Bandwagons: The No ‘Poo Method

Sometimes I feel like half my blog posts are about what I learned by jumping on this or that bandwagon, and today is no different. I saw this “No ‘Poo” thing mentioned on a few blogs and facebook statuses, and was curious.

Let me just say that I hate the unfortunate moniker ‘No Poo’. I mean, the very last thing I need in my life right now is to form more sentences with the word “Poo” in them. See also: life with toddler.

ANYWAY, the No ‘Poo concept is this: Modern shampoo is too harsh and actually wrecks your hair everytime you wash it. Modern conditioner is nothing but a poor chemical stand-in for all the natural hair oil that you just washed out. So some people are discontinuing hair washing entirely, just scrubbing their heads in the running water. Some are washing with baking soda and vinegar. Here are all the purported benefits:

  • Reduces use of petroleum-based stuff.
  • Less plastic waste.
  • Less chemicals washed down the drain.
  • Saves money.
  • Hair has more body.
  • Hair is shinier.
  • Hair is less frizzy.
  • Hair is less oily, and needs less washing.

I was intrigued. I’m kind of in a phase of trying to reduce or eliminate chemicals that I can’t pronounce from my environment.  But lets be honest here, I really only care about the last four on the list, all pertaining to my HAIR.  I would be totally uninterested in saving the environment but having worse hair.  Come on.

So, I decided to give it a whirl.  The process is simple. I use a tablespoon of baking powder mixed in a cup of water in place of shampoo.  For conditioning, I’m using a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a cup of water.  I keep these in two little squeeze bottles in the shower, and that amount lasts me about two washes. People use an array of different recipes, and some use fancy stuff like lemon juice for conditioning.

I’ve been doing this for weeks now and you know what?  IT WORKS. At first I couldn’t even believe it.  My hair is unbelievably LESS frizzy.  I mean, like basically not frizzy at all.  And y’all, I’ve had frizzy hair since 1995.

I really did blow my mind at first. What about all the shampoo/conditioner marketing, pretty bottles, descriptive labels, detailed descriptions of how to apply each product?  Is all that a sham?  I don’t know, but I can honestly say that the baking soda/vinegar method works.  My hair is clean just like with regular shampoo, and yet better and happier. Seriously, baking soda?

Last weekend I went to an outdoor wedding where it was 92 degrees and 110% humidity.  Air so thick you could cut it with a knife.  See pic below. Yeah, my hot roller curls fell out, but no frizz.  I proudly marched around in a sea of other folks’ frizzy heads.

photo 2

What are the downsides? Well, one morning I accidentally made my baking soda solution with baking powder by accident. That turned out kinda weird and gross. So there’s that risk to deal with. The vinegar smells exactly like vinegar when you’re using it. That’s not awesome, but the smell does rinse out entirely. There’s no soap suds or foaming, and frankly the whole “Herbal Essences” shower experience is kinda gone. But I am 100% willing to deal with all of the above for better hair.

Here’s a real-time self-hair-portrait for further proof. I washed it two days ago, styled as usual, and haven’t really bothered with it since.

photo 1

I absolutely recommend you try this, if you have any complaints about the status of your own hair. Who knew something so cheap and simple could actually be superior?

Want more information? Try Simple Mom or Crunchy Betty. Now, go forth and experiment!


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About Mary-Hall

loyal southerner, exceedingly frugal, compulsive DIYer

4 responses to “Bandwagons: The No ‘Poo Method”

  1. Jennifer Taylor says :

    All three feet of my hair hates me for moving from Colorado to Washington, D.C. (did you know our nation’s capital is built on a swamp??). I’m frizz central over here. I’ve done a vinegar rinse a couple of times after clarifying, but I’ve never been brave enough to was with baking soda. I may have to take the challenge now. #peerpressure

    • Mary-Hall says :

      Jen – you have to try it. The frizz was quite a bit better after just one wash and you can always go back, right? And I believe that about DC. I went there one May and nearly drowned in the humidity. And my hair looked awful the whole trip.

  2. Anonymous says :

    Momma Daniel would like to know if that baking soda is for normal, oily, or color-treated hair? 🙂

    • Mary-Hall says :

      Hey Mrs D – ha ha No ‘poo is for all!! I kinda left this part out but the other half of the theory is that it’s the repeat harsh shampoo washings that make oily hair. So cutting it out actually let’s your scalp chill out and stop making so much. And as far as color treated, the baking soda is way more gentle than typical color treated shampoo. Yahoo for no poo!!

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