No ‘Poo Update

Remember back when I made the crazy decision to toss my shampoo and start going “no-‘poo”? Ever wonder what happened with that experiment?


Over a year later, I’m pleased to say that I have continued it for the most part! I went strong with this method from last April, up until December this year, when I got pregnant. The only time that I briefly stopped was during the first half of this pregnancy, when my hair, scalp and hormones all went crazy. It wasn’t pretty, so I started using natural shampoos again for that season.

Since things have evened out a bit (probably the last 3 months or so) and for all of the months I did it last year, I’ve been really enjoying my simple, frugal habit.

The method I’m using these days is to:

  • Keep a squirt bottle with about 1/8 baking soda and the rest water in the shower. It settles between use, so each time I just shake it up briefly before I use it. I squirt it all over the top of my head and a bit onto the back, and then just rub it around and somewhat “lather” it (I add the quotations because it’s not a true lather, like shampoo, but it does foam up a bit) for about 30 seconds, then rinse.
  • Next I use some apple cider vinegar for conditioning. I dilute it 1/2 vinegar, 1/2 water and keep it in a glass jar with a lid. This isn’t ideal, and I’d like to get a squirt or spray bottle for it as well. I only apply it to the bottom half of my hair, because it causes my fine, thin hair to get a bit greasy if I use it anywhere near my scalp.
  • Every once in a while, I shampoo with a high quality, natural shampoo that I happened to have around. It served as a nice transition from when I stopped no-‘poo temporarily, and has helped me to ease back into it without it being obvious that I was transitioning back again. Soon I don’t think I will need to use it anymore at all.
  • I wash my hair only every 2nd day. Back when I started, last April, I was a shower-every-day kind of girl, and my hair would get so greasy without being washed daily. Between the no-‘poo and gradually spacing out my showers (taking advantage of days at home, when I could toss it up in a ponytail!), I’ve managed to get it to the place where I can almost always go 2 days in between. The picture of my hair above is actually taken on a 2nd day, without showering, and you really can’t tell.

Once in a while, I notice that my hair is a bit dry, but then again, I’m struggling to stay hydrated enough with a summer pregnancy, and it has been a dry summer here so far this year. I have experimented once with using my homemade mayonnaise as a deep conditioner, but I didn’t find the results particularly impressive, so I haven’t bothered much since then.

I stumbled across a blog post the other day, about how a mother has adapted a similar method for her daughter’s beautiful, long hair. She uses a natural bar soap, every 5 days, and then the apple cider vinegar rinse for conditioning. Looks like it’s working well for her. Check it out!

For my kids, I continue to use just water on Caden’s short and fine hair, and maybe 1-2 drops of Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap
on Abbie’s slightly longer (but still very fine) hair. I wash their hair about 1-2 times per week and I don’t ever find that it looks dirty. I mean, aside from the smears of yogurt and jam and spaghetti sauce. πŸ™‚

Have any of you transitioned over to using the no-‘poo method? How is it going for you, and do you do it any differently than I do? Any deep conditioning suggestions for me? What are the rest of you using for shampooing?

Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links.

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  1. I’ve never heard of going no-‘poo, but have always been jealous of those girls who could go 2-3 days without washing and their hair just looked BETTER! (I have fine, oily hair, too, that I often joke with my family could be used to grease a baking pan by the end of 24 hrs. or less… πŸ™‚ I’m interested in trying this. I appreciate your thrifty, informative posts, Stephanie. Thanks!

  2. Hey, I was wondering if you might be able to offer me a little help. I started using baking soda-water like you do, and then rinsing with a ratio of 1:4 vinegar and then rinsing that out with cool water. However, sometimes I am ending up with greasy hair, especially on the underside. Like sometimes my hair comes out greasier than before the shower. My hair is very fine and curly. Do you have any thoughts? I really want to make this work. I’ve been doing this for 2 months now–is it just adjusting still? Any thoughts on what to try would be appreciated! Thanks!

  3. how funny!!! i was JUST thinking about this yesterday. wondering if you were still doing it! HA!
    you hair looks absolutely beautiful! so shiney and healthy looking….maybe i’ll give it a go!
    thanks for reading my mind. πŸ™‚

  4. I just tried it for the first time 2 days ago, and was surprised at how well it worked. I thought my hair would be dull and dry, but if anything it was easier to comb and looked cleaner.

    I’m going to try the spray bottle tip, that’s a good idea. I just tried using straight baking soda in my hair and I think I ended up using way too much.

  5. I’ve been no poo for about a year and love my hair! Every once in awhile I’ll use regular shampoo (the kids have not yet made the transition) when I forget to refill the baking soda bottle and find that regular shampoo makes my fine, thin hair really fly away. My final rinse is with white vinegar (not as strong as apple cider) to which I have added half a cinnamon stick and some vanilla. Smells wonderful!

  6. I’ve been doing no poo for a couple months now. I’m still working out my system but overall I really like it.

    One thing I do every once in a while is a egg conditioner. Just mix an egg with a little bit of lemon juice and a tablespoon or two of warm water. (You can leave out the warm water if you leave the egg to sit on the counter for a few minutes but I always forget and a cold egg on your head is not comfortable.) Then I pour it on my head, rub in down my hair, and let it sit for a minute or two (it’s easier in a bath than a shower). Then I rinse. Make sure you rinse with warm water, not hot, or the egg will cook and leave bits in your hair. But it is a great way to revive dry hair.

  7. No ‘poo isn’t something that has ever landed on my radar. Oh, except Dr. Mercola recommends it, but then he hasn’t much hair!

    It has been nearly 3 years since i made the switch to organic shampoos & i find that my head no longer itches all the time. To stretch my expensive shampoos i use about 1/5 of the bottle of shampoo, 1/5 of the bottle with a concentrated liquid soap nut solution, & the rest with water or aloe vera juice. I’m really pleased with this. My hair comes out really shiny & soft. I do use more of this liquid than i would the concentrated stuff, so i’m not sure how much i’m actually saving, but i’m very pleased with the result.

    I’ve heard that using coconut oil on your hair & scalp from time to time is good for your hair, but honestly i’ve not tried it. I get mixed reactions to using the coconut oil (extra virgin, unrefined). Sometimes my eyes react to it.

  8. I have been going no poo for about 2 years now! I just recently stopped using the baking soda and ACV and just rinse my hair with water and massaging my scalp. My hair looks even better! Every once in a while I need to use an ACV rinse. I really only “wash” my hair 1-2 a week. For deep conditioner I use full fat yogurt and honey. If I want to add extra conditioner (and a little bit of color and shine) I add about 1-2 tbsp of Henna ( I mix that up, massage it into my hair and scalp, wrap it up with a plastic grocery bag and/or shower cap and sleep with it on. Works WONDERS! I also use coconut oil to condition my hair and to stop frizzes.

  9. I used the baking soda/ACV for a year and had great results. Lately I have been shampooing with Dr Bronner’s Castile Soap 1-2 times a week, mostly for convenience and safety. Our son, now 16 months old, was too curious about the baking soda container (in a glass pint jar) and it fell into the bathtub and broke. If I can pick up a spray bottle for very cheap at a garage sale this summer I will go back to the baking soda.
    I do really like the castile soap as our whole family can use it. My husband wasn’t interested in the ‘no poo’ method and likes a lathering soap. It works well for washing our son’s body and hair (about once a week), and I find I don’t really need a conditioning rinse as my hair had acclimated from using the baking soda/ACV. (I have long, thick, but not greasy hair, if that matters.) We just keep a repurposed pump dispenser of Dr. Bronner’s in the bathtub and we don’t need any other products.

  10. Any of you try this with wiry, thick, hair that is turning grey? My hair is short and I struggled cutting back to washing my hair every other day. I did it, but if I went a third day, my scalp literally ached, but then again, my hair is so thick that it would hurt up in a pony tail when I was a kid, thus the short hair. My hair dresser has to use thinning scissors to help it out.

    I will admit that I thought their was no way I could skip a day, but I stuck with it and now it is not a big deal. No ‘poo? Well, I might give it a try, but must confess that with my hair type, I’m a skeptic. A friend of mine’s pediatrician told her not to use any kind of soap on her baby until he was at least a year old. She just used water and a cloth. He always had beautiful skin.

  11. When I first saw the title I thought it was a post about potty training. Teehee. Definitely something worth trying- family of 7, always looking for budget friendly all-natural ideas….so glad to have found your blog! I came across your blog while searching for blogging gals who share similar interests with me. I want to pass on to you an award- the primio meme award- that a sweet gal awarded to me a few days ago on my blog. The specifics (pretty simple stuff) are in my June 28 entry. I am looking forward to spending more time on your sight and reading future posts!

  12. I have also recently started doing the “no-poo” thing, but I use the curly girl method which is working wonders on my curly hair! I still shampoo every day b/c otherwise my curls just look a little blah and frizzy. But I don’t use shampoo at all. I buy conditioner with as few chemicals as possible (there are certain things you must and must not have in conditioner for this method) and use that to scrub my scalp. Then I apply a small amount of conditioner to my entire head and only rinse for a second (just to spread the conditioner evenly over my hair, you don’t wash it out). It has been great!

    I do use backing soda and water on my scalp when it gets super dry. I have really curly hair so my hair usually needs all of the conditioning and moisture it can get! And being pregnant has thrown my skin for a loop. I am still experimenting with ratios and conditioners to make sure I get something that won’t completely dry out my scalp…it doesn’t need any help πŸ™‚

  13. Question: How does your hair smell? Does it smell like ACV? If it does, what do you do about it?

  14. I have very long thick curly hair. I have yet to find an alternative for shampoo that works well (but I’m still experimenting!) although, I started using extra virgin coconut oil for a leave-in conditioner and LOVE it. Not to mention, it smells pretty.

    Also, my curls look best with a little gel of some kind- and I had a hard time giving that up, although I knew that the chemicals in commercial gels weren’t good for me. Then, I tried pure aloe gel. It’s wonderful! My curls are soft (not crunchy) and they keep their shape beautifully.

  15. I like to use coconut oil as well. I pretty much use it every time I wash to scrunch the ends. I haven’t been able to find the pure aloe gel yet but have read it works great. I have thick wavy hair and found the book “Curly Girl” by Lorraine Massey a lot of help.

  16. Christy, also having fine hair myself, I definitely went through a season of extra greasiness. Especially if I used too much ACV. I found that I actually did better in the beginning without the vinegar, and then as my hair got more used to no ‘poo I was able to gradually start using it, but only on the bottom half of my hair. Any higher and it can still get greasy looking. Hang in there, and give it a try without the vinegar for a while perhaps!

    Katie, the reason I wanted to shower less was because I want to avoid the chemicals in the shower water (which are more easily absorbed into our skin because the heat opens up our pores). I have sensitive and sometimes dry skin, as well as eczema on my hands, and I was hoping that it would make a difference. Overall, I think it has! Bathing less was helpful for my children’s skin as well. Not to mention, it just saves me time as a busy mama, to not have to shower and dry my hair half of my mornings! πŸ™‚

    Cottage Comtesse, I wish I could help you out but I know nothing about your type of hair! πŸ™‚ And I’ve also heard the same thing- no soap at all for babies and even toddlers. My 2 year old really doesn’t need any soap on his skin or hair, and even my 4 year old doesn’t need barely any.

    Audrey, the vinegar smell completely dissipates. I never notice it after my shower. A few women have also mentioned putting nice smelling things in with it (vanilla, cinnamon sticks, essential oils) which might help to add a scent that you really enjoy!

    Thanks for the conditioning suggestions as well, ladies! I’ll have to give them a try! πŸ™‚

  17. I think I had the opposite thing happen with me! I found that my hair did well right away when I switched to “no poo” but then over time it started looking yucky and greasy. Weird. But it’s great that it worked for you! Maybe I should try it again……

  18. SO FUNNY that you mentioned this today. I tried shampoo-free for a weeks last spring, then we moved, and I just have been using Burts Bees since then, but then I ran a guest post on ‘poo-free a few weeks ago and it inspired me to try again. It’s been going really well! I used to have a SUPER greasy scalp, but even just transitioning to more natural shampoo helped with that. Like you, I’m just about able to go two days between cleansing my hair.

    We are almost out of the girls’ super expensive natural/organic shampoo and I’m thinking I’ll try some sort of variation of ‘poo-free or maybe natural soap for them. My oldest have very, very thick hair and I am wondering if the ACV rinse would work for her.

  19. Also, here’s the link to the guest post on my blog. The woman who wrote it described a scalp massage she does when she applies the baking soda paste. I’ve been doing that and it really makes a difference.

    To the commenter above who is having greasies on the underside of her hair/scalp – have you tried flipping your head over and rinsing your hair from the nape of your neck down? I often have grease problems in that area no matter what kind of hair cleansing product/system I use. I find I pretty much have to rinse “upside down” to get that area cleansed, and I often have to really work it over with my fingers as I rinse.

    I bought a wood bristle brush which was an extravagant luxury for me but it has made the daily brushing that goes along with this system a lovely treat.

  20. I’ve been no-poo for almost a year, with the exception of one month in winter when my scalp was really dry. I just rinse my scalp really well with water, then use Suave naturals conditioner. I also have thick, curly hair so I rinse in cold water. My curls have gotten much better since doing this. I love it!

  21. I have known about no poo for a few years now and have wanted to try it, but was nervous. After my daughter was born I started transitioning to showers every other day, and my normally super greasy hair adjusted as well and looked much better. The kids have been sick and it is super hot here right now, so we aren’t leaving the house much. I knew this was the perfect opportunity to try this (plus you post helped push me a bit). It is great! I did this for the first time on Thursday, and this morning (Saturday) my hair was still looking good with just a slight touch of greasiness to it (not like it is with shampoo). I did it again this morning and am really liking this. Thanks for the encouragement. My husband thinks it is a bit cooky, but says my hair looks nice. πŸ™‚

  22. Hi- it takes me a while to get around to the blogs I have linked on my blog either in list or button ( or both ). Enjoyed you update on Shampooing. I tried last year but after 6 weeks wasn’t happy with results. This past June 7th I went back to no poo. And you’ll never get to go back to commercial. I settled in on Dr. Bronner’s castile bars for shampooing and because my hair would get tacky from cider vinegar I went to white with wonderful results. If you want to read all my postings on shampoo…just type in shampoo in the search window at top of my blog home page. We know longer commercial soaps for bathing….although Kirk’s Castile is commercially made it’s been around the market since 1800 something. I use Dr.Bronners and other handmade soaps, also.

  23. I had wondered too how this had been going for you. Although I’ll be honest I don’t have any desire to try it myself or on my family. LOL. Its just one more thing to figure out to replace something that is already working well for us. We use nature clean’s shampoo and conditioner, but we use it about once a week each. It works great for us.

    We’re still trying to find a solution for a men’s deodorant that actually works. It seems we have tried everything. We even had to give up having my husband use natural soap for the shower (now he uses Ivory, which is the best not natural one I could find). I am very allergic to the scents (even unscented) deodorants, so its not just a desiring a natural alternative that motivates me to find something that would work. Any ideas?

  24. Nola, I know that Lindsay had a homemade deodorant recipe. Maybe you could give that a try? (I haven’t yet)
    Or have you tried using a deodorant stone or crystal? I’m about to try my first one that’s arriving in an order this weekend. I’ve heard from some people that they work well, and from others that they really don’t, so I’m not quite sure what to think. I’ll let you know if I like it, though!

    1. I use a crystal that is in a stick deodorant style container so it can be twisted up as it is used. I said to wet the crystal before applying it. That meant I had to use it in the bathroom (not where I usually get dressed) and water dripped down through the container and carried crystal residue onto the counter. I got a small squirt bottle (the tiny one that some body fragrances come in) and filled that with water. I squirt water on my underarms then rub the crystal on. This make it very portable, convenient and less messy. Just be careful not to drop it because it will break. I super glued the broken piece back on (didn’t want to have to buy a new one) and periodically have to scrape the top of the crystal with the lid to get the scratchy glue off, but it saved me money. Also, don’t let it sit unused for months. I bought my first one, but wanted to finish my previous deodorant & I forgot about it. Evidently there is some moisture in the stick, because while it sat unused it dried out and got crumbly. I haven’t figured out how to use it yet.

  25. Stephanie,

    Thanks for the link! Audrey – My daughter’s hair does not smell like ACV after using it, we rinse well.

  26. thanks for the homemade deodorant link. I will have to try that soon. I already have all the ingredients, so I like that. πŸ™‚ No new investment into something that might not work for us.

    I currently use a deodorant crystal. I find it works for me, except on the very hottest of days when I am working really hard. However, I still perspire a lot. No matter what I use. Its worse in certain times (like pregnancy and postpartum). But I am mostly just at home anyways! My husband on the other hand needs to look presentable for work. He often bikes so its harder. He’s been using the crystal but finds he has to shower every single day, plus re-apply two or three times a day on some days. Its not ideal, so we will have to try the recipe and keep looking too! Thanks!

  27. Stephanie, Thanks for the update! I’ve been no’poo for maybe 6 weeks now (?) and I feel like I’m still transitioning. I’m afraid to use shampoo even once b/c I think I will have to start all over on the whole “transition” thing, and I’ve definitely had a lot of hair-up-only days lately! I tried using the ACV only on the hair, not roots after reading this post a few days ago, and my hair was definitely more greasy after that. ??? My hair is pretty full-bodied, so that must make a difference. I really need the ACV rinse right on the scalp.

    I also notice a thick white film on my brush bristles..I’m guessing I’m using too much baking soda (?) but I don’t really have flakes in my hair. Anyone else have this going on? Can the transition possibly take this long? I can’t decide whether to keep on with it or give up. I may try castille soap – at least that would be better than traditional shampoo. How much do you use, Vika?


  28. I just wanted to say, I’ve been using Lindsay’s homemade coconut oil deodorant from Passionate Homemaking for about a month now. It works great!

  29. I heard about this from another website and have been “no poo” for about a month and a half. I have the similar problem of fine thin hair that becomes a grease slick the second day and the baking soda has really helped a ton! In fact, I used a pretty good shampoo traveling just this last weekend and hated the way my hair felt. I think that different hair types will just need to tweak the amount of baking soda and vinegar combination. I highly recommend it – it really cuts down on frizz too!

  30. I know you said you don’t wash your hair everyday with this, but can you? I exercise just about everyday and work up a pretty good sweat, can i wash my hair everyday with this method? is there anything you suggest?

  31. I have been no ‘poo since late March 2009. Lately I have found my hair gets very oily and matted when I wash it with baking soda. It does not matter what my ratio is or how much I wash and rinse. During those times I wash with Burts Bees. I have stopped and started with ACV and that does not seem to make a difference. I have been on GAPS for a bit now so wondering if that is the reason.
    I have heard about coconut oil for conditioning: how does that work? Do you put it on the ends and leave it or what? Thanks πŸ™‚

    1. I have the same issue, Ceitlyn, but I’ve only been doing no poo for about a month. For the first two weeks I loved it, but since then, my hair has been getting progressively more greasy and matted, regardless of what ratio I use or how I rinse… Do you or anyone else have any suggestions for me?

      1. @Emily: right now I use a baking soda and Burt’s Bee’s combo with a ACV rinse and sometimes just straight baking soda/acv. When my hair would mat I would not matter the mix or how much/often I would use ACV. For me, it was changes in my diet that affected my hair. As my body detoxes/cleanses my hair changes. I have just learned to modify accordingly. I know it was frustrating to me when that happened until I figured out my diet changes. Hang in there!

  32. 6 years ago I started trying this and kept it up for many months before going back to my nice smelling shampoo. My hubby is balding and decided to also quit using shampoo completely and after a short transition period his hair now looks just the same as it did when he shampooed. He uses just water and has for 6+ years. I have two daughters. One with long straight hair and one with long curly hair. Both have fine hair. I quit using shampoo on my older daughter’s hair when she was 6 months old and haven’t ever used it on my younger daughter. Both have beautiful hair that gets many compliments. In fact I don’t use and soap on them at all. I do put some vinegar into their bath and make sure to have them lay back and rinse their hair in it. That serves to detangle their hair and condition and smooth their skin.

    If the vinegar is too heavy lemon juice or lime juice work well and are lighter. Lemon juice will of course lighten hair but lime juice won’t.

  33. Haven’t read the other comments so this may be a repeat but I mix up runny honey & baking soda and use that as a conditioning shampoo, face scrub and body wash and my hair is silky smooth and hydrated πŸ˜‰

  34. Hi there,
    I am 35 weeks pregnant, and I have been no poo for nearly 3 years. I use baking soda ‘neat’, and then rinse with apple cider vinegar. But I only wash 1 x every 1-2 weeks. And my hair is the best it has ever been. Mind you, I have a suspicion ( that this has something to do with my diet also. When I venture away from my raw food diet, my hair gets greasy. Anyway, no poo for me, my sons, and nearly my husband – okay maybe not him. That could take a little more convincing….:)

  35. I use the baking soda method to wash my hair, but I use coconut oil as my conditioner. My last hair trim was well over 4 months ago, and I don’t even remotely have any breakage or split ends. My hair is naturally wavy, and it looks better than ever. πŸ™‚

  36. I too took the no-poo poo challenge this summer. I love the way my hair looks and feels.

    I tried the baking soda wash/ vinegar rinse but I didn’t quite like it. I now use Dr. Bronner’s Lavender soap and then for the rinse I use is 1 Tb of fresh lemon juice in 8oz of water . It works just as well as the baking soda /vinegar but I like the smell better. Thanks for all the wonderful information .

  37. I tried it one day my hair was very crunchy feeling after rinsing with the acv. I used one tablespoon of baking soda and a cup of water and same for acv. How do you know how much to take away?

    I am also trying Dr. Bronner’s that’s 1/4 cup of that with 1/4 cup water a 1/2 tsp of almond oil. My hair still feels dry when I get out of the shower. What can I use to give it softness? Thanks!

  38. I have been poo-free for about 4-5 months now and I will NEVER go back to store-bought shampoo again. I inherited VERY thick, heavy, wavy hair from my dad. Before going poo-free I HATED my hair – the way it felt, the lack of manageability, you name it. Now my hair is manageable, even though it is still thick and heavy. It feels lighter and holds shaper better … all without styling products! My problem with dandruff/dry scalp has vanished completely thanks to the vinegar rinse before washing with the baking soda. I cannot say enough wonderful things about this method!! This blog post I wrote recently shares more of my experience and gives links to other posts on being poo-free I have made in the past —

  39. Hey,
    Just got linked to this article and I’m looking forward to reading more. I haven’t used conditioner in two years. my current method is to apply coconut oil to my hair before I shower, then shampoo it out. it leaves my hair super soft and shiny. i’ve been looking for a natural shampoo alternative and I’m excited to try this. The coconut oil might serve you well as a deep conditioner. it also makes a fantastic moisturizer and can be used on your face as well.

  40. Yeah, I’m definitely trying the no-poo thing. I’m glad to see that it has worked for you. However I am trying water-only for right now (although I just caved and did an egg-yolk wash which worked out great). I’m chronicling my journey day by day at if anyone is interested. I’m on Day 14 now.

  41. I just tried the no-poo method for the first time a few minutes ago and so far I’m sold. I still have yet to blow dry and style since I like to let it air dry a bit first, but it’s very easy to run my fingers through. For those who want a way to deep condition, as a former hairdresser my best advice is to go an extra day per week without washing your hair. Your scalp secretes oil, called sebum, for a reason. That reason is to condition your hair and keep it healthy. In addition, brushing your hair with a natural boar-hair bristle brush a couple of times a week, at least, will distribute the sebum more evenly than just combing it will.

    For those with greasy hair, I notice that a couple of you with this complaint are using a large vinegar to water ratio. My advice is to decrease the vinegar to 1 tbls. for every one cup water. This will give you the same benefit, but should reduce the greasy feeling. Again, it’s the sebum that’s making your hair greasy. If you produce a lot of sebum, then conditioning is just unnecessary, since your hair is already conditioned naturally.

    Well, I hope this helps. I’m off to style now.

  42. I just started no ‘pooing thanks to a friend of mine, and love it. I haven’t experienced any transition period, though I know from most blogs that a transition/detox period is normal. My hair did the funniest thing though. I have super thick, easily tangled, straight hair. Always have. Even as a baby and toddler I had flat hair. It holds style well, but has none of it’s own. My first day using just a baking soda solution (I waited to try the vinegar rinse) I had my hair up in a ponytail–my baby likes to pull hair, plus it’s just easier. My husband suddenly said, “Don’t move!” and he ran to get the camera. He took a shot of the nape of my neck. There were three tight gorgeous ringlets, at least an inch long each!! Since then I’ve notice ringlets on the underside, and my top layers are wavier. It’s insane! My husband immediately jumped on the bandwagon and used it on the kids hair as well. We love it, and look forward to saving money.

  43. I’m in; after reading several sites on several different days, I’m completely convinced to try this for several reasons:
    I was going insane from itching scalp, no matter which shampoo I tried, from the least to (nearly) most expensive…and could not find a totally herbal/natural one, so I sacrificed my last bar of homemade soap that formerly scented a dresser drawer of clothing. Immediate relief with the first non-shampoo head washing. I have used shampoo only a few times since and then only because I forgot to place the soap bar in the shower. After a medication change and very serious illness with major surgery, my hair began falling out at an alarming rate. I now have about half the number of hairs on my head that I did as 30-something. Since my hair is very fine, I feared losing any more! Since I stopped using shampoo, my hair has stopped falling out at the accelerated rate. That could be coincidence, granted; however, I think part of it is also that I don’t constantly have my fingers in there scratching! My hair is very soft, no need for ‘conditioning’ as yet, and very shiny even though it is all silver of various shades. I was pleasantly surprised when my late-30’s son commented on what a nice color “my own” color is and that it shined so nicely. Wow. Whooodda’ thought? (I colored it for several years fighting gray when living in the cube farm of corporate America.) Love this new hair-care plan! Love reading everyone’s experiences, and REALLY love ‘beating the system’ in at least one or two little ways. Yeah, I darn socks too, for the same reason.

  44. Stephanie, I too have fine, thin hair. I’m surprised that you still have to wash every second day. Since I just started no-poo, I thought I could eventually wean off to washing about once a week, but maybe not if I share your hair characteristics? We’ll see… πŸ™‚

  45. Great blog, quick question for you Stephanie.

    I’m a guy, and I have a closely shaved head. Not Mr. Clean bald, but more like a closely buzzed shaved head if that makes sense. I use a beard trimmer to cut my hair once every 4-5 days.

    Anyways, I notice that traditional shampoos with SLS etc, tend to make my scalp irritated and make my skin break out in bumps.

    I then switched to Nizoral shampoo and while that got rid of the skin breakouts, it makes my scalp very very dry and flakey.

    I’m considering switching to the baking soda routine you’ve outlined here and was wondering if

    a) you think this would work for me

    b) if you could recommend an amount of baking soda to start off with? I was thinking 1 teaspoon and then filling the rest with water in a squirt bottle?

    c) lastly any need to condition for me?

    I’m just looking for a solution to keep my scalp looking hydrated and also prevent any skin irritation.

    Thx and keep up the good work

    1. @Sunny, Oh, you’ve stumped me a little. My husband also a very short buzz, but he doesn’t join me in my baking soda ways, so that’s no help. I think that it would work for you, but you’re probably right about a very low baking soda/water ratio. I really don’t think you’ll need very much. As for conditioning, I would think maybe very occasionally but probably not regularly. You may not even need it at all, but I’m really not sure about that. Wish I could be more helpful! Hope it works for you!

    Great advice, I have linked it from my own blog. I have now been 6 weeks without washing my hair, I have used nothing only warm water. Tomorrow I will try the baking soda and apple cider vinegar.
    My blog examines the mystical properties of hair, and how the high dose chemical cocktails we use rob us of these gifts. I would be interested to know if your sixth sense improved when you went chemical free?
    Sandra Barr

  47. Just came across your blog and love it! I’ve been using a very similar method for washing my hair for about 10 months now with excellent results. The difference in my “recipe” is I combine the baking soda with Dr. Woods Pure Black Soap. Then I condition with 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar in 3/4 cup of water to which I add several drops of essential oils, usually a few drops of orange and a few drops of grapefruit. Sometimes I’ll use lemon or peppermint (which makes the scalp tingle). I mix it up so I’m not using the same EO’s all the time. I used to wash my hair every other day but now I only have to wash it once every five days!!! Amazing!! I love getting back to basics!

  48. I have just started this transition! I had oily hair even with shampoo. If I washed my hair at night it was greasy looking by noon πŸ™ So I figured that it would be so nice for my body to actually start regulating itself. I have to tell you that I didn’t wait a whole two weeks to tweak the formula. After 3-4 days my hair was so oily that when I took the ponytail holder out, my hair didn’t move!! So I added some more baking soda and it’s gotten better. I am only on day 6 so it’s still early and I still think my hair is looking a little on the gross side but ponytails and hats are helping and hopefully in the next week or so it will start to look better. Your hair looks great! Can’t wait to get there!!!

  49. I went poo free about 2 months ago and am loving it! I have thick, curly hair and I use 1 tbsp of baking soda and 1 cup of water for the shampoo and the same for ACV for the conditioner about once a week. The only problem that I have had is with the dry winter air and so I have added 2-3 drops of vitamin e oil in 1 cup of water to rinse. I have never had such healthier and cleaner hair. Even my natural highlights (gray hair) are shinier, which I don’t mind. I also use a hair cap at night which helps to hold in the moisture that would otherwise get sucked out by my pillowcases.

  50. I’m having my second try at no poo now. First time around I got impatient with it. I think the transition was bad then due to dietary and hormonal issues. So I’m confident I’ll see success with it this time. Still experimenting to find the best formula for my hair during the transition period, but so far so good. πŸ™‚

  51. I like to use Dr. Bronner’s 18-in-one liquid soap. Does anyone who have posted have any opinions or suggestions? It is expensive but a little bit goes a long way.

  52. Question: Ok I don’t know if I can go even 1 day without showering, in the california heat I sweat, alot. Would it work if I used a shower cap and washed my body and not my hair? I’m assuming this would work since the oils from my hair won’t get washed away.

  53. Hello there! A friend of mine was telling me about how she’s trying to go shampoo free, and she wanted me to try it out, too. Since I have a lot of skin allergies, I thought it might be an interesting try since I already use my own skin treatment.
    That being said, I have a few questions that I’m hoping somebody with some more experience might be able to shed some light upon. The first would be that would I have to use cider vinegar for a rinse or would white vinegar be fine, too? I thought about lemon juice, but my hair is super light already and I’m afraid it’d bleach it so badly that I’d look like Paris Hilton. Another thing that I have a question about is if the baking soda would mess with my hair color, since I have highlights. It wouldn’t make anything fade faster, would it?
    I hate having to wash my hair every day, sometimes twice a day and everybody seems to be singing praise for the no shampoo deal. I wouldn’t mind hopping on this band wagon! πŸ˜€

    1. Hi! I’ve been going no poo for about a month now, and I did tons of research before starting, and I think I can help answer your questions. The white vinegar will work just fine, as long as your hair isn’t super dry. The ACV is really good for dry hair, but if your hair is oily, you want to use the white. As far as the lemon juice goes, it’s normaly used with the vinegar because the vinegar on it’s own can darken the hair, so in your case, you do not want to use lemon juice. The baking soda will not affect your hair color. It’s actually better to use than “color safe” shampoos and conditioners. Good luck with your no poo!

  54. When I tried to go the no poo way, I just couldn’t get through the transition/”greasy” period. I really wanted to do it, so kept reading everyone’s blogs. FINALLY I read a post by a woman who said she got through the “greasy” period by periodically using a mixture made of two egg yolks and two teaspoons of lemon juice or vinegar. Don’t use hot water or you’ll cook the eggs. I tried it and it works. I also added a couple drops of my favorite essential oil to mask the egg smell. I decided with the egg mixture natural too it was better than commercial shampoo and worth the try. I am totally poo free now. I still use the egg mixture from time to time because I think it deep conditions my hair too. I can’t find the blog where I originally found the idea anymore, but I try to spread the word since it seems to be the answer to the adjustment period.

  55. I use olive oil as a deep conditioner. You put it on the length of your hair, but not on the scalp. Leave it on for half an hour to an hour (depending on how dry your hair is) you can leave it on for longer if you think your hair needs it. Then rinse out in the shower. I do that every couple of weeks. If you google “olive oil as deep conditioner” you get a lot of good information.
    I’m currently trying no poo. I heard you could wash your hair without anything but warm water, but it leaves my hair too oily. I’m going to try the baking soda and vinegar method.
    I have really long (past my waist), and wavy hair, so it’s important to me to keep it healthy. I’m hope it works for me and saves me some money.

  56. So I have been reading so many articles/ blogs about no-poo
    for the last 2 hr now πŸ™‚ it totally makes sense to me why no-poo is the way to go, but honestly I am still a little confused on how to do so?!
    I think I understand the Baking Soda Shampoo & Apple Cider Conditioner concept but then again, I am not 100% sure…
    So do you wash your hair with water on a regular base and once your hair gets to greasy you use the “Shampoo & Conditioner” or
    do you not wash your hair on a regular base with water at all
    and then when it gets greasy you use the “Shampoo & Conditioner”?
    I know this must sound like a stupid question, but I am confused,
    esp. since I work out 6 days a week and there for wash my hair
    after each work out, so please help me to do the switch the right way!
    thank you! πŸ™‚

  57. Im 6 days into being no poo and, honestly, my hair isnt tht bad, its mostly greasy on the underneath layers where no one can see. its already going less frizzy, although I dont know if thats just becuase the grease adds extra weight, which stops it springing up. Anyway, I love this, thank you and all the other bloggers that convinced me to make the jump!

  58. I have been debating about this no shampoo thing for a while.. I wash my hair every 2-3 days anyways with it getting pretty oily so I think I’m going to try this but had a question about the acv rinse. Does it have to be the raw, unfiltered acv or can it be the “normal” acv? I have curly hair ( really curly when short but its about past my shoulders now) but its always frizzy no matter what concoction I try.. I’m just really wanting to have no more fly-aways.. I hate looking like I have an Afro when I put my hair in a pony.. Also can I dye my hair while doing this or wil the bs/acv have a reaction with it? One more question and that’s it, promise . If I decide to do deep conditioning treatments like hair masks will the bs wash it out or will I have to use shampoo? I know these are quite a few questions that probably have been answered but I have a 2 year old and an 8 week old, I don’t have time or the energy to search through looking for answers, and would appreciate the help

  59. I have used nothing but baking soda to wash my hair for 2 and a half years! I will never touch shampoo ever again. I have a method of washing my hair. In a plastic salad bowl I put about 4 Tbs baking soda and 2 cups water. With a cup I pour and scrub until I feel it is clean. I rinse with warm water and style without chemicals. It’s FANTASTIC!!!

  60. Need help. Have been shampoo free for almost three weeks. My scalp is itchy and flaky, but my hair looks great. My hair is thick and to my waste. I use baking soda and apple cider vineger to rinse. Last night I couldn’t help it, I used a small bit of shampoo. This morning my scalp feels dry and oily at same time. Any suggestions? Because my hair actually looks better!

  61. I started the no poo method about a week ago. I’m having an issue and i’m not sure if it is part of the transition phase. When dry my hair looks normal and feels soft and a little greasy. When wet it feels terribly greasy and clumpy to about halfway down its length from my scalp. The bs mix never seems to cut this oily mess. Do I need to use more? Should I cut out the vinegar? Is this normal?

  62. Hi,
    Can you tell me the exact measurement and ingredients
    for making (no-poo) shampoo and conditioner?
    I have a daughter she is 11yrs. She is using chemical based
    store bought shampoo and conditioner every single day.
    Every single morning I am struggling before she goes to school.
    Pleeeeeeeeeeeeease can you advise me how to handle the situation?

  63. I commented earlier how I just made the switch to toxic free cleaning. What I didn’t say is that it was TODAY and your site and recipes were the catalyst! Old cleaning products are history as I have jumped in with both feet. I was able to say ‘YES” when my four year old asked if she could help clean πŸ™‚ I already had the essential oils on hand and grabbed the other products needed. As a “clean” and organic “primal” eater, I know how important what we put into our bodies is. We often times feel we are surrounded by so much toxicity that we can never win but you help to show how easy it is to make a huge difference! Cleaning up my home is easier than I would have thought! I often use food items as facial masks and moisturizers but today I started the oil cleansing method as well. I will try this as a shampoo tonight! Once again THANK YOU for inspiring positive change.

  64. Hi Stephanie, I have searched and searched the internet for an explanation and I’ve come up empty handed, maybe you can help. I went poo-free about 4 months ago, using the same method as you, and it worked great for about 2 months. Then I started noticing pimples in my hair, around my hair, down my chest and shoulders. I assumed it came from the BS and thus eliminated that and only used water and ACV. During that time, we moved and the water is much harder in the new house. On the crown of my head I got this waxy buildup (is that sebum?) that repelled water and I could hardly comb through it. I had an aunt cut my hair a few weeks ago and she said I had to use shampoo to get that “funky gunk” out. I have shampoo twice since then and my hair is back to what it was before no poo—flat, frizzy looking, and no fun. I loved the volume. Any tips? I am trying a “natural shampoo” now and my hair is the same as before.

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