The Adventures of No-Poo: Part 1

Shampoo and conditioner are the last bath items that I have that contain chemicals. I think part of it is the complete lack of totally natural shampoo and conditioner, you can't find it anywhere (at least I haven't been able to anyway). Everything contains either SLS (sodium laureth sulfate), alcohol, parabens, or other ingredients that I don't know how to pronounce.

I have always been under the assumption that I need to wash my hair every day, or at least every other day, and that if I don't use conditioner then I will never be able to brush my hair because it's so thin and knots easily. I was a little skeptical of no-poo when I first read about it, I was sure that there was no way I'd be able to brush my hair and it would be a greasy mess. Apparently most other Americans think like this too! According to Procter & Gamble, the average American washes their hair 4.59 a week, twice as much as Italians and Spaniards.

It wasn't always this way, people used to wash their hair about once a month, until this article came out in the New York Times in May of 1908, telling women they could wash their hair every 2 weeks. Finally, in the 70's, advertising campaigns made daily hair washing the norm, and here we are today.

I wanted to try no-poo for a few reasons. I don't want chemicals on my body, that's a big reason, but I have also been noticing just how much plastic we have in our house lately and I am trying to cut out as many plastic items as possible. I counted 80 (yes, EIGHTY) plastic items in the bathroom alone!

What is no-poo?
 It's exactly what you'd think it is, no shampoo! Instead of shampoo I am using two ingredients: baking soda and apple cider vinegar. The baking soda is for washing my hair and the apple cider vinegar is a "conditioner". For $2.50 I can get a huge box of baking soda that will last quite a while (and has other uses too like using in the laundry, deodorant, and brushing your teeth), so I'm also saving money.

My wash routine
I am still in the experimenting stage so my routine might change a bit, but so far I have been putting 1-2 tablespoons of baking soda in a tin cup and bringing it in the shower with me. Once I am in the shower I add some water to make a paste and then I massage my scalp and roots with the paste. Once I am finished I rinse it out.
To condition I put 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a glass spray bottle and filled the rest up with water. After I rinse the baking soda out I spray the ends of my hair with the vinegar generously. I let it sit for a bit then rinse out.

The results
So, you know how I said I thought I wouldn't be able to brush my hair? It's the opposite. In fact, I think it's easier to brush my hair using this method than chemical filled, store bought conditioner.
My hair has not been greasy at all and it feels healthy and soft. I did read that your hair goes through transition periods, so I am prepared for a little greasiness at some point, but it eventually goes away. I can happily say that I am loving no-poo so far. Here's a (scary) photo of me on day 3 of this adventure!

I'm really excited about continuing this experiment and I am planning on blogging about it as I go! Stay tuned for more photos and my experiences!



bitt of raw said...

awesome that you no poo. i still poo once in awhile but my husband has been no-poo for over a year. and no he's not bald. :-)

ashley said...

wow. this is the second time that i've read about no-poo. i think we'll definitely try it out around here, but after our shampoo and conditioner is mostly gone... we have quite a few bottles now to use up. i'm super interested to see how it goes for you, keep posting pictures!

Anonymous said...

fyi--do you have a bj's or costco or sam's club near you? I use baking soda for all of my cleaning and buy a 5# bag for like $5-6!! It doesn't get any better than that for an all purpose everything!!

YogaMama said...

I've been no-poo since Oct. 2009. I like it. I read somewhere you shouldn't use more than 1Tbs because it could dry out your scale, but I don't have any experience as I have only used 1Tbs. I do have shorter hair than you though so that may play a role. Hope to hear more of your no-poo adventure!

Stuff Parents Need said...

This has piqued my curiosity! Please keep us updated on this! I'm totally with you about ditching all the plastic...we have WAY too much, and as I use things up, I feel reluctant to replace them with more plastic.

Amber, The Unlikely Mama said...

This reminds me of "washing" your face with olive oil. Have you ever done that?

Jessica Lyn. said...

@ michgal18 - I don't have a membership, but I have a friend who goes to Costco! Maybe I should tag along on one of her shopping trips and stock up on some baking soda. Thanks for the tip!

@ Pearl - I don't see why white distilled vinegar wouldn't work. It does have a stronger smell though. Apple cider vinegar is a lot less harsh. I wonder if white vinegar would rinse out as well

@ YogaMama - I think my hair is going through it's greasy transition right now. So far my hair hasn't dried out as much. I found it hard to get all my roots with just 1 tablespoon, so I added some more. Maybe if I use a dye brush to put it on.

@ Amber, The Unlikely Mama - I have never done olive oil and I'm not sure that I would. Sounds.. greasy! I just use the same soap that I use for Eli and I on my face (Earth Mama Angel Baby), since it's all natural I figure it will be fine!

Ashley @ Ashley's Craft Corner said...

That sounds intriguing. I'll have to keep checking back to see how you like it long term.
I recently discovered using vinegar as fabric softener and it works great, so I guess it would make sense that it would work on hair as well. Is there any lingering vinegar smell?

Oh, and I found you from New Friend Friday :)

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