Alternative Haircare – No Shampoo Method

It’s NaBloPoMo, National Blog Posting Month. For the month of November, I’m going to post every day. This is day 18.

Although unrelated to food, what follows is still a recipe, of sorts. In addition to adapting and experimenting with edible recipes, I like to experiment in other areas of life too, especially if it involves measuring, testing, noting results, revising + repeat.

These disparate thoughts will soon come together, really.

In high school, we used to refer to the alternative kids as crunchy granola types. Sometimes I straddled that border, but granola will be a topic and recipe for another day. These kids were the vegans before I even knew what the word meant. They were speaking out for environmental changes against global warming, they were warning of pesticides and chemicals hidden in our environment, and they were advocating for change. Although I didn’t realize it at the time, they were on point, astute, and aware of the greater world.

No 'Poo bottlesThese are concerns that I came to much later in life. I’ve been slowly thinking about not just what I put in my body, but also what I put on my body – my personal care products. As your skin is the largest organ, it makes sense that we should nurture it with care, right? Slowly and subtly I’ve been changing the products I purchase and use. Mike is such a good sport for coming along for the ride. So although I do identify with these crunchy granola ideals of my former classmates, I don’t necessarily want to follow their stylistic choices (90’s garb, dreadlocks, sandals with socks – definitely not office appropriate!). So I’m going incognito.

We started out with small changes, like purchasing natural soap. And then we tried making soap. One change led to another and well, we stopped washing our hair. There. I’ve said it. At least, we’ve stopped washing our hair in the traditional way, with shampoo and conditioner.

Mike and I are both cursed and blessed with heads of thick wavy/curly hair. It has required a litany of styling products to maintain a presentable appearance, let alone any semblance of style. Expensive, cheap, organic, chemical-laden, spray, gel, cream, name-brand and generic, I feel like I’ve tried them all.

Then I kept seeing this concept of No ‘Poo (No Shampoo) pop up. In books, on blogs, and in beauty magazines. My curiosity overtook me and I could no longer ignore it. So, we gave it a try and joined in the No ‘Poo movement. So there you have it. I have not used traditional shampoo since July. For those who actually know me in person, I bet you couldn’t tell (and if you can, thank you for being so polite). If anything, I’ve gotten more compliments on my hair these past few months than before. It now takes significantly less time to care for my hair, it’s become much softer, and is less frizzy than before, all with fewer products and time involved. Win-win. I’m not sure this method is for everyone, but it’s at least worth a try.

Here’s how it works. You replace your shampoo and conditioner with homemade mixtures. The recipe and ratios I’ve been using are below.

No ‘Poo Shampoo
1 c. water
2 Tbsp. Baking Soda

1. Combine baking soda and water in bottle.

To Use
1. Shake and apply directly to scalp and hair. Really focus on the scalp area much more than the hair.
2. Massage into head and rinse.


No ‘Poo Conditioner
1/4 c. Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 c. + 2 Tbsp. warm water
2 Tbsp. raw honey

1. Combine honey and water in cup. Use spoon or whisk to stir until honey is completely dissolved.
2. Add apple cider vinegar. Stir to combine.
3. Add mixture to bottle for application.

To Use
1. Shake and apply directly to scalp and hair. Focus on the hair more than the scalp.
2. For long hair, add some mixture to a cup and dip ends in to really ensure they’re coated.
3. Let sit in hair through remainder of shower before rinsing.

This is not thick, sudsy, or anything like your traditional shampoo and conditioner experience. It takes some getting used to and does not need to be used every day. Start off with every other day and slowly decrease frequency. There is a transition period where your scalp and hair adjust to this new method. Now I find I only need to shampoo/condition twice a week, from a near daily routine prior to this transition. Occasionally I’ll add in an extra day of conditioner.

Later this week I’ll share some tips and tricks that have worked for us.

Have you tried the No ‘Poo method?








2 responses to “Alternative Haircare – No Shampoo Method”

  1. Nankie Avatar

    So excited to try this!

  2. ben Avatar

    The No ‘Poo Method is very different in our hosehold, usually revolving around my daughters refusing to poop. This looks like a far better method. I have been recently into bar shampoos as they cut down on plastic packaging, keep my hair poppin’, and last forever. My favortie is J.R.LIGGETT bars. Great stuff.