I’m Going No-Poo!

Okay guys, I have some interesting news for you.  After listening to my daughter Nikki talk about this for a couple of weeks, I’ve decided to give it a try myself.  I’m going No-poo.  Which means, I will no longer be using shampoo.

Now, after you have cleaned up the coffee you just spit at your computer when you read this, let me explain.  Apparently, when you stop using shampoo on your hair your hair has more body, shine and is less frizzy.  Now, at first I was like, what?  No shampoo, eww, that is gross.  But, it’s a very interesting concept.  We, have been so programmed to think that the use of harsh, expensive shampoos are the best thing for us but it is completely the opposite.   Your hair will thrive once you get through the “detox” stage.

So don’t go thinking that I will not be washing my hair because I will.  Instead of a shampoo, I will be washing my hair with baking soda and water.  And, this morning was my first experience.  How did it go?  Well, so far so good.  My hair and head feel clean and my hair feels very soft.  I have extremely thin, fine hair and I had a lot of body in my hair today but it is only the first day. I will go a few days without washing (which I would do anyway) and then, once again, wash with baking soda and water.  Now, you can use a “conditioner” if you like which is apple cider vinegar and water.  I did not and it seemed fine without it, but I guess it would depend on your hair.

Now, back to the “detox” stage which I guess is the stage I’m not going to look forward to.  Apparently, your hair will, for a few weeks, become more oily as your body adjust.  See, when you use shampoo, you are stripping away the natural oils and your body creates more oils to compensate.  So, once you stop the stripping process, you will be overproducing oils until your body reaches a balance again.

Sound interesting?  Do I have you intrigued? Well, I’ll keep you up to date of my progress but so far day 1…not so bad.  And, the other benefit to all this.  Saving money on shampoo.  That is a big plus.

Want to give it a try?  Here is what you need to do:

  • Add 1 tbs. baking soda to 1 cup of water.  It will just be cloudy water.  Wet your hair and pour on the mixture and “wash” as usual.
  • Then use 1 tsp apple cider vinegar with 1 cup water and pour that over your hair.  You can let it sit for a moment and then rinse.
  • You can also use lemon juice & water  instead of the vinegar if you would like.

I will let you know how it goes.  Anyone willing to give this a try or am I the only crazy one?

If you want to read up on it you can check out this book, The Whole Way to Natural Detoxification: The Complete Guide to Clearing Your Body of Toxins, by Jacqueline Krohn.  They probably have it at your local library as well as others on the same topic.

Anyone already doing this or have tried this?  Let us know your experience.

The links in the post above may be affiliate links. Read the full disclosure.
  • rosanne

    I have heard of this! Apparently your hair is much nicer once it starts kicking in. But the first few weeks are not that great. Most people quit after a couple weeks before the benefits start because they cant stand the initial oily feeling. I am going to try this too. I have ugly, frizzy unmanageable hair and maybe this is the ticket. Short of japanese hair straightening, nothing else worked. I dont mind waves or curls, just the crazy hair look. I love the title of this post.

    • Cindy

      @rosanne, Oh yay! I already have a no-poo buddy! We can get through that “bad” stage together. I am excited to try this and for reasons just the opposite of you, pin straight, lifeless, thinning hair.

  • Kim

    I tried it but after reading your ‘recipe’ I now know I was using way too much baking soda and not enough water. I was making kind of a runny paste. It dried my hair out and made it like cotton candy (I have naturally curly hair). I still do it about once every other week because it’s the same as using Neutragena or any other ‘cleansing’ shampoo. Anyway, now that I know the correct formula, I’m going to try it again. Once your hair adjusts, you’re supposed to be able to wash your hair less often, too… something that would be great for me because my hair can’t be washed every day and even every other day is pushing it, but the oiliness around my crown drives me nuts!

    • Cindy

      @Kim, Yep, everything I’ve read said to keep it like cloudy water so you don’t dry out your hair. You can also add a little honey to the mix if your hair is too frizzy and if your hair becomes too oily, the lemon juice may help

      • Kim

        @Cindy, Honey? Wow… that’s interesting. My hair does tend to frizz, so I may have to try that!

  • Anonymous

    I work at a “green” salon in santa cruz and while we carry great, hair healthy products (which many drugstore brands are not, really), I have definitely heard of this concept. Another option for those of you who are interested in going no-poo but aren’t quite ready to dive into your kitchen cabinets is to “shampoo” using conditioner. Also, it’s important to note that if you have straight, fine hair you’ll probably really dislike this… curly or wavy gals have the best results typically.

    A great article about this concept is here: http://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/natural-beauty-fashion/stories/bubble-trouble . The stylist quoted is one at my salon (he works in LA as well…).

  • Emmie

    Sounds interesting, I think I will try. My hair is naturally curly so I don’t know if not using shampoo when I use mouse to control the frizz is going to be a waste? I just could not go all natural I would look like some scary witch!
    I will try and let you know.
    Oh and by the way I have always used apple cider vinegar as a rinse. I don’t use hot iron. Just mouse and air dry.

  • Anonymous

    Hmm…interesting. I’ll have to try this once I’m out of my Aveda samples! 🙂 I’m always looking for ways to save. I already make my own laundry detergent and spray cleaners. “No-poo” should be great! I do tend to have oily hair, so hopefully I could stand that for a few weeks. Thanks for the suggestion.

    Question, does the smell of the vinegar linger in your hair? Are there any ingredients that can act as fragrances?

    • Cindy

      @, I haven’t tried the vinegar yet but apparently using the amount suggested does not make your hair smell.

  • Jaime

    Hehe! You say this like you don’t have the same stash of free shampoo that we almost all have! Just kidding! I think this is a great idea. Less chemicals, better for your hair and the environment plus super cheap! Keep us updated! 🙂

    • Cindy

      @Jaime, LOL, you are right. I do have quite a stash. 🙂

  • Ueen

    Hmnnnnnn….. I think I will pass up on this one Cindy because I had to enjoy the money maker John Freida shampoo/conditioner that I scored this week.

    Here was my deal:

    JF shampoo/conditioner – 4/$20
    Use $5 off $20 video credits
    Use 4/2.50 IP JF coupons
    Used $3 from Motrin purchase of last week
    Used $2 from Clairol purchase of last week.
    Total OOP – 0.00 (prior to tax)
    Got $10 UP Rewards


    • Ueen

      @Ueen, Opppps. I forgot to type in where I scored it from. I got them from Rite Aid and this deal will end this Saturday.

      So my question to my fellow livingrichwithcoupons.com fans would be, No-Poo or money maker Poo? 🙂 lol


      • Cindy

        @Ueen, LOL, ah but you won’t see me passing up a money maker if it involves shampoo. I mean, heck, I don’t use Dove deodorant but if it makes me $10 I’m getting it. 🙂

  • Sharon I

    I think I will have to give this a go too! My hair is naturally wavy/curly & gets so dry & frizzy in the summer time it drives me nutty.

    Good luck & I will be there right alongside you!

  • Denise

    I think I will give it a go. Does anyone know if pool water will do anything. I’m in the pool alot maybe I should waittill Sept.

  • Yesenia

    Cindy, how cool!

    I went no-poo 7 years ago. My hair used to be very dry and dull-looking before no-poo. Now I get people stopping me on the street asking me what I do to my hair! No joke. I have super thick, long, curly hair that’s prone to frizziness, especially in the humid weather. My hair is a a lot healthier now. It’s shinier, bouncier, vibrant, and grows a lot faster than it used to – about 8+ inches a year on average. I know it’s because of all the chemicals I’m not using in my hair. I used to have such a hard time growing it and my hair would fall out in huge clumps in the shower.

    I wash my hair the same way – 1 tbsp of baking soda in a cup of water massaged in my hair, rinsed out with cold water. I follow with a vinegar rinse – 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar in 2 cups of distilled water, with a couple teaspoons of honey added in. (I had to experiment with the acv/water/honey ratio to find a combo that worked properly for my hair.) I finger comb some conditioner in my hair afterwards. I don’t even rinse this out, and my hair doesn’t smell like vinegar afterwards. I do this 1x a week.

    You may or may not suffer from the detox phase. Fortunately, I didn’t. I saw results immediately. I guess everyone’s hair is different when it comes to going no-poo. I still use product in my hair (usually gel) but a small dollop usually does it.

    Good luck, Cindy, and to all the other ladies out there who are thinking of going no-poo. I recommended trying it for at least month. You may just have a whole new head of hair afterwards!

    • Cindy

      @Yesenia, Yay! Thanks so much!!! I’m so glad you shared. It makes it so much easier to know that someone has such great success with it! I am really looking forward to it. I do have thin hair so I’m anxious to see how it works for my hair type. Seems like those with frizzy, curly hair have the best results but if I could get a little more body out of it, I’ll be a happy camper. Thanks again!!

  • Stephenie

    Has anyone tried this with thick straight hair and had success? I have a combo of frizzy dry hair underneath and smooth straight, somewhat healthy (but highlighted) hair around the top layers. I’m finding that most drugstore shampoos are starting to make my scalp break out too.

    I’m going to give it a try and I’ll report back for all of us in the Thick and Straight category!

    Happy No-Poo’ing to us all!

  • michelle

    I’ll give it a try, Cindy. I hope it works for me.

  • rosanne

    In honesty, I am trying this because my hair drives me crazy with frizziness. If someone bottled a magic potion for my hair that worked, I would gladly pay almost anything for it. I would scrimp and save if I had to. But the dream of “good hair” would keep me going.

  • Tiffany

    First time commenting!

    Anyway, does anyone if this is good for itchy & flaky scalp? I currently can only use Head & Shoulders because everything else freaks my scalp out if I use it for more than a day. I have medium to thick straight hair which is usually oily (even a day after I wash it). I want to try it but I’m to go through a major dandruff & oily session. That was probably way too much info, but just wondering! 😀

    • Heather

      @Tiffany, I have problems with my scalp, too. I’ve never heard of going “no-poo”! My hair is thick and slightly wavy. I use the H&S that’s for frizzy hair, but I only use it about every other time I shampoo. Let us know if you try it and it helps the dandruff! I’m willing to give it a go… after I use my free stuff! 🙂

  • Abby

    Let’s go. Now, what we need Cindy is where to get that cheap baking soda.

  • angela

    I might be trying this as well. I also have straight thick hair so am curious to see if this works for my hair type and it also tends to get oily after a few days of no washing. About the vinegar, the smell doesn’t linger and it also helps to keep your hair shiny. Can’t wait to see how everyone does!!

  • Heather

    If the vinegar smell were to linger, my hubby would vomit if he came near me! He can’t stand to smell vinegar! I may add a little lavender oil, or something like that, to the vinegar. Has anyone ever tried that? Or maybe even vanilla flavoring?

  • Maggie

    Too funny! I love all of these posts. I am almost 46 years old and still unable to control my hair in hot/humid weather. I live outside of Philadelphia so it is been really hot and really humid lately. I’ve had to put my hair up in a clip to maintain some control. I’ll give this a shot. I need something that will help my thin, curly, frizzy hair. On a side note, did anyone else notice their hair changed after pregnancies?

  • Maria D.

    Working for a haircolor/haircare company in the past. I would like to make some general comments
    If you rinse the vinegar very well, you shouldn’t have a lingering smell.
    If you color your hair be careful with rinsing with lemon juice, it’s acidic and make discolor, lightening your hair. Especially if you use henna.
    I would not add any scented oils to the hair it may cause some allergic reaction.
    As with anything else, use common sense and see what works for you.
    I am working towards the no-poo thing myself, I first started by discontinung using any fixative products in my hair, gel, sprays, leave in, etc. I still use shampoo, but my conditioner is for dry, damaged, or color treated hair. I found my scalp itches less, and my fine curly hair doesn’t frizz anymore.

  • Toni

    Hi all,

    I think this is a very healthy concept but in my experience, baking soda tends to strip my hair coloring. I too suffer from frizzy,lifeless hair. My hair is past my shoulders and I am 50. I wish I could do the baking soda and forgo shampoo but coloring my hair is a pain as is and it never seems to last that long to begin with. Just my thoughts though I do wish everyone much success with this. I recall back in the day when I was raw vegan (I am vegan now) a girl that was a long time raw vegan and quite healthy, washed her hair with oranges and she had the longest most beautiful mane. Depending on how one could get oranges though, it might be a tad pricey. I know that would definitely not be in my budget.

    Good luck all 🙂

  • I did it for awhile, but wasn’t thrilled with it over all. I felt it was a little drying on my hair. I switched to all-natural shampoo bar (soap) and do the apple cider vinegar rinse. I am very happy with it and don’t plan to go back to bottled shampoo. 🙂 If by chance I run out of my shampoo bars, I would do the baking soda method in a pinch.

  • ticia

    I’ve been looking up more info on No-Poo methods for my crazy frizzy thick curly hair and was really interested in the DevaCurl products. They have a no-poo cleanser that you can use once a week and a conditioner that you use more often if needed. Has anyone tried these? I know it’s not really cost saving, but I have an addiction to washing my hair and am looking for a way to ease out of it.

  • Jennifer

    Cindy, how is the No-Poo going? Your readers are curious….

  • Pingback: A No Poo Update!()

  • A

    To all no poo-ers, I urge you to try the even more natural and easy wash which is pure shikakai powder, found online or in Indian grocery stores. Works even better than baking soda and vinegar, smells better, and is impossible to mess up. I wash with the powder by rubbing it in my scalp and hair, rinse thoroughly, then air dry with a little homemade flax gel. Best results ever! If my curls are dry I put a little raw coconut oil on the ends, either when wet or dry. For thinning spots I’m experimenting with dabbing pure neem oil( another Ayurvedic natural product) on my scalp pre-washing. It appears to help but it definitely stinks if u use too much.