hair

How to wash your hair without shampoo

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by Tsh

Tsh is the founder of this blog and lives in Bend, Oregon with her husband and 3 kids. Her latest book is Notes From a Blue Bike, and believes a passport is one of the world's greatest textbooks.

Right now, I just may gross you out when I tell you something: I haven’t used shampoo or conditioner in three months.

Please don’t unsubscribe to this site.

Truly, I haven’t touched a bottle of either, and I don’t plan on using them anytime in the foreseeable future. My hair is as clean as a whistle, and to be honest, I don’t know if it’s looked this healthy in years.

A few months ago, I started reading around the web about going shampoo-free, and I was intrigued. But like many of you right now, I was also perplexed. Why would you bother? What’s the harm in using shampoo? And isn’t your hair greasy and smelly?

So I read for a few weeks, just taking in info, and one night, after reading about the shampoo-free concept on like the twelfth blog I enjoy, I decided to give it a shot. If I hated it, then no harm — I’ll just keep to my shampooing ways.

But if I liked it as much as everyone else seemed to, then I’ve found a frugal, easy, toxic-free way to care for my hair. So I took the plunge.

How to wash your hair without shampoo or conditioner | Simple Mom

Why go ‘poo-free?

Before I go in to the how of no shampoo, it’s a good idea to tell you the why. There’s a lot of valuable information on the Internet, so I’m not going to reinvent the wheel. But here are the reasons that spoke most to me.

1. Shampoo is a detergent.

Shampoo cleans your hair, but it also strips it of all the healthy oil your body naturally produces. These oils protect your hair and keep it soft and strong.

Shampoo was only introduced in the early 20th century — before that, people relied on good-old soap, which can wash hair just as well without removing important oils. But soap doesn’t work well in alkaline water, and when water in civilized areas started becoming more mineral-heavy (read: alkaline), soap became a challenge. It made the scales on hair stand up, making it weaker and rougher. So shampoo was introduced, marketed with its only benefit of working in both hard and soft water.

Detergent is harsh. I doubt we’d use the same type of stuff to wash our bodies as we would our dishes, but that’s essentially what we’re doing with shampoo.

shampoo bottles

2. Shampoo has all sorts of chemicals.

Our family typically goes out of our way to not eat boxed chemicals disguised as food — we stick to the natural, whole foods that either come from the ground or once ate things that came from the ground. But skin is our largest organ, and it’s extremely porous — substances can easily enter the bloodstream directly through our skin, and they can stay for a long time.

Since we try to avoid food that has unpronounceable ingredients, we thought it only made sense to adhere to the same standards for the stuff we slather on our skin. Since this includes shampoo, we sought out an alternative.

Most shampoos also contain mineral oil, which is a byproduct when gasoline is distilled from crude oil. It’s added to shampoo (along with hundreds of other products) to thickly coat the strands, giving hair an artificial shine. And since it can’t absorb into skin, like the other ingredients, it acts as a barrier on our scalp, preventing oil from being released — thus requiring more shampoo to strip away the grease. This is why the more shampoo you use, the more you need.

3. Shampoo is an unnecessary cost.

So because shampoo isn’t really necessary, using it creates this cycle that requires a dependence on the stuff, along with other hair products. In order to combat the stripping of protective oils, we need an artificial protectant called conditioner. And because now my hair is coated with unnatural substances, it requires more unnatural substances to keep it styled, strong, and workable. The list of hair pomades, waxes, gels, mousses, and detanglers available could take up pages on this site.

Since we’re a frugal family, seeking a simple life, it made sense to eliminate something we didn’t truly need.  We’d rather spend our money elsewhere.

There are plenty of other reasons — shampoo caused my husband’s dry, itchy scalp, and we had another added expense of buying a tear-free type of shampoo for our kiddos. While this wasn’t a life-or-death situation for us, by any means, it made more and more sense for us to give a shampoo-free life a shot once we read about it.

How to go ‘poo-free

nopoohair
No, this isn’t yours truly in a police line-up — it’s my hair today, a day after rinsing in baking soda and vinegar.

I don’t like writing doom and destruction on this blog — I’d rather give you useful, practical information that might make your life simpler. So that’s enough on the why not to do something — here are helpful tips for how you can give going ‘poo-free a shot.

Baking soda is your friend

0714_baking_sodaBaking soda works wonders on hair, along with its other many household helps. It’s gentle, it’s the weakest alkaline, and it very gently clarifies hair from chemical buildup.

Like many natural cleaners, the recipe isn’t static — it can be tweaked to suit your needs. The standard amount for hair care is one tablespoon of baking soda to one cup of water. Those with curly or thicker hair might need a bit more baking soda, and those with thin or fine hair might need less. Experiment, and see what works for you.

I use a simple 8-ounce squeeze bottle, pour in a tablespoon of baking soda with a funnel, then fill up the rest with water from the kitchen sink. I give it a good shake to dissolve the baking soda, and it’s ready to be used.

In the shower, I soak my hair with water, then I squeeze a bit of the baking soda mixture on my scalp, starting at the crown. I massage it in as I go, squeezing a bit more here and there, concentrating mostly on the scalp. I include my hair as well, but since most of the oils originate from the scalp itself, the hair will naturally get cleaned once the scalp is clarified.

After a few minutes, I rinse it out, just like I would shampoo.

For my husband and I combined, this amount will last us about a week or week and a half. He has fairly short hair, and mine is just below my ears.

Apple cider vinegar is your next friend

apple-cider-vinegar-1Apple cider vinegar is a mild acidic, working well to counteract the baking soda, and thus acts as a great replacement for conditioner. It detangles the hair folicles, seals the cuticle, and balances the hair’s pH balance.

A little goes a very long way, just like the baking soda. The standard recipe is also one tablespoon apple cider vinegar to one cup water. For this, I use an old conditioner bottle, and fill it with the vinegar and water via funnel, then finish it with a shake.

My hair tends to rest a little on the oily side naturally, so I don’t use much of this. I pour a little on just the ends of my hair, let it rest for a few seconds, then rinse it out.

And that, from start to finish, is my current hair care routine.

Other tips

• You might have a transition period that lasts from a few weeks to a few months, where your hair reacts with excess oil to the lack of shampoo. This is perfectly normal. It’s used to having its oils stripped, so it might take time for the oil to stop producing so heavily in protest. My transition period only lasted about two weeks, and it wasn’t any big deal, really.

• I hear that eventually, you can wean off baking soda and vinegar all together, relying only on water in the shower to remove dirt and oil. I haven’t gotten there yet.

• If you find that your hair is too oily (after the transition period), try using less vinegar, or not using it all together. Some people also use lemon juice instead of vinegar as their acidic clarifier.

• If your hair feels too dry, use less baking soda, or try using honey instead of vinegar.

• I don’t need anything else for my hair. I stopped using pomade, which I previously used religiously to cut the frizzies. I do use Hair Butter, just to keep it smooth and supple (I also use this as my facial moisturizer—I LOVE this stuff). My hair is amazingly pliable, and can hold styles without my needing to do much of anything. I’m thrilled with the results!

• We also use this mix on our kiddos’ heads, though we only use it once a week or so. Sometimes we’ll even go two weeks, since their scalps don’t really produce much oil at this age. We clean more ketchup and oatmeal out than we do oil.

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Update: Almost two years after this post, I wrote an update: do I still use this method?

A second update: This post is the most visited post on The Art of Simple. I’m honored that you might find something useful here! Thank you for reading. However, I’m unable to respond to the many, many comments here, so please know that while I read each one, unfortunately I just don’t have the time to respond. I’m leaving comments open, however, so that other readers can chime in, if they like!

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Comments

  1. This is so interesting to me! I admit, it does sound a little crazy but I use shampoo every day and I feel like my hair is always greasy, so I may just try this! Thanks for the great info!
    .-= Samantha @ Mama Notes´s last blog ..Body After Baby Details: Mr. Linky =-.

    • As a hairdresser, let me speak up against this industry.
      First of all, Vidal Sassoon changed this industry for the better with his inventive, creative cutting skills, but he also commercialised hair shampoo globaly.
      Prior to Sassoon women would shampoo hair once a week, usually before going out on a Saturday nite. He pushed that you must shampoo every day.
      We now have a generation of people with scalp problems due to chemicals in shampoo.
      Going natural makes a lot of sense , but if you really can’t get yourself to do it try watering down your commercial shampoo – mix 1/4 of straight shampoo to 3/4 of hot water, shake well and use.
      It will clean better then straight shampoo and distribute evenly and you will get four bottles out of one.
      Remember hairdressers make most of their money out of selling products and doing chemical work that in most cases is totally unnecessary

      • avatar
        Kristina says:

        Thank you for this reply. I have been no poo for over a year and have some scalp problems. Mostly flakes in between my bs days (once or twice a week depending on how my hair looks..). Recently I found out that the bs wasn’t dissolving and have been using very warm water and letting the water get clear in stead to see if that made a difference and it hasn’t.
        I’m honestly afraid to go to a hairdresser because the handful I have talked to about this (including the eco/organic salon) think I’m nutso to be doing this to my head. :\

        • Kristina,

          You can try adding in some tea tree oil into your apple cider vinegar if you use that and or honey :)

          also putting pure aloe vera gel on your scalp daily until it heals will help the try scalp and any itchies. You have to get the aloe gel in the food section (not the after sun processed kind) 100% aloe gel that needs to be refridgerated after it is eaten

        • I heard one woman uses the vinegar to rinse the bs out, she did not wash it out and then put the vinegar on. It gave it a foaming action that help break down the bs and help it wash out better, then rinsed it all off together. You might try that. And always remember to shake bs well b4 using.

        • avatar
          Samurai says:

          When I started going poo free I would get flakes as well. Putting a bit (1/2 tsp or so) of brown sugar in the baking soda mix helps fight flakes!

          • Also, applying pure peppermint oil to the scalp can help eliminate itchy, dry, dandruff heads. It balances the pH of the scalp and promotes hair growth while stimulating the scalp. Love the cool tingly feeling, plus it makes you hair smell fresh and minty.

          • Coconut oil! It solves all the scalp issues you may have. I have been no ‘poo for over a year and I, too, had flakes. I put some coconut oil on my scalp and ends of my hair every now and again, no issues.

        • A year ago I had serious scalp troubles, red red red scalp with bad flakes, tried every thing, tar, blue, desonex, stopped all that and went with sensitive skin dove bar soap and never looked back, just happened to have that dove because the doctor recommended I change soaps because of the flaky spot on my for arms, and those went away too…good luck

          • My daughter has had ezcema her whole life (she’s 24 now). After countless medications, lotions, creams, etc., I happened to discover Coconut Oil potions on Pinterest. In less than a week, her red, itchy skin is not a problem! I’m curious if it would work as a scalp mask treatment. Any thoughts?

          • avatar
            Doodledaddy says:

            You might want to remember that Dove does contain some harsh detergent(s). These are what we are all trying to avoid using, and the purpose for this thread having begun.

        • I dissolve my baking soda first in boiling water, pouring slowly, as it foams up. When it cools, I add it to my shampoo squirt bottle. The baking soda dissolves better, and the boiled water softens my hard water that I have. :D Try that!

        • You’re not nuts. You’re taking care of yourself, without chemicals. It may take a while to recover from chemicals. Everything that touches your skin (and scalp) can be found in every cell of the body within 7 – 26 seconds. Chemicals wreak havoc on your system. Flaky scalp, like other skin issues, often have associated with them some common factors such as anger issues (repressed anger has to come out somewhere) and allergies or intolerances (dairy being the worst offender). Try eliminating dairy from your diet for a month and see if that helps, as well as sugar and artificial sweeteners. Also try something like yoga or meditation or just sitting quietly for 10 minutes a couple times a day, undisturbed, and not giving attention to thoughts or concerns. Health, and healthy scalps, start from the inside. I hope you find this useful and find some relief.

          • CiCi, i know this is an old comment, but hopefully you’ll read it,
            “everything that touches your scalp can be found in every cell of the body within 7-26 seconds” that’s fascinating! Where did you read this information? Is there a research i could read? If I could find the source, i would have a really strong argument against chemicals on our skin! Thank you

        • I have the T zone type of skin, oily in some places, dry in others. Well my hair is the same way. I have thick, naturally wavy to curly hair. On the scalp part, it gets oily fast, but the rest of my hair can feel dry and frizzy sometimes. I don’t wear alot of makeup so I’m not a high maintenance woman, but wow my hair drives me crazy with its dual problems!

        • You might try straight vinegar three times a week. Does not have to be ACV, any vinegar will do, the white one leaves less odor. You can use a medicine glass and eye dropper to apply it and massage it in your scalp. Leave it on for a few minutes, and procede with whatever washing technique you use next (careful with eyes).

        • I have been using equal parts coconut oil and full-leaf aloe vera for about six months. My hair dresser is so impressed with my hair that she is trying it too!

      • I am a hairdresser as well and I use the ‘no-poo’ method. I felt the need to respond to Dairos’ post that hairdressers make most of their money from products and unnecessary chemical services. This is not true! Most hairdressers make a very small commission off of any products sold and if they are worth their salt they would never try to load you down with a bunch of products you don’t need.

        • I just recently started my ‘poo free journey and I am bringing my two toddler boys along with me. My oldest son, who will be 3 next week, has a mohawk. He absolutely LOVES his “sharp hair”. I have been looking into making his hair gel with more natural products since we are on a healthier, more environmentally friendly quest. My biggest question is the no ‘poo method going to work to remove all the gel out of his hair?

          • Hi Jessica,
            Baking Soda is the perfect thing to remove the build up of gel out of your sons hair.
            It has actually been recommended for men to use Baking Soda at least once every 2 weeks to clean up the build up of wax/gels & hair products.

          • Hi,

            Had to respond when I read your note. Maybe a bit late but what works like a charm to get a mohawk straight is to put in soap and let that dry up. Just make the hair a little bit wet and then rub a soap bar (natural green soap for instance)on it, and style it the way you like. Ones its dry, it gets rock hard. Easily rinsed out, just don’t walk in the rain:)

          • Try using full-leaf aloe vera as the gel. You could probably dilute it a little. My short hair looks spiked but I don’t use anything but coconut oil and aloe vera.

        • avatar
          Kimberly says:

          I am also a hair dresser and I agree. I have done hair for well over 6 years. I’ve worked in salons where I did not get a penny off of product sales. I would recommend products that I honestly felt would be of service to a client. I have never once recommended a product that I didn’t stand behind 100%. Most salons do not give you a large commission off of product sales-a lot don’t give you anything from product sales. So that information is both incorrect and misleading. It also makes hair dressers look bad.
          I have not tried the “poo-free” method, but I am always up for new ways to go live a more “organic” lifestyle..and if I save a few dollars in the meantime..even better! I am certainly going to give it a go!

      • avatar
        Gianna Cunningham says:

        Hi Dario, Thanks for your honest info. I well remember when Sassoon began his global campaign. In the last few years, age as caught up with me. I now have fine, curly hair, which needs its greys touched up every few weeks. I have so many volumising, anti-frizz, and super-hold potions, but my hair still looks and feels dry and frizzy. I’m at my wit’s end, so am going to give the no-shampoo regimen a whirl. What have I got to lose? Incidentally, my elderly friend, still with a beautiful crop of thick, silver hair, went shampoo-free years ago. All she uses to wash her hair is sorbolene cream – the kind with nothing in it but 10% glycerine – no fragrances or added anything. She does not have a “conditioning” step, either. She swears by it, and if her hair is anything to go by….

      • i started using this after birthing my baby and my hair was dry. it took 3 months. then i got greesie and started just put soda in staight. you know the powdered stuff.. hair looks great now. i also started growing more hair. my hair was fine and thin and people would say i was bald. NOT NOW! praise God! I have HAIR! thank you so much. been doing this for 11months now.

        • avatar
          Gina Baker says:

          You put the soda in right your hair right from the box? I asking this because I’ve got thin hair and I seem to be loosing it. I’ve noticed that you said that your hair is getting thicker. If this worked for you, I think I might try it. That’s why I want to make sure I understood it right. Thanks for listening and I hope I hear from you soon.

    • I’m so thankful for your site and your blog! I found it when I was tired of my head constantly being so dry and hurting since I have such sensitive skin and hair… the first two weeks were awful with the oiliness, but once I got past that I cannot believe how shiny, healthy and gorgeous my hair is! I love the baking soda/ACV routine and I only have to do it every few days. I also do an egg and real lemon juice routine as a conditioner every couple of weeks which is really clarifying, too. Caution for new people, though: once your hair gets used to the baking soda/ACV routine, don’t do anything different or it will mess up the whole chemistry of your hair. Example – my mom suggested coconut oil as a conditioner and the oil clung to my hair horribly, causing a 3 day cleanse that really upset my hair. I religiously stick with the baking soda/vinegar and love it. I would NEVER go back to shampoo because my head doesn’t hurt, it’s not itchy, it’s not dry…. and it’s easy. Thank you!

    • I just wanted to put my two cents in. I have a newfound love for baking soda. And for ACV. However! I used the no poo method for 3 weeks and the end result for me? It dried my scalp out so badly that I had scabs all over my head and my hair is STILL falling out by the handful (3 months later). I’ve only seen one other person who said this happened to her, so if it works for you, more power to you. I just had to give warning that this did not end well for me. I am still looking for an alternative to shampoo.

      • Hey misty, Been trying out quite a few things with my hair and almost always have the opposite effects everyone else does. could you describe your hair type? wondering if its a specific hair type that reacts poorly.

        Thanks

        • My hair is thin and very fine, so losing hair in this amount is NOT an option! =/ I normally have an oily scalp. I switched back to a natural shampoo, which works just fine on me. For the last week I’ve been using the husband’s normal shampoo because I ran out… OIL city! I can’t wait to go replenish my supply.

          • I don’t know if you will read this but you are losing your hair not because of the baking soda, but because of the poo ! Actually bs is deeply washing and opening all your clogged follicles by years using poo… Coming back to poo only makes your dead hair retained again !

          • i so agree! see my earlier comment on how my hair really came in and filled out. i love this stuff

      • I tried the BS/ACV combo and it didnt work for me at all. the BS was too alkaline for my scalp and hurt when i put ti on. then then ACV was too acidic when i used it to dilute the BS. it was a mess and i hated it! but i pushed on in my search and have found some other good results that get me away from the chemical laden shampoos! My main shampoo now is J.R. Liggett’s bar shampoo. Lathers up well, cleans well, doesnt dry my hair like “normal” shampoo. i follow this with … ACV/water/Which hazel mixed equally and sprayed on the hair more so than the scalp. now going without the BS the ACV doesn’t bother me unless i get a large mount on my scalp. The other options i have found are to use homemade bar soaps with the same rinse as above. they do tend to leave my hair a bit oilier than Liggett’s but works well. i make my own bar shampoo for the summer and make sure to add bug repelant essential oils to the mix! Good luck and keep trying! anything is better than all the chemicals we have been dosing ourselves with for so long!

        • What type of hair do you have?

        • Kayla, the problem wasn’t that the baking soda was too alkaline for you because soap, even natural hair soap or shampoo bar is way more alkaline than baking soda! Baking soda being the least alkaline! What seems to me to be the problem, is that you said you used ACV to dilute the baking soda!?! If so, Big Mistake! ;)
          Once the water-Baking Soda mix is applied to hair and massaged in, you RINSE FULLY with pure water…ONLY THEN do you apply the water-ACV mix to you hair! And then rinse again!
          Also, if alkalinity then acidity is causing any problems, perhaps you’d like to try a DIY Natural pH Balanced Shampoo! :) I have attached a link here for you, if you’re interested:
          http://www.thankyourbody.com/ph-balanced-shampoo-recipe/

        • Kayla, the problem wasn’t that the baking soda was too alkaline for you because soap, even natural hair soap or shampoo bar is way more alkaline than baking soda! Baking soda being the least alkaline! What seems to me to be the problem, is that you said you used ACV to dilute the baking soda!?! If so, Big Mistake! ;)
          Once the water-Baking Soda mix is applied to hair and massaged in, you RINSE FULLY with pure water…ONLY THEN do you apply the water-ACV mix to you hair! And then rinse again!
          Also, if alkalinity then acidity is causing any problems, perhaps you’d like to try an “All Natural pH Balanced Shampoo Recipe”! :) I have tried to attach a link here for you, if you were interested…but it’s not allowing it, sorry. It’s based on Coconut milk and Aloe Vera Gel… website is : thank your body . com

      • Have you tried the coconut milk recipe on Wellness Mama’s site?

        Here’s the link:
        http://wellnessmama.com/3701/how-to-make-natural-shampoo-easy-recipe/

        I personally am about to go “No Poo” myself and I’m starting out using the Baking Soda and Apple Cider Vinegar and hopefully it works well. If not I’m trying the coconut milk recipe by Wellness Mama. I’ve been trying her recipe’s and they’re phenomenal. So far I’ve made my own Lip Balm, Hair Spray, Sugar Scrub and Deodorant. I definitely recommend her recipes.

        Enjoy!

      • You should definitely try the following for another natural way to clean your hair. I have had itchy, oily scalp with hair fall for years now and just started using Amla ( Indian gooseberry powdered) and Aritha ( Soapnuts whole) mixture. Add these ingredients in water, boil for 15-30, grind and let it cool before use. You can make about a week of supply.
        It has been about 2 months that I’ve started using this to wash my hair almost everyday and my hair has become healthier, darker (like it was years ago), smoother, stronger and hair doesn’t fall out as it did with shampoo. I might have even grown a little more hair than before!
        You can also also drink Indian Gooseberry powder (1/2 – 3/4 tspoon) soaked about 10 mins in a cup of water (room temperature) first thing in the morning for hair loss. This is also good for those who have stomach burn over time due to its cooling nature.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8jR0iwXLAU

      • Misty, I highly recommend you stay away from shampoo even if “natural” there’s still chemicals. Try a Natural Ph Balanced DIY Shampoo based on Coconut milk and Aloe Vera Gel! Here is the link for you:
        http://www.thankyourbody.com/ph-balanced-shampoo-recipe/

        • I have a question. I went “poo-free” just a few weeks ago, and it’s been a smooth transition, no increased oiliness, but my hair/skin is so dry anyway…I’m really glad I did this, but I would like my hair to smell fragrant. I was thinking of boiling some fresh rosemary, or maybe lavender, to make a final rinse water, but don’t know if that would have an affect on the pH or some other ill affect. Has anyone ever tried this, to make hair smell nice?

      • I had horrible problems with hair and seboreic dermatitis, When i tried Swiss Shampoo Rausch, since then i dont have any problems anfd my slap is healthy,

        Each type of their Shampoo is compatibile, although i didnt use Soda on my hair but for my digestive problems i noticed this page so i am leaving the comment,

        also i am not promotin the company or anything As i am from Croatia and i dont have any interest for it.

    • I have never heard of this before and think it is fantastic. I only wash my hair twice a week so I am thinking my transition shouldn’t be to bad. Of course, I just purchased a new bottle of Shampure from my Aveda salon…love that smell!

    • Just as a preface, I will tell everyone that I use natural/organic when I can. With that being said, I recently watched Chemerical on Netflix and realized how many other areas of my life that I could easily change to be more chemical free. If you haven’t seen this documentary, give it a shot. Starts out a bit strange, but i attribute that to the family being very uncomfortable in front of the camera, but worth finishing if not just for the info. Now only days later I feel extremely blessed to find this blog post addressing one of the most difficult things for me to give up……shampoo. I have to say that it all makes a ton of sense and I cannot wait to try it. Thank you all for sharing your information, good experiences and bad alike.

    • All completely True haha good going I too am shampoo free (for I think 6 months) . I does sound crazy but, we didn’t have shampoo when we were cave men so we shouldn’t need it now :)

    • Use this homemade shampoo instead: mix equal quantities either 250 grams or 500 gram ( depending on hair length). Indian gosseberry, reetha and shikakai (dried or powdered) in 4 cups of water and boil . Then let it cool and use as u wud use baking soda. It even removes the oil frm hair and still it natural, ofcourse u sud not have large amount of oil as it is natural hence mild. I use it always. I prepare it at nignt and use it in the morning

    • avatar
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  2. I love the pics of your hair! It does look a little like a mug shot, but your hair looks great. My hair is a little on the oily side too and I have just started using apple cider vinegar diluted as a rinse as well. Interested in the baking soda tip. Will try it tomorrow!
    .-= Emily´s last blog ..Whole wheat buttermilk waffles =-.

  3. Baking soda is amazing, I use it for so many things.
    .-= Kimberly´s last blog ..One of Us is Always Dragging the Other Somewhere =-.

  4. I’d love to eventually transition to no ‘poo, but since I color my hair, I’m a bit hesitant. I’ve been waffling on the subject for longer than I’d like to admit. That said, I tend to wash my hair twice a week and have much nicer hair that I did when I washed daily.
    .-= Amy´s last blog ..Sad news =-.

    • I color my hair, too, actually. I hope to eventually wean off of that, as I’ve read about some pretty cool natural hair colors (coffee rinse, different herbs, etc.). I just haven’t taken the time to try them yet. But I definitely don’t want those harsh chemicals on my head!

      But so far, there’s been no issue with my coloring my hair and doing the baking soda thing! I’ve heard from some people that it lightens their hair slightly, but I haven’t noticed that on mine.

      • I’ve read that if you notice that your color is fading it’s because you are using to much baking soda in your mixture and/or you are washing too often. Also, I’ve heard that for those with colored hair using the baking soda/ Apple Cider viniger routine makes your color last longer because you don’t wash your hair as often.

        • I color my hair with a more natural herbatint hair dye but when I use even small amounts of baking soda and apple cider vinegar (eg one to two teaspoons per cup of water) it lightens my hair and some of the gray strands get stripped of their color. I only washed once so it isn’t from using too much or washing too often). Perhaps different natural commercial based hair dyes react differently.

        • I’ve tried baking soda/apple cider formula and it really started bleaching my hair, even my natural color. I really haven’t found a good natural cleansing agent that doesn’t interfere with colored hair. If you have, please let me know. thanks.

          • Have you tried a teaspoon of citric acid in a bottled water bottle? Don’t let the “acid” word scare you, it’s good stuff. Just don’t get it in your eyes or any scratches. It stings!

      • just found your site searching for more info on going no poo~
        I try to eliminate all chemicals in my family’s home as well and this is definitely something I would like to try.
        After reading this comment, I wanted to reply and possibly leave you with some helpful information if you want to stop coloring your hair. You can add one tablespoon of BLACKSTRAP Molasses to a glass of milk and drink daily. It has many benefits (I highly recommend googleing it) and one is restoring your natural hair color!! I think it’s the way to go….

        • avatar
          Sharon V. says:

          Sounds interesting! One comment though. You may want to rethink consumption of milk from cows meant for foals… I have been on a long journey trying to improve various aspects of my life. Dairy sensitivity made this decision easy. But once I started to explore deeper into dairy farms, from treatment of cows (milked while covered in feces and urine) to steroids (to get them producing more milk), I could not buy milk for my family anymore (we do almond or soy or rice milk now).
          Everyone has to decide for themselves. But this may be something for you to look into as milk is not what it used to be.
          If you can stand it, google PETA and cows and watch undercover treatment.
          Blessings!

          • Interesting story about the cow’s milk, milking done while the cow is dirty… yet switching to rice, almond, soy milk is not a healthier alternative either. I know farmers who spray their fields with chemical pesticides so strong that no insects are seen in the field for at least a year. Some of these chemical are so toxic, only small amounts are needed to spray a field and kill the insects for these extended periods of time.
            The best way a family can go green and be healthier is to stop using any commercial products, grow their own gardens, can your own food to avoid plastics and metal packaging, and buy organic from local farmers. I grow a small garden in my back yard without any use of pesticides or fertilizers whatsoever. Makes you wonder why the big corporations cannot do the same thing.

          • i think you mean milk meant for calves. foals are baby horses. i’m not a huge fan of PETA. they seem to not really have any logic behind their ridiculous protests. they have harmed a lot of animals in their rampage.

          • avatar
            Laura Erickson says:

            Sharon, your comments about milk are inaccurate at best. Unfortunately, PETA is NOT a reliable source of information on this subject. Most dairy farms treat their cows very well–I have visited several myself in Iowa–and most dairy farmers are not giving growth hormones (NOT steroids) to their cows due to consumer concern, even though there is NO evidence to support that the milk from treated cows is in any way different. Buying milk from a reputable producer will ensure that the milk is safe and healthy. Reputable producers run as many as 19 tests on milk upon arrival at a facility to ensure quality. Nutritionally speaking, there is no better choice than cow’s milk for growing children.

          • “foals” are baby horses….

          • Lmao. Tell me Sharon V…why would cows milk be used to feed a foal? A foal is a baby horse, a calf is a baby cow. Maybe you should do a teensy bit more research before you bash something that has nothing to do with this blog entry. All cows crap and pee on themselves, whether they’re in a barn or in a field, thats just what they do. Dairy girls are probably the cleanest cows on the planet. You most likely would not be clean enough, as you sit right now, to be allowed access into a dairy barn. I also assure you, cow shit is more organic than most of the things you come into contact with throughout your city day. Are you really naive enough to believe it’s an industry without extremely strict regulations? Long live the dairy farmer. You also need to do more research on the slaughterhouse that is PETA. Thanks for the laugh though…I wish your kids the best with learning their baby animals.

          • Be careful with soy!

            You’re right about commercial dairy though. However, raw milk (cow or goat) is a great alternative.

          • avatar
            Kaitlyn says:

            It’s funny that you say this because domesticated cows are acctually COMPLETELY dependant on human care. Over time the cow has adapted so much to human care that they acctually can’t survive in the wild. Dairy farms really aern’t as inhumane as you think. And I would never trust PETA.
            1. They burn down puppy mills because that “saves puppies”
            2. One of their representatives bought a lobster from the store and set it free in the pond. Lobters are salt water creatures *Cough Cough* and they die a SLOW and PAINFULL death when put in freshwater.
            Point in case.

          • Sharon, before making public statements like this, one might suggest doing a little research. PETA is not a reliable source for such research. They take EXTREME cases and try to pass them off as the norm when, in fact, most farmers take excellent care of their animals. Having cared for a farmer’s children, I was in a dairy barn quite regularly. The animals DO NOT stand in their own feces. There are gutters behind the cattle that remove the waste, and any that makes it’s way into the cow’s area is cleaned away several times a day. The cows teats are cleaned with iodine prior to the milking machine being attached. The machines are also sanitized regularly. Most farms participate in a NO HORMONE plan, and most bottles of milk are labelled as such in the store. Should a cow need a treatment, they are tagged. A designated machine that empties into a separate jug is used and the milk is dumped until it is safe to be used for consumption. Calves ARE NOT DEPRIVED OF MILK. The first week after the calf is born, when the milk is full of colostrum, the calf is given it’s mother’s milk. After, the calf is given formula. This is no different than an infant being given formula.

          • please read The China Study..there is a lot of research showing why drinking cow’s milk is dangerous to your health

            it is available on line free as a pdf…

            Ed

          • do you live near whole foods? if so, they have the best milk! it tastes completely different then regular milk. it comes in a glass container, and goes bad in 2 days, but that means its natural, right?

          • I am from Mississippi so some may consider me a little slow, But what does Milk have to do with ways to shampoo your hair without shampoo???? Lets stay on topic!

          • I just read today, while I was on Dr. Oz website about the 7 day cleanse, that consuming too much soy causes breast cancer. Try googling it and see what information you come up with. May be something you might want to look into.

          • Just a note, but my grandfather owned a dairy farm for most of his life, and they always treated their cows well. They would always keep the mama cows and calves together in a separate area from the other cows so that the babies could get the mama’s milk. All us grandkids had tons of fun playing around with the calves (they’re super sweet). I hope to one day own a cow or two for getting milk and whatnot. I’m sure there are some farms that are jerks about it, but I’d say that’s probably the exception rather than the rule.

            Anyway, this is interesting about the shampoo/conditioner alternatives. I’ve tried using shampoo less (every other day or every couple days), but it’s so hot and humid sometimes during the summers that with all the sweat, it just seems gross not to wash. Plus then my hairline starts breaking out too :( I might need to give this a try instead.

          • Thought I would add a little something different on this as a Certified Holistic Nutritionist. Milk is an acidic protein, meaning that it takes a lot to digest, unless… it is raw and still has its natural enzymes intact. Studies have proeven that we injest more dairy then anyother country and have the most osteoperosis. Heat kills off any natural enzymes in all foods, therefore whenever we pasturize a product (which I understand why this was originally done) we kill off the needed enzymes to digest nutrients. All important bone minerals can be obtained thru healthy whole food eating. Raw dairy and fermented organic dairy (yogurt, kefir, cheese, etc) are more alkaline and easier to digest for nutrients for all ages. Goat protein molecules are almost the same size as human mother milk, therefor perfect for infant and children to digest. The bible gives us a little hint, “We must move on from milk to meat”. I am sure that animal treatment varies from one conciencious person to another, just as parent to parent, pet owner to pet owner. The dairy owner that only cares about the buck probably doesn’t care much about the end result, us or for that matter the cow. Sad but true.

          • u do know that cows have calves and horses have foals right?

          • So here is my two cent: Soy should be consumed in moderation and soy milk shouldn’t be a regular substitute for cow’s milk unless it’s necessary. Soy contains Phytoestrogens which are plant-derived estrogens. Excess estrogen can cause serious complications. Some studies have shown an increase in breast cancer in animals given soy. If you feel so strongly about cow’s milk, then stick to almond or rice milk. (Just know that none of the alternatives provide as much protein or calcium. Assuming your family includes children, allowing them to develop a calcium deficiency isn’t a better option) What about checking out some small family organic farms and purchasing the milk from one you believe is animal friendly. Otherwise you should consider that milk is pasteurized, meaning it has been heat treated to kill off any germs. The US Dept of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration also have strict regulations. The PETA videos are not representative of all farms. I’m not sure if by explore you mean you actually did your own research and visited a variety of dairy farms, or just read some biased information online highlighting only those that neglect, not the many that treat those animals with care. I just hope you also quit eating all products produced from milk like cheese and yogurt, in addition to beef (especially veal), chicken, eggs, pork, and turkey(oops, what about Thanksgiving) since you’re referencing animal cruelty. BTW there are unethical practices used in the farming of plants too, such as mono agricultural practices and corporate seed monopolies on plants bred sterile. The most important option you should consider is doing your homework before forming an opinion on something from biased sources on only one side of the issue.

          • Be careful with soy products as they have an estrogen like product in them. A surgeon at a hospital I work at had a 12 year old girl whose mother only gave her soy and it caused the 12 year old to have breast cancer. This has also increased the incidents in males as well. I would stay with the almond milk.

          • Tamara as far as osteoporosis and raw milk and not being about to digest milk. The reason isn’t the milk its a simple fact that your vitamin D level needs to within normal level. You cannot absorb calcium well if your vit D is low so take a vit D supplement because just plain food isn’t enough. People who live in the northern states are naturally have vit D deficiency. Using sunblock will also stop the vit D process but I do not recommend going sunblock free at the beach. 15 mins per day with no sunblock is recommended to help with vit D. I suggest getting your levels checked and your doctor can prescribe 50,000 units once a week or take 1000 or 2000 a day with calcium so you can absorb it. Also don’t be fooled if your calcium levels are “normal” because your body will pull calcium from you bones etc to try to maintain the proper levels. Just an FYI. Oh I’m just a nurse.

        • Wow!!! I knew that there were several benefits to BLACKSTRAP Molasses, but this is one that I haven’t heard of. My hair has changed so many colors, (on its own) over the years and I’d love to try this to see if it helps out. :) It’s worth a shot!!

        • Perhaps molasses has copper in it. My friend took a liquid copper supplement and her hair went from all white to lots of “pepper”. Not sure why it all didn’t grow back in black but if one only has some gray then it might work. A word of warning: too much copper can have adverse effects so one needs to keep track of how much they are getting if adding it through a supplement and stick to the RDA.

      • Do these alternatives cover up gray?

      • Thank you so much for telling how the baking soda does not bother your hair coloring. I am having a terrible time with using shampoo’s here where I live now in central Florida, my hair is flat and dry and feels like hay and I have seen hair loss. I need to do some thing and I will try this with the baking soda and vinegar.

      • Somethings one can do to combate the bleaching affects of the baking soda is One: Use less baking soda in your wash. Two: there are herbs you can use that have a darkening affect, for example: Rosemary and Sage. You make a tea with them and allow the tonic to cool. Strain out the herb and in the shower with your rinse you pour the “Tea” on your hair. It really works. There are a lot of other herbs that are good for you hair and do great things for it, these are just two suggestions.

      • avatar
        Annie Mendez says:

        Hi, I just tried washing my hair with baking soda and vinegar and it looks amazing! The only PROBLEM is that when my air dry my hair, I looked like Larry from the Three Stooges, or better yet like the Lion King! My hair feels nice and soft, but because it’s so thin and curly, it puffs up. My parents are from Spain, and I was raised here. So my hair is curly but not thick like african-american hair. So in my desperation, I put olive oil on my hair, it made it look better but it always looks wet, and I smell like olive oil :( So then, I jumped in the shower again and rinsed the olive oil with more vinegar solution… and now I’m stuck, I don’t know what to put on my hair. I can’t go to work looking like a mushroom head. My hair looks like Shirley Temple’s curls when I put styling products and let it air dry. I don’t want to go back to my styling products because they don’t let my hair grow and they give me dandruff. Please help, what can i use to control the frizzy hair?

        • avatar
          Samantha says:

          Hi Annie,

          Try out this spray for taming wavy hair: “mix a teaspoon of [epsom] salts + a few drops of olive (or jojoba) oil + 1/4 cup H20 in a spritzer bottle and mist on damp hair” (allnaturalannie.com). I haven’t tried it yet, but it sounds like something that might work for you. :)

          I have somewhat fine hair but LOTS of it, so the “poof-factor” affects me as well. After using the baking soda / vinegar combo for about 2-3 days, I didn’t feel like I needed ANY other products anymore, so maybe just bite the bullet for a few more days and see if your hair starts to obey a little better. I would usually have prepped with a smoothing cream before blow-drying, then used hairspray for the fly-aways afterward, but now I haven’t used either or even blow-dried my hair in over a week because I think it looks so good air-dried! (I haven’t allowed myself to leave the house without having blow-dried my hair since junior high, haha!).

          Hope this natural method starts to work for you, too!
          Samantha

        • Samantha, i too have curly hair and feel like Simba after playing in the waterfall…. i dont know how old you are, or if age has anything to do w it..I have found a recipe that uses coconut milk its amazing, and has ended dry scalp and very dry patches of skin in the winter….1/3. C natural shampoo 1/2 C coconut milk ( not lite coconut milk) 1 tsp oil ( grape seed, olive, almond) ….i used the left over coconut milk to rub on my body or hair for split ends ( a little goes a LONG way) and i love the smell anddnt have to worry about sunscreen soo much any more. I planning switching it up a bit as the seasons change…hope it works for you too!

        • I’m going to try coconut oil with a little vitamin E oil added tomorrow on my hair… after hopefully trying this baking soda and vinegar wash.

          I have curly hair too.

          Aloe brushed through wet hair makes the hair feel thicker and better and softer.

      • avatar
        Jane McArdle says:

        i just started with the bs instead of shampoo and so far no problems or any issues i did not use the vinegar yet im waiting to see what happens with the baking soda….because it is recommended to wet your hair down every day i give it a healthy dose of coffee it helps with the color, bounce and it feels very soft will keep every one up to date on how this is working for me as of today it feels wonderful

      • I color my hair regularly with semi-permanent dye and lighten my roots about once every 3 months (my hair is fire engine red streaked with really dark red and brownish red base color so this is nesassary for the upkeep) and I have not washed my hair in about a year. I tried the baking soda/apple cider thing and I think because coloring strips your hair, you should not wash it with the baking soda.
        Also, the baking soda acts as a color stripper on your hair, you will notice that your hair is getting lighter and also very dry.
        When I use hair product (which I don’t very often) I wash my hair out with honey.
        I find that it is the most gentle on my sensitive skin.
        I know that a friend of mine tried to wash with the baking soda 2 times a week and had a really hard time with it because she has really fine, yet oily, hair and it was just getting more brittle the more she washed it.
        I finally convinced her to just rinse her hair with water and her hair is so much better now.
        It took about 3 weeks of intensely greasy hair, but she is glad she did it.
        I just think going completely water or honey and water is the best way to go for those of you who have sensitive skin or really fine/color treated/dry hair.
        Hope this helps. :)
        -Haven

    • Hi everyone,

      Just to share my experience of using baking soda on colored hair. I have waist length bleached light blonde hair level 9 through double process. Have used only salon brand kerastase products. My hair just gets drier, frizzier and honestly I was getting tired of the long steps in the bath. But the last straw for me late last year, my hair began to fall out not the usual strands, but in huge clumps while shampooing!!! I became desperate and decided to go natural. Washed hair with baking soda, vinegar rinse, applied 3 drops of vitamin e oil and never looked back!! My scalp feels so clean for the first time in years. Strands are soft, shiny and no frizz without sty product. The brassiness in my blonde is gone without any need for purple shampoo. It looks like I just touch up my hair after every wash!

      • I remember in high school we bleached my hair (I say we because I was studying cosmetology) and it went all wrong. People will tell you that Nexxus has the best conditioner for dried hair and that you should use it as a treatment. So yes I did spend the $20 for a bottle and it didn’t help.

        I decided to do a mayo treatment (yup mayonnaise) and my hair was amazing afterwards! I do mayo treatments once a month, but I don’t thing I will any more. I am going to try the baking soda and vinegar option.

      • I am a 67 year old woman. A few years ago my hair started falling out. It was long and I was finding it everywhere! I cut it then I got out my herbal books and found a remedy using honey and apple cider vinegar. It worked almost overnight. As long as I continue to use it my hair loss is normal, my scalp itch is gone and my hair is more manageable.
        One problem, the directions said to rinse well and follow with a “normal” shampoo regimen. This never sat well with me. Once I figure out how to handle the double vinegar deal, I plan to go to the baking soda. I’ve been looking for a way to get rid of the chemical preparations.

        • Robin,
          I am 66 and my hair is falling out at an alarming rate! I’m very interested in your remedy of honey and apple cidar vinegar. Can you advise the proportions of the mixture? I’d like to try this rinse to see if it reduced my hair-fall. Thanks.

    • I heard you can add some salt to the BS “shampoo” and that it helps with keeping the color. I am not sure an amount so you will have to try it out to see what works.

    • If you are worried about having to give up coloring your hair you should look into the book Hair Gone Wild by Diane Kidman. In it she explains how to color your hair naturally with henna and other different natural herbs. I myself have been ‘poo free for almost 3 months now and I love how my hair is shiny with less frizz. My family thinks I am crazy but I know my hair is healthier. I love no ‘poo!

  5. This is intriguing for sure. A question – does the apple cider vinegar leave your hair smelling a little strong? Is there any more pleasant smelling product to use in its place, other than lemon juice? And if you use lemon juice, do you use fresh squeezed or from a bottle? Thanks!

    • Nope, no smell at all. The only time I smell the vinegar is when I’m actually pouring it on. As soon as I wash it out, the smell is gone.

      That was an initial concern of mine, too…

    • Another efficient method for rinsing hair as a substitute for vinegar is beer. When the hair dries, the smell of beer disappears.
      .-= Lidy´s last blog ..Hair care with honey =-.

      • Oh I cannot even imagine the beer smell coming out of your hair after it has dried. Beer has a pretty distinctive smell. I had bad memories of night clubs where some fool spills a drink on your shoe and all you can smell is the drink on you the rest of the night.

        I can’t imagine skipping out on my shampoo and conditioning regime. My hair would dry out too quickly and start breaking off if I did this.

        • amari……. that’s the whole point……. once you transition to being shampoo free, you hair will be more balanced….. and not dry or breaking. i know it sounds crazy.

          i’ve been shampoo free 6 months. i have mid-long fine, curly/wavy hair. i use the diluted baking soda about once a week and the diluted apple cider vinegar about every 3 -4 days. no hair products. i use a tiny bit of absynnian oil on my ends. that’s it. so easy. and you would never know by looking at my hair. :)

          • The beer really does make you hair look awesome! Very lustrous. I wish I could do the vinegar, because that does wonders for my hair too, but my boyfriend honestly has to be part canine with the nose he has. He would sniff that vinegar out in a second (I’ve tried it! Diluted and everything). I think I’m going to try the baking soda though, I don’t go through much shampoo, but I go through tons of conditioner. I’ll have to look into some different kinds other than the vinegar or beer mentioned (I go to school on a dry campus, so I’d get in heaps of trouble for having beer, even if it were for showering purposes). I’ll have to try the honey trick.

          • I have curly hair too and my routine is as follows:
            Shampoo (for dry scalp), conditioner (for curly hair), mousse, spray gel, dry with a diffuser. I have considered the shampoo-free option for some time now because of my dry scalp but I was concerned about the state of my hair when I leave it curly. At the moment, I do not air-dry my hair because I do not like the look of how it dries… any tips/suggestions one way or the other?

          • you guys, ive been using mayo, beer, apple cider vinegar and baking soda on my hair since i was 13, i love great scents of shampoo and conditioner, and fell off the wagon, my hair stopped growing and like getting thin, i have hair a little past my breasts.. but, i only wash 3 x week, and i was taking my nails and scraping my scalp(ok gross) and there was a white greasy residue under my nails, i immediately massaged the apple cider vineger on my scalp and it ate thru the grease or what ever the heck it was, my scalp felt awesome, then i put little olive oil on the ends, will wash is out in the am, i will never forget the results i had in high school and college saving money on products, i just got caught up in the shampoo isle where a bottle could be 15 bucks, NEVER AGAIN !!! i cant believe the difference pleassss try!!!, oh, and if you use any product, like mousse or gel all that stuff, use baking soda after each time, it makes your hair so soft, and only 20 cents a carton!! yeah!! you may smell like a salad, but in the long run its so worth it!!!!!!

          • Coley – I’ve tried to contact you through your blog, but I’m not sure how. I just followed you on Pinterest. I have a question about your hair – do you still use the baking soda? My hair seems very similar to yours; it’s fine, yet long and curly. What sort of dilution do you use for the baking soda? For the vinegar? And information you can give me would be very appreciated. Thank you.

          • i hope this reply reaches whoever emailed me!!! :D

            i have no been shampoo free for over a year.

            i use 1 tablespoon baking soda dissolved into ~ 8 oz HOT water. i’ve stopped measuring and just estimate. the hot water makes a huge difference. i also like the baking soda “wash” best if it’s been sitting a few days. so, i make my new b.s. wash 3 -4 days ahead of time. i only use about 4 oz at a time (also, i leave it on about a minute before rinsing), so when i make the 8 oz it lasts 2 washes. i wash about every 4 -5 days.

            after the b.s. wash, i use dilute apple cider vinegar as my “conditioner.” i do the same ratio … 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar dissolved into 8 0z hot water. i do the same thing here …. mix it a few days in advance (although i don’t think it really matters as much). i use about 4 oz again and leave it on a minute before rinsing. rinse well!!!! hair does not smell like vinegar if it’s been diluted and it dries. honest!!

            i don’t use any product. i don’t have problems with static or even frizzy-ness. my hair has never been this long and is more wavy than curly. i brush it out while it’s dry before i shower. i let it air dry!!! air drying makes a huge difference in how frizzy and curly it will be for the day. i do blow dry my bangs.

            i will use coconut oil at the ends … i’ll put the coconut oil on the ends of my hair at night before a wash day. i will also use the coconut oil if there is static or extra frizz. i ♥ coconut oil!!!

            i also just discovered using coconut milk as a “deep conditioning treatment.” i used a small can of the thai coconut milk (you can find it at any u.s. grocery store). leave it on for an hour. rinse well!!!!!! then wash with b.s. / a.c.v. it’s amazing!! soft, less tangles. seriously … feels like salon hair!! this picture is from today. i did the coconut milk “treatment” last night, rinsed. washed with b.s. / a.c.v. this morning. let my hair air dry as usual ….. http://www.flickr.com/photos/coleyb/6957052129/in/photostream

            whew! i hope that helps!!!!

          • Coley – I did read your post! Thank you so much for the information. Your hair looks very similar to mine in your photo – long and wavy with bangs. Do you rinse your hair with water every day in the shower? Do you apply the apple cider vinegar to ALL of your hair or just the ends?
            My hair is very stiff and brittle right now, but I’m not giving up. I hope the transition period doesn’t take too long. :) The ends are fine, but the roots, about the first 4 inches or so, feels like a doll’s hair! I swear it feels plastic. I think I’ll be wearing it up for a while until it adjusts to no shampoo.
            Again, thank you so much for replying. I don’t want to put my email on here, but is there a way to email you from your blog?

          • annie ….. i changed my blog profile …. if you click on “coley” to view my whole profile, there should now be a link to email. :) hope it works!

            i do rinse with water when i shower. i mostly apply the baking soda wash to my roots and just let it run down and sort of mash things around. :) let it sit for a minute. then, i do the same with the apple cider vinegar.

            how long have you been shampoo free? try the coconut milk!!! :)

            happy thursday,

        • Your hair would definitely get healthier if you stopped using shampoos Amari. Shampoo has so many chemicals in it. I just started doing this tonight, I’m hoping for an improvement on the health of my hair in a couple weeks. I’ve heard nothing but good from people who’ve done this regimen.

        • avatar
          Jane McArdle says:

          the breakage and thanks to menopause the falling out my hair was every where and what didn’t fall out was out of control i gave up controlling products a while ago abut it still never helped so now i m give natural a try

    • We used to use vinegar as a rinse when I was much younger. Very inexpensive & leaves your hair feeling silky. I had forgotten about that, but now that my hair is always dry & lifeless, I will be going back to using it. Have never tried the baking soda, but I’m going to try it in the shower tomorrow. There’s absolutely no smell after rinsing. The vinegar tends to also bring out the natural red highlights in darker hair & the lemon juice works best on light or blond hair.

    • I was reading another site, and the lady there put a spring of rosemary in the bottle (or sometimes a cinnamon stick) to make it smell better to her. She said this worked for her…I however have not tried this yet. I just started this with the recipe given, and have been using it for about a month. I have not noticed any loss of color from my dyed hair…but my hair is a bit dry and has a lot of static just like it had before I started using the no poo. Here is to hoping for little bit of the oil everyone is talking about.

      • Any one have any ideas for natural coloring for blonde hair with gray around the temples?

        • avatar
          Leanne in Hawaii says:

          Chamomile tea and/or lemon juice is great for blonde!

          • Cassia obovata! mixed with buxus dioica if you want ash blond rather than golden blond. See http://www.hennaforhair.com for lots of information. They have nice, finely ground, organic product, though you may find better prices elsewhere. If you have hard water, do use their rainwash product before applying the cassia though. I use their henna (I’m naturally a medium brunette) and I love it…I have thick shiny healthy auburn hair from it…and not a single scalp flake! :) If you decide to try it, make sure you let the mix sit in lemon juice with a little water for at least 12 hrs before applying. Have fun!

    • avatar
      Natalie says:

      I’ve read that the vinegar smell goes away once rinsed out, but when I tried this myself my hair smelled like vinegar for days. I even got negative comments about it from others! So I guess it’s worth a try to see what kind of hair you have. Hopefully it’s more like Tsh’s than mine.

  6. I just read about this a few weeks ago, and when I told my husband he went and bought me my salon brands shampoo and conditioner I used to use. Funny! I still want to try it, though and your pictures are a great help!
    .-= Angela Mills´s last blog ..What to put in your workboxes =-.

  7. Oh wow!! Love this.. Love this.. Will surely be trying it out this week and will probably post about my experiences with this.. I have been losing hair like crazy and changing shampoos thinking that a different shampoo will work.. Bt maybe this is the answer to my prayers!! Thank you..
    Many many blessings!!
    .-= prerna´s last blog ..Being a Mom: Starting to Potty Train. =-.

    • I was losing hair too, and I found it was a vitamin deficiency. My doctor just told me to do a regular multi, but I ended up using a special hair and nail formula and voila – no more hair loss. Or at least not more than is normal.

      I also only wash my hair once a week. I think its much healthier as a result. I think I am going to try the baking soda thing. It sounds marvelous.
      .-= Non-Believer´s last blog ..Cat Vomit between my fingers…. =-.

      • what hair and nail vit did you start taking? my hair is so thin and seems to break/fall out really easy. any help would be nice because i seem to spend a lot of money on vit and they never seem to work.

        • avatar
          non-believer says:

          Natures Bounty for Hair, Nails and Skin? I’m not home at the moment, but I’m pretty sure that’s the name. I get it at Walgreens.

          • might also be Nature’s Call or Nature’s Way brand for hiar skin and nails – i guy mine at Safeway.

          • avatar
            Theresa says:

            The vitamin that helps with hair, skin, and nails is biotin. I’ve been taking that for years, and it has helped with all of it! That, and the fact that I realized that I DON’T have to wash my hair every other day.

        • I was losing hair too and when i spoke to my dermatologist about it. she recommended …A/G Pro… you can get it at the pharmacy but it is behind the counter so you will need to ask for it. Seems to be working well for about 5 months now

        • For 10 or more years now, I’ve been shampooing with a bit of Borax in water, some liquid colloidal silver (home-generated) and a smaller ‘bit of Tea Tree Oil shampoo (a bottle lasts me three years). I rinse with lemon juice water, (did use a pinch of powdered citric acid until I ran out a year ago), and find i quite fine. My hair’s short, and tends to be somewhat oily, so every three -four days, it’s time again. It was in “The Cure for All Cancers” by Hulda R. Clark that I got the ideas. You might try Juice Plus+ instead of vitamins. It’s like having 17 fruits, veggies & grains in your diet daily (4 capsules or chewables), and is great for everyone! Can be free for kiddies!

          • I love Juice Plus. I have my little girl taking it too. I take capsules and she chews the gummies. I have used only conditioner for well over a year now in an attempt to aid my processed hair. I occasionally wash it with shampoo but then condition heavily. I have toyed around with the no shampoo before. I just had my hair colored and I want to help it some how from all the breakage that is occurring. I eat healthy and hardly ever use shampoo so the breakage is puzzling me. I am so glad to learn about the soda and the apple cider vinegar. I am going to try it and see what happens.

        • check out stuff from my dad’s company Eniva. they have all natural vitamins and minerals-they keep you healthy as well as do wonders for your hair and nails.
          http://shop.enivausa.com/4/en-us/static/body/

      • oh!!! folic acid is the way to go also!! natures pride is the best!!

    • If your hair is falling out, there could be a medical reason, such as low thyroid, too much stress, hormonal imbalance, nutritional deficiencies etc. Definitely get it checked out. Your shampoo alone won’t cause hair loss.

  8. I’ve been “no ‘poo” for 5 months now. My sister (who is my primary hair person!) told me she can’t believe how well my hair looks. I have long curly hair and it no longer gets tangles underneath – what a relief.

    I use a sports water bottle to put my mixtures in – easy to squeeze and I can write on them with marker.
    .-= Lee´s last blog ..Photo of the Day =-.

    • I have really curly hair too and every other shampoo and conditioner makes my curls frizzy or limp. Does this formula help retain the curls?

      • I have wavy hair and I’ve always had trouble trying to get my hair to control it’s wavy and so I normally straighten it out, but since I’ve started to use the Baking soda and Apple cider vinegar method my wavy are much more pronounced and happy. If that’s what it does for wavy hair I can only imagine what it can do for limp curly hair.

        • How much baking soda to water do you use and the same with the vinegar and water? I just tried this and it left my hair soft, but I have really curly hair and it still looks frizzy?

          • You don’t want to add m0re than 1 tbsp to one cup of water. Less if possible. The thought is, the baking soda soaks up the oil but the more baking soda the more it soaks up making your scalp and hair dried out if too much is used. Everyone is different and that is the beauty of this method, you can adjust it to you fit YOU. Your hair is different from mine and my hair is different in Summer than it is in Winter. One can adjust their baking soda, apple cider vinegar and herbal use to work for what thier hair needs at the time. Also, during the Winter I will periodically use a conditioner to help just my ends.
            Good Luck

  9. That is amazing! I am so excited to try it!!

  10. I have got to try this! I too notice how greasy my hair is, usually by the end of the day, and I hate it. I’m also for trying anything that is frugal and green!
    .-= Angie´s last blog ..Daily Cleaning Challenge – Dressers =-.

  11. I have been using a handmade all natural soap + acv to wash my hair and I am finally seeing good results. We have very hard water so that tends to make things a bit more difficult. You did a great job of giving the whole story!
    .-= Shannon´s last blog ..Lessons From Littles =-.

  12. Great post!!! I’ve been doing this off and on since I read about it about a year ago. I just have a long transition time and can never get through that period without caving. Whenever I go back to washing my hair with shampoo my scalp starts getting really itchy and it breaks out. I thought I just had a “problem scalp” all these years. It turns out I had “problem shampoo!” Thanks for the encouragement, I think I’ll try it again.

    PS my little frugal green self just loves when I wash my face, hair and teeth with baking soda for pennies and virtually no environmental impact. And it makes packing for a trip a snap! :)

    • What is the recipe to wash your face with
      Bi Carb of Soda…i would love to try it as it would make my face smooth

    • Brushing your teeth with baking soda once or twice a week is okay but if you use it everyday it wears the enamel off your teeth rather quickly and you will have dental problems from it…just a tip:)

      • avatar
        Leanne in Hawaii says:

        I have used baking soda EVERY day before my toothpaste for at least 15 years now. My mouth doesn’t feel clean if I skip the baking soda. I smoke and drink tons of dark liquids every day, all day and my dentist is constantly telling me how great my teeth are. No tarter build up, no cavities, no gum issues and super clean at every visit. The secret is to NOT push hard when you brush and make sure you brush your tongue. Baking soda is the ultimate cleaning aid for everything in your life!!

    • I thought I inherited my father’s “problem scalp” and I often find I break out. I wonder if it IS the shampoo! Very intrigued and may try experimenting with different “Poo-free” methods. Thanks for the inspiration everyone!

  13. I have to say that I’m intrigued. I will have to try it because I like making my hair healthy. The only thing I’m hesitant about is the smell. My husband is always commenting on how nice my hair smells, so I’ll have to see if he notices a difference. :)
    .-= Tabitha – From Single to Married´s last blog ..Boy = Blue = Shopping =-.

    • You can try doing a herbal rinse. Different herbs helps your hair in different ways but one really great herb is Lavender. And we all love the smell of lavender. It’s antiseptic, antibiotic, stimulates hair growth, and degreases. Another is Rosemary which smells great also and it’s a tonic and conditioner, one of the best herbs to use, gives luster and body, also slightly darkens the hair. (This is good to use if you notice your hair lightening due to baking soda use.) If you want to lighten your hair you can use chamomile. All you do is take the herbs and make a tea with them. When the water cools you strain the tea and during your washing you put it through your hair, scrub and rinse. Besides, the best smell is your own natural smell. The pheromones from your own head is probably what your husband actually likes.

      • I’m considering this change/transition at the moment, but I’m not sure about two things. I would much appreciate it if somebody who has already experienced this transition clarified my doubts.

        1. I stay in Mumbai/Bombay, where the weather is hot, humid, and there’s too much of pollution settling on my greasy hair/scalp to make do with ‘mild’ cleansers. Plus I am doubtful about the quality of baking soda available in the local groceries. I have these sodium bicarbonate tablets (500 mg) that were prescribed to a family member who doesn’t need them anymore. Would they serve the same purpose? Do I use one tablet per hair wash (I have ear-length hair) or more/less?

        2. I recently went and bought apple cider vinegar (for the first time; we don’t use it for cooking), and it smells AWFUL. I’m really apprehensive about using something that smells so rotten on my hair. Nor do I have access to fragrant herbs such as lavender (or the time to make teas with them). Will adding essential oils of lavender/rose/ylang ylang/vetiver/sandalwood etc. to the apple cider-water rinse mask the smell while retaining the benefit?

        Thank you for reading this comment; I look forward to your answer.

        • You can use plain vinegar if that smells better to you and I’ve read about people adding essential oils to their rinse, so I don’t think it effects the acidity.

          “Would they serve the same purpose?” Maybe, but you’d just have to see. It doesn’t sound as if it would damage your hair.

          “Do I use one tablet per hair wash (I have ear-length hair) or more/less? ”
          I’m guessing more than that, but you’d probably have to take a set number and experiment.

    • try adding in about 8 drops of peppermint oil and 8 drops of tea tree oil :0 it helps with the smell for those concerned :) You can also make citrus vinegar by adding some lime & lemon peels to your vinegar and shaking it daily for a week or too :) I now use no poo for my curly hair and have been for about 10 years :) love it. I have recently started using citrus vinegars and baking soda for my cleaning products around the home, and for my face as well “) so much happier:)

      The tee tree oil is also a natural antispectic so it helps with scalp itchies if you have that issue. If you have lots of itching or scalp issues buy food grade aloe vera and use it as a scalp treatment :)

      • I’ve been “no-pooing” for 6 months now and love it I have hip length, thin straight blonde hair. I did have problems with the acv rinse, although it made my hair feel awsome and soft, my husband couldn’t bear the smell :( And he still misses the smell of my Herbal Essence shampoo I used to use…. and I also had some problems with it being very staticy at times. But I found a recipe that fixed that!
        3/4c. water
        1/4c. vinegar (I use white hoping to cut down on the smell)
        1T. honey
        1T.aloe vera
        10 drops tea tree e. oil
        10 drops peppermint e. oil.
        I find that an old worchestershire sauce bottle works great to put it in :) The honey and aloe cut the static and the tea tree is strong enough to help cover the vinegar smell. Still would like to find somthing to make my hair smell nicer for my man…
        I think I’ll be trying some camomile tea in place of the water since reading that it helps with blonde hair…

  14. Your hair looks great, and I love the health aspects – both eco and personal…but I’m afraid this one isn’t for me! Call me unenlightened, but I love the smell of fruity, freshly shampooed hair, and I don’t feel clean unless I’ve had my daily shower with soap and shampoo and conditioner.
    It’s certainly got me thinking though. As an asidem I would love more research to be done into the health implications of pregnant women using standard cosmetics, perfumes etc. I used to work for a skincare company, and the amount of chemical that is absorbed into the skin is outstanding.
    .-= 280 Days´s last blog ..Beautiful Mess =-.

    • An option I’ve recently read on a long hair forum is making a shampoo out of natural soap (such as castile) and a little coconut oil, then rinsing with herbal teas. That’d give you the fruity smell and get you clean.
      Apparently some people find the baking soda too coarse for their scalp, and the coconut oil does beautiful things for waves. I haven’t tried it yet because it’s too cold here right now to keep the CO liquid, but I will as it warms up. I’ve read good things about catnip rinses. Rinsing with ACV (even rinsing it out afterwards) left a lingering smell on me; either I used too much, or my hair is so dry and porous that it sucked too much in. My husband hated it!
      At least you don’t lose much if the experiment fails and you’re not ready to try again.

      • Thanks Tsh and Lauren! I think I’m going to start with the natural soap and coconut oil because I have curly hair and I love scents. Nerdily excited.

      • Lauren, I would imagine you could just stick the bottle of baking soda/CO water under the shower water and warm it up that way!

        • How do you get the water and baking soda to mix? mine doesnt get thick and a small mound of baking soda is at the bottom of bottle.

          • That’s easy enough… just shake up the bottle! It may not dissolve (unless you originally mix it with hot water), but just shake it up before you use it each time.

  15. This post is timely for me b/c I’ve just been planning on another pregnancy. Last time I was pregnant I used the very expensive organic shampoos, and I’ve been thinking I need to go ahead and get some to use when my current supply runs out. Maybe I’ll try this instead? I’ll have to admit a bit of reservation (although the pics have helped convince me), but it doesn’t hurt to try, huh?
    .-= Kendra@www.thebutterflynest.blogspot.com´s last blog ..How Sweet it Is =-.

  16. It’s funny how I’ve been reading about this for the past few months in the blogs I keep up with. I so want to do this…for economical as well as healthy reasons…and I want great hair! I’m a youth pastor’s wife and even mentioned the concept to the girls in our group who all come from large families (which means lots of money spent on hair products) and everyone was sharing their tips of what they use!
    .-= Jessie Stimpson´s last blog ..Handmade Christmas =-.

  17. As with many natural living practices, this is one that did sound SO CRAZY at first, but the more I thought about it, the more it makes sense. Now it is second nature to me. :)

    I personally have found that I need a deep conditioning treatment about once a week to keep my ends from drying out. I prefer Burt’s Bees because it is phthalate, paraben, and sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate-free. With the money I am saving on not buying shampoo and conditioner, I don’t mind the little splurge on a high quality deep conditioner!

    Thanks for the link to my article on this and thank you for shedding light on this practice that more and more people are finding to be a very workable hair-care practice!
    .-= Megan at Simple Kids´s last blog ..September 18th: SK Showcase and Weekend Links =-.

    • You might try organic coconut oil. I heard someone talking about using it for a conditioner, and I tried it. My hair is the softest it has ever been, and I love knowing that I am using a one ingredient product. I use it as my lotion too, and my elbows (which were always a bit rough) feel like silk.

      • Awesome! I will definitely look for that.

        • I use the coconut oil before I wash my hair, leaving it in for about 3 minutes before washing. I tried it once with the baking soda and I couldn’t get enough of the residue out. It was the first time I’d tried the baking soda acv thing, so I’m not sure if that is to blame or not. I think if you just put it on the ends it might work better. I’m going to try that next time I wash.

      • Coconut oil works wonders on the skin, especially when you are fresh out the shower. Your skin feels baby smooth…

    • I use extra virgin olive oil to deep condition my hair. Put it all over your hair or just on the ends, put plastic wrap over your hair and let sit for a while. Then wash as usual.

    • i don’t know if you saw the reply i just posted ….. i just discovered using coconut milk as a “deep conditioning treatment” …

      ……………. ” i used a small can of the thai coconut milk (you can find it at any u.s. grocery store). leave it on for an hour. rinse well!!!!!! then wash with b.s. / a.c.v. it’s amazing!! soft, less tangles. seriously … feels like salon hair!! this picture is from today. i did the coconut milk “treatment” last night, rinsed. washed with b.s. / a.c.v. this morning. let my hair air dry as usual …..” http://www.flickr.com/photos/coleyb/6957052129/in/photostream

      i think i’ll only need this every 2 – 4 weeks. but, i can’t wait to do it again!

  18. I was shampoo free for a few months but went back to shampoo. My scalp was just too itchy and flaky and my forehead and neck were breaking out too much. I couldn’t handle the collateral damage! I’m sure there are solutions to both but I wasn’t ready to go there when just using shampoo was a quick fix. Plus, my hair just did’t feel as great as it does with shampoo. I REALLY wanted it to work and be as great as everyone raves but it just wasn’t.
    .-= Andrea @ The Train To Crazy´s last blog ..From my bookshelf: 1-2-3 Magic =-.

    • Interesting. A few weeks ago, my hair was shampooed at the salon, and immediately my scalp began itching. I had no problem with itchy scalp when I shampooed regularly!

      I guess everyone’s different, huh?

      • Yes, I kept hearing about how it cured all these problems and how wonderful it is. I think for 3 months I was talking myself into believing it was working out until I used shampoo one day and the itchiness went away. It was then I decided it just wasn’t! I think I might try Renee @ FIMBY’s method to see if that works out better for me.
        .-= Andrea @ The Train To Crazy´s last blog ..An old friend =-.

        • I’ve noticed that when I wash my hair without combing through it with a fine tooth comb first my scalp becomes very itchy and my hair feels heavy and not clean. But after I learned that I needed to comb my hair to loosen the dirt first and then scrub my scalp with my finger tips while washing my scalp doesn’t itch any longer and my hair feels nice and light like it should. I’ve also stopped using ANY AND ALL products in my hair because I don’t need to any longer. I love this method and won’t ever go back.

      • avatar
        shirley says:

        I will be trying this no shampoo method. How often is one supposed to use this method? Should I be using the baking soda with water and apple cider vinegar with water everyday?

    • avatar
      Kathleen says:

      Andrea – two potential reasons for your head being itchy after using the baking soda/vinegar shampoo/rinse method is
      1. the baking soda dried out the scalp too much which can cause itching – try using less baking soda
      2. you may have a sensitivity to vinegar or the type of vinegar used. My daughter is quite allergic to vinegar and cannot use it at all. Use one of the other rinses and see if that makes a difference.

  19. I’m intrigued. I’m still searching for a shampoo that doesn’t strip my hair but doesn’t cost a fortune. Now I’m thinking it doesn’t exist! I’ll give it a try, and since I’ll be at home for a good stretch of weeks with a new baby, having oily hair won’t be a big deal! :) Thanks for the info!
    .-= My First Kitchen´s last blog ..Double Decker Cheeseburgers =-.

  20. I just spent close to $8 on a bottle of organic shampoo. I am so willing to try this. nervous. but willing. thanks for the info!
    .-= Denise´s last blog ..30 days of the Every Day – Six =-.

  21. A few years ago there was a huge outbreak of lice at my kids school. The oldest were in kindergarten and second grade at the time. My first step was to stop washing their hair ( it was washed only once per week to begin with.) Neither of my children ended up with lice, and my daughter, who had thick blonde hair down to the middle of her back, was the only girl in her class who was lice free. The staff couldn’t believe it. ( I also braided her hair and pinned it up every day.) It took the school months to get rid of the lice, even the teachers had it. Everyone thought I was crazy for refusing to wash their hair, but the natural oils in their hair make it hard for the lice eggs to attach.

    • That is so awesome! Thank you for sharing that information! I never knew that! :D

    • Yes, thanks very much for that!

    • Yes! This is why most African American kids do not transmit or acquire lice as much as the rest of the population. As a kid, after washing my hair my mom would “grease my scalp” so that I would have healthy, shiny hair (no matter how ICKY it felt while she did it, my hair always looked and felt nice!). It was washed once a week, possibly twice if I got really dirty. I knew some kids whose parents washed their hair biweekly, but that was too long for me. The lice don’t like “dirty” hair. It’s harder to lay eggs and move around in.

      I think my mom was on to something, though. When I was younger, I never had dandruff or an extremely oily scalp AND face like I do now. I use Head and Shoulders religiously, but it’s never really worked. And I use entirely too many products on my face to prevent shine, only to end up with an oil slick within an hour or so.

      I suppose less really is more!

      • avatar
        Noy Bus says:

        I used Head and Shoulders for years when I was a kid as I had a flakey scalp. What we didn’t realise was that the H&S was actually CAUSING it. I stopped using it as soon as I was old enough to buy for myself. There are some shampoos out there that are great for my scalp and others (like Pantene) which make me itch like crazy. I’d love for this baking soda/vinegar method to work on me but I have very long, thin and fragile hair that’s highly coloured every few weeks – I just can’t take the chance on this making it more fragile when I’ve currently got a great shampoo and conditioner (Dead Sea products).

      • Have you tried blotting paper for oily skin? Also, try organic coconut oil as a face moisturizer. It soaks in straight away and alot of people who had problems with oily skin stopped when using coconut oil.

  22. avatar
    Jana Wilcox says:

    Oh how I love your site. i was just thinking yesterday that there has to be a better way and last night I mixed some Bragg’s ACV with water after I shampoo’d my hair and it looked and felt great with just that one time use. This morning I saw your post and – ah ha – I’m exccited to try the Baking Soda. My hair is a mess and know that this is my answer!! :) Thanks for sharing……
    Jana

  23. I am really hoping this will give me the dream hair I’ve always wanted! lol.

    Since having my son my hair is just, well, blergh. I’m going to give this a go, I mean… my hair couldn’t get any worse…
    .-= Satakieli´s last blog ..Learning Journal 2 =-.

  24. Does it matter if the vinegar has the “mother” or not? Also, what are you usin instead of soap?

  25. I don’t believe you could ever go just to water. Perhaps people who have extremely unoily hair could, but the fact is, no matter what you use to wash your hair, your scalp is designed to release oils, and water does not remove oil. That is why you can’t wash your dishes in regular water!

    Also, while I totally don’t care if people decide to wash their hair with something other than shampoo, I think some of the accusations levelled at it weren’t entirely true: while it strips oils, it also moisturises (depending on the type you use). Different shampoos & conditioners also affect people’s scalps differently- one might make your husband’s scalp dry and flaky, another might be fine.

    I’m also not sure if it’s true that “the more shampoo you use, the more you need.” I’m at the age (relatively young) where the past few years have involved me figuring out my skin & hair and how best to treat it (how often to wash hair, moisturise skin, what to use to wash skin, etc etc). For a few years now I washed my hair twice every three weeks. (Approximately). But I eventually noticed (perhaps the oil increased as I got older) that my hair was becoming too oily in the intervening days and that I had to wash more often. It wasn’t like I increased my shampoo usage and *then* my hair started becoming oilier faster, but vice versa.

    I also have hair dressers tell me I have the best hair they’ve ever seen; I don’t dye my hair (I use temporary colours but have never used a permanent), don’t perm, bleach, rarely use mousse & hairspray, don’t use straightening irons and rarely curling wands (just for special occasions).

    Also, apparently the expensive hairdresser-recommended shampoos/conditioners *don’t* put in the extra stuff that coats your hair. Hairdressers recommend these shampoos because if you use the cheaper stuff which does coat the hair, hair dye will not take as well. But that’s more expensive :P

    Kim – yes, the myth is that if you have head lice you must have dirty hair, when really it is the opposite – head lice like clean hair! I had lice several times between the ages of 6 and 13 and by the last bout I was fed up (we’d had them about 3 times in one year) – the school had an infestation and the lice had become immune to pretty much everything on the market. How did I end up getting rid of them? By washing my hair every night with regular shampoo & conditioner and then combing it out with a nit comb. Conditioner stuns the headlice meaning the comb will pick them out. I did this every night for a week, meaning that if I missed an egg here or there I’d get the lice when it hatched the next night. I was the first in our family to become lice-free after that bout.

    • You can use the mint (blue or green) Listerine like a shampoo. The lice fall right out of the hair into the tub. Apply it to dry hair and put a plastic bag on your head for approximately 2 hours. Rinse thoroughly and you will be lice free. I have had to use Listerine several times on my grandkids who got lice from school.

  26. Don’t you think that they might put in moisturizers BECAUSE it strips what your hair naturally produces? Why put something on your hair that has such bad ingredients that they have to even it out with extra moisturizing components. You’d be better off without it.
    Beyond that, the moisturizing ingredients in your shampoos and conditioners are still chemically based. They may contain some jojoba and vitamin E, etc., but those are mostly just for marketing and scent.

    I’m going to give this a try! I’ve been buying shampoos for the past while based on which form of lauryl sulfate they use, and have been trying to find the gentlest ones ( I can’t remember the scientific names right now for the harshest/gentlest forms).
    .-= Jen @ Canadian Rhapsody´s last blog ..2 days late. My bad. =-.

  27. I have never heard of such a thing! I just bought shampoo and conditioner yesterday – I’m going to try this out right away. Thanks!
    .-= Cherilyn´s last blog ..Homeschooling At It’s Finest =-.

  28. Love this post, Tsh. I’ve been doing this off and on for about four years. I have very short hair, and I find that it just lays flat (in a bad way) when it’s been stripped of its natural oils. I have always disliked loading expensive products back into my hair after washing it, so it seemed like a good thing to try — letting the natural oils serve as the “product” that gives me some control with my hair.

    We’ve lived in four homes since I started this, and I have found that the type of water makes a big difference. In one place, we had fantastic well water, and I didn’t use anything at all (no smell or oiliness in my hair, either). Just a really good scrub in a hot shower every morning. Then we moved into a new home, which also had well water, but not so good. This water had rust or something in it, and I was finding that my hair was not getting as clean, and would retain that smell… I occasionally tried baking soda, but I never really knew what proportion to use, and didn’t stick with it. I got into using “Lush” brand shampoos then, which are far less abrasive. It’s actually a shampoo bar, and has a nice smell. (Another somewhat related side tip — I only use hot water on my face, and moisturize with a tiny amount of straight extra virgin coconut oil. In the winter time I have to supplement with something else, shea butter or similar, or else I get flaky scaly skin on my cheeks. But in the warmer months, I swear by just coconut oil!)

    Now we’re in a different home, on city water, and I wash with at least hot water every morning. We’ve installed a filter on the shower head so it’s not so chlorine-y. But I do have an itchy scalp from shampoo, and so I try not to use it every day. I think, after reading your post, I’m going to try the baking soda squeeze bottle!

  29. fascinating! my mom yells at me all the time about this, but i’m afraid i’m too addicted to the “clean smell” to go this natural.

    we use castille soap for practically everything incl shampoo…this is so interesting.

    also, random question, but what is mother vinegar, or vinegar’s mother and why would vinegar need a mother? please help! this is going to drive me nuts today.
    .-= Liz ´s last blog ..Happy 1st Birthday Elvis! =-.

  30. Oh, it seemed to me that my current gravatar image was looking like a flat-shampoo day, so I’ve tried to find a more representative one… don’t know if I have changed it correctly, this stuff is beyond me. :-)

  31. LOVING this post! I’ve heard about it before, but always sort of brushed it off and your post is completely intriguing – thanks so much! This would be so great for me, too, because I’m allergic or sensitive to a ton of stuff in shampoos and conditioner and always cross my finger when I get a new one that I won’t get an awful breakout all over my scalp. Baking soda and vinegar, here I come!
    .-= Lillian @ Domestic Simplicity´s last blog ..I am absolutely devouring this e-book: The Simple Guide to a Minimalist Life =-.

  32. Well, I just bought fancy shampoo and conditioner in an effort to salvage my hair! However, your hair looks great! Maybe I’ll try this technique next. Thanks for the breakdown.
    .-= Amy Reads Good Books´s last blog ..The Senator’s Wife =-.

  33. I am seriously considering trying this! Thanks for the detailed instructions!
    .-= Cara Beth Buie´s last blog ..Happy Fall! =-.

  34. We switched to organic only shampoo/conditioner and in an effort to offset cost increase, I only wash my hair every second day (my kids shampoo once or twice/wk depending on age). I want to head in this direction (no poo) but as with everything else, I’ll have to be the guinee pig before convincing my family :) My kids are African-Canadian (hair tends to be a bit drier/coarser) and I wonder if others with this hair-type have successfully used bkg soda/vinegar ?!

  35. I’ve been a no poo gal for over a year. I LOVE how soft my hair is and even some of the curl I lost because of pregnancy has come back. I changed to no poo because my hair would get so greasy by the end of one day I felt like I had to wash my hair twice a day! It took about two weeks for my hair to adjust. For a while I used baking soda every other day. Now I use it once a week and just rinse with water the rest of the week. Because I live in the arid desert of Northern Nevada I do use essential oils every now and then to keep the ends of my hair from getting dry. They smell good too!
    .-= Chocolate on my Cranium´s last blog ..Watchmen on the Tower FHE =-.

  36. So, Tsh, you mention using this on your kids and not having to buy tear-free shampoo. Is baking soda naturally tear-free or do you have to be careful about not getting it in their eyes? I’d love to use this on my one-year-old if it won’t burn her eyes.

    • We’ve had no issues on our end – my daughter is 4.5 and my son is 21 months. I don’t know if it’s “officially” tear-free, but they’ve never said anything about it.

      • avatar
        Carolyn Smith says:

        Hi there

        I suffer from eye redness and crustiness on my eyelashes and my eye doctor recommends either using baby shampoo or bicarbonate of soda (which is similar to baking soda) to clean my eyes – rub the roots of the eyeleshes with a cotton bud dipped into a diluted solution of either. So both are tear free. Hope this helps

  37. Great post! I’m definitely going to try this. I’ve been switching shampoos for about a year now due to an itchy scalp. I’ve been to the dermatologist, but it’s not dandruff or lice. The itch is relatively minor, but it drives me CRAZY! I really think that over the past few years I’ve just developed a skin sensitivity. Maybe this is my answer. (Sorry if all that is TMI!)

  38. I’ve been shampoo-free for about two years. I started after reading Curly Girl (http://www.amazon.com/Curly-Girl-Lorraine-Massey/dp/0761123008) and haven’t found any reason to go back. I use conditioner when I “wash” it, which is about 2-3/wk. I switched from ridiculously expensive conditioner to Trader Joe’s, which is $2.99 for 500mL, but now I’ve seen that it does contain methyl and propyl parabens, so I might check out the Burt’s Bees product mentioned above. I haven’t weaned myself from Aveda’s styling products (my hair is a fluffy, frizzy, Q-tippy mess without some product in it), but I’m inspired now to do some research. Great post, Tsh!

  39. This sounds great! I did a lemon juice rinse as a kid a few times when chlorine turned my hair green, and I’ve also heard lemon juice for blonds, and apple cider vinegar for brunettes, although I doubt it matters. I’ll have to try this.

    Another hygiene use for baking soda–as deodorant. I haven’t switched yet, but my husband did a few months ago, and not only does it not irritate his skin like deodorant, but I’ll vouch, as the one who hugs him with my nose at his armpit level, that it is much more effective.

  40. Wow – as much as I thought I was completely familiar with everything natural and frugal, the details of this I have never investigated. I just started writing a post about “saving money on hair” but it never would have included this. Now I guess I have to point out this post. :)
    I was only focusing on hairstyles, learning how to cut your childrens’ hair etc.
    I’m pretty radical, but I must admit, I thought I was stretching it by only using shampoo twice a week. hee hee :) Guess not.

    Thanks for something really interesting to ponder.
    .-= Jen@Balancing Beauty and Bedlam´s last blog ..Are coupons worth it? =-.

  41. i have pretty short hair and stopped using shampoo on a regular basis over a year ago. i still do use it – about once a week. but i do believe i will give this a shot! i don’t have a whole lot to lose ;)

    and i’m especially intrigued that you say you’re not using pomade anymore either. that’s my daily crutch!
    .-= tara g´s last blog ..finding passion | crystal j. =-.

  42. I think my husband is going to get tired of me reading all my favorite blogs. His response when I wanted to try cloth diapers was hardly supportive. Then the other day after some blog reading, I presented him with some other important topics our family must make a decision on. He’s going to think I’m crazy for trying this but off to get my empty bottles and give this a whirl. Tsh, I loved your comment below your pictures. Thanks for the laugh!

  43. Thanks for the great overview. I had heard of this quite a bit, so I was not surprised by the idea. I just haven’t tried it yet myself. I have found a middle ground with EO brand shampoos and conditioners which are free of yucky chemicals and petroleum. I would love to save that money though!
    .-= Michele´s last blog ..asleep without mommymilk =-.

  44. I never would have thought of this. Thanks for opening our eyes to another option.
    Blessings today!
    Shilo
    .-= Shilo´s last blog ..Looking Unto Jesus Risen =-.

  45. i have gone shampoo-free for over a year now with only baking soda and apple cider vinegar and the outcome is tremendous. it’s funny when people ask me how my hair got to looking so pretty and what products i use, because their mouths drop when i say soda and vinegar. :) i went this route in hopes of finding something to counteract my limp and fine hair. turns out…my hair’s not limp and fine, and it’s not stick-straight like i always thought it was. i have had two summers go past where i’ve been able to air-dry my hair with no frizz and natural wave…who knew?!

    in the winter-time i increase my apple cider vinegar by a smidgen to balance the static-cling that happens…but it doesn’t get greasy because the environment is naturally drier.

    regarding dying my hair, i still dye mine with the most potent of products (think that $2 box of tox at your local dept store – that’s what i use!) every 6-8 weeks and have no problems with my hair. instead of using the package of conditioner that comes with it, i save those for our guests when they come over and instead rinse with apple cider vinegar (3 tbsps to 8oz of water to make it extra moisturizing) and dump it from root to scalp. i let it sit about 2 minutes and then rinse.

    i usually only need to wash my hair 1-2 times a week now. it styles better with updos come the third or fourth day because there’s barely any product in it.

    when i get my hair cut, the stylist always washes my hair with basic shampoo and conditioner…the very next day i have to wash my hair because it’s so greasy. it’s amazing the difference in how those dept store products affect my hair now.
    .-= jenifriend´s last blog ..Plaque Is Back! =-.

  46. I’ve been using just a plain bar of soap, then a rinse of vinegar water for almost a year now. My long hair (down to my bottom) is bouncy, glistens with natural highlights and rarely gets greasy like it did before (every day!). Now I wash my hair 3 – 4 times a week. I tried the baking soda route, wasn’t thrilled, then read somewhere about using the soap instead. I tried it as an experiment as well and loved the results. My ten year old son uses it as well.

    • What kind of bar soap do you use? I use no products in my naturally curly hair, and it’s very healthy. But I am suddenly allergic to ALL shampoos except baby shampoo. Would love to switch to bar soap. And what about conditioner, (curly hair needs it). Thanks.

  47. I hadn’t heard of going shampoo-free before, but I can definitely see the benefits. I try to use the “natural” shampoos that are healthier for my hair, but they are usually very expensive. I’m willing to give this a try. Thanks for sharing your tips and extra resources too.

    I do spend the extra money on lotions and (real) soap/shower gels for body care. I’d love to find a cheaper way to care for our skin. What do you use for your family Tsh?
    .-= Stacie @ newmommyhelp.net´s last blog ..When Should We Transition From Crib to Toddler Bed? =-.

    • I’ve got a post coming up on this, but in short: Dr. Bronner’s is my friend. :)

      • I have been shampoo/conditioner free for 2 weeks, have washed my hair 2-3 times a week and I must say I love it. I use Baking Soda and water for shampoo and Apple Cider Vinegar and water for rinsing. I also use Baking Soda sprinkled on a wet wash cloth on my body while showering and then Apple Cider Vinegar and water for rinsing to normalize my body PH. I also use BS for brushing my teeth, I went back to using toothpaste when we went on a trip but my teeth didn’t feel clean. I wash my face in the morning with my wash cloth and BS . I use BS, citric acid and a package of BC powder when I have a headache or any aches and pains and my husband uses it whenever he feels like he’s coming down with something and it stops whatever he might have gotten sick from right in its tracks. Many uses for BS, I wouldn’t live without it.

  48. I have heard this before but was wondering if it actually worked! Thanks for sharing!
    .-= Ashley´s last blog ..Kmart Double Coupons =-.

  49. I’ve been shampoo free for months now, but I found I can’t use baking soda at all. It definately makes my scalp itchy and rashy. Instead I use homemade soap now (which I can add any fragrance I like to) and rinse with regular white vinegar. For others who can’t use baking soda, they could try Ivory soap.

  50. You could knock me over with a feather right now! Apparently I’m the last to hear for shampoo-free!

    Way to go, Tsh. I’m super impressed and as always, you are such a ground-breaking roll model for the rest of us.
    Your hair looks GREAT!

    I have SUPER fine, limp hair so I’d have to do some research as to what I should expect. I kinda rely on those ‘volume enhancing’ products!
    .-= Aimee´s last blog ..Geraldine’s Chocolate-Date Cake =-.

  51. What anew, great idea for me! We switched to Burts Bees products a few years ago when our baby had some breathing issues…we were trying to eliminate chemicals from our home. I hate how much money I spend on Burts Bees though…I’m willing to give this a try!
    .-= Sharon´s last blog ..The "flu" is alive and well here! =-.

    • Hey Sharon,

      Since you are trying to go chemical free in your home, have you ever tried using micofiber? The one I use is actually clinically proven to pick up and hold 99% of germs and bacteria without using any chemicals at all, just water, and you can clean your whole house with it. I have mine from this website ( http://www.usjesco.com/microfiber-cloth.aspx) and I absolutely love mine. Tsh, you might want to look into it too.

  52. Thanks for spreading this out! It’s ESPECIALLY healthy for the CURLY GIRLS out there…….sulfates and silicones are HORRIBLE for them. Although I *do* use a shampoo and condish, I go Trader Joe’s ALL THE WAY. No sulfates….no silicones…and lots and lots of good things. I also do give kudos to ACV and Baking Soda…my hair loves both maybe once a month. Due to the nature of my own scalp and sebum habits (blach), I can’t put down the cleanser, though….so….it may just depend upon each person!

  53. Thanks so much!! About six months ago I started making my own household cleaners (thanks to your Spring Cleaning Book!!) and my own laundry detergent. I was thinking about the shampoo and conditioner, but thought maybe I was taking it a little too far. Thanks for letting me know that I wasn’t!! I am so excited to try this. We are just about done with our shampoo and conditioner, so this is a great time to try it. I’ll post here again in a couple of weeks.
    Thanks for such an informative and encouraging post!!

  54. I am so impressed. I tried to wean myself of shampoo by showering less and with less shampoo- but the transition time was just too much for me. I will have to try again. It really is such a good idea. Good for you.
    .-= Taryn´s last blog ..Cheesy Egg Bagel Sandwich =-.

  55. Okay, I’m a little grossed out, but I think I’d like to try it.
    Does anyone know how all of this may work with highlighted hair???
    Thanks!
    .-= Parenting Ink´s last blog ..Mama’s Gone Crazy in the Bathroom =-.

  56. I’m made the switch to no chemicals for my household cleaning, which I’m happy with.
    I like this no shampoo idea. I’ve had free trials of organic shampoos for a couple months, and like them, but you’re hair looks really good for baking soda. I’m impressed.
    Now if only we could just get rid of deodorant…and go natural…
    I’ve never done research on deodorant, but there’s probably lots of chemicals in them. Do you know? You’re probably going to tell me that lotions are bad too, right?
    Thanks for your blog. Love it!!

    • LUSH sells organic deordorant! It’s fabulous! No packaging either, just a bar.

      http://www.lush.com ! Some of the best, handmade, affordable, organic stuff for your body! I use it all the time!
      .-= Valerie´s last blog ..Fall & Winter Goals =-.

    • I have been using just rubbing alcohol as a deodorant for months now, and I love it! I have been somewhat concerned about the effects of deodorant/anti-perspirant for a while now, and this works so well! It isn’t an anti-perspirant, but there is no body odor whatsoever…not even the smell of women’s deodorant. It is so great!

      I just have a little spray bottle with alcohol and give a little squirt or two in the morning and sometimes freshen up just like I have to with deodorant. A friend told me about it, and I am so grateful.
      .-= Mandy´s last blog ..Fun Homework =-.

    • Go to youtube and search making natural deodorant. I think it’s health, home, happiness (not sure) she demo’s how to make it with coconut oil and baking soda. Also, you can buy a Crystal deodorant stick (in a light purple clear container) at a drug store (walgreens) and it last forever.

    • I made my own deodorant with Baking Soda and it works fine except that you have to keep it in the fridge unless your house stays pretty cool. I thought mine did but the deodorant still melted a little. I don’t remember off hand what recipe I used but it was easy and it works. If you’d like you can email me and I will send it to you.
      amenpi@gmail.com

    • I make my own deodorant with equal parts baking soada and coconut oil, with a little lavender essential oil

      • oops…with a little lavender essential oil mixed in for the lovely smell. It works better than any deodorant I’ve ever bought! Note that it won’t stop you from sweating….it will just stop you from smelling…AT ALL! :)

  57. We used the baking soda and vinegar for more than a year, and our hair was never softer. But now we’ve taken another plunge….we don’t use anything but water on our hair while bathing/showering, and use a boar bristle brush for cleaning and redistributing the natural oils.
    Going from ‘poo to boar bristle supposedly can be a nasty transition, but other than 1 or 2 days I think the transition went super easy because we’d already worked the scum out of our hair while using the b soda and vinegar.
    Simple can get even simpler!!
    .-= Karen´s last blog ..A Pleasing Aroma =-.

  58. Awesome! Man, I wish I hadn’t just bought a huge thing of shampoo!
    .-= Jessalyn´s last blog ..Diaper Diaries: First Impressions =-.

  59. I’m going to try this tonight.
    .-= Asterid´s last blog ..Psuedo-Potato Salad and Almost Getting Ran Over =-.

  60. I used baking soda and lemon juice exclusively for 14 months (I wouldn’t even let the haircutter lady wash my hair). I have long, thick, wavy hair, and it was never healthier or happier! By the time I stopped, I was going 15-20 days between washes, and no one could tell. But oy, the crap on my comb. I got so sick of rubbing off all those “natural oils.” Sad to say, this is what caused me to stop.

    However. After a two-year hiatus, I’ve recently switched back. I’m thinking of using ACV this time, possibly with some lavender to help with the smell (I never thought my hair stunk, but my husband did complain sometimes).

    Glad to see some of the whys behind the madness! It’s motivation to stick with it again.
    .-= Kristin´s last blog ..Busy Sunday =-.

  61. I too would love to hear more about what body/skin products you use now! Looking forward to your post(s) on that, adn thanks for this great info too! :)

  62. I’ve tried this a couple of times but didn’t stick with it. My shampoo and conditioner are about to run out so I will have those bottles to use for the new concoctions. I didn’t realize you could mix ahead of time and use it up. This will make it easier. I’m excited for my future hair!

  63. I’ve been thinking about going poo free for awhile now. My only concern is that I color my hair. I like being darker than my natural hair color. Do you have much research that tells you if going poo free strips you of dye products? I’m not finding much information about it.

    Thanks!
    .-= Ashley´s last blog ..Secret Obsessions. =-.

  64. Mmm, I’m gonna have to be the voice of pessimism here – I tried this about a year ago & it bombed, BIG-TIME. I’m a SAHM, I don’t really have pressing needs to “be” anywhere or make a big deal about my personal looks, & I still couldn’t get past Day 5 or so. My hair looked, smelled & felt absolutely disgusting. 2 to 6 weeks of that?? No way. It was horrible. I bought a boar bristle brush as suggested, tried brushing the oils to the tips, everything.

    If I knew when the day would come that my hair would all of a sudden turn luxurious & soft, then I might have been able to stick it out. But not having a clue as to when that would be was just too much. Plus I did break out on my neck & forehead quite a bit from all the excess oil – pleasant!!

    Now my hair is quit a bit shorter & not as full, so I’m somewhat tempted to make a go at it again, but ick – it was just so disgusting. Instead of the soda & vinegar route (which is what I previously tried), I may do the Ivory Soap w/reg. vinegar & see what happens. Ugh, how on earth did you go 2 weeks with nasty hair?? Just curious…
    .-= Vicki R.´s last blog ..53 Days =-.

    • From what I’ve read, Apple Cider Vinegar can be waaaay too moisturizing for some people. I’d say your problem was actually the Apple Cider Vinegar. Anyone who ends up too oily and “nasty” should switch to white vinegar instead…. It’s a difference in PH….

    • You may need to take it in stages. ie, replacing shampoo/cond once a week with bs/vinegar, then replacing it 2x/week, etc. That will help ease the transition and “detox” your hair gradually.

    • I have yet to have a nasty day since I started two weeks ago… with exception for the days I didn’t measure out my baking soda and short-changed myself (it only got a teeny bit oily, not ew-y). With shampoo I can never go 24-hours without a shampooing… with B. soda I am starting to see improvement and the possibility to skip a treatment day. I’ve NOT used any vinegar (because I don’t have any) during the two weeks. Other than the winter static, my waist-length hair is soft and clean. One tablespoon, one cup hot water and that’s it.

    • When I started going “poo”less, I was washing every two to three days. I still do this as that is what my scalp needs, and my hair so curly the moisture from the water is much needed after this time frame. I use lemon juice…….I never did take to the apple cider vinegar.

      I have dark hair and the lemon juice did not lighten it. It’s rinsed out in the shower.

  65. I was sooo surprised to see you had done a post about this because – – I have been shampoo free for several weeks now and can not BELIEVE the results of my hair! I was wanting to do a blog post about this myself!

    Anyway, I have naturally very curly hair and an oily scalp. Over the past several years, I’ve noticed my hair getting more and more dried out and losing its curl. I started wondering if it’s just because I’m getting older or what- but after some research, I discovered that it was probably due to my diet and some of the things (“natural” shampoos) that I had been using on my head. I totally ditched the shampoo and within a week, my hair was actually starting to look better than it has in years! It’s now been nearly a month and I am having family and friends comment on how good my hair looks! “What have you been doing?” Shhhhhh! No shampoo!!
    .-= Amber´s last blog ..Goodbye Summer! Goodbye Corn! =-.

  66. I’ve been wanting to try to go no-poo for a while now. I think I am going to wait until next summer, though, because I’m a teacher and I don’t really want to go to school with greasy/oily hair during the transition period. And since I don’t know if my transition period would be two weeks (perfect for over winter break – nice holiday pics, huh? :) or two months, it’d be safer to wait until then.

    Nice post about it though! Thanks for the information and resources!
    .-= Kristina´s last blog ..Day-long Birthday Date =-.

  67. Tsh,
    This was a SUPERB post! I have very damaged hair (dry, colored , blow-dried every day). It did not matter what shampoo I was using, NOTHING was making my hair MANAGEABLE.
    I saw your post, pulled out the B.S. and ACV and took a shower. I was able to run my comb through my hair (I have natural curls that tend to snarl), I could not believe how soft it was!
    This new method is SO MUCH CHEAPER than shampoo too. The stuff I was buying was $6.99 (so almost $14 for shampoo/conditioner). I do not see myself going back, I do see myself getting a squeeze bottle for these potions, much easier than juice glasses! :)

    • avatar
      Lyndsay says:

      It sounds like our hair profile is about the same (damaged, dry, colored, heat-styled, natural curls–i have more like waves–, etc), I have been trying this method for about a month now.. I have the hardest time with my hair being SO tangled. It’s painful. I can hardly style it all..which usually just consists of blow drying & straightening w/ flat irion. A brush is painful, and I cannot even get my fingers through it to pull apart sections for straightening. How were your results? Do you have any suggestions?
      Want to go poo-free, but dont want to wear a ponytail/bun everyday… I’m lucky to manage a braid if I’m doing good on patience…

  68. Wow! I am curious about this post and I, like a few others color my hair – mine is to cover gray so I wonder if this would strip the color or not. I may have to try it. Right now I am dissatisfied with my current shampoo/conditioner. Thanks for the post!
    .-= Catherine B´s last blog ..Keep on going… =-.

  69. Do you have a more natural soap that you family uses too? Thinking about the switch and thought “what about the rest of the body?”

  70. My kids and I have been ‘poo-free for about a year. I have long, highlighted hair, and my daughter has long, extremely fine hair and our has been so healthy and shiny. We don’t even bother with the vinegar rinse. I occasionally rub some jojoba oil through the ends if they get dry.

    Unfortunately, these past few weeks there has been a huge school infestation of lice (we’ve all had it 3 times). I’ve had to revert to using (organic) conditioner weekly to check for lice, and using mousse in my hair, as lice hate any sort of product. Therefore I need to use shampoo to get the product out of my hair. Sigh. I’m planning on going back to ‘poo free once they’re in high school. Such a shame.

    • We had problems w/ lice when my child was in preschool. The best thing that worked was to put listerine on our hair, cover, leave for 2 hrs and then rinse w/ white vinegar. I had used the store bought lice stiff and treated 4 times b4 this. This actually worked. Now I put just a little tea tree oil in their shampoo bottle and we haven’t had a problem since, Even when lice is going @ school or one of their school buddies has had it. Been 5 yrs now.

  71. I went out and bought the stuff to try this today! I’m excited :)

    I just hope I’m able to deal with the frizz though. My hair gets terribly frizzy at times… perhaps adding some coconut oil to the ACV mixture would help? Anyone have any experience with that?

  72. I just quit using conventional shampoo at the beginning of August. I had about a 2 week bad transition period, and I’m still not completely thrilled with the results. I am using a all-natural shampoo bar and ACV rinse. I still have to use a frizz serum to be able to get a comb through my hair and make it manageable. It definitely does not seem as shiny as I thought it would be, and my scalp is sometime itchy. I guess my hair and scalp could still just be adjusting, it’s only been about 6 weeks.

    Maybe I should try the baking soda instead of the shampoo bar and see how that works – I just thought the shampoo bar would be a good compromise between regular shampoo and no ‘poo.

  73. I’ve tried this is in the past. I did it for about 3 months. My big problem was I have very fine hair and no matter what amounts of soda or vinegar I used (or didn’t use), my hair was always had a lot of static. It became uncontrollable. I couldn’t come up with a solution to this no matter what I tried.

    • coconut oil!!! :D

      • I have fine curly hair. For me, not using anything other than warm water to rinse every morning works best. It took about a week of only rinsing before my hair had what I call a healthy feel and the frizzies disappeared.

  74. Great, great, great post. I just posted about some harmful chemicals in shampoo that caused my hair to shed/fall out too much. Someone who commented left me this URL to come read. I am so glad she did. I think I might have to try this!
    .-= Sara Bonds´s last blog ..A Long Time Comin’ . . . =-.

  75. Although I don’t spend a ton on shampoo and conditioner (one average bottle seems to last me at least 9 months – perhaps I use less than usual) – this sounds interesting. Might actually try this!

  76. We are almost out of shampoo in our house, so we might just give this a try. Hubby is constantly fighting dandruff. Does anyone know if no ‘poo will help or hinder?
    .-= Cammy´s last blog ..Cowboy Quilt =-.

  77. I’ve been doing this on and off for a couple of years now, but am off it at the moment. I got sick of having to wash my brush every day, and having less than lovely hair so started using an organic poo/conditioner but dandruff has recently pushed me to use my husbands (I’m sure very toxic) head and shoulders. I only used water when I did it so perhaps I’ll try it again with your pre-mix bi-carb and ACV ideas. It really is a great idea.
    .-= Maggie´s last blog ..Hulbert St Fiesta =-.

  78. Love this! I’m going to try it again – I went shampoo free for about a year. I’m not sure why I quit because I loved my hair then!
    .-= Mary´s last blog ..New Release: Chatter =-.

  79. Wow! Is there anything baking soda can’t do?! ; ) I’ve been using it to clean my bathtub for a while (works better than anything else I’ve tried), but I’d never heard of using it on myself in the bathtub. I may just have to try this…
    .-= Heather´s last blog ..Paperback Swapper =-.

  80. This doesn’t so much gross me out as much as it makes me think it wouldn’t be good for color-treated hair. I know that totally goes against the idea of “simple,” but let’s face it a lot of us color our hair rather than look old prematurely….
    .-= Karen´s last blog ..I surrender… =-.

  81. Thanks for sharing. Baking soda is our friend! I’m willing to give this a try.
    .-= Melissa´s last blog ..I’m Your Huckleberry (Crisp) =-.

  82. I’m very intrigued by this idea. But I’m curious what you do to keep your smelling good or at least from smelling yucky?
    .-= Abby´s last blog ..Meer Challenges Preemptive Love Staff to Soccer 2 Weeks After Surgery! =-.

  83. I’m traveling in South America right now and I was just thinking how nice it would be to NOT be so dependent on my specific brand of U.S. shampoo/conditioner! When I get home I’m going to give the baking soda a try.

    One question: How do you travel with it? Do you just take a ziplock full of baking soda and an empty plastic bottle?
    .-= Cate´s last blog ..Time and…Coffee? =-.

  84. Tsh,
    I hope you don’t mind but I and most of my 9 children made the switch back in February, so maybe I can answer a few questions:

    Vicki,
    Do you happen to have hard water? I found that the baking soda did nothing in my super-hard water unless I added it to boiling water to thoroughly dissolve it. I don’t know the science behind it, but it made all the difference to my hair: I went from nearly dripping oil (EW!) to soft and clean overnight after waiting weeks and weeks for the adjustment phase to end.

    Loretta,
    You mentioned head lice. Our family was exposed to head lice soon after switching to baking soda and vinegar, and to my surprise it deterred them! I spotted very bugs except on the children who have persisted in using shampoo.
    It seems that vinegar weakens the glue that holds the eggs to the hair shaft, while the natural hair oils make it difficult for them to firmly affix the eggs in the first place. Squeaky clean stripped hair is a louse’s paradise!

    Cammy,
    Your husband might find that it helps immensely! My dandruff almost completely disappeared very soon after I started using baking soda and vinegar.

    Abby,
    I do miss the nice scent of shampoo and conditioner, so I’ve taken to adding a few drops of essential oils or a spray of perfume to my hairbrush. I think it works nicely.

    I posted a week-by-week account of my switch for those who are wondering what to expect. If you start reading, do continue all the way to the last post. I had a rough start because of my super hard water, but there’s a happy ending.
    I really need to post again because, like Kristin, I’m a little tired of all the goop in my brush. I wonder if anyone has a cure for that?

    • To get rid of the “goop” use a fine tooth comb and brush your scalp really well before you get into the shower. I notice a HUGE difference when I wash my hair having combed my scalp before hand than when I forget to do it. Also, the apple cider vinegar, I noticed makes a big difference in how much oil my scalp produces.

  85. when I met my husband in 2001 he revealed to me his secret to amazing hair – he washes it with water only!! Ew gross, I thought… but over the years I’ve seen how many people comment on his textured, stylish hair… what products do you use? is that a wax?… nope, just his own natural oil … I’ve been too afraid to try this myself.. but what am I waiting for?!! here we go!

  86. OH yeah,That’s great

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  87. Thank you very much,I have read it now.
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  88. avatar
    Sharon Sheffield says:

    Hey I have been using baking soda for a while…its been interesting because not only is it less harsh on your hair but its less harsh on your wallet…Also it does give your hair follicles a deserved rest…! I didn’t know about using the apple cider though…I will have to try that. However, Im african american and our hair tends to be kind of dry. so after I use the baking soda, I use a mixture of water and a little olive oil (extra virgin) as my hair conditioner…which moisturizes the scalp. I love using household things because they try to sell you on so many products that just leave your hair in worse condition…and we don’t even really know it till we try something new and that you’ve been using to eat with for years.

    • Just like La Toya below I’m interested in how this will work on my black hair. Can you share a bit more of what you do already Sharon? I use Olive oil after I have washed to wrap my hair . I would love to be able to change parts of the ‘poo process.
      .-= Melitsa´s last blog ..Poetry for the little ones =-.

      • Well I use the baking soda and water first I leave it in while I take my shower. Than, when its time to rinse off I rinse my hair thoroughly. Then I take a few minutes and put on my olive oil conditioner. 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 cup water. Comb it through and after a few minutes and done. Olive oil is a wonderful moisturizer. I use it on my feet, legs everything.
        .-= Sharon Sheffield´s last blog ..Why I’m not a Calvinist =-.

    • avatar
      ChocolateNikkie says:

      Great Idea. Will definitely try.

      • Awesome, I’m a black female that was wondering about using this method as well. My hair, however, tends to be slightly on the oily side except when I use chemical straighteners. I am now in the stage of growing all of the chemically processed hair out (3 inches so far. Yaay!) and wanted to know what to use for my natural hair. I’ll give this a try tonight. First with the baking soda and vinegar and if the vinegar doesn’t do it for me, I’ll try it with the EVOO.

  89. Here’s my blog site.
    .-= Sharon Sheffield´s last blog ..Why I’m not a Calvinist =-.

  90. I am eager to try this but have a few question for those of you who are already ‘poo-free:

    1. How do you clean your hairbrush?
    2. Did any of you only wash your hair a few times a week before omitting shampoo, and did that shorten the adjustment period? I currently only wash my hair every other day, and even since doing that I’ve noticed that it doesn’t seem to get as oily as it used to when I washed it every day.
    3. Do any of you heat style your hair? Do you put anything on your hair to protect it from the heat?

    Thanks so much!

  91. I tried the no-poo thing just using mineral oil silicon- free conditioner method. Which did not work for me. and my hair was just as dry.

    But I was impressed with this baking soda method which I tried out yesterday. I had 4 days of icky greasy hair, so I was dubious it would remove all those oils. But it did!

    So I think I will try the apple-cider vinegar.

    For those of you who ask about deodorant, try rubbing a lemon onto the underarms.
    Smell comes from bacteria, and bacteria love an alkaline environment. Lemon is acidic and restores the PH balance. You can use this trick when you feel your deodorant is not working on you anymore, try it and you will find you will not need to switch deodorant brands.
    .-= joli´s last blog ..Tango In National Geographic =-.

  92. I keep hearing about this. I wonder if this method works across ethnic lines. I’d be willing to try this if I didn’t think all my hair would fall out. And to also try it with my boys since they have curly hair and I haven’t been able to find a shampoo that I like for their hair.
    .-= LaToya´s last blog ..Bible Story Sundays-Adam & Eve =-.

    • Hi, if you’ve never checked it out, I’d highly encourage everyone here to see the naturalllycurly.com website. Really helpful for all kinds of hair, including all enthnicities.

      I have pretty curly hair and have been poo-free for months. Forgot how long. I use conditioner to wash my hair. I might consider the no anything period, but I need the moisture in the conditioner. I live in Co. I use Garnier Fructis triple moisture in the dark green bottle. Just conditioner. I use a water-soluble gel too. But I love the curls and plan to get my youngest started on the baking soda and vinegar as she goes thru gallons of shampoo, etc. Time to retrain her thinking.

      And for curly ladies. Throw away the brush. Or put it in the shower and ONLY use it when your hair is glopped with conditioner. Use amounts that look disgusting to you. For years I was TOO thrifty with conditioner, but finding a nice one and not having to use shampoo works nicely.

      And I use olive oil and coconut oil for deep treatments.

  93. I love the idea of not having to buy anything or paying the extra money to buy something that doesn’t have all of the added chemicals.
    I am a little curious about the smell of your hair??? Apple Cider Vinegar is not the best smelling…
    .-= Rebecca´s last blog ..MightyNest =-.

  94. i’m new to this whole concept of “no-poo” and think i will try it. but what about an alternative for body wash? do you use baking soda on the rest of your skin as well?

  95. We have really hard water and I have really thick hair that so frizzy in humid weather – right now in my area. It’s color treated to cover grey and I’ve had to use so much product to control it lately. I tried this today and my hair is already more manageable and nearly squeaky clean. I’m looking forward to continuing and to finally letting my hair far naturally without looking like a frizz-ball! PS – I’ve tried the non-shampoo called Wen and IT made my hair heavy and gooey after a while.
    .-= Vonnie´s last blog ..The Coop =-.

    • Haven’t tried this no poo method yet, your hair sounds just like mine; I even had the same results with Wen. Can’t believe I’m only just finding out about this now! Has anyone used oils to scent the bs?

    • It did the same thing to my hair! Now I have a bunch of it sitting around that I have paid for and don’t use.

      I will be getting the stuff to do the whole “poo” free thing! I have very curly hair, but it has been falling out, losing it’s curl, and has been terribly frizzy no matter what I do.

      Thanks to everyone for all the posts that just confirmed what I was hoping.

      Wish me luck!

  96. Best deodorant ever!!!! 1/4 c. baking soda, 1/4 c. cornstarch, and 6 T. coconut oil (which you may have to melt first). Mix well, add more coconut oil if you need a more creamy consistency and I put it in a glass bowl on my bathroom counter. We NEVER smell anymore!!! It’s unbelievable. You can wear your shirt for days if need be. My husband LOVES it and even takes it with him on his business trips. Coconut oil is also a GREAT lubricant….anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, etc. and works wonderfully!

  97. Yes, shampoos are detergents and so are many natural ‘soaps’, cleansers and washes.
    I have been selling real authentic products to the health food industry for years. However, many people still buy chemical based products for a lot of money because they believe in all the deceptive marketing.

    I read the Omnivore’s Dilemma and started to look at how pervasive corn and other oleo-chemicals are in our ‘natural’ bath and body products.

    My company makes castile soap and I have created a video called ” Are You Washing With Corn”- view http://mountainskysoap.com/video.php

    People have to make choices as to what they buy, as that will drive the market, their health and the planet’s overall sustainability.

  98. @ LaToya, Yes it does! Check out some of the posts on longhaircareforum.com. Works great for both natural and relaxed hair. I’ve been no poo for a while now, just be sure to stick with no more than 1tbs of baking soda to 1 cup of warm water. Too much will dry you hair and always, always deep condition after cleasning. Also Focus on gently cleansing your scalp (not your hair) and let the mixture just run down to the tips of your hair to cleanse your hair.

  99. The only caution I have is that most baking soda has aluminum in it which is one of the heavy metals that your body can’t wash out and if you’re rubbing it into your scalp all the time it can eventually make you sick!

  100. I’ve been using baking soda and vinegar for nearly two years now. One thing leads to another and we’ve become almost chemical free here. I make my deodorant, lotions, scrubs, balms and lip balms from natural ingredients. I’ve discovered I’m aware of so much more these days, not just in what I put on my body, but also in small everyday things around me. I enjoy life more and feel more…connected with the world around me as I strive to live more naturally and simply.
    .-= Kimberly´s last blog ..Zippy! =-.

    • Is baking soda , chemical?

      How about bathing without chemical?

      • Water is chemical if you want to get technical about it. ; )
        Baking soda (2 parts carbon, 1 part sodium) is chemically similar to water (2 parts hydrogen, 1 part oxygen). It doesn’t get any simpler than that.

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