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To shampoo or not to shampoo?



  • Wow soooo may posts I wasnt able to get on last week. I am also having problems with white flakes. It has been colder out and I have been taking really hot showers and letting the water beat down on my scalp. I know not to do that anymore. Its been over 6 weeks for me now and my hair is so soft and shiny. Its still a little frizzy but getting better. I think in another couple of weeks it wont even be an issue. No one can tell that I stopped shampooing (except my husband at first) My hair is starting to have a sweet smell its wonderful! My scalp problems dont even exist anymore. This is one of the best things I have ever done the transformation for me really wasnt that bad but even if it was 10x worse I still think its totally worth it!

  • queenfluffqueenfluff Raw Newbie

    Hey all!

    For my flakies they are really just in one small spot – it is quite odd – it is right at the area they call the “widows peak” (in the front by the forehead right in the center). It is like just an inch in that area. I don’t see flakes anywhere else. Weird too since I am in almost a year of no poo and this is just starting. I am sure it is because I was rinsing so many times with hot water this winter.

    Anyhow, I did a white vinegar rinse yesterday – I didn’t rinse with hot water (it was warm though) but I still got the flakes when my head dried. I have been just scrubbing them off with my fingers and a fine toothed comb and dabbing a bit of coconut oil on the spot. It seem to help a bit.

    I think next I am going to try dabbing on the coconut oil right before I do my rinse and see if that helps.

  • Yay! I washed my hair last night. I used salt water ( 1st time for that) and spritzed on some diluted acv afterwards, rinsed (all cool water-no warm) and I focused on the length of my hair rather than aiming the shower head at the top of my head and scalp area and when it dried no flakes on the scalp. Later on I noticed a very small patch right in the front but not nearly as bad as they were the last couple times I washed my hair. So I’m very glad because my boyfriend was starting to become sceptical of this whole no poo thing and telling me to go buy dandruff shampoo and there’s no way I could do that after 6 months adjusting to no poo. So I’m happy. Thank you for helping me everybody.

  • Here’s a recipe for a dry shampoo from Josephine Fairley’s The Ultimate Natural Beauty Book>

    1/2 cup powdered orris root
    1/4 cup arrowroot powder
    10 drops organic rosemary essential oil

    Place all ingredients in a screw-top shaker. To use, tip your head back and shake small amounts of the mixture in your scalp and hair, then brush out. I still wash my hair twice a week, but use this dry shampoo when I need a pick me up. It leaves a slightly floral scent =)

    You can make your own orris root powder or buy it from an herbalist. I purchase mine from mountainroseherbs.com (they sell bulk organic herbs and essential oils).

  • After reading most of the posts on this topic I decided to go no poo also. I know I will have icky days, but my hair is very short. I keep it that way because it is so fine that the longer it gets, the flatter it looks. Also, I am too lazy to mess with it. I occasionally use gel in it, but quit coloring it, etc about 20 years ago. I just went 5 days without shampooing and was surprised it still looked good, that is until I accidently got coconut oil in it. Any rate my husband showed me this site and I thought I would pass it on.


    Thought some of you might be interested.

  • I’m kinda late to the game for this discussion, but the no shampoo idea seems great. I only wash my toddler’s hair when she gets something sticky in it, otherwise, I just rinse with water. And she has the best hair in the house.

    So I have a few questions. I’ve noticed some talk about baking soda and vinegar and I’m wondering how often I should do that and for how long? What’s the best way to go about starting on no shampoo? Should I use a natural or dry shampoo every once in a while?

    Also, I have naturally gray hair that I have a love/hate relationship with. Sometimes I dye, sometimes I don’t. If I were to try a henna dye, would that defeat the purpose of not using shampoos? Are there other natural dyes that can get my hair to look less gray?

  • This is such a sweet thread! My quick story: I went no-poo for three months this summer, and it was pretty tough to beat the grease. So now I’ve been pooing about once a week, but after reading this I’m giving it another shot- lemon juice will be my greatest ally.
    My hair seemed to get super squeaky clean using baking soda; does that strip hair like shampoo??
    Thanks for the inspiration!!

  • queenfluffqueenfluff Raw Newbie

    Even though I am a few days early – I am going to celebrate – I am ONE YEAR no poo as of this week!!!!

    I remember I officially started the day after last Easter (no religious significance here – that just happened to be the day I did it). :)

    It doesn’t seem like it has been that long – so weird!

    Justine – sorry I missed your post! I will try to answer your questions.

    For the BS and vinegar, you should use when you feel like you need it. It is different for everyone. I dont use it at all – I water rinse.

    The best way to start really depends on what you can “handle”, your lifestyle etc. I just stopped shampooing and conditioning cold turkey and dealt with the gross days straight off to get it over with. You could just start really reducing and diluting the amount of shampoo you use and increase days inbetween shampoos to get to eventually no shampoo.

    To be no poo, you should not use any shampoo at all, ever. But some people do use it every once and a great while – it is really up to you.

    The henna is really a personal choice. Yes, it is hard to get it out without shampoo. But henna has been around since before “modern shampoo” so it is possible to use it as long as you really rinse very well to get it all out. Henna is really the only natural “dye”. My bf has grey and he was using the henna but it is not working for him – he has “stubborn” grey. I am getting a few greys myself (eek!) but no where near enough to start looking at the henna. I have used henna on my hair before a long time ago and it is hard to get the color you want in my opinion.

    Graceymcmain – Yes, it a way, it does “strip” hair but not exactly as bad as shampoo does. What shampoo does differently than the baking soda is that is overdries your hair and scalp – daily use of it gets the scalp in such a state that it is constantly over producing oil. That is why when you stop shampooing – your hair turns into a greasy gross mess. It takes the scalp a while to realize that it doesn’t need to overproduce that oil any more.

  • As of tomorrow, I’ll be at two weeks no poo. Amazingly it is not as greasy as I expected. Anyway, I found this link http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/femail/ar…
    to an article published in the U.K that has before and after photos of five women who participated in a six week no poo experiment. Interesting results!

  • amysueamysue Raw Newbie

    You all inspired me to give it a try – it’s been about a month and I have a system. All I do is brush my hair and scalp with a wooden bristle brush before I shower, then I just rinse with water. I have curly thick shoulder-length hair and I did have a horror show going on 2-3 weeks into it – find a good hat. When things were really bad, like wearing a wax helmet, I used a wet wash cloth in the shower to brush my hair and for some reason that helped. After a couple of days of this I went back to the brush and rinse, and now I’m all set – scalp and hair are normal. My 7-year old has agreed to give it a try on her wavy hair and it’s going great, even getting a little curlier, which she likes. So it can be done with no products!

  • Luna bluLuna blu Raw Newbie

    There are so many posts on this topic, I have only had time to read a couple. So that being said, I hope I don’t repeat anything. When I had dreads I used to rinse my hair once a week with a mixture of nine parts water 1 part apple cider viniger. It leaved your hair pretty sqeeky clean. I know it is an old grandma type thing to do because back then they didn’t have shampoo like we do now, so to make sure all the soap was rinsed out properly they would use viniger and water. Even when I had long hair I would only wash it once a week. Now it is short, and in my line of work (I am at a posh spa now) I kinda have to wash it at least every 3 days. I think I amy try the viniger thing again and see what it does with short hair.

    Well, that was long winded! :)

  • CarmentinaCarmentina Raw Newbie

    It’s official, I’ve gotten through 2 months of no ‘poo. It was quite a bit easier than I expected and I’ve only BS/ACV rinsed 3 times. My hair is still in the waxy stage, but it suits my hair. One thing I’ve noticed is that I should absolutely NOT brush my hair. I thought I would help the oils along by brushing it, but my wavy/curly hair just became a mat of frizziness that took a week of water rinses to get back to my usual curly clumps. I haven’t told my husband yet, but I think he’s suspicious. I’m definitely gonna carry on with this.

  • Well I’ve been no poo since Dec. and feel better everyday. I only use BS & ACV once or twice a month. The bad part is I think its a chore when I have to do it:) It’s so easy to no poo once your past the greasiness. I have also noticed that in between washes if I brush my hair its a frizzy mess so I only brush right before I wash. If I go a couple of days w/o a wash (which happens ALOT) I just run my fingers through to get the knots out.

    queenfluff are you in Cali yet? Hows the weather and hows it treating your hair?

  • queenfluffqueenfluff Raw Newbie

    Hey all!

    Sounds like everyone is doing good with their no poo! Yeah!

    jparamax – that is a great article! I think I read one similar to that but it was a UK guy that tried the no poo – it was easier for him since he had really short hair but he said that that it seemed like his hair grew better too. :) Weird how some people it works really well and others they dont seem to think it works. I think that for those that say it doesn’t work are probably excepting their hair to be exactly like when they shampoo/condition it which doesn’t happen. I wonder too if they are not really rinsing well enough and aren’t putting too much effort into it – because it does take some effort!

    NatureGal – yes, I am in Cali now. Weather is super nice – in the super 60s and lots of sun! Good thing I just missed some huge winter storms back in te midwest. I have a new shower filter and the water here is a lot less hard than it was back in the midwest which helps. Doesn’t seem like it has a lot of chlorine in it it either – I can’t really smell it. One nice thing is that since it isn’t really cold I don’t feel like I need to wash with hotter water which is helping my hair – those weird little flakies went away!

  • Ok I know I been gone a long time…I was busy getting divorced… anywho I have a new no poo solution for people with my kinda hair…curly, thick and dry… Its so great and damn near perfect.. So at trader joes they sell a lavender sea salt scrub which I been using on my body for a while and love it! well I was reading how sea salt is great for helping out the curls and I remeber Dreamsmiles mentioning how she swim in the ocean and that helps her hair out…so I used the scrub in my hair and it works great and now I dont have to add cocnut oil to keep the curls from frizzing out…and ll the ingredients are edible, I wouldnt eat them and they probly arent raw (the oils etc) but Im sure you could make your own scrub (I used to but like Isaid divorce..a little busy rigt…so later) anyway in the mean time its working great and I only have to do it when all the dry up so every few days or so…just thought id share peace and good luck!

  • CandiceCandice Raw Newbie

    I love the salt scrub idea! My hair is soooo curly, I have to use product in it or it’s a big frizz ball. (I use a Carol’s Daughter styling product: expensive, but it’s made of natural ingredients). Maybe the salt scrub will be better at getting the product out of my hair than plain water.

  • TomsMomTomsMom Raw Newbie

    If anyone has a recipe for the salt scrub, I’ll try making it! My hair is curly but extremely fragile, even the hard water here makes it frizzy and brittle. It looks like thyroid hair:( It’s definately better since I went no-poo but still not normal at all.

  • amysueamysue Raw Newbie

    I just have to add that my 7 year old daughter’s hair is beautiful with no poo, and she really likes saying “no poo.” She hasn’t had any scary transition. It’s a relief not to have to go through the shampoo/conditioner saga with her.

  • TomsMomTomsMom Raw Newbie

    That’s great! Shampoo is so bad for babies and kids, too. I love the way their hair smells naturally:-)

  • ok so salt scrubs are sooo easy and plenty of recipes on the net…but here ya go off the top off my head Salt (haha) oil (if you are INTO the raw thing seriously and you got the greens to back up the conviction go with cold pressed unrefined..raw etc etc) jojoba, almond, coconut etc essential oils for their healing and fragrance pick and choose based on desired effects or fragrance. put it all in a jar…make sure the oil covers the salt…mix well… get to scrubbing!

    peace love light and just a little tiny bit of friendly sass.. lol

  • Hello all! Haven’t been here in a while. Today is my one month anniversary to going NO POO! So far so good… at first I was slowly weaning myself off of shampoo but I have stopped using it. I’m at the point where parts of my hair (close to the scalp around the crown of my head) are really waxy and flaky. It’s really grose. Last night I was close to using a little shampoo but I didn’t want to get the shampoo on my scalp. I took my time rinsing and seperated my hair the best I could and used a fine toothed comb to really get at the waxy/flaky parts. It helped but I’m going to do it again tonight. I don’t usually rinse my hair everyday but I think I’m going to until it goes away. I’m afraid to use vinegar or salt water because I don’t want to strip the oils but I really want to get rid of the flakes. They’re so grose. Any suggestions?

  • queenfluffqueenfluff Raw Newbie

    Hi ambikalee!

    Great to have you back! The sea salt scrub sounds like a great idea – it makes sense that it would work in a way. What are the exact ingredients in the Trader Joes scrub? I was just wondering what else would be responsible for getting the hair clean.

    I guess the recipe you have would work great for those with dry curly hair (yeah, it sounds like what Deasmiles was doing before) but I was trying to think of a salt scrub for those of us who do not have dry curly hair. For me, using the oils on my head is a rare thing – the only part that is dry really is my ends. So, yeah, if you could post the Trader Joe Ingredients that would be great.

    Ducky85- Congrats! Unfortunately, at one month you are still in the “gross zone” (so to speak) so don’t lose heart yet! Don’t be afraid to use vinegar or salt – they don’t strip all the oils out. The only other thing to do for the flakes would be to start giving yourself alot of scalp massages to loosen the flakes (esp right before you do your rinse) also rinse with as cool of water as you can stand because the hot water can dry out your scalp and cause more flakies. I had some flaky problems lately too but they seem to disappear when I use cooler water. I also dab a bit of coconut oil on the flakey area. And I am at one year no poo so the flakies aren’t always due to the transition period sicne I am way past that.

  • queenfluffqueenfluff Raw Newbie

    Hey fellow no pooers!

    I tried something different today on my hair – Well, not really DIFFERENT but different for me since this is the first time I have tried it. I used Baking soda on my hair.

    It is so clean now! I had sworn to myself that I wouldn’t use baking soda because I didn’t want to get into the routinue of it (plus baking soda does strip the oils on the hair) but I was reading somewhere that it is good for cleaning combs and brushes – and mine are getting to be pain to clean and it is taking too long!

    So, anyhow, last night I went to a raw potluck where there were a lot of rich “well-maintained” women and men and I felt like a dirty, poor hippie with scuzzy hair (my hair doesn’t seem to responding the same to the water washes lately for some reason – I think I just had a lot of sebum buildup from skipping too many rinses when I was busy moving – even the white vinegar and sea salt didn’t seem to be cutting it) – normally this wouldn’t bother me but for some reason it did yesterday – probably because my hair has been looking less than great lately and yesterday was a bad hair day. :(

    So this morning I decided to do a baking soda paste rinse on my hair to remove some the buildup. I just wet my hair, smoothed the paste on the areas that are giving me trouble (avoided the ends) and I massaged it in the hair and a little bit in the scalp and rinsed quickly (I had an area on the scalp that kept having returning flakies that was driving me nuts).

    My scalp actually felt a little sensitive with the baking soda on it but I rinsed fast and really good but I could tell the minute I rinsed that it removed the sebum buildup. So now my hair is super clean (almost shampoo clean – kind of the clean I had towards the middle of my no poo transition). Next time I do this I won’t put any on my scalp just the hair part and use a little less (less baking soda – more diluted).

    So, this will be something I do if my hair seems to be getting to look scuzzy and I can’t get the extra sebum out. Maybe once or twice a month.

    Also, I think I am going to try Kundalalita’s idea of using Kombucha tea on my hair (or maybe sun tea) and see how it works. My bf has a Kombucha culture so it would be free. :)

  • Ok so just to clairify I do not claim that the salt scrub is gonna Clean the hair, but it does enhance the curls and defrizz! SO the ingredients in TJ’s Lavender Scrub are Sea Salt Sweet Almond Oil, Sunflower Seed Oil, Safflower Oil, Lavender Oil, Grape Seed Oil, Apricot Kernel Oil, Avocado Oil, Green Tea extract, St John’s Wort extract and Vit E.


  • I’m trying to follow but am getting confused by all the talk of salt, oils, vinegars, lemons and baking soda. (Yes, I actually read the entire thread!) In a nutshell… 1) What can be used to clean the scalp without stripping the oil from the hair? 2) Do you need to actually clean the hair with anything? It sounds like no.

  • CarmentinaCarmentina Raw Newbie

    I think the baking soda and vinegar isn’t mandatory, it just helps out with the transition phase (about 2 months) and maybe beyond. Neither of these will strip the hair. Water rinsing and massaging the scalp with your hands should be enough. Coconut oil is used to help tame the frizzies and style – works great on curly/wavy hair.

  • Morning_theftMorning_theft Raw Newbie

    Hey everyone! I’ve been doing no-poo for quite a while now. While I was in Canada it was very successful- I would use vinegar when my hear would feel a little greasy and coconut oil when it felt dry. Since I also have curly-messy long hair, I had to wash it almost daily in water and brush it, just to make it look alright. But it was definitely liking it a lot more than drying it with shampoos and such. Now here’s my problem: since I’ve been out here in Israel, my hair does NOT like not being washed. It’s getting very oily and weird and even a little sticky. Coconut oil helps with the stickiness but vinegar does nothing for it anymore. I’m not sure what to do, I don’t want to be smelly-haired Lucy! Any thoughts?

  • CarmentinaCarmentina Raw Newbie

    Ever tried baking soda? You’re on the seaside, how about washing in the salt water? Above a girl writes about using salt scrub, I tried it and it works great on my curly hair too, but I’m in a cooler climate than you.

  • queenfluffqueenfluff Raw Newbie

    ambikalee – thanks for writing down the ingredients for me. I was just curious if there was anything like alcohol or something like that in it. So, it doesn’t really get your hair “clean” feeling but just helps out your curlies then? It is definately all the oils – esp the avocado oil – that are helping tame your curls no doubt. I am sure the salt helps a little with “cleaning”. The Green Tea extract might help on that respect too. Have you tried using avocado on your hair yet? If you have dry hair, you definatley won’t after putting on some avocado! It will be TOO conditioned! Maybe scrunch a bit in your curls at night will help. I used to use Burts Bees Avocado Treatement to smooth out dryness – worked great!

    GreyX999 – Nothing is reallly necessary to clean the hair. Hair is fine all by itself with nothing used on it. But when you have been brought up using shampoos and conditioners the chemistry of your hair and scalp gets pretty out of wack and diet and and the quality of our modern water can lead to less than great hair. So, this thread is all about getting away from modern shampoos and conditioner and finding other ways (or non-ways) to still keep our hair decent looking in the modern world while trying to be as natural as possible. For the most part, my hair normally has been doing great on just water rinses. I think sea salt water is best to keep the scalp and hair clean – I mean, that is what our oceans are made out of it. Us humans will get wet in the oceans or in fresh water streams and lakes – so nothing is really needed except the water. I think humans were meant to get their hair wet everyday which should freshen it enough to keep it clean in its natural state.

    Morning Theft – It could be the water out there. What is the water like that you are using in Israel? That could be why your routinue isn’t working right now – the water doesn’t mix. Yes, try the baking soda to remove the stickiness – it isn’t something you need to do everyday though – it is super cleaning – but it will give you a “fresh start”. If you are in sea salt water alot, it could be that you have TOO much salt in your hair. There is a girl that emails me and she has that problem (she in the sea salt many times a day ) and her hair is super sticky. It may be that you need to change your hair routine in Israel – maybe you can get by on just water rinses.

  • Morning_theftMorning_theft Raw Newbie

    I’m actually not in salt water at all- it’s too cold here to go into the water. I think it could be because my parents don’t use a shower filter like I’m used to back home- so I get all the chlorine and such in. I’ll try baking soda and see if it helps though, for sure! Thanks for your help!

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