No Shampoo Method Update Before and Afters

Some of you long time Love Vitamin fans may remember WAAAY back when I made a video about “The No Shampoo Method“.

In that video, I described why people all over the world are choosing to shun commercial shampoos.

The reason is because conventional shampoo and chemicals actually harm your hair a lot more than they help (hey… kinda like your skin too?). Many people who have ditched shampoo have ended up with glorious, healthy, bouncing locks as a result… unlike the greasy, limp mess that they used to deal with when using conventional shampoo.

Since I already don’t really wash my hair (partly due to the fact that washing my dreadlocks is a huge pain, and partly just because my head doesn’t get greasy at all anymore since I began phasing shampoo out), I employed my normal-haired boyfriend to carry the torch and do the experiment.

In the video below, I describe how the experiment went and what we found. I also let you know how he washes his hair now:

By the way, here is a great instructional article that I found on exactly how to do the “no poo” method.

Anyway, here’s what Luke’s hair used to look like pretty much the next day after washing with conventional shampoo, and what his hair looked like for about two months during the no shampoo experiment:

 

And here’s what his hair looks like now with just the baking soda. As you can see… a LOT better. It stays this way for 3 or 4 days after washing and actually doesn’t ever seem to get nearly as greasy as it used to. No shampoo experiment = SUCCESS.

Have you ditched shampoo yet? Has my boyfriend’s head convinced you to?

photo by JamesDPhotography

Comments

  1. Sampson says

    No poo definitely works for me. I used to have to wash my hair daily because it got greasy so fast. Then over the summer I just sort of left it alone because I was bumming around the house and after a while it was greasy, but not much greasier than it would be after a day of not washing it. After a certain point I think my hair was just saturated and my scalp was like “ok it’s time to stop producing oil I guess because no more will fit.”

    Now I wash it like twice a week (usually once every 3 days) with some natural shampoo and it looks great.

    I imagine no poo would work a bit better for females in general because they have less testosterone and are producing less oil naturally.

    • Robin says

      I have been doing the baking soda and vinegar for a couple of months now. I really like it. I used to have to wash my hair daily because of oil and itch. With the no shampoo method I can go 3 to 4 days without grease or itch. Thumbs up, indeed!

  2. says

    Tracy,

    Can you tell me a little more about the experiment and how to ween yourself off shampoo? China blocks me from viewing youtube (ughh), so I can’t see any of your videos. If you could give me a quick “how to”, I’d love to give it a try. The water here really dries your hair out so I’m only washing it about once or twice a week anyways. I thought of conditioning it with olive oil or eggs but if not washing works better, hey, that’s cheaper and more effective!

    Loving the new posts! Ps – I was able quit the acid reflux medicine cold turkey without pain! It’s actually nice because, if I start to eat poorly, the reflux will start to act up. A good reminder to keep it healthy! It’s been 3 weeks now and my acne is slowly but surely clearing. :D

    • Haleem says

      Try HotSpot Shield. Safe and works in a lot of places, hopefully China too, to get past unwanted proxies. Good luck!

    • Tracy says

      Hi Kalyn!

      First of all, that’s so great to hear that you managed to get off the medication and that things are going well!! I’m really happy to hear that because i was a bit worried for you!

      As for the video: Luke just went hardcore and stopped using anything at all to wash his hair for 2 months. He just rinsed it in the shower and that was it. It wasn’t all that pretty. After that, he started using a tablespoon of baking soda mixed with hot water on his hair every 3 or 4 days. And I think it’s really improved slowly but surely over time since then as well.

      I would just start by switching your normal shampoo with baking soda (and possibly a lemon juice or apple cider vinegar rinse after to balance out PH). And then slowly over time begin spacing out the washings. I think this will prevent you from having really greasy hair for two months and it will just slowly begin to improve over time.

      • Emily says

        Thank you so much for this suggestion!
        I work at a place which requires me to look good every day, so the idea of having greasy hair and it “slowly getting better” wasn’t all too appealing!
        I will try subbing my shampoo with baking soda!

  3. Meghan says

    Hey, I was wondering if there was any transition period when using baking soda. Does the hair need to get used to it? Or is it simply a natural alternative? And thanks to Luke for testing this out!

  4. Angel says

    Hi!

    Are there any other alternatives to using baking soda and AVC? I heard both with lighten/bleach the hair a bit eventually. I loooove my dark hair and don’t want to risk it lightening! Even a tad! xD

    Does the hair stay oily like that for 2 months while it’s transitioning? I can’t have my hair looking greasy like that…I work in an office job and unkept hair would be a serious no no… D:

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks!! <3

    • Tracy says

      @ Meghan + Angel – I’m not sure what the transitioning period will look like if you jump straight into baking soda. I imagine there is probably a small one – Luke didn’t use ANYTHING on this hair for two months which I think is why it was so greasy, but I bet that if he had started with baking soda right away the transition would have been a lot easier… although perhaps it would have taken longer for his hair to really start looking good consistently and stop overproducing.

      I’m sure it’s different for everyone and all just depends on how your body takes the change.

      As for alternatives to baking soda and ACV… I don’t know, but I would suggest at least moving to a natural shampoo that doesn’t contain sodium laureth sulfate and other weird chemicals. Dr. Bronner’s maybe?

    • Lydia says

      A good alternative to baking soda is shampoo bars. I get them from etsy and Chagrin valley (an online store).

  5. Rebecca says

    I’ve been shampoo-free for three years now to great success. I used nothing but water for the first year while my hair was transitioning away from being stripped and while it never got extremely greasy, it wasn’t the prettiest that first year. Now, however, I’ve found, about every three days, that 2 tsp of baking soda dissolved in 1 cup water works great at keeping it bouncy and soft. I massage this into my hair at the beginning of my shower then, at the end, I rinse with 2 tsp of lemon juice in one cup of water as a leave-in conditioner. It’s important to finish with an acid to maintain your natural pH balance since baking soda is so alkaline.

    I have fairly long hair, down to the small of my back, that’s medium thickness, and it absolutely does not tangle any more, which is a great improvement to the mess that shampoo used to cause. Also, since I don’t use soap of any kind, I no longer have dry spots on my skin. Added bonus!

    • Tracy says

      Cool Rebecca! Thanks for the input! Sounds like your experience is similar to Luke’s…. and it gives me some good info that shows that over time – months and months – that things slowly begin to get better and better if you keep at it. I think this lesson could definitely be applied to skin health too!

      And that’s really cool to hear that you don’t have tangles anymore with super long hair! My hair pre-dreadlocks was a tangly mess…. shoulda quit shampoo back then! Half the reason I got dreads was because I was sick of my flat, boring hair. But I love em.

  6. Tamar says

    This may be a silly question. But how do you go about getting dreadlocks? I’ve been wanting to for a real long-time.
    I actually quit shampoo a long time ago and switched to BS about once a week or less. But now I’m using shampoo again (Idk why I stopped the no-poo method) and my hair is a lot less shiny and pretty.

    • Tamar says

      Also, I don’t want to use body soap anymore but not too sure what to do about shaving then. Any ideas? Do you use soap, Tracy?

      • Tracy says

        Hi Tamar

        I use Dr Bronner’s to shave. It works well enough. I wouldn’t use body soap either if it weren’t for that.

        As for dreadlocks.. well, you get some friends who love you VERY much to sit and backcomb your hair for a long ass time (it’s really boring for them, and it really hurts for you). Mine took ten hours with 2-3 people working on it.

        There are different ways to do them… backcombing.. twist and rip method… .. neglect if you’re hardcore haha. If you get them, just please don’t use any wax on them!

  7. Stephanie says

    Hey Tracy,

    I am going to make the switch! I used Dr.Bronner’s for as long as I can remember, but it really started to dry out my hair and scalp, so I stopped. I then started using what I thought was an awesome shampoo (organic, 98% plant based, all that good stuff). Then after reading this post, I went and checked it out only to find that it contains sodium laureth sulfate! What is this and why is it not good?

    Thanks a bunch!

    • Sampson says

      I believe the older article linked in the post talks about SLS. If not that one, the one about Dr. Bronner’s soap does too I believe.

      Suffice it to say, it’s the part of the soap/shampoo that makes things really soapy and bubbly. It also really strips oil off your hair/skin. That’s why a lot of shampoos nowadays have oils added back in so it doesn’t dry your hair out too much and it doesn’t feel like sandpaper.

  8. Sandy Crow says

    Your boyfriend’s story sounds exactly like mine!!! I went completely cold turkey and didn’t wash my hair at ALL for a good two months, persevering with the hope I got from all those success stories online. Unfortunately, the oiliness never really went away and I started using baking soda followed by apple cider vinegar (the ACV is to balance pH). I only do this once a week though, sometimes using an all natural baby shampoo instead. My hair is glossy and shiny; sometimes I wake up and I just finger comb a little because it looks so full! And I have really thin hair =)

  9. says

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post!! I read it the other day (and watched your video) and immediatly decided to try the “no poo” method. I have very fine hair and have always hated the way conventional shampoos dry it out and leave it even flatter than usual.

    I tried the baking soda and apple cider vinegar method for the first time yesterday and – wow! My hair feels clean but the heavy flatness is gone and instead it’s bouncy and soft!

    I’m a total convert! Thanks!!!

  10. says

    Sandy, I just read your comment. Just be careful with the baby shampoos. I know one would think they’re more gentle becuase they’re designed for babies, but they usually tweak the ph levels to make them more alkaline like the ph of your eyes so that they’re tear-free. This is really hard on the hair though as your hair ph is more acidic so the more alkaline ph of the baby shampoo can be very drying and damaging to your hair.

  11. CT says

    I found your youtube channel looking for the no shampoo community. I started my locs 5 weeks ago & simply rinse 4x/week. Once a week I throw rosemary into boiling water, then steep a bag of peppermint tea on that. Let it cool to a comfortable temp & do a rosemary rinse.
    My locs & scalp feel great! Not greasy at all…though I have kinky hair so sebum doesn’t just run down the strand like it does with straight hair.
    I was washing with organic conditioner when I had loose hair and now it feels great to be product free.
    Loving your site. I’m also gonna ditch my “Purpose” face soap for a few months and try that Manuka honey. Heard of it before but never *really* paid attention to the antibacterial properties.

  12. Addenbrooke says

    yes!! this post has come at the exact right time! Thank you, Tracy!

    I have been going no ‘poo for a little over a month now, and have seen pretty great results from the get-go. I had a pretty bad week of transitioning in which my friends made fun of me (whatever!), but now it is getting normalized. It’s funny, before I went no ‘poo, I didn’t even realize how itchy my scalp had been until I ditched the shampoo – how awesome to not have my hands in my hair all the time!

    I think the key for me is not to use ACV every time I wash because it seems to extract the oils from my scalp and cause greasiness. For a while, I was washing my hair with the BS/ACV combo every day to avoid greasiness, and was asking myself what’s the point! I will try the lemon though, that sounds like it would work great (and smell much better).

    Thank you so much for this post, this is just what I needed for positive encouragement :)

    I love your blog, Tracy!

    peace and light,
    addenbrooke

    • Tracy says

      Hi Addenbrooke!
      Yeah I definitely think it works better if you space out your hair washing and don’t wash every day (just rinse it if you shower every day)… otherwise it’s probably still a bit drying!
      Glad to hear you’re getting good results though :)

  13. jefferson says

    I’m a guy that keeps my hair shorter and going product free was the best thing I’ve ever done. It’s been about 2 months. I went cold turkey and didn’t really experience an unpleasant transition phase. However, since I keep my hair short it requires a cut every once in awhile. My sister-in-law does hair so she offered up freebie.

    Part of the process is a shampoo. I asked her to just rinse, to which she replied “that’s so gross” and lathered me up. This morning my hair is dry, lifeless and crispy. Bummer.

    Any idea if that one shampoo will mess up all of my progress and send my hair back into recovery stage?

    • Tracy says

      Hi Jefferson!
      I doubt that one shampoo will mess everything up (I don’t know for sure though)… I’m thinking that because when you quit shampoo, your head takes quite a while to readjust and stop overproducing…. it’s probably the same in reverse! It would take a while for your head to turn around and start getting greasy fast again.

      • jefferson says

        Thanks for the reply Tracy,

        It’s been a few days and things are back to normal! Or according to my sister-in-law, “gross”. I can’t blame her though. She makes money selling hair products…

        Did I overreact? Yes. Probably. I do that sometimes. My hair normalized after the first couple of water only rinses.

    • Tracy says

      Maybe. Your shampoo is probably making your hair drier than it should be… maybe yours doesn’t overcompensate, but if you stopped the shampoo it would just make a normal amount of oil to keep your scalp and hair nicely moisturized (but not greasy)

  14. devin says

    I’m going soap free on my body now and love it. I have struggled with dry itchy skin since my early teen years(when I started bathing daily, big surprise!!) I tried going cold turkey with no-poo and I just couldn’t stand my thin stringy greasy hair by day 3, so I broke down and washed it with sulfate-free shampoo:( Feel like such a failute! Now I’m excited to try the baking soda and acv method. Perhaps that will be a transition to no-anything to wash my hair. I also wash my face using the OCM and LOVE it! I have thought about not using anything on my face, but I just love how the oil leaves my skin. And I have also discovered organic coconut oil as a moisturizer! I love going back to basics and teaching my kids about more natural healthier ways of living!

  15. veenaa says

    Hi all ….for those who dont want to substitute a soap or face wash, please try green gram powder. Its damn gud specially for those having oily skin (that too on the face). It keeps ur makeup also fresh all day. It also helps exfoliating the dead skin. As an alternative to face wash, you can try rubbing honey gently and having a face wash. Honey is a natural cleanser and also gives a glow to ur skin.

    Please address my concerns on use of baking soda. I have dry hair, will BS help. Do I have to still use lemon juice rinse ?

    • Tracy says

      Yes you can still use baking soda… I’d recommend using a touch of apple cider vinegar after though, it balances the PH of your scalp and it acts as kind of a conditioner.

  16. shannon says

    i saw this today and decided to try it, im really excited and i love the idea of being all natural but will the ACV/BS eventually lighten your hair i woild rather that NOT happen, so if anybody knows please let me know.

    • Tracy says

      I don’t see why it would, but I don’t have any knowledge about it… have you read that it does lighten your hair?
      Has anyone else had this experience?

  17. Kate says

    Is there anything I can use to give my hair a slight scent? I miss that about shampoo.

    Also–anybody tried cold turkey going water only and using cornstarch or something similar as a dry shampoo to ease the transition? I worry about the BS and ACV lightening my hair.

    • Kristy says

      Some people on no poo use water sprays with a few drops of essential oils (like lavender) to give scent to the hair without weighing it down and adding grease. I hope this helps :)

  18. Donia says

    Thanks for all the great advice! I am on day 2 doing just the BS and ACV. Yesterday when I washed it, it was pretty gross-feeling after (looked okay, just felt grimy), so today I added just a bit of European clay to the BS mixture, we’ll see what happens. Also, I’ve been reading that hard water combined with the BS can make hair feel coated, due to the chemistry that occurs with the minerals in the hard water…just another thing to take into consideration! Thanks, and I will post again, hopefully with great results!

    • Tracy says

      Hmm that is interesting… I’ve never lived anywhere with hard water so I guess that never came to mind but it makes a lot of sense… I’ve heard hard water could be an issue for acne as well… very irritating to the skin

      • Nina says

        Hi Tracy,

        I’ve been shampoo-free (baking soda and lemon juice) for 4 months and I can’t see any progress :( I have very compact, long hair that gets greasy in two days. Lately I can’t wash off greasiness anymore, have dandruff and very electrifying hair. It’s even hard to get them properly wet.
        I have to wash hair every 2 or 3 days, just like before, and it gets annoying that I don’t have clean hair. I’m thinking to use shampoo again, but it’s so hard to find a natural shampoo, without all the chemicals. Should I just wait a while, or just start using shampoo again? I don’t use any styling products.
        Thanks :)

        • Addenbrooke says

          Nina,

          I had the same problem. I found that the BS/ACV method was getting more cumbersome and causing me more anxiety about the way my hair smelled/looked than what it was worth. AND I was washing my hair just as often because it is so long. I finally wondered what is the point of having long hair if it isn’t going to look nice, so I went back to shampoo/conditioner after trying the “no poo” a good four months.

          I use Jason products, they’re very gentle and smell nice. Most health food stores have great options for natural hair products, but I have yet to come across something that works well and is truly chemical-free/all natural/organic.

          The other option is cutting your hair. I know plenty of guys with short hair who do “no-poo” or a variation thereof, and they have much better success simply because they have less hair to manage.

          Hope this helps!

      • Donia says

        I’ve started using distilled water instead of from the tap, and that seemed to help…I am now over one month shampoo-free, and I love it! My hair curls easier, lasts longer, and I haven’t needed to use ANY product (styling gels, etc)…except a tiny bit of hairspray to hold, but not much. I’ve actually gotten more compliments on my hair SINCE not using shampoo, if they only knew!

    • Kristy says

      Hi,
      Hard water makes a huge difference to how/if no poo will work for you. If you do have hard water there are a couple of options.

      1. fill a saucepan with tap water and rapidly boil for about 15-20 mins. Then let cool completely and you should see white stuff at the bottom of the pot. Pour the water through a coffee filter and then use the filtered water to mix with the bicarb.

      2. Alot easier. Buy de-mineralized water from the supermarket and use this to make the bicarb solution.

      Whichever method you use, after you rinse out the bicarb solution you will also need to follow with an Apple cider vinegar rinse. You can just use normal tap water for this, it doesn’t matter if its hard or soft for this step. But make sure you apply the rinse to your scalp. The ACV will break down any mineral buildup you have after the bicarb solution.

      Sorry to bombard you with so many directions but I have hard water myself so I have had to learn how to deal with it :)

      Also, the amount of bicarb suggested on the linked article is probably way to much for most people. The standard ration is 1 cup of water to 1 tablespoon of bicarb and some people find even this too harsh.

      Hope all this helps!

  19. Pedro says

    Hi,

    I have a question about this “no shampoo” method.
    After workout, do I have to just clean with cold water or add some stuff?

    Best regards
    Pedro Quintela

    • Tracy says

      Yeah I would say wash your hair every third day or so with the baking soda/acv, and then if you want to rinse after a workout or something, just rinse with water and nothing else

  20. says

    I’m a swimmer so I wash my hair 3 times a week. I’ve noticed when I have been unable to swim for a week and leave my hair unwashed around day 3 or 4 it looks great. It hangs better and doesn’t get frizzy. I am currently using a shampoo with all natural ingredients but it still seems to leave my hair frizzy and less bouncy. With the stress of the chlorine on my hair from swimming will the baking soda and vinegar rinse be enough?

    • Tracy says

      Hi Thomas, I don’t see why it wouldn’t be enough. We all need to get out of this mindset of only commercial products being “strong”… baking soda can clean anything!

  21. Shaylyn says

    Hi! Okay so I was just wondering what do you do if you exercise and sweat a lot everyday? And should I be washing everyday with baking soda and apple cider vinegar then?

    • Tracy says

      Just rinse your hair, I think if you wash it every day even with natural stuff, it’ll probably still dry your head out a bit and make it kinda greasy

  22. Melinda says

    Thanks for your blog! I am almost three weeks into my no shampoo adventure. I have only used a baking soda wash once, but I prefer to just rinse with water and condition lightly. My hair is still in it’s oily phase, which I am ok with. My issue is the smell. My husband complained that my hair always smells dirty. Does this issue resolve once my hair fully transitions? Thanks for your help!

    • Tracy says

      Hi Melinda! I’m not sure about the smell, I think it just depends on your own body. Did your hair smell when it got greasy before (like when you were still using shampoo?), or is this just a new thing that has come up with the no poo (and is just more noticeable because your hair is greasy all the time)?

      • Melinda says

        My hair would get an oily smell to it before I guess. I used baking soda today and it seems a lot better. I really wanted to go water rinse only with conditioner, but I think that baking soda may be the way I need to go. Thank you for such a quick response!

  23. Rachel says

    Hi! Thanks for making this video and telling about the “no poo” hair treatment! I started yesterday! I wanted healthy hair and I found my shampoos were just killing my hair… I also spend too much money on products that are just a waste! I hope it works for me as well as it has others! Wish me luck!

  24. Sadie says

    i’m definitely going to try the baking soda thing! i’m so sick of my hair being greasy the day after washing it. i’ve been being lazy recently and haven’t washed it in about 4 days already so tomorrow i’m going to use the baking soda and lemon juice thing. your boyfriends hair looks really good. is commercial products also bad for your face? no matter how much i scrub or use washed with salicylic acid or benzyl peroxide, i’m always breaking out right around my chin and the sides of my face. it’s not cystic acne just breakouts. and my face always feels greasy. even after i wash it twice and use toner and moisturizer. could it be the soap? or am i using stuff that’s too weak? it’s really annoying whatever it is. i usually have really nice skin.

    • Tracy says

      Hi Sadie – yes commercial products aren’t good for the skin – in the same way that this hair thing works, if you wash with harsh chemicals (and sometimes even just washing with gentle stuff) can strip the oils off your face and cause it to get greasier in retaliation. It’s irritating too and cause breakouts. I don’t even wash my face at all anymore (and hardly ever let water touch it) and it’s better than ever. If you’re not ready for that, try washing with honey once a day and using an oil like jojoba to moisturize

  25. Amanda says

    Does anyone know if the baking soda/vinegar method affects colored hair? Also, what effect does it have on aging hair (that still gets greasy)? Gray hair (even with color on it) tends to be unruly no matter what product you put on it or how you style it. I’ve just migrated away from regular shampoos to cleansing conditioners, and would be willing to give this method a shot if it helps aging hair.

  26. Isla says

    Hey Tracy,
    I have been trying out the no shampoo method for about 2 weeks and surprisingly it hasn’t actually got that greasy yet but my scalp is feeling very itchy and i’m really desperate to wash it with something. I did try the baking soda method a while ago and it wasn’t that bad but i wasn’t all that keen so i was just wondering if it would be possible to use a bar shampoo like African black soap or do you have any better suggestions?
    Thanks

    • Tracy says

      You can use any natural soap, as long as it has gentle ingredients and lacks things like sodium laureth sulfate. I’m not too sure about African black soap – don’t know anything about it.

  27. says

    hey!!! i love baking soda its been awsome i had very thin hair but now itsgot tons of body!! my dreads are 1 year old i have been useing it since then, an lovin it!!!

  28. Caralyn says

    Thanks for all of the information. My hair is about 1 inch long and brand new after chemo treatment. I was looking for healthier ways to take care of the outside of my body, since I have already gone organic/grain-free/free-range for our food. It’s been a month that I have been using baking soda & acv weekly on my hair. I deal with the ocassional itching by massaging a small amount of organic coconut oil into my scalp. And I have 1/2 gray hair and this works great!

  29. Bronwyn says

    So, this MAY have already been addressed, but I didn’t have time to go through all the comments. I really want to try “no poo,” but I’m currently looking for a job in a professional environment and don’t think now would be an appropriate time to start the experiment. I also have REALLY fine, limp hair that gets greasy after about 18 hours, so I’m not sure I wouldn’t look like a hobo after a week or so. What I’m wondering is if anyone can recommend any NATURAL, chemical free (or minimal chemical) shampoo that I can use sparingly and less often than I do normal shampoo. I’m thinking maybe I can compromise instead of going completely cold turkey on the shampoo.

    • Tracy says

      Hi Bronwyn!
      Yes if you are doing anything that requires your hair look really nice, it’s probably not the best time to start the No Poo!! hah… I’m not sure of an actual brand for natural shampoo, just look for things that don’t contain sodium lauryl sulfate

  30. Lina says

    Hi Tracy, Thanks for sharing, Greeting from Malaysia, just wanna ask you about this method that you are sharing it really got my attention coz i am struggling with oily hair and dandruff that causes hair fall,eventhoug i am using the commercial shampoo…so just want to ask wether the method of baking soda and Apple cider vider helps to recover my hair..how can i get the proper step to do the ingredient for the shampoo? what do you suggest

    • Tracy says

      Hi Lina :)
      Yes, hopefully using these natural things would help you to recover your hair… just put a tablespoon of baking soda in a cup, fill the cup with water, pour it on your head and massage it around like shampoo. Rinse. Then put maybe 1 teaspoon (i’d say use less ACV than baking soda) of ACV in the cup, fill it with water, pour on your head. Massage. Rinse.

  31. Adel-Alexander says

    Hi Tracy! I love the article, I just started the ”caveman regimen” And I love it so far, my t-zone is somewhat oily but that’s normal whenever i leave my face alone. My acne doesn’t seem as red-ish as it used to be.

    So since the caveman regimen is working for me.. I decided i wanted to go all natural with my hair as well. I have no problem dropping the shampoo and conditioner, but thing is. I use hair wax to style my hair and most hair waxes does require a shampoo to rinse out(even though it’s odd, I have tried rinsing out hair wax with just water before and it worked just fine but I’m not sure if I removed everything though) so I figured that.. If I want to be on the no-poo regimen and still use hair wax, do you think it would work if I used a water-based hair wax? Those are quite easy to rinse out with a shampoo of course but since it’s water based, I don’t see why it shouldn’t work with just lots of water..

    just wanted to hear your thoughts about this!

    • Tracy says

      Hi there,
      I don’t know for sure, but I would think the baking soda would take out the wax… baking soda is used to clean all sorts of thing… people use it instead of cleaning products for their house… so I am just assuming it could cut through some tough stuff. You’ll have to try and see :)

      • Adel-Alexander says

        Hi Tracy! Thanks for replying. ;P

        It’s been a few days on my ”no poo” journey. And well, I just started using baking soda since my hair got extremely greasy and now it’s better. It’s actually looking quite good even though it’s only been a few days!! Before my hair used to be frizzy and all that after a shower with shampoo & Conditioner but now it’s silky smooth!! :) Of course my hair still produces a lot of oil at the moment but it’s going to be better for sure! I’ll have to try it out for myself then. :)

        • Tracy says

          Great! Glad to hear you’re already seeing some improvements. I hope for your sake it doesn’t take too long for the grease to subside :)

  32. Angie says

    Hi Tracy,
    I tried the baking soda and AC method twice so far. My hair still dont look as washed as they usually did after the shampoo.. like they are still a bit greasy. Is it supposed to be like that or is it just cause i am getting started or is it because i am not using enough. I know ur supposed to use a tablespoon of baking soda and half a teaspoon of AC but I didnt measure them with a spoon just kinda estimated. So let me know if there’s anything else i can do to make them look better.

    • Tracy says

      Hi Angie – how long did you try it out for before quitting? It’s likely not to look very nice right away, as it needs to get used to it for a few weeks and allow your scalp to adjust. & I doubt the exact measurements make much of a difference :)

  33. Angie says

    I havent quit yet. I just started using baking soda last week so i was just wondering if i am not using enough soda because my hair looked still a bit greasy but like u said it might be just taking its time to get used to it. so i will stick to it and hopefully it’ll be fine in the next few weeks :) How often should we using it though in a week?

    • Tracy says

      I say try to use it like… twice a week… you want to try to space out the amount of time that you are washing it, because then your hair will learn that it doesn’t need to produce so much oil… it’s even better if you can do a period of time in the beginning (like a month) where you don’t wash with anything, although I know that’s hard. The thing is if you’re still washing it every day or even every other day, even with the baking soda, it will continue to think it needs to produce lots of oil

      • angie says

        Yeah I am only washing it twice a week. I dont really mind the oily looking hair so far since i know my scalp needs to get used to the baking soda first though i am seeing some hair loss. Like when i comb my hair, there’s so many hair breaking down. Is it normal? Should I be oiling my hair once in a week as well but it might be too oily then i think. I am using baking soda and AC both. Do u have any suggestions for hair loss?

      • angie says

        also am i supposed to be really replacing the box every 30 days since thats what it says on the box. how in the world can one finish the whole box in 30 days?

  34. Kristi says

    Moroccan Oil shampoo n conditioner is the bomb. Its basically just oils it doesn’t foam up bc it has no chemicals. It actually made my hair thicker. also use morocan oil after showerand aragon oil. OMG my hair is so thick and I can grow it super long now. LOVE IT also aragon is the best face product i have ever used- and cheapest! you should totally try these!

    Love your blog btw

    • Tracy says

      Thanks for the suggestion Kristi! I have heard people mention this Moroccan, and Argan oil before, but I have yet to try it… that’s great that it works so well for the hair!

  35. Kristi says

    I got them from Kamay but i know they sell it online too at amazon. They seem expensive but if you only use a quarter size and mix with water it actaully lasts a super long time- longer then my old shampoo and conditioner.
    I use the blue and white bottles if you type in morrocon oil on amazon they show up.
    I use shampoo at begining of shower and then after rinse out put in the conditioner and leave conditioner in the whole rest of shower so it gets a few minutes to soak in. Then i use the oil stuff (and organic aragon oil) on my wet hair to help keep it from split ends at the bottoms.

    Hope you enjoy it!
    -Kristi

  36. Adel-Alexander says

    Hey Tracy, I found a website where they sell Shampoo bars, apparently. It’s a safe alternative way to wash your hair. And they’re all natural as well! They don’t strip your hair oil or contain sulfates or anything! All natural! here is the link

    http://www.chagrinvalleysoapandsalve.com/

    Here is a blogger who wrote about them. Check out the link!

    http://babyrouge.blogspot.dk/2011/06/why-i-only-wash-my-hair-once-week-and.html

    Her Before and After pictures are amazing! Also, it may be a great alternative since baking soda can be somewhat harsh on your hair (I know that feeling, my hair always get a rough texture whenever I use it)

  37. Jerome says

    Hi,

    Thank you for this. I have tried BS and ACV method for 1 month now and i can see improvements in my hair. I have one question though. On non-shampoo/non-wash days, can i wash my hair with just water or dont wash it at all?

    Thanks,
    Jerome

    • DJ says

      a common alternative to store-bought dry shampoo (if you don’t have time to shower or don’t want to waste water, or don’t want to use expensive commercial brands etc) is corn starch (or corn flour) which you can get in the baking section of any supermarket. you just sprinkle it on your head and leave it for a few minutes. then you brush it out. as a warning, it may take a while to brush it all out. it absorbs water and oil. admittedly I have never tried it, but I usually just use water and a brush in between BS washes.

  38. DJ says

    I (and my husband) have been no-poo for maybe 6-8 months now (can’t remember when we started!). the first month or so was a bit hard, but our transition was easier because we had been using SLS-free shampoo for years before that. I use baking soda and ACV about one to two times per week now. In between I just use hot water and a hard bristle brush and brush my hair under the running water for about 3-5 minutes. I think this keeps it cleaner in between baking soda washes, especially when I had longer hair. it feels so good to not have to depend on commercial products, and it feels good to get into the shower and not have my hair immediately become a tangled mess.

    Similarly, I recommend also going soap-free on your skin and face. I did this by accident with my husband when we first got married. we didn’t have money to buy soap! haha. we transitioned using handmade lye soap (glycerin soap) from a farmer’s market. Now I make my own soap. I use it under my arms and down there every day and no where else (unless I’m really sick, in which case it feels good to use it all over my body). my skin is SOOOO soft and smooth now. all of my acne is gone. I look and feel wonderful :).

  39. EG says

    Thanks for all of the great info. I’m about a month into my no poo experiment and have been very frustrated the last few weeks, due to constant static in my hair. Granted I live in the midwest and it’s winter, I never had this issue with shampoos. It’s really bad! I tried dissolving honey into my baking soda and water, as well as using more ACV, but nothing seems to be helping. I’m a bit heavy on the BS but I still have been going about 3-4 days in between washes. I have to use more BS or my hair still looks super greasy after washing. I’m also wondering about whether or not touching your hair adds to the greasiness. I’ve always had a bit of a nervous hair twisting tendency and now I’m beginning to wonder if that’s contributing? Thanks again for the great site!

  40. Milky Residue says

    Your Boyfriends hair just might of convinced me to not use shampoo, but has also convinced me to never stop using my brush, buy that dude a comb or something

    • Tracy says

      aahaha, his hair actually looks great in those last ones compared to what it normally looks like. I always bug him to comb his hair and he doesn’t and I end up having to comb dreadlocks off his head much to his and my dismay. I’m going to show him this comment to shame him

  41. Kit says

    I did this for about a year and I looooooooved it. I have lots and lots of fine, wavy hair that loves to snarl and fly everywhere, and this was one of the only things that ever made it behave (and it was dirt cheap). Then…I started darkening my hair. It took about a month to realize that baking soda pulled out the color, so I went back to shampoo. Sigh. I’m switching from dye to henna so I can go back to no-shampoo, partially because it’s nontoxic but also because I miss how beautiful this method made my hair. HIGHLY recommended.

  42. Jenny says

    Ive been doing no poo this way for about two weeks. My hair isn’t as soft as normal but I’m not having too much trouble with grease yet. However, I just read this article that says that baking soda is bad for your hair overtime. What do you think? It seems like the person who wrote the article did their share of research. Here’s the link:

    http://empoweredsustenance.com/no-poo-method-damages-hair/

    Just thought I’d put that out there because I don’t think you’d want to be recommending something that could be potentially damaging to people’s hair.

    P.S. I’m a big fan of your blog and youtube videos!

    • Tracy says

      Hi Jenny,

      Actually yes, I saw that article the other day and made me question the baking soda (even though I so far have seen no evidence of problems with my own hair, but it did concern me)…

      Anyway, I did try her honey recommendation instead and it totally didn’t work! For me anyway. My hair felt almost waxy afterwards. I hope I washed it out well enough…. I’ll try it again just to be sure.

      Also, I’m wondering if baking soda is only an issue if you wash with it often. I only wash my hair about once a week, and maybe that has something to do with why it doesn’t seem to be causing any issue for me. I also dissolve it in water, which may be less abrasive than just dumping it straight on your hair and rubbing

  43. Eva says

    I have to share my experience with BC and ACV as it is pretty serious. I started with this method about a month ago and was happy enough with the results in the beginning. I used 1 tbsp of BC in a cup of water and same with ACV to finish it off. I even used filtered water as I thought we might have hard water. But after about 2 weeks I started noticing excess hair loss and my hair didn’t look nice and soft anymore, very frizzy instead. I probably did wash them too often, about every third day as they looked greasy. Anyway, for the past 2-3 weeks the hair loss has gotten very serious, I lose a big bunch of hair everytime I wash them, together with the root by the way. So now I started investicating into it and found the link Jenny shared and my doubts are true, it is the BC & ACV that’s causing it. I don’t know why some people can use it for years without a problem but for me it definately ruined my hair. I ended up with very thin hair and I use to have lot of hair before. And it happened so quickly! My boyfriend is scared that I’m going bold, im trying to calm him down and try not to fall to pieces myself at the same time lol. Oh well at least I can laugh about it….

    Maybe i did something wrong I don’t know or maybe some people are just more sensitive, I know I am very sensitive so that’s propably why my hair reacted so severly.

    Now I just want to warn people – this method is not so good idea!!

    Tracy, don’t get me wrong I love your blog and the honest way you share, and talk about things without hiding anything. I love that you are not strictly attached to your ideas and let people discuss them so we can all learn together. Thank you for that and don’t be discouraged :)
    Oh…almost forgot….how has your boyfriend been doing on this method now? Is he still on it?

    Any suggestions how to make my hair grow back quicker? (I already switched to a very natural shampoo & conditioner today and my hair feels nice and soft again, what a difference!)

    • says

      Hi Eva,

      I‘m sorry you had to experience hair loss due to the BC + ACV method. Thanks for sharing!

      Tracy is away without internet access right now, but I‘ll make sure she‘ll read your comment as soon as she‘s back. ;)
      I can understand that it‘s extremely scary loosing your hair! I hope your hair will grow back soon!!!

      Lots of love,
      Svea

  44. Eva says

    Thank you Svea :)
    Yes it is very scary but I try not to think about it too much as stress would propably make me lose even more hair.

    If Tracy gets back I suggest her to add a big warning in the post about the hair loss possibility with this method so people would at least know to expect it and stop using it if it happens.

    Oh and my boyfriend’s hairdresser said that BS is good to use only once in a while to remove the residue that shampoos etc. leave on hair, but don’t use it all the time.
    So I think it’s still good to use occasionally.

    • Tracy says

      Hi Eva,
      I’m so sorry to hear what’s happened to your hair with this method! So scary :(

      I did recently read a different perspective on the Baking Soda thing which I thought was interesting and kind of alarming, which matches your experience: http://empoweredsustenance.com/no-poo-method-damages-hair/

      My boyfriend and I have both been using it for quite some time now (just baking soda, not ACV), and so far it’s doesn’t seem to have damaged our hair at all… but I (and I think him too) only wash our hair probably once a week at the most… i’m curious if the low frequency of its use is why it’s not causing a problem, or just that everyone’s different.

      Either way, it is good to hear a different side. I tried the honey shampoo thing she suggests but to be honest, it left my hair feeling all waxy and unclean. To each his own I guess! Hope your hair recovers, again, really sorry to hear what you’ve gone through.

  45. tree says

    I’ve been using this method for 4 months and my hair looks much better. But my hair is thick and greasy. I had to wash it every other day and it almost never looked good except right after washing.
    I think (that’s just my theory) that the baking soda method doesn’t work for people with dry hair. Also, I guess not everybody is prone to hair loss (just like not everybody is prone to acne). Even the male members of my family have a lot of hair so I think that my hair will not fall easily because of my genetics. The same way some people can use coconut oil on their face without breaking out. I don’t know if I was clear enough but I hope you get what I mean.
    So if your hair is dry (or maybe even normal) don’t try the baking soda. You can try the egg wash for instance or conditioner only method. BTW, vinegar will only make your hair shinier and healthier, don’t be afraid to use it.
    Tracy, I honestly think that you can do without the vinegar because you have short hair. I think that if you want to make it longer you need to use vinegar after the soda for the ends to prevent splitting. I personally stopped using AVC because it gave me red highlights (my hair is light brown to dark blond) which I didn’t like, also it made my hair a bit greasy. Not I am using rice vinegar and I think it is the better option for us, light haired girls :)
    Eva, try castor oil mixed with coconut oil as overnight treatment. You can also try sesame oil (it makes hair a bit darker), olive oil (makes hair a bit lighter), camellia oil and so on. Just don’t skip the castor oil, it helps hair growth. You can also try egg mask or egg wash. I remember as a child that my mum put lard on my hair to get rid of lice (coconut oil also has this effect) and it is a traditional hair treatment where I live – lard and vinegar. BTW, lard is great for preventing stretchmarks, nothing ever beats it, so if somebody is planning to get pregnant, keep this in mind. Lard is way underrated as a beauty product but it has been proven to be effective through centuries. Lard is also great as a body lotion for babies :) But if you are acne prone, better don’t put in on your face, just your body :)

    • Tracy says

      Hey Tree, these are really helpful suggestions, thank you for sharing! Also, I agree about lard, and tallow too… they are underrated. Actually a lot of mainstream beauty products and moisturizers use these ingredients, but .. lol, for most people knowingly using pig and cow fat on their bodies sounds unglamorous and gross. I’m into it though haha

      • tree says

        I would just like to add about honey. I don’t make a honey shampoo but I use a honey rinse sometimes. It’s extremely easy to make a honey rinse – I just dissolve a teaspoon of honey in a cup of water, pour it on my hair after washing with the no poo method and rinse it away. It givew the hair more shine. But please remember that honey loses all its good qualities after it has been heated over 40 degrees Celsius (sorry, no idea how many degrees Fahrenheit), so use only lukewarm water with honey. Honey can also lighten hair under the right conditions but that’s another topic. Anyway, you can benefit from the honey rinse once in a while even if a honey shampoo doesn’t work for you.
        Eva, you can also put some essential oil in the night oil treatment. Rosemary is said to help and tea tree oil blocks the androgens that are responsible for hair loss. Of course, be careful with them and try to find the best quality only.

  46. Jenny says

    I tried the honey shampoo a few times too (after using the BS and ACV for about two weeks and then reading that article) and didn’t like the results at all. My hair never felt clean and just felt gross after. So I tried an aloe vera and coconut milk shampoo after that which at first seemed okay but then it seemed to be greasier the following tries. I have to look somewhat professional for my job and I was tired of feeling disgusting so I bought an all natural, organic, sulfate free shampoo that works quite well. I try to only use it maybe twice a week though because I don’t think my hair needs more than that. I still want to make my own shampoo but want to do more research on different shampoo recipes and try to find one that really works well, and is good for me, before continuing to treat my hair as a science experiment. If anyone knows of a home-made shampoo recipe that they think works really well and doesn’t include baking soda please let me know!

  47. Dani says

    Hey Tracy I have been trying the baking soda acv shampoo for about a month and a week and my hair still is getting greasy, I know it doesn’t work for everyone, but even after I wash my hair it doesn’t feel clean. I also started to lose some hair from this method too, so I may just stop using it all together for now, any ideas? I don’t want to go back to real shampoo since I already made a leap of not using it. I may try this honey shampoo in the post above, or I could just try not to wash it at all and use dry shampoo from another article you have?

    • Tracy says

      Hi Dani,
      Yeah I would try the honey and see if you like it! Or if you want, yes, just do the dry shampoo thing without washing at all and then maybe that will give your hair a kick start into de-greasing itself

      • Dani says

        Hey Tracy, I noticed that after taking a bath my hair would feel great, like I washed it with shampoo. This happened when I washed my hair (with baking soda and acv) and it felt greasy and the next day I took a bath and then it felt great for the next 2 or 3 days. ( I had bubbles in the bath but I dont think that it would make it feel this nice). Maybe I am not rinsing correctly or something, I also think before I try the honey shampoo I may lower the amount of baking soda in the mixture or something.

  48. Eva says

    Thank you everybody for tips and support :)

    I do have dry hair and they are curly and frizzy and always been prone to hairloss, though before this insident I had them very thick. I’m still losing heaps of hair, I think this method damaged my scalp or the roots of the hair, so it takes a while to heal now. I’ll stick to the natural shop shampoo at the moment as it feels good and I’m too scared to stress my hair with more new stuff. But I’ll try the castor and coconut oil mask soon, maybe add some tea tree oil in too. Thank you Tree for that!

    I also read about coconut oil and honey mixed together as a mask, anybody tried that?

    • Tree says

      You could also consider almond oil if your hair is dry. It is recommended for dry hair. A girl from India I know uses it and her hair is gorgeous – long, black and shiny. I tried it but ignored the warning that it is not suitable for greasy hair. Because I was so used to conventional hair products that I knew that if a shampoo says greasy hair it doesn’t mean it is good for greasy hair. Quite the opposite – such shampoos made my hair even more greasy and I always boughht products for dry hair because my hair just better with them. BUT no so with natural products. If a natural product is recommended for dry hair and not for greasy hair, it means that people with greasy are better off not using it. So almond oil made my hair feel so soft and detangled it but it was greasy so fast after that. Also, I felt it gave my hair a bit of darker shade (which I hate) but I’m not sure about that. So anyway. I think almond oil is good for you.
      The girl from India said that you shouldn’t use coconut oil on your hair in winter because it has a cooling effect. And yes, coconut oil in winter on my hair didn’t have pretty results. Sesame oil and sweet almond oil are said to have warming effect. That’s what Indians say and practise.
      Eva, you have dry curly hair and you wash it every three days? I don’t think you should do that. I know people with your hair type and they wash their hair once a week. Are you sure you haven’t stressed you hair too much with frequent washing?
      Also, if you have problems removing the oil (I definitely had but a friend who uses a natural shampoo has no problem with removing it – I have never tried such a shampoo so maybe that’s the answer), you can use a conditioner. Put it on your oiled hair while it’s dry and wait for at least 10-15 minutes, then have a shower. There is a method called condioner only (you wash your hair without shampoo, just with conditioner) which is really popular among people with curly hair.
      The honey and coconut plus a bit of water is recommended for lightening hair and I used it for that purpose. It did work (another option is olive oil). My hair felt good but I don’t do it anymore. Anyway, honey is great, I put in on my face overnight and it is so soft and firm in the morning.
      My advice to everybody – if you are going to try something for your hair make sure it is good for your hair type. Every hair is different and requires different approach. And take advice about hair from people who have hair similar to yours or at least have the same hair problem you are trying to solve. If your hair is blonde, fine and straight most probably something that works for a person with thick curly black hair will not work for you.

  49. Eva says

    thank you again Tree, really appreciate it, you have so much knowledge.

    I do agree that I wash my hair too often, but it just gets greasy very quick (my face also). That’s why I tried the BS + ACV method – in a hope that I eventually be able to wash less often.

    I think I might skip the shampoo next time and just use conditioner and see how it goes. It can’t hurt right?
    I’ll also try almond oil instead of argan oil which I’ve been using so far to get rid of frizziness. Argan oil is alright, but my hair is still frizzy at the top. Especially living here at the hot and humid tropics. In the colder drier climate my hair is much straighter and not so frizzy.

    I def won’t try the honey mask then as I’ve got dark hair and don’t want it to lighten.

    By the way how do you do the honey mask for your face overnight? I mean I tried it once and it was all sticky and started melting, I can’t imagine sleeping with it on!? Or you just put a very small amount and rub it in?

    • Tree says

      OMG, do I sound like I have so much knowledge? I’ve just been experimenting with my hair recently, that’s all. I also cut it by myself (there are tutorials in the net) because I don’t trust any hairdresser and I don’t want to spend money. And I want long hair and hairdressers love cutting too much.
      Try different oils, you never what will work. I rarely do deep conditioning now because I don’t need it.
      I don’t think honey will lighten really dark hair. It’s not that easy to go blonde :) But better ask people with your hair colour.
      The honey mask – well, very simple. I just put it on my face and go to sleep. That’s it. Yes, I put a little, honey melts on your skin. I also put my hair up so that it doesn’t become sticky (if I don’t plan to wash it in the morning). Now the weather is very hot and humid and almost all the honey is gone in the morning, haha. But my skin feels soooo soft. There is no limit how long the honey can stay on your face (if you are not allergic), the more, the better. And yes, it can go the pillow but to me this is not a problem.

      • Eva says

        hello again, I’ve been testing some stuff now. The castor oil and coconut oil mask left my hair nice and shiny and def less dry. I’ll try to do it once a week or so to see if my hair starts growing back, I’m still losing heaps though, but it’s not so noticable anymore as I cut my hair shorter. Actually pretty happy with my hair at the moment.
        I’ve been washing my hair with just conditioner now and it works very well for me. It didn’t remove the oil mask well enough though, so had to use shampoo then.
        And my conditioner has nettle in it which I’ve read is good for hair growth. And I also drink nettle tea every day. That should help too.

        ….and yes you do have lot of knowledge and useful tips, Tree ;) Thank you, you’ve helped me a lot.

  50. Sarah says

    Around April 2011 I had been looking up pages on quitting shampoo and all the natural sources I could use to replace normal shampoos. I’d seen before and after pictures of beautiful results with people who’d quit shampoo and it looks astounding. Encouraged enough, I decided that I was going to quit shampoo to get those same results.
    It had turned out good for the first 5 months and my hair hadn’t felt oily nor smelled. Actually it did have a slight smell, although I’m sure it was the natural smell of my hair (which wasn’t bad).
    Once it had started reaching the 6th month and past however, the smooth path of quitting shampoo had then randomly and unexpectedly took a toll… The oil in my scalp had started to slowly build up more and more– I didn’t realize how thicker it felt either up until it just started taking over my hair months after before I went back to normal shampooing. Not only did that happen but what had immediately changed my mind about no-pooing was when my scalp started to smell almost like cheese. My scalp had NEVER smelled like that before and honest to say that’s just disturbing to even think about even for myself.
    It’s now August 13, 2013 and I’m looking up scalp infections that I could possibly have that HAVE been getting worse since I’ve switched back to shampooing around May of last year. So far it could be Scalp Psoriasis. This is I believe, an off effect from quitting shampoo, because never before in my life have I had any scalp issues up until I quit shampoo. I’ve Never even had the slightest of dandruff…. but now I do. Shampoo doesn’t even wash out the oil from my scalp as well as it should anymore… And my hair doesn’t even absorb the smells of anything I wash it with. What the hell is up with that!? How does your hair lose the ability to absorb smells!? I’m seeing a dermatologist ASAP and I’m hoping I can get this problem fixed with medication.

    It sucks how different some of our bodies can work because that was how mine reacted. That totally wasn’t worth it for me, so I’m just warning people that getting into something you don’t know what can trigger to your body will just give you shitty results like me. So if you still care about the environment and want to give it a go I’d recommend talking to a dermatologist beforehand.

    • Tracy says

      Wow, so sorry that happened Sarah. What a strange reaction. You didn’t say though – were you using baking soda to wash your hair with, or something else? or nothing?

  51. Eva says

    Hey there,

    I’d like to share with you my experience with quitting shampoo since I’m very glad I gave it a try.
    I first started about a year ago after brushing out my dreadlocks which I used to wash about every 5 days with baby shampoo.
    I then washed my hair every 3 days with only water for some months, although I used shampoo like 5 times within that period.
    And that’s how I did it: I massaged my skalp for about 5 minutes under the running water, then finished with a cold rinse with a bit of apple cider vinegar overhead (the cold and slightly sour water is supposed to close the cuticle which makes the hair less vulnerable and shinier) and blowdried my hair afterwards.
    I also brushed my hair twice a day for about 15 minutes with a boar bristle brush which helps to transport the sebum from your skalp to the tips of your hair.
    Within that time my hair felt incredibly soft and healthy, which is especially astounding since I came from having dreadlocks!
    So the feel was great (albeit greasy, but in a different way), but my hair always looked greasy.
    It was a different kind of greasy, somehow more voluminous and definitely better looking than greasy hair a few days after washing with shampoo, but not really what I wanted my hair to look like.
    So I started to use the baby shampoo again, but didn’t use any conditioner but olive oil, because I couldn’t find one that fit my ideas (without silicones etc.).
    I still did the ACV rinse.
    At first my hair looked and felt great, albeit I had to watch not to use too much shampoo, because my skalp then felt really dry and tense.
    But soon the lengths and tips became very dry, hard and broken and felt horrible.
    I remembered how great I felt when doing water only (but the looks), cut off the broken lengths and started WO again.
    That was about two and a half months ago, I never used anything but water on my skalp since then and don’t plan to change anything, because it works way better this time!
    And here’s why (or at least what I think are the reasons, because there are a lot of factors intertwined that play a role):
    1. I massage my skalp way longer now while washing it, about 10 minutes and then another 10 minutes overhead.
    2. I don’t use the ACV anymore for the rinse. While I never had any problems with it during my first period of WO, it made the tips of my hair hard and dry this time, which I couldn’t even annul by putting olive oil in it afterwards.
    So I cut off another 2 cm of my hair and quit using ACV, and now my tips are fine :)
    3. I don’t blowdry my hair anymore. It’s better for your hair anyway, because it’s healthier for the swollen hair (it swells when soaked with water) and opened cuticle to swell down and close slowly than being forced to do so within like 15 minutes.
    Now when doing WO, I think the thing is that the sebum can absorb better in your hair if drying takes longer, so that there’s less grease outside of the hair after drying.
    4. I rarely ever use the boar bristle brush now.
    Like I wrote above, it takes down the sebum to the tips of your hair. But by doing so, I think it somehow changes the way the sebum is “positioned” on your hair, so that especially your roots look much greasier and less voluminous after using it.
    Besides, many people in the german long hair community stated that the BBB caused more split ends and broken hair for them, but I think that’s a matter of your hair type and how careful and how often you use it.
    5. I use olive and coconut oil in my tips now.
    I think my skalp produces a lot less oil now, plus I don’t use the BBB anymore, so my tips are usually a little dry after washing.
    I braid my dry hair and put the oil in like the last 5 cm. I usually take so much that it looks greasy, but I don’t mind it and it’s gone the next day anyway.
    6. In the german LHC I often read that WO worked better in the summer than in winter, so that might play a role too. We’ll see.

    At this point, I wash my hair every 3 to 5 days the way I described and put some oil in the tips whenever I feel like it.
    I wash it in the evening, but early enough for it to be mostly dry when I go to bed.
    My hair looks good and voluminous for at least the first two days after washing now and just feels so much smoother, thicker and better protected than when I used shampoo.
    I also like the smell. It’s like my very own perfume, almost a little sweet, and I could indulge in it :)
    Of course it feels different than hair washed with shampoo, you might say greasy, but my attitude to sebum changed completely when I started reading about this entire topic and started doing it myself.
    I no longer see it as something dirty and disgusting, but just the opposite:
    It’s your body’s strategy of nourishing your hair, keeping your skalp and hair smooth and saturated and protecting it.
    To me, doing WO is more than just a hair routine.
    I think it’s comparable to people who feel a spiritual connection to their dreadlocks, for example see them as a token of their bond to nature.
    I never felt like that about my dreadlocks, which I didn’t have for long anyway, but I have a connection of that kind to my natural hair now.

    I never tried the baking soda method, but I think especially the points of long massaging while washing, the boar bristle brush and quitting blowdrying are true for that method too.

    So, don’t be afraid of trying it! I’m aware that it maybe won’t work for everybody but like I said, I’m really happy I gave it a try!

    For further information on no poo, WO, baking soda and also no wash/ sebum only (meaning that you don’t wash your hair at all) check out the LHC: http://www.longhaircommunity.com/forums/indexvba.php

  52. Rachel says

    Great post Tracy! I have dry, thick, wavy hair. I use a semi-natural product now and I wash my hair about once a week and condition 2-4 times a week. I’d love to switch to baking soda, but it sounds like that might dry my hair out? I have used Bronners and it’s way too drying…so is honey. I’m also hoping to cover my greys (I’m in my mid 30′s) and I’ve heard mixing dried sage leaves and tea might work. Any suggestions? Thanks! :-)

  53. Becky says

    I have been no poo for about 8 months now and I love it. I switched because no matter what kind of shampoo I used my hair would be an oily lank mess within hours and I kept getting rashes from all the chemicals. I started out using the baking soda and avc rinse but after a couple months my hair still felt kinda greesy and not clean at all. I finally switched to regular white vinegar and the first time using it my hair felt much cleaner. It has also caused my hair to have some blond highlights that look really good. people keep asking me where I got my highlights done. I also rinse with rosemary tea twice a week and if my hair feels dry I use honey as a conditioner. Which works much better than any store bought conditioner. My hair feels thicker and has more body than it ever has. I would recomend this to anyone and have. Just rememer you have to stick to it.

  54. Tree says

    Just an update. I decided to go no shampoo in April. I used baking soda, rice vinegar (because ACV gave me red highlights which I hated), sometimes a honey rinse as well. However, my hair was OK in the beginning but then it started to get more and more difficult to comb it. Then I visited a friend for a week and I had to use a shampoo and conditioner there. Well, to be honest, my hair felt much better and it was easy to comb!!! I decided it was because of the conditioner and I was right actually. But then I realized that my scalp had become really flaky since I started with the baking soda and it definitely didn’t feel great. No such problems with the shampoo. So I now officially give up the no poo method.
    The good results I thought I had were due to using rice flour as a dry shampoo. This made my hair look better even 3 days after washing. I also did S&D to my my split ends which were a lot because obviously vinegar doesn’t condition that well.
    If you don’t want to damage your hair length, don’t apply shampoo there, you only need it in your roots. You can use the CO wash method as well.
    And yes, shampoo strips your hair of oils but so does baking soda. But unlike shampoo, baking soda is harsh on the scalp. I have naturally good hair so it didn’t get too damaged but, really, using BS is pointless. If you want to save money, you can just buy a cheap shampoo – marketing is what makes some brands expensive, there is no real significant difference.
    I haven’t given up on natural things completely. I still plan to use the vinegar rinse sometimes because I think it gives me blond highlights and makes my hait a bit more wavy. I also plan to use the honey rinse every now and then because it gives shine. I will definitely continue using rice flour as a dry shampoo. I also use olive oil for shaving my body and it makes my skin so soft. So there are natural products that work better. However, there are commercial products that work the best.

  55. says

    Wow, his hair looks awesome.

    Found you from your YouTube video, as I wanted to see who had tried the ‘no poo’ method and if it works. I plan on trying the baking soda method this week. My hair is fine with shampoo, I never have any problems with it, but I’m sick to death of everything having chemicals, of major corporations doing research on animals and of supporting massive companies with my money.

    So….baking soda is it. Thanks :)

    • says

      Now that I’ve gotten rid of my dreads and have normal hair too, I still use baking soda and I love it!! My hair looks great :) Good luck Rachel

  56. Melinda Duncan says

    I have read several people saying that the BS dried their hair or scalp. I wonder if they are using too much? I have tried different amounts and I find that only about 1-2 tsp mixed in about 1/2 cup water works best for my hair. I use regular conditioner after that. Just a thought.

  57. Rimsha says

    Hi Tracey, :)
    My hair gets greasy after one day and because of this my hair is always flat and actually has no volume. I don’t like to wash my hair nearly everyday so since my summer holidays have started, I want to try out the ‘no poo’ method. :) However my hair is thin so I put oil on my hair over night for 2 days per week so that my hair can grow thicker. So I wanted to know that if I still put oil on my hair twice a week, will it affect the ‘no poo’ method? What should I do?
    Thank you :)

  58. Charlotte says

    I’ve just starting the ‘no poo’ method and while my hair feels a lot fuller, it is nigh on impossible to get a brush through it! And when I do brush, I am finding loads of hair coming out! My hair has thinned a lot in the last few years so this isn’t a new thing for me but still is a bit worrying? Should I just be brushing it more? Also a bit unsure on how much baking soda to mix with how much water – as I have found that the baking soda just solidifies in the jar in my bathroom and I then have to add more water to it to liquify it a bit more! Does anyone else have either of these problems?

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