'No-Poo'? Yes Please!

Kylie's List

'No-Poo' Method
(aka No Shampoo)
began May 1st, 2013

UPDATE (5/26/13)
: The baking soda needs to be diluted into boiling water before use (see updated instructions below).  This will eliminate the frustration with the seemingly endless transition period...

I am venturing into the 'no-poo' method (aka no traditional shampoo or conditioner), so I will be posting the ingredients, method, results, and photos: (let's face it, you aren't going to believe it unless you see it!).  Here goes...

  • Baking Soda (I use Arm & Hammer): cleanses by removing dirt, dust, and buildup, but doesn't strip the hair completely of healthy oils (sebum), your scalp produces naturally and needs; no harsh chemicals that are found in traditional shampoos, and it's less costly than buying expensive traditional products and natural/organic versions
  • Apple Cider Vinegar (I use Bragg Organic): helps to counter-act the alkalinity of the baking soda (vinegar is an acid), and balance the ph, seals the cuticle, creating more shine and less frizz, helps to reduce build-up, less costly; you can also use white vinegar if you need less conditioning
  • Aloe Vera Gel (for dry scalp): if you suffer from dry scalp/dandruff, this can be very soothing, and even works great all the way down (root to tip)

Steps to Prepare 'Poo' for the Week (try to make at least three cups)

  1. Boil a pot of water on the stove (as much as can fit into your chosen container for your baking soda 'poo'), and make note of how many cups it is.
  2. When water has boiled for approximately 10 minutes, remove from heat, and add 1TB of baking soda per each cup of water you boiled.
  3. Allow baking soda to fizzle, and stir slightly until all baking soda has dissolved, let mixture cool, then pour into your chosen 'poo' bottle.

Steps for 'No-Pooing'/Conditioning When Washing Your Hair

  1. Rinse hair thoroughly
  2. Pour half of your baking soda 'poo' (previously made/cooled), over your head, (focusing on the scalp and crown), and scrub into your scalp in a massaging fashion
  3. Repeat step 2 with the rest of the mixture, making sure to pour on other areas you may have missed (I don't make it a point to pour it directly onto the length of my hair, or scrub the length of my hair, just the scalp, but it's okay if it runs down)
  4. Rinse out well
  5. Add 1-2 TB apple cider vinegar to 1 cup water while you are in the shower/bath (I use a plastic cup)
  6. For Long Hair: drape your hair over one shoulder and pour half of the mixture down the length of your hair, starting mid -shaft (I start about the top of my ear); drape it on the other side and repeat with the remaining mixture (this helps to evenly distribute); For Short Hair: pour the mixture around the back and sides of your head, no need to pour on-top (short hair may not even need ACV)
  7. Put your hair up in a clip and let it sit on your hair through the remainder of your shower (for long hair)
  8. Rinse out well

For Dry Scalp: apply aloe vera gel to your scalp 10-15 min before you will be washing your hair, massage in, let sit for 10-15 minutes, rinse out, then commence the 'no-poo' method (it's even great allover your hair - root to tip).

For Hard Water: the baking soda may not dissolve properly, and this will affect it's cleansing, so, each week make a batch of wash ahead of time (see instructions above).  The map shows that I don't have hard water, but this method worked like a charm for me. 

To check if you are in a hard water area, follow this link:


*You may, or may not go through a transition period (the degree is different for everyone)
*If your water is hard, it can affect results, so make changes every week to 'tweek' your routine (soft water is much easier on the transition)
*It may take you a few weeks to a month to figure out your specific amounts/routine: everyone's hair/skin is different
*Ease your transition period by beginning to wash your hair more frequently in the beginning, then reducing how often (eg first week 3-4 times, second week 2-3, then see if you can maintain 2-3 for a month, find your happy place after that, the ultimate goal being 1-2 times per week, as long as you aren't a mud wrestler, or something)
*If you find that after a month your scalp is still very oily, it may be due to irritation (our skin will over-produce oil if it feels that it needs the extra moisture/protection): use less baking soda in your mixture, even skipping it all together at times, and just use the ACV, and soothing aloe vera gel
*For a scalp on the dry-side, I would suggest washing your scalp with aloe vera gel once a week (no baking soda that day), to soothe your dry skin, or more frequently as needed
*A hair journal/notes on your status each week, to help see where adjustments need to be made (jot down what method you used that week, the results, a make changes for the next week accordingly - takes about 5 min or less each week)
*Most importantly: GIVE IT TIME!  You will find the right balance
(my epiphany came week 5, when I figured out how critical the boiling/dilution method is for the baking soda - I've got my routine down now!)

Week 2 (air dry/no product)

Week 8 (blown dry / no product)

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