The "No Poo" experiment

So I've been reading about not using shampoo and using baking soda instead, on the majik interwebs... I thought I'd give it a try. I didn't read up on it, I just read that a few gals were doing it, and loved the results.

Day One: I hate it. I think I did something wrong. My hair feels awful as I rinsed it out. I thought for sure it was going to be this nasty greasy mess when it dried. I didn't read how much baking soda to water, if they added anything, rinsed with anything. I just know that my hair feels gross. It feels like I'd been swimming in sea water, or a public pool with way too many chemicals, let my hair dry while on a jet ski, and didn't rinse or brush it out. I couldn't get a brush through it. I also decided to try this the very first day of the work week. I just manhandled it enough to get it into a bun and ignore the bumps sticking out.

 Day two: Today I used the baking soda like a paste. I added about two tablespoonfuls of baking soda, and dribbled just enough water to make a paste. I scrubbed this into the front and sides of my scalp at the hair line, then dribbled the rest out of the cup and worked it into my hair. I feel like my hair is still coated in baking soda after it dries. Then brush will not go through smoothly, it wants to snarl and tangle. This can't be right.

 I looked up the No Poo method briefly, when I got home from work today. Prolly would have been better if I did this before I started. Lots of people have the problem I'm going through. Straw feeling hair, not smooth... I'm stripping out all the shampoo residue that makes the hair "feel" smooth, but is really wrecking my hair. The baking soda method will eventually let the natural oils in my scalp even out, and my hair will be nice... In theory anyhow.

I had to take another shower when I got home today. I shaved an Australian Shepherd today, and it's hair made me feel like I was covered in fiberglass. And so I baking soda-ed my head again. I read where some people were using a light bit of olive oil on the ends of their hair. Well I have canola oil...

 Day three: More research on the baking soda last night. It shouldn't be a paste. Too much will irritate my scalp. I shouldn't be doing it ever day. Just rise my hair with water as I'm in the shower. So of course I had to wash my hair again this morning because of the canola oil I put in it last night. Can you say dried out, gooey sticky mess. I also didn't get a smaller container to put the mixture in, so I have paste in a cup still. Rinsing with Apple cider vinegar will help seal the cuticle of the hair and make it healthier and feel better. I need to get that. I did cheat this morning and rubbed a very small amount of regular shampoo into my hair before the paste, and a tiny bit of regular conditioner into just the ends of my hair. I didn't leave it wrapped up in a towel as it dried. We'll see.

Day 4: Didn't get the apple cider vinegar yet. Today was a day off for me, so I took nice long bath. Relaxed and read my Kindle. I just rinsed out my hair and added a little bit of conditioner, diluted, to the ends of my hair. I really expected it to be a greasy mess. I've read that folks have that problem as their scalp naturalizes out. I also get a lank, string, greasy mess if I go more than a day without shampooing. Even if I shampoo the night before, by mid morning, it's starting to get ucky. I actually don't look like I've been a week without a shower. that's how I feel I look if I don't wash it every day. I didn't do the baking soda today.

Day 5: Baking soda again today. I diluted it a lot, and didn't use a paste. My head itches. It feels like a grodey mess when it's wet. Surprisingly, my fingers don't feel all greasy after running them through my hair as I'm "washing" it. I did a little conditioner to the ends again so I could brush it. The static was horrible after it dried. It took a ling time to dry. I don't get that cool, soft, fluffy feeling as it's almost dry and still almost damp. It almost feels like there is a powder coating it. People who have used ear powder in dogs, or quick stop will know what I'm talking about. It feels like that in my hair. I'll be stopping at Wally World on the way home for apple cider vinegar, and 10 mule team borax.

Day 6: Just a light soda/water rinse today. Hot water as I could stand it under the shower. The itching is going away. I've always had a flaky greasy scalp when I don't wash every day. The first inch or so of hair off my scalp feels almost normal. It doesn't feel like some sort of rough powder is coating it. It's not staticky. It sticks to it's self though when I wind it up in a bun.

I have really long hair. Down past the waist band of my jeans. As I joke though, it's only all five strands of it that long. It's also thin. My hair tend to lay lank, and flat to my head by the end of the day. No body, no lift at the roots. I have to keep it wound up in a bun most of the time. I really don't know why I don't cut it short. At work it's up, or it'll get in the way of the scissors, fall into the bath while I'm washing dogs. Outside the wind blows it all over my face and I hate that. Working in the yard it tangles in everything, is in my face. At night it becomes this giant tangle that like to try and choke me in my sleep. When I drive it's pinning my head in place as I lean back on it. So pretty much all the time, I have to keep it up out of my way. I don't know why I don't cut it. when I ride I leave it long down my back. When I go out with Scott I leave it long and fight with it till we get home and I put it up. Leaving it down right now is not an option. It's ugly.

Day 7: No work today. Just a leisurely start to my morning. Coffee... Computer... Shower later, just a light soda/water rinse to my hair. I just wish I could get a brush through it easier. The first inch or so is ok, and the last two inches with the light conditioner through them are ok. It's just the giant snarled mess in the middle. As fast as I brush it all out, as soon as I move, or a puff of air crosses it, it's all tangled again. Those of you with Barbies, or My Little Ponies as kids will understand this reference. Remember when you brushed their hair so much it made this frizzy nasty mess at the end, and no brush would ever go through it again? Well that's how my hair feels. Ugh.

Day 8: I fell off the No Poo wagon. Vanity was my downfall. Today was Valentines day. Every day I fought with my hair saying to myself, it's only been so many days, I promised to give it two weeks.... Every day I swore this was the last day. Then I'd get out of the shower, let my hair air dry, and twist it in a bun as soon as I got ready to leave for work. I came home today, and realized I had to go out in PUBLIC looking like gak. At work I don't care. Bun, wisps sticking out all over are the norm. It's VALENTINES DAY and I'm trying to look nice fore my hubby. I don't want to wear my hair in a bun looking like I forgot to brush it before I twisted it up. I want to leave ti down, all the way down my back. So I caved. I stuck my head under the spigot in the tub, and used commercial shampoo and conditioner. I even blow dried it. I haven't used a blow drier on my hair in years. *GASP* I had lift though. I had a little bit of body to my hair. I had the light fluffy want to run my fingers through my hair feeling back. It was shiny. I prolly won't get back on the wagon. I don't have what it takes to wait for the natural oils to work all the way through the length of hair I have. Maybe one day if I ever cut it. I will use the soda/water combo occasionally to strip the build up out of my hair.


  1. All I've ever read about using baking soda is that everyone ends up with a flaking, itchy, scalp and ugly hair. My hair is as long as yours only very thick. I use about 1 teaspoon of shampoo every other day. At that rate one bottle lasts a year. For conditioner I take an ounce of conditioner and put it into an empty squirt bottle. Fill the bottle with water. Shake well. After you get out of the shower spray your wet hair. Leave it in. A bottle of conditioner lasts a year too!

  2. I actually use very little shampoo and conditioner to start with. Like I said, my hair is pretty thin. Always has been. I use a little of my face wash around the scalp line and just into my hair when I wash my face. A quarter sized spot on shampoo through the rest of it, and a little less than that of conditioner.



Try these other posts