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No ‘Pooing is the idea of not using traditional shampoo and conditioner to wash your hair. Instead, you use baking soda and vinegar. Go here for my original No ‘Poo post.
If you know about no ‘poo and you still have questions, check out my No ‘Poo FAQ post. For help working out the kinks in your current no ‘poo regimen, read on!
The Basic No ‘Poo Recipe
1 tab. Baking soda in 8oz water. Pour on hair, massage in, let sit one minute, and rinse.
1 tab. Vinegar in 8 oz water. Pour on hair, let sit one minute, and rinse really well.
No ‘Poo Troubleshooting
Your hair should feel great after your first no ‘poo day. Following days may feel greasy if you are still going through the detox period .
However, if your hair does NOT feel great after a no ‘poo then there is a problem. This is where no ‘poo troubleshooting comes in!
Hard to manage hair:
If you have a hard time managing your hair after no ‘pooing then you may need to increase your vinegar ratio. Perhaps up to half vinegar and half water.
Hair is too dry/frizzy/staticy:
If your hair feels too dry, you should either decrease the baking soda amount, wash less often, or you can try adding some honey to the baking soda mixture.
Hair feels greasy:
If your hair feels greasy you may need to add less water to the baking soda mixture.
Do you have hard water?
If your hair isn’t getting clean enough and it is still feeling grimy/greasy/etc even after changing your formula, you might have a hard water problem. To solve the hard water issue, you will need to boil your water before using it.
The best method is to boil a large amount of water and store (once cooled) in a large container in the bathroom. Then use the boiled water in your mixtures. For rinsing your hair, you can use the regular shower water.
Sometimes no ‘poo with make dry scalp/dandruff better and sometimes it can make it worse. If it gets worse or you just want it to stop, you can try tea tree oil, honey, or my newest find is a chlorine shower filter.
Chlorine can cause all sorts of skin problems such as dry scalp, dandruff, eczema, etc. They are only about $20 at Lowes and you only need to replace them every 6 months.
If your hair looks flat or limp then try decreasing the vinegar. Another possibility is up increase the baking soda just a bit.
Other Random No ‘Poo Tips
If you have a lot of hair then you may need to double or triple the recipe.
Avoid hair products with anything ending in –cones or –xane in them. These will coat your hair and may not be easily removed with no ‘pooing. Hair spray is a big offender. I recommend this homemade hairspray.
Try to avoid washing your hair in between no ‘pooing. The more often your hair gets wet, the more brittle it can become.
Baking Soda/ Vinegar Alternatives:
Sometimes baking soda and/or vinegar just doesn’t work for everyone. There are alternatives however.
Some options are:
Shampoo Alternatives: Honey, Shakakai, egg, applesauce, rye flour, bentonite clay mixtures, soap nuts
Conditioner Alternatives: Juices (lemon, apple, cranberry), most teas, homemade conditioner, herb infused vinegar
Figuring Out the Detox Period:
There are basically two types of detox periods you can go through.
The fast but greasy and the slow but less noticeable. With the fast detox you no ‘poo as seldom as possible (think once a week) this means you will notice your hair looking greasy while waiting to no ‘poo again but you will finish the detox period quickly.
The slow detox you will no ‘poo more often (around every 2-3 days to start) and thus you might not notice your hair getting very greasy at all. However, it means it will take you much, much longer before you can go for a long period of time (say a week) before your hair gets greasy.
I took the slow detox route and I washed every 3 days. It’s been about 6 months and I am just now getting to the point where I can go 4-5 days without greasy hair.
Recommended Containers for No ‘Pooing:
Plastic cups – great for mixing up baking soda mixtures.
Peri bottles – perfect for the vinegar mixture!
No ‘Pooing for Young Kids:
I generally recommend not going the traditional no ‘poo route for young kids. It is doable but it’s nerve wracking! I did it once with my boys and the whole time I was taking extra precautions so they wouldn’t get vinegar in their eyes.
My alternative is lo ‘pooing. The basic idea is you use castile soap (I like Dr. Bronners) for the “shampoo” and water (or for older kids/adults vinegar and water) for the rinse. I do a diluted version of this. I pour a bit of castile soap into my boys’ tub water. Then I pour the tub water over their hair to wash it. Castile soap used un-diluted can be too drying at times. I find this works great for my boys.
However, if you want to give lo ‘pooing a try for an older kid or an adult, I do recommend using a vinegar rinse as you really should restore your hair’s ph level, which is what the vinegar does.
If you want to use an acidic rinse for your little ones hair, you could go with a juice such as apple juice or cranberry. A juice rinse won’t sting their eyes like vinegar will. You could also try this homemade conditioner instead.
Thank you, very useful post. I love your blog BTW. 🙂
I found out my hair looks better (not greasy) when I don't rinse with vinegar. But now, I have white BS flakes in my hair… So I do need to rinse with vinegar to fully dissolve the BS.
I have been "no-pooing" for 2 wks now and my hair feels sticky and kinda like straw. I have thick long hair that is naturally wavy but I straighten it daily. For the most part it looks GREAT but feels icky. Currently I am using 1T bs in 8 oz of warm water and 1T acv in 8 oz water. I wash every other day or two (on the wknds), basically I follow what we are doing almost exactly even though I just found your site today. 🙂 Any suggestions on what I should do?
Anonymous – There are a few possibilities…. 1) Does your hair feel sticky/straw like right after a no poo or is it a day or more after? If your hair feels great on the day of they your doing things fine and that's just detox. If it feels gross right after a no poo then troubleshooting is needed. 2)Do you have hard water? Hard water can ruin even a perfect no poo. 3) You say you have thick long hair…maybe you need to simply double the recipe. 4) If none of those apply or work for you then I recommend upping your baking soda. It is possible that your hair just needs more cleaning power. 🙂 Also remember to leave both mixtures on for at least 1 minute so that they can do their job. I hope that helps!
Brittany – This is my first time responding to a blog so I wasn't for sure how to set it up to have my name appear. 🙂 To answer your follow-up, which THANK YOU btw for responding so quick! My hair is to the middle of my back, all one length. I do have extremely hard water. My hair feels a little sticky when I am done washing it and it feels sticky/straw like and is super tangly on the ends. It is much thicker now and has a lot of body. It will feel this way until I "re-wash" it. It also seems kinda challenging to straighten it w/ the flat iron compared to before trying this method. I hesitate on "experimenting" w/ the recipe b/c I'm afraid I'll screw it up. 🙂 I just need some advice on how to "re-work" the recipe so I can make this work b/c I love the concept. Before I started this I was using conditioner only and would wash it every other day b/c my hair would become limp and lifeless. I really appreciate any advice you would give me!!
Melissa – Since you have hard water, are you boiling your water first. Sadly that is the only remedy for hard water and no 'poo. Just boil a whole bunch of water and store in a large container in the bathroom. The boiled water is only needed for making the mixtures but you can use regular water for rinsing. So if you are not boiling your water then I recommend trying that. IF you are already boiling water then I recommend upping the baking soda to something more like 1 tbs. b/s in 6 oz water (or you can keep the 8oz and just add more like 1.5 tbs. b/s) You also might want to add more vinegar to your mixture. Vinegar is what conditions your hair and makes it not tangly. Since your hair is tangly, I would think it might just need some extra vinegar. I know my hair personally likes the 1 tbs b/s in 6 oz water and closer to a 50/50 ratio of vinegar to water (at little less then that now that my hair has detoxed) Don't worry too much about experimenting with the ratios. You are already unhappy with how no 'pooing is going right now so experimenting has nowhere to go but up. 🙂
I don't know what I was thinking or if I was thinking at all, but I used straight vinegar to condition my hair today. Of course it's very oily looking now. I don't want to wash it as I just washed it with shampoo 2 days ago and am trying to get my normally shampooed every 24 hair detoxed. So how would you suggest I make it "less oily"? And if I use 1/4 cup BS to 4cps boiling water, it makes my hair kind of "tacky". not sticky, but I can't really run a comb smoothly through it. How much less should I use, if any? I'm not sure if I have hard water or not either.~Sylvia
You can use cornstarch to get rid/hide some of the oiliness. Or you can just do a proper no 'poo and re-start.
With the baking soda, are you saying it's tacky even when you use vinegar? Or is it tacky and you didn't use vinegar? Vinegar of course, is the conditioner that makes it easy to comb through your hair. Usually if you can't comb through it's because you need more vinegar…however, if you already are using vinegar then it's another matter. I'd first suggest you try no 'pooing with the usual ratios (vinegar included) and see how your hair is then. That way we can troubleshoot starting with how your hair reacts to typical ratios.
You can get an idea of what sort of what you have here: http://rockingreensoap.com/?page_id=625 it's Rockin Gree's chart for laundry and it's not 100% exact but it should give you a decent idea. You can also google: water type/ your city and see what you pull up.
I'm so glad I found this page! For the past few weeks, I had been working with a different no 'poo formula that left my hair thick, oily, lank, and dry – all at once. It was horrible!
But before giving up the no 'poo regimen and going back to expensive, chemical-filled Nexus, I decided to give it one last try – with your formula (using lemon juice instead of vinegar). I am SO happy to say that after the first day on your recipe, four days ago, I noticed a HUGE difference in my hair; it actually felt (and looked) clean!
I did find that my hair was a little flat and frizzy, so my adjusted formula is a heaping tablespoon of baking soda with a drop or two of honey and the regular dose of lemon juice.
Before, I couldn't go even a day without washing my hair because it would be so gross and greasy, but now, I'm completely comfortable letting my hair go for a day or more. (I'm going to leave it unwashed over the weekend, to jump-start the slow detox process.)
Thank you so much for sharing your tips! I'm actually excited about my hair now!
Also, thanks for the ideas for kid alternatives; I'm considering switching to a different juice, myself, since I'm not a big fan of how lemon juice smells after the fact.
On that note, one question: Do you have any suggestions for adding some kind of fragrance to the no 'poo routine? I do sometimes miss that freshly shampooed smell.
I just found myself to your blog after hunting for trouble shooting no poo.. I also chose the slow detox and was working great i take a shower every 3 days so it works with my routine, but today i got tired of my hair feeling brittle all the time (its been 4-5 weeks now)so i grabbed some of my paul mitchell degangler rinse (regular conditioner) that i had in the bathroom still. because a fellow no-pooer says she just washes with conditioner.. rinsing it out i could tell it was bad!!!!!!! just so so soso thick and greasy and i couldn't get it out.i even made a baking soda paste and tried that.. nada! until i started reading your blog about the vinegar. i was still only using 1tbsp to 10 oz of water!! so i just went and rinsed with 3tbsp to 10 oz (my bottle is 10oz) and it was still soooo gross.. so i just grabbed the bottle of ACT and dumped it on my head!!! while not completely greaseless it feels so wonderful on the ends now not like the straw and hard to comb through hair i had all these past 4 weeks!!!! so my hair really needed extra acid i guess!! i do know my body is way alkaline i test every few days.. it always amazes me how much i really need. I am also a red head with hair to the middle of her back.. i do dye my hair but with henna…thank you so much i have been hunting for days trying to figure otu what to do
Glad it help! My hair is the same way. Used to need 50/50 for vinegar, now that it's been a while I'm down to 1 part vinegar, 2 parts water, but that's still more than the usual 1tbs in 1 cup. Some people just need the acidity I guess. 🙂
Jasmine, I do this no-poo routine (I have thick, dry, wavy, shoulder-length, highlighted hair), and I do either 2t (2/3T) bs: 8oz water or 2t bs + 1t honey: 8oz water (I'm still playing around to see if this makes a big difference, and I do about 1/3 WHITE vinegar: 8oz water. I add about 5 ozs of pure, essential oil (purchased from Whole Foods; I have lavender) to my wash and about 15 drops to my rinse. I apply my "rinse" via an 8oz spray bottle; I get it silky/comb-able (wide-tooth comb) in the shower, then rinse (hair only!) with cold water after I'm done with the rest of my shower. If my hair feels at all dry, I then spray as a leave-in conditioner as-needed. The result is that I literally cannot stop touching my hair all day. It feels so good. I don't have frizz; I can wear it straight or curly; it holds its style. I highly recommend the spray option – you can minimize/avoid contact with the scalp (I do a fine mist to restore pH and then concentrate spray ears down), and on Day 2, I can spritz and scrunch my air-dried hair to "reactivate" the waves. This system is working quite well for me. I'm planning to go today to buy peppermint essential oil (and rose, if I can find it), and I'm planning to get some Dr. Bronner's rose castile soap to swap for conventional body soaps (I'll use it diluted; as Pistachio said, it can be drying if used straight). I've also purchased virgin coconut oil, which can be used in deodorant recipes (haven't tried this; currently use Tom's of Maine) and which can be used (SPARINGLY) in hair as a pomade, or as a skin moisturizer.
I used to love commercial products. I just don't trust all those ingredients anymore and am getting better results with the natural stuff!
Another pro-tip: You can use the vinegar/water/essential oil as a cleaning/deodorizing spray on rugs and upholstery. Like your hair, when it dries, it will stop smelling like vinegar and the vinegar can help absorb odors from pet dander, etc. I've also replaced chemical room fresheners by placing a small decorative bowl with baking soda and SEVERAL drops of essential oil in the living room.
I love these posts! Great tips, Pistachio!
I began experimenting the 'no poo method' but gave up after few weeks. I don't believe the problem was the detox time as it was over a year that I had used organic shampoo. My trouble was that it didn't feel clean and could see remains of build up on the comb even when just washed! It felt grimy and dry at the same time! I've got lots of thick hair and read on your blog that I might have to increase the baking soda ratio, I will surely try that; as for the advice of using lemon juice instead of vinegar I have few questions. How much lemon juice should I use and, more importantly, is it ok for treated hair? I'd love to go back on the 'no poo method',although I colour my hair that is pretty much all I do for it, I don't use gel, mousse or other chemical stuff. Thanks for your blog and for the suggestions you might give me. Cheers Daniela
Yes increasing the baking soda should help you. Techinially you can experience detox no matter what your previous products/routine was (the exception being if you were only washing with water and were now going to start using no 'poo) Even organic shampoos can bring about a detox. Even if you shampoo only every 3 days you still will probably experience a detox.
As for the lemon juice, I wouldn't dilute it. I find that the juice alternatives need to be full strength. Although you might be able to dilute the lemon..but I know my hair would need full strength. I would use the same amount that you would use for vinegar, so if you used 1 tbs vinegar in 1 cup water, I would use 1 cup of lemon juice. Lemon juice can give you blonde highlights (although probably not too much as you are rinsing it out and not leaving it in) so that can effect hair color. You could try apple juice instead as that shouldn't change hair color. As with any no 'poo acid rinses, your hair should act the same as if you were using regular conditioner but it might fade faster than if you were using "for color treated hair" conditioner.
Thank you so much for posting these troubleshooting tips! I no 'poo'd for a week and it was absolutely terrible. My hair felt great day 1, then it was a horrible stiff, greasy grimy mess. I broke this morning and washed with my regular shampoo to get my mojo back, but I'm thinking perhaps it was my hard water giving me the trouble! So I am back on the no 'poo wagon! (Hopefully for good.) Also it was nice to see that you felt satisfied within 12 days…I've heard of unhappy detox periods lasting months! Where are all these people going for the detox month? Not in public I hope, because I certainly shouldn't have been in public this week!
One thing I was wondering: Since baking soda doesn't strip your natural oils the way poo does, is it ok to use this method every day? I know it's best to go every other day or every 3 days but I'm a runner and I feel gross if I don't wash my hair after every run. Thanks again for this fantastic post!
Yes I was totally fine with my detox period…It was still detox as it did get greasy by day 3 or so but it didn't bother me as I was no 'pooing every 3-4 days. (not to mention I'm a stay at home mom and if my hair was really bad, I could just stay home) The people who have the super bad detox periods are the ones who used to shampoo everyday with conventional shampoos (as oppose to the more natural ones) and then switched to no poo (generally trying to stretch it further then 3-4 days.)
No 'pooing 3-4 days = longer but less noticeable detox. No 'pooing every 6-7 days = shorter but more noticeable detox.
I wouldn't recommend using baking soda every single day as it can be rather harsh. Most who exercise to the point of needing to wash their hair, either just wash with water only on those days or they do just the vinegar part. Personally my hair doesn't like water only and it will just look worse, so I tough it out. But some have no issues with water only.
I've noticed dandruff since no pooing (I never had this before) and your troubleshooting tip says tring TTO or honey. Do I add this to the baking soda mix or to the vinegar rinse? Im up to 1/3 of a cup of vinegar per 8 oz of water for the rinse. Do you think increasing the vinegar amount will help with dandruff? Should I try decreasing the baking soda amount?
Honey would be added to the baking soda mixture. TTO can be added to either or even both. You could try decreasing the baking soda as it's possible that the baking soda is drying out your scalp but I don't think you'd need to up the vinegar so long as it's working with your hair already.
Wow, this site is great. Thanks so much for all the info. However, I need some more HELP!
I started no-poo about 8 weeks ago. I went for a full de-tox – my routine was 1 Tblsp. BS in 1 cup water, followed by 1 Tblsp ACV in 1 cup water. I used this only once per week. The rest of the week, if I needed to 'wash' my hair, it was water only in the shower.
The first two to three weeks were AWFUL. A greasy, messy embarrassment. It would be slightly better the day I would BS/ACV, but pretty bad the rest of the time. Around week four my hair seemed to be producing less oil and I was cautiously optimistic.
At week five I did my weekly BS/ACV. My hair came out beautifully – so smooth, shiny, no grease, nice smooth ends. I was thrilled! Went well that whole week and the next one. I thought I had succeeded.
Well, the last two weeks (seven and eight), something is wrong! By the time I get to my BS/ACV day my hair is pretty greasy so I'm excited for that day. At week seven, after my BS/ACV my hair did NOT come out well. The scalp and midparts of my hair remained greasy. My ends felt so frazzled and dry they felt like straw and were super tangly. I was so upset! I still struggled through the week and for my week eight wash I was more careful. I made sure the BS was completely mixed into the water. I made sure to rub it all around my scalp and greasy areas but mostly avoided my ends so as not to dry them. Same with the ACV, I poured it mostly from the mid section down, a brief rinse on the top of my head.
Well, same results. Gross, greasy hair and dry, tangly ends.
What gives?! It was going so well! I do have hard water and may try boiling – but I can't figure out why weeks five and six were great, and then seven and eight were so bad : (
Any advice is much appreciated!
Hmmm that is strange. If you have hard water then I do recommend boiling. It's possible that something changed with your water (more chemicals or something, I know in my city they dump a ton of chlorine in during the summer…it's bad) So try the boiling first.
It's also possible that since your hair has adjusted that it just needs new ratios. I know my hair loved a super high vinegar ratio in the beginning but as the months went on it needed less…. perhaps your hair just needs more (judging my your description: straw and tangly = more vinegar…although your roots might need more b/s or you dissolved it too much)
Hope that helps, let me know if it doesn't and I'll see what we can come up with.
Thanks, I will let you know for sure! I think I will try more of each next time as well as the boiling method! I'll update in a couple of days : )
Hey! I've been on the no poo method for about 1 1/2 months! It's been so up and down but I want to keep with it! I've recently gotten the ends of my hair to be really soft and not smell like vinegar however I am having the hardest time with my roots.
What I normally do is put the vinegar mixture only on the bottom half of my hair, away from the roots. As for the baking soda, I been testing different proportions and none have been working – they leave a lot of residue on my brush and my roots feel very grimy and almost greasy. What should I do? I've tried boiling the water and that hasn't worked. I tried adding a splash of vinegar to the baking soda mixture – it's not nearly as grimy but it is more on the greasy side. I'm a college student on a budget so I'm stalked up on baking soda an vinegar and I really want this to work!
How much baking soda do you use? How much hair do you have (a ton? or normal amount?) How often do you no poo? Get back to me on those questions and I'll see what I can help you with. My guess is that you need more baking soda and make sure to leave it on your hair for at least a minute so that it can do it's job.
You can also clean your brush so you don't redistribute the oils/grim.
I normally used the standard 1 TBSP of Baking soda to one cup of water. I have pretty thick mid-back length hair. I finally discovered the perfect mixture of baking soda and vinegar to clean my hair however it seems to only work for the top layer of hair, I'm assuming I need to scrub my hair more?
It's also possible that you just need to double your recipe as you have more hair than most people.
Thank you for all the great info !! This is my first day of the no poo and just washed my hair and air dryed it. Anyways my hair is dry and frizzy and kinda tangled. Is that normal after just washing ? If not any ideas what to change? I wanna try to stick with it but my hair looks and feels gross!
Nope, your hair should feel/look great right after a no 'poo. It sounds like you probably need to use more vinegar.
great info! i may be repeating something from comments prior to mine because i haven't had time to enjoy them yet 😉
but i thought i would let you know that i started to do no poo with my 3 boys, but got lazy – so they were just washing with water. their hair looks beautiful! no problems at all and it has been a year. in fact the pediatrician told me that not stripping the oils from their hair with shampoo prevents lice – a treat i am super happy to not repeat!
i was doing it for about 10 months while pregnant and LOVED it, but since having baby – hormones are making my hair all kinds of wacky. nevertheless i love it, so i won't give up!
thanks for your tips 🙂
Thanks for the info. I was looking for a solution to hard water, already tried the boiling method but it does not work. Water is hard due to the mineral content; boiling will not reduce this. The only recourse I have at the moment is to add some regular shampoo to a diluted vinegar solution (about 1:30). Not completely no poo, but better than all poo.
I've been going no poo for about a month now. I HATED it. My hair was SO unbelievably greasy.
Then I came across this and I started using baking soda (I had heard about it before, I don't know why I didn't try it sooner) and the first time I tried my hair felt amazing! It was back to being clean!!! I was so happy because when my hair feels gross I feel gross too.
Unfortunately…. after the 2nd baking soda rinse (4 days later) I had a reaction to the B.S mix. My ears, neck, back, chest and anywhere else the mix dripped burned/irritated my skin. It went away after 30 mins. Its been 3 days since then and I just found a dry flaky rash on my left shoulder. I don't use amy other products on my skin.
I was thinking I might be allergic to baking soda? But it doesn't make sense to me because I use it in my toothpaste as well. AND it didn't burn my scalp. I was thinking of just washing my hair over the sink or something to prevent dripping on my skin. If you have any suggestions that would be great thanks. I never thought of myself as having sensitive skin before now, LOL. Thanks again in advance
Glad the baking soda made you like no 'pooing better but I"m sorry that you had a reaction the 2nd time around. Were you using 1tbs baking soda in 1 cup of water? You could try using less baking soda or just less of the mixture so that it only stays on your hair and doesn't run down onto your shoulders so much. Some people do just have issues with baking soda on the more sensitive areas of skin. You would also want to make sure you really rinse your skin after no pooing to make sure you get any baking soda off.
Hi Brittany. I'm glad someone is giving advice on no pooing. It's a great idea but it is good to know if your doing something wrong or if you need to just wait it out. This is my second week and after the first wash it was great. Clean and full of body. Now on week two limp, not super greasy but kinda waxy at times and static to boot! the bottom feels ok but the top is a mess, like it's stuck to my head. Have you heard of this? Can you help?
It'd help if I knew what ratios you were using right now….but we'll assume that it's the usual 1tbs/1cup ratio…
I'm assuming that it looks waxy/staticy right after a no 'poo? (because of course your hair should look great right after a no 'poo but it will get yucky as the days go by) If it's bad right after a no 'poo…. I think I'd suggest that you decrease the vinegar. Decreasing the vinegar will help with the limpness…. now as for the waxy part I'd normally say increase the baking soda but it's also possible that you just need less vinegar. So try less vinegar first before tampering with the baking soda. Now as for static…the one thing I've found to really help is to add honey to your baking soda mixture. The honey adds moisture back into your hair but without messing things up…in fact honey helps clean hair. 🙂 A lot of times, it's just your hair adjusting to the cooler Fall/Winter temps that make it staticy.
Also if you have hard water that can mess with no 'poo. Hard water means you need to pre-boil your mixture waters (you can use the regular shower water for rinsing, it's just the mixture water that needs pre-boiling)
Let me know if you still have issues.
Sounds like you're the lady I need to talk to! I have been no poo for almost a year now. I've had really good luck with it except sometimes I'd get a waxy build up but that was fixed with a BS wash. Now I'm having issues getting my hair to feel clean. I did just move so I'll see if it's hard water. I've also heard that you can go through a second detox. ANyway, I was wondering if maybe I should do more vinegar washes? SOmetimes I skip it altogether and I was wondering if maybe that is what has caused my predicament or maybe I need different ratios than the standard? I also get build up on my scalp that is really hard to get off completely without a strong BS wash but then my hair is so dry and thin. I really dislike the wash days because it makes my hair fine and limp but later on after going a few days without washing and using cornstarch or baby powder it feels back to normal in thickness but feels icky. I must be missing something in my ratios or I need something else added or substituted… any suggestions? I was trying to go water only for a while but I really couldn't keep my hair feeling clean and went back to periodically doing BS/ACV. I've almost given up though and thought about *gasp!* shampooing my hair. Please help me!
If you give me your current ratios I'll be able to help much more. Normally I would not recommend more vinegar as that can make things look more greasy (unless you have dry, tangly, straw hair…then more vinegar is good) I do recommend doing a vinegar rinse after every baking soda rinse because that will help your hair restore to it's proper ph levels.
I can't do water only either… It just makes my hair feel worse so I stick with the bs/vinegar method. 🙂
Like I said, if you give me the ratios you use now and how long you go in between washes… and if you use vinegar with every b/s wash…I should be able to help you out much more. 🙂
I use the standard 1 tbsp per cup. I have medium thickness hair about shoulder level. It's wavy/curly normally but lately it's been limp and flat. I can usually stretch out 4-5 days without feeling super gross. Cornstarch or baby powder is needed for that long of a time though. I really like the aspect of poo free and my hair is so much easier to braid that way. I wish I wouldn't have to make it thin and slippery (on wash day) just to make it feel clean again. I was skeptical about more vinegar anyway because I've done it to my roots before and it makes my hair feel so greasy. I tend to do just the ends and a little bit on the scalp to help dissolve the BS. That's another thing.. the flakes with the BS. Anyway to counteract that?
I would try using the same ratio (1tbs per cup… or even 1 tbs per 6 oz…that's what I had to do), make sure you leave it on for a minute before rinsing….and I'd do a vinegar rinse every time you use baking soda. It's possible that using cornstarch all the time is interfering with things. You might want to try scaling things back down and washing every 3-4 days just so your hair can get used to no 'pooing and without the crutch of cornstarch. Not saying cornstarch isn't normally an ok thing (I've got some in my hair now actually!) But it should be an occasional thing. As for the flakes…you could try adding honey to the baking soda mixture although that might add to the limp hair problem right now… A chlorine shower filter is usually helpful and that's what we use. You can also try rubbing in the baking soda mixture a bit more so that you scrub off those dry skin cells.
If I don't have any vinegar or lemon or apple juices what kind of teas would you recommend that I used to rinse? I haven't tried this method of washing my hair before so not sure which would work the best.
Really any tea would work. One thing to keep in mind is that in theory, the color of the tea can give your hair natural highlights…so chamomile is usually recommended for blondes whereas black teas are recommended for brunettes. If you do decide to go ahead with no 'poo and teas, just keep in mind that some times teas are not acidic enough for some people. My hair will tolerate a tea rinse but it does much better with vinegar.
Hi Anne Marie and Brittany
I had a similar period whilst doing my no poo.. I'm still in my detox period and wash my hair every week .. by the feel of my hair have about a week or two till i am completely balanced out. But I found that to reduce the waxy feel .. you should try leaving in the bs for a while then massage hair thoroughly… if your hair is really greasy like mine was yesterday, you might find that the hair lather slightly … that's because the bs reacts with the hair oils .. exactly how shampoo works
so back to the topic… wash hair with water and pour vinegar and wait for a few minute.. then using a comb brush hair … you will find white flakes in the comb under a light that would be all the excess sebum that you have washed away … it should remove the excess hair oils and should reduce the waxy feel eventually.
Do any of you exercise regularly? How do you go days without washing if you get sweaty? Is it bad to no poo every day? I'm on about day 6 but I've been using a no poo concoction every day and im uber greasy. Did I make oil production/detox worse by washing every day??
Have you read my No 'Poo FAQ yet? I talk about exercise in that. Here's the link:http://www.pistachioproject.com/2012/08/no-poo-faq.html
I do not recommend no 'pooing every day as that tends to be too harsh on your hair. Washing your hair every day signals to your hair that it needs to make more oil. That is why those who wash their hair every day say that it gets greasy so quickly and that is why they need to wash their hair every day. But in reality it's because they are washing every day that it gets greasy that quick. You do have to go through a detox phase to get your hair to produce less oils but that is why part of no 'pooing is going 3+ days between washes…to regulate your oil production.
So Ive been on the No Poo method for 2wks now and so far the transition period hasnt been bad at all. I think its probably because I was only washing my hair two times a week already and also before I switched over I went to the salon and I had a scalp treatment done. Neways. The only issues Ive been having is dry scalp with flakes and crazy static in my hair. Any suggestions to resolve these 2 issues? Currently I wash my hair with 1T Baking Soda and 1T Lemon Juice, both diluted in 1C of water, Monday and Thursday of every week and nothing in between. Do you think I need to lower the dose of Baking Soda since my hair is only to my shoulders? Also Im using Lemon Juice to keep my blonde hair, but is there an herbal tea I should use instead? Thanks.
I would recommend adding 1 tbs of honey to your baking soda mixture. This will help with the static. It's also just that time of year so it'll calm down again in the spring. I find 1 or 2 washes with the honey gets my hair back on track and then I don't need to continue the honey.
You can try less baking soda but it's rare for someone to need less baking soda.. washing with cooler water, getting a chlorine shower filter would both help with the dry scalp. The honey might help as well.
Chamomile tea will give you blonde highlights. Not sure how it compares to lemon juice in that area.
When you say that using no 'poo doesn't work with hard water, can you describe exactly what it is that doesn't work?
I ask this because I have been no 'pooing for a few years now, and I have had lots of ups and downs. Until about 6 or 8 weeks ago though, I had had several months of wonderful hair using just the baking soda wash (and very occasionally, the ACV rinse). But then, 6 or 8 weeks ago, something changed. I don't know if it's the cold weather or if our water softener is no longer working (although it seems to be filtering water through). I didn't change a thing in my routine but now my hair is coated in a white, yucky film after every wash. My comb and brush are GROSS after every shower because of all the white crud in my hair.
Thinking that I was perhaps using too much baking soda, I cut back to using only 1/4 tsp in 4 oz of water. That didn't make a difference though.
I tried boiling my water in case our water had gone hard, but that didn't make a difference. (Maybe I need to boil it for along time rather than just a minute or two??)
I'm so tired of having sticky hair coated in white film but I really don't want to go back to using shampoo. Any ideas?!?
Hmmm I've heard similar stories and it was hard water for them.
Do you have the problem when you do an ACV rinse? I usually recommend always doing the vinegar rinse as you need to restore your hair's ph levels…it's possible that since you do not do the ACV often that your scalp is just dry….
So I'd try doing the vinegar everytime if you've noticed that it's better when you do the ACV… otherwise it might be the hard water and that link above has some tips.
Hi! I just wanted to tell you that your blog gave me the boost of confidence I needed to start my noo poo routine! 😀 I have the following question though: I've been swimming for the last month aroung 3 times a week, and since the first time my scalp has been really itchy. I've tried lots of shampoos and treatments and none have worked, and I was wondering if adding a bit of honey to the BS part of the wash could improve things. I'm hesistant because my hair is very oily, and I don't know if the honey could make the situation worse. I have the same question about rinsing the chlorine with ACV, could it make my hair more greasy than it already is?
Thanks, the rest of your blog is fantastic as well. 🙂
Before tampering with the no 'poo recipe, I'd try it out as is. It's possible that no 'poo will fix the itchiness on it's own. However, if not you could add some honey to the baking soda. Honey is actually a cleanser (although a very moisturizing one) so it shouldn't make your hair any more greasy.
As for rinsing your hair after a swim, I'd first try lining up most of your swims on no 'poo days that way you can fully clean your hair with a proper no 'poo. On the days that are not, I would try just water. Rinsing with a vinegar mixture works for some but I'd try water only first as vinegar can make things look greasy.
Hope that helps.
I was about to give up on 'no poo' and then I did a google search and found your site. This helped a lot and I now only wash 2x a week! Thanks so much!
Great to hear Melinda!
Hi I just started no pooing this week and so far my hair feels kinda grimy/ gritty, I can't run my hands through i. Is it possible I'm not rinsing the baking soda mixture out and some is being left in my hair? I feel like I'm rinsing really well, today for a full five minutes. Any suggestions?
I'm assuming your hair feels grimy/gritty right after a no 'poo? What ratios are you using? Odds are that you probably need to increase the vinegar so that it can condition your hair… the other possibility is that you may have hard water.
Hard water girls – you can still no poo and NOT boil your water (though it helps). Instead of making a baking soda solution, apply the baking soda directly to your roots (I call this the paste method) and massage that scalp. Leave it in your hair while you shower…your roots should have a "slippery feel" (baking soda is a weak water softener). Then rise really well.
Acids like vinegar and citric acid are also weak water softeners…so in addition to balancing the pH of your hair they will also help to soften your water. When you apply your vinegar rinse (if you have hard water I recommend using 10% distilled white vinegar or citric acid in your rinse)it should also feel "slippery".
If your hair still feels like cotton then you are either in transition (detox) or you have an excessive build up of silicone on your hair from your old hair products. Pure aloe gel (you can add some honey too if desired) "washed" into your hair (it may take a few times) will help lift the silicone from your hair and get rid of that "cotton" feeling.
If you have well water (the really hard stuff) you can use Dr. Hulda Clark's method of using a mild borax solution (like 20 mule team – don't worry, it's safe) and a citric acid rinse for your hair. You have to make the borax solution exactly as directed – but I've tried this method too an it works.
Lots of options out there if you have hard water.
Thanks Brittany ill try that. I'm actually experimenting with earl grey tea with lemon right now and it's a bit better but still has the same feeling. I'll try again with more vinegar though. When applying the vinegar mixture do you literally pour it onto your hair? I'm currently using a spray bottle so could it be im not using enough? Thanks
Yes I pour it onto the roots of my hair (and then of course it flows down to the tips of my hair). I know some like the spray bottle method but you would need to make sure to use enough otherwise it can't fully condition and restore ph levels
Thanks very much Brittany. I actually tried upping the vinegar ratio but with not results. I'll have to try actually pouring it onto my hair. But I actually just purchased some natural shampoo bars so I'm going to give that a try since its a bit more gentle. Maybe I'll try the baking soda method again one day, but I'm just so sick of this feeling in my hair. I could deal with greasy but it feels like there's a bunch of dried up gel in it. Just gross. I think I'm going to get my hair in better condition, because its really damaged right now, before I try this again. Thanks for all the help though!
Hello! I started the no 'poo method a couple weeks ago and am really struggling to keep with it. I'm hoping you can help me figure out what I'm doing wrong (or let me know if my issues are just part of the whole adjustment period)! My very first no 'poo was great, but since then my hair has been seriously awful, even fresh after no 'pooing. Just after showering, my roots look and feel super greasy and waxy, but my scalp is itchy and really flaky (I've never had dandruff before this)…so it's almost as though my hair is dry and greasy at the same time! I've been doing the classic 1 TB to 1 cup water for both the BS and ACV, and only pour the ACV on my ends (I'm no 'pooing every 2-3 days). I've also been boiling my water (I'm not sure if I have hard water, but I figured it couldn't hurt to boil just in case, right?). My hair is pretty thin, shoulder-length, and wavy. Any advice? I really really want this to work for me!
Are you letting the mixtures sit on your hair for at least a minute? They need a bit of time to fully clean your hair. You might want to try upping the baking soda a bit (no more than 2tbs in 1 cup)…or you can lessen the water amount (for instance I probably actually do 1 tbs baking soda in 6oz water). It doesn't sound like vinegar would be the issue and if you are already boiling the water then it's probably not a hard water issue.
So make sure you leave it on long enough and if you are already doing that then try changing the baking soda mixture a bit.
Hi Brittany!Thanks for this post! I found it really helpful even though I was already too "over it" to continue my no 'poo experiment. I have it bookmarked for when i am ready to try again, though!
I have just started going the non chemical route for about a week now ( for the past year I have been using organic shampoos and conditioners from Lush but i think even they might have a certain amount of chemicals). I am currently using the BS (i tsp to 1 cup)mixture as shampoo and a green tea and lemon rinse for conditioner ( not very precise on these ratios). I was wondering if these combinations are okay or am I overdoing a basic or acidic element? Also, I have read about some hair treatments that use egg yolk and oil but the descriptions I found were rather vague so I was wondering if you knew where these were used as a shampoo or conditioner or both? and would it be okay to try it on my hair so early on in the process?
Thank you so much…Sorry for bombarding you with questions
do you use 1/3 tbl or 1/3 cup of vinegar? Thanks
Celeste – my guess is she means 1/3 cup as 1/3 tbs would be an odd measurement. 🙂
Hi Brittany! I have a question about no 'poo and salon visits. If you maintain no 'poo at home how do you deal when you get your hair cut and styled by someone else? Thanks!
I actually address this a bit in my No 'Poo FAQ. Generally you could get a normal shampoo/conditioner at a salon and be fine. I prefer to just ask the stylist to get it wet only. One day of hair product (like all the hairspray) shouldn't hurt anything either.
My only real word of caution in regards to salons and no 'poo is that if you no 'poo with vinegar, the smell will reactivate when your stylist gets it wet and thus the whole room will smell of vinegar. It leads to interesting conversations but generally you don't want to be the cause of the pickle smell. 🙂 I usually recommend using an alternative to vinegar (like tea or juice) just for the no 'poo before the salon trip. It may or may not work as well as vinegar (it doesn't for my hair) but you also won't stink up the salon.
Now if you get your hair colored then you will have to have them wash it out with shampoo/conditioner. In which case you really have no choice but the one day shouldn't hurt.
This has been a pretty helpful page for me its been hard to find specific information that i have been looking for.
I have been trying the "no poo" method for over two weeks now and i wash every 3-6 days with 1 tbsp baking soda to 1 cup water and the same ratio for apple cider vinegar. I have thin hair, but a lot of it so it actually looks like thick hair, that is wavy and about mid-back length. Unfortunately i've been experiencing some problems.
I have always had mild dandruff and dandruff shampoos never seemed to work and just irritated my scalp even more. The first thing i noticed with the baking soda is that my scalp burns and its itchy right after i wash my hair and it last for an hour or so and my dandruff seems to be worse and right after washing my hair has a sticky waxy feel to it and it just doesn't feel clean. Appearance wise once it is dry it doesn't look too bad and my roots that are normally on the greasy side are fine but not the amazing feeling everyone is describing you should have.
Another thing to add, when i first started to try this i watched a few videos on youtube to see how people set this up to use regularly and i used the same method that seemed to be the most popular but now i think i may have it wrong :s.
I mix up my solution for my "shampoo" and "conditioner" in water bottles with a small hole in the lid and apply the baking soda solution directly to my roots in small sections and thoroughly massage for a couple minutes and rinse and then use the vinegar on the lower half of my hair. But i'm only actually using maybe 1 ounce of each solution every time. are you supposed to dump the whole thing on your head?
Any help would be very appreciated i would love to stick to this method
Where to start?…. For applying the solutions I recommend mixing as you need it (otherwise the baking soda solution can loose it's effectiveness) then yes you basically dump it all on your head. You pour it on your roots (no need to focus on the ends) but it of course pours down to the ends. You need to use the vinegar all over (hence the dumping method) so that you can re-balance your hair and scalp's ph levels. Otherwise, your scalp is only getting the baking soda which is much to alkaline on it's own.
Now if baking soda is making your scalp burn then you may need to not use it. Some people are more sensitive to it…that said, you don't need to message it in very much and it only needs to stay on your head for one minute.
As for the sticky waxy feeling, that does seem odd as you are not using much vinegar. Normally it would be recommended to lower the vinegar amount but you really are already at as low as it goes. You could increase the baking soda about a bit. But then like I mentioned, if you are sensitive to it, you wouldn't want to do that.
It's also possible that the sticky waxy feeling is from hard water…if you have hard water that is. If you do, you can correct that problem by pre-boiling the water for the mixtures.
You can also get a chlorine shower filter to help with the dandruff. I have a guess that sometimes dandruff seems to get worse with no 'poo because your scalp is no longer coated in junk. But generally no 'poo makes dandruff better.
There is another method to no 'poo. Well there's lots of methods. However, the one I'm thinking of (and will be posting about this month) is a 2 in 1 honey shampoo/conditioner. It's just honey, nothing else. Although you can add essential oils (which can help with dandruff too)
There are couple of questions that I wanted to ask:
1. I feel quite itchiness in my scalp and I think that's because I used too much baking soda in my first wash. I came across your blog and you have mentioned that oiling would help it. The problem is how would I get the oil out of my hair with baking soda? I use olive oil and I did a little research and found out that it's very hard to wash oil-ed hair with baking soda.
Can you help me?
2. Please reply so that I can post my other questions too 🙂
I'm not sure where you saw that I said oiling. I did say that tea tree oil can help (although that's usually with dandruff issues) and I've recently posted about how using coconut oil can help with dry scalp. However, if it's just itchy because of too much baking soda, I would recommend just using less baking soda. If you let me know the amount of baking soda and vinegar you were using I can help you adjust it. Also make sure you are using the vinegar as that will help bring your scalps ph levels to where they need to be.
You can of course use an oil treatment, but yes baking soda will have a hard time getting it all out. I'd recommend using a castile soap to rinse it out (possibly/probably followed by a vinegar rinse). You may need to do a double wash. You'd only need to use the castile soap after an oil treatment however. I don't really recommend using it as a normal shampoo as it just does odd things to hair.
Feel free to ask any other questions.
Well, for my first wash I used: 2 tb spoon of BS in 16 Oz and 2 tb sp of Vinegar in 16 Oz
My hair felt really dry so I thought I should minimize the amount of baking soda I use. I then used 1/2 tb spoon of BS in 8 Oz and 3 tb spoon of vinegar in 16 Oz. My hair felt good but itchiness got worse.
I think the amount of BS is just fine, I should just lower the amount of Vinegar back to 2 tb spoon for 16 Oz.
Furthermore, I am not quite sure if I felt something "really beautiful" after my first or second wash. After first wash, they felt dry and after second they felt quite ummm like somebody has glued them together.
It would be my third wash today and this is what I am going to use:
1/2 tb spoon of BS in 8 Oz with half teaspoon honey in it
2 tb spoon of Vinegar in 16 Oz
P.S. Thankyou for such a quick response 🙂
I would recommend doing 1 tbs baking soda in 8 oz water (before you used too much as so your hair was dry, but now 1/2 tbs is too little and so your hair is "glued together") I'd use the tbs of vinegar in 16 oz for now…but if you do the 1tbs of baking soda with that measurement of vinegar and find that your hair is still dry, I'd up the vinegar. Sometimes you need more acidity. I for instance had to do a 50/50 ratio of vinegar and water when I first started and even now I'm down to 1/3 cup vinegar 2/3 cup water. Vinegar is the conditioner so it will help hair not be dry.
Thankyou very much 🙂
Just one more question:
I have to oil my hair weekly since they lack nutrition and are short and are not healthy … and the list goes on :p In short, I have terrible neck length wavy hair (Not that the waves are visible now 😛 )
So, I am a little scared to use castile soap. I read your blog about the coconut oil and I would love to use coconut oil treatment weekly. Is there any way other than using shampoo or castile soap?
Well it's possible that if you get the hang of no 'poo, your hair might become health again. However if you need to do the oil treatments… well castile soap or shampoo is really the way to go. You can do two baking soda washes in a row but that might be more harsh than castile or shampoo.
I thought I should just drop in a comment and tell you about my third wash 🙂
So, with 1 tb spoon of BS together with half teaspoon of honey and 2 tb spoon of vinegar, the results came out quite good. When I came out of the shower, my hair looked weirdly greasy and I thought that this experiment has also failed. However, when I let them air dry, they felt good and soft (one positive thing). However, now that it has been ummm i guess 12 hours since I took the shower, my hair are ummm not as nice as they were before. I let my mum feel my hair so I could get a better opinion. She said that my hair weren't dry but you could tell that it's funny. Like they look "almost" normal but still you can see that something's wrong with them.
After giving you the update, here's what I thought about the oil treatment. What if I get myself almond and tea tree oil? I heard that almond oil acts as a great leave in condition so this what I have in mind:
I use this no poo method two times a week NOT more than that. So, after I come out of shower, I should put some almond oil in my hair just a little bit of it. Then when I would be about to have my second shower, I'd use tea tree oil like you have mentioned (the almond oil is still in the hair and almost three days would have been passed right now) and I'll use the no poo method to rinse it out since it would be easy to wash it out, right? I won't have to use any shampoo or any castile soap.
So, almond oil would be after every shower and tea tree oil would be just before the second one. How does it sound??
P.S. I am sorry for SUCH a big comment 🙂
You might want to try and leave out the honey next time. Sometimes adding honey can weigh down hair a bit.
You can try the almond oil but as I've never tried it, I really can't help you there. And tea tree oil isn't really an oil…at least not like almond oil. It's an essential oil and you really only use a few drops of it. Most of the time you actually mix the tea tree oil into an oil (or you could mix it into the baking soda mixture or even the vinegar mixture.)
Hello, i thought i would give you an update since my first post (june 5th)
I have still been sticking with the "no poo" and its been great i made a few changes and used some of your advice.
I got a chlorine filter which its great im pretty sure i do have hard water but it doesn't seem to affect my hair as much with the filter
for my "shampoo" i now use 1 1/2 tbsp. of baking soda in 10 oz of very warm water (i have no idea why it works better warm, but it just seems to make my hair feel more clean and super soft) with 7 drops of tea tree oil to help with my dandruff (i have convinced my fiance to do this as well so i leave him around 2 oz in my bottle after i shower and thats enough for his short hair)
the conditioner has remained basically the same just 1 tbsp. but in 10 oz of water instead of 8
this combination has been working great for me. Adding the extra baking soda and using the chlorine filter has reduced the "waxy" feeling i got and now that i use the vinegar on my scalp it doesn't burn like it did before. Adding the tea tree oil has been great to help my dandruff. It is still there but is at the best state it has ever been and only really noticeable once my hair gets oily and i scratch my scalp.
Thanks so much for the help.
That's great! Thanks for the update.
I am not sure if my first comment got there or not. So,
I am again having some problems with my no poo routine. You remember I told you how i was going to use honey in my first wash? Well, after the first wash honey made my hair feel perfect. I LOVED it, however, there was a stench in the mixture.
Today, when I had my second wash (after three days), the solution was UNBEARABLE. It was IMPOSSIBLE for me to use it and even when I rinsed out, the smell was there. The smell was there even when an hour passed away. The smell was so strong that it made my puke. Does this usually happen? I have heard people complaining about the vinegar smell but my vinegar solution is perfect. It's the BS solution that gets to my nerves (more since I started using honey in it).
Furthermore, my hair doesn't get greasy like people say. After first wash, they looked perfect after the first wash and on the second day; NOTHING. They were not dry, they were not greasy, they were just not ANYTHING.
I have same length as you do. And the 8 ounces of BS solution lasts for two washes, is that okay? I mean, I am not using too much BS solution , right?
I desperately want this method to work on me since I have had enough of my terrible hair and it seems as if this method isn't working either
I have no idea why the BS solution would smell. BS smells like nothing…or soap if anything. Honey could be an issue if you do not like the smell of honey but it shouldn't smell awful. You could add an essential oil to help cover up the smell I suppose. Although I didn't just notice that you said it' lasts for two washes (so it sits there for 3 days, right?) So it's possible it's getting moldy/mildewy… On that note, you are supposed to use the full 8 oz on your hair. It's a one time amount.
Oh and I have also noticed that my hair have started falling after I used honey. Do you think the honey is doing this?
P.S. Please review all three of the comments (if you have got the first one) since all three have my problems. Thanks
falling as in falling out or falling as in limp? If it's limpness then I'd just ditch the honey. However, if it's falling out then that's another issue. Generally no poo will not cause hair loss. It is possible that since your hair is already in a delicate condition (I feel like you said, it "needed" oil treatments) that perhaps you are one of the unlucky ones who has such delicate hair that it isn't ready to handle no 'poo. In regards to hair health, you might want to look into adding gelatin to your diet.
I never knew that I should use the whole 8 Ounce solution in one go :/
I am afraid that if I do that, I would again have that dry haystack in the name of "hair". My hair length is exactly like yours. Don't you think that would be a little too harsh?
And about the falling part, it's like if I comb my hair through my fingers or if I just wave my hand through the ends, I'll notice one or two strands of hair and I am not sure if that would be hair falling in limp or hair falling out.
Plus, does that mean I should give up on no poo method? And when I used to use shampoo, my hair used to fall out A LOT. On my first wash (Only BS solution) I didn't notice any hair but after using honey, I am noticing the hair fall. But the problem is honey makes my hair look soft and shiny. I don't know where to compromise :/
It's not a stronger solution of baking soda so it will not be any more harsh. Of course if you are happy with less than go with it but with my hair length I use the 8 oz.
One or two strands doesn't sound too bad. I think you are probably fine.
As for the honey, if you like it then keep it. Alternatively you could do just a honey wash for a "two in one" product. This is what my husband uses.
About the one two strands, I get those strands EVERYTIME I comb or touch my hair and I am scared because it is as if they keep on falling.
And I didn't get the last part. You mean like I can use the simple BS and vinegar solution for my wash and then the next day, I can simply wash my hair with half teaspoon of honey in water? Just to add the soft and shiny touch to them?
And then again after two days, I can have my another no poo wash and then honey wash the next day?
No I mean instead of using baking soda or vinegar at all, You'd use like 1 tbs honey in 1/2 cup water and use that as both the shampoo and conditioner. My husband uses it for both, I've tried it out as just conditioner. Honey would be less harsh if you are worried that the baking soda is too harsh.
Okay so I am REALLY worried now.
This time I went with simple 8 ounce and 1 tbspoon of BS solution followed by the usual 2 tb spoon on vinegar in 16 Ounce.
Now, here are the results:
My hair doesn't feel itchy which means that I am using the right amount of the things. They are not glued together. Another good thing. However, they do feel dry. Something, that I am liking right now. Like when I used honey, they felt strange but still soft and shiny but this time, without honey, they don't feel like that. In other words, my hair feels JUST OKAY-ISH. They don't look REALLY GORGEOUS, SOFT, SILKY, SHINY, WAVY etc. They are JUST clean and that is it. They feel dry, however, not as dry as haystack.
I don't want to use honey because I have noticed that this time, there are less strands of hair. Obviously, the honey solution caused the hair fall. I need some tip. And the texture of my hair is like, if you touch them, you'd feel they are clean but at the same time, you WOULD notice that I am doing something different to my hair. Like, a person can touch them and tell that I am not using shampoo.
So far, I am not much impressed by these results and my mother and sister are keep telling me that you are damaging your hair and I am not sure if I should continue this or not. HELP ME PLEASE. I REALLY want this method to work on me :/
I would stick with the tbs BS in 8 oz water, but do a bit more vinegar (and you only need 8 oz water for your hair amount) So I'd try Tbs vinegar in 8 oz water. Vinegar is the conditioner and what will help your hair be soft and shiny.
So, if I use BS solution like I use (I don't use the whole 8 Oz solution like I have mentioned already) but use the entire 8 oz solution of Vinegar, would that make a difference? Or would that be too much vinegar?
And you forgot to mention how many tbs of Vinegar in 8 oz water. I use 2 Tbs in 16 Oz but like I have said it already, I don't use the ENTIRE solution. I just spray it until I feel my entire hair is covered with it.
I would use the full amounts of each. If you feel like your hair is getting clean enough with just a part of the BS mixture then that's fine but I'd use all the vinegar. I also wouldn't spray it on. Spraying (either solution) really can't coat your hair and scalp well enough. this is why in my recipe it says to use the full recipes and to pour it on.
It's 1 tbs vinegar in 8 oz water but if your hair isn't feeling soft and shiny then I'd up it to 2 tbs in 8 oz.
Okay I'll try this tomorrow.
One thing: Does the solution stop working if we store it in bottles? Like does it become harmful for the hair if I store BS solution and vinegar solution in bottles like I have already mentioned that I use the same solution for two washes?
And secondly, I feel like laughing now 😛 My hair is CRAZY. If I don't use honey, my hair stops falling ( not completely but still less than when I used honey) but dandruff creeps in. And if I use honey, dandruff fades away, my hair feels soft and shiny but the hairfall is AARRRGGHHH 😉
I always make my mixtures each time so they are fresh. The vinegar shouldn't be an issue if you store it longer. The baking soda can loose it's strength which is why I do not recommend making it ahead of time but I know some people do.
No idea what to tell you about your hair falling out. That is odd. You might want to try a scalp remedy like the one I have on my blog (it's just coconut oil with some essential oils mixed in) Your hair would probably be greasy for a few days but it might be just enough to get rid of the dandruff.
So, I tried 1 tb spoon of BS in 8 Oz and 2 tb spoon of Vinegar in 8 Oz and the results were not good. I tried 1 tb spoon of BS in 8 Oz and 1 tb spoon of Vinegar in 8 Oz and the results are good. My hair looks good, they seem healthy and there is volume in it but I am not fully satisfied. The problem is still there that a person can tell something is different. They seem a littttllllleeeee dry and if you touch them, you can see that the texture is different and that some powder has been used. What should I do?
Plus, the front looks good but the back of my hair is just lifeless :/ i only look good from the front, from where I have parted my hair but the back doesn't look good. Maybe, I poured vinegar there, that's why, I am not sure.
Did you pour the vinegar mixture this time or spray it on? Also are you leaving both solutions on for a minute before rinsing? You say it looks as though some powder has been used…what do you mean by that?
You said that when you increased the vinegar that the results were worse than with the original vinegar ratio…how so? How was your hair different?
I spray the solutions and then I massage my scalp. In this way, I think it gets to the roots. As far as the vinegar is concerned, I just let it stay and I don't massage it to the roots.
And Yes! I do let the solutions stay for a minute.
My hair doesn't feel soft and shiny. There is something about the texture. Like I have read that people feel wonderful after the no poo wash and it's the detox that is annoying but the no poo rinse, itself, makes their hair looks lovely. This is not what is happening with me. I don't feel any detox period. I can go like four days without anything and still my hair won't feel greasy. It's the no poo wash that isn't working for me. It's just cleaning my hair; that is it. It's not making them beautiful or gorgeous or healthy or whatever people say no poo does
When I used 2 tb spoon of vinegar, my hair got greasy. So, obviously it didn't work. This time they look fine.
Well if your hair gets clean with 1 tbs of vinegar but gets greasy with 2 tbs then there is not much else you can do. You might be one of the unlucky ones who's hair just doesn't work with no 'poo. Before throwing in the towel I would try pouring instead of spray (at the original ratios: 1 tbs in 1 cup of water) just to see if pouring on makes any difference. Otherwise, your hair not be compatible with no 'poo. It's rare but it does happen.
Hi! I've been no 'poo for about 3 years. Prior to that I only shampooed once a week so I had a very short detox time. Ordinarily I can go up to two or two and a half weeks without washing my hair. It's short which also helps. I've always had, what I am now realizing, a dry scalp. I didn't really notice until recently. I'm postpartum so my hair is quite thin from the hormonal detox that is birth causing my retain pregnancy hair to fall out. It's so thin right now and my scalp looks dry and flaky! It's not itchy though. I have honestly never measured for my hair. I've always done the paste method with about a Tbs, but don't always rinse with vinegar (hubby hates the smell of acv, sadly). Any way to moisturize my scalp? I was pondering doing the oil cleansing method for the face on my scalp to see if that might revitalize.
Also, both my daughters have a waxy, yellowish layer in their scalps. My oldest, 3, I've only just started using an all natural free-from-everything shampoo to help. Is this dandruff? I'd read somewhere that true dandruff is waxy while flakes are just dry scalp. I haven't researched to verify that though. It seems different from the cradle cap I've seen – which is yellow, but flaky/scaly. This is just waxy and yellow. I sometimes do a honey and brown sugar scrub, but that's hair to do with the 3 yo since she has a full head of hair. Any thoughts on what it could be? I don't wash their hair often. Maybe once a month. Sometimes more frequently. Just depends.
Glad to hear you've been no 'poo for so long! Here are some ideas to help with that dry scalp. 1) a chlorine shower filter. Chlorine dries out skin and can cause dry skin/dandruff. 2) Try diluting the baking soda (1 tbs in 1 cup of water) instead of using a paste..don't want to mess with your system but it's possible that since you've been doing no 'poo so long, your scalp has readjusted and doesn't need as concentrated of a baking soda mixture. 3) Vinegar really does help restore your scalps ph levels so since you do not use it often that might be causing the issue. You could add essential oils to the vinegar so it doesn't smell as bad or use juice/tea instead. Vinegar doesn't smell once dry however so once it's dry your husband shouldn't have an issue. 🙂
You could also do an oil treatment but no 'poo isn't the greatest for removing all that oil. Usually if I do an oil treatment I wash my hair with castile soap after because it's a bit better at removing the oil.
Now on to your daughters. My kids also developed that yellow junky layer. Not sure exactly what it is. My doctor looked at my daughters and decided to call it cradle cap/seborrheic dermatitis. She recommended some nasty product but I used my own oil treatment instead and it worked wonders. Cleared it all up (this oil treatment would probably be good for your scalp in case you do want to go with the oil treatment option) Here's the link to my recipe: http://www.pistachioproject.com/2013/07/dry-scalp-remedy.html
Hi! I need your help. I been no pooing for just under two months. My problem is that my hair is always greasy. Like the day I wash it, it'll be ok-ish, but then the next day it'll be all greasy and dirty looking. Kinda smells bad too if its tied it for too long. I don't know about the hardwater thing so I just boil my water. I use 1TB of baking soda per cup of water and 1TB of vinegar per cup of water. Is it because I might not be applying it right? I dip my fingers into the BS mixture and I massage my scalp very thoroughly. Then I leave it in for a minute and rinse it out. About five minutes later, I dab a bit of the vingear mixture into my scalp, a bit here and there and rub a bit onto the length of my hair. I only shampooed once in the past two months. I'm at my wits end. I think I might have to stop no pooing if this greasiness continues 🙁
So you only use a tiny bit of the mixture? You need to pour the whole amount onto your head. Try that and see if you get better results. If you don't, just let me know and we can keep working on things to try.
I've been no pooing for about 4 weeks. Last week I used shampoo. Is my hair going to go into detix mode again?
Odds are a one time shampoo will not effect the detox. (this is also good to know if you are going to get your hair cut and the stylist wants to give you a shampoo)
A whole cup in one go? Just pour the whole thing on my head? Just the BS or the vinegar too?
Yes. I pour it on top, the sides, and then underneath. Yes both the BS and the Vinegar (but during their separate times…no volcano science experiments. 🙂
I tried that last last night. I didn't massage it in, I just rinsed my hair with the vinegar and the BS. My hair looks clean but when I tie, it smells like sweat. I'm going to try again today with massaging it in and pouring it on my head. Will let you know how it turns out.
Both massaging the roots and pouring the mixture on worked pretty well. Thank you 🙂
That's great! I'm so glad to hear that!
Do you wash your hair with water in between baking soda/vinegar rinses? If so, how often?
I personally do not. I found that if I wash my hair with just water in between no 'poo washes that it makes my hair look worse (that is not the case for everyone however). If you want to wash with water only you can do that as often as every day that you do not no 'poo (as water will not hurt your hair or effect no 'pooing)
Hello. I have been No Poo for about three months now and it's been going great. My hair has become a lot softer than ever and I got rid of the gross dandruff commercial shampoo gave (I still have flakes, but only after about four days of not washing my hair). One thing I have noticed though, is that my scalp has started to hurt more quickly when I put my hair up in a bun. About just an hour or two until I could not take it anymore and I have to take my hair down. Could this be possibly because of the baking soda? I don't even use a lot, only a teaspoon to about a half cup of water.
Hmmm… that is an interesting issue. I can't imagine why no 'poo would make your scalp hurt any more than other products. As far as I know that would be more of an issue with pulling your hair and follicles and such… not necessarily the products used to clean your hair and scalp. I suppose anything it possible but it doesn't seem likely to me and it's not a complaint I've heard before.
Thank you so much for all your informations and your tryings and updates. I've been using your deo recipe and been no'poing for about 2 months. I first had problems with getting the hair clean, but your "trouble shooting" help me a lot. After I started boiling water, I really got clean, fresh hair. Actually, people don't believe me, when I say i stoped usung shampoo! I used to have hair fall, and they were not growing again. since I started no poo'ing, i don't loose my hair anymore, and… new hair is growing! Seems like the pores were closed because of all those chemicals! I'm so happy now! I now got a dandruff problem though, but still, i got hair again! I've read through your trouble shooting again and will start to try adding tea trea oil. Hope it's gonna help. I really don't want to go back to shampoo!
Have a nice week end!
Thank you for that report! It's always nice to hear that no 'pooing is helping others! I hope the tea tree oil clears up the dandruff.
Thanks for the great blog! I'm new to no pooing…I've been at it 2 weeks now. I use the same BS/ACV mix you have listed above. My hair is dark brown, not coloured thin and fine. I found from my first no poo shampoo my hair looked amazing, it was full, soft and super shiny..very clean feeling. I've noticed over the past few weeks I notice my hair is a bit staticky, the ends are more tangled but don't feel dry, my biggest problem is my scalp is itchy…not dry, no flakes and no dandruff just itchy. I really don't want to give up and go back to regular shampooing. Any advice? Or methods I could try? Thanks!
I would recommend maybe increasing your vinegar a bit (to help with the tangling) or you can add a bit of honey to the BS mixture. Honey will help with the static and itchiness.
Thank you for the wonderful post 🙂 its great that you're taking the time to answer a lot of specific questions.
i have been on no poo for quite some time, not sure if using JR Liggetts Shampoo bar is considered to be a shampoo as their stuff are pretty natural.I have thick strands of oily hair but not a lot of them.
Anyway, just two days ago i decided to exfoliate my scalp using the bs+avc method. i mixed some avocado oil and olive oil and massaged it into my hair for a pre wash treatment. I then washed it out with bs + vinegar and it became so greasy/waxy after that…. not sure if its from the olive+avocado oil… or possibly a second detox?? i hated it, so i tried getting rid of it by using the shampoo bar and spraying acv on my hair the following day, as well as this morning, it did not work. i dont know what to do. it looks so gross, i have to get rid of it because i am have an office job, i look soooososoo unpresentable 🙁
on days where i don't shampoo, i would spray rosemary water to my scalp. that is definitely not the cause because i did that for the past month and it didnt leave my hair waxy. Could it be a sea salt spray that i sprayed onto my hair?
i also feel like i'm dropping a lot of hair from all these washing etc…. i hope my pores are not clogged 🙁 i really want this to work!
Any advise as to what i might be doing wrong is greatly appreciated!
My guess is that it's so greasy because of the oil treatment. I've found that whenever I do an oil treatment it takes me at least two separate washes to really get it all out. It's one thing shampoo is actually good for – getting oil treatments out.
It's possibly a sea salt spray could be making it waxy. I've not actually used one to know exactly what it could do.
Were you happy with your original method of the shampoo bar? If not I'd recommend trying out the bs + vinegar method. I can help troubleshoot better when I know what I'm working with. 🙂
As for loosing hair. I'd be careful. It's possible it's just a temporary thing from all the washings but there are a select few who just have too delicate of hair for no 'pooing.
Hi again, thank you for your reply!
i am happy with the shampoo bar, it smells soooo good 🙂
its just that i'm wondering if washing 2-3 times a week with the shampoo bar can really cleanse my scalp that produces too much sebum (where i stay is super humid all year round, so its impossible to not perspire) as thoroughly as the bs+acv method.
Yes. In theory it should work just as well for cleaning. Your hair will eventually adjust and make less sebum. Washing every 2-3 days just makes the process take a bit longer (but it makes you more presentable for the real world 🙂
Very insightful. Thank you. I'm going to try Aloe Vera juice as a posed yo acv. As lemon jjuice seemed to improve hair waxy feel and look. Though perhaps the detox phase was improving. But I use bentonite clay to wash and detox my hair. I usually find arrowroot powder helps greasy waxy hair. But this time my hair was great alone then it turned sticky over night lol. confusing. but I heard people with better results with aloe vera juice. Im needing to try it next time just received it through post 🙂 hopefully next summer my hair will be glowing. It certainly looks way better than it ever did with shampoo. since I was younger hair was full of life now with shampoo it died. now its alive again. 😉 and nor the frizzy kind of way 🙂
I have been using no poo for 6 weeks and my hair is greasy, dry, dandruff tangled. I can't even run my fingers through it. Let alone my comb or brush when it's dry I use 2 tbs b.s and 3cups of water. Same with vineger I have hard water in my house. But i make my mixtures with distilled water. One help im getting a little frustrated
You are technically using too little b.s. You need 1tbs per cup of water. I would try using that ration and seeing if that helps. (same ratio for vinegar). If you still have problems let me know and we can keep working on things.
Hi, I have a bit different problem with this method. I dye my hair blond and they are quiet dry because of that. After washing them wit 1TBS soda per cup of water and then using 1TBS ACV per cup of water my hair feels very dry at the ends but closer to scalp they look greasy. They do not seem to dry properly as well feeling a bit wet all the time. I’m not sure now if I should use more BS or Vinegar? What do you think.
You should probably stick with the ratios for now. I would advice making sure the baking soda mixture is focused in on your roots. Don’t even bother pouring it on the rest of your hair, just do the roots and the excess will flow onto the rest of your hair. Make sure to rub it in/around and let sit for one minute. I’d do that and try the vinegar as normal. If it still produces the same results, I’d continue with my baking soda recommendation but also try focusing the vinegar part on just the ends of your hair and not too much on your roots. Make sure to let sit at least a minute and then rinse well.
Do note that dyed hair can be more susceptible to being too dry and thus the baking soda/vinegar no ‘poo method may be too harsh for your hair. It will all depend on your hair type and water type. This no ‘poo method is great but as is true for all things… it’s not necessarily for everyone. 🙂
Thank you or the advice – I tried as yo described but increased vinegar amount and it seems to work better now. It is still not perfect – think I need to add a bit more o soda and vinegar but at least I can see some progress 🙂