Blog Update!
For those of you not following me on Facebook, as of the Summer of 2019 I've moved to Central WA, to a tiny mountain town of less than 1,000 people.

I will be covering my exploits here in the Cascades, as I try to further reduce my impact on the environment. With the same attitude, just at a higher altitude!

Monday, January 19, 2009

The no poo experiment

Let me first start off by saying that I've been avoiding doing this experiment like the plague for a variety of reasons. Primarily, I have little faith that this will actually work and that I'll be destined to weeks of substantially greasy hair, ending in major disappointment.

Nothing like starting out on a seriously positive note, huh? Anyway, Melinda and Vanessa have finally influenced (shamed?) me into trying the no poo method. What is this? Well, it's basically using baking soda to wash your hair and a vinegar rinse instead of conditioner. Using coconut oil as a deeper conditioner is okay from what I've read.

The savings are substantial, the impact on the environment is minimal, the amount of plastic waste is none (unless your vinegar comes in plastic bottles) and allegedly, my hair will become healthy, shiny and totally manageable.

Like my previous pit problems, I'm going to air out my dirty laundry just so you know what I'm dealing with here. Unlike some others who have switched to no poo, my hair is long. It's mid-back and very thick. It's also highlighted and prone to dryness on the ends. On top of that my hair is very oily.

I really can't go more than one day without washing it otherwise I become a giant grease slick and my scalp stinks. Add to that the fact that I exercise 6 days a week and get sweaty enough to warrant a washing, even if the greasy factor didn't come into consideration. This is why I'm dubious to this actually working. But, because I'm a complete glutton for punishment I'm going to give it a try.

And because I'm an exhibitionist, I'll be sharing with you all the gory details and sparing no details. I'll be posting weekly updates with daily notes on how my hair feels and how I'm adjusting the mix. To start, I'll be using 1 T baking soda per cup of water for the "shampoo" part and 1 T white vinegar for the rinse (I hucked a cinnamon stick in and some allspice berries in for good measure to cut the salad dressing smell).

So, needless to say, if this no poo experiment works for me, well, then it will work for pretty much anyone. Baboons with a hormone-imbalance included.

How about you, have you tried using no-poo? Did it work for you or was it a hair disaster?


Anonymous said...

Many years ago I used to use vinegar all the time in the rinse water for my hair..I always thought it was to get rid of the soap residue because we just used handsoap instead of shampoo. The vinegar smell seems to evaporate because I never noticed any lingering pickle smells.
I've never tried the baking soda.

knutty knitter said...

You may find that at the end of the first week you need to break up oil at the nape of the neck. However this does pass and I (with long oily fine hair) have been doing this for almost a year now and only had to revert to the poo that once at the end of the week. Hmm repeating myself - bad sign - senility reigns! It does feel very odd for a while because there is a slight stickiness as it dries but once it is dry it is just shiny and the stickiness seems to evaporate.

viv in nz

Minni Mum said...

I come from Mediterranean ancestry and my hair is incredibly oily, but I've been 'poo free for almost a year and would never go back to using commercial shampoos and conditioners. My only issue to begin with was an itchy scalp at the back of my head sometimes, but it settled down after a couple of weeks. My bigegst issue was getting used to feel of my hair after washing - it's *nothing* like the squeaky clean feeling after using 'poo, but not *bad* as such. Just different.

I use rosemary sprigs in the vinegar rinse to cut the smell a bit, and it's supposed to be great for oily hair.

Good luck!

Brittany said...

I'm looking forward to seeing how it goes with your hair. I'm tempted but I also like my hair feeling squeaky-clean!

Kelly said...

i've tried no poo several times over the years and have always stopped after a few weeks. my hair ends up very tangled, i have thick long hair which gets festy and greasy after one day. i figured the only way to do no poo is to get rid of the hair but im not doing so bad as i wash my hair only twice a week, putting it up in a messy knot, im not so fond of brushing either, on bad hair days.

Anonymous said...

Good on you for finally giving it a go!! Woohoo!!

But PLEASE note, for you or other readers, baking soda can be death for frizzy porous air!

There are other options too soda.

Look forward to more of your experiments.

Willo said...

Good for you giving it a try! I can't cut back on the showering since I work out every day as well. But I have been poo free for about 6 months now and LOVE IT! I just use backing soda and water in a reused plastic bottle and that's it! Good luck!

Oldnovice said...

I tried it for weeks, but went back to shampoo because I'd scratched my scalp to the point of sores scabbing. I'm currently trying to use the coconut oil as a scalp treatment before shampooing. If I can get that to work, I'll consider combining that with a wash/condition
using something natural, whether baking soda, lemon juice, or whatever. I have long, thick hair, as well. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

My hair is currently shoulder length, but when I stopped using shampoo it was down to mid-back, and has always been thick and oily. Baking soda was an amazing success for me -- I expected a transition period, but it went straight to clean and fluffy. I washed it on Friday and it's still clean and fluffy three days later. The oily doom hair does come back with a vengeance whenever I forget to bring my own stuff and use shampoo in hotels and things, though, and then it takes a week or so to get back to normal.

I add a few drops of perfume or essential oil to both the baking soda and the vinegar...citrus scents blend nicely with the vinegar.

Michael said...

For about a week, I've used only water to wash my hair. It doesn't feel squeaky clean, but it doesn't look too oily. I have people monitor it and tell me if it smells, and so far, so good.

Michelle said...

I have been no 'poo for about four months and I love it. I have thick, curly and oily hair and I was constantly itching my scalp. The itching is gone and my hair is far softer (yet holds its shape) than ever before. I never, ever went more than 24 without washing my hair, but now I go every other day, sometimes three. At first, I found I had to wash with the no 'poo two days in a row because of the grease (I did this maybe once a week at first, but now it is more like once a month that I feel the need to do it two days in a row).

I add peppermint essential oil to my (apple cider vinegar) rinse, and I mix my vinegar with water. I also add lavendar essential oil to my baking soda.

Good luck!

If you want all my gory details on the no 'poo, feel free to check it out here:

d.a. said...

I've used a vinegar/water mix as a pre-soak/rinse before "shampooing" with baking soda. Takes care of the dandruff nicely. My hair is boy short, however, so YMMV.

Jena said...

I still use conventional shampoo until our supply is gone, but only once or twice weekly, and I have very long hair. The other times if I need a shower I just put it up and try not to get it wet, the mist freshens it some though. It took awhile for my hair to adjust to fewer washings but not I don't have much problem. It will get dandruffy before it gets greasy.

I will say that I rarely work out, save 5 minutes during chores, and so I don't do much to get my hair dirty.

Anonymous said...

I JUST wrote about this on my blog too!! :) I have used it since Labor Day, but I will tell you I tried numerous times before without being able to go cold turkey. I really found it helped to start out with a shampoo bar and then wean myself off that.

Anonymous said...

I use our homemade soap bar as shampoo and no conditioner of any sort and it works great. My hair was dry for the first two weeks and frizzy but after that my hair looks better than it did when I used expensive shampoo and conditioner. My hair is THICK and curly but I do keep it above my shoulders. I can go a couple days before I need to wash it again, so far this method works great although I'm curious about baking soda and vinegar.

Robyn M. said...

FWIW, one of the claims that no-poo proponents make (and which was borne out in my experience) is that commercial shampoos unbalance the natural oils in your hair--stripping them out in effect. This causes your scalp to sort of panic and overproduce oil, which is why it seems like our hair is so oily when we don't shampoo regularly. If you give it a week or two, your scalp will actually come back into equilibrium.

Anonymous said...

Crunchy, my hair is as long, if not longer than yours and I nopoo!! I started about 3 months ago and things have gone well. I have a big plastic tub (from peanut butter) filled with baking soda. I put a bit in the lid and run shower water in it to make the paste to rub in my scalp. I use a spray bottle to get the acv all over my hair since I have to much of it and pouring it was sending too much straight down the drain. I have to admit that I have some conditioner creme left over from before my nopoo days that i have to put in my hair maybe everyone week because suddenly my hair feels like straw. when it is out, i am planning on a coconut oil treatment. Best of luck to you!!!!

CuriousNomad said...

I successfully transitioned in December, after a false start in August. I have long thick hair, about waist length.

1. I use a detangler comb before showering. If my roots feel greasy, I use a boars bristle brush to break up the grease.

2. I use a fair amount of baking soda to make a paste in my palm, and massage my scalp with it. My August trial was with a tablespoon, but apparently that wasn't enough for me. Other people have found too much baking soda dried their hair, so ymmv.

3. Irregularly, I splash some apple cider vinegar into a half-filled cup of water, and smoosh my hair ends into the cup.

4. I wash my hair this way every 2-3 days. By day 3, it needs it.

It is pure bliss being able to laugh at the whole hair-care aisle at the grocery store!

contessa20 said...

When I started no-poo'ing my very thick hair was well past my backside but not quite to my knees. Like yours, my scalp tended to be oilier than my ends. I LOVE the no-poo method but it takes some experimentation to get it just right. Some days I would just take a handfull of baking soda and scrub it into my scalp while other days I could just do the standard baking soda and water mix. Something I did find was that you only need to wash the scalp, not the ends of the hair. Same with the vinegar rinse, only pour it on the scalp, not the ends of the hair. It will run down the hair but you don't need to purposely pour it on every square inch of your hair.

Good luck!

Malva said...

My hair is thick, almost to my waist these days and bs/vinegar works well for me.

And like others have mentioned, the vinegar smell goes away once the hair is dry.

Like Contessa20 said, you only need to get bs on your scalp, not on the hair.

But unlike Contessa20, I find I just need to dump the vinegar on the lenght of the hair, not near the scalp or it gives me oily roots.

If you need to wash your hair everyday as it is, don't expect for it to be any different for the bs/vinegar stuff.

Pamm said...

I started using no poo about six months ago and I LOVE it! I use apple cider vinegar, though. I put my vinegar/water mixture in a spray bottle.

I have naturally curly hair and enough hair for two people. I thought Pantene was the only thing that would tame it. I was wrong. Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

Coming out of lurkdom to chime in!

I'm a no-poo girl. In fact, I haven't washed my hair in over a year.

Last January, I used up the last of the shampoo in the house, and took the plunge into no-poo'ing.

I use a few tablespoons of baking soda, mixed with a cup of water in a little squeeze bottle. Shake it up well, squirt it all over my head, and rub in with my fingertips. Rinse well. Then I apply 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar mixed in a little cup with some water. This is my 'conditioner', I pour it all over my head and then rinse well.
The vinegar smell dissipates quickly, so I don't smell like a salad all day :)

When I first began no-poo'ing, I went through a greasy transition period for the first week or was bad enough that it had me longing to run out and buy some shampoo! But I promised myself that I'd stick it out for a month. Am glad I did, because my hair is soft, fresh, and shiny.

If my hair seems dry, a couple of drops of organic coconut oil rubbed on my palms and then smoothed on my hair does the trick.

I have 5 little kids, and I no-poo every last one of them too. Even my baby, she's been no-poo'd since birth! We're a happy little no-poo'ing bunch :)

Have fun with your experiment! Hope it works for you and your long locks (and so sorry about the length of this comment!)


Anonymous said...

Wanted to add (as if my above comment wasn't long enough!), I went for a haircut recently, and the stylist asked me what products I use on my hair. She told me my hair was in great shape and said "whatever you are doing to your hair, keep doing it!"

Needless to say, her jaw dropped when I told her I wash my hair with baking soda. She was stunned, leaned in to take a big sniff of my head, and declared my hair 'fresh'.

I'm sure she thought I was a crazy hippie :)

Theresa said...

Yup, I've tried the baking soda and vinegar rinse method and it works perfectly fine. It doesn't seem like your hair is getting clean while you're rubbing the soda around, but after I squirt some half water/half vinegar mixture (in a reused lemon juice bottle) over my hair it is clean and soft and shiny. I think you'll be pleasantly suprised, Crunchy.

Anonymous said...

My hair is just like yours. Sometimes I can smell how stinky it is. I would love to be poo free and have my kids be poo free. I'll let you start and then maybe I will.

Allie said...

I use this method, and it works fine for me. I have very long, thick, curly hair (w/o being straightened, it's waist length).

Anonymous said...

I LOVE no-poo. I started in May and won't go back. I have long fine hair. With shampoo & conditioner I had to wash my hair every 2 days (or 3 if I wasn't going out anywhere). And when I brushed my hair it was all flat and greasy looking by the end of day 2, with no body to it.

With bs/acv, I wash it every 5 to 7 days. And brushing it doesn't make it flat & greasy looking, doesn't take out all the body. For the 1st time in my life I LOVE brushing my hair.

I use a couple T BS in a cup with water and the same with ACV (I dilute the ACV more).

A tip - when I used shampoo I would lather it on while swooping my hair to the back of my head, down my back (like a ponytail). I found with BS/ACV I need to wet my hair then re-arrange it so it's falling in place like it would when dry(no ponytail). Then I dump on the BS and can massage it into my scalp easier. I mean, if the hair is wet/ponytail it's harder to massage the scalp. Same with the ACV. I don't really rub it into the rest of my hair but do run my head under the shower a couple of quick times to get it to run down. Then a good rinse.

I do need to do ALOT of rinsing to get out the vinegar smell (made that mistake a couple of times) but since I'm only washing my hair 4-6 times a month I don't feel bad about the water usage. I'll have to try herbing up my vinegar.

Final advice - don't get the vinegar in your eyes! I still make this mistake sometimes when I bend to put down the cup. OUCH!

Jen in Ballard

Anonymous said...

I have been interested in this too, and have also looked into the shampoo bars. Unfortunately, I am one of those who stocks up on stuff when there's the occasional *really* good sale, so I have about a case worth of shampoo to get through before I can try this.

I would say that some of the 'hardcore' sites I have visited about the bs/v method have said that some may have oily problems for as long as a month before it clears up and the scalp gets back into balance so since you're an oily girl, maybe you could give it a month rather than a few weeks?

Pics of before and after of your hair maybe, too?


Alison Kerr said...

I'd never heard of this. It sounds like something I'm willing to try, once you report back of course!

Anonymous said...

I've tried beer. Yes, you read that correctly. The cheapest beer I could find, I think it was either Shlitz or Blatz. It worked well, except no matter how much I rinsed, the aroma of beer still lingered. But it did a pretty good job of washing and truly made my hair shiny. BTW, I have stick (like can't even hold a perm), fine, thick, dry hair.

Village Green said...

How does no 'poo work with colored hair? I'm talking henna or other vegetable=based non ammonia hair coloring products.

Anonymous said...

I ran out of my LUSH bar shampoo (NO PACKAGING)and couldn't get to Boulder, CO (nearest shop)for another in a timely manner. Tried using Burt's Bees and got greasy hair and dandruff!!! lots!!!

Used apple cider vinegar to help with the dandruff (DILUTE AND DON'T GET IN THE EYES!OWYOWYOWY). ACV worked FABULOUS!!!

Amanda said...

I've been no-poo for well over a year now, probably going on two. I love it. I have a sqirt bottle that I keep full of my baking soda/water solution and just shake and sqirt into my scalp, and then massage and rinse. I keep a plastic cup in the shower and the small bottle of apple cider vinegar. I use about an inch in the bottom of the cup and then fill the rest with water and pour over my scalp, then work into my hair and down the ends. I can go about 4-5 days between bs treatments. Usually in the middle I do one just vinegar treatment. My hair has never been healthier.

Anna Marie said...

Have you heard about the Long Hair Community? They are a forum, and their focus is growing out long, healthy hair.

They have a lot of information on no-poo (along with conditioner-only, homemade shampoo/hairsoap, water only, and other methods), with many people using each method. Check it out.

Excellent Walker said...

I've found that rinsing with the ACV before washing with baking soda cuts down somewhat -- not entirely -- on the vinegary smell you'll be walking around with, and unlike putting conditioner in your hair before shampoo, doesn't eliminate the detangling and softening effect. That said, even with a few drops of lavender or other oil in the ACV, you're still going to smell like salad dressing. Your hair will look great, though!

Anonymous said...

I don't know if I would go to no poo although I am using a shampoo bar from Lush. Once I finish the 2 bars from Lush (which is taking MONTHS to use a single bar) I was planning on changing to a shampoo bar with no perfumes, SLS or anything else. I am still working my way to no poo I guess.

Farmer's Daughter said...

I have very long hair that I would consider to be "sensitive" because I get split ends easily and it turns green with chlorine, etc. I haven't tried this method because I'm afraid that the baking soda will be too harsh for my sensitive hair, and I'd be very sad if I had to cut it due to damage. I've come across some homemade recipes for very long hair and I'm thinking about trying them. If you're interested, they're available here:

Natalie said...

I went nopoo about 4 months ago and I love it. I found that it worked beter for me if I make a paste out of the BS and then I rub that in my scalp. Then I take a comb and comb through my hair and then rinse it out. I only use the vinegar once or twice a week. I still wash my hair every other day, but I have found that my hair is a lot easier to manager.

Anonymous said...

I tried no poo and couldn't do it. My hair actually didn't get greasy, but it got darker. Noticeably darker. As a blond, my vanity couldn't take it and I jumped ship.

I have given up commercial face washes, though. I just use honey, and like the no poo-ers, I would never go back.

katecontinued said...

Love it, mean it . . .

Heather said...

@ Village Green: Baking soda can lighten hair, so if you dye your hair dark, it might fade a bit. I dye my hair black, so I only use BS/ACV about once every 2 weeks.
The rest of the time, I just use conditioner (without silicones, which coat the hair and make shampoo necessary), or just plain water.

I did go through an adjustment period with no 'poo, but I found that using 'conditioner-only' really helped me keep my hair "feeling" clean rather than going cold turkey.

Oh, and for anyone living with hard water, baking soda and hard water create soap scum. To remedy this, pour a 50/50 combo of regular vinegar and water over hair before using baking soda, and finish with ACV.

No 'poo rocks, Crunchy, it really does. My bra-strap length, fine, oily hair has never been better. And it seems to be growing faster, too.

Anonymous said...

i've been no-poo since july. after the adjustment period, my hair has never looked better or required so little care. the adjustment period wasn't bad; i just wore my hair up for a while.

mudnessa said...

I have extremely thick long hair. Right now its hip length. It is so thick that I shave the under half and no one knows unless I show them, even when I wear my hair up since there is so much of it. Anyways I have been no poo for maybe six months now and I will never go back. I have written about it on my blog if you wanna know the details.

A couple things I have changed, I use apple cider vinegar as my rinse and I probably use an 1/8 to a 1/4 of a cup depending on how my hair feels. The more vinegar the more conditioning it is. I have very very very dry hair but the scalp is not oily at all. I also use coconut oil as a leave in conditioner, after my hair is dry I start at the ends and work my way up, pretty much stopping at my ears, when I am all done I do "wipe" my hands on the top of my hair to calm the little face framing fly aways. I probably use a 1/2 tsp of coconut oil in all for my hair.

Hope this can work for you it is great. I use to not brush my hair because it would freak out but I can brush it all I want now and I actually leave the house without hours of struggling with it.

jenny_lucey said...

I'm scared...I'll wait to see how you do with it first!

steffington said...

I have basically the same kind of hair as you without the oily factor. I can go a couple days without any problems.

However, using vinegar burned my scalp. I don't know if my scalp is just unhealthy or not. But there's no way I'm ever pouring that onto my head again.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you are trying this - I would like to hear your successes and obstacles. I've been no-poo for six months now, and have similar hair to yours (super oily, long, extremely thick).

First, my routine: I use a homemade shampoo recipe that I really like most of the time. About once a week, I use the baking soda-poo/vinegar rinse. Every other day, however, I brush "dry shampoo" into my hair to cut down on the oil so I don't have to wash it EVERY day.

My problem: I find that my hair FEELS wonderful, but I don't like the way it looks. Granted, keep in mind that my hair is semi-curly (only curly in the back, wavy on top/in front) so it NEVER looks all that good! ;) But it seems to just hang there heavily since I started no-pooing.

I could live with that, however. My REAL problem is the static. Brushing my hair gets it so static-y that it turns into a mushroom-shaped helmet for about ten minutes, until it settles down again. Even finger-brushing causes this. This is a HUGE frustration for me. I never had this problem with regular shampoos.

However, I'm pretty committed to finding a solution. I find this no-poo path to be so cheap and easy and I don't feel guilty for discarding (well, recycling) plastic bottles every month! But the static may force my hand. Any suggestions?

BTW, I put basil and rosemary essential oil into my vinegar rinse to help with the oily hair. And as others have stated, the vinegar smell does fade when it is dry.

Kristijoy said...

I did the no poo thing for a long time and loved it I have fine hair, LOTS of it and it used to get oily.

Remember that with long hair it's only the scalp that really needs much attention, breaking up dead skin and oils but not removing them all. The ends should really benefit from the no poo. But people's results vary as you can see from all the comments! I sued the baking soda as a scalp exfoliater too, massing it in good.

I cut it short this fall and since then that has felt like too much trouble for washing, so now I just use the veggie oil bar soap I get at the co-op that is made local and it works well too, and using one product to wash all of me is much more economical than using three.

Since it's not a petroleum based detergent, it leaves no residue. Any natural soap will do, even that which you make at home yourself. Might be good to try on kid's hair?

The one thing that it took me a moment to get over was, that when you aren't washing your hair with all those fragrances, your hair will smell like wet dog, 'cause, well, we're animals and we have smells. I quite like it now. I never used essential oils int he vinegar because it would clog the spray bottle I used.
I used apple cider vinegar. not white. I Liked it quite well.

Good luck sticking to it, that's the hardest part, the switchover.

Anonymous said...

After months and months of stalling I took the plunge and went "no-poo" last month. I have long (down to lower back), thick, curly hair. I also have sensitive skin so my scalp always tended to be dry, flaky and itchy. To tame my curls I was using either mousse or gel and that seemed to be agravating my scalp even more so I stopped ALL hair products and went to BS and ACV rinse. I wet my hair and scalp throughly and like others, I just make a paste w/ a tablespoon of BS and some shower water. I scrub it really, really well all around my scalp making little circles with my finger tips. I rinse that well and ring the water out of my hair. Then I grab my cup which has a bit more than a tablespoon of ACV, add shower water, cram in my hair to soak for a little bit and then dump over my head and comb through with a wide tooth comb. Then I rinse and comb a bit more. I have only ever combed my hair when it is wet in the shower b/c of the frizz factor. I LOVE BS & ACV and will NEVER go back. As some others have said the vinegar smell goes away completely after the hair has dried. My hair is soft and clean looking and smelling. My scalp was improved after only one treatment. I was only washing my hair 2 to 3 times a week before no poo but now I can easily go 5 to 7 days between washings. Somtimes I will wet down my hair in the shower and run a comb though in between washings. I do think I will buy a tub of the coconut oil to use as a leave in conditioner/frizz tamer because my curls might benefit from it. I have heard about that 2 week or so adjustment phase for your hair and scalp but I didn't experience any funkiness at all. It was a major improvement in scalp health for me from the very beginnning, so it might depend on your personal scalp "chemistry". Good luck Crunchy! I know you can do it!!

Anonymous said...

I've been shampoo free for almost a year now and don't miss it. My hair is past my shoulders and thin and fine. Usually I just scrub my dry scalp before I give it a good rinse, and I use apple cider vinegar as a rinse every other time or so. So mostly it's straight water! Sometimes I use baking soda, but rarely.
My hair reacts differently depending on what I do after I wash it. If I comb it out wet then it stays long and straight, but if I let it dry before I comb it it remains full of body. I think the little shoots off the edges of each hair don't get smoothed down by conditioner, so the hairs stay hooked together, kind of like several strands of yarn. I have nothing but good things to say about this method. Jenny

Anonymous said...

my teenaged son has long, horribly oily hair that regular shampoo just seems to make worse. when clean, it's a beautiful, snowy blonde but when dirty... ugh! he started using baking soda and vinegar last year and the difference has been amazing. his hair is now something you want to touch and his face has cleared up considerably

Anonymous said...

I didn't go no-poo but I have gone from shampooing every day to just twice a week. I have long thick oily hair that's been highlighted (now growing out) and is dry on the ends. I found that just rinsing my hair well in the shower (still shower every day!)most days got the sweat and salt out, and my hair is actually less prone to oiliness now than it was last year. In other words, when I shampoo'd daily I needed to shampoo daily, now that I don't, I don't need to either.

Jennifer said...

I just don't see why? It seems that buying a nice homemade shampoo bar made of local oils and honeys and milks made by a local artisan would have WAY less effect on the environment than baking soda, which needs to be MINED. Maybe it's because it is a relatively local mining to me (Wyoming), but I would prefer to support a local business woman or man and to use something made of sustainable ingredients instead of using something that is mined that we can use up and not have anymore.

Allie said...

I just read the comment about baking soda being death to frizzy, porous hair, and laughed out loud. That pretty much describes my hair, and my experience going no poo. I also could not stand the smell of my hair. Other people's success with it always makes me consider giving it a try again, but . . . I just dont' think I can go there. I do think my specific hair type may be the issue.

psuklinkie said...

It seems like all the green bloggers have been talking about the 'poo diet lately. And I'm severely jealous.
I want to start a "diet," but I still have tons of shampoo left and I don't want to waste it. Any suggestions for how to switch over without wasting the shampoo and conditioner?

GreenieJoy said...

Good luck! From all the other posts it sounds like an awesome switch to make! I think I'm going to try it to. Coconut oil is pretty cool. It will help moisturize your hair but it does make hair really greasy! I'd recommend only using it on your ends and not your scalp. And one good thing about using coconut oil is it'll make it less likely for your hair to catch on fire :P

Sharlene said...

I tried no poo but it didn't work for me. It sounds like we have similar hair so I will let you be my test dummy before I delve into it again. I HATE greasy hair!

Alyssa said...

I've been no poo since August, and I love it. I have long, thick hair. It took me quite a bit of experimentation and days of hair pulled into a ponytail with a headband on to get where I am now, but now I'm down to washing about twice a week, and my hair is shiny and beautiful. I use 2 tbsp baking soda to 2 cups water, and 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar to 2 cups water because of the length of my hair. Some tricks that worked for me: 1. It's all about the scrubbing! Before you get in the shower, scrub your scalp with your fingertips over your dry hair. When you get in the shower, wet your hair and scrub your scalp again with your fingertips. Then apply the baking soda mixture and scrub scrub scrub until your scalp tingles. Rinse very well, scrubbing. 2. Use the ACV mixture only on the hair below your ear line, it'll make your hair oily if you do it too high up. Good luck!

Robj98168 said...

Keep this up and this will be you- and no one WANTS to be borg. LOL J/K But seriuosly bald is beautiful and until now, I never realized before Bald is Green!

Lisa Nelsen-Woods said...

Will you post pictures? I'm interested in how my thick hair would look poo less

M. said...

I tried the no poo, and will try it again, but so far it hasn't worked for me. I, too, have long hair that gets oily fast. I used to have to wash it daily, but I did manage to train it to go about 3 days now. It can easily get back to two, though, just by washing more often, so I have to be careful.

The biggest problem for me using the no poo method was how it didn't seem to rinse clean. I had build up on my hair, which was apparent when I'd brush my hair and this white residue coated the brush. Unpleasant! Also, I don't like the smell of vinegar, and it just lingered even after it dried.

Since I have a low-flow showerhead, I assumed it was the pressure, and started rinsing under the faucet. It didn't help. Still, I am determined to try again. By the way, I love this blog! I am going to add a link to it!

Anonymous said...

I use baking soda to wash my hair... it's naturally curly. I use about 1/8 cup mixed in warm water.

I liked the results of the vinegar as to the way my hair felt after wards, but I do not blow dry my hair, so the vinegar smell seemed to linger for hours until my hair dried. My pillow also began to smell like vinegar.

I switched to lemon juice as a rinse and like the smell of that better and it works almost just as well or the same. I use about 1/4 cup diluted in WARM water so I don't freeze while pouring it over my head in the shower.

The Hipster Homegirl said...

I would love to try this, but I play roller derby and practice three times a week for two hours, and when I leave my hair is so soaked with sweat I look like I just showered. I also have very long colored hair (red) and it's hard to keep it the color I like, so I'm really interested in how it works out for you.

Anonymous said...

When I dreadlocked my hair I had to stop using shampoo and conditioner. It took some getting used to but my scalp slowly stopped producing so much oil since it wasn't being stripped away. It took me about 1-2 months. I use Dr. B's bar soap once a week since I can't wash every day and baking soda once a week won't cut it. One bar lasts me up to a year.

Of course for straight hair, combing it distributes the oils from the scalp to the roots which cuts the buildup on the scalp and should help with dry ends, also.

Oh, and a recipe I used pre-dreads for dry hair: Olive oil infused with rosemary (finely chopped rosemary sat in olive oil for several weeks) coated on everything but the scalp, then washed out (apply BS/vinegar or soap/shampoo prior to wetting hair or it will just slick off).

Good luck to all the new no-pooers out there!


The Simpleton said...

@Jennifer: yes, baking soda is mined, but all soap requires a base (basically what BS is doing is producing a soap from one's own oil), and many (lye in homemade soaps) are even more destructive than bicarbonate. You can google no poo, though, and see how other people have deleted BS; there are a number of testimonies about flax seed meal, for example.

Anonymous said...

I have been going no poo for about 4 months and my hair looks and feels just as good as before. Of course my hair is not quite shoulder length so it is hard to compare. I am letting it grow out to donate, so we will see how it does then. No harm in trying. If it doesn't work, you at least know for sure.

Anonymous said...

I have been no poo for about 6 months now and love it. I have curly, course, thick hair so baking soda is too drying for me. I use 'cone free conditioner to "wash" my hair every other day. Once or twice a week, I use brown sugar and conditioner to make a scalp scrub and then rinse with apple cider vinegar. So, brown sugar is a good sub for baking soda. I did have a transition period where my scalp was itchy, but the brown sugar scrub helps with that. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to hear your results, your hair sounds a lot like mine!

Northernmum said...

I am on my 4th day of being a"no-poo"
And it hasn't been too bad as of yet but I am experiencing way too oily hair,

Anonymous said...

Awesome. : ) I agree with some of the other commenters here that you should give yourself the freedom to alter the recipe depending on how it goes. I started out using a baking soda paste for the first few weeks, and then went into a more dilute version. If it's really greasy at first, up the baking soda content. And make sure to apply to dry hair and leave on for a bit so that it -ahem- soaks up the grease. Heh.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

about 9 months of no poo for me. short hair.

before, had to shampoo every day as my hair got oily, and my scalp itched if I didn't take a shower and wash my hair.

now, I can go 2-3 days without a shower and my scalp doesn't get itchy at all, and my hair doesn't get oily. No real transition time for me.

now, I do bs wash every 2-3 days, and do a vinegar rinse every day.


Not Another Omnivore said...

I'm going shampoo free starting today, actually starting about 20 minutes ago in the shower, and I'm excited.

Although I did recently cut my long hair off and it isn't super thick either.

Anywho...cheers and best of luck!


Sarah McGuire said...

get your hair wet...part it down the middle and run a cloth from scalp to end one hundred times each side...this distributes the oil and leaves a less oily scalp and softer ends. This eliminated the need to use baking soda all the time. In fact I don't even use baking soda anymore, just an egg yolk. night scritch your scalp gently and brush out. This reduces flakes and gets the grimies out of your hair as well as stimulating the scalp. I've had the greatest success since incorporating the wash cloth and scritching technique

Anonymous said...

i was linked to your blog from shakesville, and as a 'pooless woman m'self, i had to weigh in. ^_^

if the baking soda/vinegar method doesn't work for you, i hope that you'll try something else. in june after i'd researched a bit, i decided to try the simplest method that seemed to work for everyone who tried it. (several people who'd tried (and failed) with baking soda said that this method worked for them.)

the magic ingredient? just water.

i have long curly hair that is very thick. i really doubted that this would work for me, considering that i've always needed tons of conditioners and products on my hair. now my "routine" is to comb my hair before i get in the shower. this removes dirt, loose hair, and tangles. then when i'm in the shower i skritch my scalp with my fingers all over, and comb everything out under running water.

going through transition sucked. >_< near the end i was panicking that i wouldn't be able to stick to it... but then one day i felt my scalp and realized i was done. @_@ no oily feeling at all. just clean and soft. my hair is shiny and looks as good (if not better) than when i used all of those products on my hair. i love it. ^_^