Well, I made it twenty days without using shampoo or conditioner. Twenty days… and I’m done. I’m very much looking forward to giving my hair a proper washing… tomorrow. My hair got gross, really, really gross. And I understand, that’s the point… it detoxes itself until all your natural oils, normalize… and then eventually, it kind of settles into itself and works… right? Well, that’s wonderful and all, but you see, the thing is, I could deal with the grease, and I could braid it or put my hair up and most people would just assume it was wet (gross), and I could deal with most of the smells, but the dirty smell? Forget it. Once the smell started creeping in yesterday, I knew I was done. No matter how many home remedies I tried of baking soda, castile soap, and essential oils, the smell stuck. By the end of the day yesterday, in the sun, by the pool (not in the pool), construction throughout the city, and a slightly smoky bar (smoking indoors is still legal here in florida, it’s AWFUL), I was done. I can deal with the lingering food smells, no problem, I can deal with the apple cider vinegar conditioner rinse, but smoke and dirt? Nope. The more advice I received, the more I questioned what I was doing. Everything seemed to show me that no poo was more work than it was worth, for me. In general, I only wash my hair every three to four days (I have a lot of hair on my head, it doesn’t oil easily), so when I was being told I should start washing with baking soda everyday, I thought “well, thats ridiculous, I certainly don’t have time for that.” I think no poo could work for plenty of people… and I think it would be a great method to decrease the amount of shampoos for people who ‘need’ to wash their hair everyday, but for someone (me) who didn’t wash it that much in the first place, it just seems unnecessary. I chose to no poo because I thought it would make my life easier, because it would be more natural, and hopefully cheaper. But in reality, it didn’t seem like it would make my life easier, the shampoo I use is already vegan, natural, sulfate free, yada yada, and yes, each bottle is pricey, but it lasts me and my ten pounds of hair for-ev-er (months and months and months), so in the end it’s not anymore money than buying a ton of cheap bottles of shampoo, or bottles of coconut oil, castille soap, essential oils, and whatever else goes into homemade shampoo.
So I tried, I gave it a go. Twenty days and I’m done feeling like a crack head, pacing back and forth to my bathroom each night wanting a shampoo fix.
The photo above is from day twenty, the day I woke up in my staycation hotel room and decided to rinse my hair with water and scrub the tiniest bit of the natural soap the hotel offered into my very smelly hair. hallelujah!
To see some photos of the in-between, click below, you’ll find them under the cut.
psst. ps. last chance to enter our adorable skull boot giveaway!

Day 9.

 

 day 13. 

 

day 18.

To those of you who go completely product free, I bow down to you, but for now, I’ll stick to being mostly natural with homemade deodorant, lotions, face masks, and whatever else, but shampoo: it stays.

To see my favorite vegan and natural beauty products click here.

ps. my original no poo post randomly went missing. I think i may have accidentally deleted it one night while cleaning up up my drafted post list. oopsies. you can see a copy of the original post HERE, but unfortunately all the wonderful tips and comments went missing :/

38 Comments

  1. Hmm. Maybe I'm reading it wrong, but it seems like you made it harder than it is! I also have 10lbs of hair, and usually only wash every 3 days. But I did no poo for a few months a couple years back and it worked really well. I "washed" with a baking soda mix, and "conditioned" with ACC. I started doing it just as often as I'd been using regular shampoo/conditioner, and then stretched it out I once a week or more. That's it.

    But hey, maybe that's exactly what you did and I'm bad at reading! 😉

    • no! that's exactly what I did! I didn't wash it anymore than I already used to. But it was starting to smell really bad! So when I asked for advice I got different home remedy/homemade shampoos (that didn't seem to help at all) or I got told to use baking soda to wash more often!

  2. Hey, at least you can say you tried it, now you know. Also, like you said, you don't wash your hair that often and the stuff you use is all yada yada yada. What about Wen? I don't know much about it, if it's vegan or whatnot, but I know a few people who use it in place of shampoo.

    • I called wen to look into it. They are vegan, but holy crap their expensive. And the chemical list (natural or not I have no idea) is extensive. A ton more ingredients than whats in my shampoo now.

  3. You have to do it for at least 6 weeks for it to actually get better. Instead wash with just conditioner, it won't set you back to day one.

  4. If you think that Pureology costs as much or less than making your own…than you may be making it wrong. I have used every expensive shampoo, sulfate-free, yada-yada…but homemade shampoo is where it's at. It's affordable, natural, works great! I'd rather have essential oils in my hair than laboratory fragrances any day!

    • I tried two different recipes, neither of which I liked. My hair only got more oily (which I understand is because it hasn't fully detoxed yet) and still smelled awful once it dried. I'd rather spend a few extra bucks and insure that my hair is clean and doesn't give off unappealing stenches for me and for others.

  5. I tried the no 'poo treatment and lasted two weeks. I don't think I can do it again!

    • I'm stubborn enough to go the full 6 weeks, but I just know even after that, I wasn't going to be pleased.

  6. I tried this a couple of months ago, and it worked fine in the beginning, but it really did turn into more of a job haha. I now use only conditioner (natural)when I wash my hair, and then use shampoo when it starts to feel dirty. This method seems to be working for me! Love your blog, by the way 🙂

    Sabrina
    http://bbutterflybrain.blogspot.com/

  7. I tried No Poo a few years ago and pretty much has the same experience as you. I also have a lot of hair and only wash it 1-2 times a week. That works just fine and I thought that doing the no poo would be easy since I already have a pretty minimal routine to begin with but that extra mile of cutting out shampoo made my hair really nasty about two weeks in. And the amount of grease buildup, no braid could hide that. Maybe it would have gotten different if I had kept going with it but about a month in, I decided it's not for me and went back to my organic shampoo+conditioner and every 3-4 day washing routine.

    • yeah, I'm totally okay with the natural/vegan shampoos I use. I can skimp on the certain things… like regular haircuts, and using natural creams and deodorants… but once my hair starts smelling bad… forget it, I'm not ruining mine or anyone else's dinner… shampoo stays for me.

  8. I tried No Poo a few years ago and pretty much has the same experience as you. I also have a lot of hair and only wash it 1-2 times a week. That works just fine and I thought that doing the no poo would be easy since I already have a pretty minimal routine to begin with but that extra mile of cutting out shampoo made my hair really nasty about two weeks in. And the amount of grease buildup, no braid could hide that. Maybe it would have gotten different if I had kept going with it but about a month in, I decided it's not for me and went back to my organic shampoo+conditioner and every 3-4 day washing routine.

  9. I tried No Poo a few years ago and pretty much has the same experience as you. I also have a lot of hair and only wash it 1-2 times a week. That works just fine and I thought that doing the no poo would be easy since I already have a pretty minimal routine to begin with but that extra mile of cutting out shampoo made my hair really nasty about two weeks in. And the amount of grease buildup, no braid could hide that. Maybe it would have gotten different if I had kept going with it but about a month in, I decided it's not for me and went back to my organic shampoo+conditioner and every 3-4 day washing routine.

    • I tried one of their shampoo bars and liked it a lot! but I felt like I needed a lot of the product to get the job done so money wise i was spending a tiny bit more.. but i def. liked it a lot!

  10. (sorry if i double post.)
    have you looked into lush cosmetics? they've got some awesome vegan products.

  11. I also no poo'd but I didn't last long. My hair didn't get greasy or smell but I looked like a person who never brushed their hair! I am back to my usual healthy vegan shampoo. I started my no pooing because I am cheap, but I feel much better with managable hair! LOL

    • yeah, you can get by without regular shavings and things like that.. but dirty or smelly hair really isn't something ANYONE can pull off.

  12. I'm there with you! That is the one thing I couldn't handle. I LOVE my natural deodorant and soap, but cannot handle the icky and smelly hair. And I have tried it multiple different times. The longest going 2 weeks. Props to you for trying it!

  13. Well, at least you can say you tried it, right? I don't think it makes you any less "natural" or "Eco-friendly" etc. It just wasn't your cup of tea and that's ok!

    • exactly. and who knows, maybe ill try it again someday (probably nit) but I'm totally okay and not feeling guilty at all for the shampoo I use! 🙂

  14. So, I have been doing the baking soda rinse every 4-5 days for a little over a year now. I went back to shampoo in between for some reason (I can't remember why) and almost immediately went back to baking soda because shampoo just makes my hair look weird and dry. I swear it's super simple and you get a hang of it – I just put a tablespoon of baking soda in a cup before I get in the shower, add a cup of water while I'm in the shower, dump over my head and lather like shampoo, then rinse. Presto. There's never a smell and my hair has never looked better/stayed clean longer. I will admit that there was definitely an adjustment period, and I still hate my hair when I just rinse it with water, for all the reasons you listed above.

    I know you've made your mind up, and I totally get that, but just thought I'd share because baking soda rules and I use it for EVERYTHING. Also, it's dirt cheap, which rules. And people are weird and like to share stuff.

    • I do love baking soda. I def. use it for scrubs, deodorant, and whatever. I don't, maybe i'll try using it every couple of rinses. 😉

  15. Hey girl, have you tried using a natural bristle hair brush?? That really helps me to stretch out my shampooing.

    • Hm. I bought a fancy brush a few months ago… I think it's a natural bristle one… but I never use it. I actually only ever comb my hair when I get out of the shower and thats it.. it's too wavy to brush, it turns into a large fuzz ball.

    • Hi there. I hadn't brushed my hair in like 6 months, then a friend with crazy curly hair recommended trying a natural bristle brush. I got mine at Whole Foods for $8. I brush at night (if I remember) and before I shower (if I remember) and it helps to spread all those natural oils from my scalp all the way to my ends. I noticed a difference after using it only one time! And it definitely adds one more day to how long I can go without shampooing. I think it's pretty awesome.

  16. Hey at least you tried! I made it about 2 weeks I think. I have short hair now so I only wash it once a week, but I can't handle that dirty smell. xo!

  17. Hi Drea – loving your blog, I am learning so much.

    I'm the same – I love my natural body and skin care products. And believe me, over the years I have tried various natural hair washing techniques and they all end up disastrous. My latest attempt I actually endured for a month. I cracked when I did a henna gloss and it wouldn't wash out of my hair. I have so much build up in my hair thanks to hard water that I purchased an organic shampoo and conditioner. My roots and scalp area look so lovely but the nape of my neck and ends are still disgusting. So I bought a clarifying shampoo (I can't believe it) which I will use tomorrow. And I can't wait.