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!

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.

Solutions to “problems” with no ‘pooing:

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.

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.

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.

Dry scalp/Dandruff: 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.

Flat/Limp Hair: If your hair looks flat or limp then try decreasing the vinegar. Another possibility is up increase the baking soda just a bit.

 Have you tired going "no 'poo" but you've got a few issues? Check out this no 'poo troubleshooting post!

Other Random 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.


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
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
Peri bottles

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.

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