Tuesday, June 3, 2014

‘No Poo, No Problems

You may have heard that recently I decided to try the ‘no poo method. The idea is that shampoo is bad for your hair, that the harsh chemicals strip away your natural grease. Now, I’m not too attached to my personal hair grease but I liked the idea of taking care of my hair. My hair is strait, thick and fine. It’s also ridiculously greasy and my scalp is sensitive. Anything that promised to lighten the grease load without adding dandruff is welcome. On top of that I’m poor. I’m looking to save money any way I can and hair care products are expensive. I’d seen the ‘no poo method floating around the internet for a while and finally decided to finally give it a shot.

Here’s how it works: Baking soda replaces shampoo, apple cider vinegar replaces conditioner. Hypothetically they get everything just as clean and even glossier then their chemical counterparts. Sounds great.

So how’d it really work? Well, first off I just want to say that all of these are just my experiences with the method. I know plenty of people who have had different experiences. Now that my lawyer bit is done I’ll tell you what I experienced. I have to break it down into two parts.

The Baking soda. Oh my gosh, did this not work out well for me. It got my hair clean but never completely so. I couldn’t build up a lather to get spots that I missed with the baking soda. If I missed a spot with my baking soda mixture that spot just didn’t get clean. No amount scrubbing could fix it. On top of that the amount of baking soda to water is pretty finicky and I just don’t have the patience to measure it out every day. So some days it would be clean with just a few greasy spots and other days it would be greasy all over because I didn’t have the right ratio. I also noticed that I went from occasional dandruff to near constant flakes. At first I just thought it was the weather but when I stopped using baking soda it cleared up. Apparently the soda is too hard on my scalp. Needless to say that after two months I am very, very done. I’m back regular shampoo again and I couldn’t be more relieved.

I had a much better experience with the vinegar. I’ll confess that I cheated a little. I have really nasty split ends that I haven’t been able to do anything for. The conditioner I was using was great for making them look like healthy hair. The vinegar wasn’t as effective in that department soI’ve still been putting regular conditioner on my ends. When that blessed day appears where I get to trim my hair we’ll see if I can use vinegar alone.

To sum up I’m pretty sure I got what I wanted. I liked the vinegar but hated the baking soda. For the past few weeks I’ve been mixing regular shampooing with the vinegar as conditioner and it seems to be working. I get the benefits of both without the negatives of either. My biggest concern- cost- worked out well. Baking soda in the amount I was using might actually be more expensive then shampoo. Instead I cut out the real expense- conditioner- for something that’s less than a quarter of the price. I’m not sure if my hair is healthier or not. My roots look less greasy but that could be for cosmetic vs health reasons. I’ve read on the internet that the people with the most success with this method are those with coarse, curly hair. Overall I would recommend it for most people to try, just don’t feel bad if it doesn’t work.

Up next on the au natural experiments is olive oil as face wash. I’ll keep you posted!

P.S. Does anyone know where to get free stock photos? I searched all over the place and couldn't find anything. I'd love to break up the text on my blog a bit but can't afford to pay a premium for it. 


  1. I didn't know you were trying that out! I've seen it floating around, but I love my Aveda products too much to switch. I only ever condition my ends (otherwise my roots get too greasy) and I like how my hair feels. Thanks for sharing your results :)

    I get my stock photos from here: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/ They're free to use as long as you put a small link underneath going back to them. You can see an example post how I did it here: http://www.tianasmith.com/2014/04/has-it-really-been-that-long.html

    You can also look through the Creative Commons photos on Flickr to see if there are any you like that don't require attribution if you don't want to include a link.

    1. It's definitely been an adventure! I'm a sucker for any new 'great' idea. Show it to me enough times and I just have to do it. I must be the most effective person to market to ever.

      I don't mind attributing links so that site sounds perfect. Thanks for the info!