Ready for the No-Poo Challenge?

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Ready for the No-Poo Challenge?

No 'poo!

photo by grrlscout224

Depending on who you talk to, experts will say that the average woman exposes herself to anywhere from 130-600 chemicals during her morning routine.  Many of these chemicals are carcinogenic, too.  Just in the shampoos and conditioners there are chemicals like propylene glycol and sodium laurel sulfate.  Even if you don’t consider the other chemicals in your shampoo and conditioner, just these two chemicals are enough to grow things like cancer and affect health for the worse.  Go check your bottles right now, and you will most likely see these two ingredients.  These ingredients are also found in laundry soaps, baby products, lotions, body soaps and even toothpaste.  Yuck!

But enough of my tangent.  What is a No-Poo Challenge? It’s a challenge for you to go without shampoo  and conditioner for 2 weeks.  Before you go “eeeeewwwww,” don’t think I’m saying you shouldn’t wash your hair.  I’m just saying let’s try a greener, healthier and even more frugal way of washing.

Check out this natural shampoo routine here for some ideas. What you can use for washing:

  • Baking Soda
  • Lemon
  • Eggs

What you can use for a rinse and conditioner:

  • Vinegar
  • Coconut Oil (I use this as a moisturizer – just a tiny bit does the trick)
lavender
Love essential oils? I’m a self-proclaimed oil-junkie! Read up on the brand of essential oils I absolutely love and currently use for everything from warding off strep, to eliminating my daughter’s asthma.



To keep it simple, mix up a bottle of part baking soda and water to use as a wash through your hair (I mix about two tablespoons of baking soda in a peri-bottle of water).  Then do a rinse with vinegar (gets out the grit – I mix half apple cider vinegar with half water in an empty mustard bottle), and then do a light leave-in condition with coconut oil.  If you find that your hair is staying too gritty, try a higher concentrate of apple cider vinegar to rinse, or add more parts water to the baking soda mixture.

For the skeptics: Take the challenge and see if your hair doesn’t become healthier and better looking after two weeks. You will have to push through some rough days as your hair adjusts and detoxifies, so just stick with it!  Join all the others participating in the No-Poo Challenge here and “Just Say No To Poo”!

I just can’t help but chuckle at that last phrase.  Will you be participating in the No-Poo Challenge?  If you are a regular when it comes to “No-Poo, what’s your favorite recipe/routine for washing?

crystal collins signature
By | 2014-11-18T15:17:52+00:00 August 13th, 2010|Health and Wellness, Organic and Green Living|97 Comments

About the Author:

I'm a former sweet-tooth turned health-nut. After a difficult loss of a first pregnancy and having a second child with a heart condition, I became obsessed with health and wellness. I revamped our entire family's lifestyle, dropped seven pant sizes, and created a website where I could share our story and help support people wanting to make small changes day by day in order to live well. I also support my family by the work that I do here through advertising content, affiliates, and partnership/consultant links within content. When you click and/or order, it puts food on our table. Thanks for all your support, and may you live well and thrive!

97 Comments

  1. rachael giglio August 13, 2010 at 4:07 pm - Reply

    awesome, I’m gonna try it, I’ve been thinking about trying natural porducts but they can be sooo expensive! I think I can swing baking soda and vinegar though!

    • Crystal August 14, 2010 at 9:03 am - Reply

      They are so expensive, which is why I love doing this! My hair is so nice too!

  2. Lauren August 13, 2010 at 4:53 pm - Reply

    My husband has been doing it for over a year, and it is great. We started doing this and showering every other day to save time and resources (working in an office = not dirty every day). It doesn’t work as well for me though, as I have longish hair. I end up periodically alternating baking soda rinse and shampoo on my every other day showers. My scalp gets naturally oily, and it’s hard to get the oil all out with the baking soda rinse since you can’t really work it through like shampoo.

    • Crystal August 14, 2010 at 9:03 am - Reply

      Have you tried increasing the amount of baking soda you use? Maybe that might help.

    • Candice March 3, 2012 at 10:00 am - Reply

      I’ve only begun my “no-poo” challenge, but I’ll try to help from what I’ve read around the internet.

      Your problem might be that you are still using shampoo. You need to stop using shampoo completely for your oils to balance out. Once your scalp figures out it’s not being stripped of all it’s oils it will stop producing so much. It will take a while though, months even for some.

      As for the baking soda problem, maybe you could try powdering it on dry (on your roots) before the shower so it distributes more evenly. Then just massage in under the shower and rinse.

    • Kay November 29, 2014 at 11:56 pm - Reply

      Really oily hair and baking soda just really don’t work. I tried it and did it non stop for two month and still it was greasy and I even had to was twice a day at times. Try using natural soap on your hair and if it’s to expensive just make it. I make cold process soap and shampoo and it’s all natural and even better my hair is crazy healthy.

  3. Jennifer August 13, 2010 at 5:03 pm - Reply

    I’ve been doing the baking soda wash and apple cider vinegar rinse for a few months now. It works so well!
    I learned, with my hair at least, not to rinse the a.c. vinegar out. I dilute half and half with water and only use about 1/4 cup total of the mixture. I put it in my hair and let it drip out for about a minute. I rub it out the rest of the way and rinse my body, leaving it in my hair. It gives my hair a really nice, non-frizzy look without weighing it down. Apple cider vinegar helps balance ph in your skin. I have ezcema so that helps with that too.

    • Cheri August 17, 2010 at 5:16 pm - Reply

      Interesting about the ACV being good for eczema. My dd suffers from really bad ecezma during the spring, summer, and fall. She uses baby shampoo still and a little coconut oil for conditioner sometimes. I’m going to see how this works for me and maybe have her try it. Helping the eczema would be an awesome side benefit!!

  4. Mira August 13, 2010 at 6:03 pm - Reply

    Yipes. I want to throw a warning out for anyone who tries it. For most people the “transition” period lasts between 2-8 weeks. If you tried this for 2 weeks and you hate it, don’t give up!! Transition for me took 1 month. The last few days got frighteningly scary, but then it suddenly balanced out and my hair was awesome. Now I’m 1 year strong! I used to use shampoo and two heavy conditioners to keep my curly hair from frizzing. I’m still amazed that my hair is soft, bouncy, and shiny with ZERO products on it.

    What happens is that the ingredients in shampoo strip the natural oils from your hair. For most people this has been going on for decades, so your scalp is used to producing a ton of oil (sebum) to replace everything that gets stripped away. During transition your scalp has to re-learn how much oil your hair really needs. At first it will seem like a ton, but eventually everything will click.

    Also, I know a lot of people swear by the baking soda, but you really can just use water alone and be fine! I only use a mild baking soda rinse for when there’s an unusual buildup. Keep it mild, because the baking soda removes sebum too! I heard rumors about that (which is why I started with water only) but I thought it was false. Then one day I used a baking soda rinse just to try it, and POOF! My hair frizzed out because it didn’t have the protective oil anymore. 🙁 That sucked.

    Anywho, I’m glad that the ‘pooless movement is spreading. ^_^ I LOVE my hair, and I never thought that would be possible.

    • Crystal August 14, 2010 at 9:05 am - Reply

      Thanks for the warning on the 2 week thing. I definitely think everyone will be different, which is why I hope we can use this as sort of a support group. Push on through! We can all do this!

      • Mira August 14, 2010 at 6:05 pm - Reply

        What encouraged me to keep going was the thought that at most, transition would last 2 months. And after that I’d have years of never needing hair products again. When you put it in perspective even 2 months isn’t that bad. ^_^

  5. Dana August 13, 2010 at 6:08 pm - Reply

    Would love to try the baking soda but I color my hair (and yes, it’s chemical color — baby steps…) So I’m worried — Will the baking soda and vinegar strip the color off my hair? Does anyone know? Thanks!

    • Crystal August 13, 2010 at 6:40 pm - Reply

      Actually it’s alcohol that strips color, and alcohol is the main ingredient in pretty much every shampoo on the market. So this will actually be better than regular shampoo.

  6. Mira August 13, 2010 at 6:18 pm - Reply

    Forgot to share my method. *^_^*

    I have thick curly hair that is pretty long. (Well past the middle of my back.) Before I shower I brush my hair with a boar’s bristle brush. This helps move the natural oil down the length of my hair. But it’s not very good at getting out tangles, so I use a wide-tooth comb to get the big ones and remove most of the loose hairs.

    Once I’m in the shower I scrub my scalp vigorously with my fingers. Friction is enough to remove most dirt! (Most of my time is spent indoors, so this really is enough to get my hair clean.) While still in the shower I use the wide tooth comb again to remove loose hairs.

    When I get out I wring my hair dry, then flip my hair over and wrap it in a t-shirt. If you look for details online it’s called the “plop” method. (Plops and ‘poolessness. So lovely!) After about 30 minutes I take my hair out of the shirt and let it dry naturally. I’ll often braid my hair if it’s still wet and I need to go out. I have used a blow dryer a few times and my hair stayed curly and didn’t frizz. In my shampoo days I always had to use a frizz serum to keep things tame!

    My hair smells like hair and nothing else. My mom was floored when she sniffed my hair. She didn’t believe that this would work! ^_^

    • Crystal August 14, 2010 at 9:05 am - Reply

      You rock! Thanks so much for sharing your routine!!

      • Mira August 14, 2010 at 6:08 pm - Reply

        Thanks! It took me a little while to figure out what worked best for my hair. Luckily I’m quite stubborn and was determined to make it work. ^_^

  7. Lisa Stone August 13, 2010 at 7:23 pm - Reply

    I have long, thin hair. It breaks and has lots of fly-aways. I trim it once a year, maybe and rarely get split ends. Probably cuz it’s broken so often. I used to shampoo and condition daily. Sometimes the conditioner would build up and I would look oily.

    I started slowly with no-poo. First I stopped the silicone conditioners. I like Suave Naturals – it’s cheap and smells pretty. I would use 1T baking soda in a cup of water to wash. I use a little plastic container I fill up when the water’s hot, cuz I hate dumping cold pre-mixed stuff on my head. I dump it on, rub with my fingers like I was washing with shampoo, then rinse really well, still rubbing my head. Then I dump a cup of water (warm, in same container) with a little vinegar (I’ve used apple cider and plain white). I just put a splash in, probably a couple teaspoons. Then I’d rinse that out after letting it sit for a minute, then I’d use my Suave conditioner and rinse again.

    At first, I was skeptical. I thought both of these products would dry out my hair, but they didn’t despite warnings from hairdressers. I could only go about 1 week with no shampoo. I felt a bit oily. This was probably from the constant touching to see what it felt like. I wasn’t getting the fly-aways, but after a week I’d break down and shampoo, vinegar rinse, followed by Suave Naturals. My husband insists he can smell the vinegar on my head, so I keep using the Suave on the ends, but when I skip the conditioner and smell my dry hair I smell nothing. Maybe he is imagining it 🙂

    After about 2 months, I decided to wait longer than a week to see if I’d be greasy again. It’s been almost a full month with no shampoo. I’ve not noticed the oiliness and I don’t feel dirty or gross. I’m just using natural things to wash my hair. Next I’m going to try some other homemade things to save money and be healthier.

  8. Bethany August 13, 2010 at 8:02 pm - Reply

    I used the baking soda rinse and apple cider vinegar rinse for over 5 years and no one ever knew I didn’t use shampoo – they just all knew that I had pretty hair. =oD I wrote about my experience here: http://kimana83.livejournal.com/317871.html . I recently found a sulfate- and paraben-free shampoo that also addresses flaky scalp (Pure & Basic Anti-Dandruff Shampoo), so for convenience’s sake I’ve been using that lately, but I can totally vouch for the awesomeness of the BSR and ACVR. Do it, people. You won’t be disappointed.

    Oh, and if you have wavy or curly hair, stop brushing too. You don’t need it. Trust me. I’ve had hair of all lengths (last year I had “Eve hair”), often ride in a convertible with the top down, love to go to the beach, and have had modeling gigs where I swear a whole can of aerosol hairspray has been put on my very-teased hair, and the BSR and ACVR have gotten all the products out, and finger-combing my hair with conditioner has gotten all the teasing and tangles out. You don’t need a brush.

    • Crystal August 14, 2010 at 9:08 am - Reply

      That is such a great tip. I have fine straight hair, so this wouldn’t work for me. I’ve always loved curly hair, though!

  9. Kriket August 13, 2010 at 8:05 pm - Reply

    I have been no poo for a little over 3 years. I have dreadlocks and the mess that they put in shampoo and conditioner will get stuck in your dreads FOREVER!

    I like to put a few drops of lavender or orange essential oils in the vinegar. Otherwise, you smell like fish and chips! lol!

    It does take a while for your hair to get used to the no’poo. If you try it this time, and you don’t like it, give it a try again in January when it’s not so hot!

    • Crystal August 14, 2010 at 9:08 am - Reply

      Great idea! I may bring back the challenge in January.

  10. Bethany August 13, 2010 at 8:44 pm - Reply

    I have been no poo for about a month, maybe two. I LOVE it, especially the days I use BS/ACV. I use water or keep it dry every other day or two. I’m still in the transition period. I can usually only go every other day, but my hair is awesome using no poo. It is so refreshing not to put chemicals in my hair and not to spend money on products. My husband, who is very slowly making organic changes, is even trying it and liking it.

    • Mira August 13, 2010 at 9:38 pm - Reply

      Transition is a little different with each person, but yeah, it sounds like you’re still in transition. ^_^ I have never been an every-day hair washer, but in the last week or two of transition I started washing my hair (with water) a lot more frequently.

      And… don’t be surprised if suddenly your scalp goes berserk on you. Again, transition is different for everyone, but I personally know three people (myself included) that got a HUGE case of dandruff right at the very end. When I did it I hadn’t heard of any stories like that, so I was a bit freaked. *^_^* Now I know that it does happen to *some* people. Thankfully it only lasted for a few days!

  11. karen randall August 13, 2010 at 10:24 pm - Reply

    I do not use fluoride toothpaste anymore. I cannot believe how many toxic chemicals we are exposed to. I look forward to switching to healthier shampoo! Thanks!

    • Crystal August 14, 2010 at 9:10 am - Reply

      We don’t use regular toothpaste either. We used to, but recently stopped. There are just so many bad things in there!

      • Jen August 14, 2010 at 10:01 am - Reply

        Just curious what you use to clean your teeth? I’ve really been thinking about going more natural with things. Now to convince my husband of it :).

        • Crystal August 14, 2010 at 8:40 pm - Reply

          Right now we have been trying Tom’s, but even it isn’t all natural. If you really want to go all natural, you can brush your teeth with just baking soda. I use Hydrogen peroxide as a treatment regiment for whitening every so often as well.

          • Dora May 31, 2011 at 8:57 pm

            Just found this website and am considering trying this new “no-poo” thing. Wanted to let you know of another non-toxic way of brushing teeth. It’s called “Tooth Soap”. I’ve been using this product for 4+ years and my dentist LOVES my teeth. 😉

          • Crystal June 1, 2011 at 11:26 am

            Oh I’ll have to check it out Dora. Thanks!

  12. Melinda August 14, 2010 at 12:40 pm - Reply

    We are trying it! My husband is all for it… We have a few other questions.

    Natural tooth paste?

    Natural soap?

    Natural face soap and lotion?

    Anything else you can think of….

    Also is this ok for baby? We have a one year old. I heard using coconut oil as a lotion works. Thoughts?

  13. Amanda August 14, 2010 at 2:08 pm - Reply

    Thank you for posting this. I had no idea! After reading this my kids and I went through all our body products (shampoos, body washes, hand soaps, etc..) even our dish soap had these things in them and I had assumed since it was supposed to be a “natural” dish liquid from Seventh Generation that it was non-toxic. 🙁 What kinds of soaps do you all use for body, hand washing, dish washing, laundry, etc..? I would love to know how to make our own barred soap if anyone has a recipe they’d be willing to share.

  14. Tina August 14, 2010 at 5:42 pm - Reply

    Polypropylene Glycol is in everything! Would you believe it was in the prenatal vitamins that the OB’s office gave me? That’s horrible! I always read the ingredient list!

  15. Crystal August 14, 2010 at 8:52 pm - Reply

    @ Melinda and Amanda : You all have discovered a problem that is just rampant with products. It’s going to take some research on your parts to find out what works and what doesn’t for your family. For me personally, I can’t do everything green, natural and organic, but I do the best in areas that I can. Right now I’m using Seventh Generation for laundry and dish soap b/c it’s what I can do at this time in our lives. I think it’s better than using regular generic laundry and dish soaps, but of course, it’s not perfect. Of course, you can make your own laundry detergent for a fraction of the cost. I got an amazing deal on Seventh Generation, so I have been using that the last few months.

    For greenness, I focus more on what goes on our bodies during bathing and grooming. We’ve been using Clearly Natural glycerine soaps, the kids use California Baby body and hair wash sometimes, but usually I just wash them up with Dr. Bronner’s liquid castile soap. This along with my “no-poo” regiment (along with hubby), we’re doing pretty good I think.

    This is such a tough topic, that I might take it on in a post soon after doing some research on the best natural products. Would love to know if anyone has some knowledge in this area! Tips are always appreciated.

    • Vanesa October 5, 2010 at 5:41 pm - Reply

      Have you tried soap nuts for laundry? They are awesome. You can find them on Amazon.

  16. Bethany L. August 14, 2010 at 8:59 pm - Reply

    I agree, you have to do the best you can. I am very non-organic in some areas (cheez its and Tide) but I’m really trying to avoid as many chemicals as possible. I use BS and vinegar for most cleaning. I’m going to switch to honey for a facial cleaner soon. I have started making my own deoderant and toothpaste and actually like it better than the “other products.” Here are my recipes for those:
    Toothpaste:
    2 TBS coconut oil (unrefined, extra virigin)
    3 TBS baking soda
    10-20 drops of mint essential oil (I like mostly wintergreen with a little peppermint)

    Deoderant:
    1/4 cup arrowroot powder or cornstarch
    1/4 cup baking soda
    6 TBS coconut oil

    I’m going to try Dr. Bronners’ baby wash or California Baby for my kids. I only wash their hair 2-3 times/week, and it’s already beautiful.

    • Kay November 30, 2014 at 12:07 am - Reply

      You can use natural castile soap on kids and babies. I know that the one i make i sell it to a few parents and they love it for their kids. One of my friends actually has problems with scents and artificial stuff and this stuff works great.

  17. Heather A August 14, 2010 at 10:47 pm - Reply

    Since you are going to be poo-less, might as well go without other products (and nix the chemicals too 😉 as you will already have the ingredients on hand! Since coconut oil has antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties it has a ton of uses for your body in and out. Baking soda mixed with coconut oil makes a natural deodorant and toothpaste. I use coconut oil as a moisturizer all over and also put it on my fingertips and rub into my scalp if I ever get dandruff. Here’s a few more ideas 4 the oil: athletes foot, excema, diaper rash,make-up remover, sun screen, and lip balm. There are a ton of uses for coconut oil! Buy raw organic if you can since the processed types have less healing properties in them when exposed to high heat.

    • Ashlee August 26, 2010 at 12:34 pm - Reply

      Coconut oil for sunscreen? won’t that make you burn?

  18. Rachel August 15, 2010 at 6:27 pm - Reply

    I am curious… does anyone who has done this have straight fine hair (I know Crystal does, right? but I wasnt sure how long you have been doing the challenge) Everyone I know who has done this with good results has curly hair. My hair is straight and fine (but I have lots of it) but it gets oily so easily already…. so I am a little unsure as to how this will really work for straight oily hair??

    • Lauren August 16, 2010 at 12:50 am - Reply

      Hey Rachel, you can read my comment above (second comment after this was posted). I have fine hair, and it’s not flat-straight, but it’s not curly at all. I did flip my hair upside down and rinsed it in the tub faucet the other day, and I had pretty good results. Although my hair is fine, it is still kind of hard for the rinse to penetrate the wet layers of my hair, so flipping it over seemed to make it easier to work it into the scalp. I wish I had a solution that made my hair not greasy at all the second day!

    • Mira August 16, 2010 at 1:18 am - Reply

      When I did my original research (over a year ago) I read several stories where people with thin hair noticed it looked and felt fuller after going no-poo.

      This may sound odd, but believe it or not, washing your hair more often actually *makes* your hair oilier. Sebum is a natural coating that protects your hair. When it’s constantly stripped away, your scalp keeps trying to produce more of it. If you try no-poo you will feel oilier than usual for a while. (If this is a big issue, I suggest hats or keep it in a braid. You won’t play with it as often so you won’t notice the extra oil.)

      The big thing that made me decide to go no-poo was when someone pointed out that in all of the old photographs, you see people with BEAUTIFUL hair! But they didn’t have shampoo! Commercial shampoo didn’t come around until the 1930’s.

    • tawna August 28, 2010 at 3:29 pm - Reply

      i have very fine, THICK, and straight hair. people confuse thick and coarse. mine is not coarse, but fine. however i have a ton of hair. anyway, this is what i think: our bodies produce oils as they’re needed. depending on whatever shampoo/conditioner you used, along with whatever other hair products you use, your body compensates and produces oils to help your hair stay “alive” and not break off. my theory is that people who’s body produces more oil, don’t have a problem growing long hair. also, their hair life is probably longer too, growing thick hair.
      when you switch products, your body has to transition to the new product. when you’re using shampoo, the transition period is short and usually unnoticable because the chemicals help to mask the transition period AND you’re usually buying products to go along with whatever you know your hair type to be (you know they have a product for every type. ex/for fine, curly, oily, dry, straight, weak, damaged… WHATEVER). with this new method, there will be no chemicals or masking aids. that’s why people are talking about this transition period. if you get through whatever transition period your body takes, you’ll find your hair condition to be whatever it really is. it won’t be too oily or too dry… it’ll be just right for your hair type. i encourage you to go ahead and try it!

      • Mira August 31, 2010 at 8:59 pm - Reply

        You have a lot of good points. ^_^ The thing is, shampoo completely (and I mean completely) strips the oil from our hair. This oil is a natural protection from the elements, and without it the hair cuticles are exposed and dry out. To fix this, we have to slather on conditioner to add a protective coating back on. The cycle continues as *many* conditioners contain ingredients that can only be removed by shampoo! Oi.

  19. Laura August 15, 2010 at 10:30 pm - Reply

    Glad to see you post about this! I started in April and was determined to see it through! I have TONS of hair, though the hair itself is fine. I found that for the first couple of weeks I was still a bit greasy in the underneath layers, especially around the crown of my head. Fortunately, the hair most visible to others cleaned up nicely and hid the rest of it. After that – and a few adjustments to find the best ratio of baking soda to water – all has been well!! I now wash my hair every 3 or 4 days. I wanted to mention that I add 2 drops of Tea Tree Oil to my baking soda wash and it helped tremendously!! It is good for the scalp and really helped my hair stay moisturized. (Plus, I love the smell.) Oh, and to a previous poster who mentioned the vinegar smell…it is my understanding that its normal to notice a hint of vinegar smell when your hair is wet. However, if you can smell it when your hair is dry, you probably need less vinegar or a more thorough rinse. Hope this helps 🙂

  20. […] to throw out those icky shampoos and conditioners and go for more natural and organic ingredients. Thankfully Thrifty posted her shampoo recipe here. You can also use ingredients like Morrocan Oil, coconut oil, and lavendar as a conditioner or […]

  21. Shelley August 17, 2010 at 2:48 pm - Reply

    I have extremely curly, thick hair, and I would love to go without washing at all like someone suggested, but I am a runner and get sweat caked on my scalp and the hair by my scalp. Will this method work?

    Also, we have very, very hard water in our town, and that has made a very noticeable difference in my hair. I’ve had to use the most moisturizing conditioners I can find, and still I have problems. Advice for that?

    • Crystal August 17, 2010 at 3:52 pm - Reply

      Since I don’t have curly hair, I can’t really make a recommendation. But hopefully somewhere else here has some advice for you.

    • Mira August 17, 2010 at 5:02 pm - Reply

      (Thick curly hair here, and I use water only.)

      I’m not an athlete, so keep that in mind. ^_^ I think it would work though. Sweat is water soluble, so it should just wash out.

  22. Cheri August 17, 2010 at 5:12 pm - Reply

    (Curly, thick hair here)
    First day of trying this routine. I googled no-poo shampoo and found a few other websites to read. I did 1 T. baking soda to 1 cup of water and 1 T. apple cider vinegar with 1/2 tsp. of vanilla (from another website).

    Although I could smell the vinegar some when my hair was wet, I can’t smell anything now. I was surprised at how easy that was and how clean my hair feels right now. I will have to experiment with a tad of coconut oil too.

  23. tawna August 24, 2010 at 12:15 am - Reply

    so you actually LEAVE the vinegar in? and just add the coconut oil to it?
    does the coconut oil work as a detangler too? i have very thick fine hair and it tangles easily…
    thanks!

    • Crystal August 24, 2010 at 9:50 am - Reply

      Yes it does Tawna. Although while you are detoxing your hair will probably be really oily, so don’t use too much coconut oil.

    • Mira August 24, 2010 at 5:07 pm - Reply

      I’ve used a vinegar rinse a few times, and I was extremely surprised at what a great detangler it is! Combing my hair before I hop in the shower also helps with the tangles. Oh, and I sleep with my hair in a braid now. That’s helped a LOT!

  24. Alicia m August 25, 2010 at 4:52 pm - Reply

    So if I try to go “pooless”, can I still color my hair?

    • Crystal August 25, 2010 at 4:57 pm - Reply

      Yes you can. I color my hair, and this actually keeps my color in longer. The alcohol in regular shampoos is what strips hair color. My last hair coloring was the first week of July, and you can see from the photo I published on the other post that my color still looks fantastic.

  25. Wendy August 25, 2010 at 4:52 pm - Reply

    Just curious if anyone uses styling products that tries this? I use just a touch of hairspray, so I’m wondering if just the baking soda rinse would get my hair clean? Also, I color my own hair – Wouldn’t I need to use shampoo when rinsing that out? Is is ok to try this method and use shampoo occasionally or will that set you back to square one? I’m so excited to try this!

    • Crystal August 25, 2010 at 4:56 pm - Reply

      I used shampoo on my trip to Colorado recently and it did not set me back.

    • Mira August 25, 2010 at 6:30 pm - Reply

      Most hair products are okay, but you need to check the ingredients for anything that ends in -cone. Those are silicone based products and baking soda *will not* remove them. As far as I know, only laurel sulfate (the stripping ingredient in shampoo) will remove silicone buildups.

      Which reminds me of something I forgot. *^_^* When I first went pooless I forgot to check my conditioners for -cone ingredients. They were the last things on my hair, and they stayed on. About 2 weeks after I went pooless I realized that my hair felt waxy, and that wasn’t an adjective anyone used to describe their pooless hair! I had to use shampoo to get it out.

  26. Cindy August 26, 2010 at 10:47 am - Reply

    Very interested, but would love to give some info about my hair and then get some advice:

    1. My hair is fine with a little bit of wave
    2. I’m 43 years old and I color/highlight every three months or so. It’s light brown/ash blonde.
    3. I don’t like the way my hair looks if I just let it dry naturally. I either blow it dry, straighten it, use a curling iron, or, if I let it dry naturally, I twirl and clip it.
    4. I have always used styling products. Right now I’m using a Cibu thickening paste. I also have a mousse for curls that I use periodically. I also spray it with a mist of hair spray to keep my hair “together” rather than flying away.

    So, anyone else with hair like this? I’d love your no-poo advice!

  27. Dee August 26, 2010 at 7:53 pm - Reply

    Why do I remember something about baking soda and vinegar mixing to create carbon dioxide, which we shouldn’t inhale? I have used this combination for years to unclog my sinks/drains and always leave the window open to avoid the “fumes.” Maybe I’m mixing up my facts; I’ll have to go Google hunting!

    • tawna August 28, 2010 at 3:38 pm - Reply

      yeah, i was thinking similar thoughts when i read the instructions. i remember soda and vinegar in volcano experiements. mix them together and add some red food coloring = lava!!!
      carbon dioxide is what we exhale though and won’t harm us…
      i thought that the mixture of the two ingredients is what would foam up and give the lather that we all know in washing our hair… not the case. i guess maybe we both just have a scientific reasoning behind our thought process… maybe we liked science. ???

      • Monica January 28, 2014 at 6:02 pm - Reply

        You rinse between the two products. I didn’t have lava head this morning.

  28. Lauren August 28, 2010 at 6:46 pm - Reply

    In response to the last two comments:

    1. My hair is still overly oily when using the baking soda rinse. Unfortunately. 🙁

    2. The baking soda and vinegar shouldn’t touch. You dissolve baking soda in water, rinse your hair with it, and rinse it out. Then you use vinegar as a finishing rinse.

  29. Carolyn September 3, 2010 at 8:57 am - Reply

    Okay, I’ve been thinking about trying this, but finally am getting started today. I have long, curly hair. I have been using conditioner only for about a month, with only a tiny amt of shampoo 1-2x/wk. Today I’m starting the baking soda/ACV regimen. I’m also starting it with my almost 5 y.o. twins, who I’ve been using conditioner only with shampoo 1x/wk. I thought they would hate the smell of the ACV, but they actually liked the smell. Go figure!

  30. America Philliber September 11, 2010 at 4:08 pm - Reply

    I stopped cold turkey a week ago and it is really starting to make me feel crappy now. My boyfriend tells me I will not keep going however I’m so confident on this I can’t fail. recently I began feeling painful sensations inside my gut and I genuinely want to have a cigarette. I wont give into the craving given that I’m doing this for my young children. I am blessed to have the e cigarettes. It really has been incredibly helpful to me.

  31. CoookieCrisp October 5, 2010 at 8:04 pm - Reply

    I run and workout 5 days a week, and I always sweat up a storm. I will need to shower daily because of this, or at least bathe. How do I go about doing this experiment w/o suffering through sweaty and oily hair for 2 weeks?

    • Crystal October 5, 2010 at 8:13 pm - Reply

      I don’t think you can. The hair naturally goes through a detox phase.

    • Mira October 5, 2010 at 9:20 pm - Reply

      Your hair will feel oily as your scalp learns to adjust. But the sweat will wash out with plain ole’ water!

    • Rachel October 5, 2010 at 9:45 pm - Reply

      One thing that I did as an “intro” is slowly putting a few days between shampoos before totally going no-poo. I used to shampoo EVERYDAY and if I didnt my hair was SUPER greasy. So, I started skipping one day, I would shampoo every other day, then increased to two days. I could handle a day of greasy hair WAY better than 2 weeks. Your hair adjusts quicker this way (I feel like) then when you start the no-poo its alot easier with much less adjustment. Good Luck!

  32. christine October 6, 2010 at 5:55 am - Reply

    I use aloe vera gel for my conditioner. If anyone wants to know how to do this, or needs any plants, just drop me an email. Thanks for sharing this great “no poo” challenge.

    • Cheri Allan June 15, 2011 at 6:31 pm - Reply

      I’d love to know how you condition with aloe vera. Does it leave your hair really greasy?

      My daughter would like something other than coconut oil for a deep condition once/month.

  33. Centsible April 8, 2011 at 12:22 pm - Reply

    Holy cow! I use ONE stinky product and get a headache! I don’t get headaches!

  34. Mary April 8, 2011 at 12:40 pm - Reply

    I’m a co-washer.

  35. Mary April 8, 2011 at 12:40 pm - Reply

    I’m a co-washer.

  36. Sami April 8, 2011 at 12:49 pm - Reply

    I tried it for a full month and my hair just couldn’t take it. I use TJ’s shampoo and conditioner now!!

  37. Susan April 8, 2011 at 12:56 pm - Reply

    Just washed my hair with baking soda this morning…love how it makes my hair more manageable!

  38. Michelle April 8, 2011 at 12:56 pm - Reply

    yeah, what about shampoos and body washes like jason or california baby etc?

  39. Erin April 8, 2011 at 1:28 pm - Reply

    You have to read the ingredients. I’ve seen some JASON stuff with bad things in it, too.

  40. Erin April 8, 2011 at 1:29 pm - Reply

    I no poo for the most part, but every once in a while I get out the Paul Mitchell.

  41. Cheri April 8, 2011 at 4:49 pm - Reply

    I’ve been no-poo since reading that post, and I’m so glad that I took the plunge. I’ve also shared with some friends and family that were open to the idea.

  42. CG June 15, 2011 at 2:19 am - Reply

    I did this for months and loved it, except for one problem, I work in a kitchen around fryers and a grill all day so I wasn’t just dealing with my own hair oils, I was dealing with food grease. It seemed to me like this never really got the food grease stuff out of my hair… It was softer and shinier and less frizzy though…

    Also made my own deodorant with coconut oil, baking soda and corn starch. Works great. I need to make another batch, I ran out recently and haven’t gotten around to making more. And as for brushing teeth- I use a bar of peppermint Doctor Bronners soap. I just keep it in the shower and when I’m in there I rub the wet brush across it and brush my teeth. The taste is ok to me but it bothers my husband and son a little bit. Coconut oil is great for moisturizing as well as shea butter and cocoa butter. I want to go more natural again, just annoyed with the food grease situation P

    • Crystal June 15, 2011 at 9:46 am - Reply

      Oh yeah that stinks about the oils. That is the one thing I have noticed with this regimen is that it has a hard time with excess oils. Hope you find something better that works for you!

  43. Jules July 7, 2011 at 1:37 pm - Reply

    I’m on day 1 of the No Shampoo (sorry, I can’t bring myself to say “No Poo”) Challenge. I was really impressed by just how clean my hair felt after washing it with the suggested baking soda and rinsing with apple cider vinegar solution. Now, a few hours later, it feels a little dingey again, but not greasy.

    My family thought I was crazy and just having some fun with kitchen chemestry. I’m going to try to stick with this. It’s so inexpensive and easy to follow!

    Wish me luck!

  44. Corey July 31, 2011 at 11:43 am - Reply

    So far I’ve had mixed results with the baking soda & ACG method. My greasy transition period was shorter than I thought it would be (thank god!) but now what I’m finding is that no matter how long I spend rinsing my roots after the baking soda wash (using 1 tsp to 1 cup water) my roots still feel a little stiff and grungy.

    I’ve only been using the ACV rise on the length of my hair because of reviews I’ve read saying that it would make roots greasy…but maybe I should be using it on my roots too?? Any help would be greatly appreciated as I really don’t want to go back to shampoo =(

    THANKS!

  45. Tiffanie August 16, 2011 at 5:49 pm - Reply

    I have been using WEN which I love but right now finances are really tight at the moment and I will likely run out and not be able to place another order before our financial situation improves again in a few months. I am NOT putting eggs in my hair (and will not touch raw eggs or meat or anything without gloves because I am on mega doses of immunosuppressant medications). I do color my hair and need the color to last as long as possible so lemon is out. I am worried that vinegar will be a problem too? I have very thick curly hair that gets dry at the ends and oily at the roots (I DO NOT USE SHAMPOO – just WEN). I can not just use water because my hair mats up when water hits it. I get eczema and what is either psoriasis or seb derm on my scalp but the only way to diagnose it is a biopsy which my derm did not feel necessary cause either way he was giving me a steroid solution to use on my scalp. Since switching to WEN, it has helped it some along with some other scalp pain and issues.
    Is this just not an option for me?

    • Crystal August 16, 2011 at 6:33 pm - Reply

      The vinegar definitely fades color and will strip it if you use it too close to when you color your hair. Instead of vinegar, you may wish to use something like coconut oil as a conditioner.

    • fani September 30, 2012 at 3:15 pm - Reply

      I tried wen once and i didnt like it. It made my curly hair oily at the roots and had no body. It kinda just stuck to my scalp so i quit that. I am just trying to do water and a once a week hot olive oil conditioning. It makes my hair so soft and my mom comments on how clean my hair looks. I haven’t told her I don’t use shampoo.

  46. Other Inspiring Challenges « l355 August 23, 2011 at 9:42 am - Reply

    […] Challenge From Feeling Feminine, via The Thrifty Mama For at least two weeks, go without shampoo or conditioner. You can just wash your hair with water […]

  47. Lyn November 25, 2011 at 1:59 am - Reply

    I love being “no poo”…I LOVE IT … I wash my hair twice a week but if really dirty like in summer after mowing the lawn,playing outside getting super sweaty etc I may wash it a lil more often but I use less baking soda then – mostly to deodorize my sweaty hair hair than to “clean it”!!! my hair isn’t any oilier or anything but I don’t use much hair product anyway (just a lil hairspray on my bangs area) and I didn’t wash my hair daily to begin with so I got to skip the “transition period”…it feels great and smells good too NO VINEGAR SMELL AT ALL!! I am impressed!!! I mix about a tbsp of baking soda (I eyeball it) in a 20 water bottle and about an inch of apple cider vinegar in another and fill both with warm water before jumping into shower (mixing only takes a minute or two)…I do admit the vinegar does smell in the shower (had me worried I would smell like a pickle at first lol) but nope smell goes away once I rinsed it out – even wet it doesn’t smell – at least I don’t smell it once I am out of the shower)..I let the vinegar mix sit on my hair as a wash the rest of me with …guess what …baking soda – its a great exfoliant and deodorant !!! Just sprinkle some on a wet wash cloth and scrub (just be light with scrubbing on your face)then rinse off..then I follow with rubbing my body down with coconut oil I keep in the shower (coconut oil is solid at room temp but melts when i dip my fingers in it ) it doesn’t take much at all!!! a little goes a LONGGGGG WAY with this stuff (seriously!!)!!! I may use a pea sized amount rubbed between my hands on upper half of my body and another for the lower half..My skin feels so soft and smooth afterwards!!! and it doesn’t make my shower slippery since coconut oil is solid its easier to apply and less likely to dribble onto the shower floor…coconut oil is also a great makeup remover for those who use it….even waterproof mascara comes off with coconut oil ( I might wear make up once or twice a year for special occasions)!! Oh and by the way I have long thin hair but a lot of it so it feels thick (about mid back length and I color my hair plus add highlights (sorry can’t stand the greys lol) before going poo less I could not wash my hair without using a conditioner because I couldn’t even use a pick on it without it getting all tangled – now I have no issues at all with tangles….

  48. Cam July 31, 2013 at 1:27 pm - Reply

    I’m at three and a half weeks now, and I have to say. Two weeks isn’t enough time for most people! I stopped washing my hair daily about two years about and would usually wash it two or three times a week. Despite that, my hair was still super greasy in between shampoos.
    Although I am three weeks in, my hair hasn’t looked clean for about two weeks. The first time I “washed” it was great. But I can’t seem to get the amount of baking soda/acv right. It just looks greasy all the time now.
    My routine:
    Two times a week I mix about a teaspoon of baking soda and water and about a teaspoon on acv and water.
    I brush my hair a lot, mostly to distribute the oils and to have some control over the tangles. (make sure to clean your brush if you are doing this too!).
    I scrub my scalp a bit with my fingers, pour some baking soda mix on and scrub that as best as I can throughout, wait about 30-40 seconds, then rinse.
    At that point, I pour the acv mix as best as I can throughout my hair as well. Again, I wait about 30-40 seconds, then rinse.

    My problem so far? My hair feels extremely straw like. Has anyone had that problem? Does it go away? Can I change my routine up to eliminate this horrible straw? (normally I have beautifully silky hair)

  49. Heather April 1, 2014 at 12:07 am - Reply

    I am wondering If I do this challenge, am I supposed to let my hair air dry or can I blow dry it? I get that I am touching my hair more by drying it and running my fingers through it, but if I let it air dry, my hair dries in a weird wavy-ness because it is naturally wavy and I can straighten it some with the blow dryer. Thanks in advance!

  50. Kelley Butler July 9, 2014 at 3:13 pm - Reply

    I have thick, coarse, curly hair. I have used every product out there to find one that I liked. Eventually it would be discontinued and the search would begin again. I have in the past washed my hair daily because I thought I needed to. I discovered with curly hair that washing with a shampoo/conditioner 1-2x a week was all I needed and recommended by naturallycurly.com. My son found the BS and ACV trearment 5-6m ago on another website. I make a paste with a small amount of water and soda=1:2 ratio. I rub it in and wash as if a shampoo starting at the roots and go the length of the shaft. I never experienced transition and have been completely thrilled with my results. A few weeks later I obtained the ACV and loved the treatment even more. I just slowly pour it on every it on every facet of my head after rinsing out the BS and catch it with my cupped hand to pull through all the hair. My hair is clean, soft and lovely. I do it twice a week and rinse with water the other five days. I still use a gel for my hair as I live in a fairly humid area. Hope this helps…

  51. Hattie July 25, 2014 at 11:48 pm - Reply

    So will the BS and ACV mixtures be ok if I made a large batch at a time, or do you just make a small batch for one use at a time?

  52. gabriela April 11, 2015 at 10:35 am - Reply

    How often should I rinse my hair with this method? And how often should I apply The baking soda mixture?

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