Thursday, February 2, 2012

How My Family Went Shampoo-Free

You don't have to buy shampoo. Or conditioner. These are products that I thought I could never go without until several months ago, when I first heard about this thing called "no-poo".

Intrigued by the idea of being free from one more product, I did an internet search to find out exactly how this works. I have naturally oily hair and really don't like it feeling or looking dirty, so I was a bit skeptical that this would work for me. However, I read stories from so many people who had successfully ditched shampoo that I had to try it.


baking soda shampoo
Baking soda cleans gently, but cleans well. Everyone seems to be skeptical at first, but baking soda will not leave your hair feeling greasy or overly dry.
What I could have done:
I found that there are two ways of scrapping shampoo: switching to just water washing, or using a dilute baking soda solution in the shower. With the plain water method, you have to deal with the consequences for a while as your hair & scalp adjust to the sudden lack of chemicals. It may be very oily and disgusting for a few weeks, but in the end you will be product-free. While this is an admirable goal, I could not deal with nasty hair for weeks during the transition off shampoo.

What I actually did:

To spare myself weeks of uncomfortable, oily hair, I went with the other option. I started out, to be safe, using two tablespoons of baking soda each time I washed my hair. I simply put it in a shatterproof plastic cup, bring it with me into the shower and fill halfway with warm water when I'm ready to wash my scalp. I mix it together until dissolved, pour it on my scalp, and massage it in. It's different than shampoo, since it's not goopy and won't produce any suds--but you are not dirty laundry, you don't need detergent on your skin. The amazing thing is how clean the baking soda gets my hair and scalp. It rinses away easily, leaving my hair fresh and clear. I was worried baking soda would be too harsh and leave my hair feeling scrubby and brittle, but I haven't had that experience at all.

I gradually reduced the amount of baking soda I used, and am now down to one teaspoon in a half cup of warm water. Really, that's enough to get clean hair. Nik went cold-turkey right away, because he is a million times braver than I am, and for two months he washed his hair with water alone. He did develop dandruff though, which we were hoping was a temporary condition as his scalp adjusted, but eventually he decided to give the baking soda a try. When he did, his dandruff completely and immediately disappeared. His thick curly hair is amazingly clean and shiny.


clean hair without shampoo

To condition your hair:

Everyone in my family has long hair, and I had serious doubts about our ability to go without conditioner, without suffering some serious snarls. I was pleasantly surprised here as well. The replacement I discovered for conditioner is very diluted apple cider vinegar. I don't like the smell of vinegar, and certainly didn't want to reek of it, so I was a bit skeptical. Also, I have always relied on special conditioners in order to get tangle-free hair. In fact, while I only buy the most natural products for everything else, I have often made an exception for conditioner because I've found that the natural ones just don't work as well.

ACV apple cider vinegar for hair

My concern that vinegar couldn't possibly work as a detangler kept me from trying this method for a while. However, there is something magical about vinegar. It's like duct tape: you can use it for anything. Pouring a diluted solution down my hair in the shower and working it in a bit is all it takes for amazingly tangle-free shiny hair. Also, the vinegar smell completely rinses away.


A conditioning alternative:

After using apple cider vinegar for a little while, I got experimental and decided to give my homemade kombucha a try in its place. It works just as well, and the advantage is that I can make it myself at a fraction of the cost of buying vinegar... which is already extremely inexpensive compared to even cheap conditioners. It's definitely a win. (Update: please read here my more recent post on kombucha vs. ACV for hair.)
 

clean hair without shampoo
We wash our kids' hair with water alone and it works beautifully
This small change feels so much more natural and sustainable to me than being dependent on store-bought shampoo and conditioner. And while there are many recipes and guides to making your own health and beauty products, for me the most liberating thing is finding that we can do without them at all.

I also figured out how easily to make this system portable, for showering away from home. Read about it in this update

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85 comments

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February 28, 2012 at 10:04 AM

you can make vinegar at home...I am grooving on your blog lots of inspiring posts!

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February 28, 2012 at 1:54 PM

Thanks Laura, I'm glad you like the blog!
My friend just accidentally made 5 gallons of blackberry vinegar! I guess it's pretty easy if you mess up your wine. I'll try to make some cider vinegar if we get a bunch of apples this year.

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June 12, 2012 at 5:35 AM

I found your blog yesterday through Morristribe's Homesteader Blog Carnival. I've read a bunch of your posts and have learned a lot. I LOVE your goal of living well but not needing to buy things at the store. That is what our family has been working toward as well the past few years, but there is so much to learn! It helps immensely to hear ideas from someone else who is doing it.

Just curious...on one post you mentioned your tiny house. Do you really live in what is technically a "tiny house?" I have read of many singles or couples, and even families with one child living in a tiny house, but not more than that. We are a family of eight living in a tiny house (350 sq ft) on our new little off-grid homestead we moved to last fall. It's been an adventure!

Thanks for sharing your experiences and knowledge with others!

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June 12, 2012 at 7:10 AM

Wow, 8 in 350 sq ft? I would love to see how you all fit in there! I think our house would technically qualify as a tiny house. We've got 4 people in a 550 sq ft house. It works, but I wonder if we'll fit as well when my kids get bigger. We may just have to get rid of more stuff- I hate feeling crammed in and cluttered. I think that's what makes a house feel small. How is your house working out? Do you plan to add more space?

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June 19, 2012 at 7:15 PM

First we got rid of tons of STUFF. It's amazing how freeing that was. We moved into a converted 48ft semi trailer. It's really pretty inside with nice flooring, ceiling, and walls. On one end my hubby built a set of triple bunks on each side so each of our children has their own personal bunk space. Our bedroom suite is at the other end with our bed as a loft over our closet and a bathroom in the same room. In between the two bedrooms is our living room and a fair sized kichen (considering the size of the house). There is even room for our piano.

One key is we also have a large covered deck with table, chairs, and cabinets, as well as a shed to store extra clothing and supplies, and one corner houses my hubby's office. Next to the deck is a camper which we use for the older ones to do schoolwork, for guest quarters, and another bathroom.

Some day we hope to build a cabin, but for now we are very happy with this arrangement. It is wonderful to live with no debt! Our children are ages 6-17.

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June 19, 2012 at 7:36 PM

That is inspiring! We definitely have a lot of stuff that we would be better off without. I love that you still have a piano though!

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Anonymous
August 26, 2012 at 4:48 PM

You can make ACV with frozen apple juice (I have to buy this at the store as I'm nowhere NEAR self sufficient) One bottle of ACV is all you'd need to buy. You make your apple juice in glass jars (I use 2 cans water instead of 3) pour in some ACV and cover it with a cloth so it can breathe and then keep it in the dark cupboard for a few weeks. You can stir it occasionally and taste to see how strong it is. When it is "right" pour it into a bottle to keep and use. I use an empty Braggs ACV bottle. The "mother" looks like a jelly fish and you can keep this to jump start your next bottle of ACV. So for a couple bucks of investment in apple juice and a splash of ACV, you actually get a gallon or so of ACV!

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August 26, 2012 at 5:23 PM

Nice! We'll have some apple cider soon and I'll make some ACV from that. That's great that it works from concentrate as well.

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September 6, 2012 at 9:18 AM

I love being shampoo-free! This is my vinegar-only method. Another advantage I've found is that my hair easily sheds odors; it smells fresh for a week or more, even if I've been stuck in a room with cigarette smoke!

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Anonymous
September 6, 2012 at 11:26 PM

Loved reading your no poo post. Curious as to how often you use the BS and ACV rinse?
Jonni in AZ

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September 7, 2012 at 7:11 AM

My partner, with his dry curly hair, only needs to wash it about once a week. I have oily hair and it needs to be washed once every 3 days still.

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September 13, 2012 at 10:47 AM

I enjoyed your post and decided to give the no-poo another try. I have fine, wavy hair, and used 2 T. baking soda to wash and 1 t. vinegar dilute to condition. Day 1, clean, shiny, soft. By day 3, though, it's dull, very dry, heavy, not clean-feeling. Any ideas what I could be doing wrong?

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Anonymous
October 8, 2012 at 7:34 PM

You use only water on your kids, but what about detangling? Do you use the ACV in their hair as well? My girs have long hair and they hate having it brushed because of the tangles pulling. Conditioner has been a necessity in our house. . .

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October 8, 2012 at 10:32 PM

My kids have never gotten tangles. Seriously. My older son has hair most of the way down his back now, and he hates having it messed with. If he had to have it brushed, he would rather have it short. But it just never gets tangly! My hair, on the other hand, does get some snarls, and I used to use tons of conditioner on it. I switched to the ACV and it's worked beautifully! If my kids ever get snarls, we'll start them on that as well. I also think they'll reach a certain age (puberty?) where they will need the baking soda wash also. We'll see!

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October 9, 2012 at 8:55 AM

Good for you! I've been no shampoo for almost a year now and love it! I wrote about it here...
http://wanderingstill.blogspot.com/2011/11/i-smell-amazing-hair-challenge-update.html

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October 11, 2012 at 6:42 AM

It must be nice not to have to worry about build up on your hair too.

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October 11, 2012 at 1:55 PM

When I run out of shampoo and conditioner, I'm trying this! I have a really bad allergy to sulfa, which sulfates are in a lot of shampoos and lotions. I had a really bad reaction to a lotion that was on a massive bruise. I was trying to keep the bruise lotioned up. It back fired. All the sudden my leg had hives all over a healing bruise. It was awful!

Apple cider vinegar can be used for a lot of things. It can be used for cleaning, it can freeze off warts and it can be drank to reduce cholesterol.

http://theapels.blogspot.com/2012/10/hawk.html

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October 16, 2012 at 5:44 AM

Thank you for this post. I would have loved to go shampoo free but I've got a lot of grey hair and I'm in my early 30s so I dye it. I have heard that dye doesn't take well if you go shampoo free so that's stopped me giving it a try.
However when I am pregnant I have a very itchy back where my hair is so I think I'm even more sensitive to my organic shampoo so I'm going to try Dr. Bronners instead of my shampoo.

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October 16, 2012 at 6:53 AM

I think you're right- I tried bleaching the ends of my hair recently, because I wanted to add a bright color to my very dark hair, and even with professional quality hair bleach my hair was barely lightened. We tried it twice! My friend that bleached his hair with me, and started out with hair as dark as mine, had baby blond hair after one bleaching. I was disappointed! But that shows this baking soda/acv definitely changes the hair chemistry!

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October 22, 2012 at 7:16 PM

Regarding the dandruff problem, I feel like the baking soda didn't really "solve" it. I find that the most important thing in removing dandruff is agitating the scalp. The baking soda washing method gives you a reason to scrub your scalp--there's baking soda in it--so you remove the dead skin that way. If you scrubbed your scalp with only water in the same way, there would be no dandruff. I used to have dandruff until I figured this out.

I use the baking soda + vinegar method every 1-2 months with no adverse effects now.

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October 22, 2012 at 8:55 PM

That's awesome you're down to only washing every 1-2 months. Do you wash with just water frequently still?
I find when I use just water, my hair still gets oily, which I can't stand. I wash with baking soda every 3 days still. Fortunately, I don't have to deal with dandruff.

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October 23, 2012 at 2:39 AM

Great post...my son is 10 and we never use shampoo to wash his hair just rain water his hair is always beautiful and shinny, I tried to use just water to clean my hair, my hair is long and very thick, I will try bi carbonate of soda next time ...in Australia we call it bi-carb in U.S you call it baking soda, I'm assuming you are in the U.S...I always use natural products, I love the braggs ACV, I've also rinsed my hair with vinegar, ACV as you said is great for so many things from insect bites to deodorant to skin rashes it really softens your skin ...Sherrie from Simpleliving :)

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October 23, 2012 at 7:44 AM

I'll have to try the ACV for insect bites, that sounds easy!
Thanks Sherrie!

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Liz
November 3, 2012 at 1:17 PM

Found you on the Show & Tell Hop and I'm now following you.
I'd love if you Come follow back AND link up with my blog hop at http://www.funnypregnantlady.blogspot.com/2012/11/tgif-blog-hop-111-118.html

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November 3, 2012 at 1:26 PM

Thanks Liz, I'll check it out!

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November 4, 2012 at 7:20 PM

It is always neat to read other peoples stories of how they went natural! My first attempt at going natural was in April, and I recently went back to natural in August after suffering for months on end with reactions to shampoo's with my scalp. I have never heard of cleaning hair with just water until today, but it makes perfect sense! I am so glad to have found your blog via Poor and Gluten Free's Waste Not Want Not Wednesday! I can already tell we have a lot in common with the few posts I've read!

Helen
Blue Eyed Beauty Blog

P.S. Here is the post about why I went back to using baking soda (http://blueeyedbeautyblogg.blogspot.com/2012/08/hair-back-to-baking-soda.html) and I was having my own troubles with apple cider vinegar and the smell and my boyfriend hating the smell so I did some experimenting here (http://blueeyedbeautyblogg.blogspot.com/2012/07/hair-scented-vinegar-rinse.html) I found that adding the herbal tea really helped knock out the vinegar smell...and I have curly hair about like your husbands, maybe more...I found that when it gets really really dry using olive oil on it (usually once a month) really helps bring it back to live (http://blueeyedbeautyblogg.blogspot.com/2012/07/hair-olive-oil-hair-treatment.html). Hopefully one of these at least will be helpful to you!

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November 4, 2012 at 7:24 PM

I think that using the baking soda would actually get rid of the dandruff because even if/when you scrub your head/hair with just water you won't be able to remove dead skin which is obviously there. If you didn't want to use baking soda at all it may be the water temp. I do know that using cold water is better for washing hair than hot water, and using hot water can add to the dandruff problem.

Helen
Blue Eyed Beauty Blog

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November 4, 2012 at 7:35 PM

Are you using 2 Tablespoons per wash? If so you're using a LOT! I found an easy way for people to transition into the no poo method and that's by mixing the baking soda in an old shampoo bottle with about 8 oz of water. (I used an old bottle from bath and body works). This is enough of a mix for shoulder length or just below for about a week. I used it for months and it worked great! That's what I would suggest trying to see if helps. You can read more about this here: http://blueeyedbeautyblogg.blogspot.com/2012/04/baking-soda-shampoovinegar-rinse.html. (Sorry Mellow! Not trying to take over your blog lol! I just thought I might could help Sicily out!) I now use just straight baking soda on my hair without mixing it in the bottle, but that's after I adjusted to how much I really need to be using.

Helen
Blue Eyed Beauty Blog

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November 4, 2012 at 9:33 PM

Thank you Helen! I'll check out the tea/vinegar, but lately I've been infusing it with lavender, which really makes it smell much better! The ACV smell never bothered our family, but since I usually was my hair in a common shower at a yoga studio, I didn't want to stink the whole place up like vinegar every time I washed ;)

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November 4, 2012 at 9:35 PM

Thanks Helen! I had meant this reply to go to Sicily months ago, but it looks like I accidentally posted it separately:
I think your balance might be off, and you might have buildup of baking soda. I use the opposite ratio: about 1/2 t baking soda to wash, and about 1 T vinegar to condition. Try flipping your measurements, and see how that works for you!

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November 4, 2012 at 9:51 PM

I thought that may have been the case! I saw it, but sometimes they don't go through unless the comments are linked. :)

Helen
Blue Eyed Beauty Blog

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November 4, 2012 at 9:53 PM

Oh that sounds like a lovely mix!!! Too bad he doesnt like that scent either! lol. I think I scared him when I used citronella oil to keep away misquitos one night when we were outside...ever since when he smells something strong he asks what it is.

Helen
Blue Eyed Beauty Blog

P.S. I am now folling via email! I don't think I mentioned that on any comments earlier!

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Anonymous
November 8, 2012 at 12:29 PM

Thanks for your recipe for shampoo & conditioner. Was wondering if you have a root beer recipe to go with your ginger bug. Thanks Brigid
cammackwwjd@juno.com

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November 8, 2012 at 2:59 PM

I've made rootbeer a few times from scratch, and it turns out great, but I'm not satisfied with it's flavor. It could be more rootbeery. I've never made it with sassafras yet, so it's something I'm working on. I'll post when I do have a really good recipe to share!

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November 16, 2012 at 9:49 AM

What is it with the apple cider vinegar? A friend made me some, which smells fine since she infused it with rosemary, and it conditions a little too well! I have to water it down and only use it once in a while. It's amazing!

Bonnie
www.HungryChickenHomestead.com

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November 16, 2012 at 10:22 AM

Wow, rosemary ACV sounds great! I must make that if my rosemary plants survive the winter. I definitely have to dilute the ACV or it gives my hair a greasy look. If diluted enough, it works amazingly though.

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November 25, 2012 at 2:35 PM

I have to say, this is inspiring! I will for sure give it a try!
Thank you so much for sharing this at Wednesday Extravaganza! Come by today to vote and sign up for my Giveaway :)
http://www.hungrylittlegirl.com/1/post/2012/11/wednesday-extravaganza-5-giveaway.html

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November 25, 2012 at 4:00 PM

You're brave! I don't think you'll regret trying it though. It works right away.

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Anonymous
December 20, 2012 at 9:45 AM

how long does it take to tranision i have very oily hair too and i have to wash everyday been doing it for over week now almost two and had one day where hair was very oily but next day washed better and was fine next day but still want to know how long this is going to take

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December 20, 2012 at 12:26 PM

Do you feel like the baking soda isn't getting your hair clean all the way? You can try using a bit more. For me, it definitely got my hair all the way clean from the moment I started using it, there was no transition period, and I gradually found I could use less of it. I have oily hair as well, but can get away with only washing it every 2 or 3 days. Did you have to wash your hair every day when you used regular shampoo? The other thing I noticed is that if I don't dilute the vinegar enough, it can leave my hair looking oily. I make sure it is very diluted when I use it on my scalp area, but I use it more concentrated at the ends of my hair. Good luck!

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Anonymous
December 27, 2012 at 11:43 AM

yes i did have too wash everyday with regular shampoo when using but i found that every other day worked with some brands like oily hair formula from pert but i will not go back and work on this because my hair is healthier and i like how cheap it is if i have to wash everyday that is ok but thank you i am using 1 tble. baking soda to 1 cup water and 1 tble vinegar to 1 cup so maybe some play around time is need for certain types of hair

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January 7, 2013 at 2:11 AM

Some people boil okra and use the resulting gel for shampoo. I do know it makes a great conditioner.

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January 7, 2013 at 8:43 AM

Wow, there are so many alternatives!

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January 8, 2013 at 11:21 PM

Thanks for linking up at Riverton Housewives! You've been featured as our most viewed link! http://housewivesofriverton.blogspot.com/2013/01/riverton-housewives-round-up-47.html

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January 9, 2013 at 7:40 AM

Thank you so much Paula, that's awesome!

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January 10, 2013 at 8:29 AM

What an inspiring post! I've seen quite a few posts in your sidebar that have caught my eye! Found you through Your Green Resource, and am now following. =)

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January 11, 2013 at 7:44 AM

Hi Emily,
I love this post. I tried it once before, and felt like my hair felt funky, but I may try again. I have dyed hair and I wonder if that is the problem. I'm not going grey even to go chemical free (vanity is bad). Your hair looks beautiful. I'll give it another shot.

Sorry it took me so long to get to you but you are one of the featured bloggers at Adorned From Above this week. Here is the link to the post. Head over and you can grab your featured blogger button.
http://www.adornedfromabove.com/2013/01/wednesdays-adorned-from-above-blog-hop.html
Debi

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January 11, 2013 at 10:16 AM

Thanks for the feature Debi!
I think if you play around with the amounts you will find a way to make it work. When I don't use enough vinegar, I have noticed not all the baking soda washes out, and when I use the vinegar without diluting it with enough water, it can leave my hair looking a little greasy. However, with the right balance, which is really not that hard to achieve, I can easily go 3 or even 4 days now without needing to wash it. I bet you can find a way to make it work for your hair.

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January 16, 2013 at 9:28 AM

What a great post! Thanks so much for sharing at Mix it up Monday :)

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Risa
January 23, 2013 at 5:27 AM

I've just started BS shampoo & AVC rinse 2 days ago. When I was using regular shampoo, I had to wash my hair exactly 24 hrs upon last wash.

Today, I decided to do my usual EV coconut oil scalp treatment (half a cup of oil) and to my horror, BS shampoo couldn't wash out all the grease. I did about half BS and rubbed in onto my scalp & hair. Ended up had to use my regular shampoo to get rid of most of the coconut oil out of my scalp/hair. Makes me wonder, am I not suppose to do coconut oil scalp treatment anymore once I've decided to switch to BS shampoo?

Another thing I've noticed is, after AVC rinse, my hair is still tangled when it is wet but detangle easily once it is fully dried. Is this normal? I am using 5 tbsp to 1 cup ratio.

Also, my hair seems to takes longer to air dry. Almost double the time. Is it normal? I am tempted to blow dry it but am afraid of doing it without applying any chemical heat protectant.

Sorry for the long comment full of questions and thanks for reading it!

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January 23, 2013 at 4:08 PM

Hi Risa,
Maybe the scalp treatment won't be so necessary once you fully make the switch to BS & ACV? Or, you might have to keep some real shampoo around if you still want to be able to do a coconut oil treatment. I've never tried it, so I don't have any experience with washing it out. I just know that the BS really makes my hair clean even when it's pretty sweaty/oily, but coconut oil is a whole nother matter, isn't it?
I use only 1 Tb vinegar in 1/2 c water for my very long hair- though my hair doesn't tend to get tangled as it is. You might need to use more for tangly hair. I brush mine while still damp, but if it works better for you once it's dry it seems like that would be fine.
I have no idea if this would prolong drying time- could it be just the time of year? It's a bit wetter and colder around here so everything is taking longer to dry. I don't think just the BS/ACV would make a difference in drying time- but I could be wrong!
It can take a bit of experimenting to find the right balance for your hair. Hopefully after you've been doing this for a few weeks you'll find you won't need to wash quite as frequently, which is pretty liberating! Good luck!

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Kat
January 24, 2013 at 10:29 AM

How long did it take your hair to get used to being shampoo-free with this baking soda method? I wash my hair every day (I have a very oily-type of hair and run/workout every day, so I feel I can't go without it), and while I want to go chemical-free I am still pretty concerned of having disgusting oily 'unwashed caveman-looking' hair for weeks if not months.

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January 24, 2013 at 12:03 PM

I really didn't have any kind of transition period when I made the switch. I, too, have oily hair, and can't stand it to feel unclean! This made me put off trying this method for quite a while, but from my very first time using baking soda this way, my hair got absolutely clean. I gradually felt I could reduce the amount of baking soda I used, from 1 tb down to 1/2 tsp now. It works so great, even though it doesn't suds up you can really feel it working and rinsing clean away.
The weeks of caveman hair that I think people experience, is when they stop using anything other than water to wash their hair, and go poo-free completely. Baking soda, natural as it is, is still washing your hair. My partner tried using nothing but water for a few months, but he developed dandruff during that time, and when he switched to the baking soda it immediately cleared up. I don't recommend ditching washing hair altogether!
Good luck Kat!

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February 20, 2013 at 7:21 AM

Mellow I'm convinced after seeing how great your husband's hair looks after going cold turkey, to give this a go straight away! Thank you for sharing your shampoo free idea with us and I hope to welcome you over at Seasonal Celebration again today! Rebecca @Natural Mothers Network x

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February 20, 2013 at 7:25 AM

Awesome! Yes, he ALWAYS gets compliments on his hair, and he's not shy about telling people "I never wash it"!

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February 20, 2013 at 8:16 AM

Visiting from Wildcrafting Wednesday.

THANK YOU for posting this. I have wanted to go shampoo free forever but not been brave enough. Your post makes it sound easy and accessible. I'm going to do it! I don't think I can do the conditioner just yet..... but definitely going to try the shampoo. Thanks!

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February 21, 2013 at 11:13 AM

Been thinking about this but have not tried yet.
Thanks for sharing at Wildcrafting Wednesday.
Jennifer

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March 18, 2013 at 4:35 PM

Frustrated here with the baking soda for my hair. I am on the gaps diet and must bathe alternately with baking soda and epsom salts. My hair is horribly dry and brittle if I let it soak in the bath. I've tried just a bit of baking soda in a bottle for shampooing in the shower and my hair comes out brittle and dry. I have fallen back to using a shampoo bar which has lasted a very long time and of course I only shampoo about once a week. Wish I had the same experience as you with baking soda. AND I think your hair looks pretty.

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April 5, 2013 at 2:59 PM

Hi, Are you usin aluminium free baking soda?

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April 5, 2013 at 9:41 PM

Yes, we only buy aluminum free baking soda.

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April 9, 2013 at 6:42 AM

I think I may have to try this on a weekend and see how it goes. Thanks for sharing.

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April 9, 2013 at 7:58 AM

fantastic - went no poo about a month and a half ago and haven't come across this method yet. Trying it out today! Also headed to that kombucha...

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April 9, 2013 at 10:36 AM

No poo here too! And only water on my girls... Bunny has very curly hair so if it is getting ratty I can use a teeny bit of coconut oil (on me too as needed) or I can use a spray I make with water and lavender oil! I featured your post at Eco-Kids Tuesday!! Please stop by and link up again today!

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April 9, 2013 at 6:38 PM

Wow! So awesome! I'm going to have to try this. I have medium length hair - but it sounds like you all had little issues with making the switch.

Thanks for the inspiration!

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April 30, 2013 at 1:29 PM

I am loving all of these posts about becoming more self-sufficient and natural! I am definitely going to try this. Thanks so much for linking up with "Try a New Recipe Tuesday." I can't wait to see what you share this week. :-)

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May 2, 2013 at 7:24 AM

Definitely sounds worth trying on my very fine hair! Thanks for sharing.

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May 8, 2013 at 1:52 PM

We'll be featuring you at Fabulously Frugal Thursday this week as the most clicked post. Happy Mother's Day!

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May 24, 2013 at 8:11 PM

Saw your link on the weekend re-treat link up. This is awesome I can't wait to try it!

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Jenny in Duluth
June 10, 2013 at 9:02 PM

Here's a tip on why the vinegar works so wonderfully on hair - hair, wool, silk and any other animal-produced fiber likes to be slightly acidic, whereas vegetable fibers (cotton, linen et al) like alkalinity. The baking soda and epsom salts are alkaline, which is good for cleaning but bad for the hair if they're not counter-acted with a mild acid solution. I currently use half distilled vinegar and half herb tea (for the scent, water would work just as well.) Hope this helps with the dry and brittle situation, if you see this comment!

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August 17, 2013 at 12:23 PM

I like this ideas, I've long hair that likes to tangle, it's worth to test how it works without chemicals :)

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CJThomas
September 2, 2013 at 4:47 PM

Jenny in Duluth has it right on the money. When you use baking soda (alkaline) on your hair you need to follow with vinegar, after rinsing so you can readjust the ph of your hair and skin. I have been going no-poo forever now and I love it. I also have very oily hair and while I simply can't go more than two days without washing or my hair will look like I got attacked by an oil monster, my ends are never dried out from this like it was from regular shampoo and conditioner. I do recommend that you only apply baking soda to the roots and midsection trying to avoid the ends and always applying vinegar everywhere after rinsing.

And if anyone tries this and still smells the vinegar, rinse! Rinse more! That's all it needs as acetic acid (the acid in vinegar) and water form an azeotrope. Together, they will rinse out and evaporate and all that smell will be gone.

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September 4, 2013 at 6:39 AM

I have been washing my girls' hair this way for the past 2 mos. and it's working great for them! I always used milder soaps on them anyway, so the transition to no-poo was pretty seamless. My oldest has curly hair that tangles easily, so the lack of conditioner was a concern at first. But the vinegar really did make it conditioned and smooth, with no snarls. Also, no worries about soap in the eyes! :D Thanks for sharing this at Super Sunday Link Party at Who Needs A Cape!

SherryO @ WhoNeedsACape.com
Not Your Average Super Moms ...

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October 4, 2013 at 8:21 AM

Really interesting. Pinned o my beauty board:)

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Dawn
December 3, 2013 at 7:54 AM

Great post! I have been mixing a bigger bottle of baking soda solution for washing. I read on other blogs the baking solution wont be as effective as a freshly made one. Is that right? That I should be making a fresh batch each time I wash my hair. Correct?

I was my hair every day because I work in a restaurant.

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December 4, 2013 at 11:01 AM

I've never pre-mixed my baking soda & water, because I like to mix it with warm water while I'm in the shower. But I've heard that too, that it won't work as well. Still, if it's working for you and pre-mixing it is more convenient, it's fine to stick with what works. If the method doesn't seem to work that well, then I would definitely switch to a fresh-mixed soda wash.

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February 7, 2014 at 7:33 AM

Has anyone tried this with dyed hair? I have too many white hairs not to dye (being 50) so there's no way I want to stop that, but I'd also like to use bicarb in between sessions at the hairdresser's.

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March 5, 2014 at 11:38 AM

WHen I went vegan back in high school I stopped using shampoo and switched to baking soda + ACV, then when I got into college, I started eating a fruit based vegan diet, so now I hardly ever shower and I don't use any products (not even baking soda) anymore.
Not only should we avoid shampoo, but products in general-- which I have provided a list of ways to replace hygiene products with natural sources here: http://veganslivingofftheland.blogspot.com/2012/07/basic-skin-and-hair-needs-foods-that.html

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March 7, 2014 at 9:35 AM

I summed up your blog post and my younger 4 kids have decided to try water only. My oldest won't even try, lol.
I was wondering if you have heard of oil pulling for teeth cleaning? I want to get away from fluoride and a friend suggested this
http://www.fashionlush.com/wtf-is-oil-pulling-why-im-hooked/

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March 8, 2014 at 2:03 PM

I think it works fine on dyed hair... but in my experience, I was not able to dye, or bleach, my hair AFTER using ACV & baking soda. My hair just wouldn't take the dye, or be lightened by the professional quality bleach. So, if you try this method, I would make sure to keep some shampoo around to use on your hair before dying it, to make the dye take better.

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March 8, 2014 at 2:05 PM

I do try to do oil pulling every morning, first thing, but no one else in my family does it. My partner doesn't think it does anything, and my kids don't think it sounds fun. We do all still brush and floss, but I think the oil pulling gets stuff that those methods don't get.

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May 7, 2014 at 12:02 PM

@Julie, I heard stinging nettles work amazing in hair. It gives good use for the older leaves that should not be eaten due to silica crystals. I just heard about this and have not tried it. If it works, that will extend my nettle picking season by weeks knowing that I can use more of the plant. More time in the forest for me, means more time to recoperate. So thankful for it all.

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