How to Wash Your Hair Without Shampoo

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 click away.

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 about going shampoo-free, and I was intrigued. But 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 for the twelfth time, I decided to give it a shot. If I hated it, no harm. I’ll return to my shampooing ways.

But if I liked it as much as everyone else seems 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. Been going strong for over 7 years now!

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
Photo source

2. Shampoo has all sorts of chemicals.

Our family typically avoids faux food; we do our best to stick with natural, whole foods that either come from the ground or once ate things 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. This includes shampoo.

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.

Because shampoo isn’t really necessary, using it creates a 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.

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 causes 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

Wash your hair without shampoo
Me, around 2012. Still shampoo-free.

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

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 condiment 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.

Baking soda

In the shower, I thoroughly soak my hair with water, then I squeeze 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 only on the scalp. I don’t bother with the length of my hair, since oils originate from the scalp itself. The hair is naturally clean once the scalp is clarified.

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

Apple cider vinegar is your next friend

Apple 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.

apple cider vinegar

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 another condiment bottle and fill it with the vinegar and water, 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.

In the winter, I’ll also add a tiny dollop of Hair Butter once it’s dry to tame the frizz.

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 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 lasted about two weeks.

• 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 tried.

• If you find that your hair is still 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 or aloe instead of vinegar.

• I don’t need anything else for my hair aside from Hair Butter. Sometimes I’ll even skip the vinegar and add Akamai’s Skin Fuel to the end of my wet hair. It’s good stuff.

• Also, I’m going gray naturally in my thirties, and I’m not afraid to show it.

• And finally, can we talk about hair?

me
Me in 2015. Still going strong, shampoo-free.

me banner
Me in early 2017. Still at it.

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1,139 Comments

  1. Samantha @ Mama Notes

    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 =-.

    • Dario Chicco

      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

      • Kristina

        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. :

        • sara

          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

          • Noozet

            Hi, I just saw ur message and this is an old message but am hoping you still read messages

          • Marsha

            I’m taking the plunge today! I’ve been suffering from scalp psoriasis for many years, have tried even prescription shampoos, and I only wash my hair once a week, but nothing helps. Maybe this will! I will definitely try the aloe gel in a week or so, after my scalp adjusts.

        • Sylvia

          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.

        • ktl

          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

          • Judy

            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?

          • Doodledaddy

            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.

        • Mermaid Mimi

          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. 😀 Try that!

        • CiCi

          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.

          • Noni

            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

        • Monique

          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!

        • Victor M.

          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).

        • Donna

          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!

          • k

            do you use that for your shampoo and cond. or what?

          • Sandra Moodley

            Hi Donna

            I am very interested in your combination of coconut oil and aloe vera. How do I go about mixing and using this. Do I leave it on or apply wait and then wash.

            Regards
            Sandra Moodley
            South Africa

        • Rachel Edwards

          I am no expert in any form of the word. However, I do believe that natural is best in everything. I am currently taking cosmetology classes and have been reading about tons of things that have to do with our bodies, our skin and the products we use on them and how many things are made. We were talking about ph and skin, I was very interested in the natural version of the story not just the text book side, so, I ended up here on Pinterest. I read that a lady, like myself, decided to go no poo. I have done that. Washed my hair with baking soda and conditioned it with a mix of organic acv and water. I read what this lady had to say about that method and our body’s ph and what I had just done to my hair the day before. She mentioned that baking soda was very alkaline and causes the cuticle of the hair to open, a lot, and the acidity of the acv forces it closed because it is on the other extreme of the ph scale. She mentioned that this forced opening and abrupt closing was not healthy for hair. She said that she wasn’t exactly happy with how the b/s and acv was working for her. She had found a new recipe and that it was working much better for her and it was much better for her hair. Her recipe included coconut milk and aloe vera gel. You may want to look in to that. I will try to find the article if you are interested. I support all efforts to live healthier and more naturally. I wish us all the best on the journey.

          • Druidswife

            I too was concerned about the effect of b/s on my hair and chose not to go down this route. Instead, after some research, I discovered others using (sieved) rye flour mixed into a paste with water.
            I have been using this, in conjunction with cider vinegar as a conditioner for several months now with excellent results.
            The trick is to sieve the flour (to remove the flakes), massage into the hair and scalp for about 3-4 mins before rinsing off.
            Rye flour has the same pH as your hair unlike b/s which is highly acidic even when diluted.

        • Grace

          I would also try to put your bs and vinegar in your hot water and then let it set for like 2 min. so it can desolve and then apply ok oh yeah if you do try it then tell me if it did the job because it did the job on me 🙂

      • Helen

        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.

        • Jessica

          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?

          • Prisha

            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.

          • Sanna

            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:)

          • Donna

            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.

        • Kimberly

          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!

      • Gianna Cunningham

        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….

      • Megan

        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.

        • Gina Baker

          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.

        • Dulce

          I know this post is old but hopefully you see this and can reply back. I have extremly fine hair and with time it has thin more and more. Some areas you can see the scalp. I was wondering how is your hair now.
          My hair gets oily if I don’t wash it every day therefore making it look thinner and exposing more of my scalp.
          I am curious on trying this method out. Did you say after 3 months your hair got greasier from this method and you started put soda in staight from the Box?
          My biggest fear is doing this and my hair getting greasier.

    • CRRR75

      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!

    • Misty

      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.

      • emily

        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

        • Misty

          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.

          • Setjay

            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 !

          • Megan

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

      • kayla

        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!

        • Stacy

          What type of hair do you have?

        • Joy

          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/

        • Joy

          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

      • Sara F

        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!

      • Go Natural

        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

      • Joy

        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/

        • Kate

          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?

      • Tom

        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.

      • Rose

        Hi,
        I’m new to this whole thing, but I have no intention of going back. My hair is at the greasy, stiff stage I’ve heard about during the detox period. I just read on a similar blog about using coconut milk (canned) and aloe vera gel. The recipe called for almost50/50. I think it was about 2.5oz of the milk and 3oz of the aloe vera. Sorry, I can’t be exact. I’m bad about reading for ideas, and not worrying too much about the details. Anyway,she indicated it could repair the over drying damage done by the bakin soda. I know coconut oil is very healing, and works wonders. The other blog offers a lot of good info on this topic, too. I’m not sure, but i think it was something like intoxicatedonlife. Hope this helps, and you heal fast.

    • abiebow

      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!

    • Amber

      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.

    • Jack

      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 🙂

      • Jack

        It*

    • Floel

      Honestly, THIS TREATMENT IS AMAZING! I use olive oil on my hair every three days to treat my dry scalp and NO SHAMPOO could remove all of the oily grease off of my hair when I rinsed it out. But baking soda and lemon juice (I live in a country where ACV is not even known so I used diluted lemon juice) have saved me! It removes every inch of oil but still leaves my hair silky soft! During the first weeks I had to apply coxonut oil on my ends after washing them because they would dry out slightly and now my hair is healthier and thicker then it’s ever been. Thank you so much

  2. Emily

    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. Amy

    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 =-.

    • Tsh

      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.

      • Holly

        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.

        • Lilly

          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.

        • madie

          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.

          • Becky

            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!

      • linda

        Do these alternatives cover up gray?

      • Sheila

        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.

      • Holly

        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.

      • Annie Mendez

        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?

        • Samantha

          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

        • Lisa

          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!

          • sam

            Hi Lisa, how do you preserve the coconut milk? This makes me not want to do the shampoo recipe with coconut milk as all coconut milk cans say use within a week of opening them. Pls help!

        • Jaime

          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.

      • Jane McArdle

        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

      • haven

        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

    • Vanessa

      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!

      • Dawn

        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.

      • Robin

        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.

        • Sharon

          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.

    • Nicole

      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.

    • Harmony

      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!

  4. Julie

    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!

    • Tsh

      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…

    • Lidy

      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 =-.

      • Amari

        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.

        • coley

          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. 🙂

          • Ashley

            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.

          • Isha

            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?

          • pamela

            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!!!!!!

          • Annie

            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.

          • coley

            i hope this reply reaches whoever emailed me!!! 😀

            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!!!!

          • Annie

            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?

          • coley

            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,

          • sam

            Hi Annie, I just read your post. I have few questions that prevents me from the next step. The coconut milk – where do you buy this as i see only low fat coconut milk cans in whole foods and lasts only 4 days after opening them. How do you preserve/use coconut milk without having it spoilt? Thanks a ton in advance!

        • kassie

          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.

        • Jane McArdle

          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

    • Sandy

      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.

    • Lorie

      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.

      • Sallie

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

        • Leanne in Hawaii

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

          • Jennith77

            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!

    • Natalie

      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.

  5. Angela Mills

    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 =-.

  6. prerna

    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. =-.

    • Non-Believer

      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…. =-.

      • TJewellB

        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.

        • non-believer

          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.

          • michaleanne

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

          • Theresa

            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.

        • sue

          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

        • Gramma Mary Kay

          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!

          • L Tuning

            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.

      • pamela

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

    • Rochelle

      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.

  7. Lee

    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 =-.

    • Ann

      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?

      • Holly

        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.

        • janelle

          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?

          • Holly

            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

  8. Stephanie

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

  9. Angie

    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 =-.

  10. Shannon

    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 =-.

  11. lisa s.

    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! 🙂

    • Franka

      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

    • Amanda

      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:)

      • Leanne in Hawaii

        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!!

    • Emi

      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!

  12. Tabitha - From Single to Married

    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 =-.

    • Holly

      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.

      • Prachi

        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.

        • Kaylen

          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.

    • sarajane

      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 🙂

      • Sarah

        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…

  13. 280 Days

    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 =-.

    • Lauren

      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.

      • Mariam

        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.

      • Shauna

        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!

        • Lucas

          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.

          • Shauna

            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.

  14. Kendra@www.thebutterflynest.blogspot.com

    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 =-.

  15. Jessie Stimpson

    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 =-.

  16. Megan at Simple Kids

    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 =-.

    • Heather

      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.

        • Heather

          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.

      • Tonya

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

    • Jessica

      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.

    • coley

      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!

  17. Andrea @ The Train To Crazy

    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 =-.

    • Tsh

      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?

      • Andrea @ The Train To Crazy

        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 =-.

        • Holly

          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.

      • shirley

        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?

        • brenda

          what did you find out? i’m wondering the same thing.

    • Kathleen

      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.

      • dedee

        I am just wondering was it distilled white (normally comes from a gluten base) or apple cider vinegar?

  18. My First Kitchen

    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 =-.

  19. Denise

    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 =-.

  20. Kim

    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.

    • Cheniah Yamoto

      That is so awesome! Thank you for sharing that information! I never knew that! 😀

    • Andrea

      Yes, thanks very much for that!

    • Sam

      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!

      • Noy Bus

        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).

      • lol

        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.

  21. Jana Wilcox

    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

  22. Satakieli

    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 =-.

    • Tsh

      Well, I love your hair in your avatar photo, so if that’s bad, then I’m sure it’ll be amazing when it’s good!

  23. Jennie

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

  24. Leah

    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 😛

    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.

    • Patty

      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.

      • Isabelle

        Thank you! good to know, really!!!

  25. Jen @ Canadian Rhapsody

    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. =-.

  26. Cherilyn

    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 =-.

  27. Sarah (@ PearBudget.com)

    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!

    • Tsh

      Thanks for your $.o2, Sarah! And I’ll get into what I use on my face soon… it sounds similar to your routine. 🙂

  28. Liz

    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! =-.

  29. Sarah (@ PearBudget.com)

    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. 🙂

  30. Lillian @ Domestic Simplicity

    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 =-.

  31. Amy Reads Good Books

    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 =-.

  32. Cara Beth Buie

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

  33. Kika

    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 ?!

  34. Chocolate on my Cranium

    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 =-.

  35. Lauren

    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.

    • Tsh

      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.

      • Carolyn Smith

        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

  36. Jennifer

    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!)

  37. gerette

    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!

  38. Becky

    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.

  39. Jen@Balancing Beauty and Bedlam

    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? =-.

  40. tara g

    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. =-.

  41. jan wilson

    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!

  42. Michele

    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 =-.

  43. Shilo

    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 =-.

  44. jenifriend

    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! =-.

  45. silverilex

    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.

    • Andie

      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.

  46. Stacie @ newmommyhelp.net

    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? =-.

    • Tsh

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

      • Anna

        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.

  47. Ashley

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

  48. Cori

    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.

  49. Aimee

    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 =-.

  50. Sharon

    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! =-.

    • Claire

      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.

  51. Carrie

    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!

  52. Kelly

    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!!

  53. Taryn

    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 =-.

  54. Parenting Ink

    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 =-.

  55. Heather

    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!!

    • Valerie

      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 =-.

    • Mandy

      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 =-.

    • Lori

      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.

    • Anna

      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

    • Jennith77

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

      • Jennith77

        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! 🙂

  56. Karen

    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 =-.

    • Tsh

      That’s so cool. 🙂

  57. Kristin

    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 =-.

  58. Angie

    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! 🙂

  59. SaraR

    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!

  60. Ashley

    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. =-.

  61. Vicki R.

    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 =-.

    • Cindy

      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….

    • Shauna

      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.

    • Julie

      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.

    • Suzanne

      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.

  62. Amber

    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! =-.

  63. Kristina

    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 =-.

  64. Denise C.

    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! 🙂

    • Lyndsay

      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…

  65. Catherine B

    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… =-.

  66. Ammy

    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?”

  67. Loretta

    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.

    • beth

      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.

  68. Jenny Z

    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?

  69. Emily

    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.

  70. Nic

    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.

    • coley

      coconut oil!!! 😀

      • Henry

        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.

  71. Sara Bonds

    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’ . . . =-.

  72. sarah

    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!

  73. Cammy

    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 =-.

  74. Maggie

    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 =-.

  75. Mary

    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 =-.

  76. Heather

    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 =-.

  77. Karen

    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… =-.

  78. Melissa

    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) =-.

  79. Cate

    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? =-.

    • Melitsa

      I have no idea but wondered if travelling to South America with a powder in a plastic bag might not be a recipe for disaster. Can you buy it there?
      .-= Melitsa´s last blog ..Poetry for the little ones =-.

  80. KimC

    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?

    • Holly

      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.

      • 1of14

        But then you’ll have goop in your comb!

        • Holly

          Better in you comb than in your hair.

  81. kyla

    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!

  82. Sharon Sheffield

    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.

    • Melitsa

      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 =-.

      • Sharon Sheffield

        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 =-.

        • Melitsa

          Thanks 🙂

    • ChocolateNikkie

      Great Idea. Will definitely try.

      • Betty

        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.

  83. Megan

    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!

  84. joli

    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 =-.

  85. LaToya

    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 =-.

    • Susan

      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.

  86. Rebecca

    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 =-.

  87. Larae

    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?

    • Stephanie

      I use the same baking soda solution for my face and body as well as my hair! It works great!!

  88. Vonnie

    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 =-.

    • Marcia

      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?

      • Pat

        What are the b’s???? I’m lost on this one. Thx

    • Pam

      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!

  89. Lori

    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!

    • Shauna

      You can also put this mix into an old deodorant canister for added convenience!

    • janea (2brokelagirls @ blogspot)

      does it turn back into a solid, say for instance if i wanted to put it into an old deodorant container?

    • Leigh

      I’m gonna try this and the baking soda ACV. Where do you purchase fragrance oils such as lavender etc? My hair is very thin and lifeless I use lot of product for body. Any suggestions

      • leah!

        walmarttttt ♥

  90. nina george

    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.

  91. Jessena

    @ 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.

  92. Dena

    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!

  93. Kimberly

    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! =-.

    • Kit

      Is baking soda , chemical?

      How about bathing without chemical?

      • Karla

        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.

  94. Kristi

    Very interesting…I commend you and others for doing it. But never ever could I do it. Not because I don’t think it works…but my transition period…I dunno…I’m super impatient!
    .-= Kristi´s last blog ..Bokeh for Miz Booshay =-.

    • Andrea

      Kristi,
      I couldn’t stand waiting either–3 days is my absolute limit for greasy hair–so I increased the baking soda from 1 T per cup of water to 1/2 cup per cup of water. My hair behaves pretty much as if I were using regular shampoo, possibly better. I use probably 1 ounce of the solution per day, and I have to shake it vigorously before using because the baking soda settles.

      I do follow with the ACV, but at full-strength, not diluted. I think some days that does me more favors than others, so I have no problem skipping it occasionally.

  95. Silvia

    I’ve been wanting to do this for sooo long…today is my first day poo-free! Thank you Simple Mom for all your advices, keep changing the world!
    .-= Silvia´s last undefined ..If you register your site for free at =-.

  96. Nenette

    I know from experience how awesome this is! I did it all summer last year on my waist-length wavy hair, and my hair was perfect. Never had a bad hair day. It was great especially when I had to go camping for a week! I did the baking soda wash just before we left, and my hair was perfect even after we got back.
    I chronicled this on my own blog complete with pictures.

    Unfortunately, I had to stop when the dry air of our Canadian Prairie winter forced me to start using conditioner again.

    It’s become my summer hair routine every year. I highly recommend it! 🙂
    Thanks for sharing this!
    .-= Nenette´s last blog ..randomness today 02 =-.

  97. Hilary

    I’ve been shampoo-free for four years now. I follow the Curly Girl program, based on the book by Lorraine Massey. Who knew I had gorgeously curly — not frizzy-wavy — hair?!?
    .-= Hilary´s last blog ..September Newsletter ~ $25 FREE =-.

  98. theresa

    If I go for even one day without washing my hair, it is SOOOOO oily that it actually looks like it is wet. I commend your accomplishment, but I cannot see cutting shampoo out of my routine. I am still skeptical, even reading numerous blogs promoting this.

    • Andrea

      Hi Theresa, I’m right there with you! I have to use waaaay more baking soda than Tsh. I’m using 1/2 c in 1 cup of water. I have to shake it up every morning and I can really feel the grit of the soda, but it really works as well as shampoo that way. If that’s still not a good ratio for your hair, add even more baking soda. You might also want to skip the vinegar.

      • Holly

        If you use the Apple Cider Vinegar to a ratio of 1 TBSP to 1 cup of water than the vinegar is very good for you hair. It helps to balance the PH of your scalp and actually helps with the oiliness. If you use it at full strength, because it does condition, it will make it seem oilier.

  99. rachel

    I went poo-free in March, but started using “good” (doesn’t have all the ‘cones, etc.) shampoo about a month ago. I think it would work awesome for someone with short hair, but my long hair (oily on top and dry on the bottom) was never completely clean. I did gobs of research and tried so many different methods, but the only way to get rid of the oil was with shampoo. Brushing never properly distributed it, and I needed to wash just as often as I did when using regular poo and conditioner. I will be trying shampoo bars next, and I still use ACV to condition. Honestly, I have no regrets for trying as long as I did, because for the first time I have hair that is not dry on the ends! That’s important when you have long locks! And I’ve learned how to properly clean my scalp, which is so important for hair health.
    .-= rachel´s last blog ..first words =-.

  100. Michelle

    Thank you for this post! I decided to try it on myself and our three year old. Her hair seems to be doing great and it’s tear-free! Mine, is struggling on the greasing side… but I refuse to give up! So far, we have been about a week.
    .-= Michelle´s last blog ..*NEW CATEGORY* =-.

  101. Karey

    OK, you’ve got me convinced to give it a try! You mentioned not having to use your pomade anymore… did you cut that out immediately when you stopped using shampoo, or did that come later? I got out of the shower this morning (after using the baking soda and ACV) and went about my normal routine, but as I was about to use my normal hair products, I caught myself – you probably need to use shampoo to get those out. Am I right?
    .-= Karey´s last blog ..New Market =-.

  102. moonduster (Becky)

    I think going “shampoo free2 is a great idea.

    Using lemon juice in water isn’t as great an idea unless you like highlights. Lemon is a natural hair lightener.

  103. Jen

    How do you find it for straightening your hair? I know that if I don’t wash my hair and then try to hot iron it, it’s a disaster.
    .-= Jen´s last blog ..Struggles… =-.

  104. Liz Jenkins

    I’m starting this today-have been wanting to do it for a while but your post really laid out exactly how & why. So I got some squeeze bottles and will be mixing it up.
    I’ve got really dry hair and have to use tons of products to get it shiny. I’m hoping this will help – don’t think I’ll have to worry so much about the oily factor-the more the better as far as my hair is concerned. We’ll see.
    Thanks for the info!
    .-= Liz Jenkins´s last blog ..How Many Bottles Of Salad Dressing Are In Your Pantry? =-.

  105. Karie

    I am 2 weeks poo-free and am loving it!!!! I do have a question: a friend of mine wants to give poo-free a try, BUT she has said that my hair is noticably lighter and she colors her hair and is afraid that her color will fade faster. Does anyone that uses the baking soda and water have color treated hair? or does anyone know if it will cause the color to fade faster?

  106. Gwen

    My husband is giving me a hard time about it … but today is day 6 of my switch. My hair still feels super dry (I have medium length hair, a little past my shoulders). But I’m hopeful that the dryness (bottom half of my hair length, actually) goes away. 🙂

  107. Mandy

    I love the idea of this, but it definitely did NOT work on my hair. I tried it for four days, and my hair was on the fast track to dreadlocks. I lost so much hair just from pulling it out while trying to get my fingers through it. And, my hair just had an awful texture. I don’t know what I was doing wrong, but I think it was the baking soda. I have no idea what I was doing wrong.
    .-= Mandy´s last blog ..Fun Homework =-.

    • Tsh

      Mandy and Gwen, it sounds like you’re using baking soda too often. You don’t need to use it as often as shampoo — I just use it once or twice a week, max. The rest of the time I just shower without cleaning my hair.

      Don’t overcompensate the transition phase of oily hair with too much washing. Just let it ride… 🙂

  108. lisa s.

    Thanks to this post I went back to going no-poo and have had great success with it. I tried it before and had trouble with feeling like my hair was still too greasy even after washing it with baking soda. So I followed your advice, Tsh, about premixing the water and baking soda (I was lazy the other time I tried it and I just sprinkled baking soda in my palm and added water to make a paste) and I put it in a squirt bottle (recycled bbq sauce bottle :)) and applied it to my hair the same way I would apply all over color to my hair if I was coloring it. By carefully going around the hairline, squirting it in the sections and then gently massaging my scalp, I discovered that it really does soak up all the oil and crud extremely well. I then rinsed it section by section (this whole process takes about 60-90 seconds) until each part of my hair felt squeaky clean. My hair is thick but fine and I don’t use conditioner so I skip the ACV step.

    Twice I had to use shampoo because I was in a rush and didn’t have my baking soda mix ready to go and twice I ended up with supremely oily hair by the end of the day. And my scalp itched like crazy until I washed it the next day with the baking soda water. This is SO worth the extra step or two.

  109. Bethany

    Thanks so much for this Tsh! Hubby & I have been back & forth on the ‘poo-free’ things for awhile. I have really bad exema on my scalp so I am willing to try anything to keep from wanting to scratch my head with the dinner fork! (not at dinner, mind you… but it is tempting) I have used all sorts of harsh chemicals and treatments, it get a little better, only to get so much worse… So, now I have been trying this method for two weeks now and while it still looks as though I haven’t showered in days, my scalp is less itchy and inflamed. I am sill unable to wear dark colors without the lovely ‘snow’ but I’m hopeful this will help… I’m sticking with it so far.

    Does anyone else out there have this condition and can offer me some hope?

  110. Bethany

    Thanks so much for this Tsh! Hubby & I have been attempting some variation of being ‘poo-free’ for awhile. However, I have really bad exema on my scalp. But I am willing to try anything that will keep me from wanting to scratch my head with a dinner fork! (not at dinner, mind you… though at times it’s tempting) I have used all sorts of treatments/chemicals/solutions to no avail, so I made the plunge to just soda (seems wrong to use ‘bs’) and ACV. Two weeks have passed and while it still looks as though I haven’t showered in days, my scalp is less itchy & inflamed overall (still some bad patches).

    Does anyone else have this condition and can offer me some counsel? hope? anything?

  111. Jenny Z

    I’m still in transition… my hair has been crazy oily. I even skipped the ACV today. Haven’t been overwashing (though it’s been hard!!)… I’m hoping it’ll kick in sometime in the next week or two.

  112. Bethany

    I love this idea!! Thanks Tsh! I have really bad exema on my scalp and so have tried many MANY things over the years, with little long-term relief. I began this method two weeks ago and while it still looks like I haven’t showered in days, my scalp is less irratated and inflamed overall (still have a few dry, itchy spots). I’m sticking with it in the hopes that it will get much better as fall is fast approaching and I have so many dark-colored items that I want to wear! 🙂

    Does anyone else have this condition and can offer me some hope?

  113. Liz Jenkins

    Ok – I’ve been trying this for about a week and a half and it’s going well. Got the squeeze bottles & have been doing this about every other day.
    Negatives: hair feels a bit funny and seems heavier, it takes longer to dry, and I have been noticing more oil at the top of my scalp – which for me is very unusual because my hair, scalp & skin are very dry.
    Positives: NO styling products required, getting compliments on how great my hair is looking, it’s super easy, very cheap, and my scalp is losing the itchiness & dandruff I had started to have.
    So, assuming the oily thing eases up fairly quickly – I’m really pleased so far. I’d heard of doing this before but hadn’t had such a thorough outline of exactly what to do – so thanks!
    .-= Liz Jenkins´s last blog ..Barbies, Legos & Crayons, Oh My! Attack of the Runaway Playrooms! =-.

  114. Kelly

    Hi,
    After reading your post I was intrigued! I decided to give it a try and have been “poo free” for going on three weeks now. I had dandruff and itchy scalp before and do not now. I did have to adjust the baking soda mixture and I use the vinegar mix on my scalp and my ends. I am VERY picky about my hair and I have long, thick hair (middle of my back and it makes about a 2 inch thick pony) so I was VERY skeptical. But… so far it is working the first 8-10 days were HARD, but then it started to balance out and it is much better now. My hair is different than it was before, but I think that I may try the organic coconut oil that someone suggested. My hair feels more coarse to me and someone mentioned it feels “heavier”, I would agree, but I don’t have a problem with it being oily, which was my main concern. Also, no more dandruff, which is awesome.
    Thanks,again, for inspiring me!!!

  115. Tsh

    Interesting, the comments here about your hair feeling heavier, because my hair actually feels lighter going poo-free. I suppose it’s the transition phase, with it possibly being oilier than usual. Either that, or possibly too much baking soda and/or vinegar. Just a guess… Either way, keep me posted, because I’m curious how it goes for those of you trying this!

    And I should have reiterated this in the post… You really only need to use this several times a week, at most. Right now, for example, I’ve been using the baking soda/vinegar rinse on Wednesdays and Sundays. Yesterday (Wednesday) I went ahead and cleaned my hair, but it didn’t even look like it needed it. So maybe I’m slowly going down to once a week… I’d love that!

    But yeah, I agree one of the best parts is no more styling products needed. It’s amazing how well my hair lays where it’s supposed to. 🙂

  116. Amy

    I’ve been dealing with psorisis on my scalp for 1 year now. It’s horrible, itchy and just plain gross. I’ve been using harsh perscription steriod foams daily to help minimize the flakes but nothing really helped until I went poo-fee 5 days ago. In the past 5 days my scalp has barely itched and the flakes are nearly gone. My scalp is healing. THANK YOU SIMPLE MOM, I would have never thought of this on my own. I could cry I’m so thankful.

  117. Rachel Watters

    If someone does want to add product to their hair for styling purposes, refined, organic coconut oil will do the trick! My husband has been using it for a week or so now and is thoroughly impressed. A little dab ‘ill do ya! It’s not greasy, will set for that “gelled” look, and remains pliable so you can actually run your hands through it.

    I’m pretty sure we’ll be trying this no ‘poo method in the near future!
    .-= Rachel Watters´s last blog ..What happens when I’m at work? =-.

  118. valerie

    i recently tried this on my daughter. the trial period should be over now but i can not tell any difference. her hair is still a tangled rat’s nest and is still deficult to brush. also, it seems like her hair didn’t have the “hair” smell after the first wash, but now has returned. do you have any advice or comments??

    thanks

  119. Lynn

    So I’ve been doing this. But, I noticed my semi-permanent haircolor in the sink when washing with the baking soda/vinegar. It was at the end of my hair color time, so I decided to see if the haircolor that was left in my hair, would eventually fade/wash away. It took a couple of more times to hairwashing, to make the sink water be clear, and then my hair color was gone.

    I’m a strawberry blonde/redhead, and had semi permanent hair color on my hair, to be brighter color, and to cover the grey’s that are starting at my temples (where I can see it).

    So the baking soda/vinegar worked well for me. I don’t wash my hair more than 2-3 times a week anyway, but I noticed less itching, and less oily looking.

    Well, I’m getting ready for a magazine interview, and *of course* I don’t want my subtle, but I know that they are there, grey hairs to be photographed. Did the semi-permanent hair color again.

    What do you suggest now in washing my hair? I don’t want to wash away my color for at least 2 months.

    Lynn

  120. Jill

    hmmm…ok I was so excited to try this and I made it to the 2.5 month mark…then I had to shampoo! I cant figure out why it wasnt working for me- my hair was sooo oily and felt gross too. I was doing 1 Tbs. to 8 oz of water…and very little CV on just my ends only. My mother begged me to stop 😉
    I will try again this winter but do you think I should try a different ratio of something or was it just a very long transition period?
    Thanks!

    • Jen @ Canadian Rhapsody

      My best guess would be that you’re not scrubbing it into your scalp in an effective way. It took a couple weeks for me to figure out the best way to to it for my head. Another blog recommended starting at the crown of your head and massage it in in circles out from there, adding more of your mix as you go. It probably takes me 3 or 4 minutes to really massage it in well.
      Another tip is to make sure you’re taking hot, hot showers in between baking soda washes. Just get in and scrub your scalp like you would with shampoo. You should feel it get cleaner. I do this on the days I’m washing it as well, to get off any extra oil.
      Lastly, maybe try and get a boar bristle brush, and use it every night to brush some of the oils from your scalp to the ends. It’ll help protect your hair from the cold winter air too (depending on where you live!).
      I hope that helps.
      .-= Jen @ Canadian Rhapsody´s last blog ..we remember =-.

  121. Amy

    I went “no poo” and blogged about it as well.
    http://momonraw.blogspot.com/2009/11/no-poo-final-verdict.html
    But my experience was a little different. What I had found and read said to make a paste of the baking soda by only adding a little water. That has worked for me, and the one time I added too much water and used it anyway, it did not clean my hair.
    Another thing that I read was that it was important to brush your hair regularly with a natural bristle brush to distribute your hairs oils. That does seem to make a difference too.
    Blessings!
    .-= Amy´s last blog ..Happy Thanksgiving! =-.

  122. Yoli

    Hello, thanks so much for this information on pooless shampoo. I am doing it with Baking Soda and water and then ACV with water in bottles. I am confused, do you only use the baking soda a few times a week? even at the start of the routine? It seems that both are making hair look dryer but heavy, with no shine at all. When I used the ACV the first time (I started this wasy in the beginning before seeing this site) my hair was heavy and dry and using both now it looks heavier and dry. I don’t know what is going on but would like some help. Mine is also wetter when I go to blow dry it. I have thick, below my shoulders hair. I have been told that my hair is beaded, when you take your fingers between a strand you feel bumps all the way to the end. Am I going through the transition stage? I am using the 1tbs of baking soday 8oz of water, shake . 1tbls of ACV with 8 ounces of water. I did try to dilute the ACV, still same results. I would appreciate andy help, I would love to keep doing this. My hair is very hard to handle, even the very rich organic conditoners don’t do much for my hair. Thanks so much, Yoli

  123. Kelly

    Hi, I am responding to Yoli,
    You said that your hair feels heavier and dryer. I also experienced this and after much reading on the internet and experimentation I came to the conclusion that the 1 TLBS. baking soda to 1 cup water was too drying for my hair. I now use 1/2 TBLS baking soda to 1 cup water and it works much better.
    I do this two-three times a week, depending on my hair. I use the 1 TBLS. ACV to 1 cup water and use 1/2 on my scalp and 1/2 on my remaining hair. I have THICK hair that goes down to my bra strap (8-10 inches from my shoulders). This works good, but it does not make my hair as “shiny” as it is with shampoo.
    So, I have found that it is VERY important to deep condition my hair every so often. I have found that once a month works for me. I use Coconut oil to deep condition my hair, but I have found that sometimes I have to use shampoo or do several baking soda washes to get it all out. If I don’t, it looks like I dumped my head in a bucket of grease! Yuck!
    Also, I mix my baking soda and ACV solution every time I shower. I didn’t have much luck mixing up larger batches and using it.
    I have an oily scalp, thick, and long hair but my transition period was only about two weeks. It took me about 4 weeks to figure it all out though.
    Now I LOVE it! Don’t get discouraged, it takes time to learn about your body and find your natural rhythm.
    You sound like your on the right track, hope my tips help!

  124. Yoli

    Thanks for replying back to me. Does this mean you use the Apple Cider Vinegar on the days you don’t use the Baking Soda? Also, my hair might not ever look Shiny? Conditioning doesn’t make it shiny either, even with a very moisterizing kind.
    Thanks again,
    Yoli

  125. Kelly

    Yoni,
    I only wash my hair every three-four days now. I don’t wash in between because I don’t need it. My hair does not look like it hasn’t been washed for three to four days and when I tell people they are shocked. But, when I was going through my transition period I had to wash it every other day(baking soda mix and ACV mix), sometimes I could go three days, but that was rare. I have been poo free for 2 months now.
    As for the shiny problem, I am not sure. I do know that the baking soda makes my hair look dull if I use too much. If you had this problem before when using shampoo it may take time to get shiny. Shampoo can be very drying and may take too much moisture out of your hair. It will probably take time for your body to readjust and find it’s natural balance. You could also try a VERY SMALL amount of olive oil, about a half of a dime size, or less, rub it between your hands and then rub into your hair starting at the ends and moving up. Be sure to not put it on your scalp, just the hair. Olive oil is a natural moisturizer, just be careful, because if you get too much on the only way to get it off is by washing again. I prefer the coconut oil to the olive, it works better for me.
    Hope this helps! Good luck!

  126. Yoli

    Hi Kelly,
    So I shouldn’t wash my hair today??? Nervous about that. I have bangs and my forehead get really greasy. Do I just scrub with hot water?? Do I use the coconut in the shower or out of the shower?
    Going to shower soon,
    Thanks for you recent reply,
    Yoli

  127. jackie

    what brand of baking soda do you use?

  128. Kelly

    Hi,
    I use Arm and Hammer Baking Soda, it just happens to be what I have around. I haven’t tried any other brands.
    Yoni,
    I understand you being nervous, if it makes you feel better rinse it with water only on the days you don’t use baking soda and ACV. I have been washing my hair every other day for most of my life and I previously had a very oily scalp. It was an adjustment but it’s been two months and it’s easy to go 4 days without washing. I am very picky about how my hair looks, so trust me, it does not LOOK like I haven’t washed it for four days.
    I use the coconut oil in the shower (1 TBLS), melt it in my hands and put it on the ends of my hair first and then on the hair near my scalp do this last thing in the shower. Then wrap in a warm towel and let it stay in overnight(don’t have to keep the towel on overnight). It acts like a heat treatment for your hair. I have a plastic cover on my pillow for when I do this. In the morning, wash and rinse as usually (baking soda and ACV) . Your hair will feel and look greasy before you wash it, but after it should be soft and shiny. It may take some experimenting to get the right amount of coconut oil for your hair. I would recommend trying this on a weekend or when you don’t have to go anywhere the next day, at least the first couple of times. If your hair is really dry you could do this every week. Like I said previously, I do this once or twice a month. This is a DEEP condition, if you need something in between use a smaller amount of coconut oil and only put it on the ends and top of hair.
    If I can offer any more advice please let me know. It sounds a lot more complicated than it is!

  129. Yoli

    Kelly,
    Thanks so much. I did wash my hair yesterday only with water. I was weird, my hair felt oily and it was hard to blow dry. It looks dry with not shine but heavy like oily feeling but fluffy. It’s hard to describe. Today I will try just the baking soda. Does that sound right? How long does the mix last in the bottle? I have had mine in the shower for a week. Also, how long does the ACV stay fresh in the shower?
    I will try the coconut oil, I always have that on hand.
    “Yoli”

  130. Lina

    Finally I decided to use this method. I was sure that it wouldn’t work for the first time, but now I can say that my hair is clean! I just followed the recipe and when my hair got dry I combed it it was surprised 😀 I guess I have no transition period at all, that’s great! Yes, it’s not that shiny as using after shampoo but not oily at all.
    I usually wash my hair every three-four or even five days (when I’m tooo lazy)) and believe I have normal hair with drier ends. Maybe that’s why this thing worked for me on the first try. However, let’s see what’s gonna happen in the future.
    Thanx, Tsh!!!

  131. Heidi

    What a great post. I have never heard of this idea and can’t wait to try it and see the results. One of you posted how you make your own soap and I can’t find my way back to your blog 🙂 The blog had pictures of the different processes of soap making and a recipe. If anyone knows a good website or book for making your own natural soaps and/or lip balms, could you post? Thanks!

  132. Dee

    Wow. Just, wow. All you moms out there already have been where I have yet to go. It has only been the last 3-4 months that I have started trying to get to a more chemical free health care regiment. I love baking soda and ACV for other things. But now, I have to try it out on my hair. I do get highlights so I was wondering if it would strip them??

    I have alot of reading to catch up on here. 🙂 Dee
    .-= Dee´s last blog ..Thanks for the street cred, Mom-101.com =-.

  133. Bethany

    Is there a natural homemade hairspray recipe I could use?

  134. Lindsay: Lover of this post!

    Firstly, THANK YOU!!!!

    I have been doing this for a week now and I have been BRAGGING to everyone about how healthy my hair is looking; everyone doesn’t need me to tell them because they can see it and my HAIR IS NOT TANGLED, EVER!

    I was looking at Christmas photos and I saw how damages, and stringy my hair was starting to look. I always used salon shampoos, but I don’t make much money at this new job I have, so i stopped buying the good stuff, and began using my brother’s shampoo (pert plus, sooooo bad for your hair!!)

    I was desperate to get my hair to being healthy without a drastic haircut, so I looked all over the internet for a solution, and i kept returning to your idea. I started it that night, didnt wash my hair again for 2 days, and then 2 days later, washed again (with your Baking soda solution) and WOW!!!

    I was so curious to see how this was all going to feel/work, and the vinegar makes it so my hair feels like I have just detangled it, literally unbelievable!

    I have dry hair, but even after shampooing, by the evening or the next morning it always looked so greasy; WELL! having switched to only washing it 2 times in 1 week, it doesnt look greasy at all, and everyone at work is commenting.

    I work in the service industry, so I was worried and embarrassed that people I served would thing i was gross and had oily hair, but i havent had to worry about that yet! It looks great!

    THANK YOU FOR HELPING ME TRANSFORM MY DRY DAMAGED PONY TAIL!!!!!

    I was so excited to come by and tell you how you have saved my head of hair, and my wallet at the same time!!!!!

    I am off to read your other blogs now! lol.
    Thanks again!

  135. karen

    I read about the no-poo method some time ago. I recently finished my chemo treatments; I had put all my hair products in a bin and stored them in the bottom of a closet because it would be 6 months before I could use them again. My hair is now about an inch long, and I haven’t used any product on it. It really does look great. I rinse my hair in the shower every day and it stays incredibly clean. If I hadn’t experienced it for myself, I never would have believed it. Since chemo, I’ve decided on a no chemicals approach to my care and don’t color my hair anymore either. The color is even better with the no-poo method. My hair is a deep rich color and so healthy it’s amazing. I’ll never go back to poo.

    • Rachel

      Not to be negative about Karen’s post, but I just wanted to mention that when you have chemo and your hair falls out, the new hair will look totally different than your old hair, regardless of your hair regime. I know of two sisters who had straight, extremely fine, thin, blonde hair. Ironically, both of them had to undergo chemo at some point in their life. For both of them, after completing chemo treatments, their new hair was dark, curly and thicker than before! As it grew longer, it lightened up and was no longer curly. Neither of them used the no-poo method.

      I’m happy for you, Karen, that you are pleased with your new hair and that you want to treat it in the most gentle/natural way possible to keep it healthy. However, in your case, I don’t know that you can give the no-poo method the credit for the hair transformation you have exprienced.

      It has been nearly a year since you posted your comment. I’d be curious to learn if your hair has changed texture/color since that time, and/or whether you continue to do the no-poo method.

      On a side note, after reading several pages of comments on this post, I think I’d like to try to baking soda and ACV method. I have long, dry, curly/wavy hair, so it will be interesting to see how it works for me.

  136. HomemadeMother

    I tried this last summer and I loved it for a few months, but after a while my hair just was not getting clean. How often do you do the baking soda & vinegar? Do you wet your hair in the shower on days you’re not “washing” it?
    .-= HomemadeMother´s last blog ..Sunday Breakfast =-.

  137. MommieDawn

    Yesterday I started the EVOO/Castor Oil face cleansing…and the hair is NEXT! I’m SO glad to have found your blog…I try more and more to do things naturally for myself and my family. Can’t wait to try this!

  138. Michael

    I know of the dangers of SLS in shampoo, but are all natural herbal shampoos damaging as well? I buy them at health food stores. I always thought that herbal shampoos without SLS were really healthy. Which is better? No poo or herbal? I’m debating with myself on whether or not I should switch.

  139. Grace

    This sounds interesting! I’m totally willing to try-but with one question. I exercise a lot (4-5 days a week for an hour), often intensely enough to coat my entire hair in dripping sweat and oils. I also have mid back length, layered hair, with the shortest layers at least chin length. Is just baking soda good enough of a cleanse on those days when my hair gest absolutely soaked in sweat?

    • Tsh

      I hear it works even on those rigorous workout days.

  140. Nick

    Heh, I’m only 13 and I’m thinking about trying this. not sure if it would really work but just thinking about it.

  141. MaryLou Rupp

    As usual, I’m a late bloomer in learning things sometimes and then there is always the ahaa moment when you realize “oh!, that’s why mom used vinegar rinse on my hair”. I believe I “Stumbled” upon your blog and when I came to the part about washing your hair without shampoo I was all ears and of course the info on the vinegar rinse as well.
    So this AM I decided to give it a whirl or swish, if you will. I was amazed, my hair was squeaky clean after the baking soda wash, and then no tangles after the vinegar rinse.

    I have 66 yo hair, not so much the rest of me, and I’m here to tell you that an old dog can learn old tricks 🙂 Of course it will be interesting to see how it holds up between washings but I am very pleased with my results straight out of the gate and will enjoy continuing the process.

    Thanks for your great information. You will be one of my favorite bookmarks from now on.
    Sincerely,
    MaryLou

    ps I’m not sure my blogspot is written correctly…oh dear

  142. Cindy

    What to do with all the leftover shampoo and conditioner that we’re no longer using???
    Well first off, DO NOT use it to wash your dishes: Most contain dimethicones and it will leave a nasty film on your dishes and pans that you will then EAT. 2nd: Don’t go thinking you’ll put it in your handsoap dipenser to wash your hand with! I tried that and it so opened the cuticles of my hands that they stung with being so dry and rough!
    So what’s left? Glad you asked: I now use my old expensive shampoos and conditioners (mixed together) to clean my toilet, tub and sink. Works great. But at this rate, with the little bit I’m using at a time, it will take years to use up!

  143. Cindy

    One more thing I forgot to mention: When I started with this process, I only had one empty 8oz squeeze bottle and one 8oz spray bottle. I put the ACV in the spray bottle, and I think that works very well! You can put a much lighter coating everywhere that way, and not do the top of the scalp at all, if thats what you like. You use less that way also.

  144. Rory

    I was interested until I read “baking soda and vinegar”. Firstly, who wants to pour vinegar all over their head? Secondly, just because something is natural or chemical free does not mean it is healthy . . Vinegar and baking soda are chemicals anyway. All natural/chemical free could easily be a label on poison ivy and you’d end up with blisters over your entire body. Synthetic chemicals are not evil, they’re not trying to give you cancer, in fact they’ve usually been designed by humans so as not to damage your body, unlike most of the toxins you could find in your back yard if you were inclined to rub dirt and various plants all over your body. I understand you are sick of cosmetic and beauty companies copywriting chemicals with misleading names like RENEWIUM or BEAUTIFULFACEIOX, and the introduction of the “use once a day” marketing but all you need to do is educate yourself as to which chemicals are harmful and which aren’t, rather than grouping everything into natural and man made.

  145. anon

    so your hair smells like vinegar?

    • Tsh

      Not at all. The smell leaves as soon as you rinse out your hair.

  146. rachel

    a couple of questions:
    1. how much do i use in the shower? i have long frizzy hair.
    2. can i use the solution throughout multiple showers or do i have to make a new batch every time?
    3. i’ve read elsewhere that i should use more of a baking soda paste rather than a rince. what do you think?

    • Tsh

      1 and 2. It depends; everyone’s situation is different. Try out one standard batch of 1 Tbsp. baking soda to 1 cup water, and you’ll find out.

      3. I’ve tried that, and it worked alright, though you really have to make sure and rinse out the paste thoroughly. It’s probably best for those with oilier hair.

  147. window

    I just stumbled on this site, and I have to tell you, I have been shampoo free for years. I have an interesting addition that you may want to try. I use an old honey bear (or you could use any squeeze bottle container) and put 2 parts dried nettle, 1 part dried lavender, and 1 part dried rosemary herb into it; filling maybe 1/3rd of the container. Then I top it up with apple cider vinegar, and leave it in the shower. After I rinse and scrub my scalp under running warm/hot water I squeeze out some of the herbal infusion onto my scalp and rub it in. Let it sit for a minute or two and rinse it out. My hair is shiny, clean and vibrant. And it smells like lavender/rosemary! I just keep topping it off with more AC vinegar until I intuit that the herbs are losing their power, and start again. The nettles feed your hair follicles and keep the shaft strong, where the lavender and rosemary add shine and bounce. And a nice smell!
    I haven’t tried baking soda since my skin doesn’t produce much oil, but I think that my recipe would fit in nicely with this hair care regime
    Thanks for the tips on getting away from product purchasing!!!
    PS-I also use torn up towels and old diapers for menstural pads. Easily washed, non toxic, and reusable! All you need are a few pairs of solid tight fitting underpants for those special days, tuck in your pad – good to go.

  148. Erin

    I kinda want to try this, but I tend to get dandruff… does this still work with that kind of scalp condition?

    • Tsh

      My husband’s hair has this tendency, so he prefers using Dr. Bronner’s soap to baking soda. Everyone’s different. 🙂

  149. backtothebasics

    Hi Tsh ;
    I enjoyed your article and welcome to the ” poo free” club . I haven’t used shampoo or conditioner products for over six years . I haven’t tried baking soda yet . I use ordinary household vinegar when my scalp itches ,which is about once every two weeks ,otherwise I use olive oil(virgin) with a few drops of coconut essense daily . You can pick and choose what odour you want at the local health shop. Honey is also used a few times a week , The honey melts in warm water ,keeps my scalp heathy and hair soft .Good to rinse well as you may attrack honey lovers . I have also tried raw eggs ,works good as a conditioner ,rinse well . Beer also good for shiny hair . Back to the basics ,most of these products I have learn about from old people and old books ,it has all been tried before ,but we have forgot.

  150. Barbara

    I don’t know how true this is but when I was a teenager (way back in the 60’s and 70’s) we used vinegar or lemon juice as a hair rinse. Vinegar if you were a brunette, lemon juice for blondes. We also sprayed bottled lemon juice on our hair before going out in the sun to lighten/highlight our hair (again, using vinegar for brunettes). Sometimes we sprayed it in streaks for natural highlights. We’d leave it in, do our sunning, then rinse it out later. It actually worked!

  151. Skittle68

    I can’t imagine going totally shampoo free, but I’m going to try the baking soday and give it a shot! Until now, I’ve been washing my hair with salon brand shampoos, but only every other week, and soaking up excess oil with dry shampoo spray. It works pretty well, but builds up, which is why I can’t imagine going shampoo free. I also like not having to dry my hair every day, because I have waist length, natural blonde hair, and it’s easily damaged. If it’s true about the vinegar closing up the cuticle, that would be great for me. I’ll try to remember to come back and let you know.

  152. Jenni Halsted

    Hi! I have the straightest hair possible. Because of this I get it permed. Perms work out well. I would very much like to use the no poo method. Does anyone know how using the baking soda/vinegar method works with perms? Does it make the perm fall out faster, have no affect, help even due to causing less damage than shampoos? I’ve seen a few comments on color treated hair but not permed. I really hope someone out there knows the answer to this! Thanks.

  153. Marissa

    This idea sounds worth a try, but I’m not crazy about my hair smelling like baking soda and vinegar. Is there anything I can add to make my hair smell better? And if so, about how much would I have to add in, so that I can buy enough? Thank you ^^

  154. June

    oh i wanna try it now ! thanks ^_^

  155. Dexter

    Or just don’t wash it at all. Two years of not washing it, and people (especially hair cutters), don’t know the difference.

  156. Daniel

    An interesting recipe but one you couldn’t bottle because mixing vinegar and baking soda in a closed bottle could make it explode if you weren’t careful about it

  157. Stutz

    Not sure how you can claim that soap cleans hair without removing oils. I remember making soap in high school and discussing its chemistry, and I seem to recall that it works precisely because one end of the soap molecule is attracted to oil and the other end is attracted to water, enabling the water to bind with and rinse away the oil.

    I’m a little tired of hearing about everyone complaining about unpronounceable ingredients. You know that even though we commonly call it “baking soda” it’s still technically sodium bicarbonate? It may be a decent rule-of-thumb to avoid them when trying to go organic, but scary chemistry words don’t automatically mean carcinogenic poison.

    I totally agree that we don’t need to shampoo as much as we do, however. I’m a guy with short hair, and only I shampoo once a week just to get the dust and grime out of my hair. I’ve found that I can control my scalp oils with a daily light-conditioner-and-rinse routine in the shower. As a result, my hair is shinier and more manageable, and I don’t have to use any product for frizzing, except right after the weekly shampooing.

  158. Amy

    I’ve moved totally away to just washing with water. It’s so nice, so easy and my hair is super super healthy. Not greasy and no smell… also FREE!

  159. Pam

    I’m going to give this a try. I have really fine hair that has alway’s been super oily. I’ve alway’s had to add thickening products to it to give it some life. But now after reading this maybe I’ve been causeing my limp greasy hair all along with the products. I just want fuller looking healthy hair. Any suggestions for not having limp looking hair when you don’t have much to begin with?
    .-= Pam´s last blog ..10K hours creative challenge. =-.

  160. L

    There’s absolutely no way I would allow vinegar anywhere near me, let alone my hair.. it’s my least favorite smell. And the whole eventually “relying only on water in the shower to remove dirt and oil” doesn’t sound right. People didnt use shampoo in the past.. but people were also less hygienic and smelled bad.

  161. Berkeley Hanley

    Well first off I love your site! I’ve just started the poo-free process and as soon as I can get some castor oil I wanna try the oil cleanser.

    I just had a quick question about the vinegar. The only apple cider vinegar I can find in my area is diluted to 5% acidity with water. Is that what what you are using or have you managed to find some other acidity? I’m gonna keep going with what I have for now since my hair tends to run a little fine and oily. I’ve also been adding just a couple drops of rose oil to the vinegar and water because I prefer the smell but I’m not sure if that will be too oily. In any case I think I’m still the transition process.

    Thanks for getting out the info and get back to me if you get a chance! 🙂

  162. ginny

    I use baking soda and vinegar on my long fine hair for the last 2 years, and my hair has much more body than before. I use an organic leave in conditioner on the ends or it gets kind of dry. For the vinegar I have a pump bottle that has straight vinegar with a few drops of rosemary and lavender. I pump some vinegar into a cup and add warm water from the shower. I have been mixing a teaspoon of baking soda into a paste and massaging it into my scalp, but after reading some of these posts I think I will try the bottle of baking soda and water. maybe if I backed off on the vinegar on the ends of my hair I wouldn’t need the conditioner.

  163. Ashley

    Today was my first day ‘poo free and I love it! I have natural curly/wavy hair and use a flat iron everyday. Today I used the baking soda mixture and when I dried my hair it was incredibly straight considering my hair type. My hair does feel a little more greasy but we’ll see. Thanks!

  164. Delia

    I’m a big fan of this idea and I’m toying with trying it myself. However, I get tired of people trashing ‘detergents’ without really explaining what they are or what the term really means. I think it vilifies detergents. “Detergent” is a chemistry term for all sorts of substances that act a certain way (making water and oil more likely to interact and breaking the bonds of proteins). Stomach acid, for example is also a detergent. I want to be clear that I’m not saying that I think its ok to put stomach acid in your hair, but that the substance in question (shampoo and its ingredients) are damaging because of the ingredients, not simply because they are detergents.

    I feel the same way about the term chemical. I think the connotation of these terms has become entirely negative. Water is a chemical, as is vinegar. People have started dropping the adjectives that should go with these words. Dangerous chemical, harsh detergent. I think assuming the negative is conveyed by the noun creates confusion and bias.

    Also, substance can NOT easily go through the skin to the blood stream. Transdermal transport is hard to achieve, which is why there aren’t more drugs administered this way. Collagen, for example, can not be absorbed through the skin, no matter what the make-up companies tell you.

    Sorry for the rant. These topics constantly frustrate me. Don’t even get me started on the false dichotomy of natural v. unnatural! : )

    • Patrick

      Thanks for this informative and balanced comment. It clarifies the technical meaning of the vocabulary of chemistry.

  165. BBT

    Wonderful Post,
    I have been without shampoo for 2 years now, I began by cutting back shampooing to every week, then every 2 weeks and so on, until I never used it again. Now I only use water just to rinse it clean, but this method is defiantly intriguing too! 🙂 It’ always good to see people trying alternatives, and considering what certain things may be doing to their bodies.
    Cheers
    BBT

    PS, I would never consider going back to shampoo…. Ever… Seriously 🙂

  166. Amber

    I went shampoo free for a period of time a couple of years ago, but I gave it up due to a busy schedule and moving house…I kind of forgot to do it!

    Your recipes are a bit different from my original methods. I used baking soda, apple cider vinegar but mostly EGG! It can be found here on my old blog: http://nomorewageslave.blogspot.com/2008/08/no-shampoo-update-pamper-me.html

    I think I’m going to try your method for a while. My hair’s been all fussy and angry lately!
    .-= Amber´s last blog ..Top Five Poems to Celebrate Spring =-.

  167. a guy

    I shampoo about once a month, including conditioner. Sometimes I go a little longer than a month. I’ve been “poo-free” for over 5 years.

    My hair is fine. Shampoo is for chumps.

    Are you a chump?

  168. drew

    every dreadhead(including myself) knows of these tricks and they truly do work, been using baking soda and apple cider vinegar for over a year.

  169. steve

    For many years my Grandma has been telling me about using Lemon Joy soap in the shower.. It’s worked wonders as well–that and it’s super cheap.

  170. Patrick

    Shampoo is not like harsher detergents. The concentration of surfactants is very low and because the surface of hair is different form skin, it is necessary to use a different arsenal of surfactants to clean it. Not only is shampoo not like other harsher detergents, the only potentially harmful ingredients used in *some* shampoos include parabens and sodium larueth sulfate. Parabens are great at preventing bacteria from growing in products during unrefrigerated storage, and considering that the only two options in replacing this family of chemicals is refrigeration or pH changes, the net benefit for you skin, hair, and health is positive. Secondly, sodium laureth sulfate has not been proven to be carcinogenic when either applied directly to skin or consumed. Even in toothpaste, it has no effect on ulcer formation.

  171. Valeria Rivas

    I will try it for shure. Thanks for the post and the excellent writing style!

  172. Migration Mark

    Great great advice for a guy like me who has long hair now but neglects to take a shower specifically for not wanting to purchase shampoo or soap sometimes. I am definitely going to go out and buy some baking soda to try this out. Thanks a lot!
    .-= Migration Mark´s last blog ..How To Eat Freakishly Weird Foods =-.

  173. Peggy Lucas

    I tried this no-shampoo thing and I really don’t think it is working. My hair feels like it has this gross residue on it. It is not producing excess oil (I only washed 2-3 times a week before anyway), but instead it just feels like it’s coated in a gross film. At the same time, it also feels dry. I don’t know if I need to add more baking soda or more vinegar – or less or what! Has anyone had troubles like this?

  174. Amanda Dittlinger

    Hey there! I’ve been shampoo free for about 3 months now. I first hear of the idea several years ago with the Curly Girl book. At that time I didn’t really stick with it, but this go around I decided to plunge right in. My hair is SO awesome looking lately! I use the baking soda mixed with my store bought conditioner about once a week. Every day I spritz with water with a few drops of lavender oil in it. I also rub in a pea size amount of olive oil into my hair once or twice a day. Beautiful curls, beautiful body, NO frizz!!!
    .-= Amanda Dittlinger´s last blog ..Snack Time =-.

  175. Amy Simmons

    I am going to start this tonight. I think my hair really needs this. I think I really need this. Simplify!

  176. Julianne

    I stumbled across this the same day I ran out of shampoo, so I decided to give it a whirl. I didn’t have apple cider vinegar so I decided to try the honey. I was amazed at how well the honey worked as a conditioner. I’ve been doing this a few weeks now and I’ve learned a couple things. The good: my hair feels stronger and I no longer need to wash my hair everyday. As a poor, not quite starving, college student I love it because its so cheep it’s almost free. The Bad: the honey water grows algae unless refrigerated between uses. While my hair is stronger it isn’t as sleek as it use to be and static has become more of a problem.

    For me although the static can be a pain, not having to wash daily is really liberating. Also when I go camping it takes much longer for my hair to get critically dirty, which is nice because trying to wash hair while camping it a unique and unpleasant challenge.

    I will likely continue this on a permanent basis. Thanks for the great idea!

  177. Kat

    I started this process almost a week ago, & I’m liking it so far! I’ve been doing it every day (so as to help mitigate the ”transition period”) and haven’t had too many problems. It definitely takes some getting used to – I’m not gonna lie, it’s weird and your hair will feel different! And I just had to travel for work and noticed a big difference between hard & soft water. I live in an area of very soft water and high humidity… So far I’ve had somewhat frizzy ends, but if it doesn’t go away within the next week, I’ll try the oil suggestions I’ve seen.

    I’ve been using empty ketchup bottles (the ones with the pointy tips) and they’ve been great for getting down to the scalp since I have thick, long hair. So basically, so far so good! Just thought I’d share my experience so far! 🙂

  178. Kat

    I’ve been doing this for almost a week now, and I’m loving it! It knocks off so much time from my shower, and my hair is becoming better and better! I’ve been washing every day with a mixture of about 5 teaspoons baking soda to about 14 ounces of water put in a condiment bottle from Bed, Bath, & Beyond (the ones with the pointy tips). The bottle has been great for getting down to my scalp (I have thick, long hair). I might use a different bottle style for my ACV mix, though, as it takes so long to get my whole head.

    It definitely takes some getting used to – your hair will feel very different as it goes through the process. I’ve also noticed a big difference between using hard and soft water. Soft water (for me) lends somewhat oilier results, whereas hard water leaves it drier. And your hair will definitely take longer to dry.

    My ends are somewhat dry and frizzy, but I’m chalking it up to the humid environment right now. I’ll see what happens when the weather clears up, and if it hasn’t, I’ll use the recommended oil-conditioning techniques.

    Thanks so much for writing this! 🙂

  179. Ethan

    Thanks for the article. Love your blog, especially from an eco standpoint. I’ll share this with my wife, sister and mom…

  180. Christina

    Well, everyone else seems to have oily hair.. Mine is naturally dry- I mean really dry! I have fine hair and it’s curly. I have to condition my hair everyday with anti-breakage conditioners and only wash twice a week. I’d love to try this out but it sounds like it wouldn’t work with my hair…

  181. Tabitha

    Does baking soda leave any sort of residue? I have dreadlocks & although this idea intrigues me, I wonder about how much would actually buildup in my dreads.

  182. Kat

    Not that I’ve noticed – the only “residue” would be the natural oils from your hair, which takes some getting used to. In fact, I just washed with natural shampoo and conditioned this morning.. I think I’ll make it a once-per-week situation with baking soda in between – my hair already looks so much better than it usually does.
    .-= Kat´s last blog ..Almost Friday!!!! =-.

  183. Jim

    Yes, shampoos are detergents and so are many natural ’soaps’, cleansers and washes.

  184. Darlene Verreault

    I know there is a lot of chemical in Shampoo and Conditioners, but I didn’t know it was old fashion remedies to clean hair!! 1 cup of espalt and 1/2 cup of baking soda is a great way to gently detox your body plus it is good for the skin and relaxes you!! But you must rinse yourself off afterwords!! I thought I tell you that old remedy!!

  185. Jo

    Thanks for sharing! I just mixed up a “trial run” of this. Looking forward to trying it tomorrow. I’m always happy to find new ways to keep chemicals out of my body and the environment. Next up: deodorant!

  186. chaibaba

    been using morrocan ‘rhassoul’ for over a year now, this is a special clay in powder form which you mix to a paste and apply to wet hair, it leaves your hair very clean and feeling great, no need to condition. It can also be used on your body and works better than any soap.

  187. Jo

    I just tried this today in the shower. Waiting for my hair to dry to see how it worked!

  188. Jessica

    Or you can put BOTH of them on your hair at the SAME TIME and make a HAIR VOLCANO!!!!!!!

  189. repeattutu

    my other half thinks I am a heathen by only washing my hair 2/3 times a week it gets so dry if I wash it daily H gets me so upset! he has oily skin/hair so he washes hair showers 2/3 s’d a day I don’t nag HIM!!

  190. Mugdha

    I’m just beginning this regimen (as in I literally did my first no ‘poo wash yesterday), and I’m planning on documenting my progress on my blog, if anyone with questions wants to see how it’s going.
    I’ve been reading about “No ‘Poo” for about a month now, and I finally decided to go for it. This post was super helpful in starting! So far, my scalp’s been a little flaky, but I think I may have used too much baking soda, so I’m going to be cutting back a little from now on.
    .-= Mugdha´s last blog ..Sun God Festival and Tips =-.

  191. tish

    I went on a six month road trip and didn’t shampoo my hair for the first four months. It was fine for a while. I would just brush my hair like crazy and it would be fine. When I came back I got into the beauty industry and started washing my hair more and more. My scalp started to flake and peel so I’ve begun rubbing olive oil into it. It’d been working really well! I heave coarse and wavy hair and a dry skin type. My usual regimen has been to rinse my scalp really well in a hot shower.

  192. Mitsu

    Very interesting blog post! I was wondering though- I’m starting to go bald and I heard chamomile helps with that, so maybe it would work to use chamomile-soaked water with baking soda??? Would love to hear from anyone who has experience with curing baldness.

  193. natalie

    what does this treatment leave your hair smelling like?? i love the fragrances that some shampoos have, but i do love the idea of this treatment leaving my scalp less oily but i’m curious as to if it will smell like vinegar all the time..

    • Rivks

      Haha I know that it’s been A YEAR since you posted here but no, your hair does not smell like vinegar. It won’t really smell like much of anything when you’re done. Some people perfume their ACV rinse with essential oils. These oils can also have additional benefits for the hair.

  194. Ariel

    I’m intrigued by this and want to try it, but I swim about once a week and usually use a chlorine-removing shampoo afterward. Do you think the baking soda would take the chlorine out of my hair? Or will shampooing with the swim shampoo once a week be ok? Thanks for the advice!

  195. Ambar

    Does it work for colored hair?

  196. hannah

    hey guys i have some questions about this. its day six and ive washed my hair everyday with the baking soda mixture and rinsed with the apple cider vinegar mix as well. on day three i used an egg and let it set for an hour or two in my hair. i also rub a dot of lotion in my hands and then through my hair to help with flyaways. now for my questions.
    im sixteen, so my hair is naturally greasy. i have fine hair, but alot of it that is wavy and frizzy.
    i think im following this correctly, however my hair is rough, knotty and ranges from dry to very oily in different areas. im not sure how to scrub my hair, because when i do this, it just gets knotty, and since it doesnt make a lather, it doesnt do anything.
    how to keep my hair clean?
    how to keep out knots?
    i have a boars hair brush, any advice on how to use it?
    how often should i be washing my hair? im doing it every day now. should i cut out the vinegar? my ends are split and awful.

    i feel like my hair has all this buildup near the scalp of oil and dandruff. yuck! help please, i want to continue, but this is awful!

    • Stephanie

      Hi! I had some pretty rough transition periods in my poo-free journey. I have greasy hair also, and I find that I can’t use the ACV (vinegar) too often. And when I do, I water the ACV down, and only use a tiny bit on the ends. It would probably be best to get your hair trimmed to get those split ends off. I usu. only use it like once every couple weeks. And during the transition times when my hair was super greasy, I had to use extra baking soda and really douse my roots with it and scrub really hard for a long time. If you can make it through the greasy periods, I think you’ll be happy in the end. As far as the brush, use it every morning and every night. Brush for a long time. That’s what they did in the “old days” ! And throughout the day, run your fingers through your hair to get the oil down to the ends.

      I hope this helps!!

    • Holly

      Adding to what Stephanie said, I found brushing your scalp with a fine tooth comb before you shower helps get rid of the build up also.

  197. hannah

    how long do you think itll take for me to have the oils even out and my hair be okay again? i caved and shampooed my hair, because kids at school were being mean. any advice on how to make your hair not look as greasy during the transition?

  198. Karen

    Hannah, if you have to break down and use shampoo every now and then, its OK. At first, I would use shampoo about once a week. But now, I rinse with water every morning, and when I feel like it, I use the baking soda mixture. I totally LOVE the look and feel of my hair (not crazy about the style, but that will come in time). I use about a tablespoon of baking soda for a cup of water and rinse my hair with it, leave it on for a bit, then rinse it thoroughly. Because my hair is growing out super curly after chemo-induced baldness, I use quite a bit of gel to try to tame it. I don’t use the vinegar very often only because I find I don’t need to. I also use a tiny bit of conditioner sometimes. The point is all about reducing the chemicals you use, being green, and in my case, being economical. Don’t beat yourself up if you aren’t successful right away. Keep at it and do what you feel is best. It will happen and you’ll be glad you did.

  199. hannah

    will my hair still adjust if i use shampoo once a week? im so sorry to hear about the chemo man, thats awful. but curls are luscious, bodacious and beautiful- let them bounce, frizz and go wild! thats what curls do! another question- how do i get to my scalp with scrubbing? when i try to, it gets my hair all knotted in a ball and baking soda doesnt lather. do i mix the baking soda and vinegar together?

  200. Karen

    LOL! If you mix the baking soda and vinegar you will be in for a surprise! There is a chemical reaction. I think if I were you I would mix a larger amount of baking soda and water. I only need about a cup for my hair, but maybe you need 2 or 3 cups for your long hair. Don’t scrub, but you can work it in without making knots in your hair; try running your fingers through your hair, starting at the scalp. Make sure you rinse it really well.
    Yes, many people go poo-free by cutting down the frequency they use shampoo. First once a week, then once every 10 days or so, etc. You’ll get the hang of it.
    Oh, and if my curls were bouncy or luscious, I would let them go free, but with the short hair, I look like a cross between Little Orphan Annie and Bozo the clown!
    Be sure to let us know how it works out for you!

  201. Marie

    I really like this idea, unfortunately I had a rash on my forehead and scalp after using both and had to rewash and condition to reduce the irritation. Maybe I used too much. Baking Soda alone seems to be working well for my boyfriend. Thanks for sharing.

    • Kathleen

      You’re likely allergic to the vinegar – my daughter is. Try another mild acid, i.e. lemon juice when necessary. If you dry you skin out too much by leaving on the baking soda too long that might cause some irritation as well.

  202. hannah

    thanks! ill definitely try with more baking soda and water. should i add more water to the concoction as well? i dont know if it will leave a residue or not. thanks for all your help and clarifications ms. karen!

  203. Laura

    I stumbled upon another site suggesting this about a few months ago and I must have been in a defensive mood because the first thing I thought was “How can this guy tell me my shampoo is killing the planet? puh-leez. Give me a break.” A month later I stumbled upon another site which rather than use the guilt approach explained the benefits. I started to get sold. I am vegan and try to be as environmentally friendly as possible. The money-saving aspect is enough to make me go and try it! Thanks for the great blog.

  204. Janna Kowalchuk

    I think that this is wonderful!!

    I always hated washing my hair, found the more I washed it, the greasier it got.

    I wash my hair about once a week, I did that even before I had dreads. I still use shampoo sometimes, but defiantly organic, biodegradable stuff…
    Going shampoo free isn’t so scary! Its awesome!

    We need to be feeling good about not only what you put in our bodies, but what we put ON them as well!

    And I can’t wait to try your recipe!

  205. Maria Gonzalez

    I’ve actually been doing this for quite some time as well, and I’ve found that actually using *more* vinegar keeps your hair from being as oily if you’re still in the transition stage. It took me a good 3-4 weeks or so. I just didn’t wash my hair at all for those, so I had an overly oily appearance, and when I did wash it, my hair took to it like it was water. On this method, I only have to wash my hair maybe 3 times a week!

  206. Felicia

    Hi Tsh,
    Thanks for the information. I just started using an excellent chemical-free product. It is an excellent product and I love it. However, I can’t afford it right now, so I am looking for much cheaper ways to care for my hair and scalp. I am skeptical about using vinegar because it is an acid. I feel as though it would be unsafe to use on my hair.
    I’ve also read that using olive oil on the scalp is good for dry scalp. Have you heard of that? I have dry, itchy and flaky scalp.
    I hope to hear back from you regarding my concern with vinegar, and your take on olive oil. Thanks!

  207. Jorden

    Do you know if this would help with dandruff?

  208. Sarah

    Wow, this is great! I have always had problems with shampoo. I tend to have oily hair and for a day it’s good, but then I have to wash it at least every other day. I also tend to have to change brands (as I do with deodorant). I’m definitely going to give this a try! Thanks!
    .-= Sarah´s last blog ..Please Don’t Promise Me Forever =-.

  209. AJ

    I was glad to stumble upon this article, as I haven’t used shampoo in years and my hair is soft, strong and well-balanced in terms of oiliness. Maybe once a week I thoroughly wash my hair with the shower water.

    Shampoo creates dependency. The best example of this concerns Anti-Dandruff shampoos. Sure, they worked, but the moment I stopped using them, I was coated in flakes once more until my hair and scalp readapted.

    Jorden, just make sure you dry your hair and scalp well after you wet it. There’s a good chance this will reduce your dandruff. It works for me.

  210. Mariana

    Not to mention, shampoo bottles tend to be made out of hard plastic which generate tons of waste and take millions of years to disappear.. plus shampoo making companies contribute in the contamination.. nice work reusing old bottles and trying more nature friendly alternatives!

  211. Kyle Tyler

    Love it! I am subscribing to your feed and heading to the shower to try this out!

  212. marisol

    I have thinning hair and have tried everything to see healthy hair, or at least so it won’t fall out so much. Does anyone here have experience with the baking soda and vinegar and healthier, thicker hair?

    thanks!

  213. Victor

    I have a very strong case of dandruff (I quit using head & shoulders one week and my hair is a snow field) . Does anyone else with my problem have tried this? If so, what have been your results?

  214. Dave @ Bracknell Cleaning

    I must admit I never like to use shampoo, I hate it. My skin is really sensitive. Unfortunatley my girlfriend trys to force it on me. I have now taken to lying!

    I didn’t know that you could wash your hair with vinegar and baking soda, there really does seem to be an endless use for these 2 household ingredients.
    .-= Dave @ Bracknell Cleaning´s last blog .. =-.

  215. AK

    Now all I need to know is what you use for your body (to wash it and moisturize it) and I’m set!

  216. Ariel

    So, I have a question. What is the approximate consistency of the baking soda/water mixture? I feel like mine might have been too thin, but I’m not sure.
    Thanks!

  217. deebee

    I once knew a French woman whose hair was the most beautiful shiny radiance I’d ever seen. I asked what shampoo she used, and her response was “None”.
    She was raised on a farm and never even once in her entire life shampooed her hair! Only brushed it well with a natural bristle brush, a lot. The natural oils from the roots are distributed as the dirt is swept away.

  218. Diedre

    It sounds really cool, but I do not like the smell of vinegar and I don’t think I could go around everyday with my hair smelling like that. Is there anything you can use to give your hair that just washed smell?

  219. Rosalba

    Im willing to try, but although you say there is no ugly smell…. i’ve always love to have my hair smelling good, what can i do to keep it this way???

  220. Jenni

    I question why we wouldn’t just use what we use on our bodies on our scalp if shampoos are so bad. If it’s good enough for the skin on my shoulders or face why isn’t it ok for the skin on my scalp? Because that’s what really needs washing is the skin that gets oily and sweaty not the hair shaft itself. Yes, I am reluctant to try this. My city had big water problems over the winter and I know what my hair smells like dirty and it isn’t pleasant. It’s also long enough to get into things that I’d actually want to wash out. As for lice, styling product buildup kept my daughter lice free just fine. I just don’t get this movement I guess, to me it’s throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Get a good shampoo that doesn’t have the sulfates and stuff is a good idea, but totally going without is too extreme for most of us I sense.

  221. Angie

    Is it ok to do this on dyed hair?

  222. Our Nifty Notebook

    Ok, I’ve seen this on so many blogs and would love not to have to buy shampoo anymore. However, I can’t get past this part:
    “You might have a transition period that lasts from a few weeks to a few months”
    Yikes! I wash my hair every day and I don’t think I could live with my hair if it were nasty for weeks or months. I’m scared to try this!

    • SA

      I’m starting slow, with a shampoo every other day – I’m still in the too-oily phase after a couple of weeks, so today on my off-day, I tried the soda. It seems to have cleared up some of the oil. I imagine soon I’ll be able to do soda every other day (or whatever feels natural) and skip the shampoo altogether.

  223. Amberleigh

    One of my favorite things about shampoo shopping is picking out a new scent. Does the vinegar leave an unpleasant odor? And even if not, is there something that would leave a pleasant one?

  224. Karianne

    Day 1 of the no shampoo hair care experiment. Used honey off the bat since my although my hair IS oily at the roots, the rest is dry dry dry. I suppose I never paid attention to how clean or dirty my hair felt after a conventional shampoo, but I’m not sure it feels clean now. My scalp is tingly, and not used to the lack of the chemicals (every day). It’s funny because an old friend ofmine started doing this when we were younger, and I laughed. Recently, I began thinking about how people ever survived without daily shampoos…and Stumbled Upon your blog. I’m testing every 4 or 5 days the first 3 weeks before I test a week without shampooing. We’ll see how it goes!

    I just wanted to thank you! I’m testing the vinegar after the first 6 weeks, after I’ve transitioned to once-weekly shampoos. Kudos to the naturalista! 🙂

  225. Brittany Vick

    I went shampoo-free completely about 4 years ago. Way before i ever read a single article on it. I have thick, coarse, curly hair that i dye (by the way if you choose to slather your hair with dye instead of shampoo- don’t use apple cider vinegar) and found that my hair was frizzier, and more dry, and more tangly, every single time i shampooed.

    So I quit. And I carried my secret with me for a goodish number of months, maybe a year or so before I told my best friend who has similar hair problems. She freaked out and told me I was gross and blah, blah, blah. But my hair quality and manageability had so increased that I refuse to go back to shampoo.

    I don’t care terrible about the chemicals, to me the fact that I am not covering my hair in chemicals (at least while shampooing) is just an added bonus. What I can attest to is that my hair is curlier, less frizzy, and has less tangles than ever.

    brittany

  226. Judy

    This is a very interesting method. and coming from a hairstylist, I understand your frustration with your stated facts above. But actually, the only type of shampoos that have those distilled oils and waxes that coat the hair to make it appear “shiny” are over the counter shampoos (i.e suave, pantene, garnier etc). And the reason they are so cheap is because they coat the hair so much it actually strips the hairs natural oils, ESPECIALLY if you dont use conditioner. So your hair will be feeling dirty or a “waxey” feel to it by the end of the day. So you will be actually spending more money and using more shampoo than desired. Salon professional products usually never carry anything that has paraben or sulfates in them, which makes the hair feel worse than before.
    Im just saying i’m sure your hair feels amazing using the baking soda, its just an alternative to using Professional products like Biolage or Redken.

  227. Rie O

    I’ve been using the baking soda and ACV for about a week already, and I’m going through the transition period. Just hours after I wash my hair, my hair is greasy at the scalp and two inches down. Also, I’m starting to get what appears like dandruff. I’m wondering if this is the natural reaction to the bs and acv, and if it will wear off after a couple of weeks when I get used to it…
    Thanks,
    -R

  228. Tara Mc Namara

    Totally trying this. My hair is in alright condition because I dont dye it or straighten it and I cant remember when I last used a hair dryer. Love the idea though and still trying it. Thanks so much 🙂 xxx

  229. Vickibeth

    Any idea if this treatment helps your hair grow faster? I recently got 10in cut off and I’m missing my long hair. Do you know of any way to get it back…..faster?

    • Vickibeth

      I don’t/have never colored my hair but with the current short style I do blow dry it every day 🙁 My hair is healthy but I want it to grow super fast!

      • Leah

        I heard that if you don’t brush it with a brush but instead use a wide tooth comb to comb your hair when it’s wet and when it’s dry, you hair will grow better. Also if you don’t blow dry it. I don’t have patience to leave it wet for so long (especially in the morning if I’m planning on going somewhere soon) but if I leave it to dry in the morning when I don’t have to do anything, my hair’s natural curl and waviness comes in and it’s super cute and curly.

        • Starr

          take biotin! I take it for my acne, but it also made my hair grow like crazy. I wouldnt recommend brushing your hair too much when its wet though, because i’ve heard it damages your hair

  230. Leah

    Hey I tried the baking soda mixed with water for shampoo and apple cider vinegar with water for the conditioner and it is amazing! My first wash and my hair is less tangled than with regular shampoo and conditioner! I’m totally converted, and I’m going to convert my friends. Thank you so much for the info! 🙂

  231. Starr

    I’ve heard of people using baking soda and apple cider vinegar for acne treatment, but ive never heard of it used on the hair! This is really interesting! Unfortunately I am on vacation right now so using it might get a little messy, but I still have the two ingredients left over from my acne treatment so I’ll have to try it when I get home. Btw, does this regimen affect volume by any chance? My hair is very flat and thin so I am just wondering if it makes your hair pretty flat (since you said the hair is much more frizz free and smoother…it almost sounds like it would kill volume too)

  232. Ingrid

    I’m a bit late to be posting but better late than never. Just wanted to post a thank you. I am now shampoo free and loving it. The Baking soda shampoo works great and as for condition I do a honey vinegar blend and then once it towel dries or even completely dries I spray a lavender aromatherapy mist on it. This seems to combat the mild vinegar smell. Again thank you so much-

    first time to site and love it!

  233. carissa

    It sounds like the transition time is too long.

  234. Isabel

    This has some really useful info! I started last week, and I just have one question. I only wash my hair with baking soda 1-2 times a week, but on the days that you dont wash your hair with baking soda and/or vinegar, do you still rinse it with water in the shower, or do you not wet your hair at all and just put on a shower cap? Otherwise, I’m all good. Thanks!

  235. MommieDawn

    So I started my POO free lifestyle last night and so far (yes I know it’s only ONE day) I love it! I hardly had a tangle, no I don’t smell like vinegar, and my hair feels great! I’m a girl from tthe 80’s and using hair products is like breathing – so far all Iused was a little hairspray on top because I can’t get away from having a little volume. Here’s my post on my blog about it. http://mommiedawn.blogspot.com/2010/08/going-poo-free.html

  236. Sarah Gonsalves

    Hey!

    So I’ve been ‘poo free for about a month and a half, and I’m really proud of myself, but I find that the apple cider vinegar isn’t conditioning enough for my hair. I have EXTREMELY thick, course and curly hair, and it’s been breaking and shedding a lot more than usual without the super conditioners I used to use. Do you recommend any additional natural conditioners? I would very much like to stick to the ‘poo free regime, but I don’t like the new texture of my hair.

  237. Jake

    Hi. I am very interested in trying this out once I finish the bottle of shampoo I have right now. Although I did have a question. Since you are being so frugal and eco-friendly with your hair care products, what do you use to wash your body? (if you don’t mind me asking)

  238. cassie

    I’ve only been poo free for about 4 days and my hair only rebelled the first day and now its just as clean as ever with the baking soda and the itchy scalp i always have is almost gone =D

  239. James

    Thats all fine and dandy, but can do you do thats “all natural” for chronic dandruff? Unless I use a certain prescription brand of shampoo with steroids in it, my scalp burns so bad I cant think, and my shoulders literally turn into a winter wonderland.

  240. Jennifer Lavender

    I scanned through the comments and didn’t see if this was asked before or not. Is there a difference between brands of baking soda or vinegar? I’ve always assumed that vinegar was vinegar and bought whatever was the best value at the time, but if I’m going to be putting it on my head then I may as well know if there’s really a difference or not.

  241. Naz

    can i use Baking Powder instead of baking soda?

  242. remi

    This sounds wonderful! Id really like to give it a go, but i was curious if the baking soda or the apple cider vinegar would take out dyed color thats in ur hair. I have a large purple streak and shampoo just makes it bleed like no other (even with alkaline free products) and i was wondering if that would make the color come out less.
    Thanks!

  243. None

    what happens when you get to the point where you dont need to use BS and vinegar for the smell??

  244. Angie

    You mentioned that this amount (1 Tbs. baking soda in 8 oz. of water I assume) will last you and your husband combined a week or week and a half. How many times do you use this mix each week? Every day? Every other day? And I guess you only use a little at one time since it lasts you at least a week?

    Thanks!

  245. MommieDawn

    I started this and it lasted 2 weeks – I was VERY excited! Anything that helps less chemicals ANYWHERE is something I love. But…it only lasted 2 weeks. My hair got horribly dry and brittle and tangled…I have very very fine hair. I did a few home made conditioners…beer rinse, banana avocado mask….nothing helped. I had to go back to poo. 🙁

  246. Yvonne Moss

    I am going to try this tip for sure. I use Deva products that meet all omit all the ‘hard to say’ chemicals. No lather! And smells amazing!

  247. Amber

    So I love this whole idea of going shampoo free! I’ve been following your methods now for about 3 weeks. The vinegar does great for my hair, which is amazing since I have long thick locks. My only concern and upset with this is that i’ve had a crazy buildup of dandruff. It makes my head itch like crazy and my clothes look like i’ve walked out of santas wonderland. I was wondering if that has happened to you or anyone else whose used this method. I really want to keep sticking to it, but it’s just so uncomfortable.

    • lala

      omg im having the same problem! how much baking soda do you use? please let me know when youve found a solution!

  248. Becky

    Hi, there!
    My question is… Smell? Can you add anything to add a scent to your hair… Baking soda and vinegar wouldn’t make it smell to appetizing, I imagine. Could you tell us what effect this procedure has on the smell of your hair?

  249. Brenda Baird

    How about those like me who colour their hair or rather get their hair coloured –but even minus that my hair is coarse, really thick and frizzy (a mix of curly/wavy and straight). I have to have conditioner…is their something I can use to condition my hair too?

  250. Allison

    I’ve been poo free for about a month now. Last weekend I was around a campfire a lot. When I came home and washed my hair with my baking soda mix + vinegar rinse I still had that smoky campfire smell in my wet hair. It’s not so pronounced after it dried, but do you have any idea how to get rid of that kind of odor? Thanks!

  251. Leah

    I’m trying it now, thanks to you! All of the other blogs I’ve visited, it seemed like the girls had either thick wavy hair or curly hair. Mine is thick and wavy but tends to get pretty dirty easily. But yours looks fantastic! I love the baking soda idea, thanks so much!

  252. Mary

    I have to say, what I read on this website was more helpful than a lot of hair care books I have! I’ve been experimenting washing my hair with natural ingredients like lemon, lime, apple cider vinegar, rosemary water and sometimes a combination of lemon and rosemary but baking soda is by far the best thing to use!
    I tried it out today and my hair feels great and squeaky clean! I love it so much that I’m gonna go out and get baking soda in bulk!!!!
    Great article and thank you for ending my long search with this amazing information 🙂
    Living simple is the greatest!

  253. Tamara

    This sounds amazing! I’ll give it a try. Right now I’m using Aveda’s products and I’m so mad at myself that I haven’t switched yet to something more natural (even though they claim to be “natural” which is very deceiving) but I will definitely do this as of today. Thank you for this interesting post.

  254. Duncan

    Use BICARBONATE of SODA!!!
    I tried this back in March 2010 and whilst it worked OK, it wasn’t great. I never gave up since I was at least happy that I was not putting anything on my hair that I wouldn’t eat. Then a couple of weeks ago I ran out of Baking Soda, so I just used BICARBONATE of SODA instead. Instantly, I could tell that this was significantly better…. so much so that I really think that you need to change Baking soda to BICARBONATE of SODA!!
    (This may be a US / UK thing, as I noted that someone else has mentioned not to use ‘Baking Powder’ which may be called Baking Soda in the UK. See also http://aww.ninemsn.com.au/food/cookingtips/790073/baking-soda-bicarb-soda-baking-powder-whats-the-difference )
    I also now use half the concentrations that you suggest and feel that this is even better.

    • Erin

      Bicarbonate of soda is baking soda.

  255. Andrea

    At first when I tried this method, I didn’t like it at all. It was as Lynn said above, my hair just kept on being super-oily. I can’t stand that feeling for a day let alone 2 months, and it’s just not fun to walk around looking and feeling totally unwashed. (I was using 1 T of baking soda in 1 c of water; same with vinegar in water.)

    Then I read another blog by a woman apparently more willing to experiment than I. She uses 1:1 ratio of baking soda to water which turned out to work really well for her.

    So, I was inspired to try again. I’ve had success! I’m using 1:2 baking soda to water and straight apple cider vinegar for the conditioner. My hair looks as good as with commercial shampoos. It also behaves the same as with commercial shampoos: I can go maybe 2 days before the oil overwhelms and must be washed! But it blow drys well, holds curl the same (which isn’t much!). I even had to ask myself: why am I going to make shampoo when my hair comes out the same as with normal shampoo? Well, that’s the clincher: no dandruff. My scalp was soooooo happy. It took just a few days, and then I wasn’t itchy or flaky or anything. It was awesome!

    My bottle is small–3 oz–and I haven’t refilled in a 3-4 days, and my scalp can tell, big time. Baking soda shampoo cleared up what even dandruff shampoos barely contained.

    So, if you’re thinking about this method or if you’ve tried it, experiment a little with the ratios and see if that helps you at all.

  256. Ira

    An old method for washing hair is using egg yolks. After don’t forget to rinse with lemon juice and water!

  257. Ben Anderson

    A couple of months ago I replaced shampoo with baking soda. I did it everyday at first it made my hair very nice. I tried the apple cider vinegar thing and did not like it at all it really didn’t help my hair. Lately I moved and now I have much harder water and the baking soda got harder and harder to use so I just stopped using it. It’s been more than a week now since I used baking soda and my hair is pretty much the same. It’s nice.

  258. April Emery

    I have been poo-free for about 4-5 months now and I will NEVER go back to store-bought shampoo again. I inherited VERY thick, heavy, wavy hair from my dad. Before going poo-free I HATED my hair – the way it felt, the lack of manageability, you name it. Now my hair is manageable, even though it is still thick and heavy. It feels lighter and holds shaper better … all without styling products! My problem with dandruff/dry scalp has vanished completely thanks to the vinegar rinse before washing with the baking soda. I cannot say enough wonderful things about this method!! This blog post I wrote recently shares more of my experience and gives links to other posts on being poo-free I have made in the past —
    http://aprilemery.blogspot.com/2010/10/4-months-without-shampoo-update-on.html

  259. April Emery

    I have also found that using the distilled white vinegar mixed with water (1-1 ratio) and applied to a dry scalp before washing with baking soda is wonderful for dry scalp/dandruff. I used to constantly battle with it and no longer have any issues with it!

  260. Suzy

    Thank you for this. I just stopped washing my hair with Shampoo 2 days ago and I came across your blog tonight. I was wondering how I could clean it without using shampoo. You really made this simple and easy to understand thanks so much for trying the experiment! YAY can’t wait to try the BS and Vin.

  261. carly

    Does it actually work? I literally stumbled upon this website from stumbleupon.com and it sounds great but I dont know if it will work for wavy hair

  262. Deanna

    I have been no poo for 5 months now. My scalp and hair have never been healthier. I have SLE Lupus so that is really saying something, I use to combat all type of sores and ulcers on my scalp, no longer. I too use the apple cider vinegar + water rinse. The great thing is there is no smell once I rinse and get out of the shower. My husband was really surprised by this, but I did add one cinammon stick to my mixture just for a change up, Can’t smell the cin either after first day. I love this recipe and now I use corn starch and baking soda as deo/antiperspirant too. I am a convert. This all works so much better for me, I don’t sweat nearly as much, keeps me fresher, dryer, and it is so much cheaper!! I urge all of your followers to try the nonpoo recipe. I have only heard raves. ANd urge to do a google search of uses for baking soda, hydrogen perxiode , vinegar too. Save lots of money, and be healthier also. Oh I saw as I scrolled quickly thru comments someone was inquiring about color hair. The lady I got nonpoo recipe from says she colored her hair faithfully and nonpoo was better for her color, although she uses hemp dyes or all natural dye, don’t know if that would make a difference, but I am thinking that the natural from the earth product has to be better than anything one can purchase with perservatives in it. Give it a try, You have nothing to lose really. If it works for you, you have lots of money saved that you can apply elsewhere in your budget!
    Thank you for sharing Simple mom. and thanks for letting me comment. Blessings to you and your family
    Deanna

  263. Emily Claire

    This is so great! I stumbled it and I’m so glad I did. I have curly hair and I already use DevaCurl no-poo products, but they’re sooo expensive! I’m going to try this and if it works I’m going to stop buying those expensive products!! thanks!!

  264. Alison @ Femita

    As a loyal Simplemom reader I just stumbled on this article and it’s something I have been thinking about for quiet some time but I never dared to take the plunge. Since we were children we have been brought up with the idea that shampoo is part of daily hygiene and I find that kinda hard to let go.. Plus I doubt that baking soda and vinegar can replace the smell of my favorite shampoos.

  265. HEATHER

    ive been poo free for 3 years now. what made me stop was dandruff and sores or scabs on my scalp. after moving to a dryer climate this was a big problem. i went to a store and got some selsun blue. it stopped my problem but another one came up. i was losing my hair! hand fulls of it at a time. it looked like i had male pattern baldness in just a few months . a 22 year old girl should not have this…lol. also my eyelashes seem to have disappeared. anyway i tried many many many shampoos to fix both problems but nothing. finally i came across an article like this one and started right away. after a couple of months all was good no hair falling out no dandruff/scabs. what i did notice was split ends. so many spit ends, my split ends had split ends. it was really bad i had 13 inches cut off 🙁 but not wanting to give up on my backing soda i cut out the vinegar and bought an organic hydrating conditioner. i just apply to my ends or in the winter allover. now 2 1/2 years later no problems at all. my hair feels smooth and full. also i do blow dry, curl and flatiron my hair so maybe thats why i didn’t have luck with vinegar.

  266. Dana

    I have been shampoo free now for about two weeks. I have been doing the baking soda and vinegar routine, and although my hair is pretty oily right now, I like not using shampoo and keeping it all natural. I am anxious to see when my hair will stop producing so much oil how my hair will feel. I have naturally thick hair and would like to know if I should be using more baking soda and how much of the baking soda/water mixture should I use. Thanks! 🙂

  267. JASON

    hi simplemom i have started using your idea with baking soda and vinegar, i wanted to know is it safe to use this every night and every morning, i bath after workout and i do my hair as well . i have thin hair and you can see my scalp when sunlight hit it direct . my parents told me that vinegar is a lot stronger then regular shampoo, and it will eat my hair faster then shampoo… what do you think?? i have oily hair..

    this is the step i do

    1tb baking soda + 8 oz water
    1tb white vinegar + 8 oz water

    *** i apply both directly to my scalp.. not just my hair everywhere on my head.

    MORNING
    wash hair – water only
    after wash i will use vinegar just to rinse it then water to clear all out

    NIGHT
    wash hair with baking soda
    after baking soda i will direct apply vinegar and rinse it out and then water to clear everything out..

    i’m doing this everyday and hoping you get back at me so i know if it is safe to do this or not. i’m in my mid 20s , i already have very thin hair. i don’t want any more hair to drop…

  268. Jennifer

    I just stopped usuing shampoo and so far I love it. My scalp seems to be a little on the greasy side now. Will definatly betrying out the baking soda. Thanx so much for the tips.

  269. gail

    why do you need the soda and vinegar at all? I haven’t washed my hair in anything
    except water in over a year. It doesn’t smell, it is in better condition than ever, looks better as well. I usually wear it loose with a natural curl I never knew I had but occasionally iron it and it still looks great. All these products, both chemical and natural are a bit of con.

  270. jen

    I am excitd to try this. My 2 year old has a “cradle cap” spot on her scalp that I just can’t get rid of… I wonder if this would help?

  271. Mell

    I had gone 3 months using baking soda & ACV instead of shampoo. I was amazed the first time I tried it how clean & soft my hair felt afterwards. Then, our family had to move and we had about 6 weeks of living with family and traveling before we finally settled into our new place. During that time I used small samples of shampoo that were given to me because I had ran out of ACV right before the move and the small shampoos were just simpler for me at the time. I was very surprised how by the end of the transition time I was craving my no-poo again. I think I’m a no-poo-er for life!

  272. Maddie

    This sounds amazing! My friend has been doing this for a while now and she loves it. So I’m deffinately going to try it. I was wondering though, do you happen to know the effects it has on color treated hair?

  273. Connie Crispin

    The baking Soda sounds great but I have white hair and the apple cider may discolor my hair? I can not use any shampoos which have yellow dye in them. The tints turn my hair? Any suggestion?

  274. Rebecca

    I’m interested in joining the no-shampoo movement and have a question on how often most people rinse their hair. I have cut back to washing my hair twice a week (with regular shampoo and conditioner) but still experience an oily look unless I rinse and massage my scalp – with water only – in between washings to break up and distribute the oil away from the scalp. I’m curious as to how common this is for those using the no-shampoo approach? Do others need to rinse like this? How often do you wash with the baking-soda mixture?

  275. Faith

    What about permed hair? Could you use the baking soda/vinegar as well?

    And could you add a little lavendar oil or other essential oil so your hair still smells nice?

  276. Chrystal

    I started about a year ago trying to cut back on the chemicals in our home. I make my own laundry detergent, use baking soda and vinegar to clean the toilets, am making my own dish soap. I think this prepared me for the idea of going shampoo free when I read about it. It makes complete sense and I am excited to get started and rid our house of one more unnecessary product! Thank you for your research and clear instructions on amounts…by far the best explanation I have read:)

  277. Vicki

    I came across this on another site and decided to try it, I had nothing to lose. I am having some health problems and my hair has been falling out for almost a year now. It’s like straw, and growing in thin and kinky/curly. I’m so sick of dry, awful looking hair, I condition like crazy. Well, I gave this a try, followed the recipe exactly, and was amazed at my results. First thing I noticed was that I was able to immediately brush through my hair with no tangles at all. That’s been an impossibility for almost a year now. As my hair dried, it was clean, but so soft. My curls are behaving so much better. Granted it’s only been a couple times, but the change in my hair is shocking- I actually have normal looking hair for the first time in the last year or so!

    • Vicki

      One more thing to add: My hair was so dry, that just curling it “glued” the strands together. I’d try and brush through that with my fingers and the hair just fell apart. It’s truly been a mess, and so I’m hoping this effect will be long lasting

  278. Lora

    I use a recipe I found on Jordan Rubin’s website.
    1 cup Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap
    1 cup water
    1 teaspoon grapeseed oil
    1/4 teaspoon tea tree oil
    I store it in an empty Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap bottle. The mixture is not thick so I pour some into a small plastic cup about 1 oz size and pour over my hair. That way I don’t waste any. It makes a rich lather. My hair is nice and soft, plus no more split ends. I haven’t given up conditioner, though. I use a very small dab of a natural brand to detangle. I don’t like the ACV as a rinse. Coconut oil is great for an occasional moisturing treatment.

  279. Billy

    I must admit, I tried this and didn’t like it…BUT I only gave it a couple of days. reading this post (especially the part about your scalp producing excess oil right after you start) is eye-opening. I guess I’ll give it another go (maybe I’ll wait until AFTER the holidays!!!

  280. melimoo

    I’ve been washing my hair with baking soda and apple cider vinegar for about a month. It started out fine but then my hair got oily so I cut out the apple cider vinegar all together. Now I’m just down to the baking soda. My hair is still oily but my scalp has been producing dandruff. I don’t know which way to adjust the mixture. Anyone have any ideas? I really don’t want to have to resort to going back to shampoo and conditioner but I’m thinking I might have to. :p

  281. melimoo

    I’m a student on my last semester of college and I’m always looking for ways to lower my grocery bill and natural and affordable alternatives to things that didn’t quite make sense for the waste anyway. I was absolutely tickled to find that there was an alternative to shampoo and conditioner. My hair was damaged and dried out and my scalp was all sorts of unhealthy (not to mention the number of bottles that I would recycle when they were empty.)

    I’ve been using the poo free method for about a month now and love it. My hair is stronger and it’s not tangly when I get out of the shower, it holds it’s shape, and my hair just feels healthier and not like I rubbed it down with chemicals. But I have a problem. My hair was getting greasy so I used less and less ACV until I cut it out altogether. My hair was still greasy so I increased the amount of baking soda I used. Now, not only is my hair still on the greasy side, my scalp is producing a good amount of dandruff.

    Does anyone have any suggestions of how to adjust things so that I don’t have to worry about dandruff and greasy hair? I really don’t want to go back to using regular shampoo and conditioner but if this goes on, I’m thinking I’m going to have to. Or at least alternate between shampoo and the poo free method.

  282. Connie Chee

    Hi,

    I just ‘stumbledupon’ (stumpleupon.com) this article and this is the second time I’ve approached this topic in two different places. I have been wondering about it, I see that’s it’s been about a year now for you shampoo-less. I have super oily hair all on it’s own, I’m Asian. What are your thoughts on me trying out a shampoo free lifestyle?

    Thanks!

  283. Regine.

    Hello, I was just wondering.. would you recommend this for African-American hair?

  284. Steven

    Have heard this some months ago, but never try. After read all the experience, I will try to clean my hair without shampoo. But confuse, try the baking soda or vinegar first ??

  285. Marit

    The beer thing in your hair is true, it works wonders. I tried it this summer after learning that my grandmother used to buy my mom a pack of beer every week to clean her hair with when she was younger. It makes your hair very soft, and shiny, and the smell goes away after you rinse with water.

  286. Kerry

    So how often to you wash with this mixture? My hair is fairly oily, and I have to wash a MINIMUM of every other day, but everyday is what I seem to need. If I switch, how often should I wash? Everyday during the transition period, and then less often?

  287. Amy

    I’ve been researching this poo-free thing and trying it at the same time. I have had great results so far. My hair was always straight and thin. As I have grown older and after 3 kids my hair has become fuller and frizzy. I have tried everything to calm it down to somewhere in between flat and full. I really want to get rid of the frizzy. The baking soda/cider vinegar thing does help a good deal with the frizzy but mostly my hair is more manageable. When I curl my hair it holds the curl longer. I don’t have to use as much heat to get the curl I want. My hair is definitely softer. Air drying was always a disaster for me in the past, but now if I air dry my hair the results are a nice wavy natural look instead of a scary, frizz ball on my head. Very glad to have learned about this way of washing my hair.

  288. michelle

    I just tried your olive oil face moisturizing trick and my face feels great. The skin is so soft after only doing it once. I will never waste my money on expensive moisturizers again!! Thank you

  289. Momma Massey

    Tsh- Thank you Thank you Thank you! I have gained so many helpful wonderful tips by reading your blog but this one rules them all! I have converted and am never going back! I must confess when I first read it I was a skeptic. But after trying it I LOVE IT! Thank you again!

  290. Cassieanne

    I have started going to a new stylist, and just found out I have been washing my hair “too much” and I am really damaging it. After I use up this new Shampoo and Conditioner I will try this no ‘poo approach. Thank you for sharing! Oh and she suggested I wash every three days. I have medium hair, with a touch of wave, and average shine, never dyed. If you need to freshen your hair from odor/sweat she suggested spritzing it with lavender oil diluted in water…and it’s great!

  291. Joy

    thanku for the great idea, my moms told me how wonderful it is to use both items. i”ll use them soon : )

  292. Emily

    So can you leave the mixtures in the bottle and save them for the next time you need to use them, or must you make a new mixture every time?

    • Heather

      you can save the mixtures and use it until it’s gone. They may just need a shake before you use them again. 🙂

  293. Esther Kim

    I finally decided to try this and was wondering, during your transition period did your hair smell or have excess amount of dandruff? Thanks!