My disaster with “no poo”

No poo simply means “no shampoo.” Many folks I know have switched over and absolutely LOVE it, including my husband. This is how you make it and what happened to my hair when I tried it:

There are various ways to make it, but the recipe I used was about 2 tablespoons of pure baking soda mixed with 3 cups of warm water until it dissolved. I put it back in an old shampoo bottle, but all three cups of water wouldn’t fit, so I used a little less than 3 cups of water.

First off, it lasts FOREVER.
Second, you MUST use conditioner with it or it will fry your hair. Apple cider vinegar or mayonnaise are the two top conditioners on the list.

My husband has soft, beautiful fluffy hair and he doesn’t even bother with the conditioner. When his hair is shorn, it feels just like a fluffy, yellow chick. I can’t keep my hands out of it—which he doesn’t seem to mind.

My hair, however, not so much. I used it for almost a month. Besides the fact that my hair had never been flatter or heavier, it also never, ever seemed to get clean. I always scrubbed right at the roots, to no avail. My hair looked greasy, oily and generally dirty all the time. No matter how much I combed it, it always looked uncombed. Unclean. And well, just gross.  I wore it up most of the time, avoided the mirror and noticed I made excuses not to go out in public.

Some hair has a “nasty” period where it must adjust and switch over. It might last anywhere from 2 weeks to 4 weeks when using no poo. I was determined to be determined, but –No thank you. As cheap and convenient as it would be, I broke.

I gave up and went back to shampoo.

Then there was the shampoo bar…but that’s for another day. I’m pretty sure the problem was that I’ve dyed my hair (until I got pregnant) and only beautiful, natural hair will respond to beautiful, natural products. They work great on my husband’s lovely, natural, salt and pepper hair so I know it works. I’m not giving up and I shall try again, maybe I’ll just tweak things a bit. But that’s for another week….

What environmental products have you tried on your hair? Washing with rain water? Rinsing with beer? No poo? What else? Did you have better luck than me?

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17 responses to “My disaster with “no poo”

  1. no-sham… do try to use the mayonnaise –FIRST–then when your hair is saturated with fats and strong…do apply a weak soda mixture and rinse with weak real apple cider vinegar..3 little steps to your better hair..no-sham!

    • I used to do that, but my hair stank like a vinegar for a long time and it was driving my husband crazy: he hates the smell of vinegar… I tried lemon juice, instead but it didn’t work as well as the vinegar.

  2. Shampoo…that’d be tough one to quit for me. But I am conscious about my product (Melaleuca) and always buy the big-size to split it between three baths and one shower, minimizing waste, which you know I loathe. I already have weird, baby-like hair. It might be a bit much to have oily, stringy, weird, baby-like hair. LOL

  3. Hi Jennifer!
    Sorry to hear about your bad experience. Thanks for the link love!
    I had the same issue of icky, heavy and waxy (all around gross) hair. Try reducing your baking soda to water ratio to 1 tbsp of BS to 1 cup of hot water. I quickly mix this before going into the shower and use the entire solution. I also make a lemon juice (1 tbsp) and water rinse which I store in the fridge and just use a bit of this on my scalp and mostly put it on the ends of my hair. Good luck! :)

  4. Hey again!
    Just to clarify, my lemon juice rinse uses 1 cup of cold tap water and I add 1 drop of lavender essential oil.
    Thanks for commenting!

  5. You stuck it out longer than I did. I’d like to try making my own shampoo bar sometime this winter.

    Your package will be in the mail tomorrow. I got it done yesterday.

  6. Jennifer, I gave up this method, as well… (long story).

    A few weekS ago I made my own shampoo based on homemade coconut milk, castile soap and coffee… LOVE IT!!!

    • ah, hello ewa, getting your caffeine and olive oil in one topical application, and coconut milk for desert, sounds luscious and delicious, but you do have gorgeous thick hair, mine is much like jennifer’ s..thin and light –i never use conditioner, as it makes hair limp and gweasy-looking.

      • Nadine, how are you!?

        I was surprised that this shampoo is not making my hair greasy… I read on internet that castile soap does that to some people, I thought I am one of them… But I’ve decided to give it a try anyway and it works perfect for my hair. I am thinking of adding a tiny bit of coconut oil to it, because it makes my hair a little tangled, and I would even say, dry. I am still experimenting; looking for the perfect concoction for me. I would guess, this would work for you or Jenn with addition of some herbs (maybe), or just a little bit castile soap and more coconut milk and coffee or green tea. It will require some experimenting to find the perfect match.
        I hope you’re having a good day!
        warm hugs

  7. Hey! I sent you an email about a week ago, I just wanted to make sure it didn’t end up in the spam folder! If you didn’t get it let me know and I’ll email you again!

  8. I have very manageable hair which seems to respond to almost any sort of cleaning product – but I will try this because I hate all the chemicals in commercial hair products. But I was a little disappointed …

    When I read the title, I was thinking dog “poo” and was hoping you had found a way to eliminate this! I have tried worms – but I think Gracie produces too much for my little colony to handle effectively. If anyone has a solution for recycling the output of a 100 pound dog – I would love to hear it.

  9. I confess I haven’t heard of this despite leaning on the green and cheap side ;-) I may have to try as it sounds like it works for some! Thanks for sharing.

  10. About a year ago I started washing my hair every other day, but that was about it for my environmental hair changes…that and using a no-phosphate shampoo. My hair gets oily really quickly, so I wore hats a lot until it adjusted to the change. Then I stopped dyeing my hair during pregnancy and haven’t done it yet, and now my hair is adjusting AGAIN. Isn’t it crazy how our hair can change? To be honest, I probably wouldn’t try this “no-poo” because I have very fine and limp hair that needs a boost. I am planning on trying the “Big Shampoo” by Lush, because I’ve heard great things about it. It’s also much more “natural” than most products on the market.

  11. I have been shampoo-free (except for occasionally after lots of chlorine) for almost three years now. I found that putting the baking soda/water on DRY hair made a big difference. I have fine, slightly curly, short hair (ear length) and use ~1TBSP baking soda + ~1 cup water.

    I do want to note that the vinegar is NOT a conditioner, but restores balance to hair. Our hair is slightly alkaline and baking soda is a base, which results in the hair cuticle being slightly “fuzzed” — the vinegar (or lemon juice…any acid) + water to rinse smooths the hair follicle back down, making it shinier and more resistant to damage.

    I use a squirt bottle and two old (plastic) spice containers and mix up my solutions right in the shower. I tried pre-mixing, but I *do not* like pouring cold water on my head!! ever!

    To condition, I use shea butter, coconut oil, whatever I’ve got around, and rub it into scalp and ends and hour or two (or overnight) and then wash with double the amount of baking soda. I don’t need to do this in the summer, but do it about weekly in the winter.

    **Chlorine tip for all: saturate hair with fresh water before swimming in chlorinated water! Then rinse well after.

  12. apple cider vinegar and homemade shampoo bars. I don’t think the coloring of your hair has anything to do with it. Could be your hormones are overactive, being pregnant and all. Don’t give up!

  13. You had me on that one….since I have a dog I too thought you were talking about dog poo.

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