Change Challenge – No ‘Poo, The Natural Way to Clean Your Hair

You might think that this picture should be for a cooking post, or maybe another cleaning post.  But nope, this is a picture of my shampoo and conditioner.  That’s right, I use baking soda to wash my hair and apple cider vinegar to rinse my hair.

And I LOVE it, and I doubt I will ever go back to using regular shampoo and conditioner again.

This is a pretty long post, but bare with me.  This is one of my favorite things that I do, and I am really hoping to inspire you to try it too!

What’s wrong with Shampoo?

One of the main ingredients in shampoo is Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or SLS.  Did you find it when you checked your ingredient labelsSLS is a detergent, degreaser and foaming agent. Besides your shampoo, you can also find it in dishwasher detergent, toothpaste, bubble bath and other products that foam, as well as car wash soap, garage floor cleaners, and car engine degreasers.1

It can cause skin irritation, hormone disruption, eye irritation and even eye deformities and is possibly carcinogenic when paired with some of the other typical ingredients in shampoo.2 Lovely, just what I want to be using to wash my hair.

Because it is a detergent and degreaser it actually strips your scalp of the natural, healthy oils it produces and dries your scalp and your hair out, hence the need for conditioner.  The conditioner does not stay on your hair in the same way that your natural oil would, so it needs to be continually replenished.

Also, once your scalp is stripped of it’s oils, it reacts by making more oil which results in the oiliness that so many people experience after a day or two of not washing their hair. Their scalp is actually overproducing oil to compensate for being stripped of it’s oils.

So you’re in this vicious cycle where you wash and strip your hair of it’s oils, put fake “oils” on in attempt to minimize the damage, and then have greasy hair the next day because your scalp overproduced it’s natural oil and now you have to wash it again.  There’s got to be a better way!

Enter the No ‘Poo method of cleaning your hair.

Step 1: Use baking soda to “wash” your hair.

Baking soda is a gentle alkaline compound effective for cleansing and removing build up from your hair.  The typical formula is 1 Tbsp of baking soda for every cup of water.

For fine, thin or short hair you may need less baking soda. Try it out a bit and see what works best for you.  I have long and very thick hair and I use a full cup of water and 1 Tbsp baking soda each time I wash my hair.  If you have shorter or thinner hair you probably don’t need to use that much every time.

I use a 8 oz travel size squeeze bottle and fill it up with the water and baking soda mixed together and shake it up to dissolve the baking soda.

In the shower I squeeze the water/baking soda mix onto my head beginning around my crown and then all over my scalp.  I scrunch my hair up at the base of my neck and squeeze more water into my hair.  I work it through with my hands, scrubbing my scalp and rubbing my hair.

Now remember, this isn’t soap or detergent, it won’t foam or lather.  You won’t get the “Aaahhh” feeling that you get with your Herbal Essence, but it is cleaning your hair, and in a much gentler, more natural way.

Leave it on for a minute or two and then rise as normal.

Step 2: Rinse with Apple Cider Vinegar.

Apple Cider Vinegar is a mild acidic and is useful for detangling and clarifying, balacing the pH level of your hair, and sealing the hair cuticle. The recipe for hair rinse is 1-2 Tbsp of apple cider vinegar to every cup of water. If you have dry hair, use closer to the 2 Tbsp and if you have oily hair use 1 Tbsp or less, and again, experiment and see what works best for you.

I tend to have hair that is a little drier and frizzier, so I put about 2 Tbsp. and a cup and a half of water into a reused apple cider vinegar bottle and shake it up.  I pour it over my head in the shower, starting at the top of my head with just a little, and then again scrunching up the hair at the base of my neck and concentrating most of solution towards the bottom and ends of my hair.  Wait a minute or two and then rinse it out.

You have just cleaned and clarified your hair gently, naturally, simply and frugally!

A few other notes:

*When I decided to stop using shampoo, I didn’t jump right into using baking soda.  I bought a shampoo bar (like a bar of soap) made up of natural oils at a arts and crafts fair this summer.  I used the shampoo bar from September until I just ran out of it in January and then I switched to baking soda.

I liked the shampoo bar as it was more like actual shampoo – it lathered and sudsed and smelled good.  And my hair looked nice and reacted well to it, but since I’ve been using baking soda, I actually think I like it even better and my hair is even nicer now.  But, if you’re a baby stepper and aren’t ready to try just baking soda yet, look into a shampoo bar and rinse with apple cider vinegar.

*If you decide to go the no ‘poo route, be aware that your hair will probably go through a transition phase for maybe 2-8 weeks. You have been coating your hair with chemicals and it takes a while to get all that nastiness out of your hair.

Also, since your hair has been overproducing oil, it will take a little bit of time for it to balance it self out and not produce so much extra oil. Honestly, your hair will not look pretty, it will probably be greasy, dull, hard to comb or brush, and just generally blah.

But, if you can push through those few weeks, you will be rewarded with better hair than you ever had before.  So, if you can, wait to start until you have a few weeks that you don’t have to be looking your absolute best.

*You may have to tweak your solutions to get the right balance for your hair.  If your hair is too dry, use less baking soda or try rinsing with honey instead of vinegar.  If your hair is too oily, use less vinegar, or try rinsing with lemon juice, or try not using a rinse at all.

*You will probably be able to get rid of all of the other hair care products you usually use, or have bought in the past trying to manage your hair.  It will save you money and time, and help you simplify your life.

What’s so great about it?

Besides the fact that it is insanely cheaper than conventional shampoo and conditioner (even if you buy it on sale with a coupon!), and that it is simple and easy, the best part of the no ‘poo method for me is that my hair has never looked better! I have had (as I’m sure many of you do) a love/hate relationship with my hair.

I have nice thick hair that is naturally a pretty shade of auburn that I always get comments about – I really like that about it.  But, I also have always struggled with managing my hair – it’s thick, and used to be frizzy and kind of wavy, so I always fought to straighten it or spent a lot of time trying to get it to lay nicely.  I used to wear my hair in a ponytail a lot.

Honestly, my hair now is about as close to perfect as it could be.  I am not trying to brag, but I almost never have a bad hair day anymore, even when I haven’t washed my hair for several days to a week (I do shower in between washings by using a shower cap). :)  It lays nicely, it’s not frizzy, I can sleep on it and not get bed head, it’s not greasy or oily, it is healthy, shiny, and soft, and just nice.

It is also so simple and easy for me to maintain. It takes me about 10 minutes to do it after I wash it.  I usually let it air dry for a while and then blow dry it for about 5 – 10 minutes with a large paddle brush, just depending on how much time I have, and then let it dry the rest of the way.

If I feel like it is a little bit frizzy, I will take a little, just a very little, coconut oil on my hands and rub it onto just the ends of my hair. And that will last me until the next time I wash my hair, I just have to brush it in the morning, and I’m ready to go.

It has simplified my life because I don’t have to spend a ton of time “doing” my hair, and I don’t waste money on extra hair products trying to tame or manage my hair. This method is so perfect for this busy mom, with not a lot of time to spend on herself, but doesn’t want to wear her hair in a ponytail everyday.

I have never been this happy with my hair before, and that is why I will never go back to using regular shampoo and conditioner!

Even if I wasn’t trying to be as frugal as I can be, or didn’t care about the products that I used on my body and how they affected me, as well as our world, I would still probably use this method for cleaning my hair because of how simple and easy it is, and how great the results have been for my hair.  I love it when I find such a perfect  combination of being frugal, going green and simplifying my life!

Update September ’10: It’s been a year now that I’ve been no ‘poo and still going strong! I did hit a bit of a bump in the road earlier this summer.  My hair was very greasy and felt almost sticky on the back of my head the day after I would wash.  This was not normal for me.

So, I did some reading and decided to switch from ACV as a rinse to lemon juice, and it worked! Again, I had nice, shiny, smooth hair. I think with the warmer weather that my hair was overproducing oil, and lemon juice is a great option for a rinse when you’re hair is oily or greasy.

I used lemon juice in the same ratio as ACV, about 1 Tbsp per cup of water. And for my long, thick hair I used 2 Tbsp and 2 cups of water for my rinse.

Now that the cooler weather is setting back in, I have switched back to ACV as my rinse with none of the greasy, oily problems that I was having before.

So, if you trying to go no ‘poo and having some trouble, really be sure to experiment and try different amounts of baking soda, or different rinses.  It could make a big difference in your hair!

What do you think of the ‘no poo method?  Are you willing to give it a try?

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I’m participating in the Spring Cleaning Carnival – Get the Parabens Out at Mindful Momma
Frugal Fridays at Life as Mom
Finer Things Friday at The Finer Things in Life

Sources: 1, 2

Comments

  1. Lora says

    How does this work with color-treated hair? I color my own hair to save money and try to use only products for caring for it as to make the color last as long as possible. Grey hair is not an option for me:))

  2. Emily says

    @Lora
    Thanks for visiting Live Renewed!
    I really am not sure about how this works with color treated hair. My thought would be that it wouldn't hurt because it's not using any chemicals or anything that would strip the hair of the coloring, but I may be completely wrong on that. I would google no 'pooing and color treated hair and see if you can find someone that has some experience with that.
    Sorry I couldn't be of more help. Let me know if you try it and how it works for you.

  3. Anna says

    Hi,
    I was reading your green cleaning recipe and noticed your husband hates the smell of vinegar. Mine too! I’ve been doing the no poo thing for about a month now, and he’s annoyed that my wet hair smells like vinegar or the bathroom smells like vinegar. I’m letting some herbs sit in the ACV for a week and I’m going to give that a try. Do you think I could use rice wine vinegar? I haven’t seen many people talk of using any other sort of vinegar.
    Thanks,
    Anna

    • Emily says

      Hi Anna!
      Thanks for stopping by Live Renewed!
      For me, the ACV does not have as strong of a smell and my hubs doesn’t mind it as much as straight white vinegar, so it hasn’t really been a problem for us. Sorry that’s not more helpful.
      I’d love to hear if steeping herbs in the ACV helps with the smell though, so please let me know how that works for you!
      I’m not sure if you could use rice wine vinegar, I’ve only read about using ACV. I guess you could always try it and if it doesn’t work out, just switch back – if it would make your hubby happy it definitely wouldn’t hurt to try. :)

      • Anna says

        Emily,
        I tried the herb ACV yesterday. There was a huge difference! It still has a strong smell (more herbal and less vinegar) and makes the bathroom very fragrant, but my hair didn’t smell at all after. I think I’ll continue with this while I steep some herbs in rice wine vinegar. If I don’t end up using it on my hair, it should still be great to cook with or use in salad dressing!
        Anna

        • Emily says

          Hi Anna,
          Thanks so much for letting me know! I’m glad it worked so well for you. Can I ask what herbs you used? I guess the choice of herbs would just depend on personal preference. I’d also love to hear how the rice wine vinegar works when you get the chance to try that. It is so good to know about an alternative to the smell of the ACV!
          ~Emily

  4. says

    Ok Emily, I’m on week 5 and I almost gave in yesterday. It’s hard to believe that its going to get better. I have fine straight hair and have read that it can be the hardest. How long was your “detox” phase? I decided to give myself 6 weeks to adjust but I’m wondering if I should stick it out. Came back to read your inspiring post. *here’s hoping*

    • Emily says

      Hi Anjanette!
      I’m sorry you’re having such a hard time with it! I think I remember that my detox phase was at least 6 weeks and maybe more like 8. :( You know, I’m having a hard time with my hair right now too. It almost feels the way it did when I first started no ‘pooing. I don’t know if it is the heat or humidity or what, but I think I need to adjust the amounts of baking soda and ACV that I am using. I either need to increase the amount of baking soda I use, or I need to decrease, or stop altogether, rinsing with ACV. I’ve been wearing my hair in ponytails for the past few weeks, but also because it’s so stinkin’ hot and having my hair up is just so much cooler. I’m going to go check out some posts about the no ‘poo method on other blogs to try to figure out how to tweak it to get my hair back to looking and feeling nice again. Just wanted to let you know that – I don’t know if that is encouraging or discouraging that it might also be the weather, and not just your hair.
      If I were you I would definitely stick it out maybe another week or two and also see if tweaking your baking soda or ACV helps. Good Luck!

  5. Shannon says

    Emily – do you mix up the solution every time you wash your hair or can you leave a premade bottle in the shower? I’m barely functioning at that time of the morning as it is and the idea of having to go into the kitchen to mix up solutions seems daunting. Thanks!

    • Emily says

      Hi Shannon – I do mix my solution every time before I take a shower. Sometimes it’s kind of annoying, and I just want to hop in the shower, but usually it’s not a big deal for me. I’m sure you could, and I have read elsewhere about pre-mixing the solution, especially if you have short to medium length hair that’s not too thick, so that you wouldn’t need to use as much of the solution each time. The only problem would be that the water in the solution would be cold, and not warm coming straight from the tap – so you’d have to brace yourself as you poured the solution over your head! Another idea would be to keep your ingredients in the bathroom, instead of in the kitchen, so you could just quickly mix in there in the morning before you shower. Hope that you can figure something out that works for you and your routine!

      • says

        I might keep my components in the shower and mix at the point of use: sealed container of backing soda, tablespoon, a sealed container of vinegar, empty bottle marked with measurements.

        My current products are pretty natural, without SLS, parabens or phtalates, but this method is even simpler, and far more frugal! I’m not going to toss out what I’ve got, but I’ll add baking soda and vinegar to the bath shelf. Thanks for the tip!

  6. Hannah says

    I started using baking soda and vinegar in December and loved it! Since I was not in the habit of washing my hair more than twice per week anyway, I didn’t really go through a transition phase. My hair was clean and soft. Once I got used to not having any scent in my hair, I actually preferred it and now find scented shampoos overwhelming when I’m around other people who use them.

    BUT baking soda has not been working for me since June. My hair is matted, stringy, and generally nasty. I’m guessing it must be the summer heat/humidity because that’s the only thing that’s changed.

    Now I’ve got a dilemma: I can’t stand to go back to shampoo, but really can’t keep up with baking soda like this, at least until winter rolls around again. Any suggestions?

  7. Margot says

    Hi! So I’m a new no ‘pooer,…as in three days new. And I have extremely greasy hair. My friends are always asking me if I have showere yet ;P I’m determined to stick with it however, and have read about the detox phase so I’m ok with it for now. But I don’t think I’m doing it right!? So do you use the whole tablespoon of baking soda/cup of water mixture in one shower? I havent been using the whole mixture so I was wondering if that was my problem…and also, am I supposed to put the acv rinse directly on my scalp and use the whole tablespoon mixture at once as well? I just started reading your blog and have been reading and trying to apply, organics into my lifestyle….it’s pretty challenging so far as a college student eating out of the dining hall(: thanks for any advice!
    -Margot

    • Emily @ Live Renewed says

      Hi Margot,
      Good for you for going green at your college! You are setting a great example for your friends and everyone around you!
      As for how much of the baking soda and ACV rinse you use, it depends on your hair type. When I had really long hair I used the entire mixture at one time, but now that my hair is much shorter, although it’s still really thick, I only use half of the mixture at a time, so it lasts me for two showers. You want to focus the ACV rinse mostly toward the end of hair, and keep it away from the scalp. The ACV encourages the natural oil production of your scalp, so especially during the detox phase you probably want to keep it away from your scalp. I hope that helps! Let me know if you have any other questions! Thanks for being a Live Renewed reader!

    • Emily @ Live Renewed says

      Hi Margot,
      Good for you for going green at your college! You are setting a great example for your friends and everyone around you!
      As for how much of the baking soda and ACV rinse you use, it depends on your hair type. When I had really long hair I used the entire mixture at one time, but now that my hair is much shorter, although it’s still really thick, I only use half of the mixture at a time, so it lasts me for two showers. You want to focus the ACV rinse mostly toward the end of hair, and keep it away from the scalp. The ACV encourages the natural oil production of your scalp, so especially during the detox phase you probably want to keep it away from your scalp. I hope that helps! Let me know if you have any other questions! Thanks for being a Live Renewed reader!

  8. Sara says

    Hello! Thank you so much for posting this article. I have been using little shampoo and showering twice a week for the past year. I followed the instructions listed here and my hair was soft, healthy, and clean (no smell), with one treatment! My question however is this: I have thin, blond hair and after the treatment, it was even thinner and even blonder! Does anyone know if the vinegar has bleaching power? Or is it ok that my hair feels significantly thinner?
    thank you and happy no-shampooing!

  9. Melissa says

    Hi Emily!

    I am thinking about giving this method a try and I wanted to know if it dries your hair out at all? My hair is long and thick and I often use hair masques and oil treatments. I’m just worried about my ends being too dry… What are your thoughts?

    Thanks, Melissa.

    • Emily @ Live Renewed says

      Hi Melissa,

      I can’t say exactly for your hair – I think each person’s hair responds differently. But, the point of this method is to allow your scalp to produce it’s natural oils which help to keep your hair soft and healthy. I think more people who try this method have an issue with their hair being too oily, not too dry. I found it actually helped the ends of my hair to be more manageable and less frizzy – I too had long and thick hair when I was using this method (my hair is shorter now, and I stopped using this method because it was making my hair too oily for some reason). If you are using conventional shampoo, that is probably what is stripping your hair of it’s natural oils and making it dry – hence the reason you need to use the additional hair treatments.
      I hope that helps! Let me know how it works for you!
      ~Emily

  10. savannah says

    did the lemon juice not work out after all for keeping the grease at bay? i have long thick very oily hair and dry scalp crazy huh? hoping this would ellviate my issues with wierd hair.

  11. Brian says

    Hey there Emily. I was just wondering what the “baking soda vinegar” solution makes your hair smell like ? I would imagine it would not be too great. I love the idea of using natural shampoo, but I love the smells of regular shampoo. Any ideas on how to keep my hair smelling just as good as regular shampoo ? Also would you say that the “no poo” method has a nice aesthetic effect for guys with short hair ?

  12. Kayla says

    Its been one week since I started using baking soda (1tbsp with 1 cup of water) with vinegar on the ends and at first my hair did well now it just feels heavy and looks a little oily. I am wondering if I should just hang in there or try to tweak it some how. This morning I tried lemon juice to see if that would help, it did a tiny bit but still looks oily.

  13. melissa says

    So I too have long and thick hair… I have been trying this for a little over 4 weeks and it seems like my roots are getting better but every where else is still really greasy. It has gotten to the point where I don’t like to try and change my part because it hurts to brush my hair back into a different direction. Do you have any tips on how someone with thick, long hair can get past through this transition period!!!

  14. Allison says

    I am very interested in trying this. I have curly/wavy hair. My normal routine is to wash and condition. When I get out of the shower I comb it and use Argan oil and another product to keep it from getting too frizzy. I let it air dry and that’s that. My question is – what do you do after you cleanse and rinse with this method? I mean…it would be pointless to do it and then put my normal products in it. But if I don’t put something in my hair, it will be puffy and frizzy and generally…gross. Did anyone else run into this issue??

  15. Tabetha says

    I have really dry frizzy thick hair that goes to the middle of my back. I had bleached it recently…tried out blonde for a few weeks til it looked more red than blonde. I got sick of it quick & decided to get back to my natural dark brown color. But I’ve been wanting to try natural products. Lately, my scalp is producing alot more oil than ever. I used to only wash my hair every 2-3 days. Now it’s every day!. After using henna for the 1st time yesterday (& loved it!!), I decided now is the perfect time to stop using regular shampoo. So I ordered some liquid castile soap (not sure why it leaves a wierd residue on hair?) & a couple different shampoo bars to try. I’ll also try the baking soda/water. I’ve read so many stories about the transition phase. I think that having several natural options would help. Wish me luck!

  16. Cris says

    hey, i’ve been using no poo method for a while…my has has never been better! if you don’t like how ACV SMELLS, just wrap your wet hair in towel for 10-15 minutes so it can soak in the smell of vinegar. works for me!

  17. Aimee says

    I have been using this method, thanks to your blog, since May (so, almost 3 mos). I’ve noticed recently that I have dandruff (something I NEVER had in the past). Not sure if its baking soda residue that’s not rinsing out or actual dandruff. My scalp is still oily and requires a washing pretty much every other day. Can’t say that my hair feels any healthier either. It feels like straw now and is breaking. :P Any suggestions? I hate to give up now. lol.

    • Emily @ Live Renewed says

      Hi Aimee,
      I’m sorry you’re having so many problems with this method, but good for you for sticking it out for so long! When I had to stop using this method I was having problems with dandruff, but yet still an oily scalp and hair too. It may be your water quality. For those with certain types of water (mostly hard water, I think) this method my just not work for them. If your still willing to stick with it, I would experiment with different ratios of baking soda and ACV. Oily hair means you may need to reduce the ACV, but it also sounds like it’s dry because it feels like straw and is breaking. Hmmm, I’m not really sure, you may be washing too often. You could also try a lemon juice rinse instead of the ACV, I have heard that works well for some people. If I were you, I would try to google some troubleshooting options, but if it still wasn’t better within a month, I would probably let it go and just use natural shampoo and conditioner. Sorry I’m not more help. Let us know if you find something that works for you!
      ~Emily

  18. Tabetha says

    Update: I’m now on day 12 of no shampoo. I’ve been using natural shampoo bars & ACV. My hair is still really oily & dull & just gross. Never had dandruff in my life til this past week! Not really sure what’s going on. Maybe my scalp just doesn’t know what to think about the change. I’m determined to stick with it & I’m hoping that by the end of July, it’ll all be worth it but I’m having doubts. I love the shampoo bars but I don’t see an end to the oily feel. I think I’ll try baking sofa & see if that helps. Maybe I’ll sprinkle some corn starch on my head first. Haha
    Oh, and my husband says my hair smells like hair that’s been burned. Strange.

    • Emily @ Live Renewed says

      Hi Tabetha,
      If you are willing to stick it out, I would try it for at least two more weeks. I know it takes some people a month or more before their hair starts looking and feeling better. You could also try baking soda instead of the shampoo bar, that might help your scalp to adapt faster. And that is strange that your hubs says your hair smells burnt. I’ve never heard of that before. Let us know how it works out for you!
      ~Emily

  19. Tabetha says

    I used the baking soda yesterday and it helped. My hair is still tangly, dry & has buildup. I ordered shea butter. It should be here today or tomorrow. I’m hoping that helps with the dryness & dandruff. Maybe after another baking soda rinse, the buildup will be taken care of. I didn’t really like my hair much before & I’m trying to grow it out healthier. So I’ll keep trying! I was told (by someone from Chagrin Valley Soap Company) that the shampoo bars could be leaving the waxy residue since I’m rubbing them directly on my hair. I think that may be the case so I’m going to quit doing it that way & lather in my hands first.

    • Emily @ Live Renewed says

      Thanks for the update Tabetha! I hope that you’ve been able to experiment some more and find a routine that works for you!

  20. laura says

    hi i’ve been doing this for the past month.my hairs oily dull and got dandruff.but its okay.its like a facial,all the dirt will come out.oh i’m a hair stylist but i believe in natural products.for those with dry scalps,the day before u wash ur hair,massage olive, coconut or cod liver oil.cod liver oil should also be taken orally along with vitamin b5 and 12.those are for hair growth.cod liver is good for skin.now remember the body has basically one skin but different skin types.also the times that ur hair acts up is coz of ur hormones.most women suffer from hormonal imbalance.now curly hair is naturally dry,but just because ur strand is dry doesn’t mean ur scalp can’t be oily.mine is the reverse and i have a thin strand but alot of curly hair lol.oh and those women who asked about the colour.u can use lemon juice or vinegar and sit in the sun for a few minutes.lemon is a natural bleaching agent.so if u have blonde or any hair shade but want subtle highlights that look natural then i suggest u do this.for those who have red or strawberry red use rooibos tea to rinse ur hair.also if u are on any medication including the pill it will affect ur hair oh and if u are pregnant.also epsom salts works amazingly as a body scrub.hope this was a bit helpful.

  21. laura says

    oh i forgot to say that if ur hair is dull u can rinse with cold water.i know its not fun especially in winter but it balances the ph level of ur scalp so less drama.

  22. Carly Turner says

    I don’t see a response from anyone who colors their hair. Just wondering if it would strip the color. I know coloring isn’t very natural but i refuse to be completely gray in my 30′s. :)My gray is very stubborn and I have to color about every 4 weeks.

    • Emily @ Live Renewed says

      Hi Carly,
      I really don’t know how it would work on colored hair. I would try to google your question and see if you can find an answer that way.
      Thanks for stopping by!
      ~Emily

  23. Shaana says

    Hi! I have been ‘poo free for almost 3 weeks now. I have tweaked a little here and there, but am basically using a paste of baking soda with a drop of tea tree oil and then rinsing with ACV. Two of my daughters, 11 & 13 are doing it as well. I’m struggling a bit, mostly because I miss the later and smell of shampoo! However, I know I need to get over that because of all the chemicals and stuff, blah, blah, blah! Anyway, my hair is doing ok, but last night a little girl asked me is my hair was WET! It messed with my head, made me feel like it must look greasy and is everyone thinking this but only a child is brave enough to ask???!!! So here’s my question for you…how often do you “wash” your hair with the no poo method? Right now I am doing every other day, but I’ve read alot about people only washing once a week. Is it okay to do it every other day? I feel cleaner!

    • Emily @ Live Renewed says

      Hi Shaana,
      I think you asked this on Facebook too, but I wanted to answer here as well so that others can see the answer. I think you need to experiment to find the frequency of washing that works for you. Most places I read said washing two to three times a week. When I was using this method I washed my hair every third day, and if I took a shower in between those days I would just rinse my hair with hot water. I do remember my hair being so greasy that it looked like it was wet. I would encourage you to stick with it! I think it took my hair about 6 weeks to really fully adjust. I know that’s a long time and isn’t possible for some people to stick with it that long, but I hope you find that it does end up working for you!
      ~Emily

      • Diane says

        Just want to say that I do the no-poo method using baking soda & water for washing & acv, water & eo for rinsing and have been doing this for a few months. The only thing I do different maybe is that I add 1/4 tsp of Dr Bonners castile soap to my baking soda & water mixture (2 level tblsp b soda & 2 c water) but I also make sure to brush my hair thoroughly before washing and you have to make sure to thoroughly massage your scalp with your fingers & water. I only do this every 2 or 3 days. In between I just scrub/massage my scalp with plain water and lightly massage a little oil (jojoba, olive, coconut, etc) into wet hair not the scalp. I have naturally curly hair & after the break in period my hair is the best ever. My sister is a hairdresser in a high end salon & is appalled that I do this but she can’t deny my hair is healthy & shiny!

  24. Tiare says

    Hello! I’ve been using this method for a little over two weeks now and was wondering if I could get a little advice. I have thick long hair and I have been doing 1TBS baking soda/cup water and 1TBS Organic Raw Unfiltered ACV/cup water. I’m definitely going through the “detox” period as my hair is heavy & flaking (not dandruff type of flaking, it seems to be residue from the baking soda?). I, like many others, am ok w/ this as I know it’s a transitional period. However, I noticed you stated in December 2011 that you stopped using this method when you cut your hair shorter b/c it made you hair oily. Well I’m about to cut my hair off in the next few weeks. So my questions are, what shampoo/conditioner do you use now and should I even bother continuing through the “detox” period if in the long run this method will not work for my short hair? Thanks much!!

    • Emily @ Live Renewed says

      Hi Tiare,
      Thanks for your question – I stopped using this method because my hair was really greasy and oily, but now I realize that I think it had more to do with our water than with the length of my hair. Our water softener stopped working right at the same time that this stopped working for me, so I think our water is just too hard. So I’m not sure it would necessarily be true that this will stop working when you cut your hair, you may need to adjust the amount of baking soda, or ACV that you use but if you’re committed to doing it, I wouldn’t give up just because you’re going to cut your hair.
      As far as shampoo and conditioner, I have used both Now Solutions and Giovanni brands and have liked both. The Giovanni brand I can find at Target, but the Now brand I have to buy at the health food store or online. Hope that helps!
      ~Emily

  25. Sarah says

    I have plaque psoriasis and have tried EVERYTHING. Dermatologist meds, black tar shampoos (selsun blkue, head and shoulders etc…) but none of it works. Do you know if this is dry scalp friendly? My skin is so sensitive and it breaks out on a whim. But I would figure that fewer chemicals would be better than a bunch of artificial nonsense.

  26. Rachel says

    Hi! So I have been researching this no poo method and I don’t know if it is best for me!
    I have thick, curly past-the-shoulder-length hair that I am dying to grow out. Even with regular shampoo I don’t wash it until three to four days after every wash. I also like putting coconut oil into my hair. If I do the no poo, would that make it harder to remove coconut oil out of my hair? How long do you believe it would take my hair to adjust and how many times would I have to go through the no poo cycle?
    I’m going to go to college soon and I find the idea of not spending money on all these hair products perfect in my situation!

    • says

      Hi Rachel, Thanks for stopping by! Unfortunately, I really can’t tell you how long it will take your hair to adjust. And I’m not sure what you mean about how many times you would have to go through the no ‘poo cycle – it’s not a cycle, it’s a method of washing your hair, so once your hair adjusts, you still have to use the baking soda to wash and the ACV to rinse – does that make sense? I’m also not sure about removing the coconut oil because I don’t use that on my hair. I only have experience with this method with my own hair, I would recommend that if you’re interested in it, and think you can stick it out through the detox period, then you should just go for it and see how your hair does. Everyone will probably need to do some trail and error to find the way that this method can work best for them. Hope that helps!
      ~Emily

  27. Beth says

    Hey Emily! I’ve been looking up about no ‘poo for a few days now and finally decided to try it out! I used lemon juice instead of vinegar, is that ok? Am I alright to use baking powder instead of soda? And do you use your whole solution of baking soda in one wash? My hair felt really waxy and squeaky (not nice squeaky) as I was getting out the shower, is that right?
    Sorry to bombarde you with questions!

  28. Laura says

    ahhhh!! so happy i found this! i started no poo in march and my hair was fine – zero transition period. but the past few weeks it has been AWFUL and i just realized it might be from the change in weather. i will definitely be trying the lemon juice!

  29. Camila says

    Hi!!
    I want to try this method. It sounds great! I have a question: how many times a week should you wash your hair? I have oily straight hair

    • says

      Hi Camila,
      You’ll have to experiment and find what works best for you. I know most people only wash their hair every few days with this method. Once you’re through the detox period, you’ll find you can go several days in between washings. Hope that helps!
      ~Emily

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