How to Go No Poo

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Introduction: How to Go No Poo

To go No Poo is to stop using shampoo. Why would you want to do this?

1. Shampoo is expensive.
2. Chemicals* in shampoo can irritate and dry out your scalp and hair.
3. Chemicals* in shampoo can be hazardous to your health.
4. Your body produces oil to naturally condition your hair and keep it healthy. Using shampoo daily upsets the natural balance and causes you to produce more oil than necessary to compensate.

When you stop using shampoo, you will probably experience a transitional period while your body gradually adjusts to produce just enough oil to keep your hair healthy. During this time, which can range from a few days to a few months, you'll probably have some extra oil and grease that you may want to take care of to look presentable. The cheapest and most effective way to handle this is to use baking soda. The method I use involves a plastic cup, some baking soda, and a shower. You may also want to condition your hair after using the baking soda mixture, as sometimes it can leave your hair a bit dry. There are lots of different ways to do this; I use apple cider vinegar.

* In this context I'm referring to certain synthetic chemicals which have proven harmful in specific circumstances. I'll let you look up each one in the ingredients on your shampoo on your own. Your shampoo might not have anything you don't like in it after all, although the other benefits of going no poo still apply. Please keep in mind that literally every substance can be referred to as a chemical and many are not generally harmful (water, for instance).

Step 1: Cleaning

Put 1-2 tbsp of baking soda into a 16oz cup (or close). The ideal ratio is about 1 tbsp of baking soda per 1 cup of water. When you get in the shower, fill the rest of the cup with water and stir until the baking soda is dissolved. You should have some cloudy water at this point. If the mixture feels gritty or pasty, either add more water or use less baking soda. Now apply the mixture to your hair. Ideally, you should aim to get most of it around your roots and work it in with your fingers, gradually distributing it throughout the rest of your hair. It won't lather like shampoo, but it does give your hair a distinct "smooth" feeling when it's properly distributed. Once you've rubbed it around a bit, you should be ready to rinse. When you are completely rinsed you are ready to condition.

Step 2: Conditioning

The simplest way to condition is to use apple cider vinegar, in about the same way as you used baking soda: 1 tbsp of the vinegar per 1 cup of water. If you like you can add a few drops of your favorite essential oil, some honey, or some lemon juice. When you've mixed up your conditioner, pour it on and work it in just like you did the baking soda. When you're satisfied, rinse thoroughly.

Step 3: Closing Thoughts and Advice

I hate the smell of vinegar. However, apple cider vinegar isn't as harsh as white vinegar, and after you rinse and dry your hair, the smell is completely gone. Your hair will smell like hair, or maybe whatever you added to your conditioner.
The eventual aim of this process is to let your natural oils care for your hair, so you should use the baking soda and vinegar only as much as you need it, hopefully reducing your usage to zero eventually. Good luck, and don't give up!

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    344 Comments

    Is this method ok to use with henna colored hair? I just use very natural mixture of henna and indigo. I don't want it to get stripped of color. Thank you!

    i like to go an eat poo so don't deniy it!!

    I had my hair colored last week, and I tried this no poo method today, carefully following instructions. It stripped most of the new color from my hair.

    1 reply

    If you are coloring your hair, why are you no poking? Just curious it seems counter productive.

    Also, about no soap thing, how do you clean your private parts with just water? Would just pouring water there make it more habitable for bacteria? What do you do if you got paint, ink, glue, or motor oil on your skin? The purpose of soap is not to moisturize but to remove lipid-based impurities such as bacteria, excess oil, grease, paints, resins, wax, etc that cannot be washed away from water alone. Yes it can strip the skin but in some cases it's necessary harm especially if you don't want something like printer ink sitting on your skin for a long time. Thankfully my skin and hair is very tough and hardy. One time I got a build up of castile soap in my hair due to using Dr. Bronner's for too long and I washed it with a natural, non-toxic all purpose cleaner, and my hair came out silky smooth and bouncy, I have also washed my hair with vinegar, dish soap, make-up removing face wash, hand soap, etc. To be fair though, I only take showers when I feel I need it which is about 1-2 times a week but once I went camping with someone and even though I had only gone two days without showering they said I stank too much and had to sleep away from them. But even with soap my skin's oils rejuvenate well on the drier spots. That's just me though hygiene is a huuuge concern for me and how it can effect others health.

    5 replies

    You should never wash your private parts with soap, that's how you get thrush and bacterial vaginosis.

    http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/vagina-health/Pages/keep-vagina-clean.aspx

    From the link you just gave me:

    "Use plain, unperfumed soaps to wash the area around the vagina (the vulva) gently every day. The vagina will clean itself inside your body with natural vaginal secretions (discharge). “During your period, washing more than once a day may be helpful,” says Dr Elneil, who points out that keeping the perineal area (between the vagina and anus) clean is important too. “Good perineal hygiene is necessary, by washing that area at least once a day using your normal bathing routines.”"

    Lea just said what you confirmed. Yes we wash outside but not inside and with out perfumed soaps

    You could use Dr. Bronner's though. It's very safe and healthy. I bought a BIG bottle last year and still have it. Only 3 drops with lather up in your hands! :) LOVE the almond oil sent.

    I've used Dr.Bronner's for a few months long ago and all I got was a build up of soap scum on my skin and hair.

    Let me get this right. You want to stop putting chemicals in your hair but you are worried about taking the color out of your hair that is chemicals.

    1 reply


    No this is where education comes in. For most of us, not all we are referring to natural colorants. Black walnut powder, beetroot, henna though I don't use that. Madder root etc. It takes a while to build up the color without chemicals! So yes we are concerned.

    WHAT IF YOU COLOR YOUR HAIR? Someone answer me please! Because i'm about to do this method but i realized that i dye me hair every once in a while. So someone please tell me what to do!! Thank you!

    5 replies

    Alyssa if you use chemical coloring from stores, or salons, it will be fine. If you use natural colorants it will strip it.

    this stripped most of the color from my 1 week old color. Do not use.

    I color my hair red (garnier nutrisse) from home. I have only used baking soda & vinegar & have had ZERO problems. We are all different & will have different reactions. The same train of thought applies to everything. Why am I allergic to one medication, but my children are not. I suggest giving it a whirl maybe on an underneath section before writing it completely off. Good luck!

    Hello! Please please forgive me if this was already mentioned (I read the comments and just didn't see anything about this), do you still shampoo? I will make my own all natural shampoo, but, do you do strictly this baking soda cleansing and no shampoo?

    1 reply

    Yes the "No Poo" Method replaces shampoo andrelys on natural hair oils balancing themselves. Shampooing is said to.disturb the natural balance by striping these oils from the hairs mantle.