‘No poo’ frequently asked questions

Most of you know that I’ve been without shampoo and conditioner since February. Yes, since February. My hair couldn’t be better, and I’m now able to go one day short of a week with grease-free hair. I’ve written two previous posts about my no poo adventure, the introductory post here and the three month update here. My blog has been absolutely blowing up with readers from all over the web curious about nixing shampoo out of their lives all together. There have been quite a few questions published in my comment feed, and I’ve decided to use these questions to write a FAQ about no poo. Let’s get this no poo party started!

So you've started No-Poo and you need help! FAQ guide to help you understand your hair.

“How much of the mixtures do you use in a setting?”
The baking soda/water mixture and the vinegar/water mixture should last you  3-4 washings depending on how thick your hair is. The point is to get the scalp fully saturated with baking soda, and the length of your hair fully saturated with vinegar.

“How many times do I wash my hair with the mixtures during the transition period?”
Hold out for as long as you can. If your hair becomes unbearably greasy, wash it.  Just remember, the longer you can hold out…the longer your period will be between washings, and your hair eventually adjusts to your cleaning schedule. :) I can currently go 5-6 days between washings. By the 5th day I’m still grease free! Look!On day 5 between my no poo washings! NO GREASE!

“Can I used product in my hair? I can’t live without my hairspray!”
Um…OF COURSE!!! I used to use hairspray every single day. Now I’ve weaned myself to use it every other day. I’m really going extreme huh?!  Some girls choose to go completely without any sort of hair product. However, I haven’t gotten to that level of natural beauty. I will forever stay attached to my hairspray and mousse. Baking soda does a WONDERFUL job cleaning the products you use in your hair, as well as releasing potentially years of build up on your scalp (gross I know.) I wouldn’t be surprised if you experienced a few ‘flaky’ days when you first start. It’s just the baking soda loosening up that buildup. :) Also another thing you’ll notice is that after the transition period you will only have to use about 1/3 of the product that you used before. This is because your hair is actually clean and it will take the react to it better!

“What do you do to prevent heat damage?”

My recommendation would be to use less heat products. With no poo you won’t have to blow dry (and fully straighten or curl) your hair every day. Even with the best products, doing heat treatment every day will majorly wear on your hair. So I’d try to cut back as much as possible on that. You can use coconut oil to help a little with heat treatment in between, just try not to use scorching heat. High heat can use that oil and basically ‘bbq’ your hair. yuck!

“My hair doesn’t style the it used to. I’m two weeks into no poo, and I can’t get my hair to curl with my iron! Suggestions?”
I feel your pain! I believe you’re going through your transition phase. I had a few weeks where my hair wouldn’t do anything. It was more like a silky limp rag. Which is awful because I have a slight curl to my hair. I couldn’t even curl it with an iron. I’d just say, stick with it! Do you usually use product on your hair? Are you still using product? I can’t live without my mousse and hairspray. There’s no way I can sacrifice that.

“What if you exercise daily?”
I started with ‘No-poo’ while I was doing my third round of the Insanity workout, and now I’ve moved on to Jillian Michaels. I work out pretty darn close to every day. During Insanity I would sweat a lot more. I would rinse my hair off with water only after a workout, and then every 3rd to 4th day I would do the baking soda solution. Now, with Ripped in 30 I don’t sweat as much. It’s not as long or as intense…and I can squeak by without a sweaty head! I just put my hair up in a high bun while I shower after working out to keep my hair dry.

What to do for exercising while on no poo

“Do you know any natural leave-in conditioners? My roots get oily but my ends dry out and break off!”
Coconut oil. It’s pretty much the cure all for everything. I’ve heard of women doing a deep conditioning treatment by rubbing in coconut oil before a shower and letting it sit and soak in for a while, then rinse it out and do your usual no poo rinses. The more common way to moisturize your ends would be to add coconut, Moroccan, or jojoba oil to your ends after showering. I’ve even heard of people using extra virgin olive oil as well too. Experiment! See what works best for you.

“I have really thin hair so my hair tends to look dirty pretty quickly so I’m not sure how well this would work for me.”
I have thin hair too, and lots of it! One thing I’ve learned in the last four months of doing no poo, is that no poo can work for every type of hair. Your ‘perfect’ baking soda measurements may be different than mine. I may use two tablespoons of baking soda per cup of water and lemon vinegar, and you may use one tablespoon of baking soda and apple cider vinegar. Don’t believe me? Check out the Facebook support group ! We just broke 1,000 members, and I guarantee you that you’ll find a girl on there with your hair type!

“Tried it. My hair is super tangly and dry. What should I do?”
Yikes! That’s discouraging! I know mine, being wavy, took forever to get the tangles out at first. I’d try using less baking soda than you used before, and make sure you are using apple cider vinegar. Also try to keep the baking soda in until it feels a little slippery, and then rinse it out thoroughly before adding a generous amount of vinegar to the length of your hair. You can also use coconut oil to help with the tangles! Be sure that when your hair is wet you are using a wide toothed comb to comb it out instead of a brush. A brush can break your hair!

“What is dry shampooing?
The purpose of the dry shampoo is to soak up any grease you may feel during wash days (especially during the transition phase). I can’t even believe how great cornstarch works! There are a few different ways people put it in their hair. Some use a foundation powder brush and flick it into their hair…others use a small round container that has either had tiny holes cut in it, or one that came with them. I’m thinking like some sort of spice container may work? I haven’t tried that way myself. I have only needed to use dry shampoo when I was in transition, or if I hit day 5-6 and don’t want to wash my hair. :) As far as the color goes, if your hair is dark use cocoa powder.  See which of the two work better for you! The thing about going natural is that you’re going to need to experiment with things, and understand how your body reacts to them. I love it! Its such a great learning process.

“What do you do if you go to a salon?
Ask for sulfate-free shampoo. If you are needing to use shampoo once after getting a hair treatment it’s not going to screw up your progress too much. I just had to use shampoo last week, and after it’s use my hair felt SUPER dry and stripped (yuck, I hate experiencing what shampoo does to my hair!). I moisturized it with vinegar when I got home, and I’ve been fine ever since.

“I color treat my hair. Can I use baking soda instead of shampoo to rinse out the dye?”
Oh DEFINITELY use shampoo! If you’re at a salon ask for sulfate-free shampoo. 99.9% of salons have it. If you are doing it yourself and don’t have sulfate-free shampoo, go ahead and use the regular. It may set you back a day or two, but your hair will be just fine. Dyes/bleaches have HARSH chemicals in them. Baking soda and vinegar are not strong enough to take them out. You may be risking a chemical burn if you do not use shampoo! Please, please, please rinse your freshly colored hair with shampoo. :) After the initial washing you are free to go back to no-poo.

Will the vinegar provide enough moisture to balance new highlights or will I then have SUPER dry hair?”
I lighten my hair about every 4 months. My last lightening treatment was in early April. I haven’t had a dryness problem. I’ve just been extra careful to fully saturate my hair with vinegar and let it sit for a while before rinsing it out. If you experience any extra dryness, feel free to try a coconut oil treatment or Moroccan oil!

No shampoo for 4 months (no poo).

Please keep asking your questions and voicing your opinions! I will be adding part two and three of this FAQ post with the comments I receive.

Happy no pooing!

All of my answers are my own opinions of what I have found with doing no poo since February.
Keep in mind that everyone’s hair is different. I will try my best to help you any way I can.

>>>>>>Second FAQ post here!<<<<<<

 

 

Comments

  1. Shaniya Marie says

    I’ve been using no poo for about a month and a half and want to dye my hair purple. Would no poo cause the colour to fade quicker?

  2. Stephanie Richards says

    I have thin/fine oily hair. I’ve been no poo for about a month and a half. I’m down to two washings per week, but I find that I have to use a good amount of dry shampoo in between wash days or my hair looks super greasy and starts to section itself (if that makes sense?). Any suggestions for my oily hair? I’m not going back to shampoo or conditioner, but I wish my hair didn’t look so oily all the time!

  3. Balooh says

    Hello, I am a stranger to this no poo phenomenon! Going to give it a go! I really hope it works for me. I am at my wits end, very hard task getting curly dry hair to behave. I have been reading reviews and this no poo thing seems to do wonders for most people. I have a few questions to ask if you don’t mind. Do you think I should continue using conditioner ? Or cut that out too? I usually apply a hair mask 3 times a week also..N apply oil everyday.
    Any other tips for a newbie?
    Much appreciated, thanks, Balooh.

  4. Bluestar says

    Thank you so much! I’ve started growing my hair out, and trying to treat it better in general, but I’m in love with Elsa’s “snow queen” hair from Frozen, and I want that style when my hair gets long enough, so good to know there’s some easy ways to get rid of the hairspray/mousse I shall need for it!

  5. Jessica says

    I have been no-pooing for about 6 months and my hair has gone through a lot of changes. Currently, it is getting flaky (which it never did before in my life) on the scalp, super frizzy/staticky, and I lose tons of hair each time I brush (daily) or wash it (which is only every 4 days). I also have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, so I don’t know if the hair loss is related to that or the no-poo method (although, it started to fall out when I started the no-poo method). Any suggestions on what I should do?

  6. Lindsay says

    I have read that you are only supposed to wash with baking soda every four days. On the off days, are you supposed to use only water in the shower, or is there an alternative cleanser that I can use (at least during the transition period– my hair is super oily!)? Or should I just use cocoa powder as dry shampoo?

  7. hailee pipes says

    Hello,
    I have been no poo for 3 months (I use baking soda and apple cider vinegar) and I am starting to notice hair breakage near my roots. I just got out of the shower and parted and combed my hair and there is a section of hair on my part that is only an inch or so long and sticks straight up. I was wondering if you knew what is causing this breakage or how I can fix it? I’m very nervous because I don’t want my hair to start breaking off and I have never had this issue before. Please let me know what you think!
    Thank you!

  8. hailee pipes says

    Hello,
    I have been no poo for 3 months (I use baking soda and apple cider vinegar) and I am starting to notice hair breakage near my roots. I just got out of the shower and parted and combed my hair and there is a section of hair on my part that is only an inch or so long and sticks straight up. I was wondering if you knew what is causing this breakage or how I can fix it? I’m very nervous because I don’t want my hair to start breaking off and I have never had this issue before. Please let me know what you think!
    Thank you!

  9. shivani says

    hey , i am new to this no poo thing ! i have a doubt that can i replace vinegar with something else or vinegar is required ?

  10. Kristen Kline Foley says

    I get bleach highlights and lowlights with ammonia (I think). Will the no poo rinses strip the color (or lack there of) that I pay for??

  11. rakhi kumar says

    i used oil before using baking soda for the first time and the oil is not getting out . what to do?

  12. smitha says

    Does anyone know if no-poo is ok for Keratin-straightened hair? My Keratin treatments usually last for a very long time (the last one I did was in August and my hair is still pretty manageable and straight rather than the unruly curly I once had). Thanks in advance!

  13. Sara says

    Hello Ladies!! I’ve been doing no poo since Jan. 23rd and loving it! I have very, very long, thick, curly red hair and it’s not been a problem at all. My curls have never been softer or easier to manage. I have 3 quick questions 1) About the coconut oil: it’s unclear. You put it on the ends and rinse it out, yes? You do NOT leave it i in? 2) I wash my hair with BS and ACV 2x week. When am I supposed to stop the BS? And then what…just water? And BS how many times x month? 3) What’s the beach/pool regimen? BS and ACV seem dry….. Thanks!!!! p.s I’ve also converted about 4 people since…:)

  14. says

    I’ve been on no poo for about 2.5 months now. It was initially really good, I had to wash my hair only every 4 days, but for the last 3-4 weeks my hair has been getting oily on the second day and I can’t figure out why. Any suggestions? I haven’t changed my routine, so I am not sure why the method doesn’t seem to be effective any more :(

  15. Michele hernandez says

    Please if you can please answer my question! :(( so I’ve been wanting to try this out but what’s been stopping me is I don’t suffer from oily hair I actually suffer from dry hair! Would this cause damage to mine??!!

  16. Ronda Brazell says

    my sister has always had beautiful long hair but in the last 2 weeks her hair has become anything but beautiful it has suddenly got this awful really thick and heavy build up on it (she has done nothing different to cause this) we have tried baking soda,vinegar,lime juice and have tried several times nothing is working.She even went to the salon and they put some kind of powder on it that actually made it worse.Do you have any advice for her,she is really upset with the look and feel of her hair.

  17. Amanda Caldwell says

    There are also 2 more factors that may help make your no poo transition a little easier. The first one has to do with your water. For many of you who have hard water your solutions may need to be edited a bit. This blog gives some really good tips on that!
    http://zombies4breakfast.com/2013/04/30/no-poo-hairwashing-for-hard-water-an-adventure-in-beauty-experimentation/
    Also when you first start your transition its a good idea to use a clarifying shampoo to clean off all the silicone and such that has piled onto your hair over time. It helps to cut down on the transition time! Happy no pooing!

  18. Jádisha Déciga says

    It’s funny cos’ my husband initialy told me to stop washing my hair everyday. His grandma taught him to wash it once or twice a week and just rinse it and perfectly comb it to dry it naturaly and distribute the scalp’s natural oils. I tryed it for about 3 months and it was great! But, being totaly honest, my adiction to shampoo was stronger. However, I started using sulfate-free products and it’s been awesome! I’ve just finished preparing my mixtures and I’m ready to try it tomorrow. Thanks so much for the info!

  19. Donna-Marie Cawley says

    Hi! I really enjoyed reading your post. Is it too late to use the baking soda and vinegar on already (really) greasy hair? Also, when putting in the vinegar, do I wash it out or leave it in? Thanks! :)

  20. Courteney Johnston says

    Hello darl! Your blog is amazing, and encouraged my to try this. I went through the whole transition period, and my hair is growing like a weed (yay!) but I seem to be losing hair around the sides of my head. I am freaking out that is making me bald, but I am also nervous to go back to normal shampoo. Please help – I can’t keep doing this but I am unsure what to do. Much love xxxxx

  21. Kailey says

    I have now done it twice and I can’t wait for my hair to get used to it! I’m excited to start seeing some growth. Thank you for all your posts!!

    coffeewithkai.blogspot.com

  22. Jennifer Clark says

    I tried this for 2.5 weeks and I did love it at first. The first time I did it was AMAZING I felt like I had the best hair ever, I was in love….But, as the days went on it got more straw-like and greasy up top. It was starting to become more and more unmanageable as the days passed. I usually have very silky-soft hair and this changed it to a better/more manageable hair style (I loved feeling like I had thick hair for once) but it’s only shortly lived until it starts to get greasy.

    It didn’t work out for me. I have decided to do regular shampoo/conditioner 1x week to get it clean (no grease) and then the rest of the week use the BS and Vinegar in hopes of getting both sides of the perks. Plus, I missed the good smell shampoo leaves in your hair. The vinegar (the first time) freaked me out in the shower. It reminds me of coloring Easter eggs so I was not a fan of smelling that, but the moment your hair dried the smell was gone. It really is the strangest thing. I washed my hair with normal shampoo/conditioner the other night and I couldn’t keep my hands off my hair. But, the next day felt greasy again. Grr…

    For anyone out there who had similar experiences and have suggestions, PLEASE let me know. I was a big fan of ditching the commercial products and still am. I don’t like how it ‘destroys’ your hair. My hair got so much thicker/heavier since I did the BS and Vinegar, I just couldn’t deal with the greasy hair.

    Thanks guys!

    • Ali Chandler Phares says

      Honey has worked well for me! After rubbing a very diluted baking soda solution into my roots, and rinsing (very well!), I pour a honey solution over my hair. Two tablespoons of raw honey in a cup of warm water. Rinse well. The honey is a great conditioner and has left my hair super shiny and full looking. My hair is fine as well. I’ve read about some people who use honey as a two in one! Apparently it will work as a shampoo, but I haven’t tried it. Good luck!

    • Maria says

      I have been doing this for a few weeks now and my hair is unbearably oily right after I shower, like I mean it looks wet!! I don’t get what I’m doing wrong.

      • Cassandra Lemieux says

        It’s part of the transition phase. Some people can go through it for only a week and some for 2 weeks, it varies on every person. You could always try some dry shampoo for the greasy hair and some essential oils for the dryness.

  23. kasia says

    So I’ve been on no poo for two months now and I am loosing more hair than usual? Has this happened to any one else? I haven’t read anything about people loosing clumps of hair. I don’t have bold patches or anything, but everytime I brush, wash, or even just comb my fingers through my hair a bunch comes out? Any ideas why or if it will stop?

  24. daniela says

    Hi,
    I use almost everything “natural” for cleaning, washing, cosmetics and
    shampoo too. Right now I use Aubrey Organics (sulfate, parabens….free)
    for about 2-3 years and sometimes my hair feel greasy right after I
    wash my hair, like I didn’t wash it at all so I thought I need to try
    something else.

    I live in area with hard water and I see how is my laundry (mostly
    white) different (much cleaner, whiter and brighter) when I wash it in
    my second home, where is soft water. Then when I wash it here even with
    the same laundry powder I can’t get my white as white as in the second
    home no matter what I do.

    So it must be the same for my hair, too, right? So I did try to use rice
    vinegar rinse after washing my hair with the same shampoo I already
    have (Aubrey) 2 days in row and my hair is so oily like I didn’t wash it
    for weeks! The first day was oily and second day even more. I mean
    right after washing not a couple hours later.

    How is that possible? Why my hair react like that since I used the same
    shampoo I always do, just added rice vinegar..? I know people goes
    through the transition when they skip shampoo but I didn’t skip it plus
    do I also need to go through the transition since i already use Sulfate
    free product?

    I am little confused about it. Thank you for your help :)

  25. claire says

    After two months of no-poo/no baking soda and going a-la-natural with shower water only, I decided to treat my grease bomb head to an egg yolk shampoo. By that point my hair had not materialised into a glorious mane which would be adorned by friends and strangers alike. In fact I felt like my own hair would pick up one day and just leave (with those legs like the fantasia scene with Micky mouse and the brushes). However the egg mix of two egg yolks (waist length hair)/olive oil and some concentrated lemon juice) transformed my hair into a grease free soft sensual haven: I have not had these results since! It is driving me insane. My hair still gets greasy afer a few days but I try to hold out for a week until I succumb to its eggy needs. However this weeks egg treat with olive oil left my hair ‘slick’ to the ends. A couple days later I used only egg to try rid this problem (with a dreaded haircut looming at the hairdressers) but still the ends felt heavy. I thought now four months into this experiment and still determined to make it work I would be able to wash with just water, but truth is I have never achieved the ‘clean effect’ with just water. Now I feel using an egg once a week, although better than chemical ridden cosmetics, call for my hair to be just as dependent of something more than water to cleanse it. I really want to be able to water only rinse. I use the boar bristle brush, Ive starved it off, I’ve mastered the up-do time and time over – but I really miss my iconic hair down, clean-looking tresses. Honey – been there. Coconut oil, was nice meeting you! Apple cider vinegar-tick.

    To wrap this up FOUR MONTHS into transitioning and still I cant call myself a convert. Do you think i should try round two and stay away from egg until my hair does ‘the hell what I tell it to!’ At this point I am considering my return to shampoo. My split ends are defiantly worse, my hair seemed longer, although i stayed away from the salon until I felt I had transitioned. Split ends may also be down to the over-brushing from trying to distribute natural oils.

    Finally for anyone using egg. Make sure you rinse,rinse,rinse. Although Ive never put the hot shower onto it, I have thought I’d rinsed all out with cool water only to fully submerge my body into a hot shower. It was not until hours later I found eggy bits from the slather I must have missed! Kids, make sure you eat breakfast just not in your hair.

    Any advice, or the: “I had this problem and then SUDDENLY one week later my hair transformed into a mirror image of a pre-raphaelite painting”. Has anyone been at the same point as me and what was the outcome?

    The hair I want! How did the pre-raphaelites do it!

  26. Carly McLaughlin says

    Does using the baking soda shampoo and the vinegar conditioner lighten hair? I dye my hair dark brown and I think i might be noticing it getting lighter….

  27. Brea Getting Fit says

    I LOVE it! I started no ‘poo this week and have been SUPER happy! I was worried about working out, but your hair looks FABULOUS! How long did it take you to get to 5 days? I started last Saturday and my hair is so greasy :(

    Thanks!

    Brea
    http://www.breagettingfit.com

  28. zoey greer says

    I have highlights and after I used apple cider vinegar they faded! Did this happen to anyone else? Are there any other things I could use instead? Also Im gonna go blonde, can I dye my hair continually and be no poo? Also how long can I expect to have icky hair :(?

  29. irene says

    Hi,
    I have been no shampoo for more than one year, my hair looks great and love them. But there is a problem, similar to one of the questions on top, but I am no longer in my transition period: I can’t curl them at all! I tried everything, but they just don’t want to keep the shape (any shape). I don’t use any straightener or curling iron during the week, but on saturday night I like to be a bit cuter. Anyone with the same problem?

  30. Rachel Thomas says

    So I have a few questions/concerns for my no poo journey. I am on wash #3 in about a 10 day period. My roots are greasy which I know is the normal transition process however the length of my hair is sticky and feels like a heavy residue is on it even right after my wash. It is very filmy and very hard to comb through. I tried using acv the first 2 washes and then switched to regular vinegar with the same results. Immediately after washing my roots look and feel great but my length is really gross….is this part of the transition or do I need to increase or decrease my pottos. I am really hoping for a successful ending but I am worried I am doing something wrong….please help lol”

  31. Lonnie Lang Facchina says

    I have been “poo free” for about two weeks now, and I’m loving the body in my hair that I never had before… product just made my hair limp and heavy looking. Now I can use my fingertips and double the body!! I only use water… no baking soda, vinegar, lemon or any other product. I do use bubble bath in my tub and massage my head in the scented water almost every day, but if I don’t I find I don’t like the smell of the natural oils in my hair. Any suggestions for scenting my hair without actually washing with product? I do “preen” daily, rubbing the oil at my scalp till it’s on my fingertips, then down the length of my hair, and I use a boar bristle brush to distribute the oil as well, and I haven’t had any dryness, itchiness or greasy look. AMAZING!

  32. Mikayla says

    Can we use regular dry shampoo or no I am confused because I would like to try it but I don’t know the effects it would hae in my hair and if I could still use regular products and regular dry shampoo.

  33. Stacey says

    another question: i’ve heard conflicting views on raw honey (the opaque kind) vs. pure honey (the filtered, pasteurized, clear kind). I heard that raw honey is unfiltered and therefore has beeswax in it that can cling to your hair and make it waxy. Would using a deep conditioner of pure honey still work? Or would that not moisturize right or be sticky and hard to get out? Thanks!

    • Abbie says

      I use honey wash instead of baking soda/vinegar wash as my no poo method. I use less than a TBS raw honey heated with 3 TBS water. A friend of mine’s parents have bees…that’s where I get mine, so I know it’s straight from the hive. NO problems at all. I have been doing it for about 1 1/2 to 2 months and have only noticed that my scalp is MUCH happier (no more dandruff or itchy issues). Of course, before I “no poo’ed” I rarely washed my hair anyway which may have helped shorten my transition period. This is in no way professional advice. Just my experience.

      • Stacey says

        wow, okay. what’s your hair type like? i have such long fine hair i’d be afraid it would weigh it down or not get it clean enough and then be waxy/buildup-y.

        • Abbie says

          I have fine, THICK hair. I know those words usually don’t go together, but I have a lot of hair for how fine mine is. I don’t use much honey (otherwise it does feel a little greasy) and I only pour it on my scalp and massage in for a minute or 2. I haven’t felt any build up. But I haven’t been doing it too awfully long. I only wash my hair a max of twice a week also. That was my routine with the shampoo though, so I just kept it up. Oh and this is amazing…it doesn’t smell. I don’t know if anyone else is this gross, but my hair used to smell between washings and not pretty. Now I don’t notice it, and my darling husband hasn’t mentioned it (and he would too…) so I was pretty excited about that.

          • Abbie says

            I also want to add I don’t use any hair products. No particular reason, I just don’t care to work that hard….I’m a hippy I guess.

  34. nina truesdell says

    I’m so excited to have found this! I’ve tried “cowashing” but it left a lot of buildup in my hair. I’ve been shampooing my hair once a week for about a year. I have issues with my ends snapping off occasionally, not allowing my hair to grow as long as I would like (it’s about halfway down my back). I recently switched to no sulfate shampoo. I’m thinking I will start no poo and keep the shampoo on hand for color treatments. I’ve come to a point were my hair is no longer responding to hair conditioners? I saw a few questions about coconut oil. I’ve been using it for two years regularly and love it. There is a bit of a learning curve. I recommend melting it to its liquid state and applying it in sections top to bottom when hair is dry. U can rub it into your roots if you like, but dont have to. Learning when to wash it out is the hard part. Putting it in about 15 minutes before my shower works best for me. I’ve also wrapped my head in plastic and left it in for hours or as long as overnight. My hair is naturally pretty dry and super wavy. I do coconut treatments as needed, sometimes once a week or once a month. In the shower I only shampoo my roots and then would condition like usual. I imagine this will be different with no poo. Please keep in mind you don’t want to do a deep treatment when you’re planning on using heat tools. Not good. I’ve cut down my heat styling to about once a month. I love crazy volume for my ton of hair so this has been hard, but I have found I have more volume naturally than I used to. Fyi, there is no protein in coconut oil so you don’t have to worry about over doing it. It does become a solid at 76 degrees I think? The only time I have had an issue with that is overnight treatments durinv our harsh winter months. Try to use only as much as you really need when that happens or just before you shower it can cause your hair to dull. Also, some people don’t like coconut oil at all. My bestie hates it lol. Although I don’t think she experimented enough before giving up, just my opinion. Also, she shampoos everyday. Something to think about.

  35. Stacey says

    hi, so i’m still in my transition period but my ends feel dry even right after i wash with bs/acv, but my roots till get greasier quicker than i’d like, i can go about two-three days before I start noticing it. How long do you leave the acv in your hair? Does leaving it in longer help with moisture? I want to use coconut oil on my ends, but I have really fine hair and i feel like it weighs it down or makes it look stringy (and I promise i don’t use a lot), but if i don’t use enough it has no effect on the dryness. Do you have any tips for using coconut oil or another oil? Like how to apply it correctly and evenly to my hair, how far up the hair I should put it on, or how much to use? Thanks so much! It’ always great to find another no-poo blog so I don’t feel so confused!

    • nina truesdell says

      I would try saturating just the dry hair, leaving the roots clean of coconut oil. Really work it in the ends. Then do your bs vinegar wash after 15 minutes and let your hair dry naturally. Try not to play with it too much as it dries. If your roots are still super oily try cornstarch or other powder.

  36. Ponyo Iturriaga-Gazol says

    Hi!! It’s been two weeks since I started with the No-Poo hair care and I have a question. I’ve noticed my hair cleaner and it’s not greasy at all, actually I’m doing great with this technique… my hair is falling soooooo much more than before when I used shampoo :( What can I do? do you have any idea? please!!

    • nina truesdell says

      I noticed this also when I stopped shampooing as often as I was. I talked to my hairdresser friend. We shed around 100 hairs a day and its considered normal. Is it possible that not washing as vigorously as before is causing your hair to fall out throughout the day instead of during a shampoo session? Do you think you have less actual hair? I’ve had issues with hairloss as well from weight loss. From what I understand it can cause your hair to stop growing temporarily, but you will still shed your old hair. Another reason to loose weight gradually and give yourself breaks. If you haven’t lost any weight you may need to stimulate your scalp with a boar bristle brush or fingertips at night before bed.

  37. Alice Barton says

    Hi, thank you for posting this FAQ page!!! I’m a swim teacher during the summer months and I’m always in chlorinated pools. My hair is super damaged constantly. Is it okay to no poo every day that I’m in the pool?

  38. Danielle Hollingsworth says

    Hi, I just started the no poo method yesterday, so I’m not sure how it will work with me yet. I was wondering though.. I usually take a shower every morning because sometimes it helps me wake up (NOT a morning person). Is it ok to wash my hair with water only and then use the baking soda and vinegar every few days, or should I just keep my hair up during my showers and try not to get it wet?

  39. hannah says

    I’m first starting, how long should I go before first washing my hair? I work at a pool and sweat a lot, should I just rinse with water or the solution? thanks!

  40. Andrea Valentin says

    I started my no poo journey last Friday. I washed with bs/acv fri, mon, and this am Sat. My transition so far was going well. I wanted to start this because my hair always became greasy quickly, as in I could wash it at night and by the next am it needed to be washed again. I also wanted to do this because if I skipped a day of washing my head would become itchy. Both of these problems seemed to be getting much better but after this wash today my hair was very frizzy (never a prob before) and as i was reading posts about no poo I was finding very short tiny pieces of my hair on my iPad as I was fingering through it. I also found some split ends which has never been a prob for me, my hair was always generally healthy! So in my moment of panic I ran to the shower and wash with product…. :( I wish I had not done that now, but I don’t want to damage my hair with this process and freaked out with not knowing what to do. Thanks for being such an inspiration and any suggestions would be great! Thanks

  41. Jen Hudspeth says

    I just want to tell you THANK YOU for your “no poo” posts! I just came across the first one on Pinterest and then followed the links at the end of each over to this last one. I first heard about the “no poo” movement about 2 years ago through the How Stuff Works podcast “Stuff Mom Never Told You” and I thought, “WHAT? No way!” Especially since I color my hair. I’m not old enough to own the grays (IMHO) and hate my natural color so I dye it. It’s just what I do. Also, the damaging of my hair through chemicals has always helped to cut down on the oily hair syndrome I’ve had since I was a kid. I figured that with the harsh chemicals of coloring, there was no way I could go without shampoo or, more specifically, conditioner. Your FAQ here had the answer I needed and I am going to try it! Plus, I’m going to force my 15yo daughter to do it right along with me. She showers every day and sometimes twice a day because of her oily hair. I think this is our cure!

    Again, THANK YOU!!!

  42. says

    Hi Amanda,

    I am thinking of trying to stop using shampoo but I am so nervous about the transition periods. My scalp is really sensitive to shampoo and the sulfates and everything so I have already trained my hair to only be washed every two days. Do you have any idea how this will affect transitioning into going without shampoo?

    Also I have not used conditioner in my hair in a few years because I don’t need it and I found that it added to my hair getting greasy so quickly…. should I still use the vinegar or do you have any suggestions about how I should handle this?

    Thanks, Chandler

    • Amanda says

      Hey Chandler. Everyone always has a different transition. It’s very hard to say what yours will be like! However, since you don’t use conditioner it may actually be less of a transition. Sounds like your hair is used to producing it’s own natural oils to an extent. :) Still use the vinegar for sure! It’s definitely not a deep conditioning treatment for sure! It just makes sure to balance out your hair before you dry it. :) Try using distilled white vinegar instead of ACV.

  43. Sara says

    question: wouldn’t the vinegar be harsh on hair and strip it of it’s moisture and dry hair out even more?

    • Amanda says

      Strangely no! It actually seals your hair follicles. I’ve been no-poo for over six months now and my hair is healthier than ever!

  44. Allie Batcho says

    What should you do if you swim on a regular basis? I’m worried about my hair becoming too dry yet I need to wash it after getting out of the water because of the chemicals. Does chlorine, salt water, etc. affect it?

    • Amanda says

      Ive addressed this issue in the comments section of another post! But….yikes! Those comments can get out of control and a pain to look through. What most swimmers do is get the hair wet BEFORE they get in the pool. This way its harder for the chlorine to soak in. Then you can rinse with water and vinegar. If you’re still not satisfied with your results maybe low-poo is better for you? Try Shea shampoo. You can get it at Walmart or so I’m told. I live in South Korea so….I’m not sure.

  45. Guest says

    What should I do if i swim on a regular basis? I don’t see anything about chlorine, salt water, etc.

    • Amanda says

      Ive addressed this issue in the comments section of another post! But….yikes! Those comments can get out of control and a pain to look through. What most swimmers do is get the hair wet BEFORE they get in the pool. This way its harder for the chlorine to soak in. Then you can rinse with water and vinegar. If you’re still not satisfied with your results maybe low-poo is better for you? Try Shea shampoo. You can get it at Walmart or so I’m told. I live in South Korea so….I’m not sure.

  46. Emily says

    I started using the bs wash around june sixth… it was nice at first but now my hair is ANGRY. I thought it was transition but its getting worse and worse. My entire head, from root to tips is super greasy, and I hardly use the vinegar. I up-ed the baking soda in the solution, but even so, I have to wash my hands every time I touch my hair. I’m starting college a month, and I don’t want to be that gross greasy girl..Any suggestions??

    • Amanda says

      Wow that’s crazy! What type of vinegar are you using? Also the weather can change your hair. I’ve noticed lately around here it’s been SUPER humid! I’ve also been sweating a little bit more lately, which means I have to rinse my hair more. Are you keeping your baking soda in long enough to get slippery in the shower?

      • Emily says

        I’m using distilled white, but like I said, with this craziness I haven’t used much. It hasn’t been too terribly humid where I am, and I’ve mostly been in air conditioning for work and such anyway, so I don’t think that would really affect it..And yes, my baking soda is in for long enough.

  47. Jenilee Raymond says

    Hi! I want to try this so bad. I already use coconut oil instead of conditioner and have for the last couple months. I’m just wondering about the vinegar. Does it have to be distilled or is the regular white ok? I have a huge tub of the regular from a failed garden experiment and I was hoping I could just use it…

    • Amanda says

      Feel free to use regular white vinegar! Distilled is usually cheaper (at least in my part of the world), so that’s why I mentioned that. :) Whoo hoo! Let me know how your process goes!

  48. Lucy Goose says

    Hey, once you squirt the bs solution in, do you massage your scalp like you would with shampoo, or do you just let it sit without the massaging until it gets slippery? Thanks!

    • Amanda says

      Great question Lucy! Yes you’ll massage your scalp like shampoo. This breaks up any sort of buildup from product you may have on your scalp. Then after thoroughly massaging, let it sit for a minute. You should be good to go!

      • Lucy Goose says

        Thank you so much for the quick reply!! I have another question. I looked around the house this morning for something I could use as a squeeze bottle. No dice. Guess I don’t do a lot of squeezing! So I will have to go to the store. Do you recommend something similar to those cone nozzle ketchup bottles? Or do you have something else you recommend?

  49. Kassie says

    So I read your first post, and am trying no poo. But I can’t seem to find the right concoction. First time I did it with two tbsp of bs an acv it was pretty good but hair was still kinda greasy so added more bs. Then the next time my hair felt like straw. So I diluted it. An used a bit more vinegar an generously poored it on my hair. And it still feels like straw!? Help I really wana stick to it but not sure how much of this I can take!?

    • Amanda says

      Oh Kassie! Sounds like you’re having a heck of a time. I would stick with your first mix and make sure you leave your BS mixture in until the roots feel slimy and slippery. Then wash it out before adding the vinegar! :) I hope that works. Please let me know!

      • Kassie says

        Ok so I just washed my hair again using the original mixture except I realizes I had Braggs organic apple cider vinegar laying around so I uses that. My hair is drying an my hair still feels kinda corse. Not AS bad as the second or third time but def not soft. I do always make sure I rinse every thing out, an rub thebs mixture really good always a couple minutes. I REALLY wanna stick to this. But just not sure what to do. With my hair feeling so corse I have been wearing eit up all the time ( I have semi long thick hair) and it get greasy an itchy quick. And I have always been one to wash my hair every four days or so. Also I did a coconut oil treatment an that was worse because the oil didn’t wash out!! Ha. Not sure what else todo or try or what im doing wrong. I think I have washed five times now in two weeks. Shouldn’t that be past the transition phase as well?! Help!!

        • Amanda says

          The transition phase can take a few weeks. I wouldn’t consider your first week as the transition either. You also need to get a measurement that works for you and stick with it. Sounds like the apple cider works better. If you hair feels coarse that’s ok…it’ll get better! Get a boar bristle brush. It’ll help comb your natural hair greases throughout your entire hair. That’ll help with the coarse feeling. How many times are you washing with the BS mixture a week right now?

          • Kassie says

            I wash every four to five days depending how long I can stand it. I have washed five times in two weeks. Ok so I realized also that I’m dumping tha acv on my hair vs spraying it with a spray bottle…? Does that matter? It does still some what strawy. It’s hard to brush. And I feel like washing it again, but use my will power to try an wait at least a couple days. Should I maybe do just a water rinse to see if I left some acv in it..? Not sure what to do. I read another blog of a no poorer who said the acv is not considered a real conditioner that you NEEDto do a condition at least one a week. An to use a coconut oil or Argon oil. ..

            • Amanda says

              I’ve heard the honey and aloe treatment is good for your hair. Honestly as far as conditioning goes I really think it depends on how your hair reacts! I’ve been doing no-poo for six months and I have yet to ‘deep condition’ my hair, and it feels WONDERFUL! If you feel like your hair needs an additional conditioning treatment once a week, Do it!

              As far as the apple cider vinegar, a spray bottle will help you distribute it evenly. I’ve heard of some girls actually leaving in the vinegar and not rinsing it out! It’s not as important to rinse out that step. Just the baking soda. Try easing up on the baking soda a little bit and seeing if that helps with the dryness. :) It takes a while to get the right measurements, but I PROMISE it’s worth it!

          • Natalie says

            I have the same problem Kassie! I have super coarse thick, wavy long hair and after 2 weeks of BS/ ACV my roots were oily and the rest of my hair was completely straw like. I just started adding a little bit of honey to the ACV bottle that I spray into my hair and I let it sit for as long as possible in my hair before rinsing. It has made a wonderful difference! I still cannot seem to get my roots from being oily… but I think I’ll try more BS in the wash.

            (great post Amanda!)

  50. Nicole Winegardner says

    I dye my hair, because I have grays. I have naturally dark brown hair, and I LOVE it dark and do not wish to lighten it. Both times I tried to go no-poo it stripped the dye from my hair. It didn’t remove the dye completely, but stripped it so it looked all.. blah. It took all of the richness of the color out. Any suggestions or reactions? Anything I’m doing wrong? I’ve never talked to anyone that lightens there hair that has a similar result, and haven’t talked to anyone that uses dark dyes that is interested in no-poo. I only use sulfate-free shampoo and I just start to get a tiny bit greasy on day 5, but can still wear it down. Day 6 and 7 I do a bun of some sort– I only wash my hair on Saturday nights! Should I stick with this routine or give no-poo another go??

    • Amanda says

      Wow I have never heard of anyone complain of no poo stripping dye! This is really interesting. Can I ask what measurements and vinegar you were using the couple times you tried no poo? How many times were you washing your hair during no-poo?

  51. Edolbina Wiebe says

    Sweet, another no pooer! My husband and I have been shampoo free for 13 months now! We decided to try it since we were travelling around the world and carting hefty shampoo/conditioner bottles around is NOT ideal! We never looked back and are so happy that we made the switch!
    http://www.andrewandedolbina.weebly.com

    • Amanda says

      Wow look at you guys!!! That’s incredible. I’m still working on my husband to change from shampoo to the bs wash. Sigh. It’s hard to break a man from his habits. He did however complain the other day of his hair not feeling very clean. Maybe my no-poo nirvana is working on him!

    • Amanda says

      I’ve tried both. If I’m hot and sweaty after a workout, I’ll rinse. If my hair feels just fine? I’ll keep it dry by putting it into a high bun.

  52. Saul Davis says

    Why not tell them in the salon: “No shampoo please, I am no-poo”! My barber thinks I am crazy (but then so do lots of people).

    • Amanda says

      I lighten my hair, but for the past year I’ve only used toner when it’s gotten a little yellow. My hair is so thin and porous that the toner ends up lightening it a bit as well too. As far as straight or curly, this is right out of the shower using a diffuser. Thank you!

  53. says

    I mostly use organic, sulfate-free shampoo/conditioner, except for the occasional need for H&S and a period when I experienced some hair loss, so I used Nioxin. I’m very intrigued by the idea of no-poo, but I think I’ll use up my collection of organic hair products first. Definitely bookmarking this for future reference! P.S. Casey sent me here. :)

    • Amanda says

      Thank you Belle! I love Casey. She’s incredible! I totally understand wanting to wait until your products are used. That’s a lot of money to waste!

  54. Krys Earles says

    A point to bring up for girls lacking curls: If your hair is not styling as normal, try pin curls. There’s plenty of tutorials on youtube for them. My mother has fine, thin hair that breaks off easily and this is a heat-free, product-free way of getting your hair to stay curly all day. And they’re cheap, too.

    A point for the salon: If you ask for sulfate free shampoo, make sure you ask for silicon-free conditioners as well. If they apply silicons to your hair that’s been free of them for a while now, you’ll end up with dandruff-like flakes because your hair will have to slough them off again. I’ve, however, had no problem telling them I don’t want any shampoo or conditioner in my hair and the stylist has never had a problem just wetting it and working with it from there.

    For those suffering from ACV smell: I have thick, thick, thick long hair. And getting longer. ACV smell clings ever-so-slightly to my hair even when rinsed thoroughly and completely dried (both important things to do when using vinegar in the hair). If you’re noticing the same, it is because you no longer have a thick coating of silicon in your hair keeping that smell out. It is still a strong smell that will cling to the strands if your hair is prone to picking up scents. A way to help fix that: infuse a strong-smelling tea (like mint) into the water you use in your baking soda and vinegar rinses. Add a spoonful or two of vanilla extract (clear is best for lighter hair) to the solution as well. It’s cheap and it helps deodorize things. If your hair is still suffering in the morning, spray a few sprays of undiluted vanilla extract directly into the hair. It’s a gentle, safe ‘perfume’ that’ll drive out any remaining ACV smell.

      • Krys Earles says

        No ma’am, thank you! Your blog pushed me into committing to this 100% and do the research I have done to help counter every problem that came my way. My hair has never looked healthier as a result.

  55. Lucy Furlong says

    Great article! But I’ve been no-pooing for almost two weeks and I’ve been trying to go as long as I can before washing but my hair looks so greasy and shiny! It starts getting gross 2 days after I wash and when I do wash I have to use a ton of baking soda to get all of the gross stuff out. Is it okay to use baby powder on my hair as a dry shampoo or do you have anymore advice? HELP

    • Krys Earles says

      I really recommend going through a step-down process for problem hair. My hair was this way. It looked like I tried to do some Jessica-Rabbit-Hair experiment that went all wrong. I recommend starting out with a gentle all natural shampoo and conditioner, sulfate-and-silicon-free ones you get at a store. After your hair adjusts to that, I would again step down to either 100% natural products (like something from Earth’s Own on Etsy) or solid shampoo. Keep slowly spreading the wash days on these products a part from each other. Once they’re spread out a bit, take a day away. As you start to take more days away, replace those days with BS/Vinegar. It’s a lot longer of a process, and you won’t use up all of the product you’re invested in, but you won’t suffer as much from funky hair syndrome and it gives your hair less of a shock overall. As a bonus, the 100% natural products will work along side BS/V, so if you do dye your hair or something like that you can use it occasionally without disrupting and irritating your process you’ve worked so hard on.

    • Amanda says

      Hello Lucy! Thank you for stopping by! Yes the ticket is to go as long as you can so that the grease in your hair can equalize out. I would use cornstarch instead of baby powder! It works SOO much better! And if your picture is correct, it looks like you are a brunette? You can try cocoa powder instead so your hair doesn’t look grey. :) You’re in a transition phase right now! Let me know if there’s anything else I can do to help. Way to stick it out! Also, I’d try increasing your baking soda a little bit more. Have you noticed a slippery feeling when you were in the shower after a minute or two of putting it in?

      • Lucy Furlong says

        Okay thank you! The biggest problem is my work is business casual and my hair looks shiny and gross by the 2nd day! Do you have any tips on styling? I’ve also heard from pter blogs that I should stay away from dry shampooing during the transition period. Is this true? And yes I do notice a slippery feeling but my mixture has a ton of baking soda in it!

      • Lucy Furlong says

        Yes I do! It’s gotten better, so now I’m able to go 2 days without washing it (I’ll wash it on monday and again on thursday). But how can I go longer?? I definitely love what it’s doing to my hair though! It’s grown about 1 1/2 inches since I started! What should I do while I’m at the beach with no-poo?

  56. Leah Dossey says

    What a great FAQ for No Poo Questions! You hair looks so amazing! Going to share this with the Facebook Group. :)

    • Amanda says

      Thank you Leah! You are a wonderful lady. :) Thanks for having such a great group, as well as blog that I can send all my readers to when I don’t know the answer!

  57. Hayley says

    This is the first I have heard of “no poo.” I have really thick hair that is about 3 inches past my bra strap, so I use a ton of shampoo. This sounds like something that could be awesome for me! Does your hair hold the smell of the vinegar pretty bad? I just have so much hair–I wouldn’t want to smell like a walking jar of pickles. Haha

    • Amanda says

      Haha! That’s AWAYS the fear! Strangely enough, the baking soda and vinegar somehow cancel each other out, and you leave the shower with hair that doesn’t smell much of anything. I use lemon vinegar for my hair, so I have a slight lemony smell to mine. :) You can also dab a little bit of essential oils in your hair to get that ‘just shampooed’ smell back!

    • Krys Earles says

      I made a reply above concerning vinegar smells. Longer hair seems to have a problem with holding it when dry after months of doing this technique. Having longer wash days helps the most, and there’s cheap tricks to keep the vinegar smell from lingering by making it compete with deodorizers. The best thing to do though, if you notice it holding the smell, is to dilute it a bit more. It’s strong when you start out, but especially when getting started it smells like nothing when dry.

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