Picture of 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).

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SoniaB66 days ago

Hi... The city that I live in is very hot and polluted.
There is dust and dirt everywhere. And on top of that I ride on a scooter for
what I need to use a helmet. In such a condition my hair keeps on getting dirty
very frequently (I shampoo at least 3 times a week) and for the helmet my head
sweats a lot too. In such situation, can I use the soda solution more than once
a week to keep my hair clean? How long should I continue using this and how do I
clean my hair after stop using this?

AngieV427 days ago
LaurieB41 month ago
AnnelieseM2 months ago

I should mention right off that I have thick, naturally curly hair down to my butt, so this is not a short hair experiment by any stretch of the imagination. My hair has also not seen a stylist in so long, I honestly couldn't tell you how many years it has been, so the ends are split and beat up....All in all, my hair is long, curly, temperamental and severely neglected. I also haven't washed my hair in awhile...finding the time, well....its been awhile. So I thought, what the hell, it needs it, lets give the BS/ACV a whirl. I brushed my hair thoroughly, then I made up the ACV mix using ACV/water/2 drops tea tree oil/2 drops lavender oil. I made the Baking soda into a paste and used it to scrub my whole body and then added a little more water and scrubbed it through my hair, then rinsed really well. I dumped the ACV mix through my hair, combed it through (went through really easy) and then rinsed really well. I literally JUST did this, my hair is still wet, but when I pulled it out of the towel....it feels really good and the curl seems more pronounced. The color also seems brighter to me, I am a strawberry blonde but my color has been really blah for well over 10 years now. I am going to say that my hair is really happy at the moment, and I am going to keep this going for a bit and see how it goes.

VictoriaK2 months ago

No poo is a new concept for me so quick question...Your scalp is skin and doesn't skin need to be cleaned or it will smell?

tubular (author)  VictoriaK2 months ago

Cleaning does not necessarily require soap/shampoo. Water and a little friction is enough.

ShaynaF2 months ago
Just thought I would point out that everyone has dead hair.. Hair is made of dead cells that's why hair will continue to grow for a short period of time after a person dies. But we can still damage our hair
YGBSM5 months ago

I'm living like a caveman; I've taken one full-body shower since 1/1/15 (for a top to bottom doctor appointment), and haven't washed my hair in 9 months. I occasionally use no-scent baby wipes on my arms, neck and nether regions (once every couple weeks), and have never used baking soda/vinegar on my hair.

I am amazed how much healthier my skin, scalp and hair feel since I stopped my daily showers. This has been a eye-opening experiment. One thing I did have to do was cut my shoulder length hair to a more military style cut, as I found my shirt collars/suit jackets absorbed all of the grease/grime from the unwashed long locks (think caucasian jerri-curl effect).

Unless you are under the care of a physician for immune reasons, give yourself two weeks of no-soap showers and just massaging your hair and scalp with nothing other than warm water. See how you feel. If you're freaked out after two weeks, try the baking soda/vinegar advice on your hair/scalp and a soft loofah (no soap) on the rest of your body.

No promises, ymmv etc, but this regimen has changed my life. Even after regular bike rides and long walks in humid south Texas, I stick to this regime even at the height of the Summer season.

Again, no promises and ymmv. But this caveman approach to whole body hygiene has changed my life. Yet, after all of this laissez-faire approach to whole body hygiene, I still wash my hands vigorously from palms to dorsals, to fingers and nails and everything else in between, including wrists.

I use the happy birthday to me x 2 technique to ensure a good cleanse. I wipe with a clean disposable towel until completely dry. Why? Because I eat with my hands, and whatever is on my hands is transferred to the food that I ingest..That miniscule amount of fecal material on a bathroom door left by the jacka** who did not wash his/her hands can lead to a Hep A infection.

So there you have it: pay particular attention to your hand hygiene for your acute health. Unless you suffer from immune deficiencies, daily, even weekly, whole body cleanings are overrated and can keep your skin, scalp and hair out of balance with the natural processes the body has developed over millions of years of evolution.

[i am not a doctor. but have spent many yeas in second and third world areas where daily whole-body hygiene was not available for weeks at a time, which is why i recommend the mildest non-scented baby wipes as part of my cave man hygiene regimen]

Ladylady YGBSM4 months ago

Not ew. Most of the world lives this way, they are not dead. I wish people could open their minds...
This shampoo regimen is a recent occurrence. Has only been around for the last hundred years or so. What do you think people did before?
I am just looking for a method that does not do more harm than good.

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!
fig41593 months ago

I've been doing this about a month also. I have very short, thick hair. While it's wet, it feels super greasy and clumpy. But when it dries, it has more body than it's ever had, and I'm 56. I'm using 1 Tbsp BS /16 oz water, and rinsing with 1 Tbsp Bragg's Organic ACV with "The Mother"/16 oz water. I use a comb. Idk if the greasy feeling will go away after the adjustment, but either way, I'm converted for life. I wish I'd heard about this years ago!!!

fig4159 fig41593 months ago

Forgot to add....we have hard water. "City" water (although we don't live in a city).

NetWt4Lbs6 months ago
I've been at this a month. I have only used baking soda twice, and do a rinse with diluted vinegar so I don't burn my scalp and strip too many oils. My hair is still greasy and stringy and stinks of unwashed hair
I will be trying for two more weeks since it takes longer for some people, but if it's still greasy at that point in getting myself a good natural shampoo
15, 7:27 PM.jpg15, 7:27 PM.jpg

I agree with Sandi. Try just using warm water and scrubbing the roots with your fingertips (bonus points if you rinse your hair with cold water at the end of your shower!). My hair gets stinky when I work out, and I just rinse it with plain water every day to every other day. It could help to add one drop of tea tree oil to your water/BS mixture. I've read that just mixing up a spray bottle with plain water and a drop or two of essential oils sprayed lightly on a hair brush could add a more desirable scent, but I've never actually tried that. Because I make my own Dry Shampoo: mix corn starch or arrowroot powder with unsweetened cocoa powder until it's a color you're happy with. Use an old makeup brush to lightly dust around your roots. This is natural, cheap, and smells oh-so-good! Just leave it on for a bit, and then shake it out. The corn starch/ arrowroot absorbs excess oils and scents and leaves a light cocoa scent in your hair.

I would also like to stress purchasing/using a boar bristle brush. It helps distribute the oils away from the scalp. I'm not sure about the hardness of your water, but if it's hard, you may want to try boiling the water, and adding the baking soda immediately after removing from heat. Leaving this here in case you have hard water. Stick it out.. It really does just take a while!

when I started it took longer than two weeks and for some a month or more. Don't give up! Even "healthy shampoos" like wen have chemicals. You could also try it with just water, scrubbing your scalp with your hands. That's what I do. Although the smell of vinegar fades when your hair dries, I didn't feel like I needed it.

Angelfish77x4 months ago

I would love some advice! I have been at this for 2 months maybe longer. It was very hard at the beginning and now my hair is ok but not great. It feels heavy and thick (I already have very thick hair) And often feels a bit greasy. It doesn't look as good as it did when I used regular shampoo. I would love any ideas/advice from Tubular or the community. I use 2 TBSP of baking soda and the ACV mix about every 2-3 days. Just water doesn't work at all. I am dedicated to going healthy with this but it's hard to hold on :(

First of all, you might want to look into the damage too much BS seems to be causing people. I would not recommend using it more than once a week. Also, check out this post. It's possible that your water is causing some (if not all!) of the problems. I know that buying a good, boar bristle brush really helped me out of the transition period. I use the brush to move the sebum, oils, and gunk away from the scalp. During and immediately after brushing, my head looks like an oil slick. After a bit, the ends of my hair soak up the loosened oils and all of it looks healthier and feels softer and lighter! I do this every day to every other day. It really stretches my BS "washes" out. I'm not sure about the color of your hair, but to get my hair the rest of the way to its once-a-week cleansing, I use a mixture of corn starch and unsweetened cocoa powder as a natural dry shampoo. You can use more or less cocoa powder depending on the color of your hair. None is really needed for the dry shampoo to be effective, it just adds some color and a yummy scent!

This is also a very useful blog guide to going no poo that addresses your waxy, greasy concerns!

I swim, so how do I go about getting those chemicals out of my hair...

As I understand, just wetting your hair with clean, non-chlorinated hair before you get into the pool is a big help. If your hair is already saturated with clean water, it will not soak up as much chlorinated pool water. You can use a vinegar/water rinse when you get out if you need, but just plain shower water also works. Happy swimming!

I use a towel to get water out of my hair.

tubular (author)  danny.r.em10 months ago
I find my hair stays healthiest when I exercise immediately before showering. I'm not a scientist but it seems the pores open up, the oil gets moved around some and rinsing my hair is most effective when I've been sweating for a while beforehand. I usually only end up having to use the baking soda/vinegar or a light shampoo if I somehow miss my usual exercise/shower routine more than a few days in a row, or if I get really grimy doing some hard labor or something. Then again my hair is really short right now (< 2"), it might be different for someone with long hair.
Ladylady tubular4 months ago
You have only 2 inching hair, hardly enough to be ad using women with normal length hair.
tubular (author)  Ladylady3 months ago

I am not sure what you're trying to say, but a lot of people including myself when I had longer hair (shoulder length) have used this method successfully. In any case I just posted this widely available information on instructables and it's public domain, I am not advocating anything. I don't care if you use it or not.

wavamay4 months ago
What I always did was every other day or when needed use a better shampoo and conditioner when my hair felt like it needed washed then wen I felt I needed to or about every week I would leave oil in my hair for a night lets say on Monday and threw out the week I'd use honey or baking soda randomly then at the end of the week I'd do a vinager rince to really clean my hair. It grew super fast and was nice and healthy feeling. And I dye my hair alot. It defeats the no shampoo I know. But it worked great!
yarit.oz11 months ago

I must say I've quit using shampoo and any hair remedy 3 weeks ago and my hair was very oily until I've washed it with the mixture of baking soda and water (as explained in this post), I've done it after a week of no poo and it removed the oilyness. now after 3 weeks of no poo I must say that as from the first few days of no poo my hair loss is gone. from loosing batches of hair every shower it is changed to loose one or two hairs in each shower.

My hair does not look gorgious yet but it looks ok and especially feels like it is healling.

I really recommand it for peaple who suffer from hair loos. you can contact me on facebook for more questions.

Ladylady yarit.oz4 months ago
So its been 3 weeks, and your still walking around with oily dirty hair. Like you say. .it's not working for you. Use some soap, have pity on the folks around you.
sitara68 yarit.oz10 months ago

I have just started going No Poo for 2 weeks now. The second week it took 6 days before I felt the need to use the baking soda and vinegar. What happens later? Do you stop washing your hair completely? Just use water or do I continue to use the baking soda and vinegar as needed. What is the goal of the No Poo method? I'm very curious. Will I eventually be able to not have to wash my hair ever again?

AngieR2 sitara6810 months ago

Depending on your type of hair you might be able to go completely product free and just wash with warm water to remove excess oil. However, if your hair still gets excessively oily, you can always go back to the baking soda.

kliu81 year ago
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.
lea05 kliu811 months ago

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


Ladylady lea054 months ago
Your not supposed to be putting the soap inside yourself..dummy. .
kliu8 lea0511 months ago
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.”"
Ladylady kliu84 months ago
They told you that you stink..that can affect other health. Some folks really need to reevaluate how they look, cuz grimy and smelly isn't great.

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.

Vermanen kliu81 year ago

I never use soap to clean my private parts.... because it conflicts with the natural PH value....

People! Please do your research. Using baking soda is probably WORSE than using shampoo. It doesn't soak up oil and is far too abrasive to use on your hair or skin. The best option is either use shampoo a lot less, find a shampoo that contains natural ingredients and not damaging chemicals. But trust me, you need to ignore the baking soda method and do some scientific research to see how damaging it is for your hair.
They're not using it dry to soak up oils. They're diluting it with water then applying.

Umm.... I've been using apple cider vinegar and baking soda on my hair for a little over a year now and my hair is in great condition. I've bleached the hell out of it to put in some crazy colors and people are surprised that my hair isn't as dried up and dead as everyone else that bleached their hair the same way. Also, manic panic color lasts a hell of a lot longer too!

I have just started using baking soda, and I am still using an organic all natural coconut conditioner I have, tho I am switching to vinegar soon. I also use Manic Panic, so I am thrilled to read that your color lasts longer!! I use the fuschia, and I prefer it quite dark and intense. I can't wait to see how it lasts!!!

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