No Poo.

Posted in Answers on May 10th, 2012 by Reagan

Tags: , , , , , ,


I’ve had “no poo” on my mind all week, so it’s funny that I got a question asking me my thoughts on it.

What is no-poo?
Basically, no-pooing means you don’t shampoo your hair, at all. Instead of using shampoo and conditioner in the shower, you just scrub your scalp with water to loosen up and rinse any dirt. Some people use baking soda to clean their scalp in the shower, then follow with diluted apple cider vinegar.

Why no-poo?
Shampoo strips your hair of it’s natural oil, making it necessary to shampoo regularly.  The more stripped your scalp is, the more you need to shampoo. There are chemicals in shampoo that turn people off, and it can be extremely drying. People claim that after a few months without shampooing, their hair becomes shiny and healthy without the use of any styling products. No-pooers argue that people only started using shampoo in the 1930s, and if there wasn’t a need before that, there’s no need now!

My Thoughts on it.
I’ve never joined in on the movement, but I see why people do. All I can comment on really is what it’s like from behind the cutting chair. Hair that isn’t shampood feels so different from hair that is shampood. It’s a little alarming at first, because it is so coated in natural oils, almost like it has a shield around each hair. There is a heavy-ness to it, but not the same as flat or weighed down hair. When you wet down their hair before cutting, the water at the base of the shampoo bowl looks like a rainbow from all the oils. Kind of like when a car leaves an oil spot on a drive way and the sun glistens on it, haha.

1. It is so kick a** to stick it to the media and be freed of product handcuffs.
2. Less chemicals in your life.
3. Shiny, healthy hair.
4. Saving money on products.
5. It sounds kind of cool.

1. It’s a little bit gross. I’m supportive of my clients’ who choose to not shampoo but I have to wash my hands really well after they leave.
2. It takes a few months for your hair to adjust to not shampooing. These months are horrendous from what I hear.
3. Buying hats to deal with con number 2.
4. Your head smells. Not strong and not even necessarily bad, but it smells like a head and that never goes away.
5. I would miss that squeaky clean feeling. I know I would. Even if it’s a little bad for my hair, it sure feels great when it’s clean as a whistle!
6. You can’t color treat your hair. You need shampoo to wash out the dyes. But chances are if you don’t like chemicals in your shampoos, you don’t like chemicals in your dyes.

I find no-pooers so fascinating! Many of them that I know have tried it out for a year or two, but eventually went back to regular shampooing.

Do you no poo? Would you consider it?

82 Responses to “No Poo.”

  1. Anya Says:

    I am trying to get away from shampooing entirely but the fact that I colour my hair makes it tricky. I’ve cut down on shampooing my hair to every 8-9 days, but I do use lots of dry shampoo in between and it does need to be rinsed out, as i’m sure you know :) I mostly use Batiste to make my hair smell nice and to give it lots of bounce, so it’s more of a perfume/styling product than a grease-aid as my hair never actually gets greasy. My next course of action is to start no-pooing except for once every 5 weeks or so when I touch up my roots, when I use a SLS/paraben-free shampoo and a MoroccanOil repair mask, otherwise I will stick to the odd gentle baking-soda scrub and find a nice hair perfume to use in the meantime. I will let you know how it goes!
    I’m mostly doing this because my hair is naturally ridiculously dry, overprocessed from years of colour changes, and the fact that the less I wash my hair – the nicer it looks/more compliments I get. Wish me luck :)))

  2. Carol Says:

    No, I will always be a poo-er. It sounds skeevey to me not to wash my hair.

  3. Tina Says:

    Sounds disguisting. I try to wash my hair less but this is really UGH!

  4. rebecca Says:

    i only poo once a week! so i’m quasi no poo i guess. :)

  5. Meredith Says:

    A couple years ago, I went no-poo. I had already got to the point of only washing twice a week so no-poo seemed like the me the next step. I don’t really recall horrendous months of adjustment. I had stopped coloring my hair so that wasn’t an issue. I had my friends who were skeptical smell my head and none reported it smelling skeevy. Fast forward at least a year and with a move and new pregnancy, It was easier to grab my husbands shampoo and use it. (he refused to try no-poo.) but a crazy arse thing happened while preggo… 1-2 times a week became for sure once per week shampooing and one day I realized I was washing once per week because I thought I should but I realized it didn’t need it. So I didn’t wash it. The next Sunday at 14 days, I decided to finally wash it. I even spent 4 days in the hospital having/ recovering with a c sr too for baby #4 and stilll didn’t wash it. Longest I have gone is. 15 days. No one believes I only wash it every two weeks.

    So I got off no-poo not because I didn’t like it but because out of life circumstances I just tweaked up the routine. Why have I not gone back? Because using shampoo every two weeks seems a heckofalot less damaging than back in the day of daily washing. My husband has
    Severe OCD and has issues with cleaning and soap use and I know if it was gross, ( my hair) he would tell me.

  6. mj Says:

    ive been nopoo for a year and did have about two or three months of bad hair. i dont use anything anymore and i love it. no one can tell either just by lookig. i have very thin hair since nopooing my hair has great volume and holds style on its own and thats totally worth it.

  7. Sarah Palma Says:

    You already know this, but I gotta ‘poo…Just sayin’.

  8. Marcie Says:

    No-poo…..what an awesome word. I would never do it because it sounds gross…but its still an awesome word. I used to be an everyday pooer back in highschool but now that I’m in my late 20′s I’m able to wash twice a week. I never thought I’d be able to go that long. My hair definitely feels a lot healthier since cutting back..but I also still love the feel when its squeaky clean…so I could never give it up completely.

  9. karen Says:

    i love this idea, as i only wet and wash my hair once a week as it is and love the results, but since baking soda has a pH of 8.2, it’s going to open the cuticle and i think begin to cause cuticular damage. i wonder if there’s a way to just rinse the hair, use the apple cider vinegar and not use the baking soda, and what the success of that would be…if i try it i’ll get back to ya!

  10. Darci Says:

    I’m so glad you posted about this!

    I’ve been no poo for 1.5 years now. Several years ago, I stopped coloring my hair b/c of the chemicals so when I heard about no poo, I thought it would be worth a shot. The first six weeks were horrific. However, once that transition period was over, I have the most awesome hair. There’s no more need for hair spray or gel or anything to give me body. If I curl my hair, it stays all day and sometimes until the next day.

    As for the person talking about baking soda’s ph, I don’t know about the hair cuticle, but if you don’t get it off your scalp, it will be flaky!

    I’m going to have to ask my hair stylist if she feels like she has to wash her hands after she cuts my hair.

  11. Jen Says:

    i’m a stylist and i recommend low-to-no shampooing for all of my clients- but, i also have a salon where none of the styling products contain silicones or plastics- those are what lead to the gunk and the smell because those ingredients are not water soluble, meaning that water cannot rinse them away. they then combine with the small amounts of sebum on the scalp, and get funky/sticky/heavy. my clients have clean, sweet smelling hair and scalps because they scrub daily with conditioner! we use a ton of intelligent nutrients products, btw.

  12. Brit Says:

    I’ve been a partial poo for about 6 years I started cutting back on shampoo when I turned 14 and my hair decided to become incredibly naturally curly. I read up on it and decided it was best for me and my coarse, dry hair. and it is amazing. Now, I shampoo about once a week with an all-natural shampoo that is absolutely amazing. I still use an all-natural conditioner on my hair whenever I rinse it, and I do a coconut oil mask once a month. but, I could never go back to washing my hair every day or every other day or even every 4 days. Its been a LIFE SAVER for my crazy curls.

  13. Mirna Says:

    I’m not sure what your clients have been doing with their hair to leave an oily rainbow puddle in the sink but I have been using a little baking soda diluted in water and it is the only thing that has worked for my oily scalp. I used to have to wash it twice a day!! It even foams when I use it so my hair and scalp always feel squeaky clean. And also I’m not sure about the smell thing because I have been doing this for a while and have never had a problem with that or with an oily coating on the strands. I am a hairdresser too so have tried every product under the sun to help with my oily scalp and this natural miracle worker is the only thing that’s worked :)

  14. Kat Says:

    I only shampoo every 3-4 days, but every day I condition. When I do that, I still massage my scalp and don’t see the buildup that I see if I straighten and go three days with only using some dry shampoo as needed.

    I have naturally curly hair and used to struggle with dryness. My hair’s been very healthy since I’ve started this practice.

  15. HeatherS Says:

    I made the Switch to “no poo” in August for several reasons. I live in a dry climate and my hair is always so brittle, I have eczema on my scalp that was further irritated by shampoo and dry climate… Those are just ones that weren’t already mentioned. The transition really wasn’t that bad for me. I actually get compliments on my hair all the time, so that just helps confirm I made the right decision :) I don’t think I will ever go back!

  16. Sarah Says:

    Tried the no-poo thing back in 2009, when I decided to stop highlighting my hair as well as grow out a short cut. Figured a hands-off routine was the best way to encourage healthy, long, strong hair. The first few weeks weren’t pretty – my hair was constantly greasy and stringy. (I think the oils in my scalp are heavy, and make my fine wavy hair a wee bit stringy-looking. Ick.)

    I’ve since moved to shampooing two, maybe three days a week and using dry shampoos in between. Since I shampoo less frequently, the differences between shampoos is more obvious to me – I really notice how my hair reacts to a volumizing shampoo versus a moisturizing one.

    The only downside to shampooing less frequently is learning to live with my hair’s natural wave patterns – particularly, the cowlicks in the front. I know I should learn to love them, but I still envy girls with nice, straight, symmetrical hair in front. Top knots, spin pins, and sock buns are all now regular parts of my hair routine. That helps me work around the cowlick frenzy I’m blessed with. :)

  17. Jessica Jager Says:

    I did it for about 3 months last year. I decided to try it because I had been growing my hair out and as much as i love my hippie hair it needed a pick me up. It was totally healthy after and shiny again. I’m back to my old ways and my favorite products now but it was a good way to get a hair restart in my opinion.
    My sister is a hair stylist though and mine at that and it totally grossed her out:)

  18. Mar Says:

    Ditto Jen! It’s the combination of no-poo and non-water soluble products that makes for gross oily hair. I have been no-poo for about a year now and had no transition period- I have THICK heavy hair about halfway down my back. I don’t use the baking soda/ACV routine, I use a cream cleanser and ‘cone-free conditioner. Nothing goes on my hair unless it’s water soluble. About 2/3 of my clientele does the same as I do, including the ones who colour (Which, btw, you don’t have to use shampoo to remove colour. Professional colours contain enough surfactants to wash themselves out with a cream cleanser instead of shampoo.)
    I’ve never had a problem with my no-poo clients having dirty heads or greasy water. Sounds like an opportunity to educate your clients about products that don’t require harsh chemicals to be removed from the hair!

  19. Jaya Says:

    Sounds cool but ..Naa.. not for me. We cook India food everyday… that smell sticks to me .. and with no poo.. jeez I will smell like a walking Indian resturant full of spices and curry smell. :)

  20. Heather Says:

    I’ve been no ‘poo for a few years now, although I do use conditioner when I wash my hair, which is about once a week. Since I live in such a dry climate, I don’t usually have too much problem with oily hair. I dye my hair, and use the provided conditioner to help rinse it out. (I also run a bath and soak my hair in it for a few minutes, which helps rinse out most of the dye.)

    I tried the baking soda/vinegar route at first and had a really hard time with the feel of my hair afterward. Now I just mix a bit of baking soda with my conditioner when I need the extra oomph. Oh, and I heard that BS can have a lightening effect, so if you color your hair dark, like I do, use it in moderation.

    I did have a bit of a transition period at first, but that could have been from only using BS/ACV. My hair does feel healthier now, and the woman who cuts my hair is totally on board with it. (Although I’ll probably ask her about the oil slick effect next time I go in…)

    Thanks for posting about this!

  21. Reagan Says:

    But isn’t the whole point of no poo to prevent stripping the hair of its oils? That’s what I’ve gotten from people who no poo. They don’t want the natural oils stripped, so if you are cleansing with something else, it sounds to me like you are just stripping the oils in a more “natural” way.

  22. brittany Says:

    I use no poo shampoo ny Deva Curl. it is great! Sulfate free, doesn’t sud up, but it cleans my hair very gently and keeps the natural oils that I need for my curly ethnic hair. you might like it for your curls, Reagan!

  23. Jan Says:

    I do hair, and I HATE the people that don’t wash their hair. The smell of their dirty hair makes me want to gag, but of course, I cant. I can see washing it once to twice a week….thats awesome. but not at all?! ugh, I think i might actually start dry heaving just at the thought of the smell of it.

  24. Grace Says:

    I’ve done the no-poo method for about 7-8 months now… but not completely. I shampoo + condition my hair still about 2-3 times a week, mostly because I like to surf and run and basically get my hair sweaty and filled with sea gunk.

    I didn’t have the transition period, probably because I didn’t go all the way. The baking soda definitely leaves a film that I dislike in my hair, but it looks no different in my opinion to shampooed hair.

    One kind of gross thing I’ve noticed (actually, two): yes, more of a “head” smell, and I also get some tiny pimples on my scalp from all the oil. Yeah yeah, gross!

    But I like not shampooing every day.
    Oh and I do a heavy conditioning with coconut oil probably 1-2x a week. Melt some coconut oil, put it all over my hair, and then shampoo it out. Leaves it soooo nice and silky!

  25. nikki Says:

    I was so excited to see a post up about this so quickly, thanks for answering my question :) While I only shampoo about once a week, I still like that clean feeling. I don’t know if I have the kahones to try the all out no-pooing, but thank you for all the info! I do like the idea of that coconut oil hair mask, though…

  26. Amber Lee Says:

    My fiend and I went no-poo the beginning of this year. We have been trying to be healthier and was disgusted by the things that we were reading about shampoo and conditioner. So a week after my birthday we both swore to no-pooing. It seemed to be going great; but as you said, unwashed hair feels a lot different from washed hair. Mine and her hair began to get this gritty feeling that just would not go away. Baking soda feels extremely gross in one’s hair.
    Even though it was really gross we decided to tough it out and see how healthy we could make our hair.
    Two months later, we could not get out of the transition period and our hair felt so gross. We both ended us breaking and washing our hair, without telling each other, for prom.
    I have been looking up some other methods and may try it again this summer after I graduate.
    I only wash my hair once a week right now, so I think my no-poo phase really helped me. My hair is the healthiest it has been in a long time, I hardly wash it, it isn’t oily and does pretty much whatever I ask it to.

  27. Chrissy Says:

    My hair already looks like a mullet! I might as well try this, too!

    Growing out a pixie when it’s hot and you own no non-knitted hats is not fun. I need a good baseball cap.

  28. abby Says:

    I just came to HDOF to see if you had an opinion on this and here it is! I just started no-pooing…or at least trying to find a sulfate free shampoo. I just read Curly Girl and was completely enlightened. I don’t necessarily want to go all natural, but, I do want my curls to thrive and be healthy.

    Have you read the book? Do you have an opinion? Do you have any suggestions for sulfate free shampoos?


  29. Lea Anne Says:

    So interesting…! I’ve never even heard of this before.

  30. FOREVER Laser Hair Removal Says:

    Reading your articile, I was pretty sure I’d be ditching the shampoo and giving this a whirl. Then I scrolled down and read all the cons and now I don’t think I can do it! Good on those people that are doing it though. I just know that having oily hair will make me break out all over my face and my back so I’ll be stickin’ with the ‘poo!

  31. Shelby Says:

    I only shampoo every few days. Can someone suggest a specific brand of shampoo/conditioner that is all natural and sans non-water soluble ingredients? I feel like a lot of products claim to be “all natural” when in fact they are not.

  32. Rachel C Says:

    My scalp gets pretty dry so I can go 2 or 3 days, but don’t think I’d want to try nopoo. Would love to try some of the “cleanser” products though if you guys think they work pretty well.

  33. MrsBuscemi Says:

    While I still ‘poo I do use ACV or white vinegar about once a fortnight as a shampoo/ pre-shampoo if I’ve been using coconut oil. So good! Makes my hair feel so light and clean without being horribly dry and people have commented on it being shiny. My only tip would be to make sure none gets in your mouth…wow. World of pain taste-wise. I’ve also tried the baking soda method and while it made my hair squeaky clean it also made my scalp itch something terrible. And just FYI I have mid back length fine ( but lots of it) brown hair.

    And Shelby- not sure what country you’re in but in Aus. we have this really cheap brand ( maybe $3 a bottle) called Natures Organics. Available at the Supermarket and free from ‘cones and all that stuff). Otherwise, I’ve seen people rave about something called Trader Joe’s (?). Cant vouch for that as I’ve never used it but maybe give it a go?

  34. Rob Says:

    Hi Reagan,

    I’ve been ‘no poo’ for about 2 years now and love! I’m glad other people are trying it too.
    Although I mainly did it to save a bit of cash and because I’m a bloke I hate washing my hair I’ve also noticed that my hair does look better.

    I’ve been using Baking Soda and lemon juice but have recently been experimenting with some of the other outlandish recipes circling the net to see whether there’s something to be gained.


  35. Heather Says:

    I have been no-poo for 9 years! I only use poo when I’ve needed product for serious updos (maybe twice a year). I use conditioner to “lather” in the shower. I still dye my hair with no problems and people even say my hair hair smells wonderful! I have switched to this no-poo method since my hair is naturally curly and tends to be dry and frizzy.

  36. Marie Says:

    Because my hair was getting drier and drier and nothing I tried was helping, I started washing my hair less and less. I’m at 10 days now, but am considering once a month when I get my roots touched up, with perhaps some dry shampoo in between.

    Thank you for posting what it is like for a hairdresser. My hairstylist is not very enthusiastic about my choice, so it’s good to know what her experience is a bit.

    One way I’ve been trying to manage the oils is to try to brush it down the shaft with a boar’s hair brush. Is anyone else doing that? Are there other ways to help the oils move down the hair shaft?

  37. Julie Says:

    Been ‘poo free for four years +/- (BS/ACV). I would have a hard time going back (like, I wouldn’t). Using a boar bristle brush is awesome, Marie. You have to keep them clean, though; they pick up the dust and oil from your hair, and then redeposit next time you brush. I don’t use any products except sometimes a little coconut or sweet almond oil (a super, SUPER tiny amount) if it’s too dry or too humid and I’m getting frizzy.

  38. rachel Says:

    i absolutely love your comments on this and how diplomatic you are about the cons. i think head is a pretty disgusting smell, and that is the #1 reason i shampoo. i am not afraid of chemicals (never had a bad evperience) and i love having clean smelling and feeling hair. i don’t wash every day, but on the days i do, my hair simply looks best. this is so interesting; i cannot believe that there is a rainbow-streaked oil stain in the sink with no-pooers!

  39. Erin Says:

    I’ve been a no poo’er for a while now, and I color my hair. I have no smell and my hair is super clean. I am a hair stylest so I do a lot to my hair and need it look good. Every one is always asking me what I do to my hair.
    I do mix in some essential oils to my vingar mix, also I follow with a aloe vera or avocado conditioner that I make ahead of time. I use my wonderful boar bristle brush and I am good to go. I have even had a large amont of my clientele change to no poo. In my salon we use all natural products (expect color we us Paul Mitchell and Redkin Chromatics). The only con is that I have to retouch my hair a bit more often. But really I feel that, that is a small price for so meny wonderful pros.
    Now just a note I do not force my guests to go to no poo, I feel it is a personal choice and support them whatever they choose.

  40. Kristianna Says:

    I just can’t get over the hump to no-poo, haha. So, I wash my hair twice a week or so, sometimes less if the weather has been right, sometimes more if I’ve been in the pool (can’t STAND chlorine hair after it’s dried, it feel like thing on the planet, I think. I tried the completely green shampoos, but my hair is so thick, without a little foaming I can’t seem to get to my scalp clean, KWIM? So, I buy the kind that foams, but has no sulfates… just a store brand, really, but my shampoo lasts like a year, so maybe I need to suck it up and buy a more expensive brand. Hmmm.

  41. Breanna Says:

    I read the Curly Girl Handbook and they recommend using only conditioner. So, I only use shampoo after I get my hair colored :o) Curly hair needs the natural oils so it’s worked out really well for me. It was weird at first to stop using shampoo, but my curls are so much more awesome now that I have. If I had straight hair I don’t think I would have been able to do it. Anyone with curly or wavy hair should read the book because even if you don’t follow their whole system it gives good tips for sure. My hair and I are much more happy because of it!!

  42. Meredith Says:

    I’m feeling really inspired by this! I actually hate the feeling of clean hair, as weird as that sounds. I much prefer it when my hair has more of a gritty texture to it. I will be interested to see how my hair responds to this. I’m trying to embrace my natural texture more and think this might help. Thanks, Reagan!

  43. maxine Says:

    Don’t use baking soda on your hair! Learn about PH levels and the structure of your hair first:

    This video helped me to understand my hair a lot better. Also, think about what baking soda is used for: removing tough grease stains – it is erosive! Why would you put this on your scalp?! Organic balancing shampoo would be much more gentle than baking soda.

  44. jessika Says:

    So you can still use conditioner and be no-poo? because my thought when I read this was how would I even get a brush through my hair it woudl be so tangly. I’ve never tried only conditioning. hmmm.

  45. Claroo Says:

    I’m hot-and-cold about not shampooing- with curly-ish hair, some say it is ok to shampoo regularly and some recommend against it. Personally I try to keep it to at least just every other day… possibly more out of laziness than avoiding chemicals. But I will say what came to mind when you said we’ve only had shampoo since the 1930s-

    Society has also only been bathing regularly for mayyybe a century and a half… Doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it!!!

  46. Sadia Says:

    I only went no-’poo a few months ago, and I love it. I have ridiculously poofy hair naturally—I felt the need to curl or straighten my hair whenever I went out, unless I was pulling it back—so when going no-’poo made my hair silky and smooth, I was ecstatic! The transition period wasn’t very long, either, because I was only washing my hair about twice a week to begin with. It wasn’t one of those changes that only the person who changes notices, either. My boyfriend can actually run his fingers through my hair now, haha. Plus, I love the fact that it’s probably as cheap as buying those dollar store shampoos without it leaving your hair all nasty, haha.

    One thing I would suggest to anyone doing no-poo is to invest in a little tea tree oil, or maybe even lavender oil, to ensure that fungus and bacteria don’t grow on your scalp. I used it to get rid of the oily dandruff on my scalp. (I felt that it made my hair more “squeaky clean” without drying it, as well.)

    One thing that does suck is that you can’t dye your hair, like you said. The baking soda will remove the color from your hair. I did lighten my hair, though, and it doesn’t seem as destroyed as when I had lightened my hair previous to no-’poo.

    I’m linking my blog, which has pics of my hair more recently in it, and my own no-’poo post, please check it out. :)

  47. Katelin Says:

    I only wash my hair at most twice a week. I love the way my hair feels… and I don’t think it smells different, but that’s probably becasue I actually wash it more often than no-pooers do. Haha.

    BUT one con is that my face feels greasy sometimes… might just be me imagining it, but sometimes my face feels extra oily.

    My mom and sister think this is gross, oh well! :D

  48. Gems Says:

    I went no poo for about a year. Using baking soda every 3-4 days. My scalp has never felt cleaner. I never use styling products so the transition time only took about two weeks. My hair was gorgeous, it went from frizzy to gentle waves. Then I colored my hair and I am so regretting it, no poo is not working for me with color treated hair. My hair is getting frizzy again. I’m starting to go gray so I am at a crossroads to grow out my hair and go no poo again.

  49. Julia Says:

    I have been doing no poo for about a month. Believe me when I say I was a hardcore product addict- I used between 7-10 products to tame my curly frizzy hair every time after I washed it, which was about every other day. Even then, with deep conditioners, leave-in conditioners, frizz reducers, split end protectors, gels, mousses, and many other products to reduce frizz, moisturize, and help curly hair, my hair was still dry and very damaged. I could not give up dying my hair, but I could not find anything that worked to moisturize my hair enough to allow it to be in its best condition.

    My friend told me about the results that she had been getting while going no poo. From her telling me about it, I became excited to try it. However, being the product junkie that I was, I couldn’t bring myself to cut them out. I told my mom about this method and convinced her to try it. She seemed like the type of person who would like it, and after telling her about it (more like preaching to her about how bad shampoo was for your hair), she started doing no poo. She loved it immediately. She does not use conditioner, because it makes her hair greasy. She already does apple cider vinegar rinses, and so the only switch for her was using baking soda instead of a shampoo. As I said, she loved it. She said it made her hair softer, more shiny, and feel better. After a couple of weeks, she told me that I should just go for it, my products would be fine. After much debate (I seriously agonized over this choice- I seriously do NOT lie when I say I am a hardcore product junkie- to this day, I still love my products and am very attached to them, and am sad that I do not use them), I decided to just go for it. I decided to give it one month. 30 days. 4 weeks. If my hair was not in better condition (I set the bar high so it would be easy to go back to using my products), I would go back to using shampoos and my beloved conditioners and deep conditioners and all of the products I was addicted to.

    So, I switched to going no poo. At first, it was horrible- my hair was so dry, it was gross. Not greasy, but dry, because my hair was in serious need of moisture. I was washing with baking soda and using conditioners without silicones, usually an Alberto VO5 or Suave Naturals conditioner. After a little while, I tried washing with only conditioner, but that made my hair, for like the first time in almost 10 years, greasy. Which was so gross, I didn’t even know what to do. So, I switched back to just using baking soda to wash my hair. I also bought some apple cider vinegar and olive oil, to mix together with water to condition my hair. I now use baking soda to wash my hair and an apple cider vinegar, olive oil, and water mixture to condition my hair. After only one month of going through all of this, my hair is moist, less frizzy, shinier, softer, more curly, and overall in better condition than before!

    Additionally, I dyed my hair a couple weeks ago, and just washed out the dye with baking soda (I dye my hair at home) and it worked fine. Normally, my hair would be so dry after dying my hair, but it is more moisturized than before I began dying my hair a couple of years ago! So for those who want to go no poo, but still want to dye your hair, I would say go for it! Just make sure to get out all of the dye with whatever you use to wash your hair, whether it be baking soda and water or conditioner.

    So, even though it has its ups and downs, I have had a good month going no poo. And, as I look at it, my hair can only get better from here on out! So, I am glad to be no poo and will definitely continue to be! Good luck to all those trying it out or who are thinking about trying it out! I would definitely recommend it! From everyone I know who has tried it, I have only heard good things about going no poo! So, even though I still long for my products, I cannot deny that my hair is better when I do not use them. Sadly, I will have to permanently retire them, because my hair is so much better now. It seems to me like some kind of sick joke, that we use all of these products on our hair and it still is not as good as when we use natural products on our hair. However, to anyone who is in the predicament of not wanting to give up conditioners, products, or shampoo, I say just give it a try. It is NOT gross, I can attest to that. Needless to say, there is a bit of a transition period where your hair may be greasier, but when you get through that, your hair begins to get better. Prettier. Shinier. Softer. Its so strange, but seriously, it works. So, truly, if you have any inclination at all to try it, just go for it!

  50. Angela Says:

    Why do some think it’s gross? Vinegar and baking soda are EXCELLENT NATURAL CLEANSERS. CHEMICALS ARE GROSS !

  51. Alex Says:

    I’m on the ledge about the “no poo” movement. Two big reasons: my hair is professionally colored every 6-7 weeks. I know to never wash my hair at LEAST 24 hours after my appointment, and I try to wait up to three days if possible. That being said, there are very few women out there who do not alter their hair in some form- whether through chemicals in dying, heat from styling, or products to get ( or attempt) the hair they love. I ” no poo” but thoroughly brush my hair during that week every evening gently with a Mason Pearson once a month and gently side braid it on the opposite side I sleep ( e.g I sleep on my right, so loose braid on the left). As someone who often visits the salon and has fine hair, addicted to her flat iron, and cannot resist the best (and pricey) products- I vote to give it a try. Just make sure you pay attention to both your scalp AND your ends to see if this is a good method for you! P.S. don’t go to the salon with ” no poo ” hair- without giving her/ him a “heads up”! that’s like going to the dentist without brushing teeth and no breath mints!

  52. Pebble Says:

    I am at 5 months with no poo. I wash twice a week. Baking soda and vinegar doesn’t work for me. Anything, even egg washes, that strip oil will signal your body to compensate with more oil. That’s why I decide to do water only.

    6weeks: Straw-like gunk
    3months: Sebum thick at the scalp. No straw but feel & look greasy. Started egg yolk wash= Life saver.
    4months: greasy looking but doesn’t feel greasy.
    5months: looks slightly greasy

    Current Wash biweekly:
    Water only
    No Towel
    Air-dry as quickly as possible
    Egg wash at ends of hair, no more than once a month IF needed. (Yolk only but will experiment with white next)

  53. Jennifer Says:




    Also I am still washing/rinsing my hair every 2-3 days, some people go straight to only once a week but personally I don’t think that would work well for me. My advice for anyone who wants to switch would be to maintain the same washing schedule for a few weeks before going longer in between washes.

  54. JERICHO Says:

    hEY im 14 and ive been on the no poo thing for almost a year and let me tell you its amazing. my hair barley makes any oil now and my hair is far from greasy if my ends are becoming a little dry all put a dab of almond oil but besides that and my apple cider vinegar washes every 10 days my hair basically takes care of its self. you really need to get used to that natural feeling, your hair wont feel like silk its hair get uesed to it :)

  55. Christine Says:

    I’m 58 and have been no-pooing for a year. My hair is fine with a bit of a wave. It’s never had more volume or been easier to manage. I use Epson salts or dead sea salts about once a week and always rinse, every time I wet my hair, with organic apple cider vinegar. I sometimes use a couple drops of argan oil leave-in conditioner. Baking soda was too drying. I found a henna color made in Germany that is awesome! It touches up the roots and actually looks like I had highlights done because of the way my hair takes the color. I’ve never had more complements on my hair. It’s beyond shoulder length. When I have it cut, the hairdresser comments on how clean it is. I had dry scalp issues which have all but disappeared. I’m a very happy no-pooer and will NEVER go back to chemical land!

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  57. Allison Says:

    I no-poo. I have been doing it for 2 years now. I highly doubt that I will ever go back. There must be something in shampoo that my skin can’t handle. Because for the first time in my life I have a healthy scalp that rarely itches. I disagree that not using shampoo is gross. At first I thought so. But now, after I wash my hair it is squeaky clean, conditioners are just as good at cleaning hair as shampoo is. It feels just the same as it always did after shampooing. My scalp and I are friends and I like it this way. 8-)

  58. Emilia Says:

    Tomorrow morning I’ll start using no-poo. I’m not sure I have any other alternative, so I hope it works! No matter how “natural” a shampoo is, there are still things in it I seem to be reactive to. I’m tired of shampooing and always feeling mildly itchy or like I didn’t even wash. I gather everyone has to experiment with the strength of their baking soda and ACV mixes until they find what works for them. So here goes! At least I will save a lot of money as baking soda is very cheap and I make my own ACV from apple scraps anyway (it’s quite easy). Also, I’m a chemist by profession. When I read those lists of ingredients on commercial shampoos, I can tell you how many of them listed as suspected and even known carcinogens. Thanks, but no thanks, shampoo industry.

  59. Ginny Says:

    I started my no ‘poo journey (by accident) when I was in my first trimester and I hated the smell of my shampoo and conditioner so much that I would puke in the shower… so I stopped using anything. I actually didn’t know about the no ‘poo movement, I just was so sick and sleep deprived that I didn’t have the time or energy to wash my damn hair. I was still sensitive to the peppermint scent of my organic shampoo— which was wonderful besides for that– so I didn’t wash that often. After I had my little girl, I stopped using shampoo completely (besides for baking soda and apple cider vinegar) and I didn’t have a transition period then. Currently, I use a baking soda wash on my hair about once a week. Now my hair does such amazing things in hot rollers.

  60. conny Says:

    I read most of the comments and I see there are people that use shampoo or conditioner on their hair 3, 2, 1 a week, which is fine by me, but that is not he no poo method. I belive that you can not use shampoo or conditioner at all.
    I am also a no poo since september and I must say it really worked for me. I have dark oily thin hair. In the begining I tried to go without shampoo for 1 day and the gradually get to a week but it was impossible as my hair was getting very oily and looked. Then I got the Lush solid shampoo for oily hair (it is made of 100% natural ingredients, as they say) and I finally could get to a once week wash, but I still had to use Lush dry shampoo every 1 or 2 days depending on the how oily I got. Suddenly, on a Saturday, when I usually washed my hair I decided to stop using the Lush shampoo and only wash it with water. I cleaned up my scalp rubbing firmely a couple of times. When I got out of the shower my hair felt clean but not that kind I felt with shampoo that you miss a layer of scalp skin. It felt great. That week I DID NOT USE DRY SHAMPO NOT EVEN ONCE I only comb it and it stays exactly as I wanted to stay and it doesn’t smell, feel or look dirty. AMAZING

  61. Paleo Huntress Says:

    I’ve been using the no-poo method for years, and frankly, my hair isn’t “heavy” or oily. It gets just as clean with my baking soda wash (2 tbsp BS in 2 cups warm water, directed at the roots with a squirt bottle) as it did with shampoo (the combination of an alkaline substance and fatty acids [sebum] creates soap, so you are actually turning the oils in the hair into soap, in the same way that fats and lye are used in actual soapmaking)- and I don’t have to do it nearly as often because my scalp doesn’t crank out sebum like it did in response to shampoos. You may wish to offer your clients a bakings soda wash and apple cider vinegar rinse (for those that use it themselves) and you’ll find that there is no oily rainbow on the surface of the water)

    My hair is thick, straight, four feet long (to my knees), shiny, blunt ends (a photo here- I work in retail and deal with the public so I’d never be able to get away with greasy hair. The dandruff I suffered with when I shampooed is long gone, though many of the shampooing women I work with have obvious flakes and “greasies” when they skip a day. No-poo is no different than shampoo with respect to when you use it- you use it when your hair is dirty or greasy, there is no benefit to stretching that time out. People who suffer through the transition period do it needlessly- if your hair is greasy, WASH it… just don’t wash it with shampoo. As time goes on, you’ll notice that you can go longer and longer between washes.

    With no-poo, the ingredients are natural, CHEAP and safe for the environment– and your hair doesn’t get dirty or greasy nearly as often as it does with actual shampoo, and when you wash, it gets CLEAN.


  62. Paleo Huntress Says:

    I should add too, I put a few drops of sandalwood and vanilla essential oils in my rinse water, and my hair smells like sandalwood and vanilla until the next wash. =)


  63. Amy Says:

    I don’t understand why people call it “gross”. All of these products we use not only have crazy chemicals I can’t pronounce in them but also they are really only made because people buy them and they make money. The shampoo companies just want you to believe you need to wash your hair. But does it really make evolutionary sense that we put this crazy combination of chemicals in our hair? Did our ancestors hundreds of years ago shampoo their hair daily? It just makes sense that we shouldn’t be using shampoo. I have been avoiding shampoo and most soap all together. I’ve always had itchy, dry skin until recently when I stopped using products. I think my itchy, flaky skin was much grosser than it is now. I also stopped using face wash a couple of years ago. All of my friends think I’m crazy but I have the clearest skin of all of them. I almost never get zits and my skin has gotten way less dry. Products are bad! They are just made so people can make money.

  64. Teresa Says:

    I started the no poo trend, because every shampoo I used just weighted my hair down. And as the years progressed, my hair has gotten drier. I have very fine, shoulder length curly hair.

    When I shampooed, the curls in my hair nearly disappeared, it was a frizzy mess. However, I went about three weeks without shampoo, I had to tie my hair up and put it in a bun or use barrettes, because my hair was oily at the top and dry at the bottom.

    The acv/bs solutions caused my head to dry out and have horrible flakes, which would cause me to need almond oil to put on my scalp. then I would have to shampoo my hair the next day to get out the oil. However I didnt have any more flakes. I didnt like the acv or bs solutions.

    I love how my hair feels without shampoo, the curls are better and my hair feels light.

    I used white vinegar with water rinse today and my head feels clean and it doesnt look flaky as it did with the acv and BS. So I will stick with the white vinegar and water, unless something changes in the way my hair behaves.

    I also hope that without shampoo, my scalp will become less oily and acne cysts will cease.

    However, I do have on hand a natural shampoo to use when I feel I really need it.

  65. Christina Says:

    I just went no-poo a couple of months ago. I got the no-poo book on my kindle somehow, and I read it and figured I’d give it a try. I have not had ANY trouble with it at all. I have lost less hair and I’m able to go 3 days without washing it, 4 if I brush it a lot so the natural oils spread to the ends instead of being stored up in the top. My hair hasn’t really changed, other than the fact that there’s quite a bit more volume and it does NOT require any products to keep it unfrizzy in the winter. I have fine hair and lots of it, down to mid-back. I only get my hair cut/colored once every 6 months or so, and I’m just going to suck it up and deal with it when I do because I don’t want to go without the color. I haven’t told my hairdresser…but she is very much a naturalist so if it comes down to having to tell her, I’m sure she will understand. She does use “natural” dyes so it might not wreck my hair too much.

    The one thing I can’t get past is the smell of the vinegar in the shower. The smell doesn’t linger on my hair, but in the shower it’s so hard to not feel the lather and smell the nice rosy smell of the Herbal Essence that I used…ya know? But there are many rinses you can do with various essential oils, so I will look into them.

    My hair is naturally “greasy” and it doesn’t look or smell bad like it did when it was over-producing. The reason some people have so much trouble with it in the beginning is because they’ve used so many products that their head is very much over-producing the oils and it takes sometimes months for your head’s PH balance and everything else to change and heal itself. I only used a little shampoo and conditioner and only one anti-frizz product very lightly, so the transition was not difficult for me. No one believes that I haven’t used shampoo in a long time. In the first couple of weeks, I was too lazy to get the baking soda one day, so I was just like well it can’t hurt to wash with shampoo and conditioner this once. I repented of that decision after my hair dried naturally. I occasionally use a little conditioner on my ends ONLY because of the smell. Once I figure out how to make it smell better while I’m showering, I won’t even do that.

  66. ooioo Says:

    Happy to know so many people are going the way of the nopoop!

    Let me tell you about my AMAZING RESULTS: I have not been to the W.C. (toilette) for 5 days already! My belly looks a little bit swollen as I think the poo is accumulating in it, but I have saved loads of money on toilette paper! $___$ So yeah! Viva la No poo movement ! Although I dunno why am I doing this, I think it’s important to follow what other people is doing.

    So keep holding off your number two my people!

  67. sophia Says:

    even though you mentioned the pros, this is an incredibly snarky post. even as a stylist, you cannot speak for an entire population of people who choose this method. you clearly don’t understand that this method stems from an all-emcompassing movement of moving away from the millions of things pushed in our faces in this consumerist culture and simplifying life. you can definitely have clean, pleasant-smelling hair without stripping it of its natural oils, be it with the gentlest shampoo in the world. you can also color treat your hair.. luckily those who use this method don’t rely on dyes which have at this point been clearly linked to cancer. consider putting a little more thought into a post before making a ton of generalizations.

  68. kerry Says:

    I’ve bee POO free for almost 2 months. I will NEVER go back to shampoo. I do get my haircolored once every five weeks to cover gray. Someone on this blog added that you dont need anything to rinse out the dye. My hairdresser isnt “ok” with that. Can someone let me know what I can bring with me for her to rinse the color out of my hair?

  69. Aimee Says:

    I have been no-poo for about 7 1/2 months now and have no plans on going back. I wash with baking soda dissolved in water twice a week, and only that frequently because I kickbox those days and the sweat is over the top. I absolutely love the freedom of no-poo and how much money it has saved me, as well as time. I did go through a 4-6 week transition where my hair was very greasy and weighed down, but once I was able to get past that period it’s been wonderful! I don’t have to use styling products at all, and my natural wave has really come through, minus the frizz. My hair has also lightened up quite a bit, to the point where everyone has commented on it, basically because the baking soda has cleaned all the gunk and build up off my hair and scalp from the shampoo and product I used to use. When I used to use shampoo I couldn’t go more than two days without washing because the oils and “greasiness” was just disgusting. I have gone six days without “washing” with baking soda and the grease factor is not even close to what three days was on conventional shampoo. :)

  70. tamara Says:

    i dont use shampoo for several years now ,even as a very young girl, i washed my hair only about once in 2 weeks,it just didnt feel natural for me to wash my hair more then that ,if i did ,my hair was weak,lifeless and dull.i also washed with green clay although my hair looked really good with clay only ,actually looks the same as with soda-shiny,healthy full of body,,i l prefer soda and acv just because it makes my scalp feel so good,i also had dundruff with shampoo-that was a long time ago, now im completely dundruff and itch free..and i only do it once every 15 days or so. i just dont need more than that and my hair is never greasy nor my scalp itchy and i love to feel my natural oils (feels good and natural cause it is:)chances are,most people have normal scalp witch produces right amounts of oils but you destroy or better word constantly irritate it with detergents(shampoos) and all sorts of hair products.i didnt need any adjustment time cause i was never one of those people who wash their hair every day which i find ridiculous and completely unneceserry even if youre on shampoo.people ask me which shampoo and conditioner i use cause i never have any ”bad hair days”,my secret is that i hardly ever wash it :)also for people complaining not having succes with soda and acv,i only scrub my SCALP with it ,not the hairSo yes ,i actually NEVER wash my hair ,just my scalp.i have gorgeus blonde hair so thick and full of body and shine,when you wash your hair every day, your natural oils never have the chance to nourish the shaft of you hair.soda is a chemical ,but it is a mild abrasive and it cannot POSSIBLY be worst then ALL THE chemicals in shampoos,plus when no poo you dont need to use it oftenlike 2 or 3 times a month.and i dont mind acv smell.i actually like it and it does dissipate when hair dries if you rinse it well …….

  71. Kelly Stafford Says:

    This sounds like something I want to try and I really appreciate the original, honest posting from her point of view…as well as all the helpful tips and techniques from everyone else who has tried it. I’m curious about the ppl who mentioned conditioner only/sulfate free products…is that the same or similar to the Wen products?

    @Sophie: I didn’t find the original post “snarky” at all (unlike yours). Having never even heard of the nopoo method, had I read a post like yours first I would have written it off immediately as a crazy fad and/or someone pushing their beliefs and lifestyle on others…..pretty much precisely what you claimed about the all encompassing consumerist lifestyle of others.

  72. Maid Mirawyn Says:

    I’ve been shampoo-free for two years or more; when I use pure henna to color my hair, I will use a natural shampoo bar from an Etsy seller, but that’s it. I use baking soda about twice a week, with apple cider vinegar as a rinse about once a week. (Sometimes I add mint or citrus essential oils to my rinse.) In between, I simply brush my hair well, then rinse it while I shower.

    Maybe it’s just my hair, but I’ve had hairdressers tell me my hair was very healthy and ask me what I use on it. I’ve never gotten the least suggestion that they find my hair “gross” to work with. (But I always get my hair cut dry.) My husband is about 80% shampoo-free, though he does use a Lush shampoo bar occasionally. He switched because of how well my hair turned out. (My hair looked and felt great from the first day I switched.)

    I love the low environmental impact of my hair care routine, and the frugality of it! But even better? Last month a total stranger came over to me at the theater to find out what I use on my hair. She said I had some of the healthiest-looking, bounciest, shiniest hair she had ever seen in person!

  73. Misty Says:

    I switched over to the bs/acv mix about two weeeks ago, and I only use the mix every four days. The rest of the time I either put my hair up and leave it alone when I shower, or I just rinse it with water. My hair started out sooo greasy and gross, but I promised myself I would stick it out at least six weeks to really give it a fair shot. I think I am at the end of the adjustment period because my hair looks awesome now! It feels so full of body and is so shiny! I will definately stick with this method!

  74. Nancy Says:

    I’ve been cutting down on shampoo for weeks as my hair is long, wavy & frizzy and every time I washed it the frizz would pop out until I put no frizz products in my hair along w/various serums to calm it down. Started no poo last week and I am so thrilled already. Transition was just a few days, too. One time I did a honey/water wash with ACV rinse. Yesterday I did Baking Soda wash followed by ACV rinse. The ends of my hair came out very curly, but no frizz at all. Fingered combed my hair and it feels and looks lovely! Bagged up my shampoos, conditioners, serums, oils and they are on their way out. I will continue to use a small amount of coconut oil on the ends of my hair if it becomes dry.

  75. Sass Says:

    I quit poo for one year. I asked my mom when she thought the last time I washed my hair was (moms don’t hold back) and she said ‘yesterday’. I went back to pooing because it feels nice. My hair doesn’t look any better with or without the shampoo.

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  77. Lana Says:

    Only use diluted Dr. Bronner’s sprayed at the roots and rinsed with plain water, and every few weeks 100% henna for color. Works great and it’s DIY.

  78. kathy Says:

    I have been trying the no poo method for several months now and my hair actually feels way better then it did when using all those toxic shampoos! yes it’s difficult through the transition and as everyones hair is different it takes quite a bit of persistence through trial and error to figure out what works for you. I just use bicarbonate soda and rinse with cider vinegar once a week now and I feel great and now i don’t need to spend loads on expensive products! I actually found that the water in London is so hard that it makes you’re hair feel really greedy and ‘waxy’. Once i started using boiled water ( then cooled…) my hair suddenly felt SOO much better – I thought the whole time is was the soda, but it was the water!

    Honestly, it’s so worth giving up using all the toxic chemicals, the long-term effects of all of those toxins is still really unknown ( like make-up..)

    I get SOO many compliments now about how nice my hair looks and i feel so much happier. Push through and get to the other side!

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  81. Diora Says:

    Hi everybody!

    To those who go to the salon for a trim, a hair (steam) treatment or colour, did you let the stylist use their products even if its full poo? And if you did, what was the reaction from your hair? I want to get the full pampering thing but I worry that it might set me back to square 1 in the transition phase!

  82. Hair Salon Fan Says:

    No poos make a great way to deliver essential oils to the scalp. At our top rated hair salon in Jacksonville, FL, we suggest using things like grapefruit oil to help hair grow faster, sage and rosemary to stop hair loss and to thicken hair, or ylang ylang to control scalp grease. For those of us where money is no option, adding pure Rose Otto oil to a No-poo delivers serious anti-aging and hormonal boosts so many post 40 people benefit from greatly. No-poo can be serious stuff when you mix in your favorite therapeutic grade essential oils for fragrance and effect.


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