How to “No-Poo” Shampoo Alternative: Don’t use Shampoo Again!

Posted by Mrs Money on January 13th, 2009

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I have to let you all in on a little secret: I haven’t used shampoo since umm before Labor Day. And no, my hair is not disgusting.  Well, not from lack of shampooing anyway. 🙂  Why the crunchy granola craziness?  I want to eliminate all unnecessary chemicals in our life, and save money at the same time.  I decided I would look for an all natural alternative to conventional shampoo; something that I could make myself and save a little money as well.  I found just that, and haven’t looked back since.

When you use conventional shampoo, all of the chemicals that are in the shampoo make their way into your body via the pores in your skin.  If you’re using shampoo with sodium lauryl sulfates (which is used also in commercial floor cleaners), you are entering those toxins into your body in a fast and easy way.

When we were in Colorado on vacation, I threw out the shampoo after we bought a “Squeaky Green” shampoo bar from Lush. I knew that I wanted to start out slowly as I heard there was a “detox period” that your hair goes through when you are weaning it off normal shampoo.  After using the shampoo bar for a week, I was hooked.  It made my hair feel so soft, luscious, and weightless!  I felt like I had done something really great for my hair.  I was happy I decided to ditch the shampoo.

About a week after we got home, my hair felt very weighted down, oily, and gross. It wasn’t unbearable, but it was definitely not what I had experienced using the shampoo bar at first.  Luckily, I decided to keep on trying it and after a few days of that my hair was back to normal.  I then decided that I would try to use baking soda as a shampoo and vinegar as a rinse.  I was very hesitant the first time I used it.  It didn’t lather up like I was used to, and I was so scared that my hair wasn’t coming clean.  I kept with it, used my vinegar rinse, and that was it.  I let my hair dry and waited for the results.

My hair felt amazing! It felt like it was back to its natural state, so light and fluffy and wonderful.  I am so glad I switched.

How to No Poo Shampoo Your Hair:

  1. I dissolve about 1 tablespoon to 1 cup of warm water.  I make sure that I take my fingertips and rub my scalp to loosen up oils and such.
  2. Then I take the baking soda mixture and pour some on the left side of my head.  As I work that in with my fingertips, I pour some on the right side, and then down the back.  I make sure I massage it in well to remove all the sebum and oils that I don’t want left.  If I feel like I need more baking soda, I add it to my soaking wet hair.
  3. I use about 1 T of apple cider vinegar or white vinegar to 1 cup of water.  I then pour this all over my head to neutralize the basic baking soda and condition my hair.  Don’t worry, you won’t smell it after it dries!

This is it. That’s all I do to no poo my hair.  It feels the best it’s ever felt, and I feel great not using nasty chemicals on my body. I am also saving a ton of money and the environment by not purchasing shampoo!  I feel good all the way around.

I think you should give it a try. Think of all the money you will save! You may need to ease into it like I did with an all natural shampoo bar. You can also go gung-ho and just start using baking soda!  It’s up to you.  If you have any questions, I’d be happy to help!

Now that you know how to no poo shampoo your hair, will you give it a try?

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162 Responses to “How to “No-Poo” Shampoo Alternative: Don’t use Shampoo Again!”


  1. blog reader says:

    I have finished my 30 day “no shampoo” experiment. I must say this experiment
    wasn’t enjoyable. My hair became a blizzard when I ran my hand through it. The flakes in my hair became nearly the size of cornflakes. My head was constantly itchy and I could barely have sex, read, or sleep. I felt like a disgusting scumball.

    A few days ago, however, I noticed my scalp starting improving. My dandruff did not disappear, but became more patchy. Since I was finished with the experiment and discovered that I have dandruff whether I use or don’t use shampoo, I decided
    to start using shampoo again. Basically I found that if I don’t use shampoo, I save money and have dandruff. If I use shampoo, I spend money and have dandruff, but I feel cleaner and have more self-esteem.

    My skin is sensitive to cold temperatures, but I personally wouldn’t advise anyone to give up on shampoo. Companies make shampoo because it’s better than nothing. I learned my lesson. This past month was torture for me.

    [Reply]

  2. senorita says:

    Is baking soda in powder form? Ot didnt dissolve in water. I used non fruit vineger. is it fine? My hair is a mess. What should i do? I got compliment on my hair earlier, but now they r dirty looking. I wanna leave chemicals. Pliz help.

    [Reply]

  3. Leslie S. says:

    Your explanation was AMAZING! For some reason, I find it difficult to wrap my head around many things until I understand them fully and completely and your post did this for me! I realize that this is nearly a year after your post, but I couldn’t leave this unsaid:oD I think I’m ready to try out this method for my unruly hair now…I’m worried about the transition period though because I’m a bit impatient:o/

    I have always realized that my hair was more unruly on the top of my head (not unruly, more like a hot mess) but the hair at the base of my neck is actually kind of nice and dare I say even has “cute curls”?…and after reading ALL of the posts to this article/blog (whatever it’s classified as) I think that maybe the hair on top is so damaged because I make it a point to put more shampoo up there to get hairspray/products out and the hair at the base of my neck barely gets any product and as a result, gets a lot less shampoo and is therefore less damaged! Sorry for the long response, but I had to share my revelation with SOMEBODY, and I literally figured this all out as I was typing:oD

    [Reply]

  4. Jabez says:

    I am a single man, and a writer, so my looks and hygiene are secondary concerns to me. As such, at age 41, I began wondering what people did before all this modern chemistry for hygiene. People still had hair! About 10 months I began rinsing my long (to the middle of my back) hair once or twice a week and only washing it with shampoo twice a month or less. I knew shampoo and all these hair and hygiene products are ridiculous but didn’t know of alternatives. My hair has always looked greasy with this method, but never “stinks” so I knew I was on to something! It sounds gross I know, but rest assured, when I stink, my 7 year old nephew does not hesitate to tell me so! I’m glad to have found this blog because, let’s be honest, no woman is gonna like running her hands thru my greasy mop! BS and ACV is the solution I need in my progress towards a detoxified life! Thank you! As a closing note, I get the vibe that this no-poo thing is mostly women based. Health and wellness and living a purposeful life is gender-neutral so how about more men stepping up! 🙂

    [Reply]

  5. Leah says:

    I have been “poo” free since the end of April. I tried to use the baking soda and vinegar, but no matter the amounts I used, my hair was still left looking oily. I have fine hair, just past my shoulders and also tends to be pretty oily. I committed to two weeks, so I decided to play around with some other recipes and this is my magic homemade shampoo.

    1 egg
    1/4 cup lemon juice
    1/2 of a cucumber
    1 tsp. dried rosemary
    6 drops peppermint oil (optional)

    This leaves my hair looking like I’ve used shampoo, no oil at all. For those of you out there that want to go natural, but not want to look greasy, give it a try. I blend it all together, put half in the fridge, then apply the other half to dry hair, then do the rest of my shower stuff (10ish min.) before rinsing it out. The cucumber is kind of a pain to rinse, but I just take a fine tooth comb through it as I go. I often use the acv for a conditioner on the ends still. I do this every 2-3 days and love my hair now.

    [Reply]

  6. Staci says:

    I am trying to go chemical free as much as I can, so when I saw the no poo method a few weeks ago, I thought I would give it a shot. I have no idea what my problem is. My scalp is now really oily and the ends of my hair dry. Any advice would be wonderful. I am using 1 cup water to 1 tablespoon baking soda and 1 tablespoon vin. to 1 cup water. Tonight I threw some tea tree oil in the wash because my scalp is still very flakey. maybe I need a hair cut? I have been at this for almost a month and do not want to give up!

    [Reply]

  7. Jennifer says:

    Have any of you not heard of Deva Curl no poo cleanser and conditioner? I just started using it this week and love it so far, but would love your opinions and thoughts on it.

    [Reply]

  8. sara says:

    I’ve been poo free for one month now and loving the results. if i wanted to do an hot oil treatment wrap using coconut oil and castor oil to promote hair growth, how do I wash out the oils without using any shampoo? will the baking soda do the job? and how much should i use? thanks.

    [Reply]

  9. Curlyredhair says:

    I just started going no-poo on 10/17/12 andthe only reason I started it was due to a free Kindle downloaded book from amazon. It is a no-poo bible to me. It covers pretty much any condition of hair and scalp conditions. It is loaded with recipes for no-pooing to include but not limited to the following: conditioners, teas, color rinses, color dyeing naturally, hair masks; for dry or oily hair and scalp, dandruff, itchiness, baldness or hair thinning, and much more. The book is “Hair Gone Wild” by Diane Kidman. I don’t think I would have been able to even brave a chance at no-pooing without it. Here’s a tip for those with natural curly and frizzy hair who may still need hair gel, at least through beginning stages…. If you must have some frizz control and hold for those curls use 100% Pure Aloe Vera Gel. Make sure it has no additives or preservatives and put it in your hair the same way as you would hair gel. You will probably have to get it online or in a whole foods store. Thanks for sharing all the above posts. Good luck everyone!

    [Reply]

  10. Jessi says:

    It’s almost winter time. I’m on the second week of no poo and want to keep going. What is there to do about the static? Please help

    [Reply]

  11. Yvette says:

    So I’ve been using the no poo shampoo for 5 months now but I play sports so my hair gets sweaty and was wondering how to combat the smell?

    [Reply]


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