Stop Washing Your Hair: An Experiment in Simple Grooming


This might sound like a dare. A dare in the vein of Jackass or a bizarre reality TV show based on personal hygiene stunts.

It’s not.

I just wanted to try something new, something that could simplify my life and save a bit of cash, and see the results. I have a sensitive scalp and get dandruff when the seasons change and if I move and the water is harder or softer than the previous city. So I…

On the no ‘poo system

Stopped Using Shampoo on My Hair

If you follow this blog on Facebook you may have seen me post a picture of my hair back in January. I was testing out the no ‘poo method: a light baking soda and water rinse to the roots and apple cider vinegar and water rinse to the ends of the hair (you can get more info on this method here). I tried it for two weeks and then gave it up.

There were two things I didn’t like about the no ‘poo method. The first was fairly legitimate, I didn’t like how my hair felt. It felt quite dry. Now, I have read a lot of comments from others that use this method and have colored hair as well and there was a mixed bag of “fantastic!” and “couldn’t make it work for me.”

The second reason I didn’t like the method was that I didn’t like pouring cold water on my hair and scalp in a hot shower. I know, what a baby. But the shower is a little haven of personal time for me. I didn’t enjoy getting the shock of a cold water mix on my scalp in the middle of it.

Some of you asked on Facebook if my hair smelled from the no ‘poo method. I didn’t notice any odors, either from the apple cider vinegar or from lack of  shampoo. I even got my husband to give it a whiff and he said there was no smell to it.

So after a couple of weeks of the no ‘poo method I went Full Monty.

I Stopped Washing My Hair

Don’t freak out. I still rinsed with water but I gave up on shampoo and the no ‘poo mixtures.

As expected, there was an adjustment period. Even after a good rinse my hair felt heavy at the roots and oily. I kept at it though and the heavy feeling at the roots went away after two weeks.

I got in the habit of brushing my hair before bed and first thing in the morning. This pulled the oils from my scalp further down the hair shaft and I had less of the ‘greasy roots and dry ends’ look and feeling that I had with the no ‘poo method.

Interesting to me is that normally I avoid brushing my hair once it’s air dried or been styled (blow dry + flat iron). More brushing usually means huge fuzzy hair. When I stopped washing my hair, brushing actually kept it styled longer and looking shinier.

My scalp initially felt worse with no hair washing and I was getting dandruff. At the two week mark it started to improve. A week after that and my dandruff was almost gone. This defies the info I found here in a Huffington Post article about not washing your hair.

The plan was to keep going with this method for a few more weeks. I wasn’t convinced it was for me, my hair felt a little too stiff without shampoo, but I wanted to give it a little longer. I hit a roadblock when I got my hair colored last week. The stylist said he had to use shampoo to get all the colour out.

A Shampoo After Six Weeks of Uber Minimalist Hair Care

You’re probably thinking that getting my hair washed after a month and a half without conventional hair products would be orgasmic. Like a first meal after being stranded on an island.

It wasn’t.

Even the person that shampooed my hair said it didn’t feel dirty or overly greasy.

Sure, it was shinier and felt a bit lighter but it wasn’t a dramatic change.


5 days after getting a cut and colour – haven’t washed it yet

After this experiment I’ve decided that while the no ‘poo method isn’t for me, I do like the results from washing my hair less. For now I’m going to play it by ear. I’ll do some stretches of just rinsing my hair and then when I feel it needs a pick me up, I’ll use shampoo.

UPDATE: It’s been over two years and I still shampoo less frequently. At most I shampoo every five days and at a minimum I shampoo every two weeks. I’ve noticed that with pregnancy and in my postpartum stage my hair gets greasier faster and my scalp is more prone to dandruff even with less shampooing. Damn you hormones! But I still shampoo less and it really works from me. And from all the comments below it works for many of you.

In between washing I use this dry shampoo from Lush on my scalp if things are feeling greasy or not fresh. It’s made of corn starch and is toxin free. My sister also introduced me to the Kevin Murphy Fresh Hair spray which I love but it’s an aerosol so I don’t use it as often. And while I splurge on salon shampoos and conditioners a bottle of each lasts me over a year so it’s hardly a hit to the budget.

Anyone else tried the ‘no poo method?

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  • Good experiment! The scientist in me is very happy! I am a no-poo girl (but I have curly kinky hair….I’m black). But, I think shampooing less will make most hair types look “better” because of what you said here: “The stylist said he had to use shampoo to get all the colour out.”
    Shampoo is meant to aggressively strip things from your hair. It doesn’t discriminate between chemical hair color or your hair’s natural oils. My no-poo method involves co-washing (conditioner washing) every 1-2 days. This is an easier option since it does remove dirt buildup but doesn’t strip your hair. When I do wash (every3 weeks or so) I use a sulfate free shampoo which is milder.

    My hair is happier and my shower/prep time is minimal! That’s the goal right? :) Again, nice experiment (and nice color).

  • Ohh, poor baby, best luck to you & Henry!

    I’ve read a lot about the “no-poo” technique but would never try it because my hair is very greasy after even one day of not washing, and then it starts making my already problem-prone skin greasy too. I can’t handle the gross feeling, am too prissy for this minimalist trick!

    • Frugal Vegan Mom: I understand you being hesitant, but I have super oily hair too and the no-poo method did help me. I am about 1 month out and my hair now takes 3-4 days to look how it used to look after 12 hours post shampoo. There IS a transitioning period but it does help!

    • My greasy hair was so bad that I had a waxy chunky layer on my scalp with thick flakes shedding off. EW!!! I thought absolutely NO WAY could I EVER not use shampoo!!! After two years of no-poo I discovered that shampoo was causing the problem, not correcting it. I still have a naturally oily scalp, which is easily washed every few days with plain ol’ silicone free conditioners. But I have no more waxy, chunky, gross, disgusting build-up and itchy flakes on my scalp. I will NEVER go back. EVER.

    • Indeed I used to wash my hair every single day. Then I switched to an organic SLS-free shampoo and could go one or two days without washing my hair. I then switched to no poo and found I could go 3-7 days without using baking soda. I am now WO (water-only) (though I sometimes like to think of it as AO — acid only). I “wash” my hair with small (SMALL) amounts of ACV and a few essential oils (lavender and tea tree for their hair growth, scalp conditioning, and lice-discouraging benefits). I massage my scalp and brush my hair with a boar and nylon bristle brush every day. Now I never “wash” my hair in the conventional sense. I like to think of it as grooming, like when my pet rabbit and cat “groom” themselves!

      I also no longer use soap on my face or body (besides “down there” and under my arms and of course my hands, but I use homemade soap). going WO (or again, acid-only, which is more accurate as I use oils) on your body and face will help with your greasy skin too. I don’t have problems with acne anymore.

      you have to be mentally ready for it though and change the way you think about hygiene and the use of commercial “cleaning” products.

      • Janet-
        I think you’re the perfect person to help me with something I can’t find an answer for. To start, I’ve been using the no-poo method for about a year now and I still have had to wash my hair every-other day or every-other second day. I would like to switch to water only and I initially started with doing the normal BC and ACV wash and then just rinsing with water once my hair started feeling and looking oily a couple days later (so I didn’t touch my hair until it actually felt greasy). The water would kind of work on my roots with quite a bit of work, but the rest of my hair would remain pretty oily and after doing this for a few days my hair is down-right greasy and waxy. Unfortunately, if I’m going to meet up with anyone I have to go back to the BC and ACV method because the greasiness of my hair is beyond reason. I’ve been doing this for about three weeks now with no significant difference. One thing I’ve considered, that may be a problem, is that I’ve used Agadir Argan Oil for a few months which I now realize has silicone in it. It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve stopped using it but I haven’t seen a difference. Could this be partly why my hair is still greasy? I would love to go the WO way, but I can’t do that (for obvious professional reasons) if my hair is going to be greasy and waxy root to tip.

        • Perhaps you could try co-washing… it really works for me and I know a few people who swear by it. I wash my hair every 2-3 days with using my conditioner as if it were shampoo then wash my hair once a month (more if it gets greasy or when I swim) with a sulfate-free shampoo. Hope this helps.

        • Hey Teri, try using Curelle build up remover, I had the same problem. I got morroccan oil as a gift thinking it was all natural. Turns out it wasn’t, I wasn’t washing my hair like usual and all of a sudden my hair was heavy and greasy, well it sucked! When I wash my hair 1 a month it always with these guys shampoos and conditioners. So I went in to by my stuff and seem this little guy on the shelf and well he fixed me right up :). Then I learnt its made in my home town which is great :)

    • I have always had greasy hair and always had to wash it every single day to avoid looking like a greaseball. I recently switched to a slightly nicer shampoo and can go two to three days without washing. I have never been able to do that before.

  • Over the past few years I have gone from washing regularly to once every week or two. When I straighten my ‘frizzy, not quite curly’ hair I find that it will last for a week or longer as long as I keep it dry.
    My question is how you deal with the workouts. I have been lazy of late and not had to worry about that. But after running etc. I would feel I need to wash.

    • Sorry did not see your bottom note, I hope all goes well.
      Hospitals and children can be hard, best of luck.

  • I hope the surgery goes well, and he has a quick recovery!

    As for the “no ‘poo” method, I think the way people go about it is sort of crazy, but that’s what fads are all about! I think if people slowly weaned to washing less frequently, the method would be more effective because you’d give your body time to catch up. If it takes a month for you to see if a skincare product full works, imagine how long it will take your scalp and follicles to adjust. However, I know this method wouldn’t be as popular right now if it wasn’t so extreme.

  • I hope that his surgery goes well and he recovers quickly.

    I have tried no poo, but I’m told it wasn’t long enough because I gave in after 2 weeks. Someone told me I had to do it a month or more, but I couldn’t go that long. I normally shampoo and condition my hair once a week. My Grandma would always go to the salon on Fridays to have her hair washed and done. Ms. Annie, the stylist, said you only need to wash your hair once a week to me once when I was little and it stuck with me. My Mom would try to make me do it more often telling me she didn’t care what Ms. Annie said. I find that the first day, sometimes two, after shampooing my hair is frizzier if I brush it straight but after that until I wash it will lay fairly flat. If I leave it curly I have to wet it down every day or two or the frizz gets to be to much.

  • After your sweet little baby boy gets to feeling better, head on over to and read her recent article about no poo- it’s thorough, and HILARIOUS!! In fact, I haven’t read anything by her that wasn’t! Also, you should only wash your hair as often as it’s dirty- for some, that’s daily, for others, it’s weekly, etc… As for me, once or twice a week works. Thanks!

  • Good Luck to Henry I hope it all goes well.

    I tried no-poo with baking soda and ACV 2 years ago. I dye my blonde hair dark red and so I had already cut back to washing 3 times a week at most. I gave no-poo 3 weeks and was never happy with it. I think it may hav ebeen that we have hard water because the solutions always cemented my hair into a nasty unbrushable mess. Now I wash once or twice a week with a natural shampoo and conditioner. I am thinking of going the route you have described and try to extend that out to a week or ten days and see how it goes.

  • I worked in a hair salon for 6 years and have always washed my hair with high quality products UNTIL last month. I read an article about the “no-poo” method and had to try it. I’ve used baking soda for all my cleaning for years and buy it in bulk so I already know how wonderful it is.
    The first try didn’t turn out so well. I felt like a scarecrow the whole day. I experimented with the mixture and I am now using it every other day, which is a miracle to me. My scalp used to be soooo oily that I had to wash my hair every morning since I was in high school. It seems that my high quality products just made my oily scalp worse.

  • I shower everyday & I use conditioner on my hair everyday. But I only shampoo maybe every 3 or 4 days. It works quite well for my fine hair.

  • I went no poo nearly a year ago & I struggled a bit to find the balance that worked for me. Most of the advice I’ve found online is just based on personal experience, so doesn’t necessarily apply to the variety of hair textures & oiliness out there. I tried not using any baking soda or ACV for a week or two at first, but the greasiness & itchy scalp drove me crazy. Eventually I settled into washing with baking soda & conditioning with ACV about twice a week each. I find my hair feels exactly the same as it did when I was using shampoo.

    Something else I find interesting is that I decided not to use any shampoo on my baby’s hair around the same time. Now at 19 months, after mostly just rinsing it a few times a week, his hair just looks the same all the time & smells fine. The only time we use any shampoo on him is after he’s smeared greasy food into it (maybe every week or two?) I wonder if our scalps would get so greasy if we just never started using shampoo in the first place? Or maybe the oiliness is due to changes after puberty or something like that?

    One last thing: Rachel, you mentioned not liking pouring cold water on your head–I wouldn’t like that either. But it doesn’t have to be cold! The way I do it is to keep a squirt bottle, a small container of baking soda & a bottle of ACV in the bathroom where my shampoo used to sit. I add the soda or ACV to the squirt bottle while I’m showering, then fill it up with water there, shake it up & my ‘shampoo’ or conditioner is ready to go. No cold water on my head! Also, the squirting action gets the baking soda right into the roots of my hair better.

    All the best to Henry! Fingers are crossed. :)

  • All the best to Henry for the surgery. Hope he’ll feel much better after.

    Last September I got my hair cut very short. When my hair was short, I did not use any shampoo, only rinsed it every day during showering. (After all, my husband hasn’t been using a shampoo for nearly 10 years, and he has beautifully shiny, strong hair.) However, recently, that my hair is longer I found that without shampooing it’s limp and dull. I returned to my good-old Sealing solid shampoo from Lush. I think I’ll grow my hair long again and use shampoo.

  • I tried the no ‘poo method and it didn’t really work for me. Of course, I was pregnant when I did it, so maybe that’s why… Now I wash my hair with shampoo about 2x a week. The rest of the time I just rinse it. It seems to work well for me right now. :)

  • Whoa how did I miss the part about little Henry having surgery! Heres hoping it all goes well for him as well as for the whole family – that stuff is always stressful on everyone! Jane

  • I tried the ‘no poo’ thing quite a few years back and I had the same issue with the cold liquid on my head – brr! I have been shampooing a lot less, though, but my head gets so itchy. :( I can’t really brush it out because it’s curly and just frizzes out; I pretty much never brush it. I may try just rinsing it in the shower on alternate days and see how that goes. I struggle with the dandruff, too, it’s so irritating.

    Best wishes for you and Henry! I hope the surgery goes well!

  • First, good luck to Henry!

    Here’s my blog post about my experiment:

    I, like you, didn’t have a lot of success the first time I tried to go ‘poo-less’ with baking soda and apple cider vinegar. I had hair a bit longer than yours and bleached blonde at the time. In January 2011 I cut all my hair off and stopped coloring and shampooing. I put two tablespoons of baking soda into a squeeze bottle used for coloring hair and filled it up to the 4 ounce mark with hot water from the shower. I gave it a good shake and applied the solution to my scalp, rubbed it in, and let it sit for a minute or two before rinsing. Because my hair was so short, I didn’t use apple cider vinegar.

    15 months later, I’m still doing it. I cheat every once in awhile and use my boyfriend’s two-in-one when I’m in a rush, but I can’t stand the way traditional shampoo and conditioner make my hair feel. And I always get compliments on my hair.

  • Being that I have very curly hair I only shampoo about once a week (maybe twice) and condition once or twice a week. But I have to say the no shampoo didn’t work too well but I learned by reading a book : Curly Girl – that curly hair is structurally different and needs moisture. So I guess different rules for different types of hair. :)
    P.S. Curly Girls – That book was at the public library and SO helpful!

  • I’m so glad to hear that I’m not the only one who couldn’t get past the-col- water- on-my-head-in-my-warm-shower effect. Disliked. (I have fine but medium thick, short hair and super-duper oily skin.) I’ve been experiencing with a couple of other sorta simple ‘natural’ shampoos. I’ve been trying a Kiss My Face ‘natural’ shampoo or a Castille soap like Dr Bronners. These both make my head itch. Itch like crazy. I can’t figure out why. Am I not rinsing well enough??? I am meant to not use natural product?? Why would think make such a difference? I wish I could figure it out. Then I start to think – why I am creating this issue? Just go back to regular shampoo and conditioner.
    I’m going to try just washing less, but rinsing with water. I think you’re on to something. I also found a beauty blog that had some interesting info on the topic called Beauty Brains, written by chemists in the beauty field. They were explaining the washing with conditioner no-poo method, similar to the Wen brand shampoo. My mom has bought the Wen shampoo and I tried hers and liked it… but it’s too expensive. According to this Beauty Brains blog, any conditioner could do the same thing. They even suggested VO5 which is a cheap drug store brand. So that’s my shampooing plan – less soap, more water and condition.
    I also gave the oil cleansing method a run and all I can say is – BAD breakout! I’m going to need to stick to face special washes to keep my oily skin from revolting. My pores clogged up BIG time. Had to bring in professional help.

    PS. Get well soon to your little guy!
    PPS. longest comment I’ve ever written

    • I was reading your comment and you mentioned about the oil cleansibg method. I too tried that had horrid results! I mean bad!!!! I stopped and tried many other “solutions”. But I found that the core root of skin breakouts anywhere on your body is due to toxiity in the liver. Cleanse your liver and the breakouts go away. I’ve been cleansing my liver and my skin is radiant and has seriously never looked better. I even? Went back to using oil on my face as a moisturizer and I haven’t reacted to it at all. Anyway, just look up herbal remedies for cleansing the liver and/or liver cleanses. Just thought id share. :)

  • We didn’t use shampoo on DD for the first two years. But she had persistent cradle cap and I finally decided we should wash her her with poo to see if it clears away, and it was hugely improved after the first wash and gone after the second wash. No we have a hair wash day on saturdays in sauna, but if we miss it one week no problem 😉 Sometimes I just wash with water. I use organic, gentle poo on her and actually use the same one myself, once or twice a week. I’ve also tried washing with poo bars, and I think I will give it another try when all of my previously colored hair has been trimmed off. I like the idea of one bar for washing everything. But sharing DD’s kiddie poo works too. My hair is super thick, wavy and prone to dryness too. I sometimes use a conditioner on the ends, more so when my hair is longer.

  • I shampoo my blonde, color treated hair about once a week at most but could definitely go longer between washings. My 6 year old son, who was adopted, is black. I shampoo his thick curls maybe once every two weeks mostly to get the chlorine out after swimming.

    A few folks above touched on an important point – those oils on our skin/scalp are there to protect us. Those with oily scalps who “need” to wash more may have bodies telling them to stop washing those protections away. Lice is a fine example of how that works. The common misconception is that “dirty” people are infected but the science tells us that lice are unable to survive on scalps with natural oils. The more you scrub the happier the lice. Nature is here to help; working with her is usually a better plan.

    For those who want to, but can’t get past the one month mark on shampooing, try building up to it by washing every two weeks for a while, then every three weeks, etc. Your body takes time to adjust.

    Hope Henry is on the mend!

  • I have been using the no-poo method now for about 9 months. This is my second time around with it. The first time it did not last this long, but after trying it over the summer it gave my hair time to adjust. We are loving it here. In fact no one in my house uses commercial shampoo anymore. The men folk use a natural soap on their hair and my youngest uses castille soap on her hair. Lately though I have been “washing” my hair even less often. I can go about a week now between no-poo washes. I attribute part of this to braids being in style, we were those a lot here right now. But I agree with you on the brushing it helps redistribute the oils and the frizz is definitely gone, in its place I have nice waves and curls.

  • I’m in the process of trying out the baking soda and ACV method right now. Mixed results so far. I washed infrequently before so that is fine, but I am not sure about the weight and feeling of my hair with the current method. I think that I should brush it more often to distribute the oils like you said. We’ll see…

    Thinking of your family as Henry goes to surgery.

  • I tried using no shampoo, then conditioner but no shampoo, but neither worked. Then bicarb and ACV (I mix it warm in the shower!) and it has worked like a dream. I barely use any other product on my curly hair now at all, and it is always nice curls, not so much frizz. I’ve done it once a week, for over a year. Before that I was washing 2-3 times a week.
    But, I’ve noticed that since I’ve been pregnant again, the bicarb/ACV just isn’t working on my hair. It’s just gone limp and needs washing every 2 days, so I may need to go back to shampooing for a while.

  • I’m really curious about the ‘no-poo’ method, and am eager to start trying it out! I’ve learned so much just by reading people comments here.
    Thank you for your tips and tricks!
    – Jenny

  • I wash my hair every third day and in between washings I keep it dry (I wear a shower cap). It works well for me, even with long hair. I’ve had friends say they HAVE to wash their hair every day because it gets so greasy. I argue that it gets so greasy because the DO wash it every day. It takes time for your body to adjust, so if you change up your hair cleaning routine give it time and don’t expect perfect results right away (nor declare your experiment “failed” after a few days)

  • I used to HAVE to wash my hair every day. It was actually greasy before the end of the day. 3 months off poo-free I can now wash my hair every 3 days and it looks 1,000 times better. I’m still looking for a better shampoo to use (any suggestions?). I do wet and rinse my hair in between washing and typically end up skipping showers one of those days (I have small kids so sometimes showers just dot happen)

  • I have very thick and wavy hair that likes to defy me at every turn. I decided (about a week ago) to stop shampooing i and simply rinse it in the shower. So far, it’s the best thing to happen to my hair in a long time. I can style and shape it any way I like with no fear of “poof” or cowlicks getting in the way. My only fear is that my scalp will get dirty, but besides that I love it!

  • I’ve tried the baking soda/acv and my hair was too dry. I quit washing over a month ago and the jury is still out on the magic of how much to rinse with just water and/or just conditioner. I haven’t found something I’m completely comfortable with, but my hair is fuller and way easier to style. I have crohns/colitis and am into holistic food, less chemicals, etc. I’m not super healthy and I think it shows in my hair, but it’s looking better, I think…

  • i decided to go more natural about 4 months ago as i wanted to grow my hair down to my bottom my hair is very thick and dark and sits just below my chest so quite long but after years of abuse its started to become dry and brittle so i bought every oil that was good for hair coconut etc bought horse shampoo and conditioner stopped using hair straightners and hair dryer etc and was still leaving hair limp and brittle so i thought i need to work on the inside my hair produces natural oils created to protect my hair yet i was it and abuse it then lather a different oil my oils that i produce have all the right amount of nutrients needed for my hair so why am i taking it away any way i know it sound horrid but i have gone a week and a half now without washing only washed 2 times with just water and i brush my hair alot in the morings and at night and pony it for remaining or wear a head band im telling you its the best thing i have ever done im going to keep going until all of my hair is evenly distributed with oils then wash it means feeling like im a skank for a bit but my hair needs it its so soft now and not dripping in grease like i thought it may have been because my hair is pretty thick and gets dried out so my hair is absorbing it all i notice whilst using coconut oil that after a day my hair had absorbed it so eventually my hair will absorb oil my oils i have heard some where that if you leave your hair for about 3-4 weeks it will clean itself which makes sense in a way those oils will get absorbed by your hair just keep brushing it i also use lavender oil to make hair smell nice during this process x

  • A way to remove some grease is to wipe your hair off with a washcloth after a shower. It helps when your going through the adjustment period.

  • I’ve tried both the Baking Soda/Apple Cider Vinegar approach and the no sulphates/conditioner approach: the latter proved a success, after a month adjusting to it!

    I have fine, oily hair, with dandruff, all exacerbated by a long-term illness. I had a suspicion, however, that the oiliness was all from my skin overcompensating for lack of hydration (despite drinking a lot of water).

    About 4 months ago, I switched to a sulphate-free shampoo and conditioner (‘Sukin’; I’m in Australia) which worked well, washing every 3rd day. Once, on my oiliest day, I used a leave-in treatment, roots and all. Woke up the next day and my hair was soft, full of body and looked as if I’d had it blow-waved. I found I could wash my hair (with the sulphate-free shampoo & conditioner), then only condition and rinse every second/third day, and my hair would look great for about 8 days. What stuffed me up was spending the night at a friend’s and using their shampoo & conditioner. I’m back to the adjustment period.

    Most shampoos are just hype – look at the ingredients list, and you’ll find it’s mainly Sodium Laureth Sulphate (a detergent known to irritate with constant use) with some superfluous herbs or vitamins thrown in. Totally recommend a sulphate-free shampoo, even if you still wash every second day. It’s less irritating and better for the water going down the drain!

  • I haven’t tried the poo free yet but I have been totally soap free for 2 years. I use a microdermabrasion cloth in the shower twice a week and other times I just use a normal wash cloth. I don’t smell, or so I’m told, and my skin doesn’t feel dry after a shower, just clean. Will definitely try the poo free though as I have waist length hair and I do use an organic shampoo and conditioner. No chemicals!
    Thanks for the article!

  • I’ve been shampoo free for 2 weeks now (after a visit to the hair salon and having over an inch of split ends cut off…after i spent months trying to grow my hair out!). The results have been amazing – even my Man noticed the difference! My hair is definitely no longer dry and frizzy looking…much healthier. I have high hopes for regaining a healthy inch in length by summer :)

  • My daughter has very oily hair that that I think this might help, buuuutt she also has the curliest hair you can imagine! You can’t just brush through it dry, and even when it’s wet we have to pile on conditioner to get a comb through. Any suggestions?

  • I haven’t used shampoo since the summer of 2011 when I had surgery on my foot and read about No Poo and I had time to experiment with that, olive oil facial cleanser, and homemade moisturizers (the homemade deoderant was a FAIL). But I like using no shampoo. At first my hair (which was also professionally colored about the same time as I started No Poo) seemed to do OK, then last winter if felt REALLY dry. I henna’d a few times for color, but the baking soda made the color disappear really quickly and left it seeming dry and gray. So I did a Vinegar Only treatment to remove buildup from hair, which felt GREAT. It left my hair SO soft and healthy feeling. So since then I sort of alternate the baking soda bit (very lightly) and vinegar for the ends, and I love it. I don’t shampoo any less than before (I’ve always been an every other day girl), but I love how it makes my hair feel, and I love traveling without a lot of stuff. I’ve been flying a lot this past year and it’s easy to take a carry on when my “shampoo” (baking soda) is not a liquid, and I can easily replace my “conditioner” (apple cider vinegar) at my destination for a buck when it gets low (and I don’t feel bad about dumping anything leftover before the flight home). When I decided to have a friend highlight my hair recently I had a hairdresser look at my hair to see if she thought it could take it, and she commented on how healthy my hair was.

    I hear you about the cold dash in the shower, but I’ve gotten a bit used to it. Otherwise I sometimes let the bottles sit under me in the warm running water while I’m washing the rest of me, which seems to help, or else I can mix right before I get in and use warm water.

    Good luck! My daughter has really sensitive skin and I haven’t let her use anything with ammonium laurel sulphate in it for a few years, which seems to help her skin. She has LONG curly hair and washes with baking soda, rinses the ends with the vinegar, and then uses a leave-in conditioner or else coconut oil to detangle.

  • I tried, due to conditions, no ‘poo on my 3 months long kayaking journey along the Inside Passage. There are no shower facilities out there, but plenty of seawater: I dipped on the ocean and also rinsed my hair daily. After one-two weeks my hair got adjusted. I also have very dry and sensitive scalp. During that journey my scalp was feeling better than ever.

    After “returning to civilization” my skin was screeming after every shower, so I have give up doin that daily, but instead wash only “the necessities”. I am taking shower every 4 days or so as a compromise and wash my hair with natural oil based soap which leaves some oils on hair the same way as washing liquids for wool do.

    Still considering going over to completely no ‘poo. Thanks for sharing your experiences. It was a great courage!

  • I came across this post and my first reaction was “WHAT? HOW DISGUSTING!”…and yes, in capitals! I guess I judged before I read anything other than the title. Upon going through the entire post, I have come to the conclusion that you are a genius. And no, I am not just saying that. I have tried to implement a few of your methods (tweaked and customized to fit my hair type and texture)… the main thing that completely turned my hair & scalp health around was co-washing. Which is basically rinsing with distilled water & washing my hair using conditioner instead of shampoo – then washing with shampoo once a month. It totally works. My methods may be different from what you suggest, but your post is what got me thinking… So, thanks for taking the time to write about your own experiencing. I think women everywhere should try a regimen with no shampoo (no sulfates) and lots and lots of water!

    * hope Henry is doing well.

  • I tried just baking soda and water for several days. I have very fine hair and it really worked well. I didn’t have dry or greasy results and my hair seemed very healthy and fuller than when I use shampoo. But the last several days I’ve noticed something that may be connected: zits!!! I’m 35 years old, and I never get zits anymore but here I am trying this experiment-liking it- until I notice I am breaking out like no ones business. I think I will go back to shampoo. :(

  • While I’m not doing the “no poo” method, I have cut right back on shampooing to twice a week instead of daily.

    I used to have to shampoo, then condition, then add anti frizz. Now I rinse in water & comb out. I have cut out all other products. I can get to day 3 before my hair starts to feel annoyingly greasy. But the main thing is the ends no longer feel dry & I don’t have those annoying fuzzy hairs sticking up all over. My hair definitely looks better for it.

    The past year I’ve cut out the straighteners, the daily washing, the products. I hope in time my hair will thank me.i can never grow it out as it gets so thin.

  • I recently started using the no poo method. I used 1st Ghassoul clay and then shampoo bars. It’s only been 2 wks but what a difference, no itching or itchy bumps on my scalp! My hair has so much body, I have very thin afro hair, and my hair now has moisture. I won’t be using commercial shampoos any more because even the sulphate free shampoos cause me scalp problems. My next stage is WO washing which should not be a problem! WO is the way to go because it is more natural and not problematic, it restores the natural ph of your scalp which nature had intended!

  • I first tried the no-poo method about three months ago. I usuaLy have fine and thin hair.. Which I used I wash often because I thought washing it more would make it thicker. Boy, was I wrong! My hair would come out extremely soft some days and become really greasy. Other days I must have used to much baking soda and it dried my hair out. After a month or so of the baking soda and acv method, I gave it all up. I even gave up dying my hair a few months before that, so switching to water-only washing wasn’t a big deal for me. I found it was important to get a boar bristle brush. I also invested in wooden combs. This is because I cut back on applying any kind of heat to my hair. No more blow drying or straightening. I take a shower every few days and rinse my hair out, while giving my scalp a good scrub. And when I get out of he shower I use a microfiber towel to dry my hair. Microfiber towels or Cotten t-shirts work the best on hair! Terry cloths really will do nothing for your hair accept cause split
    Ends. My hair has taken on an entirely new feel. Thicker and healthier! It has been six weeks since my last hair cut and I don’t have any split ends! It’s been almost two months with water only. Sometimes my hair would get heavy and oily. I’m still working through some dandruff that I have due to an allergic reaction to shampoo a while back. But my hair has greatly improved. Just be careful about the water that you are using.
    If you have hard water you are going to need to invest in a water filter for your shower! :)

  • I stopped washing my hair a little over a month ago–no baking soda/vinegar, just rinsing in shower. For me, it took about a month for the dandruff stage to kick in and about a week for it to end. I saw immediate improvements in my hairs appearance when I first stopped washing: from limper/finer to fuller/thicker. Currently, an abnormal amount of hair strands are breaking off at 1-2 inches from my scalp (about how long my hair has grown since I stopped washing it), which I think is due to the older chunk having been previously damaged or not adjusted to the change. I will have to see if the new hair that grows in is hardier. Just rinsing the hair will dry out the ends so I will need to figure out the best way to evenly distribute my hair’s natural oil.

    One commenter said she gets greasy hair after a day, so doesn’t want to try not washing. Well, I would also have said I get greasy hair after a day back before I stopped washing. I actually stopped washing my hair the same time I stopped washing my face. My skin and hair are both less greasy since my reprieve. I think my skin and hair become greasier when I use products on them. And I was using “organic”/”natural” products for a few months prior…

    Being free from having to buy and use so many products has become more important to me than my appearance. I just want to be a human and let my body do what it has evolved to. I still shower every day so I’m hoping to eventually wean myself to showering every other day and so on. I really think we over-do washing (hands not included) in our society. Obviously, companies will say/do whatever to make $$$$$$. Well, now I’m saving $$$.

  • I am trying out the ACV and BC method along with some clay. It is into week three now and have only used the natural SLS free shampoo once – funny thing. I did this midway into my experiment expecting my hair to go oh wow, but it didn’t look better for longer than 24 hourts!

    I am brushing more, changing my pillowcase EVERY day but still finding my scalp has some itchy patches (overdoing the bicarb probably I was using 3 heaped Tablespoons eek) Winter is coming so will be able to wear a beanie at the school gates if needed :-)

  • i tried the no shampoo thing years ago but didn’t like the texture of my hair after a while … These days I have my second baby on the way, so I’m training my hair to be washed less. So far I’m going on 6 days before a wash, which is great! Usually by day three my hair would be screaming for a wash and today I’m on day four and it feels wonderful. I’d like to get to the point where, say, every Friday I wash my hair. It’s just so liberating, especially since I have long thick hair! And definitely using less shampoo, which means I can afford the high quality, sulfate free shampoo and not have it be gone in a week.

  • I have been doing water washing only on my hair for about 2.5 months now. My hair is definitely less greasy, but I still have a huge dandruff problem. I feel that it is worse then it ever has been. I use a boar bristle brush, screetch and preen, and scrub my hair on the shower and I cannot get this dandruff to go away. I am not sure what I am doing wrong, but I am about to give up on my water washing method and switch batch to baking soda. Any suggestions?

    • Sadly, I know dandruff problems too well. I still wash my hair less – once a week with shampoo – and have to stick to this method to keep it under control. I rub the affected scalp area with olive oil and let it sit for 20-30 minutes before I wash. I use t-gel on the affected area and regular shampoo on the rest of my hair. The longer I soak with the olive oil the better. Right now I just have one patch in the back of my head (but it’s bad!). Not sure if this would work if your whole head was affected and/or if you could get the oil off without baking soda or a shampoo.

      • As for the dandruff, I use acv with rosemary oil and peppermint oil. A squirt bottle with 2 Oz of acv with @6 drops each of the oils and fill the bottle with warm water. You can use it after wo or lite shampooing /bs whatever you use. Squirt it into your hair and let it sit. You’ll feel the tingling. Then lightly rinse. I’m currently starting no poo again. This time I’ll start with just a tiny bs in warm water, scrub it in and then acv oils rinse.

  • I’ve been wondering if there were “a better way” as I moved into a new place last year and the pipes are old. Old pipes and my thick, constantly shedding head are a bad match and have cost my landlords nearly $3000 in mending costs. I’m pretty sure I’ve fixed my end of it with always brushing well before and after as well as using a cheesecloth with a drain strainer to keep too many hairs from going down.

    I’ve only been washing my hair maybe once every two weeks (it looks a fright without washing and I can’t wear it down even if I wanted to–I can’t bear it when it’s hot out). I usually wash my hair every other day at best and get a flaky scalp SO easily. I’m wondering if one of these methods might be better for me as I’m too scared to wash it as often as I’d like.

  • I have been trying to wean my hair off being shampooed everyday and am really struggling. I have been washing my hair every 2nd day for around 6months and on the second day my hair is still just as bad as when I began – very oily, flat and looks disgusting. Any advice?

    • I would push through and let it get very oily – no washing for a week. It is really hard – I know because I did it when my hair was damaged and I was trying to save it from falling out. I wore a hat and it was a week where I wasn’t at work. After that it got easier to lengthen my between washing sessions. Good luck!

  • No poo is the way to go! I have very long dark hair…I stopped washing it for a whole month. Let the oil build and build then finally when I was sure my oil production stopped I rinsed with water… the results left my hair full, soft and healthy! I haven’t went back!

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