Saturday, August 23, 2008

The No-Poo Hair Solution

Hey, y'all, I'm de-pooing! My hair, that is. I've stopped using shampoo and conditioner, but never fear: I still wash my hair. I just use baking soda and apple cider vinegar (ACV) instead.

Why ditch the 'poo? The two biggies:

1--To avoid harmful/toxic ingredients in many shampoos and conditioners

2----To achieve a natural oil balance (your scalp--like your boobs if you're breastfeeding--works on demand, meaning that it makes as much oil as is required. Shampoos strip your hair of oil, so if you wash frequently your scalp is constantly trying to make up for what's stripped by cranking up the oil production... which causes you to have to shampoo more often. See where I'm headed here? No-pooing gently corrects the problem over time and returns your scalp to a natural oil-producing cycle.)

And I bet I save a ton of money, too, considering I was buying a chemical-laden and high-end vegan brand of shampoo/conditioner (Pureology). $50 for a pair of bottles! Ow, my wallet.

This is just Day One for me, but my hair smells and feels great! (Don't worry, the ACV rinses right out and there is no lingering smell.) It's shiny, full, and not oily in the least. But don't freak out if you have a detox period during which your mane is less than marvelous--it's totally normal and not permanent.

HOW TO DO NO 'POO: I simply made a paste from baking soda and water in a refillable plastic bottle, and in another plastic spray bottle I used a 1:4 ratio of ACV to water. A good scrub/massage with hot water and the baking soda paste helps dislodge any gunk. Then I liberally sprayed my hair with ACV, let it sit for a few minutes while I went about my other shower business, and rinsed my hair with cold water to help keep things shiny and healthy. I'll probably do the ACV 2-3 times a week and the baking soda paste slightly less often (I've heard it can be a bit drying). If you want a nice smell, consider adding small amounts of essential oil to the mix.

For photos of other no-pooers, click here. To see one woman's no-poo photo progression, click here. By the by, the No 'Poo Community on LJ is a great source of information and support if you're thinking about taking the plunge or are just curious.

I'll be back with an update in a while. In the meantime, let us know if you're taking the no-poo challenge!


Anonymous said...

I've been doing no-poo for several months. For awhile, things were going badly and my hair was a stick, icky mess. I finally figured out the problem was our hard water, made adjustments accordingly, and things have gotten much better since.

To-Fu said...

What adjustments did you end up making? I've heard of so many different variations on the standard baking soda/ACV method, so I'd love to hear your recipe for success.

la femme natale said...


I've been poo-free for a couple of months now, and I've never loved my hair more! I do use a non-toxic conditioner to moisturize my hair. I've been thinking about letting the natural oils take over. But the bottom line is that this is sooo good for my curly hair. I never knew just how curly and gorgeous it really is!!!! YAY NO POO!


you can read about my experience on my blog at


Titilayo said...

Hi i just came across your site through another blogger following my blog, i'll really like to know what ACV is, thanks.

Nicole said...

definitely taking the no-poo challenge! taking it one day at a time and hopefully it won't be a complete disaster - chronicled here