No Poo For You


Look, I’m from Texas. I mean like, biologically Texan or something. Even though I feel Vermont deep down in my heart, the exposed parts of my body do not understand this cold weather. This is our fourth winter here and the further my piece of earth gets away from the sun each year, the more topical lotions and potions I slather on to stave off dryness.

So I did something drastic, y’all.

I stopped using soap. And shampoo.

Like some kind of hippie.

Which I’m not, actually. A hippie, I mean. Because, like I said, I’m Texan and so…

I read something once about a “no poo” method of washing hair and I decided to give it a go. I’ll leave it to the experts to convince you of the benefits of going no poo, but I’d like to give you my review of the process.
The routine:
I started about six weeks ago washing my hair with a mixture of 1 tablespoon baking soda (BS) mixed into 1 cup water. After a good rinse with clean water, I used 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (ACV) mixed into 1 cup water. Rinsed again with clean water. I do this 2-3 times a week.

How it works:
Shampoos often strip your scalp of natural oils, causing it to overproduce oils to compensate. Thus, having to shampoo everyday. BS allows your hair and scalp to go back to a more normal  ph. The ACV is a softener, sort of like a conditioner. That’s all I got.

The results:
Different. My hair is different than it was when I washed with shampoo. The first couple of weeks it felt heavy, weighted down, and oily. It felt like Barbie hair. Wet Barbie hair.

From there it has gradually gotten better. The other day I stepped out of the shower, blow dried my hair (I’m not a regular blow dry-er) and couldn’t believe how soft and straight it was.

I think I am still in the detox process, because it sometimes still seems kind of oily, but there has been one big benefit that outweighs everything for me at this point. Before, my scalp would get uncontrollably itchy and dry during the winter months. The last few weeks it has been virtually itch free.

And that’s all. It seems to be working for me and I will keep it up another month just to be sure before I throw away my formidable shampoo stash. Or maybe I’ll send it all down to my relatives in Texas. They won’t tolerate this hippie stuff. 


  1. I am so glad to hear I’m not alone in the dry scalp battle! I was so desperate last week that I poured way more than a tablespoon of ACV straight onto my scalp & let it sit there for a good 20 minutes. Then I combed my hair out & rinsed in the shower. I took another comb and basically scrubbed my scalp in order to loosen the buildup. I was amazed at not only how much buildup there was but how much I was able to loosen it up. I will try the baking soda idea to help with the PH balance. I’m sure nobody recommends pouring a cup of ACV on your scalp but it’s working for me, and it’s not chemicals so I’m thinking it can’t hurt. Thanks for sharing your experience, Christin, & I hope you continue to be itch-free!

  2. I went no poo twice. It’s one of those things that I really wanted to work for me because my scalp is so horribly itchy all the time. I had the same experience as Elissa–oily and straw-like. Now I wash my hair once a week with a tiny bit of natural shampoo but I always feel the urge to try again with the baking soda and vinegar.

    • I know! Some people rave over it and others it doesn’t seem to work for. The jury is still out for me for long term. Even though it has improved my main problem, my hair is hit or miss with how it actually looks!

  3. I gave this a GOOD SOLID GO last year. Like, 8 months of trying… but my hair never seemed to take to it. It always felt like straw and was simultaneously greasy and heavy (how does that work?). I even tried washing with raw honey, with egg rinses, with just natural conditioner. Finally one sad day I gave in and went back to a natural shampoo. I really, really wanted it to work. But I’m avoiding shampoo with my kids.

    I’m interested to hear how it turns out for you because so many people love it and swear by it!

    • I’ve read conflicting reports, of course, about this method. But I’m committed for a while and it has helped with itchiness. It’s not perfect, so I will try to tweak some things probably. I was thinking honey as well… I swear.

  4. Christin, Great post and good for you.

    Shampoo is particularly horrible for curly hair that tends to frizz due to lack of moisture. I use have used a similar method for my daughter for the last several years. She has super curly hair so moisture is key for us. We wash her hair with conditioner and use apple cider vinegar once a week as a rinse to help strip her hair of any product build up.


    • I’ve been trying it on my daughter as well. She is almost 3 and has never grown out of cradle cap, which i guess cant be called that any more. Geez, we have such skin issues and I feel like waging war. I’ll give this a good go-it has at least helped the itchiness.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here