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.
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Step 1: Cleaning

Picture of 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.
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I got quite excited after reading this and have just tried this now. I used white wine vinegar (couldn't find any of the cider stuff!) And baking powder. I didn't realise baking powder and baking soda were different things so I looked it up and apparently baking powder is basically baking soda but with an added acidic element. Do you think this will change anything? Also, I realised that after I rinsed out the baking powder mixture, my hair still felt a bit oily. Is this normal? Thanks!!

Although I did not use white wine vinegar, I did feel oily after the baking soda. It felt better than before I washed it. Maybe its the "adjustment" period epople talk about.

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.
Mrgn41 kliu82 hours ago
I used to wash down there with soap, and got yeast infections , and uncontrolable itching constantly. Once i stopped, i quit having problems. Just water and rinsing. Your body has a natural ph balance of good Bacteria that you don't want to use soap.

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.

lea05 kliu83 months ago

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

kliu8 lea053 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.”"
Vermanen kliu89 months 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.
tubular (author)  nina.bannister5 days ago
By all means, please post some references supporting your assertions. I honestly don't know enough to argue but you'll have to forgive me if I don't take your word for it.

In any case, as jco77on pointed out, what I described in this instructable is not intended to be done long-term regardless of any health or wellness impact. It's simply a method I understood to be common knowledge once I learned about it (which is why it's public domain) and it has worked fine for me.
tubular (author)  tubular5 days ago

Also: "The best option is either use shampoo a lot less"

I agree, and that's the entire point of this instructable, hence the name. Please see the final step where I wrote: "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."

Did you even read the article before posting? It didn't say to replace using shampoo daily with baking soda forever. It said that during the short transitional period, if your hair is excessivly oily and greasy, you can use this baking soda method to clean it up.

I've been interested in trying baking soda/ACV rinse for awhile. For about three years I've been using conditioner only washing (this is how I do it if anyone is interested: )

Has anyone switched from conditoners only to baking soda or vice versa? How did it go?

Kindness is the best accessory,


what happens is the hair is dry and frizzy¿

AC918 days ago

This sounds great.. I do have questions! What happens if you hair is fine and extremely oily?? Will I be okay using this? I need my hair to stop falling and I also hate using these shampoos loaded with chemicals.. Any one out there have fine thin hair and has tried this? Thank you!!!!

Very nice instructable. Thank you

ok..I will be 60 in dec...i have not washed with shampoo since Oct.30,2014...having my hair rinsed at salon I have them just rinse my hair? then condition? or do they HAVE TO Shampoo my hair after color is applied? My youngest daughter started to do this in September...I figured I would try,, My hair is great!!

Dua_a28 days ago
Hey there, I would like to start the Noo Poo method and I like to oil my hair with a mixture of oils like castor, sesame, almond oil once a week. I leave it through out the night and then was it in the morning so if I start the Noo Poo method will the baking soda clear the oil from my hair or will it still be oily and sticky? Or do I have to stop using oil if Im gonna start the no poo meth?
Douglas48151 month ago

I've been doing this for going on 2 months now. I have to say, I'm definitely a fan. My hair feel fuller and thicker and is much easier to style. The only trouble I'm having is with dandruff. Are there any recommendations to help with that?

MiamiiS1 month ago

I am on day 17 of no poo. I have washed with this 3 times. Talc is my favorite thing to keep me going. I also have arrowroot and cornstarch.

My hair does not feel very nice but it doesnt look to bad to be honest. My hair still comes out in lumps when i brush, i thought that may have stopped by now.

Will going no poo definitely 100% have some benefits for me and my hair??

I bloody hope so!

JodyPL1 month ago

I have been doing this for a few years. One big advantage is that my hair doesn't fall out anymore!! Plus, I only need to clean my hair once a week or so. The vinegar detangles hair so it is so easy to comb afterwards. month ago

When you come back to your house, after work or leisure, your hair brings more dirt, bacteria, fungus and allergenic substances than your shoes or your hands. Your hair is there exactly to do that, catch the dirt so it doesnt reach sensitive areas like your eyes for example.

yarit.oz3 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.

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?

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.

Andrew6482 months ago

Is it okay to use this formula once a day? If not how often should I use it?


tubular (author)  sabrina.law6102 months ago
danny.r.em2 months ago

I am a cheerleader and practice and or workout 5 times a week at the least. With all the sweat and what not that I may accumulate I try and shampoo my hair about every 2-3 days as oppose to every day. My hair becomes a little oily and I have issues with that feeling so I shampoo again. With being really active and sweating a decent amount will that cause my hair to become more oily or have any other odd issues as I slowly attempt the no poo methods? All help is welcomed and appreciated. Thank you.

tubular (author)  danny.r.em2 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.

Hey all, Im starting the No Poo Method tonight and im seeing if, when i make up the mixture and put it in a platic bottle, can i reuse that for the next wash or do i have to make it again? Thanks!!!!!! xx

bkm4215 months ago

Did this. I am a diva, a princess, a spoiled brat, girly girl, high maintenance, call it what you will. I love getting my hair and nails done, wearing makeup, perfume, jewelry, nice shoes, clothes, purses, the whole bit. I am fortunate that I have good hair for which I don't have to spend a lot of money on shampoo, coloring, processing, or anything. I don't color my hair, never have, although will have to start at some point in the foreseeable future, thanks to a few grays... I have long, thick, straight hair, down to the middle of my back, and most of the time it is a little on the dry side, so washing my hair the traditional way involves copious amounts of conditioner, a once monthly deep conditioning treatment, and a bit of silicon product following blowdrying with a round brush to keep frizzes at bay.

I did this over a holiday weekend when I knew that I wouldn't be going to work or seeing anyone and had the time to either deal with gross hair or rewash it. Much to my surprise, ok shock, this method worked like a charm. I read in the other comments that there is an adjustment period, but their didn't seem to be for me. Also for my hair, because it is long, I used about 2tbs of baking soda and made it into more of a paste because it was easier to manage. I massaged it through like shampoo. Admittedly, the absence of lather was strange. When I put the acv in my hair, some got in my eyes, which stung A LOT, at which point I realized the point of diluting it. The scent of the acv on my hair was borderline disturbing because I felt like I was putting salad dressing on my head, but whatever. The second time I was more careful and didn't get any in my eyes. I combed through my hair with a wide-toothed comb as I would normally do so with my normal conditioner and I was floored at how easily it went through. Although the scent of the acv dissipates, I spritzed my brush with some scented body spray while I was blow drying, just in case. My hair was clean, impossibly soft and manageable, and blew out nicely. I still used some of my hair gloss silicone product, but my hair looked awesome. Yes, I said that. Awesome.

I'll definitely do this again. I don't know that I'll ditch the traditional shampoo just yet, but this is a good break for my hair, which can't be the worst thing in the world, and a good trick when I have to wash my hair frequently between workouts.

kliu89 months ago
Vermanen- what do you use to clean the area then? Water alone is not enough, the bacteria will love it, it's why the sink bowl is the germiest place in a public bathroom, because people often rinse their hands without soap thinking it's enough. Besides, the ph recovers, but I can imagine it being an issue if you have a skin condition.
kliu81 year ago
Considering that vinegar is an acidic solvent, wouldn't it be terrible for your hair? I've heard of people using it on their face get their skin ruined and flaky.
Exocetid1 year ago
Frankly, all you need is the universal solvent to clean your hair and your body. If you get dirt or grease on you, then add nature's naturally occurring abrasive. These two compounds are amongst the most abundant on earth.

What are they? Dihydrogen monoxide and silicon dioxide. Both of these compounds can be very, very dangerous, even kill you. Use wisely.
Silicon dioxide actually is pretty bad for you, inhaling it can lead to silicosis, bronchitis, or cancer.

Sure you got your chemical name right?
Yep. From WiKi: Sand is a naturally occurring granular material composed of finely divided rock and mineral particles. The composition of sand is highly variable, depending on the local rock sources and conditions, but the most common constituent of sand in inland continental settings and non-tropical coastal settings is silica (silicon dioxide, or SiO2), usually in the form of quartz.

Note that I said both compounds can be dangerous and even kill you, so use wisely. Nice wet beach sand rubbed onto grimy hands, soiled knees or other stained body parts will clean them up nicely.

We are being tongue-in-cheek here.
cherierose1 year ago
I've recently started going 'no poo' after reading up on the positive affects it has had on peoples hair health and the environment, it's taken alot of adjusting of the method I use though, as not everyones hair is different, different methods work for different people. I've been documenting my no poo experiment on this blog to help out people looking to go no poo themselves heres the link if you want to check it out, you may find it helpful :)
Drielle2 years ago
Personally speaking, my hair is waist length & I found that the 'transition phase' can be avoided completely. I did my 1st 'no-poo' wash a couple days ago with horrible results... hair felt heavy & stiff with a waxy residue, that I felt when rubbing my fingers together. GROSS! So then I added a couple drops of dishwashing detergent to my mixture of water & baking soda and washed it. Now my hair feels OMG fantastic! I think all my hair needed was a degreaser (once or twice only) to get rid of the nasty residual coating that shampoo & conditioner had left behind.
You'll find using diluted lemon or vinegar rinse works well, it helps to smooth the hair cuticle making it slippery & less tangled. I hope this helps!
justme226 years ago
I was very excited about this concept. I tried this for about two months. I have very oily hair and skin and I feel compelled to shampoo at least once a day. This technique did the job and controlled the oil. I worked on varying the amount I used per day, trying to use less and less. However, it was rough on my fine hair and I had a lot of breakage and hair loss/shedding. Also, now that the cold dry winter has hit, I had big time static problems, and dry dull hair--- no longer looking healthy and pretty. I even tried to supplement this method with natural deep conditioners such as eggs, mayonaisse, olive oil, jojoba oil, etc. Yuck, time consuming, and didn't make much of a difference! While I haven't gone back to the big brand mass-produced, chemically-laden shampoo and conditioner, I am seeking out and trying different brands of organic, more eco-friendly shampoos and conditioners. This method just doesn't work for me for the long term. Perhaps a little vain, but to a "natural, low-maintenance" woman, the look of healthy shiny pretty hair is important! At least I tried it!
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