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“No-Poo”… No Problem

Ahh, the aroma of succulent flowers filling the steamy bathroom. Warm, foamy, shampoo suds slipping through your fingers in a smooth lather.  The soft silkiness of your locks as you rinse out the set-in conditioner.

It has been more than 11 weeks since I’ve experienced that in my shower routine.

No Poo ok

My air-dried hair after almost 3 months of not “washing” it.

That’s correct, I haven’t shampooed my hair in over 2 & 1/2 months! And to be honest, I don’t miss it! Really!

Going “no-poo” (short for no-shampoo) has been one of the best green experiences I’ve had. If you’re not familiar with this peculiar method, it involves eliminating commercial shampoos and harsh chemicals from your haircare routine.

There are quite a few reasons people choose to make this adjustment. Many are striving to lead a chemical-free lifestyle. Others opt out of traditional shampoos and conditioners due to health concerns of additives or because of skin sensitivities and allergies. Some purely just enjoy the cost savings. A lot of users delight in the reality of only having to “wash” their hair a few times a week or less often because it allows our natural oils to condition our manes without stripping them away — which can cause them to over-produce, leading to a greasy scalp… thus the need to shampoo everyday. So, it has many wonderful benefits!No Poo symbol

I chose to go no-poo because my hair and scalp were in rough shape. It was dry, dull, flat, and lifeless. I would get these little sebum balls of build-up on my crown and my strands constantly looked greasy. It was gross. After trying several different expensive shampoos and conditioners my scalp became irritated and itchy and I was still suffering the same frustrating fate. So, I gave up and went in search of something more natural.

That’s when I discovered the bs/acv approach to no-poo.

No Poo - 6 days

11 weeks in. 6 days without washing. (Not even water!)

It left my hair feeling clean, smooth, shiny, and even brought out a slightly natural bounce and wave to my formerly stick-straight strands. I can “scrunch” my hair and it looks presentable, especially when I allow it to air dry. Which is HUGE! {I am a busy Mom of 3, after all.} So, I can eliminate time spent in the bathroom using styling tools and products (except for special occasions.)  I can go days without washing at all! And I am thrilled to announce that I’ve had ZERO yucky balls on my scalp since I started. The color of my hair seems richer as well. Plus, this method is super cheap — a box of baking soda and a jug of apple cider vinegar… $5. And in almost 3 months, I haven’t even used half of them. Win-win-win!

Here’s how I apply it:

No PooBS — Brush all the tangles out of your hair before you get in the shower. Hop in and get it wet. Put a scoop of baking soda (1-3 Tbsp depending on hair length) in a plastic glass. Add a little warm water (1 cup or so) and swirl it around until it’s dissolved. Slowly pour it onto your scalp. Scrub, scrub, scrub your roots. Do NOT work into the length of your hair. It may feel slightly gritty and will not lather. Leave it in for a few minutes while you wash your body or shave. Thoroughly rinse it out.

No Poo 2

ACV — Pour 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar into your glass. Add a cup or two of water. If you have longer locks, dip your ends in the glass to make sure they are soaked. Then slowly pour the remaining mixture over the rest of your hair. Let sit for a few minutes and lightly rinse.

You’re done. Dry and style as usual.

I use this method 2 times per week, usually. On my off-days, I put a shower cap on and only wash my body. If I had a strenuous workout that day, I may just scrub my scalp with water.

A few things to keep in mind:

1.While your hair is still damp, it may have a slight ACV smell to it. It will dissipate once it is completely dry. I promise.

2. Also, your damp hair will not feel silky. This is because you’re not coating it with silicone like a traditional conditioner would. It may take longer to comb through when it’s wet (this is the reason I brush through it before I shower). However, once it is dry, it is VERY soft and smooth!

3. There is a transition period in no-poo where your hair may get greasy while your scalp adjusts to it’s own oil production. It varies depending on the person but can be anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. {Rock a top bun or flaunt your favorite hat during this time.} Once you cross this hurdle, you can go days, potentially weeks, without washing. Honest! Some have such success that they only EVER wash with just water.

4. If you genuinely miss the fresh or fruity smells of shampoo and conditioner, consider putting a few drops of essential oil into your ACV rinse for that added aroma.

I don’t know why I never thought to go all natural before. My munchkins never use any type of shampoo or soaps on their tresses or bodies – just plain H2O. Their “virgin” hair is in great condition. Even though it took me this long to discover it, I’m so relieved that I came across the no-poo method! I’ve had no problems with it and it’s wonderful to know that I’m not washing dangerous chemicals down the drain (let alone putting them on my body), my hair looks and feels fabulous, and I’m saving time and money! I definitely encourage you to give it a try if you’re discouraged with your current routine. I’m anxious to hear if some of you ladies (and gents) are as thrilled with the switch as I was! Let me know if you have any questions or comments.

No Poo 3

One Final Tip: If your locks tends to be slightly dry due to coloring, bleaching, or from former heat damage (like mine), use unrefined, raw coconut oil to add moisture. Massage it into your ends and work your way up to mid-shaft (never your roots) cover with a shower cap or plastic wrap and leave on overnight. Wash it out in the morn. =)

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13 Responses to “No-Poo”… No Problem

  1. Sarah Davis April 17, 2014 at 7:28 am #

    I am just getting ready to go no – poo myself. I have had similar problems as mentioned above and am almost out of my current (very expensive) shampoo and conditioner. Once it is gone I will go no-poo. Very excited about the outcome. Will let you know what happens. =)

    • Tara April 17, 2014 at 4:06 pm #

      Hi Sarah, that is exciting! Yes, definitely keep me posted on how you like the switch! =)

  2. Marsha April 17, 2014 at 9:01 am #

    I’ve been doing this for the past…year and a half or so, and I love it! The only problem I’ve ever encountered is when I didn’t think to tell my stylist not to wash my hair. The scalp massage, etc is great… but going through that rough period all over again? Not so much… I do this with my kids too, and they seem to like it better than shampoo (or at least no less). My husband will not give up his bubbles though.

    • Tara April 17, 2014 at 4:10 pm #

      Oh yes, the salon! I’ll have to remember that, thanks, Marsha! And, it’s so encouraging to hear you’re going on 2 years and are loving it! Yay! I couldn’t help but give it a try after reading so many success stories. And yeah, my kiddos hated getting bubbles in their eyes, so we just eliminated soap all together and it’s been great. =)

  3. Lana April 17, 2014 at 8:33 pm #

    Do you do the same routine for the kids? Or just eliminate anything since kiddos don’t really get very oily?

    I have greatly lessened my ‘poo usage, but I still use it a couple times a week along with some dry shampoo when it is looking really gross and I need to look presentable at work. I need to buy some ACV! Already love Extra Virgin Coconut Oil for SOOO many things! 🙂

    • Tara April 17, 2014 at 11:01 pm #

      Hey! Yeah the kids just scrub with water. Nothing else. And oh my goodness, the endless uses for coconut oil… isn’t it awesome?! =)

  4. Althea April 17, 2014 at 9:04 pm #

    I am totally going to try this now too – as soon as I get some apple cider vinegar. Your hair really does look great!

    • Tara April 17, 2014 at 11:02 pm #

      Thanks so much, gal! And yes, give it a shot! I look forward to seeing how your no-poo journey goes! =)

  5. Britney Flaws April 17, 2014 at 9:20 pm #

    Once I get my hair situation under control I will definitely be giving this a try! If my best friend thinks it’s great I have to find out for myself 🙂

    • Tara April 17, 2014 at 11:03 pm #

      Hahaha, of course! I would never steer you wrong! 😉

  6. Lana April 24, 2014 at 6:29 pm #

    Tara, I just read this fully because I got some ACV today. I just now saw that you already talked about just using water on the kids’ hair. 🙂 Silly me.

  7. Risa April 6, 2015 at 10:33 pm #

    Tara, a year later. .. how’s it going for you? A week in I haven’t had a problem with the gross stage. Maybe because I was using all natural shampoos from new pi before? I can’t believe how much softer baking soda makes my hair!

  8. Risa April 13, 2015 at 9:40 pm #

    I’m also wondering if it’s a big deal if you wash more than twice a week with baking soda.

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