Guest Post: No Shampoo Method

This is actually a post by my friend Tara over at Cured Newt.  I admit that I’ve researched this topic a bit myself, but she knows WAY more about it than me.  I’ve already switched over to olive oil instead of conditioner [using the rest of the bottle as shaving cream, though… waste not] but I’m pretty sure that this just might make me take the plunge!  So, without further ado…


By Tara Phillips

Diana has sent out a call for inspiration and guest posts. I’ve been hesitant to answer mostly because between applying for jobs, sleeping and eating, I’ve been obsessed with yarn and wool. What’s exciting about organizing patterns and needles to my rigid, demanding standards? Not very much unless you are me and/or chose to subject yourself to my blog. So, I didn’t have anything very interesting to say until lately.

You see, I’ve decided that shampoo is too much effort. The method is often referred to as the “No ‘Poo” movement. I understand that it’s pithy and rhymes, but as that title makes me seem digestionally-challenged, I will call it the “No Shampoo” method.

No Shampoo

Have you ever been in the middle of your shower and found that the conditioner is completely gone? As you reach for the empty bottle, you remember that you forgot to get conditioner yesterday and you secretly blame your spouse for using it all because you know for a fact that the last bottle of conditioner lasted longer. You fill the bottle from the spout, shake it up and then dump the watery mixture over your head hoping that it will suffice this time.

Sometimes I go through this a couple times before I finally take myself to the store and get conditioner. Sadly, the dance of the empty bottles is repeated because I never use the same amount of shampoo and conditioner and so one bottle is also going out before another. It’s a vicious, un-ending cycle. (Luckily, many of you aren’t so OCD that the scent of your shampoo and conditioner have to match, then again, maybe you are.)

Anyway, I was wandering around the internet looking at interesting articles and crafts on blogs and Pinterest, my recent drug of choice, when I saw a Pin for the “No Shampoo” method.  I was intrigued and read through it. Baking soda and apple cider vinegar. Interesting.

I was already aware of the amazing cleaning abilities of baking soda and vinegar. These two in combination will clean anything in your house. Nasty smells? Baking soda. Disinfectant? Vinegar. It wasn’t a surprise that they could clean, but that they could clean and condition? That was surprising.

Baking Soda is basically an alkaline and vinegar is an acid. According to this article we all need a little more alkalies in our acidic diet. The baking soda helps to clean the excess oils that build up. The acid in the apple cider vinegar counters the alkaline enough to leave your hair soft and shiny.

So I read the article and then casually dismissed it. I stumbled on another article a few weeks later. Dismissed again. It wasn’t until a bottle of apple cider vinegar fell out of the pantry that I thought “Oh, I have all of the ingredients. They are throwing themselves at me. Let’s do this thing.”

So I started. Mix baking soda in water; wash your head. Mix apple cider vinegar in water; rinse your head. You might miss the suds, I did, but apparently that’s the bad stuff in shampoo.

It’s only been a week, but I am pretty happy. I know that there is a large box of baking soda in the pantry and a bottle of vinegar. There is no chance of it disappearing any time soon. I need these ingredients for food, and I am assiduous at feeding myself. Plus, it is ridiculously cheap. It’s $1 for a 1 lb box of baking soda, and $2 for 16 fluid ounces of vinegar which is more than a year supply.

The hope, and the eventual goal of the “No Shampoo” movement, is to go without shampooing your hair at all. And given my hateful relationship with empty bottles… I’m okay with that.

Resources a.k.a more details:

Sadly, I couldn’t find the original articles that got the idea to percolate in my brain, but I found some other ones.– a dedicated site for the movement. He has some fun pictures and alternative ideas for the cleansing agent.
Lifelessplastic Blog – Makes a good point about using that much less plastic.
Nature Moms – This article actually goes into detail about the “harsh chemicals.” If that’s you reason for avoiding shampoo, here is your excuse.
My No-Shampoo, Green Challenge – This lady admits she isn’t completely sold, but she does it in a nice, non-flippant way. She may or may not go back to shampoo, but she likes what has happened. I think I’m in this camp in some ways.
The Hairpin – This article definitely makes the “No Shampoo” movement look like a mess of over-hyped, dirty hippies while giving instructions on how to do it. It’s a little funny to see how negative her word choices are, though I cannot tell if she actively disagrees with the movement or is trying hard to be really, really, ironic.

2 thoughts on “Guest Post: No Shampoo Method

  1. While I have been “no shampoo” for several months now, I must say, it is and it isn’t as easy as written here. Your hair will have an adjustment period. And perhaps more than once. You have to figure out what your hair likes with baking soda and vinegar (and hard water… grrrrr). It can be a frustrating trial and error (once I took two showers in one day and one the next day trying to figure out what the crazies were going on) but I think it is worth it. I wash my hair twice a week with ease.

    Anyway, just wanted to add my two cents!

  2. Thanks for that, Suki! I’ve heard about there being an adjustment period, how long was it for you? I know that there are times when my hair is naturally more/less oily, so that’s probably not going to change… how long was it for you before you got your situation all… situated?

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