A few months ago, I decided to try and go "no shampoo." This can also be known as the "no poo" method, but I'm not so much a fan of that label :). I have a perfume allergy, and shampoo has always bothered that. It's nearly impossible to find a fragrance free shampoo, and even when I did find one, it was very expensive.
I had read about the "no shampoo" method online, and I thought I may as well give it a try. I was a little nervous to start it at first. A lot of articles I read talked about a "transition period" that your hair would go through, and that it may look greasy for a while until it adjusted to produce less oil. I've never had super greasy hair, but I thought I'd better wait until after my wedding to start messing around with it! I really hated spending so much money on expensive shampoos that never worked. Even the non-scented ones seemed to make me break out. So, in August I started my "no shampoo" journey.
There's a couple of different no shampoo methods. I started to use baking soda to wash my hair. I was surprised that it worked so well. The greasy "transition period" that a lot of blogs talked about didn't really happen with the baking soda. However, it did take me a little while to really figure out a good regime of washing and conditioning my hair. Here's a couple of tips that I learned from my "no shampoo" experience. I hope MANY other people will try to go no shampoo too! My hair is so much healthier now, and I'm saving tons of money by not buying expensive shampoos! It's been worth it.
Baking soda dried my hair out very quickly! My hair tends to be dry anyways, but it got excessively dry! I actually created a lot of breakage by overusing the baking soda, and because it was dry, static was a problem too.
This also contributed to drying out my hair. When I was using shampoo, I washed my hair nearly every day. Sometimes I'd try to let it go for a day, but it would get greasy. I started using baking soda every other day, and sometimes every day. That was WAY too much. I went down to using it only once a week to try and let my hair recover. Now I've got a pretty established, balanced hair washing routine, so I use baking soda about every third day. When using no shampoo, don't wash your hair too often, and try to let it get a bit greasy before using baking soda again. I find since using baking soda that even when my hair is greasy, it doesn't look as bad as it did when I was using shampoo. I can actually leave it for three days without washing.
Apple Cider Vinegar and Conditioning
This was another mistake I made. Most of the blogs I read talked about using apple cider vinegar (ACV) in conjunction with baking soda. At first I just used baking soda, and only a little ACV, mostly because I was afraid the ACV would make it too greasy. Bad idea. Dry hair. When my hair got SO dry, I would use baking soda every other time I washed it, and use just an ACV rinse in between. Now I've got things balanced again, so I use baking soda and ACV together every time I was my hair, which is about every third day. I also use regular conditioner about once a week. I have very long hair, so I just use it on the ends. In the winter, my hair is always dry, so I find the regular conditioner helps keep the static down. I'll probably phase that out in the summer.
Less Is More
This has become my rule with the no shampoo method. When using shampoo, I always used a lot, because I liked to have a lot of lather, and it made my hair feel cleaner. It's hard to get past the psychological feeling of using less. Our brain thinks less is not as clean. With baking soda, only a very little is needed to clean your hair. There is no lather, so it's a bit harder to tell when it's clean as it feels different in water than when you use shampoo. I'm also very gentle with how I massage the baking soda through my hair. My hair is fine and baking soda is quite abrasive. Therefore, I need to be gentle or I end up getting a lot of breakage. Less is more with ACV too. It needs to be diluted with water, and you don't need a lot on your hair to condition it. I have it in a spray bottle, and just squirt a bit on my hair, mostly on the ends.
There will always be a bit of a learning curve when you go no shampoo, because everyone's hair is different. It took me about 4-5 months to really figure out what worked best for my hair, but I am so happy with the results. My hair feels much stronger. I also get a lot fewer split ends. I don't use a blowdryer on my hair, and only a little heat from my straightener each day to tame the fly aways, but when I was using shampoo, I'd still get a lot of split ends. I'm also saving a ton of money, and I love that! I probably spent $50-$75 a year on shampoo and conditioner. That may not sound like a lot, but in 10 years means nearly $750 of savings! It does add up! Baking soda and vinegar cost practically nothing in comparison, and because you use so little it lasts way longer!