4 Tips To Going “No-‘Poo” -> The Shampoo Free Movement
“Honey, I’m off to massage an egg into my hair” I said, skipping off into the shower
“Alrightie then, dear. Let me know how it goes” replies hubby with barely a tinge of surprise
I have to admit Paul is a very tolerant and supportive hubby. Over the years he’s accepted and embraced all my self-experimentation, often even joining the process along the way. My latest idea was to go ‘poo-free. I’ve been experimenting for a few months now….and I LOVE IT!
Now, no-‘poo has nothing to do with fiber-parties or number 2. It’s a movement of shampoo-free haircare and I was inspired to try it after I read technomadia’s post on 4 years poo-free. I’ve always loved natural foods and products and have spent years researching and understanding my diet. Going ‘poo-free seemed an excellent extension of that philosophy…..and a great asset for boondocking too!
The idea behind no-‘poo is very simple. Our hair and scalp have natural oils that self-regulate and commercial shampoos strip your hair of that natural protection. This can cause all kinds of issues like hair that gets greasy too fast (from over-production of oils), dandruff, brittle tips, frizz and such…requiring even more shampoo and a slew of other products to manipulate the side-effects. No-‘poo says that if you let your hair re-gain its’ natural control many of those issues go away. It’s the promise of easily managed, clean, healthy hair that’s green and cheap too!
No, it’s not “icky”
Yes, your hair is clean
Yes, it works for all types of hair
Yes, you don’t need to wash as often
Yes, your hair becomes soft, silky and manageable…naturally!
I started the process while out boondocking in Borrego Springs and have been experimenting with it ever since. There are lots of resources and support groups out there on no-‘poo, but here’s my personal experience on how to do it:
1/ Be Ready For An Initial Adjustment Period
When you first stop using shampoo your hair will likely over-produce oils for a few weeks. It helps to be somewhere where your greasy head won’t really matter (i.e. boondocking!). It also helps to reduce the frequency of how often you shampoo before you start (so, for example if you used to shampoo daily, try once every other day, then once every 3 days). Tie your hair up, use a hat or whatever. This is the hard part, but it WILL pass. Expect at least a few weeks transition period, sometimes more.
2/ Prepare Your New Hair-Care Regime
The most common combo for no-‘poo is using baking soda (a very weak alkali which acts as a cleaner) and apple-cider vinegar (a mild acid which is an excellent natural conditioner). The process is an easy 2-step
- Clean – I put about a tablespoon of baking soda into the palm of my hand, add a touch of water to make a “paste” and then massage it thoroughly into my roots. Let sit and rinse.
- Condition – I mix one capful (~1 teaspoon) of apple cider vinegar in a cup of water and pour this on the ends/tips of my hair.
When you first start out you might be doing this 2-3 times/week. I’m currently down to about once/week, but I let my hair dictate when I it need to be washed.
3/ Self-Experiment To Find Your Grove
Everyone’s hair is different and you’ll need to experiment a little on how often and how much of everything you use. I have fine, blond hair which is naturally quite oily and I found the paste followed by a very dilute vinegar solution just on the tips of my hair was ideal. Some people use a more dilute baking soda solution (for drier hair), some people use vinegar all-over (for dry hair or folks with thicker, curlier hair), some people use a lemon rinse (especially nice for blonds since it helps bring out your highlights), some add specific herb oils (for aroma or health). And then there are those who use no product at all (water only). This site has great tips on what to do for your individual hair.
Finally there’s the trick of the egg -> an extra cleanser and conditioner all on its own (think of it like a protein-rich shampoo). It’s like a “special treat” for my hair and I use it about once a month. It makes my hair super-shiny-model-blond!
4/ Consider A Natural Boar Bristle Brush
Having fine hair one of the big additions that helped my no-‘poo transition was buying a natural boar bristle brush. Boar bristle helps to brush and distribute natural oils through your hair. I do a thorough brushing every evening and it really silkens out my hair. The high-end boar bristle brushes (e.g. Mason Pearson) are super-expensive, but you can get reasonably priced deals, like this one on Amazon.com. For fine hair 100% boar works great (it’s a very soft brush), but for thicker, curlier hair you’ll want a boar/nylon mix (which is stiffer).
And that’s really it. My hair has really loved this transition. It’s got a ton more body than before, has re-gained it’s natural soft curls and feels incredibly smooth and healthy. Lot’s of great resources out there for those looking to try it too:
Detailed Info On Going No-Poo
Forums And Support Groups
So, have you ever considered going poo-free?SPONSORED LINK:
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We LOooVE Comments, So Please Do
Paint Your Landscape says
I read about this some time ago and have been reluctant to give it a try because I have fine, thin hair and feel I have to add lots of product to give it any life. I think I may just give it a shot! I’m already making my own natural cleaning products, liquid hand soap, cleansing cream, body lotion and serums, so this seems to fit very nicely into the mix. Thanks Nina for giving me the nudge I needed. We RV’ers can be quite the earthy folks!
I was reluctant too (because of my fine hair), but I definitely feel it’s improved my hair body and health.
How interesting that you make all your own creams and cleansers. We’ll have to talk more about that when we meet-up again.
Hooray! I’m so glad it’s worked out for you. I’ll have to try the egg thing my self.
I totally concur – you just have to experiment and find what works for you. I get so many emails asking for advice on frequencies, amount, etc. It really does vary… even for me given the climate, day, diet, hormones, activity level, etc.
Yup, thanks to your inspiration 🙂
And I agree entirely. How exactly you go poo-free is definitely very individual. Even water hardness can have an effect. I’ve got the perfect combo right now, but I’m sure I’ll be changing it as we travel to different climates and water types.
WOW…this sounds wonderful. I also have read about it. Thanks for all the tips and links. When I get back from Ohio, I am try this. I do not wash my hair every day right now so I should be able to make the transition pretty easily. I have long thick hair so I will need to consult those tips before attempting this. Thanks again. Enjoy your week.
Do let me know how it turns out! It’s always interesting to see other people make the switch.
Linda Sand says
My system is even simpler. I simply wet a washcloth and use it to scrub me from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet. No soap/shampoo/ anything. I’ve been doing this three months now and am still loving it. I was fortunate to have no oily phase. I started with short, fine hair which has now grown out to be shoulder length. You can see early photos of my results here: http://sandcastle.sandsys.org/2012/02/no-product/
You know I read freetheanimal too, and immediately thought of that blog when I saw your comment. How interesting! I haven’t quite made the switch to no products at all, but may experiment with that a bit on the horizon.
Do you have any idea how this would work on color treated hear?
Should work just fine. The combo is actually alot less harsh than commercial shampoo products. Technomadia has been poo-free for 4 years and I know she henna-dyes here hair. Also the lady who wrote the page I linked to in my post dyes her hair. Have a read on their experiences.
jil mohr says
I have been nopoo or lopoo fro years but differently and because my haie is naturally curly and it is the “curly girl” method….i also have not put a comb or brush to my hair either (about for 2 years) I do not use a towel to dry it either…i use old t shirts and just squeeze the water out…my hair has never been as good as it is now….
Excellent! I have to agree that the less I do to my hair the better it feels.
Yay for you for sticking it out and seeing the results, your hair looks great!
I’m such a total wuss. Tried it in Borrego too, and went as long as a week and a half but just couldn’t stand the way it made my hair look and feel. I missed the salon-scent and feel from using quality hair products too much to give it up.
Sorry it didn’t work out for you! I found it took a while to figure out the exact combo of baking soda/vinegar to get a silky, smooth feel. Initially I was using too much vinegar which weighed down my (very fine) hair and caused it to look greasy before it’s due time. Once I discovered the dilute solution (just on the tips) I got the feel and look I was looking for. For scents you can experiment with essential oils…lots of lovely options there.
WOW! Your post brought back some old memories. I have used baking soda process for my hair, as well as the egg. However, I had not heard of using apple cider vinager as a conditioner – must try it. I have also used baking soda for toothpaste, egg and oatmeal for face scrub, beer is great to add shine to the hair, and mayonaise for very dry or chemically damaged hair. Love your post, as they are alway very formative.
I use baking soda on my teeth too! And yes, the mayonnaise mask is an old therapy which I’d totally forgotten about…gotta try that again !! Thanks for bringing it up.
Hi, Nina. Great post. I, like Jill above have been using curly hair products nopoo and lowpoo and am transitioning to my own products. For those that may not want to jump straight to the baking soda and egg mode, I’d recommend they look for natural products without sulfates, sulfates are what make the shampoos lather, but are also very harsh (they’re also used in detergents and other house cleaners). You can also start by mixing some natural products into your products, for example, adding lemon to conditioner. Also, for conditioning, you may want to try: avocado (for dry hair or ends), and aloe vera, and water with a few drops of lavender essential oil in a spray bottle works great to freshen curls (or add a wonderful smell to your hair). It’s fun to experiment and helps you find what works best for your individual hair. I’ve also been making my own all natural skin products. There are many yummy creams and oils you can make that use no animal products and are completely natural. I’m hoping to do more of that once Hector and I leave on our RV adventure (190 days from today).
Cheers so much for all the tips!!
VERY excited for your upcoming RV adventure. Hope we all get to meet on the road so the cuban boys can hang out together 🙂
Bonnie Sporn says
Hi Nina, through Google Search I found your blog today. What an interesting story!!! My name is Bonnie and I’m the publicist for my family’s hair brush company, Spornette International. We are a 3rd generation family run business and just celebrated our 60th year in the professional beauty industry. So thanks for using our DeVille boar round brush!!! I don’t know how you receive packages, but I’d love to send you a few more to try on your new soft hair 🙂 My grandfather started the business by traveling on train across the country to get our brushes in salons and stores and now my father travels (by plane) around the world! Some of our brushes are actually created in Hong Kong! Happy traveling! You can reach me with your info at email@example.com
How lovely to “meet” you on the blog and hear your story. I had no idea Spornette was a family business (makes me love it all the more)! I’ve been VERY happy with my Spornette De Ville boar bristle brush and would love to try some more. I’ll e-mail you my address.
I’d read about no-poo on another fulltimer’s blog and had intended to try it out but then forgot. LOL My hair is thick and heavy but even so it is not oily between my normal twice weekly hair washings. I suspect I wouldn’t have to wash it that often if I didn’t run and most of my sweating is running down from under that hot hat of hair. Thanks for all these details, I’ll give it a try. I never have understood why folks would want to dry their skin and scalp out with daily showers. How dirty can you possibly get in 24 hours?? 🙂
I totally agree. I’m not one for washing everyday either unless I’m really sweaty -> when we lived in Asia we didn’t have much of a choice, but in the RV (and especially here in the dry SW) it’s easy to go several days between showers. For the hair there are lots of folks who just rinse with water-only between “washes”. Might be an option for you.
I learned about nopoo from Technomadia too and tried it for about 8 months. I’m still trying to find a good balance for my thick frizzy hair. The frizziness hasn’t changed with the nopoo routine and it doesn’t look bad, but it doesn’t feel as soft as with shampoo and conditioner and I’ve been having dandruff issues that have gotten worse over time.
I went back on shampoo for the past couple weeks to get the dandruff under control before I go get it cut. I’m going to be living in my RV by the end of the month and I think part of my problem is my hair is so long and thick that cleaning my scalp is hard without the shampoo to coat it and make it easier to run my hands through. I wanted to cut it short to make cleaning it in the RV even easier and am hoping that nopoo will work better with it at that point, time will tell.
Hmmmm…don’t know if these tips will help, but I’ll throw out a couple of ideas
1/ I found I needed to get the baking soda right into my roots to get it working properly for me. It’s easy for my hair, but on some of the forums people use one of those ketchup bottles with the tip cut off so they can get the solution really into the roots.
2/ If your hair is still dry/frizzy you might want to try a much more dilute baking soda solution (mix with water in a bottle before you apply) and use more vinegar. Or use one of the oil masks (e.g. olive oil or coconut oil) -> In Asia alot of Indian women I know (with very thick hair) rub coconut oil in their hair before or after washing.
DO hope you get the right combo. I know for some people it can be tricky.
I keep reminding myself how much easier and cheaper it’ll be to shower on the road, it’s good motivation.
Robert Nuttmann says
Go all out – poo and soap free – who needs baths or showers. Think about how much more natural your skin would be after giving up bathing for six months.
Nobody said anything about giving up bathing. There’s a difference between using natural products to clean and not cleaning at all. Just saying.
Nina etal, you might be interested in this website: http://www.askannamoseley.com/
She has to be the cleanest person on earth, but she has some great ideas. Cue Tip to clean the tracks of my windows? Heck, I didn’t even know I had tracks! She has great tips about home made cleaning products, etc.
Cheers for the link! What an interesting site!
The Good Luck Duck says
I’ve been no-poo for almost a year. So much easier, so much cheaper, so much better! I use a baking soda solution in a spray bottle (I would say my hair is “normal”). My hair is short, so I don’t use a brush, but I comb it every day.
The spray bottle is a nice tip. Now that i’ve got the routine down I’m going to organize my products into some kind of bottle soon.
So if there’s no “poo” in it, is it a “sham”??? LOL.
This all sounds very interesting and I like the idea, but it also sounds like it’s really time-consuming and labor-intensive. For someone who exercises daily and lives in a hot country and needs to shower everyday, you think it’s possible to go poo-free?
Darn good question Sam. I tried to think back if I would have tried this when I lived in Hong Kong. It’s harder in that tropical heat especially when you’re sometimes showering twice a day just to keep sane, but I think it’s possible. Now that i’ve been doing it a while I find the whole process takes about the same time as a regular shampoo and conditioner. Just replace with baking soda and vinegar…in fact many folks pre-mix the solutions in a bottle and just apply them that way. If I went back to the tropics I’d definitely try to work it.
I’m trying it now. Feels strange after washing it so often with shampoo/conditioner, I’m only on day 7, doing it cold turkey, so to speak, and so far I’m not too disappointed…it’s quite oily but already better than 3 days ago when I couldn’t get a comb through it. I will not give up, thanks for the tips everyone.
Oh good job! Those first seven days are the toughest especially when you go cold turkey like that. DO let us know how it goes down the line.
Well, it’s 5 weeks now and my hair looks like an advertisement for a posh shampoo. The last time my hair felt this thick was when I was in my twenties. Much more volume, bounce and shine. I wash it once a week now, other times I just wet it in the shower with cool water. Now my girl’s are doing it by reducing the amount of shampoo drastically, i.e: A tablespoon in a 250ml bottle. My husband is amazed, especially as his bald patch appears to be growing back.
Thanks again, Petra
I am SO happy to hear it. I had exactly the same result…hair more full than it’s felt in years. Congrats on getting there!
Oh yes, forgot to say, I clean the hair with a level tablespoon full of B. soda in 250ml bottle of spring water, 3 drops of teatree oil and 2 drops of geranium essential oil. In the rinse, half, half of ACV and spring water, a couple drops of lavander. This works best for me.
Thanks for sharing your mix. Everyone has a slightly different mix that works for them (for example I use a very diluted ACV rinse) so it’s great to see what folks are doing to get others inspired.
Using spring water is also a good tip, especially for people in areas with hard water (hard water can really be a pain to work with) so thanks for including that too!
Yes, thankfully I live in a village with soft water. It used to be spring water but the village has expanded somewhat. Still, I found that using a liter of spring water for the final rinse made all the difference, my husband still can’t get over how much thicker and better my hair is…also saving approx. 30 €uro’s a month on hair products is a bonus too.
Is it okay to wash hair everyday with just water? I’m doing the baking soda/vinegar thing every 3-6 days, depending, but is it okay to wash everyday with just water?
Sure. I see no problem with that. Rinsing with water just takes out excess dirt and shouldn’t affect the natural oils. If it works for you that’s perfect. Nina
hi.i m in the second week of no poo,and my hair is horrible!!oily at the roots and brittle at the ends.now i m starting to doubt the method.:( even after i wash my hair with baking soda ,still doesn t feel really squeaky clean. when is going to get better?thanks
Sorry you’re having issues. The first two weeks are the worst so don’t get too discouraged. Sounds like your hair is kind of similar to mine, with oilier roots and drier ends. I would recommend a really thick paste used right at your roots (try sprinkling a tablespoon or so of undiluted baking soda directly into your roots and then massage it thoroughly in with a bit of water before a good rinsing. Do this twice if the first time doesn’t work). Then, use a dilute vinegar solution *just* on your tips (*not* on the roots). Also if you live in an area with hard water try rinsing with bottled water. The minerals in very hard water can interfere and leave deposits in your hair.
There are a ton more tips in the links too. Hope that helps!
Thanks for the advice. I washed it with lots of baking soda (i think 4 -5 spoons) twice and finally there s no grease in my hair!! My hair is quite long so maybe I wasn t using enough.I ll just have to experiment and maybe I don t need to use that much in the future (my hair does feel a bit dry but much better like this than all that grease,yak!)
So happy it worked! I’m like you in that my hair tends to produce alot of oil at the roots and I definitely found that I needed to get the Baking Soda right INTO the roots to get that squeaky clean feel. I would also highly recommend a Boar Bristle brush. Really helps to pull the oils out of the roots and into the rest of the hair (check the links in the post -> I use the one from Amazon.com). Your hair should also get better over time. The first 2 weeks it will over-produce oils like crazy. As you go on your oil production should start to reduce and stabilize.
Well, it’s been two and a half months, I posted a pic on my FB and lots of my friends and family were amazed. My daughter stopped shampooing around the same time as me and had no problems whatsoever, even in the first few weeks…her hair is naturally wavy, (and we didn’t know this) it looks marvellous. She just wets it. Her friend’s ask her what brand of hair care she uses, and they can hardly believe her when she tells them.
I still get oily after 5-6 days but it doesn’t look at all nasty, looks quite lush!
The husband is so glad, and with the money saved we can afford a better star hotel this year, lol
Take care x
Awesome! So happy to hear how well it’s worked for you!
I’ve been poo free for one month now and loving the results. if i wanted to do an hot oil treatment wrap using coconut oil and castor oil to promote hair growth, how do I wash out the oils without using any shampoo? will the baking soda do the job? and how much should i use? thanks.
I would use the same no-poo method I usually do (baking soda) and in the same amounts as for “regular” no-pooing. Sometimes it can take some “experimenting” to figure out exactly what works best for your hair, so try it and see how it turns out. If your hair is too dry then I’d use less baking soda the next time around.
I have a question because it sounds like your hair is similar to mine, except that mine is extremely long (almost to my waist). I started no poo about a week ago. I was washing daily before and started by using a baking soda wash (1 tbs. diluted in 1c. h20 in a spray bottle), and vinegar rinse (same measurements in a spray bottle as the bs). My hair became the most horrible, sticky bizarre texture, unbrushable, but not quite snarled, but not what I’d describe as greasy either. I decided to just let it go without washing for awhile and see what happened. Now it’s a greasy mess, but at least otherwise seems normal and brushable. I was thinking I would start washing weekly with a castile soap/coconut oil mixture and vinegar rinse. Do you have any experience with those products or did you have any problems with the bs?
I don’t have any experience with the products you mention, but when I first started out no-pooing I got that same “sticky” texture before I managed to sort it out. There are several things which I think contributed to it and this is how I solved it:
1/ Too Hard Water -> when I first got the “sticky” texture I was no-pooing in really hard water and this caused a mineral build-up in my hair. This is actually a common problem with hard water and lots of no-poo’ers run into it. Switching to bottled water while washing can help resolve this. Also doing an “egg wash” (#4 below) can help resolve it.
2/ Not Using Enough Baking Soda -> One thing I discovered early-on was that i need to use a really STRONG baking soda solution to get the grease properly out of my hair, especially at the roots. In fact I found that the best way to do this was to use the backing soda “straight” (no dilution) rubbed into my roots -> just pour a tablespoon or more into your hand, put a touch of water to paste it up, and rub into the roots. If one tablespoon isn’t enough try it again. I needed to do this more often in the beginning than I do now, but I still use the soda “straight” as I find that gives me the best squeaky clean feel.
3/ Using Too Much Vinegar -> I need a really DILUTE solution of vinegar and I only use it on the tips of my hair. Too much vinegar makes my hair feel heavy/greasy. You already look like you’re using a pretty dilute mix so that’s fine…just use it on your tips and not your roots.
4/ Use An Egg -> When I started and was no-pooing in hard water, I found that doing a egg-wash (washing w/ a whole egg and nothing else) got rid of that “sticky” feel. I still use an egg about once a month as a deep-conditioner since I like the feel so much.
Hope that gives you some ideas!
Hi again.I ve been poo-free for nearly 2 months now.My hair is still a mess, oily at the roots and dry at the ends.I don t know where I m going wrong.I m washing my hair once a week, with about 3 spoons of dry soda and rinse with diluted vinegar about 1/8.I tried both rinsing only the ends ,and rinsing the whole head.It doesn t make a difference.I m also seriously considering other methods, such as pure castile soap. I ve been on holiday till now and that s why I could keep my hair messy, but it s coming to an end and I really can t go like this. Anyway I might already get some funny looks from the supervisors at my daughter’s nursery and my parents in law.I would stare too!!!!
Any ideas anyone?I m open to anything.I ll give it 2 more weeks.:((
(My daughter s hair is amazing since she s not using nothing,shiny and softy.)
Does your hair never feel “clean” (even right after no-pooing?). Or is it just gettting greasy really fast?
If your hair is greasing up real fast then it may just be a case of no-pooing more often.
However if your hair feels like it never gets really clean or it feels like you’ve got a “sticky” or “waxy” build-up then it could be the result of too hard water. This is a common problem for no-pooers. Baking Soda, unlike shampoo, does not contain detergents so if your water is hard minerals can build-up as insoluble salts in your hair causing a “grayish waxy build-up”. This happened to me in the beginning and there are 2 things which worked:
1/ Doing an “egg wash” – washing with an egg really got my hair loose and free from build-up the first time I tried it. I like the feeling so much I still use it as a deep-conditioning treatment once a month or so.
2/ Using distilled water – once you’ve got the first waxy build-up off then try no-pooing with distilled water.
Another tip I’ve heard is to use lemon or lime juice as a conditioner instead of ACV (citrus helps break up mineral deposits).
Hope that helps.
I have been trying the no poo method for a week now..the first day I usd 1 tabsp of bs with 250ml water and no asv rince…..loved it!! I was able to brush my hair with out any issues, then 3 days later used 1 tsp of the bs due to my scalp feeling iritated after the first wash (I have sentive skin). and used a half cap of asv with 250ml of water all over my head.. this was a big mistake!!! my hair was plasterd to my head the next dayit was so bad….so I washed again with just bs this time, It was a bit better but it was still really greasy. So I finaly went out and bought Dr bronners magic soap to see if this would work.Tthen I stumbled on this page to see of there was anything I could do b4 I tried this soap, that I bought today..and there it was. I decied that I would put up with my scalp in order to stay with the no poo method and try using 2 tblsp of the bs with no rince..results are sooooo much better, my hair isnt as greasy and feels cleaner I only have one problem now ,my ends are dry and it feels like I hve a film on my hair.could this be due to not using the asv rince ? or next time should I just use it on my ends to see it this helps… Thanks Gail
Some people are very sensitive to ACV rinse. My own hair only needs a VERY dilute solution and I only use it on the TIPS (not my scalp). Sounds like you have the same sensitivity so for your hair I’d stick with the concentrated BS and then just use a very dilute ACV rince on your ends. You can also try lemon instead (simply slice a lemon in half and rub it into the ends of your hair).
As for the “film” do you, by any chance, have very hard water in your area? I find the “film” forms really easily in hard water and is basically just mineral deposits in the hair. I’d recommend using distilled water to wash or trying the “egg wash” from my post. Both methods have worked really well for me.
Thanks for getting back to me so soon.. I’m not sure if we have hard water, but by the sounds of it we may.. I did try the Dr Bronners soap and it solved my problem of getting rid of my excess greas. that was Friday night… I havent had to wash my hair till today. I used 1tbs of the bs again with hot water and let it desolve I also let it sit on my head throughout my whole shower and then rinced it off at the end of my shower. And it’s not greasy I did use the asv wash on my ends this time, I still have that film on my hair.so I could be using too much bs or we defintly have hard water. I will try just a bit less bs,next timeto see if that makes a difference. if it’s still an issue I will try the lemmon, to see if it helps thanks so much.
Hi, I am going to start using the baking soda wash and apple cider vinegar rinse. My boyfriend is also looking forward to trying this method as he cannot use regular shampoo. I have a few questions for my hair…I use product in my hair – (mousse) – unfortunately, I need something in my hair to give it some life – so, as far as baby steps here – when starting this new regimen, should I give my hair a final washing with shampoo and conditionioner the last day and skip the mousse (to completely clean the hair) and then start the bs and acv the following day? Also, I keep wondering (and have not seen anyone ask this question on the blogs I’ve been reading) – will the bs and the acv really remove the residue of the mousse or product that I use? Can this new system be used everyday? Thank you. 🙂 Jean
There are definitely folks who still use products in their hair, even when No-Pooing. I believe that the BS & ACV should clean the hair adequately, even with products you’re using. Only way to know for sure is give it a try and see.
Hi Nina, with the egg that you use to condition your hair, how do you use it? sorry might sound like a silly question. Just do you just beat it up and then put in hair and wash out after a certain time? Im also guessing you would need to wash it out with cooler water? thanks 🙂
Yup, I just beat it up, massage it into my hair, lets it sit for a few mins and then rinse out thoroughly. I use warm water for all of it (don’t worry, your bath water won’t be hot enough to cook them egg…it would have to be boiling for that). I basically treat the egg exactly like a shampoo…massage in, sit, rinse off. It feels really weird the first time you do it, but your hair comes out smooth and beautiful!
Thanks Nina, so I noticed you said do it once a month, but is the egg deep conditioning treatment something you could do every week or is that to much for the hair to handle. Also just wanted to ask, Im my third day into the no poo, my first day I washed and my hair was good, second day really oily so by today I really needed to wash with the baking soda, I did one tablespoon and it still felt oily so I did one more in 250mls warm water and it felt way better, still a tad oily but feels soft, but I was wondering I did the apple cider for the ends but do you have to do the apple cider, I felt maybe it wasnt needed for me? Also I noticed when washing today, my head felt really soapy is that just residue from shampooing coming off the scalp?? Thank you, sorry for asking so many questions 🙂 I usually wash my hair everyday since the age of 13, so its going to take time getting use to this, lets hope I can keep it up as Im job hunting at the moment :/
I’ll try to answer your questions based on what I’ve seen with my own hair:
1/ Egg Treatment – I think you could do it as often as your hair supports it. I find once a month is enough for me (it’s a fairly “rich” treatment), but you’ll just have to experiment to see how it feels for you.
2/ Using No ACV – You can definitely ditch the ACV if it’s not working for you. I’ve actually found I’m using the ACV less and less (last couple of times I didn’t use any at all) and I like the way it works for me. I’ve been experimenting with using a lime/lemon rinse and I seem to like that better.
3/ Oiliness – Since you’re used to washing your hair daily it will DEFINITELY get oily really fast. Your hair is used to over-producing oils so that’s just what is going to happen and it doesn’t stop just because you go no-poo. The only way I know to get over this is to “live with it” for several days, slooowly extending the interval between washes to allow your hair to even out its oil-production. It’ll be very oily and nasty during this “transition” period, but it will eventually sort itself out. I currently wash about once a week.
4/ Soapy Feeling Hair – I would think it’s residue being washed off. If your hair feels clean and smooth afterwards then that’s your answer.
Hope that helps!
Hi Nina – I just found this post. Totally interesting. I’m thinking about going poo-free once I run out. What do you do when you get your haircut? Do you let them wash your hair?
I haven’t had a professional haircut in over a year (I am WAY overdue), but when I do go I will tell them not to wash my hair. Most hairdressers can just wet and cut.
of course – that makes sense.
I just found out about ‘poo free and think it may be my answer to my scalp issues. My only problem is that I have pretty long, very fine, very thick, super curly hair. However, I haven’t been able to find any shampoos, dandruff or otherwise that keeps my scalp from itching all day every day. However, my hair is always super dry and frizzy. I live in a high humidity area. Does the dry frizzy hair usually need the ACV rinse or would it do better without? Also, do you recommend washing with bs more frequently when you first switch and then backing off as needed? Thank you for your article. I can’t wait to try, though I am a little nervous about it. I have oil issues as is.
I definitely think dry, frizzy hair will benefit from the ACV rinse. In fact, for your type of hair I’d probably recommend a fairly weak BS wash followed by a stronger ACV rinse. You’ll need to experiment a bit to find the right balance, but that’s where I’d start.
As for how often to do it, most people will wash more often in the beginning, but it depends a bit on how your hair reacts. My hair originally produced alot of excess oils, so I had to go through a greasy period, and I decided just to push through it -> let my hair go to the point where I couldn’t stand it anymore before I washed. It was a hard core approach, but made the whole transition pretty fast (within a few weeks I was adapted). Other people take it slower or just naturally transition easier. You’ll just have to see how your hair does.
Good luck with everything!
I recently started doing this, and instead of getting oily my hair has gotten very dry! Is this normal for the transition period?
If your hair is getting dry I’d advise cutting back on the baking soda (using a much more dilute solution) and upping the vinegar. If that doesn’t do it I’d look at adding in some oils, but start with an adjustment of the ratios and see if that helps.
Susan Hinds says
I tried this for a few months….the first month was great. By the second month my hair turned to straw. I do color my hair (70% gray) so I guess that may have something to do with it.
Sorry to hear that. I’ve run into dry hair a few times in the past year and for me it’s always been one of two issues -> either I used too much baking soda, or I left it in too long (and/or didn’t rinse it out well enough). Fixing those issues fixed my dryness and gave back that silky smooth feel.
I’m also a huge fan of the egg wash. Whenever I’ve been in areas with very hard water (which tends to cause a mineral buildup in my hair), the egg wash gets it all out and back to smooth.
Just a few ideas if ever you decide to try it again.
sue hinds says
When you do the egg wash, do you use it instead of the baking soda or before? I have a water softener and I always rinse my hair very well. I was putting the baking soda on (1 TB) my scalp undiluted, only moistened with a little water in my hand. I will try mixing it in a bottle with water first. I did notice I had a lot less of my hair falling out when using the baking soda method vs all my $$$ shampoos/conditioners. I guess it would be better to have dried hair than keep losing my hair 🙂
Yes, for dry hair I’d advise mixing the baking soda with water in a bottle. My hair is on the oilier side and tends to like the baking soda “paste”, but some people prefer a dilute solution (just a small amount of baking soda diluted in a bottle). The naturally drier your hair, the less concentrated you want the baking soda.
As for the egg I use it instead of everything. So, just whip up the egg, massage it into the hair, let it sit…and rinse. That’s it. Nothing else needed! The egg acts as a shampoo & conditioner in one. It feels a little odd going on your head, but I’m always amazed how good it feels afterwards.
Carrie Rhoades says
Thanks for all the great “no poo” info. I have tried it before but did not stick with it, couldn’t make it past the transition period. I feel ready to give a more whole hearted approach. Love the egg tip, I have not done that! My question is. I am leaving to go camping, do you feel it is safe enough to “no poo” in a stream?
Hope your second try works out! As for doing “no poo” in a stream, I guess my response would be “probably not”. Good camping practice says you should do all washing & such away from running streams. I don’t think baking soda has any bad effects, but I’d still try and keep it out of the streams.
Brandie from NJ says
Baking soda is a natural vegetation killer because it makes the soil too alcoline (sp?) so I second the no stream thought. I have been no poo for 6 months and I love it. I noticed that my hair has never grown past my shoulder blades in about 10 years – my no poo journey is my effort to change that – step one for me grow out my natural hair color, step 2 cut 4 inches off to help the grow out period then begin no poo. Some weeks all I do is use just water in the shower. Some tips – abandon products! You need the chemicals to clean the chemicals, embrace your natural texture, the less you insist on fighting nature the better it’ll work. Coconut oil is my deep conditioner and olive oil mixed with tea tree oil helped me get through the greasy first month. I was using that to treat a nasty flaky scalp, now 6 months later I don’t need the tea tree oil because my flakes are gone! Last tip I use a picnic mustard squirt bottle for my baking soda and water combo and only put it on my scalp, my vinegar rinse and my lemon juice rinse go in a squirt bottle and only get applied to the middle and ends. Great article thanks for sharing your journey!!
Excellent set of tips! Thanks so much for sharing your experience. I’m approaching a year and a half of no poo and I still love it. Like you I feel my hair has gotten healthier and healthier. This is definitely a permanent change for me.
I’m trying everything and all the combinations. I bought a gallon of distilled water and that helped some, but my hair still feels greasy and has a film. I have medium length fine hair. I tried the egg, the distilled water, reducing the baking soda and only putting the paste on my scalp, and diluting the vinegar and only putting that on my ends. I’ve been doing this for a few months now. I’ve tried coconut oil when my scalp gets flaky but its so greasy for days. My scalp benefits from the tea tree and I mix honey as well as my conditioner. My main problem is that my hair looks greasy and has a film I can see when I use a comb. It gets tiny knots and I’ve been pulling out lots of hair just from brushing. I have been committed to succeeding here, but I’m almost at the end of my rope. Are you saying I have to buy a $2.50 gallon of spring or distilled water for the rest of my life if I have hard water?
Please help if you can.
Sorry to hear it’s been so hard for you. If hard water is your main problem then I’d advise installing a water softening system in your home. That will actually help all your water-usage (pipes, laundry) etc. This is far less expensive than buying bottled water, and you’ll be able to take advantage of the other benefits too. I’ve found using the paste and soft water works very well for me.
Amy Signs says
I am struggling with a lot of buildup. I have been doing this for 2 weeks. I have hair that sounds similar to yours. it is finally getting less greasy but I touch it and there is a buildup on it that feels gross still. I rinse a lot. I haven’t been able to go more than 2 days without washing because I was an every day washer and it gets super greasy. I am wanting to know what to do about the buildup. I really want this to work but some days I just want nice hair back 🙁
The grease and buildup may be connected. It took a good 2-3 weeks for my grease-production to die down, but I went pretty hard core and just stopped the daily washing and stuck it out. Extending the time between washing was hard, but really, really helped reduce the buildup.
The other common reason for buildup is hard water which leaves deposits in the hair. Some people have to install softeners in their water line or switch to bottled water. Personally I find doing an “egg wash” (I.e. Massaging a whole egg into my scalp) gets rid of the buildup. Whenever I’m in hard water areas I do the egg thing every few weeks. Egg is a great conditioner too.
Thank you so much for this post! I just found and read it today. I am on week 3 and to be honest super discouraged because my hair feels awful. Reading that it make take a week or 2 longer to see the benefits is such an encouragement! Thanks to you and the other links through this article, I am going to stick it out! 😀 So thanks!
It definitely takes a bit of time for your hair to adapt, but it’s wonderful when it finally does. I’m still poo-free and loving it. Can’t ever see going back to regular shampoo.
Joanne Giffra says
I was getting very discouraged at week 4. My short, oily hair was in heavy, waxy clumps on my head. Before I gave up I googled no poo failures and found a suggestion for mixing the baking soda with boiling water in advance rather than using the paste made in the shower. For the first time in weeks my hair felt squeaky clean as I rinsed it out this morning. Here is the link that I found: http://inashoe.com/2009/05/shampoo-week-11-hard-water-epiphany/
Since my motivation to go “no poo” was to see if quitting shampoo cured a scalp irritation, which it did (!), I really did not want to give up.
Maybe this same suggestion will help someone else.
Excellent tip! Thanks so much for sharing it. Hopefully it will help others out who’ve experienced the same issues.
Lucy Roth says
When I was a little girl my grand mother would put a raw egg n mayo on my
Hair 1 a month. My hair was so long she also put grape vine in my hair the liquid from the vine
Yup, good quality Mayo is just olive oil and a raw egg (with a few, minor other ingredients). Both great for conditioning hair. Makes perfect sense.
I apologize for the long post in advance. I have been no poo for about 3 months now and I had yet to have that ‘Hallelujah’ moment. My hair was terrible! It was heavy gunky/waxy I didn’t have the smooth shiny beautiful hair everyone was talking about after the transition period. Now I know I was done with the transition period bc my hair was different from the greasy mess it was in the beginning. I was looking around to figure out what the heck was wrong before I gave up on no poo I didn’t really want to go back I wanted to stick it out. I didn’t really keep good track of what I did to my hair but was trying all kinds of stuff from just water, to increasing my BS, to switching between WV and ACV and increasing and decreasing the amts of vinegar. UGH! I FINALLY found what was wrong, HARD WATER! My husband said that our area is a 10 out of 10 for hard water (used to work for our city water dept) Through all my research I had found that if you have hard water the BS doesn’t dissolve in the water and therefore doesn’t clean your hair the way it should. So Friday night I boiled my amount of water that fits in my bottle( plus a little more bc you will lose some the evaporation. You also want to use a pan that is bigger bc when you add the BS it will fizzle and you don’t want a big mess) for about 10 mins. I then added a few tablespoons of BS and watched it fizzle. Once the water has cooled you can pour it into your bottle and voila! Use it like you have been using your BS mix and follow with vinegar. I finally noticed the slight lather everyone was talking about and when my hair was dry HALLELUJAH I had beautiful, smooth, shiny, awesome hair!!!! It is now Monday, usually I have to try some cute braid or some other type of up hair, but I have my hair half up and it is still gunk/wax free and beautiful.
Awesome! I’m so glad you finally figured it out. Hard water is really difficult for no poo and you get exactly that weird waxy buildup that you talked about. I’m so happy the boiling helped.