Welcome to no-poo hair care!

washing hair

Wanna know a dirty little secret…? Of course you do! Everyone wants to know secrets!

Here’s one of mine… I haven’t shampoo-ed my hair for months.

When I tell people that, a general look of disgust crosses their face.

Seriously though, I really don’t use shampoo and conditioner any more, and haven’t done for months.

Firstly, let’s take a look at how shampoo and conditioner actually work.

I’ve looked at the harsh chemicals and ingredients lurking in beauty products before (see What’s really lurking in your toiletries cupboard), but today I want to look at the effects of the average bottle of shampoo or conditioner…

Mass-produced shampoos which you buy in shops are just detergents full of chemicals to strip your hair and scalp of dirt and oil – the most well-known being Sodium Laureth Sulphate, or SLS.

You may have already heard some bad things about SLS… It was originally created for industrial use. When rinsed from the skin or hair, the product will have cleaned the area, but will also have taken moisture from the top layers of the skin or from the hair.

As a little side-note… when SLS gets into rivers and ponds, it can affect ducks and other water foul by ‘cleaning’ the natural oils from their feathers. This causes the feathers to lose their waterproofing, which can cause the birds to sink and drown.

I digress.

But we want the dirt to be stripped away, right? Well, no. You see, as well as getting rid of all the dirt and grease, shampoo also strips the hair of sebum (the natural oils created by your skin and which your skin and hair need to remain healthy).

Sulphates (a “family” of ingredients of which SLS is one) are synthetic detergents that can irritate sensitive scalps but also strip hair of essential oils and moisture – in the same way as over-use of soaps and shower gels loaded with sulphates can strip skin of its natural oils. So you can expect dry, damaged hair in the long-run.

So after you shampoo, your hair probably feels pretty horrible, so you apply conditioner. Why? To replace the natural oils in your hair that your shampoo has stripped away, with manufactured oils.

The results may be beautifully clean hair, but you probably have to wash it every day (or almost daily). I know I did. Why is this? Because, as I said above, the detergents in shampoo have stripped your hair, and more importantly your scalp of it’s natural oils (sebum). And so your scalp goes into panic mode and over-produces sebum to try to make up for what was stripped away by your shampoo and keep its natural balance.

Then, of course, you wash your hair to get rid of the oiliness… And so it goes on – it’s a vicious cycle.

So what’s this no-poo hair care, then?

Basically, it’s cleaning your hair without the use of shampoo and conditioner.

There are various ways to no-poo, but the most popular (and the one that I use) is to use baking soda to “wash” your hair, followed by a vinegar rinse – yep, no-poo hair care is really cheap and you only need two simple ingredients that you can find in any supermarket!

Because baking soda is not a detergent, when you wash your hair using the no-poo method the sebum your scalp produces doesn’t get stripped away. As a result, your hair becomes naturally healthier because natural oils aren’t stripped away. And because your scalp can keep its balance, it will not produce as much oil in compensation. You’ll probably also find that you don’t need to wash your hair as often – I can go anywhere from a couple of days to a week between washes.

What other benefits are there?

As you can imagine, there will be an adjustment period when you start using no-poo, and your hair might be less-than-beautiful for a time. But when your hair and scalp are back in balance, you can expect…

  • more body – my previously limp, fine hair is now full of body
  • less oily hair
  • less frizz and fly-aways (great for curly hair)
  • added shine – blonde hair (which I have) naturally has less shine than darker hair, so I love the bonus of extra shine!
  • hair that’s easier to style – my hair is so much more manageable these days
  • wash hair less often as your scalp will no longer be over producing oils (I know I already mentioned that, but it’s a really good point)
  • no chemicals on your hair, scalp or down the drain – the Earth will love you too! (you probably know by now that I’m totally against harsh chemicals in any aspect of life so this is a step in the right direction)
  • more money in your purse – baking soda and vinegar are really cheap (a big difference from those fancy-looking shampoos and conditioners)
  • new hair growth (for some people) – I’ve noticed lots of new growth coming in. I put it down to the fact that my scalp is healthier

I have no personal experience of the following, but I’ve also heard that…

  • this method is SAFE for dyed hair
  • it’s also GREAT for grey hair (some commercial shampoos can cause grey hair to yellow)

Before we start

Firstly, let me share with you a little tip which I found invaluable when I first went no-poo… you need to clarify your hair before you start.

Say what?!

Well… a lot of commercial shampoos and conditioners contain silicones (usually found on ingredients lists usually ending with “zane” “xane” “cone” or “conol”). Silicones are not water soluble so they get stuck to your hair and can cause damage. They build-up on the hair over time and actually stop conditioner and hair treatments from reaching the hair

Find a clarifying shampoo (there are loads on the market which will work for this purpose, and they tend to be fairly cheap) for your final wash with commercial shampoo. Use it as you would use a “normal” shampoo – follow the directions – lather, rinse, repeat. You want to get all the silicone off your hair. This will help to make your transition phase easier and help you get your gorgeous no-poo hair a bit faster. If you forget this step, don’t worry, it just may make your transition period a bit longer.

When you’ve clarified, simply wait until you would normally wash your hair again and then start using the no-poo method.

How to wash your hair no-poo stylee…

It’s really very simple.

Use sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) to “wash” your hair – remove dirt, debris and excess oil from your scalp and hair roots, and then use vinegar to “condition” the length of your hair.

What you need

  • clarifying Shampoo (for your last wash before you start No Poo, especially if you’ve used products containing silicones in the past)
  • baking Soda
  • vinegar (Use Apple Cider Vinegar for Dry to Normal Hair, White Vinegar for Normal to Oily Hair)
  • water
  • squirt Bottle with Pointed Tip (you could use an empty mustard bottle or something similar)
  • spray Bottle
  • no-poo hair care journal (I’ll talk about this a bit more later)

Let’s get to it!

  1. create a solution of baking soda and water in your squeeze bottle – 1 tbsp of baking soda to 1 cup (250ml) of water. Try to use distilled water if you live in a hard water area. Make sure the baking soda has completely dissolved. The liquid should feel slippery in your hands (if it doesn’t add another tbsp of baking soda).
  2. create a solution of vinegar and water in your spray bottle – 2 tbsp of vinegar to 1 cup of water. Shake to combine.
  3. WASH: wet hair and, using the pointed tip of the bottle, apply the baking soda solution to the roots of your hair and massage into your scalp with your fingertips using small circular motions. DO NOT apply this mixture to the entire length of your hair. Leave on till it starts to feel “slippery” then rinse well, I mean REALLY WELL.
  4. CONDITION: spray the vinegar/water solution on the length of your hair, focusing on the ends. DO NOT apply to the roots and scalp. Leave this on for a minute or two before rinsing.

NOTE: the vinegar may smell quite strong while you’re using it but don’t worry, your hair will have no odour once it dries.

NOTE: You could add a few drops of essential oil to your hair brush – not only will this fragrance your hair, but your hair will benefit from the properties of the essential oil. Ylang-ylang is great if you want luscious locks, but lavender, chamomile, rosemary, and many others are also good.

What’s gonna happen?

Let me say this now - no-poo is not like washing your hair with shampoo. For a start, there’s no lather. Yes it can take a bit of getting used-to, and don’t be surprised if your hair feels like hay, straw, or cotton the first few times (days or weeks) that you wash no-poo style, but the pay-off is worth it!

The easiest thing to do would be to plan on wearing your hair up or under wraps the first week or two.  I just kept my hair pulled back (a style I opt for regularly anyway) and no one noticed. I’ll admit, I did get a bit paranoid for a while and kept asking everyone if my hair looked clean, and everyone assured me it was fine.

Dealing with the straw-like texture

Here are a few ideas to help you get through those first few days or weeks…

  • allow your hair to dry naturally – using heated styling products will dry the hair out even more.
  • deep-condition your hair with a non-oil conditioner. You could try aloe-vera gel (perhaps mixed with honey), or how about using a beaten egg, maybe you’d prefer mashed banana… the possibilities are endless.
  • apply a teeny-tiny amount of coconut or jojoba oil to your hair after it has been washed and is dry. Simply add a few drops to your palms, rub your hands together until there is just a light sheen on your hands, and then run your hands through your hair, avoiding the roots.
  • as I mentioned above, wear your hair up while your hair adjusts to this new routine.

What if my hair goes oily?

It’s possible that you might end up with oily hair rather than the straw-like texture during your transition phase. Here are a few tips to dealing with it…

  • increase the amount of baking soda you use when you wash your hair
  • reduce the amount of vinegar in your conditioning solution
  • if you’re using apple cider vinegar, try switching to plain white vinegar.
  • remember, don’t apply your vinegar solution to the roots and scalp, just to the length of your hair.
  • make sure you rinse, rinse, rinse!
  • between no-poo washes, try a hot-water wash. It’s as easy as it sounds – simply wash your hair with the hottest water you can stand (don’t burn yourself!), then dry.
  • try using a dry shampoo, and I don’t mean any of that spray-can rubbish! Blondes and red-heads, use cornflour or arrowroot powder on your roots and brush through. This will absorb the excess oil. Redheads could also use cinnamon. Brunettes could use coco-powder as you might find that cornflour or arrowroot leave your hair looking “grey”. When my hair started to look a bit oily between no-poo washes, I used cornflour with a couple of drops of essential oil added to make my hair smell nice.

My scalp’s all itchy and flaky!

I went through a couple of days of this. I found it was mostly because I wasn’t rinsing the baking soda from my scalp completely. If you find that your scalp starts to get itchy and flaky, try the following…

  • be sure you are rinsing the baking soda completely from your hair – rinse, rinse, RINSE!
  • decrease the amount of baking soda you are using
  • apply aloe vera gel to your scalp to soothe any itchiness, leave for ten minutes and then rinse
  • do a scalp rinse with your vinegar solution to condition your scalp

What’s this “hair journal” I mentioned?

If you’ve been reading my articles for a while, you’ll know I love a good journal!

Whenever you try anything new which is going to take time and effort, it’s always good to keep a journal of the experience. I love to use a pretty notebook, but you could use an app on your phone. You need to find something that you’ll keep up with and write down your journey.

No-poo can be very much “trial and error” so keeping a hair journal will allow you to see what works and what doesn’t – it will also help to limit the amount of time you spend in the “error” phase. It will help you remember how much you used when you washed and how long you’ve gone between washes. Your hair journal will keep the transition phase to a minimum.

Things to track in your hair journal:

  • current condition of your hair – shiny? dry? over-conditioned? anything note-worthy
  • days since last wash
  • amount of baking soda used
  • amount and type of vinegar in rinse used
  • results – after your hair dries, how does it compare to before you washed?
  • tweaks/notes – this is a personal journey to find what works for you (you don’t have to stick to what I’ve written here) so track any adjustments you make to ratios of baking soda or vinegar rinse or any other notes you find important

What happens after the “adjustment phase”?

Hey girl! You stuck with it! How amazingly fantastic does your hair look and feel right now?!

Congratulate yourself on regaining balance for your  scalp and hair!

You may find that only have to wash your hair every few days (or less) and, hopefully, your hair has never looked better! Keep up the great work, and be happy in the knowledge that you’re not only treating your hair well, you’re treating the environment well, too!

All you have to do now is keep up the good work!

If you’ve given it a good try (like, for a month or so) and no-poo just isn’t working for you, don’t worry. There is nothing in this world which can work the same way for absolutely everyone – we’re all different! For those who have no joy with no-poo, there is a mid-way. You could try using natural/organic shampoo and conditioner. These tend to be much more like “normal” shampoo and conditioner, but they don’t contain any of the nasty chemicals we looked at earlier.

When I was researching the no-poo method before I first took the plunge myself, I found LOADS of sites and blog posts about it. This article is a culmination of all of the information I gathered and the best bits which worked on my personal no-poo journey.

UPDATED…

I was going to write a follow-up article to answer the many questions which have been left in the comments section, and which I get in emails and messages, but after reading through all the comments left below, I found that most of them have already been answered by other comments.

I love how our little community is evolving with everyone helping each other!

Before asking a question, please take the time to read through all the comments – you’ll most probably find the answer you’re looking for.

UPDATED (again)…

I know some of our comments have expressed problems with using this technique, or uncertainty about the possible damage caused by using these ingredients on your hair.

For that reason, we have spent many, many months researching and developing a range of natural shampoos. Our shampoos don’t contain any of the nasty chemical ingredients I talk about in this article, and are easy to use (just like “normal” shampoo). I’ve been personally trialling them for a few months now and I absolutely LOVE the results – my hair is soft and silky like never before!

We’re not quite ready to launch our shampoos to the world – we want to make sure they’re exactly right before we do! Leave your details here, and you’ll be first to know when they’re available.

Much love from Sami x

 


Comments

Welcome to no-poo hair care! — 256 Comments

  1. Very interesting! My family hasn’t used commercial shampoos for years. We use my handmade shampoo bars and our scalps are happy. If people are scared to go no-poo, then they can try solid bars, like us!

    • Hi Maril. Thanks for your question. Yes you can, but I always recommend you give your hair a “day off” from heated styling and let your hair dry naturally at least once a week. This will help to keep your hair looking as healthy as possible.

      • Was wondering if its ok to use gel or hairspray? I have lots of baby hairs that stick out when I put it in a pony tail. Thanks

          • Hi, Ive just started no poo and my hair is sooo dry. I was wondering if i can use my straigtener without any product before straigtening? Or there are any products to protect my hair from heat?

      • I’m in my second day of the “no-poo” hair care, and my hair felt so much nicer after it dried, theres no sign of oiliness yet, so fingers crossed it doesn’t get too bad :P
        i was just wondering if its okay for my hair if i use my hair dryer on the cool setting? i figure it cant be too bad because its cold air, and it just speeds up the process a little?
        also, i dye my hair at least once a month, will the no poo be effected or anything with my dyed hair? i love my dyed colour! :P
        are there any deep conditioning things you can recomend after dying? or do i use the conditioner included after dying then go back to the no-poo?

        sorry if this doesnt make any sense, thankyou xx

        • Dyed hair can dry going all no poo. You may want to consider low ‘poo or homemade poo. For conditioning, raw honey for 20 minutes is good. The bs/acv method can fade color a week faster. The pros outweigh the cons though. Also, henna is a great alternative for dyeing hair. Also, a raw coconut oil rinse is great.

  2. I just started no poo. How often am I supposed to use the baking soda solution and vinegar treatment. Do I use them each time my hair needs shampooing?

    • Hi Mandy. That’s awesome! I love it when I get to welcome a new convert :-)
      Yes, the idea is that you use the no-poo method each time you wash your hair. This will greatly reduce the chemical toxins you’re exposed to through your shampoo and conditioner, plus you’ll get all the great benefits of shiny, healthy hair.
      But, of course, it’s about what works for you, your hair, and your lifestyle. For example, if you’re often washing your hair in the shower at the gym after a work-out session, then using the bicarb might be a bit fiddley. In this case, try finding a natural shampoo.

  3. I started using the no poo method Sunday and my hair looks so greasy! I used it Sunday June 1, and my hair looked ok that day. I didn’t do anything to my hair yesterday (june 2) and used the baking soda/vinegar today and its so greasy! I don’t know what to do, is this part of the transition period? How long will it last? I want to stick it out, but its just so greasy now.

    • Hi Casey. Don’t worry, I had this problem when I first started no-poo as well. The no-poo method can take a bit of getting used-to. It’s a matter of finding your balance and what works for you.
      Firstly, make absolutely sure that you’re only rinsing your hair with the vinegar solution, and not your scalp. Our skin and hair are naturally acidic, but vinegar is a stronger acid so it will strip the scalp of oils and upset its natural balance, so your skin will panic and over-produce more oil.
      Secondly, there are various steps you can take to counter the oiliness you’re experiencing. Take a look at the section headed “What if my hair goes oily?” in the article above.
      Stick with it, you’ll get there! x

      • your body naturally produces more oils when they are stripped away. for example a mother who is breastfeeding, her body produces more milk every time her infant is fed, once she stops breast feeding they swell but eventually go down and dry up. the oils in your hair do the same thing. you can try slowly transitioning to the no poo method by still using your shampoo but water it down a little more each time to wean your hair off of it and slowly work your way to using the baking soda method. hope this helps :)

  4. Hi Sami,

    for a few years noe i only wash and condition my hair with organic stuff. And i love my Intelligent Nutrients Conditioner because of its smell. Could i possibly use it with the baking soda shampoo???? Anyone tried that?

    Angi from Germany ;)

    • Hi Angi,
      As I always say, it’s all about finding what works for you, your body and your skin (and your hair in this case), so if your hair and scalp are loving the products you’re using now, and they’re not packed full of nasty chemicals, then there’s no real need for you to change what you’re using. However, if, like I was, you’re curious about what the no-poo method can do for you then give it a go. I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t use the baking soda “shampoo” with your regular conditioner. The best thing to do is try it and see what happens, but remember, there may be some adjustment period so try to stick with it for a little while before giving it up as a bad job. There are two points I will mention – make sure you rinse the baking soda out really well, and try to only condition the length of your hair and not the roots or scalp.
      Have fun experimenting x

  5. I’m thinking of starting this, I already use a shampoo bar. And I already get away with washing my hair twice a week. My main concern is that I also have brightly coloured hair, I use directions on the ends to keep it maintained, but that shouldn’t be so bad as its on the ends right?, also when I get my roots done, does it hurt to have the salon use the traditional shampoo and conditioner on my hair?

    • Hi Claire,
      No-poo is absolutely fine for coloured hair. In fact, as I’ve just said to Jasmin, no-poo can actually help keep your colour brighter and reduce fading.
      Now, I’m guessing you don’t get your roots done very often – maybe once a month or something? In that case, I’m sure using commercial products in the salon won’t do a whole lot of harm. Switching your products at home will be a huge improvement in reducing your toxin intake, so I wouldn’t worry too much about the odd occasion when you have to use commercial products. Having said that, if you’re really worried about it and you want to go fully natural, you could find a salon who uses natural products – there are many around these days and their numbers are growing.

  6. Hi Sami,

    I am a 35 yr old woman who use to have gorgeous hair but about 4-5 yrs ago things have changed when I came off the birth control and it has never been the same. No doctor has been able to figure out why and I have seen every doctor imaginable. Everything is normal, hormones, thyroid, iron, B12 levels…. I want to get away from commercial shampoos because of all the chemicals in them. For almost two years I have been washing my hair every other day with commercial shampoos but find on the days I don’t wash, my hair looks HORRIBLE!!! I have very oily roots and dry ends.

    Is the no poo method good for thin, fine hair. I wouldn’t be so scared to try it if I had thick fine hair…. however I have thin fine hair. Also is this method okay for colour treated hair. I haven’t dyed my hair for a year now and starting to get alot of greys so want to dye it now. Would this method strip the hair or is it safe to use?

    Thanks for your help Sami :)

    • Hi Jasmine,
      I have thin, fine hair with a tendency toward oily roots and dry ends, and the no-poo method works great for me. While I don’t use hair dye, having spoken to women with dyed hair who use no-poo, I’m told that it is perfectly safe for dyed hair. In fact, because no-poo doesn’t strip the hair of oils, etc, your colour could well last longer without fading.
      If you’re hair was fine whilst on birth control and then took a nose-dive when you stopped taking the pill, then it does sound like there is something hormonal going on. I realise that your doctor hasn’t found anything amiss but, quite honestly, modern medicine isn’t always the best at finding the root of hormonal issues. Can I ask you about your diet? Are you a junk-food-junkie, or do you stick to salads and whole foods? If you’re in the first category then improving your diet could really help.

  7. Hi Sami,

    i did it. My hair feels soft and has more body. Still, my scalp is itching and the first time it got very flaky. And i do rinse long, so i think, that can’t be the reason? Today i tried to use a bit more soda, because i felt, my hair didn’t get entirely clean with just a plain tbsp. Feels cleaner now! One thing about not putting the soda an the lenght (I’ve got waist-long hair): Sometimes i use styling products, like hairspray (organic, for sure). How do i get this off my hair, if i don’t put the solution in it??? The IN conditioner claims, that it’s also for cleaning sensitive hair, but if i don’t use it but another one?

    Thx
    Angi

  8. Hi Sami,

    Great site :)

    My question is whether or not I can use products, such as an anti-frizz serum, with the no poo method. I can’t stand the frizz without it! Will the baking soda counter these other chemicals?

    • Hi Kelsey,
      Firstly, thanks for your kind words about our site :-)
      On to your question… You may find that you no-longer need to use your anti-frizz products as the no-poo method can really help to tame frizz. I know my frizz and fly-aways have greatly reduced since using no-poo. If you do still experience frizz then, by all means, use your serum.
      As I always say, it’s about finding what works for you. It can be really helpful to keep notes about what you do, what products you use, and what the outcomes are. This way, you’ll get an idea of what works and what doesn’t.

  9. I was wondering if during the transition phase if it was okay to get my hair wet? I just clarified and deep conditioned on Sunday–haven’t done anything to my hair since (so 3 almost 4 days). When would you suggest starting the BS/ACV wash?
    Also, what else could I mix with Aloe Vera Gel to make it a deep conditioner?
    Thanks!

    • Hi Caitlin,
      It’s absolutely fine to get your hair wet. What I would suggest you do as a next step is, when you next wash your hair, use your clarifying shampoo followed by the cider vinegar “conditioner”. Then, when you feel your hair next needs washing, use the baking soda/vinegar method. Going forward, continue to use no-poo whenever you feel your hair needs washing.
      You’ll probably find that your hair doesn’t need deep-conditioning as much as it has while using commercial products, but if you want to get some full-on deep-down conditioning action, try a hot oil treatment (like this one – http://www.love-yourself-naturally.com/2012/05/is-your-hair-feeling-neglected/) maybe once a month or so.

  10. I must be the luckiest girl with unmanageable hair ever! I just started (chin length, curly hair) no poo on Sunday. I used a slightly different spray version of the baking soda recipe. No adjustment phase at all. Love my no poo hair! I have very coarse, dry hair & it feels amazing and looks great. I use a little aloe gel mixed with water to freshen the curls. For many years I have only washed my hair 2xs a week, so I think that helps me adjust. Biolage was the only thing that worked this well….I think I will save over $200 a year! I add tea tree & peppermint oil to the baking soda; tangerine & ginger to.vinegar. I also started cleaning my whole bathroom with these two bottles! So, that’s 4 more commercial, chemical products eliminated!

    One question….when you get your hair cut, how do you avoid commercial products being introduced & messing you up? Right now, my hair gets cut by a friend, but if I go to a salon, I’m wondering what to say.

    • Hi Heather,
      It’s good to hear no-poo is working so fabulously for you! I love how you’ve played around with the idea and adjusted it to your needs :)
      Ah yes, the salon problem… Well, if you’re bare-faced enough, you could walk in with your baking soda and vinegar rinse and ask the staff to use them instead… Or you could find a salon who uses natural products… Or you can grit your teeth and just go with whatever products they use.

      • For the saloon problem I figured it out one of these days, you can wash your hair at home with the BS/Vinegar solutions and then go to the saloon with your hair wet!!

      • I’m an Indian. Will this method be okay for indian climatic conditions? Also i had waist length dark brown/black hair. I’ve cut it short and its about chest level now. I’ve been having problems with the health of my hair lately and this seems to be a perfect solution. Do let me know ASAP if I can try this method. Waiting eagerly. Thanks :)

    • Why can’t you just wash your hair at home before you go to the salon? I do that all the time because I don’t want the stylist to use their shampoo. I just tell them to wet my hair with only water before the cut. After learning about all the amazing benefits of no poo, I’m not putting any commercial shampoo on my scalp. :)

  11. You made me do math to submit this! :P

    I stopped shampooing over a year ago. My hair was crazy brittle, so I lopped it off and I’ve kept it as short as possible, and mostly just tie it back, and am now waiting on it to grow back out. (Feeling very impatient!) The new growth is AMAZING…thick, soft, and the curls are so well defined. No products anymore for me!

    I actually do WO washes daily–sometimes twice. (Hey I live in a desert and sweat at the gym.) Baking soda dried it out, so I quit that. I’m a huge fan of apple cider vinegar, and rinse almost daily with that as well.

    One thing I noticed…for me, the greasies are directly related to what I eat and if I’m sick or having a histamine reaction. Go figure.

    Cheers to anyone trying it…it’s been worth the hassle! Now that I’ve gotten used to it, it’s super easy. Can’t wait until my hair is long again. :)

    • Hi JA,
      It sounds like no-poo is working well for you, that’s great!
      You’re right, any greasiness can very much be related to your diet or general health. As I always say, the health of our skin is to do with our whole wellbeing. But just make sure you’re only rinsing your hair with the vinegar solution, and not your scalp, as this can cause the skin on your scalp to over-produce oil.

    • What does the abbreviation WO stand for? just trying to get all my ducks in a row and gonna try to start the no ‘poo with my husband.. Thanks for all the great information

  12. Hi! I am wondering how often I am supposed to wash with the baking soda/vinegar? I usually wash my hair with organic shampoo and conditioner almost every day. I have very thick, curly blonde hair, it seems to be very dry and frizzy on day one, but if I leave it for a day without a shampoo/condition it is super greasy. I also use the Organix deep penetrating oil on my wet hair. I want to start no-pooing in hopes of smoothing my hair out and giving it the beautiful curls I know are in there somewhere, as naturally as possi le. So, do I no-poo wash every day like i do with my shampoo? Or should I only no-poo every few days? Is there anything I should or could do in between to cut the grease, or is it something that should just balance out and I will need to be patient with? Thank you so much for the great information and for being so helpful with the transition!

    • Hi Audrey,
      I’m afraid there are no exact rules that I can tell you which work brilliantly for everyone – it’s all about finding what works for you.
      When you’ve switched to no-poo (and gone through the transition period) you may notice that your hair doesn’t need washing as often as it did. During the transition phase may be a little different, but there are plenty of tips in my article to help you through the transition.

    • Audry,
      I also have hair that is frizzy on shower day and super greasy on the next. About a year ago my hairdresser told me to wash it less. This seemed like strange advice to give someone with greasy hair, but I took it. I started showering every second day with regular shampoo and conditioner. On the no-shower days I put baby powder in my hair. This absorbs the grease and because my hair is blonde it doesn’t make me look grey (unless I use way too much). Slowly I started washing it less (I’m now washing every 5-7 days) and adding baby powder before I go to bed at night (it gets absorbed overnight and then I look normal during the day, as sometimes I have to add a fair amount of baby powder). Then in the morning I brush it without brushing the roots. I’m still a little paranoid about having comb lines in my hair from the grease, but somehow brushing sort of fluffs my hair making it looks less greasy. You have curly hair, so I’m not sure if you would want to brush it, but its an idea to toy with.
      Currently I’m thinking of moving from shampoo to baking soda and vinegar since apparently regular shampoo is so bad for your hair.

  13. I hadn’t heard of no-poo before today but am definitely considering it for after I run out of shampoo!

    For oily hair a dry shampoo to check out is one from Lush called No Drought. Smells great and is all natural [vegan]! I have been using for a while and it works better than any others I have used!

  14. Hi, I loved your post and I’m thinking of trying this out but I have a question. My hair is chemically straightened and I would like to straighten it again, but it gets so greasy I just can’t stand it, also I workout so I sweat a lot and that makes me wash my hair every other day.
    My question is if you think that this method will work on my greasy, fine, chemically straightened hair? Or what do you recomend?
    Thanks a lot for your post!

    • Hi Mariana,
      Glad you liked the article and found it useful :-)
      Greasy hair? Yes you’ll benefit from no-poo. Fine hair? Yup, it’s good for that too. Chemically-straightened? Erm… I’m afraid I’ve not had the chance of hearing from anyone who has chemically-straightened hair and uses no-poo. My suggestion for you, if you’re open to a little hair adventure, would be to try it and see what happens… If you do go for it, be sure to let me know how it goes!

  15. Hi there! I had a question.
    I’ve just started doing the no poo thing, and I am wondering when I’m supposed to be using the BS & ACV washes. I started on the 7th of June, and only used the products once since (on the 12th); I just washed my hair with water between. My hair does get pretty oily by day 3-5, but I guess here’s my question:

    Do I use the BS & ACV in place of my shampoo, and wash my hair every second day like I usually do? Or should I be only using BS & ACV to wash my hair once a week, and a hot water wash the rest of the time?
    Thanks!

    • Hi Lisa,

      Well it’s very much up to you and what works for your hair. Use the no-poo method instead of your regular commercial shampoo and conditioner, but you’ll probably find you don’t need to wash as often as every-other day. Just use it when you feel your hair needs washing. There are no hard and fast rules, just find what works for you :-)

  16. I am very close to going no-poo however, I still plan on doing coconut oil deep conditioning a few more times….is the BS/vinegar was going to rinse out the excess oil well? I get greasy hair by day two with reg shampoo .

  17. i, my hair is 40% white and I have to color it or it looks so bad! Can I still go no poo and color my hair?
    hugs
    lila

  18. Hi, I started no poo yesterday. Since I don’t like the smell of vinegar, I only used baking soda + my regular hair conditioner. My hair looks clean but despite using hair conditioner, it has straw-like texture now. Does glycerine work like vinegar? I paln trying glycerine-water mix, as a leave on conditioner next time, and also say good bye to my regular hair conditioner…

  19. Love this article! Best Iv seen on the subject thank you!
    Hoping you can advise. I have just started using Gaia Baby Hair and Body Wash as a shampoo. No soap, sulphate, petrochemicals, mineral oils, artificial fragrence, paraben preservatives, propylene glycol, lanolin or phthalates. So mainly natural oils. I have stopped using conditioner so just washing with a very small amount of this and then following up with a squirt of jojoba oil in my wet hair.
    I was hoping this will be natural enough to have a similar effect as the BS/ACV technique.
    Any advice? Surely my natural oils will start to regulate with out the sulphates etc?? Only in week one so hard to gauge – def in the transition period thats for certain!
    Thank you :)

  20. Hi! I just recently started this method! I used a clarifying shampoo and silicone-free conditioner for a couple of days, then went to the baking soda/vinegar method. It has been about a week now and my hair if very oily at the roots. I increased the amount of baking soda but that didn’t seem to help much! My hair is very tangled and straw-like at the ends as well.
    Any suggestions? Thanks!

  21. Hi Sami,

    I tried the no poo method, I definitely like it, my hair lasts longer without getting oily. The first week my hair ended up dry, so the 2nd week I added cider vinegar to the scalp, yet to see results.

    One thing I noticed was that when I comb my hair, it sheds a lot of hair, possibly more than with the shampoo method is that normal?

    • I have done ‘no-poo’ since April this year and shedding tons of hair was a big issue for me as was doggy-smelling hair (so gross) and sticky oily scalp, especially the crown, and yet dry ends. One thing has resolved this- boar bristle brush! Without it I’d be back using my old shampoos! It takes the oils from your scalp and distributes it down the strands and it’s gentle so you don’t lose much hair. You must use it like you’re thinking “I’ll get really shiny hair if I brush it 100 times” . Now when I brush my hair it gets cleaner rather than when I was shampooing it would get greasier. Love no-poo!

  22. I am going to give it a go. Years ago I used to wash my hair daily!! A new hairdresser told me to stop that, once every couple of days is enough, she was right. It looked better with a little more oil through it. But know I am going to try the no-poo. Thanks I will keep you posted.

  23. I read that baking soda dries out hair over time, so when I started no poo, I used the normal baking soda mixed into a homemade honey shampoo. As time goes on, I use less and less baking soda so my hair won’t dry out.

  24. I’ve been doing the no-poo method for 3 weeks and I don’t see much improvement in the straw feel of my hair. My hair also feels like I have glue in it. When I put the baking soda/water mix in to wash my hair I can barely get my fingers through it to massage my scalp. I literally feels like I have glued my hair to my head. I do my best to rinse all of the “glue” out and let my hair dry, but then it is still difficult to get my fingers through it. I really, really want to clean my hair naturally but I feel like I must be doing something wrong. Any suggestions?

      • I went no poo a few months ago. I had the same problem. I found boiling my water and adding the baking soda while it was boiling solved that problem and my hair has been amazing since. I go about 6 days between washing and trying to extend it even more.

  25. I am wanting to try the no poo method myself. but have a couple questions 1st. I have very short hair in the back that I normally spike up when I go out (which isnt very often) and the hair in the front is jaw length that I normally straighten. Will this method work at cleaning the hair product out of my hair after styling it? Also my husband said he would try this with me. :) He keeps his hair shaved pretty short though. His scalp always is so oily though is why he said he would try it. Would you think it best for him to just completely skip the ACV rinse?

  26. I am very intrigued by this. My sister just told me about it, of course after I got a Keratin treatment. How does the no poo method work for people with dandruff and/or highlights. What do you do when it’s time to recolor? I’m 36 and don’t like the gray to show. If I go to the salon, they will wash it. Am I suppose to bring my solutions in with me?

    • I haven’t tried the no-poo yet, but I CAN tell you my family’s several generation cure for dandruff :). Salt. Whenever I start to see a bit of dandruff crop up, I sprinkle salt onto and around my scalp. Then I just massage it around, using it to basically ‘exfoliate’ the scalp. Then I just jump in the shower and wash like normal. I find that I only have to do once a month to keep my dandruff at a minimum. I’ve also never observed any negative affects on my hair afterwards :)

  27. I’m 32 years old, my hair started to fall a few years ago, now I can’t stop it, pls tell me if this will help me in my case? I have itchy scalp and the hair also getting grey, I’d like also to know what is made of white vinegar, I usually use apple vinegar.
    thx in advance!

  28. I’ve been doing the no-pooh thing for maybe six months or so. I don’t think that I could possibly ever go back to shampoo again. Right before I started my scalp was soooo distractingly itchy and decided to dab my scalp with vinegar, which did alleviate it. I looked on line and found the no-pooh regimen and started asap, I had really, really bad dandruff – huge flakes – after several no-pooh washings, I noticed a disappearance of the itch and diminishing in size of the flakes, and now my scalp is the cleanest it’s ever been and I sometimes go over a week between no-poohing. I have very long hair, when it is wet it can easily get caught in my gluteal cleft (a.k.a. butt crack). Additionally, my hair is now more manageable than I can recollect it EVER being and I’ve got a good memory for my age (65). I HIGHLY recommend no-poohing. Patience reaps rewards.

    • Hi Nyra – I’ve been doing this for 1 month and I really want to like doing it, but I’m having a few issues. One, my hair feels kind of stiff. It’s as if I’ve put a small amount of glue in it so it’s hard to run my fingers through it. The second issues is that because of all the natural oils in it my hair seems to collect dust! When I try to style it sometimes it becomes almost matted. Since this method has worked very well for you, do you have any suggestions? Thanks!

  29. Hi Sami,
    Love your blog. Quick question about no poo. I am about to move full time onto a boat. While we will have fresh water (via a water maker), but I will be swimming in salt water almost daily, several times a day. No poo seems like the way to go…it’s healthy for the marine environment.
    My question is, what kind of regimen to do I follow if I am in and out of salty water all day long? Living on the ocean will likely wreak havoc on my hair and skin while I am adjusting!
    Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
    Cheers!

  30. I’ve gone no-poo. It took me a while, and some troubleshooting, but I was super committed to really giving it a try. It took several months for me to get totally secure knowing I could take care of my hair without shampoo and still look great!

    In that time, I did shampoo (low-poo) twice, when things just got so out of whack I was at wits end, but I just used as little as I could and went back to no-poo.

    Here are the little troubleshooting things I tried, they may help you:
    1. Using the backing soda solution and vinegar, my long hair was getting dried out. I had to increase the backing soda to cut the oil, and then the ends would get dry.

    PROBLEM: I was no-poo-ing every day instead of skipping days, and overdoing the baking soda.

    SOLUTION: I cut back the backing soda to the suggested dilution, and only used it every three days (now I can go more than that). In between, I would work A LOT of arrowroot powder into my hair around the roots. Enough to look like a powdered wig. Then I’d rinse it out. It seemed to physically absorb & then rinse away enough oil that I could use the drying baking soda solution less. I no longer have to do this after 4-5 months as the overproduction of oil has stopped.

    2. I also, in those early days, used a small amount of arrowroot powder in styling. Not enough to look white, just enough to cover the slightly oily condition of my locks. Again, I no longer have to do this – unless I WANT to add some styling BODY for fun.

    3. I found a bar-soap that can be used on your hair without that “sticky soapy” feeling. It has none of the bad detergent ingredients, but let’s me give the hair a really thorough cleaning. Sometimes I would go out and “do” up my hair with a lot of products for fun, or want to do a hot oil treatment …and the other routine just didn’t cut getting that stuff off for me.

    J.R. Liggetts Bar Shampoo lathers AND rinses out. I find that their claim that conditioner is not needed using this to be true for the most part. I have long hair, so I still give the ends a bit extra conditioner from time to time.

    I have no affiliation with the company and probably there are a bunch other shampoo bars that work, but that’s the one I came across. I was super-amazed that the lather rinses out so well – I didn’t think a bar of soap could do that.

    4. Last TIP: To protect my ends from the drying baking soda solution, I apply it to just my roots right before I shower with a little bottle & rub it in. I rinse RIGHT AWAY. No more dry hair!

    I use the soap bar 1-2 times a week and the baking soda maybe once.

  31. I went no-poo, but I wash my hair only with water. Baking soda dries the skin and stops the glands producing whatever they do (sweat, sebum etc.), so I decided that for the best balance I will avoid it too. Lukewarm water in the bath and brushing sessions to help the sebum to reach the ends – thats all I use.
    I started this whole thing in the first few months after I had my newborn. I did not see too many people anyway for 3 months. I never used anything but water to clean my baby’s hair and skin either. She is three now, my hair is down to my waist, getting compliments each time I wear it out. At work I can fix it in a bun for the whole day with a single chopstick. No more grey hairs (they started appearing just before I went water-only, and my grandma said it was because my scalp was too dry). It is heavier and easy to style just as the article says.
    My little daughter has the most beautiful skin, no signs of the eczema my hubby and I suffer from. Her hair is like sunshine. No grease.
    The only problem is that I don’t really talk about what we do. I am afraid people would think we are dirty…

  32. An addition to the previous comment.
    It took me a year to be comfortable with my new hair. For 2 or 3 months it was really greasy, I had to wear hats and scarves. Afterwards it became better and better, but funnily sometimes looking worse after a rinse. I needed a year to work out new ways to wear my hair. I had to figure different styles that I could easily and quickly do, lasted long and looked good. Once I did that, suddenly life became very easy. I don’t have to worry about rinsing my hair for weeks or months if I don’t feel like getting it wet. Noone can tell, there is no difference, it looks newly washed each morning. No damage from drying or hot water, it just stays healthy. However, even now, after three years, periodically it goes drier from greasier and back, but I think this is the natural reaction to my diet, the weather etc. In its worst it still looks like it did on the evenings beforehand.
    I have psoriasis on my scalp. It did not change at all. I was hoping it would get better, and afraid it would get worse, but it did not. It is easier to get rid of the dandruff though: now that my hair is covered with sebum, a simple brushing removes all the flaky bits (the same self-cleaning mechanism as on the dog’s hair I guess). Beforehand the flakes got stuck on my stripped hairs. Only shampooing worked, but that dried my scalp and made it itchy.

    The most interesting comments I got over the years:
    A hairdresser said my hair felt different from everyone else’s, like wool with the lanolin on it.
    Only recently my husband started saying that my hair (and our daughters one) looks like it was a separate organ on our body, not just lying flat and dead any more. Somehow, it seems to be full of life and continuously reacting to everything. I am still unsure what he means, but it is the nicest compliment I can imagine.

  33. Hi everyone,

    Sorry I’ve not been able to answer everyone’s comments/questions personally – things got rather hectic here at Love Yourself Naturally HQ!

    But it’s great that you’re giving each other advice/tips/information about what’s worked and what hasn’t. I love when we all get involved in the conversation! :)

    For now, my best advice is to just go for it! Just try it and see what happens. But remember, there will be an adjustment period, so don’t be put off if your hair doesn’t look and feel wonderful after your first couple of no-poos.

    Sami x

  34. I am curious to find out what the long term effects of going no-poo are. Since hearing about no-poo, specifically the baking soda/vinger method I have been reading up on it and there are many different opinions. Some people swear by it and others say that over time it is ultimately damaging. I am interested in trying no-poo out of sheer curiosity but my hair is currently extremely heathy just using traditional methods of cleansing. I don’t want to try something that could lead to damaged hair.

    I am also curious how well the no-poo method cleans the hair. I work in a profession where there can be exposure to bodily fluids as well as foul odors that can linger in the hair, will no-poo work to eliminate germs/bacteria and odor?

  35. I just started the No Poo method a few weeks ago. At first it was absolutely WONDERFUL! Now, my hair is very flat. Oily/greasy hair hasn’t really been an issue, except for in one spot above my forehead, which gives it the illusion of being even flatter than it actually is. I’m going to make the switch from apple cider vinegar to distilled white, but is there anything else I can do to help my hair gain back its usual volume? I really like this method, and I am willing to try anything to continue!

    Thanks in advance :)

  36. I began these methods about 3 weeks ago. I have naturally dry, fine, curly hair that was mostly frizzy either curly or straight. With these methods my hair is soft and no more frizz and growing in humidity like a Chia plant. ;) My hair did great in New York with the 60% plus humidity.

  37. I’ve been shampoo free for 10 weeks now and I haven’t noticed any differences in my hair. However, I do have very thick, long hair, that I only washed a couple times a week with shampoo before I even went shampoo free. My hair smells bad and I’m thinking about not doing this anymore because I don’t see any change. Do you have any advice for me?

  38. I’ve been doing this for a few months now on my long (naturally) red hair. My hair has NEVER looked better-it’s fuller, thicker, and shinier. No itchy flakes or buildup! I get more compliments now than I ever have and I always have paid $$ for my hair maintenance. I can’t recommend this highly enough.

  39. This is probably my 5week doing the “no-poo”. I am soo close to giving up!!!! My hair is soo greasy and if it isn’t greasy it is waxy. I don’t use products in my hair, I use to only shampoo/condi. then blow-dry. My hair is doing this thing where I feel like it is forming dreadlocks. :/ I use 1tablespoon of baking soda with 1cup purified cold water in a spray bottle on my scalp. I “lather” then rinse out twice. 1tablespoon vinegar and 1cup cold purified water. I have made the “dry shampoo” cornstarch & cocoa powder, it works for half of the day then the grease in my fair turns it into chocolate sauce. Ok not that bad but pretty close. can anyone HELP!!!!!

  40. So I just started the no poo deal yesterday. I can’t tell if my hair smells weird or not (like sweat) but I think it does. I have been putting lemon grass essential oils on the tips after my shower. I work out everyday and sweat a lot. How would you say is best to deal with heavy sweating and that sent with no poo?

    • Emma, I went through a phase too where I “couldn’t tell if my hair smelled weird.” It wasn’t super-bad or anything, I’d just get a whiff of “off” now and then. My husband upon smelling my hair didn’t think it stank though.

      It went away after my adjustment period. I’ve had a lot of luck using one of those shampoo bars (non-detergent stuff so none of the bad things we’re trying to avoid in regular shampoo) when I need a bit more cleaning than the no-poo gets me.

      You can keep using some scent if you like but I think it’s a temporary thing & will go away after you adjust.

      MX

      • Thank You! I asked a few close friends and no one seems to smell anything funky haha.

        I also forgot to use a clarifying shampoo before I started and I’m noticing a waxy feeling in the hair on the top back of my scalp. I forgot to use a clarifying shampoo before I started (but I had been using lush shampoo, conditioner and R&B leave in comditioner for the 2 months previous). Am I waxy because I didn’t clarify? I don’t want to start over by having to use a clarifying shampoo. All of my hair feels awesome except that section. Will this go away with out clarifying in a week or so? (I’m about a week in I think).

  41. Hi!! It’s been two weeks since I started with the No-Poo hair care and I have a question. I’ve noticed my hair cleaner and it’s not greasy at all, actually I’m doing great with this technique… my hair is falling soooooo much more than before when I used shampoo :( What can I do? do you have any idea? please!!

  42. Hey there!
    It’s been two weeks since I started with no poo, and my hair is still a mess! Pretty quickly the roots get oily, and the rest of my hair feels like it’s a bird’s nest!
    But I guess with the technique you explained here it will improve. I put the baking soda water all over my hair (yeah, then the length will be dry), and the vinegar, too. Starting with the roots! Next time I’ll wash I’ll try your method! Think it will help!
    Anyway I guess that my adjusting period will be longer, since I washed my hair with commercial shampoo every day! I had no clue!!
    Thanks for the advice!!

  43. I really liked the no poo idea and I’ve been washing my hair this way since June.
    The thing is though the hair looks “ok” by now, I noticed that the baking soda stays in my hair…
    When I comb my hair daily, after each stroke I see white residue on my comb between the teeth. It’s the reason why my hair doesn’t feel as light and doesn’t have the same shine as it did after using normal shampoo.

    I even used normal shampoo a short week ago to “start over” (and it did wash out the BS remains, but made my hair oily in 2 days!) and cut the baking soda down to only half a tablespoon to try and avoid this BS build up, but to no avail, I still have baking soda left in my hair :(

    (I’m also curious if the hardness or softness of water can effect the washing out of the soda from the hair)
    What can I do?

  44. I have a lot of dandruff. Is this method of no-poo helpful in reducing it? Are there any extra methods to tackle the problem of dandruff?

  45. This might have been included, but I don’t remember seeing it. Can you still wash your hair every day when you start no-poo? My hair gets oily very fast so if I want my hair down, I have to wash it every day. Can I do this with the baking soda and vinegar and work my way into every other day and then like 3 times a week?

    • This depends upon your individual hair and your local water chemistry. There are people who wash with baking soda every day, and others who use it only once a week or less. You need to experiment to see what is best for you. You need to decide what works best for you by paying attention to how your hair responds – a good reason for keeping a diary of what you do.

  46. this sounds really great, and i plan on trying it soon. i only have a few small questions. I have really short hair (like a pixie cut), should i change the amount of baking soda/ vinegar that i use? Also, i just colored my hair a really vibrant red. should i wait a while before trying this? i don’t want to have to run out and buy another box of dye. Lastly, seeing as how i am not allowed to use head coverings such as hats or scarfs, how do i hide my hair during the transitional stage?
    thank you.

    • The best thing to do is experiment. Few people who use no-poo have problems but if you are worried about turning up to work with dreadful locks then start when you have a few days (weekend) off to recover in.

      This method can either benefit or prematurely fade your colour depending upon your individual hair characteristics. But vinegar is a dye fixative and it is frequently used as a final rinse to “lock in” dyes onto fabrics so, in theory, should prevent the colour fading at all.

      As to hiding any disaster or ill effects of the transitional period, you could try a wide hairband, a fancy sweatband, a beaded hairnet or oversized hairclip. Alternatively you could just tell everyone that ‘it is meant to look like that’!

  47. I’ve been no poo for almost two months now. My hair is greasy at the roots and dry on the length. I only use the vinegar on my length, and I only use the baking soda on my roots. Also, my hair looks clean but if you feel the roots it feel dirty and greasy. I’ve tried using more baking soda, and I did a few honey/aloe deep conditions for the length but nothing is helping!

    • For most people the transition period is about 3 weeks but it can be longer and how your hair will react during this period does vary from person to person. It really is down to experimentation. What works for one will be a disaster for someone else. Some people experience a temporary “greasy period”. But if they can stick with it, it usually improves and continues to get better after that.

      The type of water you have does effect how baking soda (or shampoo for that matter) works on cleaning your hair. Soft water causes hair to be naturally sleek and makes it easier for the baking soda to be rinsed out of your hair easily. Hard water contains calcium and magnesium that can get “stuck” to your hair, in much the same way as they build up in kettle, making the baking soda more difficult to wash out so it will need more vigorous rinsing. Distilled water or filtered rain water or a water softener can help resolve this. Vinegar is a wonderful conditioner for your hair but the baking soda, whilst a good cleanser, can be drying.

      You could try adding a tiny drop of castille soap to the baking soda, you could try massaging the vinegar into your scalp as a pre-wash before washing it out and then using the baking soda, you could try leaving the final vinegar rinse in (the smell disappears once it is dry).

  48. Hi there, I have been doing this for 1.5 weeks now…my hair looks good and I can wash it just every other day, wearing it up the second day…but my hair doesn’t feel as good as it did before, it’s not as easy to brush and it’s not as soft. It also feels like there is build up on it. I rinse it REALLY well. I’m wondering if adding more baking soda would help? Or switching to apple cidar vinegar. I’m really at a loss for what to do because I would really like to use the no-poo method of washing my hair. Help!

    • Stick with it if you can, the transition period for most people is normally 3 weeks so things should start to get better (hopefully you have found that out by now). Experimentation can be the key to finding what works best for you. For some the apple cider vinegar can make the hair feel limp and heavy whilst white vinegar works great or conversely too fly-away with WV but just right with ACV. Some find it best to only use the baking soda once a week but rinse with vinegar every day.

  49. i use to shampooing with a soft product and to rinse I use a cup of water with 1 tbsp of vinegar or lemon juice if I want golden rays.

  50. I recently did a coconut oil hair mask. I have been doing the no-poo thing for about a month and haven’t had any trouble till now. The coconut oil hair mask worked great. But it’s nearly impossible to get the coconut oil out with just baking soda. I have been wearing hats and wraps for two days now because I don’t want to wash my hair too often. Is there any way to get the coconut oil out easier?

    • You will need to wash with baking soda more than once to get the oil out, and some people find that adding a few drops of Liquid Castille Soap helps with this.

    • I have been using this method fora week and a half and decoded to use the coconut oil last night. I washed my hair afterwards with baking soda and Apple cider vinegar. Then this morning my hair was still really oily so I did egg mask that was made up of egg, water, and honey. I rinsed that out and then washed it again with baking soda and Apple cider vinegar. My hair looks and feels clean and wonderful today. Better then it had in a long time.

  51. A tip for the “oily days” – make a mixture of salt and water (don’t make the mix too strong) and put it in a spray bottle. Spray your hair (where its oily) after showering – the salt will absorb the oil AND give you a beachy look too! ^_^

  52. Hi Sami!
    I’ve never used the no poo method but it looks so interesting to me so I’m thinking about giving it a go! I was just wondering, how would I clean my hair if I went swimming or got something like food or paint in it? Would I was the whole head plus length of hair with the baking soda & water? (By the way, my hair is very long-almost down to my butt)

  53. Hi Sami,
    Many thanks for all the instructions. I have started on the no-poo method and haven’t used shampoo in over 3 weeks.
    I am now passed the waxy fase and my hair is starting to look a bit more presentable by now. Though I do have a different problem.

    – I am loosing hair like crazy
    – my hair is limb and even more flat than usual
    – some hair seems to brake off half way down

    I am not quite sure what I am doing wrong here. I started using 1 tbsp BS with 200ml water per wash followed by a little ACV with 200ml water (for 3-4 washes).
    The BS is in an old shampoo bottle and I just poor it bit by bit over my head massaging it into my scalp as I go along. Same with the ACV though I do avoid pooring it over the scalp.
    I have now halved the BS but it doesn’t seem to make a difference. Could this be just a fase and I just need to get used to the BS?

    Many thanks for your thoughts on this!

    • I would try switching to using a honey wash instead of using BS and/or vinegar. That’s what I use. 1 tbsp of raw honey dissolved in 3 tbsp of warm water. (It must be raw honey). You can find other honey recipes online too. Honey is a lot closer to the pH of your natural oils and is a lot less damaging to the hair and scalp. Honey also has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. Hope that helps!

    • For some washing with baking soda every wash can be too drying for the hair, making it brittle and prone to breaking – thus looking like it is falling out. Try cutting down on the amount of BS or using it every 3rd or 4th wash and just water with a vinegar rinse twixt times.

      Different strokes for different folks, apple cider vinegar works best for some but white vinegar is the one that makes it bright and shiny for others.

  54. I have a question. I have really thick, curly hair. (Im black Mexican and white) to give you an idea of my hair type. I always use treseme conditioner because if I dont put any product in my hair its so thick it tangles easily. I have really wanted to go no poo but I’m scared I wont be able to brush my hair. Is there hope for me?

    • I too used to use treseme conditioner but swapped to rinsing with vinegar with great success. In fact mine is way more tangle free now than it was before. But the type of vinegar can make a great difference so if one doesn’t work then try another until you find the right one for you.

  55. Hi there, hope you can help me! I really want to go no-poo, i’ve been doing lots of research about it, and read I need to brush my hair a lot… I have very thin wavy hair, almost curly (but thin) and I’m not sure about brushing my hair as it breaks easily…I wonder if there is a good hair brush for my hair type…anyone with the same problem?
    Thanks
    Alni

  56. Hi! I love your incredibly detailed post on this. I’ve been moving toward going all-natural for personal care, and have been following your no ‘poo instructions for a week, but I feel like I’m missing a step-it doesn’t feel like the baking soda solution is slick at all, and I’ve got a full 2 tbsp in my (small) bottle…could it be my water?

    • Water type does make a difference. Soft or distilled water is best but you may find that your problem is more down to the amount of BS you have in your bottle. However that shouldn’t be a problem so long as you make sure that the BS is thoroughly washed out of your hair after treatment.

  57. Just to comment on a much earlier comment you made. Our skin and hair are not alkaline balanced they are in fact acidic with at ph value of 4.5 to 5.5′ so using a vinegar rinse will not make your hair greasy. To cut the grease you should be using an alkaline rinse!,

    • Hi Carol,
      Well spotted! You’re quite right. Our skin is naturally slightly acidic, and our internal body is alkaline. All I can guess is that I got the two confused whilst writing that comment. I have hunted-down the comment in question and have rectified it :)
      Thank you for bringing it to our attention, and apologies to anyone who I may have confused with my original, mistaken comment.
      Sami x

  58. I am 47 and over the past 2 years have noticed I am loosing my hair and my already dry scalp is becoming increasingly crusty and scabby. I wash my hair daily as I do lots of sport and since moving from the UK to Spain (5 years ago) I sweat a lot more.
    I have had my thyroid and hormone levels checked and all is fine and so am desperate to prevent further hair loss.
    I am going to start the no poo method as a last resort and hope it will resolve all my hair issues.
    I shall report back in a month. Wish me luck.

    • I hope that your problems are now resolved but, just in case they aren’t, you could try treating your scalp to a coconut oil massage. Coconut oil does help resolve a lot of scalp problems and some people have reported renewed hair growth after treatment. However it can be difficult to wash out so may need more than one wash with BS or you could add a few drops of castille soap to the mix to help with this.

  59. Hi! I’ve been trying no poo for about eight weeks. In the past two weeks my hair is straw-like and dry after washing w/ BS (lol). It gets frizzy and I have been losing small clumps of hair in my wide-tooth comb. Day two is better but way oilier.

    I thought it needed to be conditioning so tried the ACV and that made it worse! Thanks to the tips here I’m going to try white vinegar.

    Thanks everyone.
    Oh, I have medium length hair that I describe as fine. So I’m hoping for fuller hair with this method.

    • Baking soda can have a drying effect on hair – the type of water you use can influence this. If yours has become too brittle (as it sounds) you might find that cutting down on the amount you use or using it less frequently resolves the issue. Others find that the vinegar is the issue and a different type (or missing it out altogether) resolves the problem. For others a regular hot oil treatment with coconut, olive or almond oil is the answer. replenishing the moisture in their hair and curing the problem.

      Some people report that a coconut oil scalp massage helps improve hair condition and promote renewed hair growth.

  60. Hi,
    I’m really interested in trying this, I love the idea and as someone with curly hair, I spend a fortune on hair products, so the idea of being able to get rid of those is intriguing. However, I’m wondering…if I do still have some frizzies after the transition period that I want to use my trusty curl styling products to tame, is the baking soda solution enough to wash those products off my hair, since they will be on the length and not at the roots? I am hoping that I can just transition to using a bit of coconut oil instead of styling products, and I’d feel comfortable that the baking soda would wash that out, but if I do need to use chemical-based products, will they wash out with baking soda?
    Thank you!

  61. I just started no poo the other day and I’m loving it!! I was just wondering if this would work for my daughter? She’s only 5 w/long straight beautiful hair, but it’s so hard brushing her hair out when she gets out of the shower because it gets so tangled!

    • Cassondra, i don’t know if the no poo method will work for your daughter, but i can help with the tangles. My hair also get very tangled in the shower, but i’ve found that if you brugh the hair with a wide pick comb starting from the bottom it helps a lot! Just brush the tips only, then the middle down, and then start from the top and brush like normal!
      Hope this helps!
      -Syd by the way i think your name is really pretty :)

  62. I’m very eager to try this, but I am unclear on the process. Does one use the baking soda/vinegar “no poo” every day or every other day in lieu of regular shampoo, or does one go as long as possible without washing at all (outside of wetting during a shower) and then use the “no poo” mixture after this extended period of no washing at all? Thanks.

    • Experimentation is the answer to this. The answer is probably as numerous as the number of people who use the no-poo method as water type, hair type, skin type and all sorts of other factors have an influence upon the outcome. Some use BS every day, others find that doing so makes their hair too brittle. Some find that BS makes their hair soft and free flowing, others that using it everyday makes their hair dull and heavy. Some prefer apple cider vinegar, others white distilled. What works for you is the best method to adopt but trial and error is probably the only way of finding out what it is.

  63. Hiya Sami!

    Here is my hairs’ history in a nutshell… I was born with bone-straight and super thick hair. I remember having to take a bath in late afternoon to allow my hair to dry completely by bedtime. When I turned 12, my hair decided to take a turn for the worse. It was frizzy, unmanageble, and dryer than the Mojave Desert. 15 came along not soon enough and that’s when my locks started to spiral. Beautiful curls bounced all over the place. My early-mid 20’s, I finally learned how to maintain my hair by washing (poo&condi) with alcohol-free products and only washing 1-2 times a week. I LOVED my hair! Now, I am approaching 32, and my curls are lackluster and chaotic. Brittle, and frizzy once again. I have turned to silicone & alcohol based products just to cut through the frizz and regain my curls. Alas, nothing works…. Now this is where “no-poo” comes in. I just bought the vinegar, soda and clarifiying shampoo today and will begin the process. But I have a few doubts on how/if this will resurect my confused doo. But the only thing I have to loose is a few hairs down the drain, right? Any advice or pointers for me?

    Thanks a bunch for your site! I believe this is a start of a beautiful web-friendship.

    XX
    Amie

    • Most people find that vinegar makes their hair soft smooth and manageable so, hopefully, you have already answered your problem by now and once again have beautiful locks. However, if this is not the case then you could try a hot oil treatment or a coconut oil scalp massage.

  64. I have just started the no poo routine after years of having to wash my hair daily, its been just under a week and my hair is beginning to turn that beautiful corner of silkiness!I didnt use clarifying shampoo before so expected the greasy stage to last a lot long but am thrilled! I cant wait to see how it progresses!thank you!

  65. So I gave this no-poo thing a really earnest try. For the last 14 months I’ve tried bs and acv, beer, egg washes, co-only, coconut and aloe, water only rinses – just about everything you can think of. My hair was, for lack of a better word, disgusting. My forehead is constantly speckled with pimples, my scalp itches, and the greasy, waxy feeling my hair has is really gross. This weekend I caved in and shampoo’d my hair. What a relief!! My scalp feels better, my hair looks and feels clean! So I guess the no poo just doesn’t work for me….but it’s left me wondering why. Anyone have any ideas? I know there’s a transition period, but a year and two months?

    • Me too!!! It’s been almost 6 months. A friend of mine only washes her hair every 3-6 months b/c it starts smelling like food. She said she used nothing. Just water rinses and it took her 6 months of greasy head to get there. I can’t do that. I have only succeeded in extending my okay days by 1. I can go 3 days with it looking halfway decent, the 4th day I am a grease pit. I’m thinking it’s hard water. I’m going to try boiling the water with the bs in it trick. My hair can handle the bs/acv about once every 12 days only. Any more often and it fries my ends. I’m gonna try organic conditioner just on the ends. Problem is, my hair is layered, so I have “ends” all over. have VERY thin, fine hair, so when you just don’t have much to work with, it’s hard to experiment. I am determined. I’ve tried shampoo bars, too sticky and won’t rinse out, and don’t cut the grease. I’ve had to use soap nut shampoo from Naturoli to cut the grease. Probably not considered “no poo” enough, but nothing else cuts the oil except for bs, not egg yolk, not raw honey, not shampoo bar. Very frustrating to read all the my hair is great after 2 weeks of transitioning. They must not have had oily hair to begin with. I’m 46 yo. You would think that the oil production would have slowed down by now. Even before going no poo, I used organic stuff for over 10 years. I use the boar hair bristle brushes and it just lays the greasy hair flat on my head and doesn’t go to the ends where the oil is needed. Maybe I need to brush it longer, but it starts hurting my scalp after a dozen strokes. My hair feels super soft when it’s greasy, it just looks disgusting. I’ve spent all winter wearing hats on the oily days, trying to stretch it farther, even in the house, but now spring and summer are coming. No hiding it then. My poor, patient husband. He is so sweet, but I know he hates it when it’s oily and doesn’t smell good. It was just comforting to finally read that it’s not working for someone other than me. Sorry for you! If you figure it out, please let me know!!!

  66. Also just to add, how did everyone deal with colouring your hair, as salons like to shampoo and condition when they colour??
    Thanks

  67. Iv been using this method for 2-3 months now and my scalp was feeling a bit sensitive so I reduced the amount of baking soda in my wash and I made sure it was all washed out. Iv just wash my hair using this method and my scalp feels waxy. What could this be and how do I fix it? What could I have done, is there not enough baking soda?

    • The baking soda no-poo method doesn’t work for everyone. Influences such as water type, hair type, skin type and other factors can all change the final outcome. Experimentation is the key. Try upping the amount of BS but using it less often. If you try different strengths and frequencies to no success there are other no-poo methods with things like honey, lemon juice, milk, banana, egg, yogurt etc that might end up suiting you & your conditions better so don’t give up just yet.

  68. This method seems very appealing, but I also have read things on line about baking soda being bad for hair in the long term (weakening it) because the pH is too high.

    Any comments? Has anyone out there used this method for years with no weakening of their hair? Most of the above posts have talked about days, weeks or months, but not longer.

    Thanks for your help!

  69. Hi – I’ve been trying the no-poo for three weeks now… usually using bc only every fourth day, but by day three, despite a hot water rinse, my hair is incredibly waxy. It’s gross. I’ve tried combing it through but it just won’t shift. Sadly I hadn’t realised I needed to use a clarifying shampoo prior to starting no-poo, but I’m reluctant to do that mid experiment. Any suggestions? Do I just stick with it…? v

    • Yes, boar bristle brush! I had the same problem too as my hair is long and thick. I think many other people have short hair or fine hair who try it so don’t have the same issue. Try it though- it worked wonders for me!

  70. Hi. I’m a guy with black short wavy-curly complicated hair. i want to try this method, but i fear some complications. My current status is that i have thick, oily and really itchy hair. One time i was jogging and i scratched and saw flakes. Happened once. Please help

    • Proprietary shampoos are notorious for causing dry flaky scalps. No-poo methods can resolve this very successfully. Do experiment.

      You should find that the vinegar rinse makes your curls more manageable, providing you use the correct type for your hair.

      I should point out that it is VERY important to wash the baking soda out after treatment, more especially in your case as you have black hair and any residue would be noticeable.

  71. Hey !
    i just went no poo 4 days back…
    my hair are naturally day and curly…
    with this no poo with BS and ACV its gng great..right nw they are a bit oily but very much less frizzy..and my curls are more defined..
    i have a few questions…
    1.how can i reduce the fly aways?they make my curls look messed up..
    2.i apply hot oil masks bfr 4 times a week… can this BS and ACV clean off that oil off my hair?or will i have to use my regular commercial shampoo when i treat my hair with hot oil mask?

    • Try a ‘double wash’. If you find that the oils are not washed out successfully you could try adding a liquid castille soap to your regimen on those days.

  72. I’m definitely going to try this after Christmas holidays! I like to use coconut oil and olive oil overnight on my hair sometimes though and don’t want to give that up. Would baking soda get the oil out or is there something else I can use?
    Thanks :)

    • Hi Amy – I’m no expert, but I would imagine that bc isn’t enough to rid your hair of the grease from coconut oil… I used to use coconut oil a lot overnight and it was a real pain to clear. Anyway, I was thinking, after the initial transition period (where your hair may well be greasier OR dryer than normal), you will probably find that you won’t need to use those intensive hair treatments so much, because you will still have the natural oils in your hair. Like I said, I’m not a pro at this, and everyone’s different, but that’s my opinion. :)

  73. For the past 4 months I have only used hot water and a brush to “scrub” my hair, usually every other day. I let it dry naturally and when it has dried I use a brush to brush it out. My hair is so manageable now and my dandruff has disappeared. I gave all my products away. My hair looks better than it ever has.

  74. Hi Sami,
    i started no poo style following your recipe about a week ago, and at first my hair looked and felt clean. The next time, my hair was a little greasy. This time i added about 12 drops of essential oils into my baking soda mix. After i used it my hair looks very oily in the bangs and the back of my scalp. Is this from the oils or is my hair still transitioning? Oh i have thin medium length naturly curly wavyish blonde hair.

    • That does seem a lot of essential oil for a single dose! However a week into the trial you are still in a transitional period so greasy locks is not uncommon. Perseverance is the answer at the moment. A ‘double wash’ might help – but not every time, and be sure to wash the BS out thoroughly. Your hair and scalp should be squeaky clean before applying the vinegar.

  75. Hello, I have been reading up on ‘no poo’ with interest. Thank you for the website.
    I am on my first week of no poo. I have done my BS/ACV wash. I find that my hair is very dry on the ends. But I read about the coconut butter.

    I wondered if its okay to wash frequently the no poo way. For example: if exercising a lot or swimming. What happens when you have to wash chlorine out of the hair?

    I will persist a little longer. My hair isn’t as greasy as when I use commercial shampoo. Thanks for any info…

  76. Hello, I currently don’t have access to baking soda and vinegar since I am on vacation. But, I was wondering if I could wash my hair with just water for about a month and then transition to baking soda and vinegar? Also, if I do do this, will I feel the transition period between the pure water and baking soda/vinegar?

    Thank you!

    • If you are just starting out you could try just scrubbing your hair with your fingertips using water as hot as you can stand it. You may have to do it daily or every other day. I never did transition to baking soda/vinegar to I can’t talk to that but a daily/every other day wash with hot water has kept my hair looking nice for months now.

  77. Hey everyone, iv’e been dping a LOT of research, and i found that the Baking soda accually dries out your hair over a period of time! Some have gotten great results but others have said it damaged their hair. If you don’t get good results with the BS/ACV mix or you want to experiment you should try…

    http://wellnessmama.com/3701/how-to-make-natural-shampoo/

    http://empoweredsustenance.com/no-poo-method-damages-hair/

    http://empoweredsustenance.com/diy-honey-shampoo/

    http://www.thankyourbody.com/

  78. I’ve tried this before and loved it! However I got lazy and forgot to continue. I’m ok with the bad hair for the transition but my question is can I use this method if I’m in the process of using olive oil heat treatment that is supposed to increase growth significantly.
    I ask because I noticed you warned against using oil based things and to only use a tiny bit of coconut oil during transition… do I need to do the olive oil treatment before going back to this no poo method?
    Thanks so much,
    Kaede

    • A change of regimen can have an effect on the system – hence the transitional period that many people go through. One reason for not trying 2 new treatments at the same time is that you would not know which was causing what if you have any issues.

    • Yes but you will need to wash with baking soda more than once to get the oil out, and some add a few drops of castille soap to help with this.

  79. I’ve been using baking soda/vinegar for about 2 1/2 weeks now. A few days ago, I noticed that I’ve developed dandruff. With so many people saying that this method helps them reduce dandruff, I’m wondering what I’m doing wrong.
    Additional info/background: I was washing my hair daily with baking soda (~1 tbsp in ~1 cup water), but now I’m working on extending the time between washes. My hair itself looks decent, although it’s a little greasier at the very roots than it was when I was using normal shampoo. I originally wanted to try no ‘poo in large part because my hair would almost always get greasy between washes (every day–a no-no I know). If I straightened my hair (a rarity) it would look greasy and flat in about 12 hours. Is it possible that I’m simply over-washing my hair?
    I also have been trying to achieve the slippery feeling, but I’m not quite sure I have it yet. My hair feels kind of slippery when I run my palms over it when the solution is still in. Maybe I’m just not used to no lather, but I’m always afraid that I’m not getting to all the parts of my scalp and washing them super well.

  80. I’m eager to try this! Thing is I’m always out and about doing things and especially at the moment as I’m now 16 and have got college interviews and singing gigs and all coming up(gonna be busy like all the time from now on) and my hair is what I feel makes me look nice and can sum up a look. So it’s going to be hard having to look disgusting for months..Hopefully it won’t be too bad:( But I noticed as you were saying that the chemicals are harsh. When I use shampoo(I try not to shampoo too often) I find that(like you said) my hair looks dry after and feels weird and secondly it makes my skin feel dry also!(even a spot..I never get spots and never have spots) But ahh wish me the best!!XD The blog was brilliant by the way and the information was all very helpful, thankyou.

    • What suits you & your hair best is the best action to take. Everyone is different and what suits one will not suit another. Some people only use the baking powder once a week or less and use vinegar or just plain water on the ‘wash’ days in between. So experiment and keep a note of the results until you find the right regimen for you personally.

  81. How do I use no poo after using hairspray? I try just using the vinigar but when I was fine I had white clumpy flakes from the left over hairspray. How do I deal with using styling products and the no poo method

  82. Hi, I am trying the “no poo method” and I just started. I live in a tropical country in Asia so it’s a bit humid here. I was wondering on the initial phase, if after every 2 days, I am able to use the baking soda shampoo and apple cider vinegar. Subsequently as the weeks go by, I will extend the times of using it to probably once a week as what most people have suggested.

    I just have not shampoo in a day and I feel greasy, but as I read on, it is part of the “transition” phase. Hope you can give me some advise.

  83. I was actually looking for a method to make homemade shampoo since having started to make homemade soap.
    I’ve heard before that shampoo is really harsh on hair, stripping it of good stuffs with it’s bad chemicals. Over time, I’ve home to lessen how often I wash my hair with shampoo, about every 3 days, and stick to only brands that are Sulfate free in my shampoo varieties. In the few years I’ve done this, my hair has “normalized” to the routine. So I was extrememly curious to try this. And what the heck, I mixed up a batch of 1tbs to 1 cup of tap water and used it today in place of my shampoo. Not having vinegar, I did stick with a bit of conditioner, as I was afraid of what that result might be with drying my hair out.
    But that aside, my hair still feels clean, and I can’t even notice a difference between this No ‘Poo method and my regular method. Excited to pick up the proper supplies later (I noticed now I skipped the clarifying step), and see how it works out on the long run. Thanks for the advice and input with your article! I’m a believe of breaking the cycle!

  84. I apply coconut oil to the ends of my hair when it gets that ‘straw’ like feeling. It smells great, and has added health benefits!!!

    • They are not the same thing. Although Baking powder does contain baking soda (or bi-carb) it also contains either low-temperature acid salts such as cream of tartar and monocalcium phosphate or high-temperature acid salts such assodium aluminium sulfate, sodium aluminum phosphate, and sodium acid pyrophosphate plus a filler like cornflour or rice flour which absorbs moisture.

  85. My hair is unbearably oily!! I have been using the honey method because I read that the baking soda is too acidic. Is this true ?? My hair has a lot of new growth and is really healthy just extremely oily. Has anyone tried the honey method or have any tips that I can try?

    • The slightly alkaline ph of baking soda is about an 8, water’s ph is around 7, sebum (on your scalp) has a slighty more acidic natural ph of about 5, vinegar comes out around 3. Which is why no-poo proponants will tell you to dilute both the baking soda & vinegar. Vinegar’s true nature, although it contains malic acid and acetic acid, is alkaline so it does have an alkalising effect. You can buy ph test strips to double check your mixtures’ ph levels as they WILL change with more/less water added, if you want to check final ph. Those people (barring those with allergies) who say the bi-carb method damages hair are most likely those who are not properly diluting.

      A lot of store bought shampoos and conditioners are not ph-balanced, which is why so many users of them are left with a dry flaky scalp and/or brittle hair that needs layers of conditioning treatments to keep it manageable.

      Diet can have an effect upon the amount of sebum produced.

  86. What do you do when you go to a hair salon? If I get my hair highlighted or colored could I ask them to use baking soda to safely get the chemicals out?

    • You could, and some will. Or you could pre-wash your hair and ask them to use just plain water. If they are not prepared to do one or other of these then change our hairdresser. You are the customer and the person telling them what you want after all – though they are within their rights to suggest that any issues arising are your fault not their’s (another reason for going elsewhere).

  87. I have been doing poo free now for about 2 months. The first week was fabulous! Then I started noticing some oily spots and “unwashed hair smell”. I realized the oily spots were places I wasn’t cleaning well enough, but what do I do about this dirty smell? I tried putting a very little bit of essential oil in, but then it smelled like dirty hair and mint!

  88. I am in week three. I have just been using water. Today I sprayed with raw applie cider vinegar after washing and towel drying . I have a soft water system which I think really helps. I love my hair. I have a hair appt Feb 27th for a color, which I don’t know if that defeats the purpose or not but I have to color. I am anxious to see what my hair guy will say about the condition of my hair and how my hair accepts the color and how long it stays without using shampoo. So far I really like it.

  89. Hi Samy,
    I’ve been no-poo for 2 weeks now, and feel like I’m finally over the ultra-greasy hill! I got to wear my hair down for the first time yesterday, and it felt awesome. The thing I haven’t figured out yet is if I’m only supposed to wash every week or two, what do I do after hitting the gym? I stopped going ehile in the transition-period, but now it’s time to get back on track (mind the pun). I’d like to be able to wash my hair when it’s dripping with sweat, but should I simply wash with BS/ACV like normal yet more often, or maybe just get it wet? Any advice would be appreciated!

    • you could use your normal regimen, a vinegar wash alone or just plain water. Experiment and find out what works best for you.

  90. Hi Ladies :)

    I would like to share my experience with you, as it might be useful for those who are thinking about trying this method. I was absolutely sure this method works only I was afraid of the ‘transition’ period. I was scared my hair would look awful but then I realised most of the times it was awful anyway as in 24 hours it looked as if I applied a whole bucket of butter on it and stuck some hay in between. I have started no-poo about a month ago, I washed my hair for the 4th time yesterday and what a result! My first two washes were a disaster: my hair was dry and greasy at the same time. Something I can’t describe. It was heavy and you never wanted to touch it again. I was wearing it in a braid or pony tail but the feeling of heavy super-dry and greasy hair would follow me everywhere. But yesterday it felt different and when it dried (I let it dry naturally) it looked amazing. My own curls are back curlier and lighter than ever before, my hair shines and somehow looks longer. It is definitely healthier and I can hear my hear whisper in my ears: thank you so much! And this is only the beginning! Can’t wait for the supermodel/Hollywood hair :D Good luck to everyone!

  91. After 8 months of just using the hot water “scrub” on my head and being quite happy with how luxurious and manageable my hair was, I decided to use the baking soda and ACV routine. What a disaster! My hair is a greasy mess. I went back to the hot water “scrubs” daily until it is back to its normal, unadulterated state.

  92. Hi I was very interested in the no poo and i plan on trying it tonight but I just had one question it says you left your hair down, do you absolutely have I leave it down? Because I have to put my hair up for work

    • Hi – I’ve just been styling mine as normal. I’d say a ponytail is a no-pooers best friend when going through the transition phase :)

  93. I decided a week ago to go “no poo”. I read and did a little research. Im a frequent washer- my hair is extremely oily (doesnt even hold a curl and by 5 hours post shampoo I look like a filthy bum again). I started off by using home made shampoo and conditioner. The oils it required, while natural, still made me too greasy. but my hair looked fabulous for a while. Now i pul it back into a bun or a clip or just bobby pin randomly for some style and i pull the greasy look off.

    Ive decided to no poo every other day until I can get rid of the homemade as well. Its been a week and more hopeful than before.

    Just a thought for those going through the same transition I have.

  94. I just had my first no poo shower!
    my hair is feeling smooth and soft. it kind of feels a little… sticky(?) almost, or something.. but not in a bad way. I used the hairdryer to dry it because its winter and cold.. but I used it on a low heat, so my hair has some volume; not as flat as it usually does. I’ve been living in London for a few months now, and because the water is hard, my hair has gotten really weak, and hasn’t been itself in a long time; it used to be shiny and silky. I was looking to buy some shampoo and conditioner that works against the hard water, but I’m a frugal person (they’re on the expensive side), and wanted to try this as a last attempt to save my hair as I’ve been using boiled water for a month or so, and there wasn’t much improvement.
    I hope this works out for me!

  95. Ok so I haven’t started to no poo method but I was wondering if using Cantu’s sheath butter and if using renewing argon oil would ruin the whole point of the of no poo method. I really want to do this but I’m not sure if I can let these products go I’m in high school and my mom can’t afford the organic stuff thanks for the help :) Emily

  96. Hello!

    I am attempting the ‘no poo but didn’t do a lot of research before I started. I have been using natural shampoo and conditioner for about 1-2 months, with the occasional time using a pharmacy product. I have not clarified my hair, but do I still need to do this if it has been so long since I’ve used a chemical shampoo?

    I have also been using water only for about 2 weeks and my hair is absolutely horrible – I am hoping after I try the baking soda/apple cider it will feel nicer. My question is, is it normal to have gunk coming out of my hair when I brush it? I’ve been using a wide-tooth plastic comb and it’s coated with grey, sticky gunk… I just bought a nylon bristle brush hoping it gets better soon!

    Thanks for your support
    Andrea

    • Dare I hazard a guess that the sticky gunk is perhaps the residue of all the previous products you have used to treat your hair being gradually stripped from your hair? The vast majority of us do not rinse our heads well enough after washing so a coating of shampoo is frequently left to dry on our hair. This is one of the reasons it is recommended that you clarify your hair before starting no-poo – it speeds up the process to achieve the best results soonest.

      If you live in a hard water area it could also include mineral deposits from the water, if it does then boiling your water first would help greatly.

      Do ensure, when you convert to no-poo, that you achieve the best results by rinsing your scalp and hair really well before applying the vinegar rinse.

  97. So I tried the no-poo on Monday. First day I had no problems. A day later I washed my hair and it became an oily, tangled, birds nest of hair. It was terrible! My hair just meshed together. I’m sure if I tried with no effort at all I could have given myself dreadlocks. I stuck it out though and thought maybe the following wash would be better…it wasn’t. I couldnt take how terribly gross and tangled it was so I pulled out my chemically infused commercial shampoo and washed whatever was going on in my hair.
    I feel like I messes up somewhere in the process of the no-poo method? Maybe I shouldve done the clarifying shampoo?
    Some advice please?

    • The transition to no-poo can be difficult. To start with your hair is coated in chemicals and additives that you have been dousing it with for as long as you have been using shampoo. For the fastest results you really need to strip these out by clarifying your hair before using baking soda. Once you have done that you must make sure that all the powder has been washed from your scalp and hair. As you do this, finger comb your hair under water to remove any tangles until they are both be squeaky clean. Once thoroughly rinsed, apply the vinegar to the full length (don’t rub it into your scalp but do work it down the full length).

      Don’t use the baking soda every day but you can use the vinegar rinse or plain water as often as you find necessary.

      Suddenly shocked out of their chemically induced stupor your glands can go into overdrive and produce much more (or less in some cases) sebum than normal, this will balance out given time.

  98. My experience has been good with “no poo”. I couldn’t handle the idea of baking soda in my hair to start with, so used castile soap. But I much prefer BS now. I think that helped me transition from normal shampoo as a sort of middle ground. Also I have never washed my hair every day anyway which I think helped a lot.

  99. Thanks for sharing I was going heavy on the acv & after adjusting based on your post my hair & scalp are MUCH happier (& much less oily!!)

  100. I’ve been no-poo since late January 2014. I shaved my head for my mom (she has lung cancer and lost her hair again) and took this as an opportunity to retrain my hair. That being said, my hair is only a couple of inches long now and I’ve been trying to style it with just water. It kind of works, but not so great. What can I use to style my hair? I’m only washing my hair once or twice a week, max.

    • No-poo will work more or less successfully on any type of hair providing you are willing to make the extra effort necessary, and tolerate the transition period. You will need to clarify your hair to get any and all silicones off of it to ensure the best starting point. If yours is a hard water area you would probably be better advised to boil your water both for wash and for rinse but certainly for rinse.

      Since baking soda is not a detergent, the sebum your scalp produces is not stripped away and vinegar restores a healthy balance with the result that your hair health will improve. However baking soda does have a drying effect, thus shouldn’t be applied every day and must be thoroughly rinsed out (if you get any powdery residue or your scalp becomes flaky after use you aren’t rinsing well enough). It also cannot repair existing damage. To avoid any further damage care must be taken not to ‘scrub’ when it is worked into the hair and scalp. The vinegar rinse or plain water can be used every day. A tiny dab of coconut oil will help to protect your hair’s appearance as new hair grows in and the overall condition improves.

      Baking soda/vinegar isn’t the only no-poo method though I cannot say which, if any, of the alternatives might prove better for you.

      You might prefer to initiate the change over with a move to low-poo to start with, using something like the Shea Moisture Organic Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo or something similar. Shea butter does help repair damaged hair & scalp. Or maybe try one of the L’Oreal sulfate free shampoos & conditioners as a cheaper alternative.

      Whatever you decide, good luck with getting poo-free. Once you have successfully made the change I am sure that you will be pleased you did.

      • I’ve found that diluting the Baking Soda works a lot better; I made a small amount based on your directions but didn’t like how it left my hair. I stopped using it but after a month I decided to try again. This time I used 1tsp of Baking Soda and it worked really well, my hair came out very clean. Everyone’s hair is different, so if you don’t like how it works, try adjusting the formula until you get what works for you.

  101. My biggest challenge with not using traditional conditioner is that my hair is very long and thin, and gets INCREDIBLY tangled. My solution has been using condition with a wide tooth comb when in the shower. What can I do to avoid spending 15 minutes every morning pulling my hair out when I get out of the shower? Will the vinegar help with tangles or do I need to add something else to the routine?

    • I find the knots and tangles, in my very fine hair, to be about as easy to remove with vinegar as with commercial conditioners though it doesn’t have quite the same silky texture that an overdose of the commercial product can give the strands. I start by rinsing with loads of water so most, if not all, of my hair is pointing in the same downward direction. Then I finger comb the vinegar through, working from tip to root. This works the vinegar down the strand without scrubbing in any more tangles.

      Regular use of the correct vinegar (acv or dv) should leave your hair in a more silky, manageable state so any tangling should become less of an issue.

      If you have problems in the interim, you could try a minuscule amount of coconut oil on the tips and see if that helps.

  102. I’m planning on getting highlights put into my hair and ofcourse I’ll need to use bleach on it. I know this will damage it, but could I use the no poo method after I’ve bleached it anyway? Will it make it a bit healthier? Xx

  103. Dear Sami,

    What can I do when I want to curl my hair, but need to hairspray so my curls can last, do I hairspray? Is there another alternative I can use instead of hairspray? If I hairspray do I need to use the clarifying shampoo when its time to wash my hair? Help!

  104. I am on overload with all info out there on the “no poo” method! I really want to give it a try! One question I have see asked and have still not seen an answer too is how much of the mixture to you use at a time? Do you use the whole cup of mixture for each wash and re-mix each time?
    Which leads me to my my next question: After clarifying, are you supposed to use the “no poo” method every day just at first for like the first week or 2? And when do you know you are through the transition period? Will one day your hair just start looking great?
    Also, I know the transition period takes a while, but at what point should you start trying something different? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

    • Do give no-poo a try. Once you get the balance right you will (or at least should) be pleased you did.

      Trial and error is the best way to find what suits you. Everyone’s head is different so there are no hard & fast rules.

      Except DO make sure that you rinse the baking soda out thoroughly. That is the most important thing you can do, the step that most people have issues with and the root of most failures to transition successfully. When you think that you have got rid of all the residue give you hair another good dousing!

      The amount of bs to use very much depends upon your scalp’s nature and hair’s current condition. Start by applying the smallest amount and build up until you work out just how much you need to achieve the best effect. Experimentation will identify the best results.

      Importantly you should not be using bs every day, no more than twice a week is the better option. It has a very drying effect on hair because of its alkaline nature and can cause hair to become dry & brittle and the scalp to become flaky (particularly if not well enough rinsed).

      That is where the vinegar rinse comes in. Vinegar shifts the balance back to a more neutral ph leaving shining manageable locks. Though the type of vinegar, acv or dv, can be important so if you don’t like the results of one swap to another.

      On the days you don’t use the bs but your hair needs to be refreshed you should use plain water, plain water and a vinegar rinse or just plain vinegar that you allow to dry on the hair. Once dry the smell should disappear (there are a very small number of people who will continue to be concious of an odour but most won’t).

      Once through the transition you should find that your hair will remain cleaner for longer.

      As to how long the transition might last? Well, again, that is down to the individual. For some there is none, for others it can take weeks, for most it is somewhere in between. Very rarely, for some reason or other, it fails to give good results at all. Should this apply to you there are other no-poo options to explore but it is unlikely that you will need to.

  105. Hi everyone! This website inspired me to get started doing the no-poo method (although the name of is not THAT inspiring!!!:P) So I have been a “no-poo-er” for 2 weeks now and I cannot say that for now it is as good as I was expecting it…
    My hair on its full lenght has gotten pretty dry and it is very hard to comb through it… :(
    Is that normal??
    I noticed I was not doing it completely the right way as I was putting the baking soda solution on my dry scalp… and also it is somewhat spredding automatically on my lenghts even though I apply it at the roots… do you have Tips for that??
    I will keep going for a couple of weeks because I want to see if results will get better… orelse I might just have to go back to using comemrcial shapoos/conditionners :(
    I have ecological and financial reasons for wanting this to work…
    Thanks for your help and I’ll keep you posted!!!
    Mari

    • It’s taken me almost 6 months to get to the point of being able to go 4 days with decent hair, on the 5th day I have to wear a hat. It took a while to get to each additional day of stretching it further. I had to give up on the bs and acv, it was frying my hair. I could probably do it once a month w/o too much damage. I had a mojor move and still remodeling and lost my “equipment” (my acv spray bottle and bs bottle) so out of desperation I bought a very mild soap nuts shampoo from naturoli and when I used it, I was pooing 3 times in 1 shower to get all the oil out and to feel suds. I was making no progress for a long time as far as being able to extend the days between washings. Then an idea struck me and I tried just using the natural poo once in the shower instead of 3 times, I felt no suds. Got my hair clean, not squeaky clean but it looked nice when it dried. Did that for a few times and soon my hair could stretch another day w/o having to wash! Yea! Still had the very dry damaged ends from the previous bs use though. I still had some very good conditioner from before no poo days (earth science olive & avocado deep conditioning masque) so I used a dab and I mean half the size of an eraser on the end of a pencil, just a teeny, tiny bit and rubbed it in my hands and applied to the ends of my hair. My hair is layered so I then just wipe my hands over the outside of my whole head of hair (not rubbing it in). Then you have to rinse forever, that stuff is so concentrated and silky. I’ve done that about the last 5 times and now my ends are repaired and nice again! I HIGHLY suggest to anyone whose ends are fried to buy that particular conditioning masque and I promise 1 tube of it will last 3 or 4 years you use such a small amount! I realize that my method is not truly “no-poo” but my goal was to not have to shampoo as often and I went from having to shampoo every day to having nice looking hair for 4 days (so far). So washing every 5 days is a big improvement over every day. The bs and acv just did not work for me. It fried my hair. But I finally found something that is working. You have to stretch your time though meaning going that last gross hair day or 2 wearing hats, every time you can, in order to eventually add another good hair day.
      Someone I know has similar hair as me (thin, fine, oily, damages and falls out easily) and she went cold turkey, meaning she didn’t use anything but water. She said it took her 6 months of a grease pit (I could not do that! I have to be presentable 1-2 times/week for church). Now she only washes her hair once every 3 months and only b/c it starts smelling like food. It never gets oily!!! She uses only water in between. She washes with egg yolk and conditions with juice from her aloe plant and honey. Once every 3 months!!! She’s the live in a house boat hippie type though and so is her hubby. I don’t know anyone else who could get away with being a grease pit for 6 months. She was rewarded though with gorgeous hair she only has to mess with 4 times a year! Get the olive & avocado masque to repair your hair and only use a smidgeon. OOOHHH, and I just read your post again. I found a brush that goes through my hair with very little falling out. It takes a while to get all the tangles out form the depths of your hair (close to the scalp) but it works. I brush through my hair with a boar hair brush on no wash days and right before I get into the shower to wash, that way I start out with tangle free hair. I try not to muss my hair, only massage with little circles when washing. Then use Tangle Teaser on my wet hair. Only thing I’ve ever found that doesn’t rip my hair out by the handfuls when I detangle.

    • Yes, foregoing the use of commercial shampoo could indeed have been more sweetly titled :-)

      Baking soda has a slightly alkaline ph of about 8 whilst the sebum (on your scalp) is slightly more acidic with a natural ph of about 5. Using too much bs or using it too often or not rinsing it thoroughly enough can have a very drying effect. This sometimes causes the hair to become brittle and then to break leading to a fear that the hair is falling out. Try reducing the amount of bs used at each wash or thinning it the solution with more water before application. Do ensure that it is thoroughly rinsed out. Most of us fail to rinse our hair well enough after washing. With commercial shampoos the residue is less noticeable so we don’t realise just how much has been left behind. Bs is not so forgiving.

      Vinegar commonly has a ph of around 3. Although it contains malic and acetic acids, its true nature is toward alkaline so it has a balancing effect. But it won’t strip the left over bs.

      Don’t worry too much about a little of the bs running down the length of your hair providing you rinse it out extra thoroughly. You could try applying it in small squirts and working each in thoroughly before applying more as needed until you get the hang of it.

      Don’t use bs more than twice a week at the very most. Once you are through the transition period you should find that you need to use less anyway. Between washes use plain water, water and a vinegar rinse, plain vinegar – by the time your hair is dry the vinegar smell should have evaporated away.

      Alternatively you could use a dry shampoo between washes. A google search will return loads of no-poo options and recipes for homemade versions.

      To return a stunning shine to get you through the transition you could try dissolving a spoonful of honey into three or four cups of warm water. Pour the mixture over wet, freshly washed & well rinsed hair. Do not rinse the mixture out but gently ring as much excess moisture from your hair as you can. Use a towel to lightly pat hair dry and then style as normal. The honey will help soften and add shine to your hair.

      If you get really desperate you could try a hot-oil treatment. These can have a wonderfully livening effect on hair. Again there are loads of no-poo suggestions available.

  106. I just went no poo yesterday and I have to say I am astounded by how amazing my hair is. It feels so soft and isn’t near as tangled. Is it normal to have these results first time? Do you think I’ll have an adjustment period and this is just temporary? I sure hope not because this is truly amazing.

    • Everybody’s head is as individual as the person upon whose shoulders it sits :-) You may indeed be one of the lucky ones so congratulations and fingers crossed that you don’t get hit by a belated transition. If you do, don’t despair, you already know how good your hair can feel with no-poo.

      Do beware not to use too much baking soda not use it too often. It does have a drying effect on both hair and scalp as it has a more alkaline ph. That is why you must ensure it is thoroughly washed out after application. It is also why vinegar is used to redress the balance. Although an acid, vinegar’s true nature helps to restore a neutral balance.

  107. This is probably a dumb question, but for the people who can go for around 10 days without having to wash their hair, what do they do during those days? Do you just shower and rinse your hair with water until you need to use the baking soda/vinegar rinse again?

    • It’s not a dumb question at all. There are people who go far longer than 10 days between washes. I’ve even heard of people who never wash their hair! Instead they use no-poo methods that don’t require water, like coconut oil treatments. The best method is the one that you find suits you best.

      Baking soda can have a very drying effect on your hair, particularly if not thorough rinsed out, so should not be used more than twice a week, less is possible. Twixt times you can refresh your locks with plain water, water and vinegar or plain vinegar. You can also use dry shampoos, no-poo versions of which can easily be found with a google search.

      You can also use hot oil treatments to keep your hair in tip-top condition. Though you will find that most of these require plenty of really hot water to remove after treatment.

  108. I have been using sls free shampoos for years. Lately I have been using paraben free but I love trying healthier things. I wanted to know if I need to do a cleanse first. I dry my hair about once a week and that is when I use Aveda products to style. I wash when my hair looks oily.

  109. Hi! Why is it that you should not apply the baking soda to the length of the hair and only the roots and why only apply the vinegar to hair and not scalp and roots? Will this damage your hair if you do? Thanks!

    • Baking soda/bi-barb has a very drying effect on hair because of its alkaline ph hence the advice. But it is just that – advice not instruction. Providing you are very thorough in washing it out there should be no detrimental effects. And I do mean VERY. This drying effect is also to do with why you shouldn’t use the bs more than twice a week max.

      Vinegar is an acid and, although its nature is toward redressing the ph balance to ‘normal’, it will sting. Your locks won’t feel the effect but your scalp might.

      I, me, personally spray the vinegar on from the roots and finger comb it through to the tips (though I start the finger combing the other way round, from the tips to the root) and find that that works fine for me. I find I get the best shine from distilled vinegar, acv leaves my hair lovely and soft but with a satiny shine rather than a glossy one.

  110. Hi there! Seriously considering going no poo! I’m wondering if I could mix up a big batch of the baking soda/water solution so I don’t have to mess around with powder in the shower? Will it still be effective? Thanks!

    • If you read through the existing comments you will discover that a number of users make pastes and solutions to facilitate the application of bi-carb.

      Occurring naturally throughout nature, baking soda is a compound found in solution in the ocean, in the soil, in our foods, and in our bodies. It is a component of the mineral natron and is found dissolved in many mineral springs. However it does react with carbon dioxide and water to produce sodium hydrogen carbonate, which precipitates out of solution, so I would be disinclined to make up quantities sufficient for long term storage.

      You might also be interested to know that if stored at temperatures above 60 °C, it gradually decomposes into sodium carbonate, water and carbon dioxide and, if dissolved in hot water, it has the potential to corrode steel. Oh boy am I glad that my head is not composed of steel ;-)

  111. I’m a licensed cosmetologist and I support this 100%! It works really well for blondes because your not using the thick commercial products that dull and build up! And honestly it’s even better for colored hair to get that shiny vibrant tonal color because of the no build up to dull! Thank you so much!

  112. Hey! I want to get my foils redone but I’ve been putting it off because I’m not sure if I’m aloud, as in how would the hairdresser wash off the bleach without shampoo? And if I was to use shampoo, would it ruin everything and take me back to square one?
    Also, how long should I wait between washes? I’ve just been leaving it for a week at a time no matter how dripping with oil it’s getting.

  113. I have mid brown/reddish hair, when it look greasy I use arrowroot and cinnamon, just sprinkle a bit of each in the palm of your hand and rub together then rub through your hair.

    All greasiness gone, and then I tie it back.

    Works well for me, and I am using it at the moment whilst I get used to no poo, it just makes me feel at least human rather than greasy! I guess for darker hair you could use cacao powder, greys just plain arrowroot, blondes maybe ground ginger.

  114. I’ve been doing the no poo method for a week now my ends are super dry and my hair is static-y. So Ive been doing the baking soda and natural conditioner instead of vinegar. But I want to do this 100%. Is there anyway to stop the static and frizzed out dry ends?

  115. Dear Sami

    i only have DWV in my house, and my hair is a little dry. can i use DWV in replace for ACV? should i increase/decrease the amount of the DWV?

    Thank you,

    -Qanita Syahshiyah

  116. I’m sooo excited to do No-poo!!! Right now I’m doing 30 days of olive oil treatment for hair growth so I’m a little hesitant to start the baking soda now, but I have already started the white vinegar conditioner!! Can’t wait

  117. I’m trying to be an all natural kind of girl and this sounds amazing!!!
    I have always used shampoos that have perfumes and junk in them until I broke out on my face so much that I had to stop. Thank you for the insight!!!

  118. Hi there! I have very curly hair (my daddy is hispanic and I got it from him =) and I’ve been considering trying this method since I’m always on the lookout for curly hair care tricks. I’m about as good about it as I can be right now without using shampoo. I have waged my own personal war on sulfates and so the shampoo, conditioner and styling gel that I use are made by Kinky-Curly, a fabulous sulfate-free company (and the only curly shampoo I have tried and truly liked.) I have to shower every morning because my curls need to be freshened up and redone every day or they will be a frizzy mess. I don’t use shampoo every day, but I do condition and detangle my hair every day. And therein lie my questions for you regarding the method: would I need to shower every day? If so, would I wash and condition every day or just condition? Would I need to use styling products, like the antifrizz curling custard I currently use? I’m very curious as to how this would work for someone with curly hair like mine.
    Thanks so much for taking the time to write this great article! I hope to hear back from you soon! Thanks!

  119. AHh final wash tonight and then no poo for me! Thankyou so much for this! And I was wondering how long It will take before i see the difference in my hair? xxxx

  120. Hi there I have seen the NO POO advertised by some bloggers and I have a question. I have very curly frizzy hair. And when I say frizzy I mean when it dries naturally sometimes it looks like I am wearing a hat.

    My question to you is, since I have to use conditioner and other products on my hair, I have a build up on my scalp, would no poo get rid of this build up or not?

  121. Hello there, I’ve just tried my first no poo method and do you use the full 1 cup ratio on your hair at one time? Just seemed a lot of liquid to run through my hair. My hair seemed very easy to comb through and the use of a few drops of tea tree has left it smelling clean and fresh.

  122. Hello Sami! First of all thank you for this post, it´s great!
    I´m starting no poo today and I wanted to know if I have to use the whole vinegar mix (the whole cup) every wash, or just enough and keep the rest for the next one?
    Thanks again!

  123. HI, I have been doing no poo for about 3 months now and I absolutely love it. However, I am do for a hair cut and the stylist I go to usually shampoos my hair before cutting it. If I allow her to Shampoo my hair will it ruin all the progress I have made going “no poo”? If so what suggestions would you make to get around this situation. Thanks.

  124. I have been on the no poo method for a year and I just dyed my hair a couple days ago. I went from my natural black to a blonde ombre, and I was wondering if I can still use my Chagrine Valley shampoo bars and vinegar rinse without it stripping the hair dye?

  125. Hi there. After reading quite a few articles on the no poo method, i am very interested in trying it out. I am a male with short hair. i am trying to grow out my hair to chin length. Well the problem here is, i used hair styling products like “Layrite” regularly. This “layrite” is water soluble. But each time after washing it off, there will still be trace amount of it in terms of hair texture. So far, it has not been affecting my scalp as much like “gatsby” did. So, i am wondering will the no poo method still work for me if i always used hair styling products and will the baking soda be able to thoroughly cleanse my hair along with the styling product? Thanks! :)

  126. Before I start the no poo method I have to use the clarifying shampoo. Should I use my regular conditioner after the clarifier? Or a natural conditioner? Or no conditioner at all?

  127. Hi, I’m a reporter who is writing about this topic and hoping to speak with some people who have stopped or cut back on using shampoo. If anyone is interested, you can contact me at llochner@bloomberg.net or 212-617-4673. Thanks, Lauren Coleman-Lochner, Consumer and retail reporter, Bloomberg News.

  128. Hi! I swim and play a lot of water polo, would I still be able to do this? I get a lot of chlorine build up in my hair and I’m worried the baking soda wouldn’t be able to get it all out? At the moment I have to use a clarifying shampoo when I don’t use a swimming cap in the pool. Thanks! :)

  129. I have been using the no poo method for a few weeks now. My hair is better but not perfect yet. I am not giving up. ;) I was wondering if I sm suppose to use the whole amount of the solution every time I wash or just part of it?

    • When i mix up my shampoo and conditioner i usually end up using 3-4 cups of water and the corresponding amount of bs/dw vinegar. When i go to wash my hair i use enough of the bs mix the make the roots of my hair and about an inch off if my head feel “slippery” (like how the water feels after you mix in the bs) then i scrub my scalp to remove any dirt/dandruff/ect. and rinse my hair very well with hot water. To condition my hair i just take my handy dandy squirt bottle filled with the dw vinegar and spray the length of my hair then i let it sit on while i wash my body and rinse it out, again with really hot water, when i rinse off my body. My concoctions usually last me 3-5 washes and i usually run out of the bs mix first.

      Hope i was of some help!
      -Emma

  130. Hi I just started out on the no poo regime and noticed that my hair is getting very dry and frizzy. Prior to the no poo, I had problems with an excessively oily scalp, ends were dry but not as dry as it is now. Can anyone advise if you have the same experience?

  131. Hi I just started out on the no poo regime and noticed that my hair is getting very dry and frizzy, plus, it is perpetually tangled. Prior to the no poo, I had problems with an excessively oily scalp, ends were dry but not as dry as it is now. Can anyone advise if you have the same experience?

  132. Hi :) umm I have a question regarding on the baking soda as a shampoo replacement. Well I was wondering if you were referring to the powdered baking soda (the one with an arm flexing with a hammer I think; an orange box). Also, can I use something else, instead of using vinegar as a conditioner because I don’t have any …. Please answer me as soon as you can thank you :)

  133. you say don’t use the baking soda on the ends of your hair and the vinegar on your scalp…my hair is quite short and there’s no way I can do that. Also does anyone have any suggestions for clarifying shampoo? I never did that step and son’t know if I should do it now.
    I originally started the no-poo method to help with hair loss, and it seems to be working…I don’t find as many hairs in the sink anymore.

  134. I am a guy (using my wife’s account, hence the name Donna). I will never use traditional shampoo or conditioners again. I have type 2c long hair and use rye flour, water for shampoo, and alternate types of conditioner, aloe, ACV, etc. Turning 60 in November and my hair is healthier than it has ever been in my life. Better than it was in the 70’s when I had long hair too. It doesn’t hurt that I also eat very healthily either. Plus my starting gray hair went away too? I found baking soda too harsh but the rye flower is perfect for me.It has been over 5 months now and am glad I switched.

  135. Hi! I’ve been doing the baking soda/vinegar rinse for my oily hair (it’s currently long too) since the beginning of this year. At first it worked great, but for months now, I’ve had to experiment a bit. About a month ago I started using the white vinegar rinse on my roots as well because my hair was itchy and flaky, and that did help a bit. I’m using about a tbsp. of baking soda to a little water, but here’s my question:

    should I be diluting it more? I read one of the comments about boiling the water before adding the baking soda, so I am going to try that.

    But here’s another problem I haven’t been able to figure out. My hair always feels sticky after I wash it. I always try my best to rinse out the baking soda hoping it will help. That’s also one of the reasons I started using the vinegar rinse on my roots. I did also read about using baby powder to dry up the greasiness; I’m going to try that also. Hopefully after all this my hair will be healthily shiny and clean as when I first started this method. And even though the baking soda mixture can be drying to my hair, it does clean it well. Maybe I should try decreasing the amount of baking soda I use?

    However, do you have any suggestions on what else I could do? I really want to continue using this method because it has no chemicals!

  136. This was the most useful no-poo website I found. I have been no-poo for just over 3 months and I will never go back. Recently 3 people have complimented my hair, so it’s not just me who’s happy with the increased shine and volume. I used to lose so much hair I wondered why I wasn’t bald, but now I lose only about half as much. At first my hair felt like straw, but this site helped me figure out I should reduce the quantity of no-poo (I have fine hair), rinse really, really well and not omit the vinegar rinse. Those tips made all the difference and no more straw hair. I can go 4-5 days between washes if I want to, whereas with chemical shampoo I could only go 2-3 days. Some tips I would like to add are:
    1) Don’t use too much no-poo. I mix 1Tbsp baking soda per 1c water (one container made in advance, another container in use) I shake well and measure out 1/4 cup of liquid then over basin, pour slowly over DRY scalp, massaging in as I go. It drips into the basin, but not much because the dry hair absorbs it. Prepare to shower while the no-poo does it’s magic. Rinse
    2) Do use the vinegar rinse and don’t get it on the roots. (I use 1/4 c white vinegar to 1c water in a spray bottle – it lasts for ages). I rinse off in cooler water if I remember, but I don’t notice a difference.
    3) I have dyed hair (supermarket brand). When using no poo, the drips in the basin are the same color as my dye. Initially I was worried, but the color lasts much better so I think chemical shampoo stripped the dye even more.

  137. Thanks for this article. Day 6 today cold turkey…. Just hot water. OK so far but for a bit of oil and slight smell by end of day. BUT today I noticed I had NO knots in my long hair – after wrapping wet hair on towel it combed straight through. Even with the best conditioners that never happened in the past. I Have highlighted hair so am avoiding the apple cider vinegar, and it just may be paying off :)

  138. Hi there,
    I went through all comments carefully but still have one question with no answer:
    I do color my hear with commercial stuff. Should I stop using them? If so, how could I replace them because I have grey hair I wanna hide…
    Many thanks if someone can help!

  139. Hola llevo dos semanas lavando mi cabello con bicarbonato y vinagre.. Primero se puso grasoso y cambie de vinagre.. Ahora las puntas estan horribles.. Y cuando m peino el cabello es. Como si estuviera sucio.. El peine se ve sucio.. Ya m kiero dar porvencida pues siento q ni m esta ayudand. Q puedo hacer estoy desesperada

  140. I’ve beeing using no poo for three weeks and my hair already looks much better. I have wavy short hair, and it dries up beautifully now, considering that before I had A LOT of frizz and fly-aways. I’ve always had very sensitive scalp (major reason that made me start no poo) and I’m still suffering with itch and flakes. I only use baking soda once a week, and in between just wash my hair with water. I tried aplying vinegar on my scalp once, but didn’t see much improvement. I should try again though.
    Any advices or tips? I’m looking for aloe vera but it’s really hard to find where I live.

  141. So i started no poo on recomendation from some friends about 3 1/2 weeks ago. At first i loved it, my hair has always been very corse and unmanageable but no pooing made it soft and easy to work with. Then it stripped my perm. I decided to stick with it and struggle through and then my hair went back to semi normal conditions until the chemical shampoos residues started get stripped off. Now my hair feels like it has a coating of wax at the top and is so dry at the bottom it looks like straw.

    Am i still in the transition period or should i try changing my current recipie of 1Tbs baking soda to 1 cup of water for shampoo and 1Tbs white vinegar, ACV made my hair too greasy, to 1 cup of water?
    I do a no poo wash every 2-4 days and WO washes in between.

  142. Hello!, I would really like to start with the no poo treatment.. Although I am not really sure what to do in a day to day bases because i have curly hair and i need to at least put some water on it so i can styled it, keeping it dry for a few days a week would mean just have to keep it on a bun all the time!, do you know a condioting routine for every day? Thank you very much!

    • Hey Ailin! Its completely ok to wet your hair daily, just not wash it. As far as daily conditioning i cant help you there though ive heard that the occasional deep conditioning treatment using olive, coconut or another like oil will do the trick, you could also try using an egg yolk or something else along those lines. I hope i helped answer your questions and good luck with no-poo!

  143. I want to try this, and do plan on trying this, as I know, these marketers for shampoo only tell us what we want to hear. Promising such smooth, silky hair, yeah, right. My question is this, I have very thick, curly, dry, frizzy hair. I only wash it 1x a week, I also straighten it, and, of course, I do put serum in it for shine. The longer I go without washing, the dryer it looks, the frizzier, etc. My question is, what should I do with the ends? Can I still use a serum, or will the vinegar work itself? Can I blow-dry it? Straighten it? Still use serum? I’m thinking about just using the hot water and skipping the baking soda, as my hair is already dry and brittle. I’m just not sure what to do. Can anyone help me please? Thank you so very much!!!
    Kim

    • A little pure coconut oil melted onto your hands, just enough to make them a little shiny, then run your hands through the length of your hair should be able to replace your serum. I found that my frizz level was greatly reduced after i started no poo so if its the same for you you may find that you dont need the serum anymore.

      Apple cider vinegar will also help keep your locks moisturized.
      Best of luck to ya!

      • Sorry, i forgot to put this in my first reply, make sure you use a low heat setting on your hair drier as you wont have a silicone coating on your hair any longer and your hair will be more easily harmed by its heat.

  144. I’m testing the method for over a month. Sometimes I feel like the hair is sticky with the ends dry, sometimes feel difficulty in combing. What do I do? Thanks!

    • What type if vinegar are you using? Also, what ratio of baking soda/vinegar to water are you using and what is your washing schedule (how many days between washes on average)?

      With the information you gave originally i would recommend rinsing with hotter water for longer and making sure you really scrub your scalp and the length of your hair really well when you rinse, i had the same problem for a while, you just really REALLY have to scrub. Hope this helped, if you give some more info we might be able to help ya out some more.
      Best wishes!

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