How to Achieve Amazing Results Without Shampoo – Why I prefer no-poo

This post was most recently updated on September 1st, 2020

So I don’t use shampoo anymore. Why don’t I use shampoo? Well, there are a few reasons actually. The first reason being that actually shampoo is a modern convenience designed to make a company money, and the more you use it the more you need it.

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Commercial shampoo dries out your hair, so they also kindly sell you conditioner. Buying shampoo is an expense I would rather not have, and yet another source of plastic in the home. Our great grannies did without shampoo, why can’t we?

I used to have very greasy hair, if I didn’t wash it every day then it was GROSS. However, I also had very dry, strawy ends of my hair so it needed heaps of conditioner too. 

My hair was also limp and lacked the coveted “body and shine”.

RELATED: uses for apple cider vinegar

I had a shampoo companies dream head of hair. They have SO MANY PRODUCTS they can supply to help me!

For a nominal fee of course. For the rest of my days.

There are a lot of chemicals in shampoo that people like to avoid. You should try pronouncing the ingredients list! I don’t have any particular arguments with any of the chemicals per sey, but I do think that the less unpronounceable rubbish in my life the better.

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How do you Wash your Hair Without Shampoo?

So what do I use in my life without shampoo? Good old baking soda and Apple Cider Vinegar!

I did attempt to go no-poo previously using just baking soda, but it really wasn’t a great success. The instructions I had read said to use 1-2 tsp which just did not work for me.

My life without shampoo was sad, my hair was greasy and knotty and horrible. SO I went back to daily washing with shampoo and it’s ever-present friend, conditioner.

When we moved to Piwakawaka Valley I decided to give baking soda a go again.

How Do You Wash Your Hair With Baking Soda?

For people with long or thick hair, you will need a lot more that a teaspoon of baking soda. If you have short hair, a teaspoon will suffice.

My hair is of medium thickness but falls most of the length of my back. You will have to play around a bit with ratios, but always rinse with vinegar at the end, it makes the whole thing work much better.

I keep a drinking cup in the shower. Don’t use a glass. You will drop it and it will break. Don’t ask me how I know, but I can tell you that glass is hard to get out of the plughole.

When I wash my hair I put 2 Tablespoons of baking soda into the cup (my hair is quite long and oily, you may need more or less for your head). In the shower, I top it up with hot water and give it a good stir/swirl.

Then I tip it onto my scalp and give it a good gentle massage. Rinse it well. Then I follow with 1/8 – 1/4C white vinegar (or homemade Apple Cider vinegar) topped up to the top of my cup with hot shower water. This neutralizes the baking soda and acts as a detangler and conditioner.

I have been using baking soda and vinegar for 12 months now. My hair is super soft, hardly tangles and I only have to wash it every 3-4 days now!

My hair has body and shine without shampoo that it never had using all the products shampoo companies offered.

Also, just so you know, the smell of the vinegar dissipates as it dries for those that are worried you would smell like a packet of chips.

I have actually moved on from baking soda now – find out what with here.

What do you use to wash your hair? Have you had any success with baking soda?

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I have not looked back from going no poo - my hair is more shiney, less greasy and less dry on the ends. Washing your hair with baking soda is simple and effective, without shampoo, shampoo alternatives.


21 thoughts on “How to Achieve Amazing Results Without Shampoo – Why I prefer no-poo”

  1. I use this for my teen son’s hair – he objects to using the vinegar due to the smell …. but hasn’t ‘noticed’ when I gave him the ‘lemon wash’ (lemon infused vinegar) to rinse with…… hehehe

  2. Hi Mrs. Valley. I want to try this! I have really oily hair. I want to know after how many washes did you noticed the results??

    • Hi Grecia,
      It took probably 6 or so weeks to properly settle down. But it felt clean each time I washed it. I have more recently discovered that using a tiny amount of washing soda is even better than baking soda! Which you can read here: I am 18 months down the track now and I will never go back to shampoo!

  3. I’ve been no-poo for about 4 or 5 years. I went from washing daily with shampoo/conditioner to twice a week. My hair is very fine and medium-long so I only require 2 tsp of the baking soda. I use homemade citrus vinegar for my rinse with a small amount of honey added, which adds extra softness to my hair (and makes it smell like lemonade!)

  4. I have tried this before, but just didn’t like it. That’s great that it has worked out so well for you, though! I’ve been using shampoo bars on my hair for years and I’ve noticed it’s not nearly as oily as it was either. It just feels a lot less heavy too.

    • Yeah, I suspect it may work better for some than others. I have never tried a shampoo bar before. Do you make your own?

      • We do! I have been using them for years, but admit we need to add some more moisturizing oils to the recipe. I’ve been trying some store bought ones recently as well. It’s kind of weird rubbing a bar of soap on your hair at first! ha ha

        • Oh wow! good on you 🙂 Yes, I think it would be a bit strange rubbing soap on your head – but if it works, who am I to argue!

          • I am a swimmer and so I’m often in highly chlorinated water. Do you think not washing my hair would be harmful because of this?

          • Hi Lily
            When chlorine (in any form) is added to water, a weak acid called Hypochlorous acid is produced. Washing with either baking soda or washing soda will neutralize this acid in a similar way that shampoo will, and remove it from your hair. A vinegar rise will restore your hairs natural slight acidity.

  5. I’ve been no-poo for almost a decade. I love the way my hair looks and feels. . I have a slightly different approach. I put the baking soda in a small dish, add a couple of essential oils and when I’m in the shower add enough water to make it into a paste. I scrub my scalp with the baking soda paste, rinse, and then spray my hair down with raw apple cider vinegar that I keep in a spray bottle in the shower. My hair is soft, not greasy and smells lovely. I was around once a week, twice if I get especially sweaty or grimy.

    • What eo’s do you use and, when you spray the acv onto your hair, do you really douse all of it, just the ends, just the roots, or what? 🙂

      • Personally I
        don’t use any essential oils in the vinegar, but rosemary, lemon or lavender are all good options. You really have to douse all your head/hair with the vinegar otherwise you hair is left grippy and gritty and horrible.


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