Tuesday, March 15, 2011

No Poo :-)

For the past several months, I’ve been doing a “no shampoo” method of washing my hair. And I am totally, 100% hooked on it. As far as I can see now, I won’t ever be going back to shampoo and conditioner.

I was so sick and tired of my hair. Not only was it falling out in gobs thanks to after-pregnancy hormones (I presume it’s something hormonal that makes it do that?), which really irritated me, but it was also so greasy. If I skipped one day of washing it, it got so greasy I could barely do anything basic with it. It felt gross, and I couldn’t stand it. Not to mention the consistent dandruff issues I’ve had for several years. And it’s not like I’m using cheap shampoo/conditioner. I’m using a natural brand, a bit on the pricier side, with fewer harsh chemicals and mostly good ingredients. I’ve also tried a variety of the mainstream products that are supposed to help with dandruff, etc. No good. So when Mom mentioned she’d gone radical and tried the “no poo” method, I was all over it. After the first washing I noticed a huge difference. Day after washing it, still pretty silky soft. Second day after washing it, still the same. Third day….still fairly good to go. Yep. Wash it twice a week. And it stays soft, silky, and workable. Cheaper than dirt, healthy for my scalp, and takes very minimal time per week? I’m in love with it!

Are you jealous? Ready to hear the method? Get two bottles, whatever size you have available, between 2 cups and ½ gallon. In one bottle, for every cup of water you put in, add 1 TBL baking soda. (so if you use 4 cups water, use 4 TBL (or ¼ cup) baking soda) In the other bottle, do the same thing, except you use apple cider vinegar. I use the kind with the “mother” in it, though I don’t think that’s necessary. For my ACV bottle, I’ve been using an old Bragg’s Liquid Aminos squirt bottle, which works really well. My other one is just a quart sized Bolthouse smoothie bottle. But anything would work, including old shampoo/conditioner bottles. In the shower, pour the baking soda mixture on first- after getting your hair really wet. Scrub it in really well. For my super-duper thick, mid-back length hair, I use ½-1 cup. Rinse well, then pour or squirt the ACV mixture on (I use about ½ cup, or maybe a bit less). Scrub in and rinse out. Enjoy the squeaky-clean sound and feel. The ACV smell dissipates really quickly- which is something I was slightly concerned about at first, because Ben can’t stand its smell! It’s helped cut down on dandruff, as well as taken care of the grease issue. An added bonus? I stopped “shedding” as much during the day. Granted, that only happened because I was scrubbing harder in order to get the ACV rubbed into my scalp well, since I already knew that was supposed to help with dandruff. For the first time in a long time, I actually love my hair.

Two more huge benefits are that it’s costing me pennies, and I know exactly what’s being absorbed into my skin. Both are healthful ingredients, especially ACV- there are so many health benefits from that one. One final benefit- I’m saving lots of time per week. Yay for homemade remedies and recipes!


  1. That is great this has worked so well for your hair. I went "no poo" for awhile and have contemplated going back. I cannot do without conditioner though, my hair is too fine and I prefer using one that creates some volume as my hair is also very flat.
    But I love that squeaky clean feeling using ACV..and it works wonders on dandruff! :)

  2. YAY!!! Another no-poo-er! :) I did the Curly Girl method for years (i.e. no poo, but using conditioner) and loved it, but then when my curl disappeared when I started nursing (hormones are so weird :P), I eventually cut out the conditioner and switched to the baking soda method. I don't use the ACV since Aaron HATES the smell (and yes, I know that it dissipates quickly, but still...) and still use a little bit of natural conditioner on my tips, but it works great! :)

  3. I just want you to know that I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog... I love how you include practical tips among spiritual lessons. Your commitment to being a wife, mommy, and homemaker is such a BLESSING to me! Thank you!

  4. I've done a lot of things with my hair over the years. Going to no-SLS shampoo about 8 years ago made a world of difference, as did weaning my hair off of daily washings :-P. I did no-poo for several months before Gretchen's pregnancy, but switched back to natural shampoo + conditioner while pregnant (pregnancy blood sugar --> candida, and I read conflicting things about whether vinegar helps or hinders candida, so decided to quit). I'm back to pseudo-no-poo now, and love it. My hair is mid-thigh, so I need more moisture than no-poo offers, but surprisingly, I don't need to condition but every few weeks, even with such long hair. I do either baking soda and ACV OR egg yolks and ACV every 3-4 days, and then every 2 weeks or so, I'll use conditioner instead. Sometimes I do a brown sugar and conditioner scrub, sometimes I'll use a natural shampoo before conditioning, or an oatmeal and conditioner scrub, or. . . well, you get the point ;-). I love how clean my hair feels and my dandruff is definitely better (though not nearly gone, ugh!).

  5. @Rachel- thanks! It's always inspiring to know someone's being encouraged... :-)

    @Susan....I've heard of some of those other methods, some of which sound interesting. But I haven't tried anything else, because baking soda/ACV that you can make up and have last for weeks is just easy. :-D And...you have a lot of hair. :-) I bet your kiddos love it.... ;-) I like long hair (though I probably wouldn't want it that long, personally), and so does Ben....but my hair is super thick, so once it hits a certain length, it causes headaches no matter what I do. And I like change anyway....so occasionally get it chopped/layered a couple inches below my shoulder, then let it grow out long, then the cycle over. :-)

    DiH- yeah, ACV is awesome for dandruff!

  6. Hmmmm I think I shall try this on DH, Muhahaha! ;)

    I did the curly girl method because I have wavy thin hair, but I ended up greasy. So I must have combination hair, that will never go one way or the other, so I will have to give this a try.

  7. If you try it, you'll have to let me know what you think of it! :-) I was quite excited to find an easy and cheap way to not have greasy hair anymore....to have hair that would actually work with me and do what I want. ;-)

    Ben's not interested in giving it a whirl....not for so long as ACV is a part of it. ;-)

  8. I've been "no-poo" for 2.5 years now, including an entire pregnancy and post-partum craziness re: hair. I use different ratios, more like 1.5 t. of baking soda to a cup of water, and I just mix it up in the shower in a cup right before I use it. I also use white vinegar (1 T. to a cup of water) rather than ACV, just because I never got around to buying ACV and I always have WV on hand because I clean with it.

    When traveling, I've used red wine vinegar once because WV is hard to travel with and most people have some kind of vinegar around. It didn't make a difference. I've also used lemon juice. So if Ben doesn't mind lemon juice or another type of vinegar, why not give that a try? Lemon juice can supposedly lighten hair if it isn't all rinsed out; I've never seen a difference in my (dark) hair color. I can't get my DH to give up shampoo at all.

  9. I should also say that I found you in a roundabout way from HSA .org. :)

  10. Rachel...I'd be interested in trying lemon juice just for the sake of the lightening- I'm a blonde that's on the darker side. :-) Ben doesn't like any kind of vinegar- although it doesn't bother him that I use it, since the odor dissipates so fast. Do you know if you have to use fresh squeezed lemon juice, or if the bottled stuff works as well? And do you just mix it with water in the same ratios as the vinegar? I'm interested in giving that a whirl- if it's easy, lol. ;-)

    Was it via Ben's HSA page you came upon our blog? Thanks for stopping in and commenting!

  11. Well, more roundabout than that. It was through Darcy's blog, which I found from her HSA page. :) I "recognized" Ben from there.

    I used bottled lemon juice. I did use it in the same ratio, but if one ratio doesn't work so well, you can always tweak it. For lightening, I believe that you wouldn't rinse it out. Here is a great resource on all things no poo: http://community.livejournal.com/no_poo :)

  12. I gave it a whirl, my scalp was all flaky and white... YUP clean scalp now! I had to wash it with poo afterwards so it didn't smell like vinegar but it got rid of what the poo couldn't!

    Thanks for the tip!

  13. Hello! I just recently found this blog where you now post since your marriage --- I always so enjoyed your articles in Earthen Vessels when you wrote! And now I am really enjoying your articles here as well!!! This is now one of my favorite blogspots! :-) I was wondering, did you ever post wedding pictures? Also, do you have any tips or ideas for skin care -- I love your no-poo idea, we are always looking for more natural shampoo, but this would be great! I will try it! I thought maybe you would have some other natural "bath and Beauty" care tips. I have been really struggling with skin care routines/products that work and aren't too expensive! Thank you so much for sharing! God Bless, Hannah S.

  14. Hannah- Hi! Thanks for stopping in! I'm glad you're enjoying it- that's always fun to hear. No, I still haven't posted the wedding article/pictures here. I should do that.... :-D

    I hope the no-poo works for you! I know for some people it takes a while of not so great hair till it starts to work effectively....I'm not sure if that's more so when someone's been using an unnatural shampoo or mostly just varies from hair type to hair type.

    Other tips...I don't know. :-) I do have some recipes I could e-mail you if you drop me a line (heartforliberia (at) gmail (dot) com) For lip balm, body butter, and lotion, all from a friend. But getting the ingredients to start making your own can feel kind of expensive. I buy homemade soaps from friends...and that's pretty much it. I'm into as little as possible. :-)

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