I Shit You Not, No ‘Poo Isn’t That Bad

no poo thick asian hair

Please note: This is styled with a curling iron but no hair products.

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I was a little embarrassed when I told Gym Hottie that I haven’t used shampoo in three weeks. He was pretty disgusted because my hair, when I did use conventional shampoo, always smelled from buildup and I’d always force him to smell it to gross his ass out. Sexy. I never washed my hair everyday anyway. With thick, naturally wavy, sometimes frizzy oily Asian hair (wow, I am a MESS), washing it everyday made it more maintenance than I needed it to be because it takes forever to dry and to style to look decent enough to be around other people. I had no idea this would be a slow journey into no ‘poo, as in “no shampoo.”

No ‘Poo is the method of hair care where you ditch the regular shampoo that come packed with chemicals that do little to no good for your mane because it strips your hair of natural oils. Anyway, I’m sure you already think it’s super gross and whatnot that I don’t use shampoo anymore and I’m not here to tell you otherwise but I’m going to continue anyway. No ‘poo doesn’t mean you don’t ever wash your hair: it just means that you find natural ways to clean your hair. Methods can be 1) using less shampoo or less frequency of washing it, 2) baking soda (BS) and apple cider vinegar (ACV), 3) water only (no cleaning agents) are ones that I have heard of. I have done all three at a one point or another with the last two methods within the last month.

So, there it is: I have not used “real” shampoo in almost an entire month. Gross, huh? Well, yeah, I’m not here to sugar coat it because all hair trying the no ‘poo method has to go through a transition period. No ‘poo transition is when hair produces excess oil after being used to having it stripped of the very thing from commercial shampoos. So, here I am with oily hair but I know once my hair adjusts, my hair will be fabulous. The first time I ‘washed’ it with baking soda and ACV, my hair felt clean more than it has been since I haven’t been able to find my favorite Herbal Essences shampoo. My hair still got oily after a day or so after Herbal Essences and at least with baking soda/ACV, it’s cheap and natural. I also styled it the day after my first BS/ACV wash and my hair held the curls so much better and lasted eight hours later. To combat the intermittent hair grease, I do a homemade dry shampoo, which I will post next time.

Scouring the testimonials and blog posts about no ‘poo, the recipe for baking soda/ACV is basically 1 tablespoon of either to a 1 cup of water:

Baking Soda Shampoo:

– 1 tablespoon of baking soda
– 1 cup of water

Mix the two ingredients into a pop-top bottle (for example: water bottle, old shampoo bottle) or cup and pour on scalp only. Massage gently in circular motions. Rinse really really really well. Please rinse well. Seriously. REALLY WELL.

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) Conditioner:

– 1 tablespoon of ACV
– 1 cup of water

Mix the two ingredients in a (separate) pop-top bottle (I used the empty perineal cleansing bottle from my home birth kit). Pour onto length of hair only, NOT ON YOUR SCALP! Work through your hair by combing with your fingers. Rinse or leave it as a leave-in conditioner (I haven’t used it as leave-in conditioner yet) but I know that the vinegar smell does not linger once dry.

no 'poo month 1 hair
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Do you think you could go no ‘poo?

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22 thoughts on “I Shit You Not, No ‘Poo Isn’t That Bad

  1. First of all your hair is INCREDIBLE! Secondly, I am looking forward to your dry ‘poo recipe. I’m way into that right now.

  2. You really do have beautiful hair tho’. I stroke my monitor when I look at it.

    We use Dr. Bronner’s only in our household, nothing else, no conditioner etc. Just reading this post and re-visiting no ‘pp thinking we might try the method for one family member prone to oily scalp and flakes.

    Good luck!

  3. I did it for about 3 weeks, as well, and I loved how my hair looked…but I REALLY missed the sudsy feeling of shampoo. So I used it once or twice and it was back to square one for my hair. I’ve contemplated doing it again, because it really worked, but to try and wait again for the lusciousness…makes me stuck in this terrible cycle. (Much like trying to give up dairy. sigh. why must it be so hard?!)

    i’ve also heard that you can “co-wash” with just conditioner, and despite what i’ve read about it working, it just seems more greezy than I’d like…

    • I stopped using commercial conditioner because I always had crazy buildup when used even when on my ends, which I heard is best to combat hair woes but to get conditioning benefits. I have heard of cowash, but not until after starting this no ‘poo venture. I’m sticking to this for kid.

  4. I’ve been no ‘poo for a year now and using Dr. Bronner’s with vinegar. I feel that my hair still has more undiscovered potential so this morning I decided that I’m going to go with just water for awhile and see what happens. I accept that I’ll be in pony tail mode for awhile!

      • I’m hoping this goes a little smoother since I haven’t used shampoo in so long, but right now, my hair is so think with grease that it’s not even shiny and I can’t brush it. Believe me when I say that “thick” is not a word that would normally be applied to my straight, blonde hair! I’m going to keep brushing with a boars bristle brush and that’s helping distribute the oil even though right now, I mostly means I’m just running the brush over the top of my hair and I can’t get it through it LOL! It’s only been a few days though.

  5. I’ve heard about washing hair with baking soda and vinegar, but we have a mini stockpile of shampoo to use up before I ever try such a thing (my in-laws buy in bulk, idk). I came across a tip fairly recently to shampoo only the roots/scalp (because that’s normally the part that gets oily and dirty) and condition only the length/tips (because that’s the part we want detangled), and it’s proven to be one of the only useful beauty tips I’ve ever encountered. My hair feels clean longer. And since I only get a chance to wash it every 4-5 days now, this is good news!

    Going homemade makes way more sense to me than buying pricey “natural” shampoos; from a formulations chemistry standpoint there isn’t much difference between commercially sold products regardless of marketing hype.

    • We recently got rid of our shampoo stockpile by donating to a needy family on Freecycle. Our local women’s shelter also takes even partially-used shampoos. Just thought I’d throw it out there!

    • Ooh, good inside info there. I am one to never give into the hype of ‘natural’ branded crap. I actually did that beauty tip for years up until this new venture: wash the scalp, condition ends and it helped lessen buildup but still had some. Now, I don’t feel like I have that issue anymore.

  6. You have gorgeous hair! I have thought of doing no poo. I have seen it mentioned on message boards but I’m afraid. I have naturally curly frizzy hair, I wish it was the hair I had when I as in high school or my 14 yr old daughter’s hair. But it is the hair of a 36 yr old mom of 6 who rarely gets a chance to even shower so by the time I do my head it itchy and gross(and I just admitted that). So I have to wash a couple times in one shower to make it not feel nasty. I would love an alternative, especially one that didn’t cost a fortune a bottle 🙂 Maybe I will give it shot.

  7. I tried no poo for 3-4 weeks and it never got any better. My roots were greasy and the ends felt like straw 😦 I want it to work and maybe need to tinker with the mix ratios, but I don’t have time to experiment these days. Maybe when all the kids are weaned and out of diapers….

    • I hear ya. I finally (FINALLY!) found a routine that works for me. I have to “wash” my hair (water or otherwise) no longer than 4 days. Anything less I’m a grease stinky ball. And for my grease, I increased baking soda and reduced ACV. good luck. It’s great you’d like to try again.

  8. for those missing the sudsy feeling should use Dr Bronners, Shea Mosture or Curldivas no poo. If you use Dr Bronners YOU MUST ACV your hair! It needs it to make it soft. You can also use coconut oil to get soft hair. Get virgin (or if your in the us like me extra virgin) coconut oil. Wash your hair then warm up the oil and comb it in. put it under a cap and let it set overnight while you sleep. Rinse extra good when you wake up.

  9. Hi! Are you still no-poo after all this time? I’m armed with a new haircut and all my materials to start a no-poo lifestyle! Just wondering, have you used honey or molasses for conditioner? Or have you only used ACV? If so, what ratio have you found works best? Thanks!

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