 2 weeks in (after being inspired by my boyfriend who is almost 2 months in) and I was started to feel down about how rubbish my hair was still looking! I was considering washing it with shampoo tomorrow but you’ve persuaded me to give it at least one more week!

Reply

jen December 2, 2012 at 10:05 pm

I’ve been no-poo for 9 months and I thought I would share what I’ve learned.

The first month or so was a lot of experimenting to see how much BS to use. Now I just eyeball it but about 1TB per cup of water seems to be the best. Too little and my hair doesn’t clean- too much and it gets dry.

I still use conditioner but I am getting to the point where I may start replacing it with something else.

The first 5 months I lived in a place with hard water, and was never quite satisfied with my hair. Then I moved and the only thing different was the water (not sure how it is different since I am in Africa and no one knows.) But now it works really well! My hair has never been so soft or shiny (in a good way). I will be moving back soon and if the water makes it worse I will probably try filtered water and see how that goes, and just keep trying different kinds until i get the results that i now know are possible. Just keep at it, you’ll get there!

Reply

Sharlene December 10, 2012 at 1:55 am

Hello there, love your ‘no poo’ change. But I’m curious to know if you use anything on your hair, like say if you wanted to have a certain hair style if you use any hair products? I too am thinking about going shampoo free because of the lack of healthy shampoos out there.

Reply

Anne December 11, 2012 at 11:51 pm

Hello. I think this is a great idea! I would love to try it, but I have a few questions. I have dandruff. My scalp is dry, but my hair and skin, in general, are very oily. Very. I’ve always been told to wash my hair every other day. For a really long time, I did, but now, I don’t. I hate washing my hair. It’s such a struggle because of its length. I’ve cut it before, but I kinda miss having all my hair. The thing is I need to blow dry it in order to refrain from getting sick. When you rinse your hair with just water, how often do you rinse and do you blow dry it afterwards? Will blow drying and doing this experiment still result in positive results? Please, let me know. Thank you!

Reply

Jessica1011000011010 December 15, 2012 at 4:46 pm

I’ve started this venture about two weeks ago and your article alone is the best example and reference I use. I know all heads are different but its easy to get lost in what is right for the person. I already made my first mistake and used a whole tablespoon my first time rinsing. I’m hoping to work through the kinks, pony-tail it up at work, and keep this page bookmarked so maybe the “boot camp” session will end soon. Maybe by the end of the month mine will look close to yours!

Reply

Jamie December 20, 2012 at 7:09 pm

Hi what a great story. I, myself, have a story about shampoo. For the longest time, I had dry itchy scalp, which later turned to serious dandruff. One day when to the salon, and they said there were white patches on my scalp. They scrubbed and scrubbed – with gloves – and moisturized my scalp. I went back every two weeks until it was better. But the dandruff returned. Then it was suggested that I stop using shampoo, and what do you know? It was the shampoo the WHOLE time!!!! Just stuff randomly bought but extremely popular: pantene, garnier, tresemme, herbal essence, dove etc.

Now I use shampoo again, though I’m not vegan. However, I found that Asian shampoos work really well on the scalp and for my hair. Turns out – as a terrible generalization, I know – Asians have oily scalps but rough hair, so they need gentle cleansers that can maintain a balance. One thing I hear Asians say is only in U.S. does one think they can get shiny hair by stripping it like paint off a wall!! lol.. One in particular from a company called Skinfood which claims to use real food in all it’s products – and they do. Many of them you really can eat. Anyway, they have shampoo call beer hop, and it is so awesome. Doesn’t strip the hair, and when I get out of the shower, my hair is really soft! So soft and clean that I don’t need a conditioner anymore. Beer really is good for the hair. They have others, like orange shampoos for oily and pomenegrate for those with thinning or shedding due to damage. Anyway, you should check it out.

Btw, like you,, my hair grew like mad! It was the first thing that happened. My hair stopped shedding, so I guess it explains. Like you, it was weird for a while. Scalp had to transition – and so did I because I had to learn how to do my hair again!

Well, anyway, it’s amazing because now I can style, bleach, and even use hot irons and my hair just seems to bounce right back!

Good luck to you! Your hair looks beautiful and shiny and healthy.

Jamie

Reply

Jamie December 20, 2012 at 7:20 pm

*Edit: Not like you, did my hair grow. Sorry, I didn’t mean to write that, as your hair was already long, lol.

Oh and I love your honey suggestion! I’ve been doing that for years, with a bit of black sugar to create a nice exfoliation. The skin feels awesome after! Though I tend to add ginseng or vitamin c sometimes. Both are good for breakouts, but C makes the skin really firm and soft!

Have you ever thought of trying crushed pearl? It’s especially good for cuts and peeling lips, and even acne or upset stomach. It’s mostly calcium and some amino acids. Sounds expensive but it’s not. Tons of rejects and a bag can cost about $5 and last forever. Also, you can brush your teeth with it, and it you have bone density, eat it. It doesn’t like anything. Anyway, it works! Totally natural, and it’s rumored that that’s why Asians are generally youthful looking, because their shores are drenched in calcium.

Reply

Joni February 11, 2013 at 1:34 am

Where do you get the crushed pearl? I live in the northeast Pennsylvania area.

Reply

Caitlin December 24, 2012 at 3:41 pm

i love the pictures! thanks for sharing with us. i’ve had severe scalp issues for the past three years. i think i have finally attributed it to allergies to a certain hair toner that was used on my scalp all those years ago. i’ve been going no-poo for the past six weeks. i wanted to offer up my formula in case others out there are looking for a similar solution. also just wanted to give my two cents that everyone’s scalp is different!! therefore, your formula (or how much bs vs water, no water, acv or not is going to be different based on what you need.. play around with the variances and you will eventually find what is right for you)
“shampoo” – TB baking soda, 2 drops tea tree oil, 3 oz salt water
“rinse” – 1/3 lemon juice, 1/3 acv, 1/3 water.. sometimes i add essential oils
“conditioner” – honey (becomes soluble in water)

also, after shower, i apply the tiniest bit of castor oil to my scalp.. great for improving its health. every couple of days, i will apply witch hazel before the castor oil

also just thought id share my natural hair detangler recipe! 3 drops lavender oil, 3 drops castille soap, 10 drops jojoba oil, 3 oz water.. works great but can make hair oily.. use in a spray bottle.. 3 squirts is good for medium length hair!

Reply

Shelly December 28, 2012 at 2:10 am

I’m in week one of the no-poo, and I have a couple of questions, if anyone can help answer:

(1) I’ve found more dandruff, or what appears to be dandruff, after going poo-free (only used the 1 Tbsp. of BS per cup of water, plus did one pre-rinse with white vinegar/water, and a post-rinse another day with ACV). Help? Too much BS? My hair is VERY thick, long, and VERY coarse.
(2) My hair feels, looks, and smells greasy (I believe it is supposed to appear greasy for a bit). Will a drop of tea tree oil or something affect that?
(3) If I blow-dry and flat-iron my hair (which I do), can added oil help manage that?

Thanks to anyone for any help! I do need to be able to wear my hair down, as it balances out my broad shoulders in many of my outfits (long story), so I am really looking for ways to nail down the right balance.

Reply

Curiouser and curiouser December 29, 2012 at 3:23 pm

Hi

I’m 14 and I was wondering… Should I try this?

I have to go to school and stuff, and I’m obviously producing more natural oils than an adult. Is it worth it? Should I try to convince my parents to let me do it in the summer?

Please reply to this as I am at war with myself and I don’t want to discuss with my parents until I’m sure it’s a good idea.

Thanks x

Reply

Joni February 11, 2013 at 1:36 am

I would try it In the summer. I am almost 3 months in and won’t go back to shampoo.

Reply

Shaun January 4, 2013 at 9:22 am

I have not used ANY product on my hair for 30 YEARS. I have coarse hair and keep it short (I used to have an afro). I use warm water each morning (shower) and a scalp brush, rubbing vigorously under the running water. My hair is shiny, clean and I have no dandruff or flakiness at all. before I started (i had never known anyone try this method; I somehow just gravitated to it, but never mentioned it to anyone for a long time because I thought people would laugh and sneer at me) I thought I had some sort of weird scalp disease and suffered from acute embarrassment. Now, I don’t give it a second thought. Oddly, I have three brothers, each of whom use products and are bald. So was my father, and uncles on my mother’s side (women, as I understand it, carry the recessive gene for baldness). Coincidence?? Probably, but you can’t help but wonder..all my nephews are bald, too. How come I am not? My wife says my hair smells almost floral. It’s a huge relief to see so many people coming to use this method. As I say, I use nothing at all but water and a scalp brush.

Reply

moni January 6, 2013 at 5:03 pm

I did without shampoo for about 5 months. I don’t know how i managed. im ashamed to say i used only water and used to water my hair nearly everyday.As i’d been too lazy to buy baking soda and apple cider vinegar (i kept putting it off) and even when i did try and buy i couldn’t find either. (idk how since they are common ingredients lol). Now that i needed a haircut i thought i better wash since i dont want my hairdresser washing kind of greasy hair. So now all i use is quite an expensive organic shampoo. I wish this worked for me but again, im lazy and i have VERY thick hair. Oh and i personally couldn’t straighten my hair doing this as it used to fry, but it might be different for other people, as long as your hair isn’t greasy, you can straighten.

Reply

Marietta January 16, 2013 at 1:14 am

Hi Allyson

This is going to help me soooo much. I am doing a big project on No-poo so that I can hopefully create an awareness of what shampoo actually is and that there is other options. I have been no poo for 3 months. I have been trying to use water only but I think I am going to have to do more. I have bought a boar bristle brush and am going to see if it works but otherwise I’m going to go for the baking soda and apple cider vinegar. For my project I am looking for people to interview about their experiance of going no-poo and I was wondering if you could help. If you would like to write the interview please let me know and I’ll send you a copy.
Thanks.

Marietta

Reply

rose water January 18, 2013 at 10:33 am

Thank you so much for this great post! I bookmarked and “pinned” it :-) I started my “no poo” journey today. I used 1 tbsp of baking soda with 1 cup of water and conditioned my hair with 1 tbsp apple vinegar in 1 cup of water. I have naturally light blonde hair, which is very fine and always gets greasy overnight although I washed hair that same day… So I hope following your advice and steps will work for my hair too :-) Actually my hair wasn’t all that oily in the roots before the shower (had used cornstarch the day before), but after the shower it was extremely oily all over :-/ Do you think that might have been because I poured the vinegar all over my hair? It was so easy to comb, but so oily as well :-/

Reply

vato way January 20, 2013 at 2:35 pm

You folks are fricking nasty. cave men and women also had no deoderant or douche but we became civilized and started shaving hair no longer needed and using soap. Damn you tree huggers are one nasty bunch. You need to be taken out and made to dig your own hole then a gun put to your fricking head

Reply

Shelly February 4, 2013 at 1:42 am

Actually, vato, I’m not a tree hugger, and I don’t care for tree huggers. So I’ve just proved your ignorance right there.

If you’re so against no shampoo, then don’t do it, but you have no right to insult other people, or even suggest that they should take their own lives because they don’t think the same as you do. Shame on you for being such an intolerant, blathering idiot. You do the human race no credit.

Reply

Liz January 27, 2013 at 5:04 am

If any of you are having problems w/dry ends & static…I just tried a drop of jojoba oil, which I usually use to take my makeup off, on them and it worked soooo well! Jojoba oil is one of the closest oils to the natural oil our bodies produce. Glad I thought to use it!!! Good luck! :)

Reply

Sabrina January 31, 2013 at 11:06 pm

Thank you for sharing your experience while getting off shampoo with pictures. I’m in the process of doing the same and day 1 my hair is so yucky it was disheartening until I read your story and saw your results in pictures. I look forward to my hair balancing out the same way in a month or so! :)

Reply

Tamsin February 2, 2013 at 6:06 pm

So glad I found this and the pictures. I’m only a few days into no poo and my hair is SO greasy. Seeing this has given me hope that it won’t always be that way

Reply

Amelia March 3, 2013 at 8:02 pm

I’m still in school, is this a bad idea to start now? Should I wait until study leave, or summer, or just go for it now? If I do it now, how do I hide it, would dry shampoo or putting baking soda on the roots ruin the process? Please help me:(

Reply

shari melahn March 4, 2013 at 3:04 pm

I m a noo poo girl 1 year :-) I m a cute fun 56 year old granny n my hair is amazing but I still have 2 color 2 keep the ugly grey at bay. I have tried many natural remedies to keep grey away n nothin works. My hair would b perfect if I did not hav 2 color n I use very gentle color. Lately it seems dry n flyaway n not as bouncy but I will b a noo pooo girl 4 life. Anybody have any ideas 2 help me? Good luck 2 all!

Reply

Anne May 10, 2013 at 8:24 pm

Hi Shari! I’m 58 – and don’t dye my hair. It was too harsh for my fine hair. The white is dramatic . . . .I thought though of going with ‘low lights’ which I may try in order to liven up the look.

Reply

Cynthia March 5, 2013 at 10:23 pm

I’m on week five of this and my hair still gets greasy I’m after one day, not as bad as week one and two. I’m going to see it through the end of March if it doesn’t change then I’m going back to shampoo. Currently I’m washing with baking soda twice a week because I can’t stand the greasy feel. Any suggestions

Reply

Rachel March 11, 2013 at 3:23 am

I found out about hair rinse rather than using shampoo from another site. The site didn’t tell me about how my hair was going to feel stingy and funky….so I went back online to find a site that explained why my hair felt this way…..very glad I found your post that explained it. My hair even after being brushed looks like I drove in a convertable through Chicago, while being rained on by leaky AC window units. After seeing your pics I am now feeling better. You mentioned the waves. I have naturally curly hair…but after dying when I was younger ..I noticed my hair getting straighter with a few curls left. After days off shampoo one of the things I noticed was that my curls came back more. I decided to do this because …a long time ago I read about Asians that didn’t know what deodorant was, they simply didn’t use it. I took myself off deodorant and the first days were horrible. But then my partner noticed that I literally didn’t stink. Well it turns out that my armpits were allowed to open rather than being caked up with aluminum. I haven’t used deodorant in two years now…..neither does my skeptical partner.

Reply

Nubb March 13, 2013 at 11:43 am

hey, hun! can you ask you husband if you can take a photo on him and put it up here? cause i think guys are more skeptical as you say&harder to actually speak about their hair condition. :)

Reply

Nubb March 13, 2013 at 12:11 pm

some people are ignorant. haha! i want to use no poo for my own benefits. if it means to get better hairconditon&not manipulated one. then i’ll say why not? Aswell as one goes for this one is indeed doing the world something, less chemicals! So 2 things in one.

A person who goes no poo dosen’t make them tree huggers, vegetarians. just like that.

All these things are choices. you stupid person:)

you should try the method out yourself, maybe the massage for your scalp will take that ignorance away out of you=)

Reply

Amanda March 15, 2013 at 2:51 am

I read you story back in July 2012 and started the “no poo” also. I haven’t used Shampoo since then, and it’s been great up until now. Lately my hair has been feeling like it’s coated in something. You know that feeling when you shampooed and didn’t rinse it all out but didn’t find out until your hair was dried? That’s where I’m at. I use baking soda maybe once a week and rinse my hair regularly. I haven’t changed anything in my routine, but my hair is starting to act weird. Have you ever experienced that? If so, how did you fix it? I’m considering shampooing once to get the “build up” of whatever is on my hair and then continuing the no-poo. Can you help?

Reply

alexandra raye April 27, 2013 at 3:31 am

hey there!
that feeling is most likely from build up from not clarifying before you went no-’poo :) i know it’s sort of late in the game, but it all finally worked its way down the shaft and now feels coated.
if you want to stay on the natural route, use a castile soap. it’ll strip it right down! if you opt for a store shampoo, just keep it away from your scalp and use a very cheap shampoo that doesn’t contain ANY ingredients that end in “cone” “conol” “zane,” or “xane.” those will just coat your hair all over again.

Reply

Romina March 26, 2013 at 6:28 am

I’m so glad I found your post. All of the posts that I’ve read about this method include using a vinegar conditioner. Since going SLS free for years, I have not used conditioner and really don’t want to go back. It’s good to know that the method can work with just the shampoo. I may change my mind after trying it for the first time as we have hard water; we’ll see.

Reply

yvette April 9, 2013 at 6:18 am

I’m going to start this ..today was my last day washing my hair..I was wondering when my hair starts getting really greasy could I use dry shampoo spray are is that cheating..

Reply

l-mp April 20, 2013 at 6:18 pm

I’m 6 days in cold turkey. I just rinse with water everyday. The boar bristle brush has been a life saver!! It helps loosen the dander on my scalp and relieve any itching. I brush my hair at night then french braid it before I go to bed and whatever flakes I have loosened seem to kind of fall out while I’m sleeping then I rinse in the morning. I have fine wavy to curly hair, not thin but not thick either.

Reply

l-mp April 20, 2013 at 6:22 pm

Oh ya I also wanted to say what a good post this is! :) It’s very informative and the weekly pictures are very inspiring.

Reply

melanie April 25, 2013 at 7:08 pm

I started doing this after I read this article. It made my hair kind of dry like doll hair, but I can get over that. The thing that bothered me was when I showed my husband my hair after washing with baking soda and water, he said it looked clean as it usually does. But when he hugged me, he said it smelled…dirty. Not a repulsive stench and not just like unwashed hair. But had a bad odor. Any suggestions?

Reply

Anne May 10, 2013 at 8:21 pm

Melanie – I found the same thing – my hair gets strawlike. I tried using an egg wash once in a while – and that helped. Make sure the egg is really beaten and the water is cool or tepid – not hot or you’ll have cooked eggs.
But the real remedy I find is to use distilled water as a final rinse for shiny softer hair.

The bad smell? I don’t know.

Reply

Carmen May 19, 2013 at 9:50 pm

Y used it,once a week but my question is I shower every day do I just cover my hair with a shower cap or can I wet it every time?

Reply

nk June 8, 2013 at 5:52 pm

Thank you so much for posting this! Your hair does look nice and healthy! I’m on my 3rd week of water only and while I saw improvement over the 2nd week, this week my hair seems mattey. I read that over brushing hair can also increase sebum, what are your thoughts? How many times do you brush your hair each day? My texture seems very similar to yours (very straight, no waves) so I’m hoping that I’ll get some waves in a few weeks. Thanks in advance for your response :)

Reply

Misty June 29, 2013 at 5:52 am

Just wondering if you are still “no poo” , as this article was written long ago..

I wonder if anyone knows about the link to hair growth and the no poo method?

I have been researching and getting mixed reviews…some people say it works wonders , others say they are shedding and losing hair…

what should I believe??

Reply

KK July 12, 2013 at 4:53 am

Yeah I’d love to find this out as well. Hope someone share some insight.

Reply

Julie Tabor July 1, 2013 at 4:28 am

Wow, great story. I have been debating going shampoo free and I have found a lot of different recipes would you say there is a difference in using plain vinegar and apple cider vinegar.

Reply

Christine T July 7, 2013 at 1:47 pm

For anyone having an adverse reaction to baking soda or apple cider vinegar, you can try raw honey in 1:3 or 1:4 ratio — 1 tbsp honey and 3 tbsp water and up the amount of honey depending on length of hair. I’m on week #2 of no poo using raw honey and water and it looks the same as Allyson’s week #2 on baking soda… greasy on the top. Hopefully raw honey will give similar results as the baking soda/ACV method. Allyson’s hair looks amazing at 6 months! You can’t tell at all she doesn’t use shampoo. It looks so soft and shiny!

Reply

Emily July 12, 2013 at 9:30 pm

Hi! I was really inspired to try your “no shampoo” but you said your hair was oily? I don’t have that problem I have long, frizzy hair and it’s kinda wavy, will the “no shampoo” take care of the frizzyness?

Reply

Chrystal August 2, 2013 at 1:12 pm

I’m looking for a solution to my hair problem. I started with a clarifying shampoo for 2 weeks, then transitioned to the baking soda every 2-4 days. my hair does get dry but not too bad. I brush my hair once it’s dry with the boar bristle brush until it is all smooth. It’s a little greasy at the roots, so if I brush it in one direction, it is plastered in that direction. I still get a lot of scalp build up and its a little itchy sometimes. whenever I scratch my head for a second my fingernails fill up with thick white debris. I have to clean my brush daily, as it fills up with debris and hair. Does anyone know how to help me?

Reply

Krystal August 5, 2013 at 4:10 am

Hi I’m starting the no poo tomorrow. I washed my hair with an organic clarifying shampoo as recommended by another blog. I recently cut my hair, previously it was a few inches past my shoulders, now it just grazes the nape of my neck. While I hate the short length I’m hoping the lack of length will ease my transition period. I do have one question hopefully someone can answer… My hair naturally has red in it and I remember my mom saying apple cider vinegar brings out the red tones. My hair is blondish right now (I bleached my hair while emotionally unstable and well I had to get a color correct, whatcha gonna do?). My fear of using apple cider vinegar is that the red tomes will become more prevalent. Can I use white vinegar? Will it produce different results. Thanks so much!
peace and love,
Krystal

Reply

Jayne August 5, 2013 at 10:13 pm

I knew for the longest time shampooing my hair daily was bad so a few years ago I started doing the every other day and gradually worked my way to only washing once a week. I take vitamins and put oil on my ends due to them being so dry my hair is down to my lower back. I never thought about going no’poo its just something I guess I have been working towards anyways I know my hair doesn’t get oily for almost a week and a half and thats with me adding oil. So im going to just take it to the next step.

Reply

Suzanne August 9, 2013 at 1:45 pm

So my only question is how do you COMB your hair? Without conditioner mine is so dry at the ends and extremely difficult to comb!

Reply

Virginia August 10, 2013 at 6:21 pm

I think that is great what you did. You don’t seem to do anything with your hair though. You also have straight hair that has little to no wave. Trying this with curly would be very difficult. Also for those who have sensitive skin baking soda although mild could create more of a problem than it would solve.

Reply

Sara @ GaijinMom August 15, 2013 at 10:03 pm

I just ran across this while convincing myself to stick with no ‘poo. (I’ve been doing just cold water rinses for almost two weeks now.) I am SO GLAD you posted these pictures! It’s so reassuring to see exactly what mine looks like, and to know that it will, eventually, come around.

My hair has turned totally curly in the past two weeks. I couldn’t believe the actual ringlets I saw. Yay!

Reply

Magdaly August 23, 2013 at 7:07 am

My husband has itchy scalp and dandruff as well and he has been trying bicarbonate and apple cider vinegar and still itch can you please suggest something to help him.

I’ve not trouble with my hair and no poo, my hair is looking good and i only wash it only once a week. I only use bicarbonate and acv.

thanks for your help
Magdaly

Reply

Ingrid August 30, 2013 at 5:43 pm

I started this week. I am using baking soda and tea tree oil. I am still going through the ugly part of the process, my scalp is oily and the rest of my hair feels dry. Last night I applied almond oil fearing the dryness, now my hair looks terrible… but I am sticking to my plan. Will let you know.

I have a question: I want to start swimming again and so I was wondering about caring for my hair after exposing it to chlorine and salt (ocean) water, any ideas?

Reply

Annie Romano August 31, 2013 at 2:56 pm

I would love to try it out, but I work in healthcare (dental assistant) and wonder if the greasiness and oily look will not be professional looking. My hair is really not long enough to pull back in pony-tail. I don’t want to gross people out or have my boss say something. Any suggestions b4 I start this?

Reply

Nevan September 26, 2013 at 7:14 pm

Can you wear a headwrap? Or try the cornstarch/cocoa powder method. Sometimes my friends say it looks nice and clean when it feels oily to me.

Reply

Bethany September 24, 2013 at 11:13 pm

Any thoughts on getting rid of using soap to clean the body? For dry skin maybe just oil, oily skin lemon juice, baking soda, apple cider vinegar or something, and for normal skin a combination?

Reply

Nevan September 26, 2013 at 7:11 pm

I have been trying no poo for a few months. However, I work in a restaurant that fries food. I have to wear my hair pulled back so my root get oily after 24 hrs. Is there anyone else who works in a restaurant (with fine hair) that has seen better improvement. I don’t like using the cornstarch too much, it makes my scalp itch. No one wants to see the manager scratching her head as she serves food. Nor do they want to see her with oily hair. For now, I use 1T of baking soda every two or three days and white vinegar on the ends. (Though my hair is shoulder length, so the ends aren’t much.)

Reply

AshleyTX October 7, 2013 at 1:55 am

Does the Apple Cider Vinegar make your hair stink?

I used to have very thick curly hair and since I got divorced 2 years ago my hair seems a lot thinner than before. I am willing to try anything to get it healthy again!

Reply

Faye October 14, 2013 at 12:52 am

Thanks for your experience of no poo and how long it took you to have your hair look awesome.
I am 1 & a half weeks into no poo myself, I am keeping from wanting to wash my hair; it is a greasy, stringy, flat, mess I keep pulled back in a loose ponytail holder, and It is curling in loose half spiral curls.
I am hoping by November 22nd my hair will look it’s best.
2 TBSP. baking soda and 2/3 cups of boiling water, mix to dissolve and let cool and use 2.5 TBSP. ACV mixed with 2/3 C. of boiling water water, cool. I wash once a week and hopefully once every 2 weeks, I am going to purchase organic rosemary oil and organic lavender (they stimulate the hair follicles for growth) organic tea tree oil for the itchies. I have hard water and boiling it helps to dissolve some of the minerals.
Thank you for sharing and inspiring.

Reply

Kathi October 22, 2013 at 7:28 pm

Does anyone know if the no-poo would be okay for Maltese dogs? They have hair, not fur.

Reply

sarah November 30, 2013 at 2:59 am

I’ve been going poo free for 2 weeks now. I don’t have an oil problem, just a very itchy/dry scalp. I wash my hands every 2-3 data using baking soda, hoping a few more weeks to a month the dandruff will subside, but I’m also experiencing static-y hair. Anyone else have this problem and a solution? It happens whether I use a boar bristle brush or just a wide tooth comb on my ends.

Reply

Orla December 14, 2013 at 5:26 pm

This is really helpful – I will give this a go. My mum has been telling me to stop washing my hair altogether for weeks now as I have suddenly, just this September I have started to get a very scaly scalp- especially at the hairline after I have showered. Once I shower it feel so tight and dry and super awful. I really detested the idea of not washing but I am going to try it as I desperately cannot stand being the only one of my family/friends to embarrassed to have my hair down or let my hair be done by any of them.

Orla

Reply

Miggs December 27, 2013 at 12:05 pm

I just heard about this and started searching the web to indulge my curiosity and your page was the best at answering my inquiries and settling my insecurities about the idea. The pics are super helpful and encouraging. I have short hair that is fine and tends to be greasy after 2 days of not “pooing”. Without the pony tail option I am a little hesitant to start but I think when I have a nice break from work I will give it a go. Perhaps I will use the baking soda more often at first, but we will see. My boyfriend is on board too! Thanks for doing a great job at reporting your findings. PS. do you have a special diet type? i.e. I wonder if the success of this requires a low fat/vegetarian/vegan diet?

Reply

Tania January 1, 2014 at 3:17 pm

Hello!
I came up to your page (which i love by the way) looking for more info on no-poo method and oily hair. I have followed this method for a couple of months already and it happened different than you; in my case my hair was “ok” the first weeks but it´s now, after 2 or 3 months that has started being really oily and awful; so bad that im close to quit it :S I want to go ahead but somehow i cannot stand this oily dirty looking, itchy hair…and i think it doesn´t smell very good either. Im desperate right now. I was using bs and apple cider vinegar once a week, now only backing soda…Any idea of what could i do? have you had the same problem months after starting? :)
Thanks!!

Reply

Elizabeth Perry January 9, 2014 at 10:53 am

i have just given up after 5 days of using raw honey diluted with water. I had heard that BCS and ACV causes damage to the hair when used long-term so went down the honey route. My hair was greasy at the roots and getting worse but nothing that couldn’t be hidden by putting my hair up. Today however, I rinsed my hair with diluted ACV (as I heard that this can cut through the worst of the oil) and my hair was *disgusting*! It was completely flat to my head, looked super greasy and it was *all* of my hair, not just my roots – it honestly looked like I had grabbed a hand-full of gel and smothered my hair. I have a natural boar bristle brush that I have been using, which has been spreading the oil down my hair but it got to the stage this morning, where I couldn’t carry on. Putting my hair up wouldn’t have disguised how disgusting my hair was and I can’t walk into a law office and greet clients looking like I’ve just gone swimming in oil. Has anyone else had a really bad transition? Was my mixture wrong? (2 tbsp raw honey diluted in a pint of hot water). Was I at the worst point and it would get better from then on? I need help with this as I am sick of washing my hair and finding it dull, limp and lifeless. I want my glossy hair back!

Reply

annie January 23, 2014 at 2:03 pm

thank you for this, im at week 4 and other reviews ive read said to expect all to be well after two weeks so this is great encouragement. your hair looks great :)

Reply

Kira January 27, 2014 at 7:50 pm

I workout almost every day, and my hair gets super sweaty. Do you think I can get away with just rinsing it out and not have my hair smell from the workout?

Reply

Corinna Giacalone February 4, 2014 at 5:28 am

What is the baking soda to water ratio?

Reply

Andrea February 5, 2014 at 4:08 am

THANK GOD. Your hair looks and was doing EXACTLY what mine is right now! I’m so so glad to see light at the end of the tunnel! THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: