How and why to take the “no-poo” challenge

Before no-pooing

Day 1

I have been “no-pooing” for nearly 5 months now. That means I’ve been forgoing shampoo and cleaning my hair with baking soda and apple cider vinegar (AVC).

I was fascinated by the concept of never having to use shampoo again. You’re probably thinking, “how can someone possibly live without shampoo? Won’t their hair look like an oily mess?”

Actually, the opposite will happen.

When you shampoo your hair, you are essentially stripping the natural oils away. As a result, you are creating a demand and dependence on shampoo, because of all the oils that are being produced. If you choose to give “no-pooing” a try, the oils will keep producing until they naturally find a balance.

4 days into no-pooing

Day 4

The reasons I decided to give the “no-poo” a try

  • Baking soda and AVC are cheaper than shampoo, so I would definitely be saving some money.
  • It is a great non-toxic way to clean my hair because I know exactly what the ingredients are.
  • Less impact on the environment because no potentially harmful ingredients are getting washed down the drain, polluting our waters.
  • Apple cider vinegar de-tangles the hair follicles, seals the cuticles, and balances the hair’s pH levels.
  • Baking soda is gentle, and it clarifies your hair from harmful chemicals.

How to “no-poo”

  • The recipe I originally found says to mix either one tablespoon of baking soda with approximately 1 cup of water or directly apply the baking soda waterless to your hair. I personally do the latter. Not everyone’s hair is the same, so tweak the recipe to your needs. You can mix the baking soda and water in a squeeze bottle, which might make this process more manageable.
  • Add the baking soda and water or just baking soda to the ends of your hair as well as your scalp. Massage your scalp to incorporate the baking soda.
  • Let the baking soda sit in your hair for about a minute. Rinse your hair thoroughly.
  • Mix a small amount of AVC with a cup of water. Apply the diluted vinegar to your roots and scalp. Massage into your scalp. Rinse after a minute.

Your hair might smell a little vinegary, but adding some essential oils such as tea tree, lavender or rosemary will help with the odor. I found once I dried my hair the smell disappeared

If your hair is too dry, adding some oil such as coconut oil will help.

If your hair is becoming too greasy, using less ACV or replacing the ACV with lemon or lime juice will help.

Keep in mind that there will be an adjustment period which can last a few weeks to a few months. Your hair will be reacting to the surplus in oils, due to the lack of shampoo.

It took me four washes for my hair not to look like it belonged on the head of a gross, greasy participant on Survivor. I would say after a week and a half, my hair looked great seeing as I only wash my hair every second day.

So, who’s up for no-pooing?

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About Stephanie Moram

Stephanie Moram is the Good Girl Gone Green. She is a tree hugger; she is almost vegan; she is trying her best to make a difference on this planet. To say Stephanie is passionate about “all things green” and simply calling her passion environmentalism is an understatement! She wants to be the voice of change that will help others make their positive contribution to the environment. You can find Stephanie making a difference at her site, Good Girl Gone Green, or on twitter at GGirlGGreen.

  • http://www.makingitworkblog.com Carolyn Russell

    Do you use many styling products? Do you feel like your hair gets actually CLEAN with this method? And what texture hair do you have? I’m intrigued by the concept, but I’ve got really fine hair that also tends to be dry these days (oh pregnancy, you killed my hair!) so it’s hard to find the right balance between moisturizing and not being weighed down.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve done it! It was an adjustment period, but that was fairly quick. I love not having to clean my hair on a regular basis, it is freeing to me! I am now at the point where I do use shampoo, but only once a week. Oh, and if my hair is particularly greasy one day I go with a dry shampoo mix to freshen up. That’s oatmeal, baking soda, cornmeal and cornstarch and scrub it in over the tub like shampoo, then brush it out.

    Thanks for your tips!
    Rachel
    http://www.happygreenbabies.com

  • http://www.perfectlyflawedwoman.com Tanya

    It’s time!  I rarely shampoo as it is, only once every 5 days or so.  Been putting this off way too long.  Love your new gig Steph:-)
    T

  • Good Girl Gone Green

    @Kenner82:disqus My hair is slightly more dry, but I add a very tinny amount of oil to fix that problem. I like not having to wash my hair all the time and the fact that I am helping the environment out ways having perfect hair. Do not get me wrong my hair looks great. It is sometime just a little more dry. @rmcfadden:disqus I will checkout your recipe for my hair. It sounds yummy, too! @24c20ba6498cd112e603fd605bba85f0:disqus Thank you!!! :)

  • http://twitter.com/granolacatholic Lisa Greenwood

    I love the no-poo method. My hair is healthier than it has been in years. Not only my hair but both my girls (11 and 13) use it too, on those days when my hair needs a little something more I use cocoa powder as a dry shampoo. I am a brunette(with some natural silver streaks). The cocoa powder gives me a slight red tint. Lovely. 

    • Good Girl Gone Green

      Cocoa powder. Never heard of that, but am thinking I might need to try it. Thanks for the info! :)

  • http://glueandglitter.com Becky Striepe

    Hurrah! I’ve been no poo for a few years now and love it. It’s so much cheaper, and my hair feels great.

    • Good Girl Gone Green

      Hurrah, to you! I know so much cheaper and you dont have to wash your hair everyday. :)

  • http://www.simplystephen.ca/ simplystephen

    I’ve been no poo going on a couple of years and only use natural tea tree oil soap and salt crystal deodorant. My hair is long and thick. Sometimes my scalp does get a bit itchy but I’ve heard about the vinegar and baking soda solution…thanks for the instructions.

    It’s great…and makes life that much more simple too. One less thing to manage, one less purchase and several less chemicals in the eco system.

    I challenge everyone to go poo free!

  • Coopx2

    You could also just use Wen.  No shampoo and you don’t have to put backing soda and vinegar in your hair.  I have been using the Wen cleansing conditioner for three weeks now and I love it.

  • Coopx2

    You could also just use Wen.  No shampoo and you don’t have to put backing soda and vinegar in your hair.  I have been using the Wen cleansing conditioner for three weeks now and I love it.

  • Kmccarve

    I am interested in trying this, but I run or workout everyday and sweat a lot! Will this actually clean my hair after a hard workout?? I am a little bit skeptical, but willing to give it a shot. I do not wash my hair on my rest days, but that is only once or twice a week.

  • Linjonik

    Hi! This sounds terrific.  Do you think it’s OK on color treated hair?  Do you have any natural color ideas?  I would be ALL grey and I can’t go there yet….not until I get past job interviewing anyway, it’s hard enuff being 53 without adding looking it…LOL!
    Also, tea tree oil….I had some from Mellaleuca that was great and the drug store one stinks…any recommendations?  I only wash my hair about every 3 days as it is . THANKS!

  • Tracey Osterlind

    Yes, it’s definitely ok for colored hair. My hair is colored and Loves no-poo. I dissolve a good size handful of baking soda in a plastic bottle with warm shower water then work it mostly into my scalp and rinse. You can feel the baking soda absorbing oils. Hair should feel squeeky clean. If not, do it again. I wash my face, too. I had made up a bottle ahead of time, but found out that it’s freezing cold when I went to use it next day. Brrrr! Then I use my same widemouth bottle to make up dilution of ACV to rinse hair and face. Just eyeball it the dilution. Its not rocket science. Mine looks like very weak tea. Then rinse again with plain water. Hair feels a little fragile right after shower, but dries to amazingly soft, fluffy hair.

  • Sense_wanted

    Seriously honey, you should get a friend to take the photos for you. You do have friends don’t you?
    Do what the amazonian girls do, wash your hair only with bottled amazon river water. After about 4 months you will a beautiful mop of hair.  And you will have a roaring business in selling amazonian river water shampoo