No-Poo: Why I’m Not Using Shampoo Anymore

I came across the “nopoo” tag on many social media websites, and I was intrigued. It turns out to be a movement to switch from using traditional hair shampoo to switching to more natural and homemade methods of washing your hair. It’s a movement to stop using shampoo at all, and instead, using other ingredients that helps your hair take care of itself. I LOVE this idea, so now I’m going to be indulging and going down a short journey about switching over the “no shampoo” lifestyle.

So, why do I want to?
It Saves Money: It definitely saves money. Baking Soda is around a dollar a box around here. Tap/faucet water is so cheap that it’s neglible in your costs. The Apple Cidar Vineger was about a dollar. Not including the two spray bottles I bought (You could use whatever bottle you have around the house), that’s about two dollars. And I made a batch of natural baking soda shampoo and natural apple cider vinegar today, and I barely made a dent on either of those products. AND I only used about 1/3 of each of those bottles in one shower too. So, I’m assuming the two dollars worth of supplies will last at least 50 hair washings. At least. Which definitely beats a $6 bottle of shampoo. And if you coupon, I know I’ve gotten free apple cider vinegar in the past with coupons, so that would cut your hair care in half.

It Requires Less Washing: My hair gets oily CONSTANTLY. I hate it. This is probably my biggest reason for trying this. If I take a shower at 8PM the night before, by 10 AM the next morning, my hair will be showing signs of oilyness. I HATE having to worry about my hair looking oily, and most of the accounts of the no shampoo method say that their hair stays dry and clean for MUCH longer. So I want that.

It Isn’t Toxic: I’ve really, really been trying to watch the toxic/bad ingredients I let into my system lately. In fact, some shampoos may carry cancer risks, allergy risks, or other toxic issues. A quick look at the Cosmetics Database will give you an idea of what risk you’re putting yourself into with your beauty products. The skin is one of the largest organs that our body has, and guess what? It absorbs what is placed on it. After I found out that companies are allowed to avoid disclosing ingredients if they consider it part of their “trademark fragrance”, I’ve now decided I’d rather be safe than sorry. Maybe it’s a bit on the paranoid side, but short of a slight inconvienence on my part, it makes me feel better about my own health.

It Doesn’t Bother my Eyes: I wear contacts, and have for awhile now, so I’ve adjusted my washing/rinsing hair techniques to make sure that water is never running near my eyes because the burn of shampoo in my eyes is usually enough to make me want to rub them, and then it rubs the contacts out, and oh god, it’s a mess. The baking soda doesn’t bother me at all, though, and the vinegar solution only goes on the ends of my hair, so it’s nowhere near my eyes. The baking soda tastes fine, and while I didn’t taste the vinegar, that didn’t seem to bother my skin either.

So what are the downsides?
According to most bloggers, there’s an “adjustment” period. Some people have quoted three days, other people have quoted around a month. Your hair is so used to regular shampoo stripping all of the oil out of it, that your hair and body is used to OVERproducing oil in order to make up for it. Which is why your hair gets greasy so quickly after shampoo’ing. It’s a never-ending cycle. So when you stop using the shampoo, it’s going to take your body a bit to catch up with the change, so for awhile, your hair is still going to be over-producing the oils which might lead to a greasy hair appearance until your body fixes itself.

How do you do the no shampoo method?
I’ll admit that I’m not the best one to ask right now (and won’t be until I get more experience), so I definitely recommend checking out the resource links at the bottom of my post. The method basically consists of mixing baking soda with water (for your “shampoo”) and mixing apple cidar vinegar with water (for your “conditioner”). You then use those two mixtures in lieu of traditional shampoo and conditioner products.

So, my thoughts the first times:
How much of this do I USE? I know how to make the mixtures (thanks to other bloggers!), but I don’t know how much I should be using at once to get my hair clean. It’s also really, really weird to not have something that lathers when I apply it. I’ll report back to you guys once I figure out how much I should be using, so you guys hopefully won’t have to feel as long.

The vinegar REALLY doesn’t smell. I wasn’t worried about that. In fact, it hadn’t even crossed my mind until I told one of my friends about switching to this new method, and he was concerned about the vinegar scent. Maybe I don’t hang around vinegar enough to remember what it smells like off-hand. Either way, there’s a definite vinegar smell when you apply the mixture, but once you rinse it out, nothing. No baking soda smell either. There’s really NO scent to my hair at all which is odd because I’m used to scents from my shampoos. You could add in Essential Oils if you want to make your mixtures a certain scent, though. I must admit that I don’t mind the non-scented, but once I’m more proficient at this, I might end up looking into making my own scents. Which sounds pretty fun.

Helpful Resources
I’m certainly just learning about ditching shampoo, too, but these couple links were helpful for me when I was trying to figure things out. Why is shampoo bad? Can no shampoo hair look good? See conditioner-only hair too (another version of the no-shampoo method). Frequently asked no-poo questions.

Comments

  1. Thanks for this great article. I am going to try it. I just wanted to add that rinsing your hair with vinegar also deters head lice. As a child back in the 50’s and 60’s, my mother would wash my hair and then rinse it with vinegar. The vinegar worked as a conditioner –detangling and softening my hair but unbeknown to me it was also keeping head lice away. My grandmother used this for her children also. My mother never seen head lice until I was grown and was in the hospital having my 6th child. She came to the hospital crying hysterically and almost unable to speak. I thought something had happened to one of my other children. Finally I got her calmed down enough to tell me one of the little girls had head lice. (Oh, was I relieved–I thought one was dead). My siblings and I never had head lice, nor did my mother and her 11 siblings. I finally realized it was the vinegar that kept us from getting head lice. During the school year, I rinse my children’s hair with vinegar and I also use it on my dogs to get rid of fleas.

  2. Monica Powell says:

    I have been No-Poo for about 2 months now. The first month was quite the adjustment for me. I was super greasy the first 2-3 week, and gradually that has gone to no grease at all. I am able to do the baking soda and vinegar wash every 2-3 days now since there is no more greasiness! I use a Mixture of 1-2 tablespoons of baking soda, 8oz of warm water with just 2 drops of pure Tea Tree oil in a squirt bottle. I found it easier to flip my head over in the shower and work the baking soda into my scalp. After I rinse I spray the Apple Cider Vinegar in my hair. And rinse. (You get used to the vinegar smell) After my shower I use a hair therapy oil that has a lovely sent, and helps my hair dry faster. GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR NO-POO!!!

  3. i’m having a really hard time believing these stories. I used to help out two of my neighbors, one a woman with lupus, the other a gentleman with polio and a hip replacement that left him wheelchair bound. neither of them could get into a bathtub so they would do the sponge bath thing and both used powder shampoos and baking soda for thier hair, and both also used vinegar (i guess this is like an old-time home treatment thing, considering their ages). there was definitely odor. not body odor, as the sponge baths included soap, but their scalps smelled. strongly. so what were they doing differently.

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  1. […] I’m sure you guys are definitely curious how my “No Shampoo Journey” is going. I meant to update you guys around one week, but I’ve been busy with […]

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