It’s official. I’ve been on the no poo method for a quarter of a year. For all of you who aren’t sure what the heck no-poo is, it has nothing to do with going to the toilet. It’s a term used when talking about not using any sort of shampoo on your hair. I know, now you’re thinking, “Wait. What? You haven’t used shampoo in THREE MONTHS?” Yes. It’s true. And my hair looks and feels amazing. The picture above was taken last week, so as you can see I’m not a dirty grease-ball.
So what is no-poo exactly? It’s eliminating shampoo and conditioner out of the picture entirely, and substituting baking soda and vinegar in it’s place. The baking soda acts as the cleaning agent in the hair washing process. You only use enough to cleanse your hair, so you don’t need to worry about it frying (seems to be the biggest hesitation when it comes to the no-poo method). The vinegar acts as the conditioning agent, and can leave your hair feeling soft, shiny, and overall…CLEAN.
I’ve explained the reason why I no-poo in this post, but to break it down to you real quick it’s because shampoo strips your scalp of all natural oils once it’s used. Your scalp tries to make up for the oil loss and ends up overcompensating causing a greasy head within one to two days. The vicious cycle is repeated over…and over.. and over. You get the picture.
I’ve already told you, but I’m loving being shampoo free. My hair and scalp love it too. I’ve noticed crazy growth (we’re talking 2 1/2 inches in two months), stronger hair, less dead hairs, and thickness since I’ve started. My question is…why isn’t everyone doing this?
Ok, if you’re just hearing this for the first time I’ll give a brief explanation of what you do. There are two methods to the BS and V wash, and I’ve only tried one.
The first way is to premix the solutions.
- Baking Soda Wash: Add one tablespoon of baking soda to one cup of water inside the squeeze bottle. Shake well. Use enough in the shower to fully saturate only the roots of your hair. A pre-made bottle of this solution will last me 4 washings (but it’s going to be different for every person.) I also have to use 2 tablespoons of bs in my solution instead of just one. Keep in your hair until it starts feeling ‘slippery.’ I’ve noticed this change after about 2 minutes. THOROUGHLY rinse out.
- Vinegar Rinse: Add two tablespoons of vinegar to one cup of water inside a spray bottle. Shake well. Apply to length of hair (roots are not needed) paying special attention to your ends. Keep in for the remainder of your shower and rinse right before you get out. Some women keep it in as a leave-in conditioner (personally, I’m not sure about this one).
The second way is the paste method. This way worked better for my sister who had problems with a waxy feel to her hair, even after changing vinegars, using more baking soda etc. I have not personally tried this one.
- Baking Soda Paste: Place an airtight container of baking soda in your shower. Each time you need to wash your hair place about a tablespoon of soda in the palm of your (wet) hand. The water on your hand will help form a paste. Get this paste on your fingertips and massage in the roots of your hair. If your hair is especially thick, add more baking soda. Just as in method number one, ONLY apply to the roots. Keep in until your hair starts to feel slippery and the baking soda has mostly dissolved.
- Then condition with the Vinegar Rinse from method one.
OK. So we’ve got the basics down. Now for the fun part. After doing the no poo method for three months I can tell you what to expect when you first start. Your first washing (and maybe even second and third) is going to feel SUPER awesome. Your hair will be light and softer than it’s ever been. You’ll be experiencing your first bout of no poo love. And then the hard part sets in. Your hair will figure out that it’s going to be producing and maintaining it’s own oils. It’ll go a little crazy at first, and you may experience a bit of greasiness (there are solutions below to help combat them). Well, congratulations because you’re in the first stages of transition. Your hair is learning to maintain it’s oil, but produces too much still. This is why you’ll need to wash (at first) every 2-3 days. The key is to try to go for a longer and longer period of time before washings. I started out being able to go 2-3 days, now I can go 5-6. Mid-transition may be a bit crazy for some. My sister was experiencing a greasy scalp, but dry, frizzy ends. She equated it to feeling like a poodle. But then poof! It was as if a light bulb turned on with the follicles of her hair and she woke up to it feeling fantastic. Trust me, if you can stick through your transition period (for some people it’s a few days, for others a few weeks), you’ll be as good as good for the long haul!
After transition you’ll notice 3
life-changing major things.
- Your hair has less frizz and flyaways (this is GREAT for women who have curl)
- Your hair will (hopefully) start growing like a weed. All the women I’ve talked to have experienced this along with myself.
- You will save a ton of time by only having to wash it 1-2 times a week!
Yeah guys, I’m not ever going back to shampoo that’s for sure. Here are some tips to help you with your first few weeks.
Some helpful hints?
If you don’t like your hair smelling like nothing (strangely the baking soda and vinegar cancel each other out) and would rather have the sweet smell that shampoo gives you, buy some essential oils. My favorite are lavender, orange, and peppermint. Place a small amount in your palm, rub your hands together, and smooth over hair. (PLEASE do this after you heat treat your hair. Don’t want to risk frying your hair (oil + heat= frypan).
Have terrible knots and can’t comb your hair? Give coconut oil or jojoba oil a try! They’ve worked for me…and are fantastic for your hair!
A boar bristle brush is also a great way to keep your hair healthy. While doing no-poo, a bristle brush will help distribute the natural oils in your hair from the root to the very tips, leaving it shiny and smooth. I haven’t used one…not quite sure where I would find one in Korea. I’ve been told that the bristle brush is very gentle and does a great job not breaking or ripping your hair while you brush. If you want to give your hair an extra amount of TLC I’d give this a try!
For the days that your hair feels a little greasy but not enough to wash: give dry shampoo a try. I can’t believe how well cornstarch works for soaking up grease! I have blonde hair, and this method is the best dry shampoo I’ve ever found! Even while using shampoo on a daily basis! If you have dark hair though, I’d recommend using cocoa powder. The cornstarch will leave your hair looking grey…and we know you don’t want that!!! And who doesn’t want their hair to smell like chocolate all day?
As you may have figured out, I can’t speak enough of how great the no poo method has been for me. I also can’t believe how much money I’ve wasted throughout the years using shampoo! I hope this post can help answer some of your questions. If you still have more…please feel free to leave a comment or email me! I reply to all comments. ALSO you can join the pretty fantastic Facebook group that Leah from Code Red Hat founded (she’s pretty much a no poo guru) called ‘No Poo and Low Poo Hair Care Group.’
I’ll be posting from time to time about no-poo so feel free to follow me on Bloglovin’ to get the latest updates!
Good luck on your shampoo-free process!
Due to the high amount of comments and questions I have received on this post, I have written a couple of FAQ posts here and here addressing some of your questions and concerns. PLEASE read it to see if I’ve already addressed your question. I get a high number of duplicates each week…and I want to make sure I help all of you! If I haven’t answered your question in a post, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below! I’m always on the look out for new FAQ material!