Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The No Shampoo Revolution: No 'Poo Update

It's been about three weeks since I stooped 'pooing, and my hair is really starting to look nice again.

As you may have gathered, I've completely abandoned using shampoo. My routine is to instead work a teaspoon or two of baking soda into my hair (starting at the top of my head) on Wednesdays and Sundays.

I also do a vinegar rinse on Sundays just to keep everything really soft and shiny.

At this point, the no 'poo choice seems like it's going to work out, which I think is amazing. For my whole life, I thought expensive shampoos and conditioners made of god-knows-what were prerequisite to making my hair feel clean and healthy.

I was wrong. I don't need to pour unfamiliar chemicals on my hair to make it look nice. And I don't need to buy hair products that translate to mounds of useless plastic waste. My scalp and hair can take care of themselves.

With all that said, I feel I have to admit that on Tuesdays and Saturdays my hair does still get a bit greasy. But I've read that things should continue to get better and better over time and that eventually my hair will be beautiful all the time.

Do you know what this means? After all my hair care trials, I think I may have found a solution!

And it's as simple as can be.

48 comments:

Anonymous said...

I mix 1 teaspoon baking soda in 1 cup hot water,shake it until it disolves and then pour it on my head. Really much easier than trying to work it dry.Good luck!

childEngineer said...

What do you do for skin care? Sometimes I wonder if putting foundation on my skin (to even out my blotchy skin tones) just makes it worse by irritating my skin and requiring more cleanser to wash it off. I wonder if there is an equivalent for faces what you've done with hair so that I could use fewer chemicals on my face and have great skin.

Allison said...

What if you sweat a lot or do some gardening? Does your scalp feel dirty? Or do you just rince? I try so hard to not wash my hair as often but after a sweaty day of gardening or riding my bike I must wash my hair.
Also, I had some dandruff (I know I sound dirty, don't I?) So I used 1 part apple cider vinegar to 1 part water on my head, let it soak for 1 hour and no dandruff. And my hair was soft!

Jarreau said...

I've hear of people trying this and their hair either getting too dry or too greasy...is there anything to balance this out?

I've heard almond oil works well on hair and skin...I actually use it to shave with..

-jjw

www.izzitgreen.com

jennconspiracy said...

I've been cutting back on the 'poo but it's hard with swimming - I want to get the drying chlorine out!

plasticfreela said...

How do you feel about bar shampoos? That's waht I'm moving to.
Also I have used baking soda and honey mixed together...also not so easy to work in but I like the results. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Cold showers also help. I've noticed a dramatic reduction in dry skin and eczema flair-ups.... which equals less (or no) moisturizer cream. It's a painful adjustment, but once you start, you can't stop.

Sarah said...

If you are willing to use a shampoo bar, Burt's Bees outdoor line has an excellent one which is 99.9% natural. It has mint and rosemary in it. The packaging is recycled paper with no plastic liner. In fact, I could find no evidence of plastic anywhere. It really is a good product and very environmentally friendly

DRJG said...

Have you tried massaging your scalp with organic, - that is, pure - yogurt? make sure the contents are only milk and culture. It takes a teaspoon of it to massage your scalp, and another for your face, and after a while wash it off with hot water. Hope I am not repeating this.

celestial said...

I work for a great company Called LUSH, they make amazing shampoo bars(pucks) not plastic packaging (as with many other items we sell) I use them everyday and they work wonders on my hair and tend to last longer then 1 or 2 bottles of traditonal shampoo. I also wanted to add the all but one of the shampoo pucks are preservative and SLS free as well.
Lush does have plastic pots that they use for other items (all are made from recycled plastic)But if you are trying to live a plastic free life LUSH has lots to offer!
Face wash-handmade soap-conditioner-shampoo-bath bombs-bubble bar are just to name a few that are package free.
I would recommend going into a local lush store to purchase them becaouse if you order them through the mail they will be rapped in plastic or paper.
www.lush.com

Anonymous said...

There is a fantastic shampoo bar made in Tasmania. "Beauty and the Bees" shampoo is made of spring water, lye, coconut, palm kernel and olive oils, castor oils, flowers, herbs, plant oils, fruit and essntial oils. You can order it worldwide:
www.beebeauty.com

When I started using it, with apple cider vinegar as a rinse, there was an instant end to my split ends and fuzzy hair. It is quite unlike any petrochemical shampoo.
In the early days there were a couple of nasty greasy days, but never now. I'm not sure if this is , as I've been told, a result of the petrochemical conditioners etc being got rid of. Or perhaps I just didn't wash or rinse it thoroughly. You can feel when your hair is really clean, even though this bar doesn't give that stripped bare feeling that normal shampoos do. Sometimes to get that clean feeling, I just do another wash before rinsing.
And on the vinegar conditioner - it can be really easy. I just keep a jug and a bottle of vinegar in the shower. A jug of water and a couple of caps of vinegar, pour over my hair (after rinsing the shampoo out in the shower) and leave it. No need to rinse the vinegar out, and it still doesn't smell of vinegar afterwards.

kristen said...

J.R. Liggett's shampoo bar is a great plastic-free option. Also, unlike Burt's Bees which is owned now by Clorox, it is a small family business. It works great on my family's hair and is environmentally friendly.

haruharu said...

Lush products are a nice alternative. The shampoo bars are preservative free and you can get the products without packaging in the retail stores.

http://usa.lush.com/cgi-bin/lushdb/index.html?lang=en_US&dlang=en

jennconspiracy said...

For Lush - be sure to ask about ingredients. They are supposed to be phasing out SLS/SLES but check the website of any products that interest you first. The bar shampoos use SLS.

Anonymous said...

About the face cleaner childengineer-

I just discovered http://www.farmaesthetics.com/.

I love her face wash and lotion. I kind of made my own face exfoliater following here ingredients list. I just took powered milk, cornmeal and chamomile, then blended it together. I just put a little in my palm, wet it, then scrub. If you want the vegan free method, leave out the powered milk. I wash now twice a day with here face wash and try to exfoliate once a day. NO makeup!! Makeup just clogs you pores, reducing your skins elasticity, and making you look old quicker in turn making you need more makeup. Your skin may take a while to clear up, but it should look good once you go chemical free.

s.mittuch said...

To be honest, I don't think the bicarb and vinegar will do your hair and scalp much good over the long term. Also I have never seen bicard for sale in anything other than plastic jars.

If you use Rhassoul clay mixed with a little oil (preferably argan oil), you will eliminate excessive sebum production (the main factor in male hair loss) as well as at the other end of the spectrum dandruff/itchy scalps. The hair will be soft, flexible, full of body and shiny. Rhassoul clay has been used for at least 1400 years by the Berber tribe to wash the scalp and body, and it should come as no surprise that it really works a treat - there is a lot behind 'traditional knowledge'.
The clay and oil is available from www.naturalspasupplies.com

s.mittuch said...

To be honest, I don't think the bicarb and vinegar will do your hair and scalp much good over the long term. Also I have never seen bicard for sale in anything other than plastic jars.

If you use Rhassoul clay mixed with a little oil (preferably argan oil), you will eliminate excessive sebum production (the main factor in male hair loss) as well as at the other end of the spectrum dandruff/itchy scalps. The hair will be soft, flexible, full of body and shiny. Rhassoul clay has been used for at least 1400 years by the Berber tribe to wash the scalp and body, and it should come as no surprise that it really works a treat - there is a lot behind 'traditional knowledge'.
The clay and oil is available from www.naturalspasupplies.com

s.mittuch said...

To be honest, I don't think the bicarb and vinegar will do your hair and scalp much good over the long term. Also I have never seen bicard for sale in anything other than plastic jars.

If you use Rhassoul clay mixed with a little oil (preferably argan oil), you will eliminate excessive sebum production (the main factor in male hair loss) as well as at the other end of the spectrum dandruff/itchy scalps. The hair will be soft, flexible, full of body and shiny. Rhassoul clay has been used for at least 1400 years by the Berber tribe to wash the scalp and body, and it should come as no surprise that it really works a treat - there is a lot behind 'traditional knowledge'.
The clay and oil is available from www.naturalspasupplies.com

s.mittuch said...

To be honest, I don't think the bicarb and vinegar will do your hair and scalp much good over the long term. Also I have never seen bicard for sale in anything other than plastic jars.

If you use Rhassoul clay mixed with a little oil (preferably argan oil), you will eliminate excessive sebum production (the main factor in male hair loss) as well as at the other end of the spectrum dandruff/itchy scalps. The hair will be soft, flexible, full of body and shiny. Rhassoul clay has been used for at least 1400 years by the Berber tribe to wash the scalp and body, and it should come as no surprise that it really works a treat - there is a lot behind 'traditional knowledge'.
The clay and oil is available from www.naturalspasupplies.com

s.mittuch said...

To be honest, I don't think the bicarb and vinegar will do your hair and scalp much good over the long term. Also I have never seen bicard for sale in anything other than plastic jars.

If you use Rhassoul clay mixed with a little oil (preferably argan oil), you will eliminate excessive sebum production (the main factor in male hair loss) as well as at the other end of the spectrum dandruff/itchy scalps. The hair will be soft, flexible, full of body and shiny. Rhassoul clay has been used for at least 1400 years by the Berber tribe to wash the scalp and body, and it should come as no surprise that it really works a treat - there is a lot behind 'traditional knowledge'.
The clay and oil is available from www.naturalspasupplies.com

jessica said...

Were can I get bicarb that is not in a plastic pot.

peter adler said...

Here’s my little modest ”less shampoo reform” (me: thin hair, tending to greasy): I haven’t liked not using shampoo at all, but with a small towel in the shower I scrub my hair every day and have reduced shampoo use by a third, from every other day to every third day. ... more seldom than that starts to feel itchy. Also with the towel you can give your skin a good scrub, and I use less soap than before. I think this scrub contributes to less acne on my back. Greetings from Sweden
/Peter

Marta said...

I have battle with shampoo since my teen years, my hair is abundant and has the tendency to go dry very quickly. Up to know have try about 30 different kinds of shampoos and conditioners but still keep becoming frizzy. Looking for more solutions I found the no poo alternative. I took the risk and ... the results are fabulous, after "cleaning" I could not notice a big difference but them after brushing my hair already dry, is silky, smooth and extra shiny, without any extra product other than heat protector. I can even iron my hair and is still silky smooth and not dry at all, just love it never again going for expensive products, Can clean it as often as I please and the result is just the same.

alien-anomaly said...

I've recently gone poo-free and now love my hair. I use three or four tablespoons of bicarb to about two cups of hot water, but my hair is long and thick and I like to have plenty to work through. I put the vinegar and water mix through my hair before I rinse out the bicarb because the slight sizzle and tingle feels really energizing and refreshing. Then I rinse it all out together. My hair has always been very greasy and my ends damaged easily but things seems to be pretty equalized now and it's more shiny than it's ever been, even with all the gray coming in. If I've had a sweaty day or have been gardening or whatever, it does no harm to wash it whenever it feels like it needs it, unlike washing it "extra days" with shampoo. At first I felt I needed to wash it every three days or so but now that it's equalized, if I'm not doing anything to get it extra dirty it only needs it at most twice a week.

Someone mentioned bicarb coming in plastic jars. I don't know where they are from but around here it only comes in paper boxes.

Anonymous said...

A few years ago, I talked with my grandfather, who lived from his birth to his twenty years in mountains far away from civilization. I asked him how did they wash their hair, without any shampoo or soap. He replied, that they used common salt for everything, like cleaning their teeth, their clothes, washing their hair..
After reading this article and trying baking soda for a week, I remembered what my already dead grandpa said to me. "We used salt". So I tried salt, and this is the right thing to me. I melt some salt in water, and then rub it into hair, than flush with water and it is done. My hair is more stronger and shiny than with baking soda. And it is much cheaper. I recommend using common salt instead of baking soda.

Jennifer said...

DON'T give up on the less or no shampoo use!!! I have found a book "Curly Girl" by Lorainne Massey that advocates NOT using shampoo for healthier shinier stronger hair. Mostly the book talks about the care of curly hair, but it also talks about healthy hair. Please read the book (it's rather short) for full details, but she advocates scrubbing the scalp with the pads of your fingers and not using any product. You may spend a little longer scrubbing but you WILL get that squeaky clean feeling. I have tried this and have been successful, but got self conscious about how flat my curly and usually RATHER full and frizzy hair was looking. I compromised to only using a good conditioner. I use about 25% of what I would normally use when using shampoo. I scrub/massage very well and I get VERY surprised looks when I tell people that I have not used shampoo for about 3 years.

DON'T give up. Going shampooless is possible. It may take an adjustment period, but you can do it!

Jennifer said...

Additionally, NPR did a piece on shampooing hair - it might be a good point of reference for those who are nervous about going shampoo-less.
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=102062969&ps=cprs

Kelly from SC said...

I have gray hair and our water has some metals in it which make my hair turn yellowish. How can I join the no 'poo revolution and not end up with yellow hair? right now I have to use a purple shampoo to tone the yellow down.

Anonymous said...

for people who swim in chlorine, wetting your hair down and then rubbing in about 1 Tbsp of vinegar should take care of the chlorine. I also mist my skin with vinegar and then wash it off the chlorine is off my skin too! Yeah!

Mel1964 said...

This all sounds very interesting.. I was wonder, though, since I use product in my hair-gel,paste & sometimes hairspray, can I still go "no poo?" Would there be a problem w/build-up?

Aunt Jessie said...

I've been no 'poo for 3 1/2 weeks now, after reading this blog and others! My hair has always been thick and healthy, but my scalp was really dry, flaky, and itchy. For these past weeks I've been using baking soda, honey, & AC vinegar to wash my hair whenever I feel like it needs it, usually every 4-5 days. On the other days I just rinse it with water or water and a little bit of conditioner. I don't usually use any styling products. My hair looks about the same as it did before, but maybe with a little more body, but after I wash it the back of my crown feels greasy. Maybe I'm using too much vinegar, or washing it too often? I'm not sure. Either way, I'm sticking with this, because my scalp feels soooo much better! I can wear black anytime I want to without worrying about scratching my head and having my shirt get flaky. My fiance decided to try giving up shampoo too. So far (also 3.5 weeks) he's been doing just fine with only rinsing with water and scrubbing his head with a washcloth. Who needs 'poo?!

Anonymous said...

Aunt Jessie,

I have found the exact same thing to happen with me! So far, no poo has worked really well everywhere but at the back of the crown of my head. I can't quite understand why the baking soda would help so much everywhere else and not seem to help in that area. Any suggestions? I just keep hoping that it will even itself out eventually. . .

indiankarma said...

Thanks for your tips, you can also see this article giving some Natural Hair Care

Anonymous said...

for those that are getting oilier scalp, cut back on the vinegar amount. I have the same hair and I use bs then vinegar on the dry parts only, not my scalp, then rinse. Dont use more than about a tablespoon per cup for vinegar and dont get onto scalp. Leave bs in for about five min if oily scalp, leave vinegar (same ratio) in for five to ten then rinse. I have to buy distilled water or boil and filter mine to use for my hair as the hard water here in horrible and only works against me.

Anonymous said...

I started no poo 3 weeks ago, it's going great so far but I have some weird things happening; when I shower I loose tons of hair after shampooing, my ends feel super dry, and I have a huge clump of hair around my neck that just knots up and now looks like 1 big dreadlock.... Will this pass when my hair gets used to no chemicals?!

Anonymous said...

I stopped using anything at all on my hair over 10 years ago. Since then I have used only olive oil soap on my body and nothing on my hair apart from water sometimes in the shower or swimming pool (my local pool is UV treated so not much chlorine so I just shower in plain water to get rid of it). Can't even remember what it was like to have to do anything to my hair apart from brush it occasionally! I've never bothered with any of the baking-soda and vinegar alternatives, and to be honest, I haven't ever wanted to - the whole point was to let my hair and skin get on with it and its worked. The only time I ever used a product on my hair was a few years ago when I picked up some little passengers (I'm a teacher so headlice are one of the perks...) and I used a conditioner (not shampoo) and combing to get rid of them - it took a few weeks to recover from inhaling the stench of the conditioner and for my hair to get back to normal.

Great to know there are others out there getting shot of the cosmetic addiction.

Anonymous said...

I worked with a guy for 10 years who played this hippie crap, he smelled awful and had no one, then he died.

I bet you buy into all this whacko enviromentalist crap don't you? I do not want to destroy the Earth, but I think you are over the top with this nasty crap.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ said...

Hi,

Ethical Consumer magazine is covering shampoo and no-poo in the next issue. If you've got a story you'd like to share with us, please post to our forum

http://www.ethicalconsumer.org/Forums/tabid/61/aff/7/aft/8/afv/topic/Default.aspx

Becca said...

I have not been using shampoo for about 5 months now, and i miss wearing my hair down. I went no shampoo because I didn’t like the waste shampoo produced, I did not want to be dependent on shampoo again, and my hair has always had a lot of breakage, which i thought the extra oils would fix. For the first two or three months I used baking soda and apple cider vinegar. My hair was different, but it looked fine. I did have some really greasy days, and taught myself how to French braid. Then, i realized that instead of being dependent on shampoo, I was simply dependent on another thing, my apple cider vinegar and baking soda. My boyfriend had started no shampoo a little bit before this time and didn’t use anything and h is hair looks great! So, I tried nothing on my hair. Yuck! I looked gross, but I kept on going because I thought it would just be a stage. After a while, and no real change, i tried different things: longer between washes, tea tree oil, jojoba oil, lemon juice etc. now, as I sit here today, I am faced with oily flat roots, and crazy, fluffy, damaged ends. I’m really sad because I miss wearing my hair down, and I don’t want to go back to shampoo, but it looks like my hair just wasn’t meant for this. What should i do? any suggestions?

Michelle said...

you need to be persistent. stop changing your technique and maybe your hair will get used to it. it takes at least 3 months for your head to get accustomed to the method.

Anonymous said...

I've now been shampoo & conditioner free for 2.5 wks & already the improvement in my hair I amazing. Every 4 to 5 days I've been puttin fresh lemon juice on my scalp to soak up excess oil but already that seems to be subsiding. I've always had frizzy unmanagable hair where as no it's shiny & frizz free! Best decision I've made in a while for sure.
Also to the girl who asked about skin care: I have to wear makeup for work but I've discovered u can avoid damaging ur skin too much by removing it with a hot wet face cloth & rose hip oil. (which is also really gd at minimizing scarification)
for dry skin u can't go wrong with organic apricot kernal oil (great in winter) and organic sesame oil works as a natural low SPF sunscreen in summer.
I have also got all my friends who continue to wash & heat treat their hair to use organic almond oil as an intensive moisturizer. Even the ones who usually laugh at my n my "hippy" ways have agreed that it's the best thing they've ever put in their hair :)

Anonymous said...

i have been no pooing for two weeks now and my hair looks really yuck, but thanks for all the feed back and i will carry on. works great for my boys. they dont have long hair. its nice to know that they are not sitting and soaking up a bunch of chemicals. the one good thing that i have noticed about my hair is that i seem to lose less of it. with normal or even natural shampoo i would usually lose a handful of hair evertime i would wash.

Jessie said...

Nice to read all these great tips. My grandmother said during the postwar times they used Sunlight soap and rainwater. Or vinegar when rainwater wasn't available.

As for the face, I love to mix olive oil, a few drops of glycerin and some almond or emu oil (sorry vegetarians). I use it at night. In the morning my skin is so soft and glowing, I don't want to upset the ph balance of my face by washing it, so I just put on makeup and go!

As for removing makeup, I have also found that a warm flannel and olive oil soap can remove makeup. Plain olive oil and a cotton pad removes mascara.

And don't forget, 1T of oats dissolved in 5T of water make a paste that is the ultimate face mask - Oats are alkaline (like soap and baking soda) and as such they clean really well. The bonus is that the silica in the oats leave your skin naturally soft!!

Jo Earth said...

Earth Spirit Shampoos (organicformulations.ca)are great and non toxic (for real, non toxic, no green washing). I applaud you for going th e no 'poo route! the dolphins and other sea creatures do too!

Sara said...

Hi,
I am planing to go no 'poo in two weeks time; I have booked some time of work to go through the 'transition period'.

In preparation for about the last month or so I have been trying conditioner only some days and I have also been letting my hair dry naturally. However I notice that my scalp has begun to smell and I am getting a little worried. Will this stop once I 'fully commit' and finish transitioning? Or is a bit of a smelly scalp common?

Unfortunately it is making me hesitant about being a no 'pooer :(

Any advice please as this is something I really want to do!

Anonymous said...

Hi I tried rinsing my hair with 1thsp of lime juice mix with water and the effects are great my hair is shinny clean and soft. may be vinegar is a bit to harsh.

Jen said...

I just started yesterday! I also set up a blog :) So if anyone's starting now I'd love to bounce thoughts and results off you!

http://healthylocks.blogspot.com/

Jen said...

I just started this too! If anyone's going from day one or that early stage, I'd love to bounce ideas and results :)

http://healthylocks.blogspot.com/