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27 Responses to Adventures in Alternative Haircare: No ‘Poo

  1. Heather Swartz

    I think no ‘poo sounds like it would be interesting to try. My biggest thing is that you said it burns a lot. I have issues when the water here gets in my eyes, much less soap. So that would probably be a big thing with me.

    Also a note on hair shedding. I have noticed that if I don’t wash my hair everyday when I do my hair comes up in what to me seems like clumps. I would say that its probably from not washing daily, my hair that is. When I do go for periods of time washing my hair daily (which is not too often because it really dries out my hair a lot) I still shed hair but in smaller amounts.

    • Amy @ Anktangle  

      If you keep your head tipped back while you’re using the various no ‘poo ingredients, it shouldn’t be a problem. But it’s always a risk, unfortunately.

      It sounds like we have similar experiences with shedding. It seems alarming to me, but I’m pretty sure it’s normal. …I’m not bald yet, anyway!

  2. Dionna  

    I’m also thinking about using a castile soap after I finish my current shampoo/conditioner. Do you think I’ll go through a transitional period with that?

  3. Brittany @ The Pistachio Project  

    I love no ‘poo. I’ve been no ‘pooing for over 2 years now and it’s great. I did want to mention that with your no ‘pooing (every 3-4 days) it takes a lot longer to get out of detox. It took me maybe a year before I could go 5 days with decent looking hair. But to me, it’s better then the quick but obvious detox (aka no ‘pooing only every 6-7 days but detox is over faster)

    I’ve never noticed my hair shedding from no ‘poo except for when I skipped my vitamins. (I believe hair shedding is related to Vit. B???)

    • Amy @ Anktangle

      For me, it got to the point where I didn’t want to look or feel oily anymore. I guess it wasn’t worth it to me to feel that way for a year (or more) before starting to look nice/clean again. I’ll look into the B vitamin thing; thanks for the suggestion!

  4. Patti @ Jazzy Mama

    I went no’poo for nearly the entirety of 2011, caving in to real shampoo just before Christmas. Like you, I never really got past the feeling that my hair was always a little greasy and my scalp was also always a little itchy. Maybe I never got the right ratios of BS and ACV. Anyway, after just two washes with shampoo I decided to get highlights at a salon and it made my hair into a total frizzball! I had NEVER had such dry hair in my life. I immediately went back to using BS and now I love my hair again. Kinda strange, no? So I really don’t have any advice or input, only a little story. Joy to you (and your hair), Patti

  5. Megan @ boho mama  

    I had the same experience of terrible shedding when I no-poo’d last year. It would come out in handfuls! My hair is naturally fine, so it freaked me out. I went back to shampoo, but like you, I use a LOT less and can go a few days longer between. But using less means I can afford to buy better quality/organic shampoo without all the junk! Yay!

  6. Christine @ African Babies Don't Cry  

    I have gone no’poo as a new years resolution and am pleasantly surprised at the condition my hair is in only 2 weeks later. I wasnt washing my hair every day though, and perhaps this has helped. My hair feels clean most of the time whilst using BS and ACV, I hope to continue so that my hair will stop being so dry and damaged. Perhaps it works better for dry hair?

    • Amy @ Anktangle

      I definitely think it works much better (or at least the transitional phase isn’t as dramatic) for people with dry hair, since there doesn’t seem to be so much oil build-up in-between washes.

  7. Lauren  

    So glad you wrote this so honestly! I’ve been doing no-poo since October (since you visited, actually!), and you touched on the two things bothering me most about it: (a) my hair feeling greasier/dirtier than usual and (b) how much water I use now for the shower.

    I’m tweaking things a bit and giving it a little more time, but I suspect I’ll eventually go back to my organic-conditioner-washing (that was working just fine before, after all).

    • Amy @ Anktangle

      Thank you, Lauren! Because of your experiences with it, I switched to co-washing for a month after I quit no ‘poo. I definitely liked it better than no ‘poo, but still not quite as much as regular washing. I suspect that someday (when my hair isn’t so long) I’ll try all of these things again since they’ll be easier to do with less hair. Maybe my results will be totally different–who knows!

  8. Luschka  

    I’m really interested in how this would work for someone with dandruff. I only have flaky scalp in the UK – something about the water being drier and having more stuff added to it. But if I don’t use a dandruff conditioner, I get really itchy, dry and flaky scalp. I’m wondering if the ACV would do anything for that?

    • Amy @ Anktangle

      I hear that no ‘poo works great for people with dry hair, so perhaps it would be the same for dandruff? Maybe you could try conditioner-only washing, with your dandruff conditioner, and see how that goes!

  9. Syenna

    This was a really interesting post… my boys (4 year olds) sometimes have quite dry hair, although I rarely use any products on it. Do you think maybe just a vinegar rinse would help?

  10. April

    I have been no ‘poo for 2 1/2 years. I’ve never looked back, except for when I was away from home and had nothing but shampoo around.
    I have had struggles with itchy scalp too. I found out recently that you can infuse your ACV with essential oils. Tea Tree oil is good for your scalp, and made mine feel very nice!
    For dry hair, I use coconut oil, it melts in your hands, and then rub it on the hair, and brush through. Add lavendar oil to make it smell special. (;

  11. Deb @ Living Montessori Now  

    Fascinating experiment, Amy! I haven’t tried going no ‘poo, but I’ve had long hair for so many years that I’ve trained my hair to be washed every 3 or 4 days (and I only shampoo the part near my scalp). No ‘poo would definitely be an interesting experiment to try! 🙂

  12. Momma Jorje

    I’d be willing to bet that the increased shedding is just from brushing / washing less often. If you figure you lose SOME hair every time you do those things…

    I only wash my hair about once per week. I use regular ol’ shampoo for now, though I keep considering these “no poo” recipes. My hair does get a little greasy at times. I also shed a lot if I haven’t brushed or washed recently.

  13. mrsculpepper  

    I went no poo for several months a few years ago. For me the main reason was to quit polluting the water supply. I used to think my hair was oily but as the length between washings grew I realized it really wasn’t. I currently only wash every 3-4 days. I ended up going back to shampoo and conditioner mainly for the convinience factor (no poo does take longer in the shower what with mixing a paste and 2 rinses) but this month’s carnival has got me thinking it might be time to recommit.

  14. Sheila  

    I don’t do no ‘poo for myself — I’m addicted to Pantene, though I’ve got it down to once a week — but I do for my toddler. No vinegar or baking soda — just water. Every once in awhile, when he’s rubbed food in his hair, I use a bit of baby shampoo and the results are AWFUL! Dry, sticking straight up, coarse hair. Whereas without any products, it’s soft, smooth, and smells nice. I don’t know when I might start using things on his hair, but for now it really seems he doesn’t need a thing!

  15. katie  

    we used dr. bronners baby mild for “poo” and really like it

  16. Erynne M.  

    I did no ‘poo for about six months, and it wasn’t awful… I found that if I did a cool water rinse with a bit of essential oil in it at the end of my showers, it really did keep my hair from smelling ‘vinegary.’

    Unfortunately, now that I do a lot of 1940s vintage styling, I don’t really want to do no ‘poo. My hair was shorter when I did no ‘poo… and now that it’s past my shoulders, I just don’t feel confident doing it! 🙁

  17. Kelley

    I just stumbled upon the no ‘poo movementm, and am so excited to give it a try. I am 72 hours without regular shampoo, and just did my first no ‘poo this morning. Today, at least, my hair is pretty great!

  18. Pandra

    I’ve been reading about no-poo for a while but I just couldn’t stand the thought of not washing my hair every day. I have used Aubrey Organics for decades and I figured I was okay. This past summer my hair started shedding like it never had before and I remembered reading a blog post about going no-poo and hair loss slowing down. I figured it was worth it to try if it might help the shedding.

    From the very first day, my hair stopped shedding. I got a couple, and I literally mean TWO strands of hair on my hands in the shower, and another couple of strands on my hairbrush. My hair is wavier and shinier than it ever was with Aubrey. It’s only been about a month, and I’m going every other day with the baking soda and ACV.

    I don’t like to do the baking soda in the shower-I mix a spoonful with a little water and scrub my scalp with it. Then I go in the shower and rinse it out, followed with an ACV rinse of one part vinegar to four parts water. I think I’ll go to three days instead of two between washes-my hair looks great with just rinsing it with water. I always thought I had straight hair, but now it’s wavy. I cover the grey with henna. And that’s it-baking soda and vinegar stopped my hair from shedding and made it look great.

  19. Cindy G

    I have been doing this for months. I have greying (silver) hair and was a brunette. I do not color my hair. To darken my hair, I make a brew using sage brush and rosemary (grown in my yard) by pouring hot water over the fresh and dry herbs and let it cool. I keep it in the fridge. In between washes daily, I add about half a cup of this with a few tablespoons of vinegar and spray on. It has darkened my hair a little and smells great. Hair is even nicer! I have not used any soap at all. I love Dr Bronners but not for my hair. Dr B. also works really well at dissolving soap scum in the bathroom, as well as added to laundry.