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
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…
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.
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.
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.