My No Poo Secret

This post has been sitting in my queue for months. I’ve been tinkering with it here and there, every now and then. The longer I go between edits, the longer the edits take. Do you experience this as well? Here’s hoping the wait was worth it and you enjoy the post. 🙂

I stopped washing my hair with shampoo at the end of April 2012.

Really? Yes! Yes! And I’m not a mess! Totally wrote that because it rhymed and showed excitement.

I basically went No Poo. Which means I stopped washing my hair the traditional way with commerical shampoo products. I started to wash with baking soda, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, aloe vera gel, essential oils and water. Although, not all at once. I spent a few months experimenting. I’ll share with you in another post. Prior to this, I had been using Live Clean Apple Cider shampoo (just the shampoo, no conditioner) for well over a year. I loved using it. The bottle felt good in my hands and I felt like it was probably one of the better shampoos at the drug store.

After the earth week lecture I went to, I was convinced that a shampoo change among other greener changes was in order. I had researched about shampoos and came across some very interesting posts on “No Poo”. Sounds disgusting right? Like we’re giving up on going #2. As it turns out, “No Poo” is just short for “No Shampoo”. You read that right, No shampoo for real. And as much as I wanted to jump on the No Poo train. I didn’t feel like I could at the moment because I didn’t know how I would be after the operation and whether I would have time/energy to tinker with a washing routine. Heck, I didn’t even know if I would need assistance in the shower or the washroom for that matter, so I wouldn’t want to put it on anyone else to help me with my new no poo routine. The idea took a backseat.

I remember being a teenager and struggling with greasy scalp and dandruff and not really knowing what to do. I would go to a beauty supply store to pick up a fairly pricey shampoo to help me with this problem. That was expensive and I relied on these products to get my mane looking tame. Ohhh that rhymed! Eventually, I stopped buying the stuff (couldn’t afford it) and returned to the regular drug store shampoos and rotated around. I still felt like my hair would end up looking terribly greasy when I washed every other day, so I went from every other day to almost every day (as often as I could). Sound familiar? Many people are in this boat with shampoos. Even though I heard that washing it often was not good as it stripped my hair of it’s natural oils, I would do it feeling that it was a necessity. Eventually, I cut back to every other day and if I stretched it I would go two days without max. The point of this story was I needed to buy a professional shampoo to get keep my scalp grease and dandruff free and it just wasn’t economical for me. Also, that gradually I found myself washing more often to prevent the greasy look.

So if you were like me, someone who found themselves washing more often than I knew was good for me, maybe you have a greasy scalp, dandruff, this post might be something for you to try out. Or maybe your a DIY’er or an aspiring DIY’er (high five!), whatever the case, you have nothing to lose by trying. Before embarking on this venture though, my hair looked and felt fine. I just wanted to try this greener and economical alternative out.

If this is the first time you are hearing about No Poo you maybe thinking this is disgusting, too “weird” for you to even consider. I would encourage you to just try to keep an open mind. This is just something that has worked out well for me and I’m sharing in hopes that if you have ever considered an alternative to shampoo, perhaps you might be open to trying this.

What is No Poo exactly? Washing without using traditional shampoo’s. The most basic method ratios.

1. Clarifying Rinse: 1 cup of water & 1 tbs of baking soda

2. Conditioning Rinse: 1 cup of water and 1 tbs of apple cider or lemon juice.

After my recovery and when I returned to work, I remember thinking about the idea and still put it in the backseat because I had gotten a few bottles I needed to use up first and besides, I was still transitioning back to real life. Lol! It was hard.

As I mentioned in this post, I had begun my journey of changing over to greener products well over a year ago. This spring (May 2 to be precise), I remembered I ran out of shampoo a couple days before and I needed to wash my hair. What was a girl to do? I was heading to the nearest Shoppers when a nagging voice inside of me went “This would be a good time to ditch shampoo”. I remembered No Poo and reread the blogs I had previously come across. This was it, what better time then now I thought. A small part of me was thinking, really? BUT it’s spring…and before I know it, it will be summer, won’t it be tough? And the bigger part of me thought, won’t I always have an excuse? Won’t life only get crazier? haha Doesn’t it always? 🙂

That day, I read as much as I could about other people’s experiences and was prepared for the transition that was going to happen. There would be no lather (bye bye sodium lauryl sulfates!) and my hair would be clean but probably feel very different than after I shampoo because there would be no leftover film coating it to feel soft. OK. Goodbye CRaP! Sounds good. I’m game.

Don’t get me wrong, I was very excited for this. To kiss my dependence on shampoo products goodbye was incredibly liberating. I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs in excitement. I felt like this could be the one thing that inspires me to continue with DIY projects. And it did.

I won’t lie a part of me was also afraid. Could I lose friends over this? Haha Would I look so terrible that it would look like I hadn’t washed at all? Would I smell? All valid concerns. Naturally, I kept this a secret from most folks unless I felt like the opportunity was right to share. So I told a few people I trusted could handle this.

The other part of me was saying “What’s the worst that can happen? You will have pushed yourself to try something new and you will see what your hair is like without shampoo”. Things can always be worse.

I didn’t give myself a timeframe for a trial because I knew that the transition period would take a while. I figured a couple of months at least and see if I like it.

I’m proud to say I’ve been a No Poo’er a little over 6 months (it has been six months and 6 days) since I started No Poo on May 2, 2012.

During these 6 months, I got my bangs trimmed once in July and on Oct. 26, I got my hair washed and trimmed. I was so busy on Oct 26, that I didn’t think of washing my hair first before going to the salon (which is really the only way to keep it No Poo). And by the time it hit me that I was probably going to get my hair washed, I was panicking a little on the inside “What about my whole No Poo thing?” I was sort of bummed… but figured, I’m already here (there are seriously bigger problems than my hair) and my hair could use a wash (even though I would prefer washing it the No Poo way). Gross thing was, after my hair was washed and cut, my scalp tingled and the smell of the shampoo and the styling product kind of made me feel gross. I missed my No Poo ritual. haha

Needless to say. I’m a full fledged No Poo’er.

In another post, I’ll share pictures, more details on my method, resources and more on my experience so far.

Do you No Poo? What was your experience like? Enjoy this post or got something to share? Let’s continue the conversation in the comments.

Here’s wishing you a great Thursday!

– Julie

10 thoughts on “My No Poo Secret

  1. I love it!! My lack of hair washing is no secret to most of my friends and family. I still use traditional poo and conditioner, but I only wash my hair on sundays! Its really not as gross as it sounds and many ppl comment they can’t believe its been 3,4 or 5 days since my hair still loolks fresh!! It took some training, skipping 1 day, then every 2nd day…etc and now ill never go back! I save tons of time in the morning, its better for my scalp and hair and I also save a ton on products!! As usual, I love your blog!

    1. That’s great to hear that you’ve cut back on hair washing too. It DEFINITELY takes some serious training and dedication so I applaud you for that. I will be writing more about my transition phase and tactics I used. Agree completely that it’s better to not wash our hair as often. And what’s wrong with more money in my pocket? Just more to spend or save on other things! 🙂
      Thanks a lot for visiting and leaving a comment.

  2. I didn’t have such a positive experience, but I’m not giving up…..I’ll try again. Great to hear yours has gone so well!! Kudos to you! Keep it up! 🙂

    1. Hey Jennifer! Thank you for linking back and leaving a comment here. It means a lot. 🙂
      I have been going through my notes from the first couple of months and there were definitely some challenging times. So don’t fret. I had the hair that felt like I just put wax or gunk through it. I hear your pain! I hope my next post (or posts – haven’t decided how to break it down yet) will help you on your next attempt.

  3. Thanks for the advice (on my page) of how to change the recipe. I broke down and bought a huge container of shampoo darn it, but once it’s up, I’m trying this again. YOUR recipe. A big thank you for the help!! I’ll be checking out those posts!

  4. I’ve been shampoo-free for about 3 months now (am using baking soda and ACV). My hair is almost down to my butt. I decided to try shampoo again on the ends of my hair (away from my scalp), and was thoroughly disgusted at the color of the lather. The lather was grey, and so I twisted my hair to ring it out and watched DIRT fall to the bottom of my white tub. Still, in disbelief, I sprayed water onto the foamy stuff on the dry part of my tub and watched my tub turn white after the grey lather rinsed away. It’s giving me doubts.

    This morning, the ends that I used shampoo on feels smooth and is shiny. The areas I did not use shampoo on (my scalp area and anything above the middle of my back) has a whole other waxier texture, that I had not noticed till I tested shampoo out again.

    Is there something I am doing wrong??? I’m beginning to think that the natural oils in my hair is sticky enough to hold dust and smog in the air, that it actually washed off with VO5 shampoo.

    1. Hello Esprit!

      I’m sorry to hear about the waxy texture. I don’t think you’re doing anything wrong. Having a waxy feeling in your hair is very common.
      I would just wash my scalp again with baking soda and ACV making sure to give the scalp a very good scrubbing and rinsing out the baking soda well.
      The waxy texture could just be the sebum (the natural oils produced by your scalp) that has accumulated in the hair close to your scalp (the area you didn’t wash with the VO5 Shampoo).
      Since you didn’t wash your scalp, your scalp probably just need a good scrub followed by your baking soda rinse and your ACV rinse. Have you been using a Boar Hair brush on a daily basis too?

      Try to take a look at my other related posts on No Poo.
      My Transition & Method:
      Factors to Consider & Solutions:

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