Wednesday, January 25, 2012

No Shampoo

I have been doing the no shampoo thing for a week and a half now. Any of you tried it?

I want to like it. I really do. It's cheaper and so much better for the environment.

But, it's really not working for me.

I feel like it's really hard to cover all my hair since the baking soda and water don't lather up like shampoo does. And it doesn't seem to be cleaning my hair at all.

In the beginning it was okay, but now my hair just keeps getting more and more oily. I thought maybe adding more baking soda would work, but it's just getting worse. My roots are fine, but the rest of it feels like I left conditioner in and forgot to wash it out.

I've been mixing baking soda and water to clean my hair and then rinsing with apple cider vinegar and water. Last night I tried putting some baking soda straight on my hair and then rinsing it out and then washing with the baking soda and water mix. Even that didn't work.

If any of you want to talk me out of quiting now...please do :) Am I doing something wrong?


  1. I have been washing my hair with baking soda and vinegar for two years now. I am down to washing it about every week to 2 weeks at this point. I don't do it often now. There are a few things to remember here. First off - its not shampoo and will not lather. The main objective is to get that baking soda on your scalp and the bubbling action cleans it. It take a little to get used to. All the vinegar does is seal your hair cuticle - it is not a washing agent. It acts like a conditioner of sorts. You have to give your hair at least 6 weeks. In the beginning your hair goes into over drive and produces to much oil, because it doesn't have a natural balance after being abused by shampoos for so long. This is why you need to give your hair 6 weeks to adjust. Your hair and scalp will even out, and your hair will be much less oily after a few. It took me 3 weeks to adjust. It was hard, but the results are so worth it. I have shiny strong healthy hair. And use next to no styling products. (which you need to cut out most of those as well) If you want I can send you some of my go-to websites for resources. (Hows that for a novel? ha!)

  2. I tried this in my 20s and it never worked for me either. Never heard about the baking soda part, I just stopped using shapoo. My hair got really oily too, which made me have an acne break...I probably only lasted a week. Maybe it doesn't work on all hair types?

  3. I've thought about trying it. My hair tends to be greasy, so I read that for this, lemon juice sometimes works better than vinegar. But again, I haven't actually tried it. Good luck!

  4. I've been shampoo-free for a couple of years. Yes, transitioning does take time. Keep in mind that you don't have to use the baking soda every day. I found it too harsh for my hair. Some days I just rinse my hair and phantom wash with my fingers. Other days I use a non-silicone conditioner (I have wavy hair and use the Deva-Curl products) to "co-wash." Oh, and I also use lemon juice instead of vinegar as a rinse. I highly recommend the website as a resource. They have a community chat function where you can ask questions and read about how folks are transitioning. It's good even if your hair isn't THAT curly (like mine).

    If you think of your hair as textile, a cashmere sweater, for example, and treat it as such, you will have success. You have to be patient. It does take time. And it does work on all hair types. It was only after WWII that Americans started washing their hair daily, as a way to sell shampoo. It's a big lie that we have to shampoo every day.

    In the meantime, I can strongly recommend using headbands and bandanas and hats as a way to cover your greasy hair. This will pass, I promise!!!

  5. You are brave. I couldn't even begin to imagine my hair without shampoo. My hair is baby fine, thin, and looks like crap after a day, Suave is cheap, there are some better versions of it now...;)

    1. That's how my hair is! It would look oily and awful 12 hours after showering.

  6. Like Sarah and Jem - I agree that less is more when it comes to using baking soda (and shampooing in general).

    I used to use a few teaspoons, now I only use baking soda once a week and a few drops of tea tree oil mixed with water the other days I shower.

    Stick with it for a while longer and you might like what you get! If not, you can always just use shampoo!

  7. I tried it. Couldn't do it. Mostly because people were looking at me like I was the Exxon Valdez. It did make me cut down on hair washing though. Down to twice a week.

  8. I did it over the summer and had much of the same problem even after over a month. It was fine when I left my hair curly. But when I straightened it, it just seemed gunky or something. It was smooth and soft like my normal hair. It was kind of....stuck together. But not really. That doesn't make sense. If you picked up chunk and let it drop now it looks like normal hair. In the summer it was just not soft and silky. I did the whole premix in water thing. Have you seen some people make a paste? I thought maybe I'd try that sometime. For now I bought sulfate free shampoo from Trader Joes (not cheap, but better for you than regular shampoo!)

  9. It is a process, that's for sure. And it takes time. But if it's adding stress and you don't like it, well, maybe it's not worth it! I switched mainly because I couldn't find any shampoo that was OK with my hair for more than a couple washings, and it was getting irritating and expensive to go through so much shampoo. It certainly got worse before it got better, but when I got my last haircut the hairdresser was amazed at how healthy my hair seemed (then a little grossed out when I told her I didn't use shampoo, and only washed it 1-2x a week with baking soda.) I hear the amount of time it takes to even out does depend on your hair and your oil production...mine only took 2 weeks or so, but I have super dry skin...and, to be honest, I only washed it with regular shampoo maybe twice a week before I switched..

    Either way, I'm impressed by your efforts! Trying anything new, especially something that changes what you touch and see every day is a feat in and of itself :)

  10. I don't use shampoo, but I wash my hair with silcone free conditioner (my hair is thick, curly and oily). I actually like the conditioner only regime. I find that my scalp is less flaky and I don't need to use dandruff shampoo anymore. I found this method on

    I have never heard of the baking soda and vinegar method. You are brave.

    IF your using styling products they need to be silicone-free.

  11. How's it going with your hair? Hope you kept with it and have come out the other side. ?