The Blog

I Quit Using Shampoo... Yes, Really

So, how do you go no poo? It is really easy and safe for dyed and grey hair. You will need the following items to begin.
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

I am pretty lazy. I don't spend a ton of time on any beauty regimen and I despise getting dressed up. So, when I read about being able to go days and days without washing my hair, I was all for trying it. Don't judge me. I have three kids, work two jobs, and it takes hours for my hair to air dry. Looking like a model is the last thing on my list. So, I was reading about this thing called going "no poo." Yep, ditching your shampoo, completely. There are a ton of benefits and in the end, your hair looks AMAZING! I promise!

I actually started looking into the whole no shampoo thing because I have hair extensions and they kept slipping out. I couldn't figure out why until I did some research and I read how the silicone in shampoo could have such an awful affect on your hair and especially your extensions. I was just throwing money away every time I had them put in, because they would just slip out a few weeks later due to the silicone build up from my shampoo. Then, I went no poo and it all changed. After I ditched the silicone based shampoo, my hair looked amazing, my extensions stayed put, and I get some extra time in between washes! Want to try it? Here's how:


So, I will give you the low points of going no poo. First you need to get through the disastrous week. The photo above shows me during that week. See, because your scalp is so used to shampoo, it is overproducing oil. This is why your hair gets so oily after a day or two of not washing! After you quit using shampoo, your scalp is going to go into overdrive and your oil production is going to go WAY UP. This transition will last a week or two. Then... hair nirvana. No joke.

After that transition week, your hair is going to look and feel amazing. The photo below is my "no poo" hair, after transition. This is one month into it, and I love my hair! It is going to be fuller, grow quicker, and look amazing. Your previously limp hair is super full of body and life. Fly-aways are a thing of the past and this is amazing for curly hair. People have reported that they have added waves to their super straight hair after going no poo. You will have a ton of new hair growth too! Once you quit shampooing, your hair will quit breaking off and start growing at amazing rates. Don't forget that you are also helping the Earth and your wallet.


So, how do you go no poo? It is really easy and safe for dyed and grey hair. You will need the following items to begin:

- clarifying Shampoo (for your last wash before you start No Poo, especially if you've used products containing silicones in the past)
- Baking Soda
- vinegar (Use Apple Cider Vinegar for Dry to Normal Hair, White Vinegar for Normal to Oily Hair)
- water
- Squirt Bottle with Pointed Tip (I use an old mustard bottle)
- Spray Bottle

Before anything, you need to make your mixture. So, grab your squirt bottle and add 1c. of water and 1Tbsp Baking Soda. When I make my mixture, I use 2 c. of hot water and 2 Tbsp. of soda. If you live in a hard water area, DO NOT USE YOUR WATER! Pick up some distilled water at the store! Hard water makes it very difficult to go no poo. After you make your mixture, you are ready to go.

First you need to get all the silicone from your hair. So, get some super cheap clarifying shampoo. (Think V05, White Rain, etc) Do not condition it afterward! Your hair will be a straw like mess, I know. Trust me, it is all leading to hair nirvana, so deal with it! After you clarify your hair and you feel like you have a haystack on your head, you need to use that baking soda solution on it. I add a bit at a time and "shampoo" it into my hair. Use whatever method works for you, you'll figure it out over time. Make sure you rinse well... like really well. Like, when you think you are done rinsing, keep going for another five minutes. I am not kidding. baking soda is HARD to get out of hair!

So, get out and dry your hair. Now, it is time to condition with apple cider vinegar. Yep, I am not kidding, it actually works. I use a 50/50 mix of water and vinegar for my spray bottle. There are various recommendations for this: 2 Tbsp vinegar to 1 c. water, 50/50 like I do, some more some less. Do what works best for your hair. When you spray the vinegar on, focus on the ends and do not spay your scalp. Conditioning your scalp will cause it to produce oil... that's a no-no. At this point, some people rinse the vinegar out, some leave it in. I leave it in. Don't worry about the vinegar smell, you won't walk around smelling like a salad all day, I promise! The scent goes away as your hair dries. Now, your hair is not going to have that shampoo scent your are used to. In fact, it won't smell like anything. I typically take a drop of lilac or rose essential oil and put it on my brush, then I brush it through my hair. That gives it a great scent and no shampoo.

After you make the transition, try to leave your hair air dry. I usually use my blow dryer for a few seconds then air dry the rest of the way. Don't give up during that initial transition phase (a week or two). Your hair will be super oily, just give it time. It gets WAY BETTER! Wear a hat, pull your hair up, or go into hiding. Don't forget, you can "wash" your hair every four days in the beginning, then try to bump your time up. Eventually, you can ditch the baking soda and vinegar all together and just use water. Tons of people are doing it and there are all sorts of amazing groups to help you through it. Check this one out on Facebook and be sure to come back to see how my journey is going!

Find out more about Tre Harrington on Facebook and twitter.
©2016 Tre Harrington, as first published on Nonperfect Parenting