Have you heard of this new “no poo” movement? It’s when people stop using regular store-bought shampoo on their hair and instead start using a homemade shampoo.
The most popular homemade shampoo recipe is very simple.
First, you mix a tablespoon of baking soda with a cup or more of warm water. (Apparently it’s very important not to use any more baking soda than this.)
You wash your hair with that, then you rinse it with a mixture of a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and a cup or more of warm water.
Focus on your scalp rather than the ends of your hair.
I tried it last weekend, so I thought I would share my experience with you.
Day 1: I decided to try it on a whim. I already had the ingredients in my pantry, so I figured why not. I have been dealing with these flakes that look like dandruff, but several different hairdressers have told me that it is not dandruff, but shampoo build-up because I have SUPER thick and curly hair and it is very hard to rinse out every little drop of shampoo. They just told me to wash my hair less often, but that didn’t seem to help very much.
I took a pint sized mason jar with the baking soda mixture in it into the shower and I brought the bottle of apple cider vinegar with me. After I washed with the baking soda mixture, I poured a tiny bit of vinegar into the jar and then mixed it with the warm water from the shower head. I used the vinegar rinse.
I noticed that A LOT of hair was around the drain. Probably a full handful. I have a ton of hair, I often lose a lot of it in hairbrushes and in the shower, and never notice a difference afterwards. But this was definitely the most hair I’ve ever lost in the shower.
Then I used a dab of coconut oil like conditioner. (I think this was a mistake.)
Day 2: I woke up the next day to hair that was very oily. Like, worse than it has ever been in my entire life. I could have not washed my hair with regular shampoo for three weeks and it still would not have been that oily. I Googled it and the results said that this was normal for up to two weeks, so I pressed on.
Day 3: Magically, when I woke up the next day, my hair was no longer oily. Apparently this is different for everyone. I didn’t notice a smell at all. I did notice fewer flakes and, strange as it sounds, my hair seemed longer. I have a very short cut right now and not all of my hair will fit into a pony tail. But on this day more hair fit than usual when I pulled it back. That struck me as odd.
Day 4: You are only supposed to wash your hair every 3 or 4 days with this method. My hair still didn’t feel oily and my scalp was not dry or itchy. However, when Eddie came home from work he kissed the top of my head and immediately started coughing and walked away. He diplomatically told me that my hair smelled “a little stale.” I made him stand at various distances and tell me whether or not he could smell it, because I wanted to make sure other people didn’t think I smelled disgusting. He said he could only smell it when he was close enough to actually sniff my hair (within a few inches.)
I washed my hair that night with the baking soda mixture and vinegar rinse, but this time I did NOT use the coconut oil. I still noticed that I lost more hair than usual in the shower, but not nearly as much as the last time. Again, this is pretty normal for me, so not alarming at all. I think it is just getting rid of the damaged hair.
Day 5: My hair is much more manageable in the morning. Usually it sticks out all crazy in the morning because it is cut so short right now. I just now noticed that it hasn’t done that at all this week. It is not greasy today. I think the coconut oil was probably my mistake the first time. There are still a few flakes, but not nearly as many as when I was using regular shampoo.
I have color-treated hair and I haven’t noticed any discoloring. It’s hard to tell if there is any fading because it has been several weeks since my last treatment and I was getting close to needing it colored again anyway.
So, after the first week, here is what I think:
It’s cheap, pretty easy, and I already had the ingredients anyway. I definitely notice less itching and it is slowly getting rid of the shampoo build-up. There are no chemicals and no risks to using this as an alternative to shampoo. (I read bunch of websites where the consensus among dermatologists was pretty much, “Well, it’s not like you are going to hurt anything by using this method.”) Plus, you only have to do it twice a week.
It smells awful when you do the vinegar rinse in the shower. And my husband does not like the smell of my hair anymore. (I don’t notice a smell at all after the initial washing and no one else has said anything, not even Nicholas, who has sensory issues and is super-sensitive to smells- so I don’t think it would bother anyone except the one with whom you are getting intimate.)
I’m not sure what to do in the summer when we start using our pool daily and I would normally wash my hair afterwards. It’s a salt water pool, so there aren’t any harsh chemicals, besides the salt, but I’m wondering if just rinsing my hair afterwards will be enough.
It is NOT fun to get vinegar in your eyes.
Have you tried it?
I don’t think I’ve been doing it long enough to see the long-term results. A lot of people swear by this method, and I have to admit that after the initial insanely disgusting oily day, my hair IS more manageable in the morning now, but I have not tried to use the blow drier or flat iron on it yet.
I’m super curious to hear what you think.
To see the before and after pictures of my hair after a trying this method for a while longer, click here.
linking to The Elliott Homestead