"For I know that I am fearfully and wonderfully made in You...You make it Beautiful Somehow"

Monday, April 2, 2012

"No Poo" 30 Day Challenge



Okay so are you scared already? I am sure that by the title you are. Don't be, I haven't lost my mind...completely.

Ready....I will not use shampoo or conditioner for 30 days!

Wait! Don't leave....keep reading! I know this sounds crazy! I will explain how I came to where I am now with this challenge.

One month ago, I stumbled across this blog post on Simple Mom. She shares that she has not used shampoo or conditioner in three months! (definitely read her post...she explains it all so well!) My first reaction...GROSS! Which I am sure was, and is your reaction to my challenge. (probably that and...Lorissa has gone off the deep end!)

I learned that shampoo is actually a detergent. When you use it, it strips your hair of the healthy oils it needs, resulting in a vicious cycle...

Here is the vicious cycle that happens:
You wash your hair with shampoo.
It strips out the natural oils and creates a barrier.
Your hair over reacts and produces more oils to compensate for what is lost and hair becomes greasy.
You are frustrated with your oily hair so you wash it almost daily.
You keep stripping your hair of the oil it needs and the ends become frizzy, brittle and damaged.
Now you have to use a conditioner.
The top of your head is oily again. The bottom is dry and frizzy. 
And to top it off, you now need a full arsenal of hair care products just to get it to keep a style.

This has been my frustration! My hair is oily on the top, frizzy and dry on the bottom, and lays flat. Sure, I have curly hair but it just lays flat and is frizzy.

What I use on a daily basis...


I use a volumizing shampoo and conditioner, silk drop, a leave in conditioner, curl shaping spray, mousse, or straightening cream.

All that, and my hair still doesn't look how I wish it would! It is still frizzy, dry, brittle, and falls out like crazy!!!! Seriously...it is amazing I still have hair left with the rate that it falls out! Oh, did I also mention I battle with dandruff. This post is quickly becoming embarrassing.

You might just tell me to switch to a more expensive shampoo, conditioner, or hair care product...but really?! I do not want to, nor will I, spend $15 on a small bottle of shampoo just to get the "results" I think it may give me. Maybe you are one of the lucky ones that has gorgeous hair with out even trying. To you I say...I hate you....I mean...wow, I am so happy for you, that is awesome!  But for me, I am at the desperate...I will try anything point! And that is where this challenge came from. From desperation!

Okay,  enough of how I got to this crazy place...what to do now?!

Drop the bottle of shampoo, put away the bottle of conditioner, and hide the 300 bottles of hair care products you currently have. Go to your kitchen and grab a box of baking soda and a bottle of apple cider vinegar. Yes, you heard that right! Hang in there...keep reading!


Here is the recipe I am currently using:

"Shampoo" : 1 Cup Water
                      1 Tablespoon Baking soda

"Conditioner": 1 Cup Water
                        1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar

I simply mix up the solution and pour into a squirt bottle that I keep in the shower. From what I have read, you may have to tweak the recipe a bit to what suits your needs. If you have super dry hair you will need to use more vinegar to soften it. Super oily hair, increase the amount of baking soda. You may have to experiment for the first week to find what works for you. I have found that a little does in fact go a long way!

It will take some adjusting and getting used to. For me, getting used to not having a soapy, lathery feeling when I shampoo has been the hardest. I found out pretty quickly, that just because it isn't lathering doesn't mean it isn't getting clean! All of the other bloggers I have read also say, there is a period in which your hair re-adjusts how much oil it makes. After all, it is used to you stripping it out every day with washing it. Because of this, it will over produce oil for a time. This takes about two-four weeks (possibly as long as eight)...hang in there because your hair will adjust!

I have decided to keep a daily record of how my hair looks and is changing. I will update every week to let you know how my hair is progressing...both good and bad!(Remember this is one of the "transition" weeks so my hair will be more oily than usual while it is adjusting)

Week 1 

Day 1- First time to wash with baking soda and vinegar. I was worried the vinegar would make my hair smell funny, but it rinses completely clean- no smell! Hair feels soft and clean! Top doesn't look oily at all! I think I used too much baking soda, the top looks a little dry for once.

Day 2- No wash needed. Hair doesn't look oily yet. Still kind of dry. Must remember to use less baking soda mixture.

Day 3- Top of hair looking oily, time to wash! Hair feels clean and smells clean. Once again, I think I used too much baking soda.

Day 4-No wash. Hair looks a little oily. Put it in a pony tail. No big deal.

Day 5- Washed Hair. Getting used to not lathering. Used a little more vinegar on the ends than the last two times. Hair looks clean and feels clean.

Day 6- Top of hair looks oily. Washed hair. Didn't use enough baking soda. Hair looks and feels oily still. Washed hair again. Much better.  Hair looks, feels, and smells clean this time. I am starting to notice a change in my hair's texture. I also noticed that when I combed my hair only a few strands fell out rather than a huge amount. I wonder if that is at all related?

Day 7- Hair slightly oily but pretty normal for me even when using shampoo. Pulled it back into a pony tail.

So far I am pretty pleased with it. I wonder what my hair will be like when the transition period is over. If it is anything like the other blogger's results, I will be thrilled!

What do you think? Are you brave enough? Desperate enough? Crazy enough to give this challenge a try?

If you are still not convinced take a look at these posts: 

MSNBC.com actually wrote an article on this! Read it here!

Simple Mom gives you a hair update after using this method for two years! Read it here!

Great information from The Hair Pin on switching from shampoo and why...read here!

On Just A Couple Acres has a very encouraging post about her transition with curly hair...here! and some great "No Poo FAQ" here



Think about it...what if you could have beautiful hair and it not cost you a small fortune?! Forget about all of the money, chemicals, waste, and frustration that go with shampooing your gorgeous locks!

On top of that ...why not? Why not give it a try? If you hate it, you can always go back to shampoo. But if you love it, you have found the cheapest and easiest way to achieve beautiful hair.

If you are brave, desperate, crazy, or hippie enough (I think this may be why I am pretty open to the idea...my mom secretly wanted to name one of us girls Moonbeam when we were born...no joke!) to give this challenge a try with me, leave a comment below and let me know you are in! Then each week I will share my progress with you, and you all can let me know how you are doing!

Here's to hoping this is just crazy enough that it works!





37 comments:

  1. Oh this sounds fun!! I'll do it with you!! :) I'll do an update on my blog as well!

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    1. Yay! So glad you are going to do it with me!

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  2. This is why I always tell my clients to wash it every 3rd day and to only shampoo the top and condition the ends. What you have said is exactly right

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    1. So are you going to do it with me tiff? ;-)

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  3. I use baking soda and ACV. If I pour the ACV/Water it over my head my roots get oily, so I just dip the ends of my hair into a large cup with the ACV/Water mixture (and don't wash it out). It keeps my hair soft and shiny. I think I have more oily hair so I don't need the ACV on my scalp. I also make more of a watery substance with the baking soda instead of a paste. I then pour it on in different areas on my scalp and massage. If I used a paste it would be to much for my hair. Good luck. Once you get past the transition stage your hair will be much more manageable. I get complements on my hair all the time. Especially at the hair salon. Then when I tell them what I use I get funny looks. But my hair looks SO healthy that they can not say anything negative about it. :)

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    1. I never thought of leaving the acv in...I will have to try that! The ends of my hair are super dry usually! I don't ever put the acv on the top of my hair either since the top is pretty oily. Since doing this though it is getting much better. Thanks for the encouragement!

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  4. Hi! Found you through Frugal Days, Sustainable ways! So excited to hear how your "no poo" experiment is going. I actually started my own experiment last Wednesday (http://simplysahm.blogspot.com/2012/03/embracing-my-inner-radical-homemaker.html) and am going to do an update post today! So far my hair is a little on the dry side so I'm decreasing the baking soda increasing the apple cider vinegar...

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    1. Hi Emily! I will definitely check out and follow your progress! I also had a problem with my hair being very dry after the first two washes. I adjust how much I was using and it is working much better now!

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  5. Hi Lorissa,

    So did this help with your dandruff? I've been struggling with my dry scalp and I've tried everything from prescription shampoos, salon shampoos, topical treatments etc and nothing works! Hoping the Apple Cider Vinegar works! Have you found it to be effective in treating this?

    Thanks!

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    1. I am not having a problem with dandruff any more :-) however, I have to be very careful not to use too much baking soda or else it dries out my scalp and makes it itchy. As long as I don't use too much I am ok. I have read that using tea tree oil can also help with this...so I think I may add that to my shower routine to help balance out the baking soda a bit more. The ACV has made my hair so soft though...I love it.

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    2. Thank you for your response. I will try this!

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  6. I also saw you on Frugal Days! I'm totally in on this challenge but I'm going to extend it to my kids. I have a guilty conscience every time I kiss their sweet heads and smell chemicals from the shampoo and conditioner they use. I tried this once for me using ACV and baking soda but I didn't stick with it. My problem is dandruff so I'll have to research. I have EXTREMELY oily hair but it is in dreadlocks which I wash with (Head and Shoulder) shampoo every 2-3 days. I hope the kids don't put up a big fight, it's time I DO something about the chemicals in the shower!

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    1. I plan on using this with my kiddos too :-) Just make sure not to get the ACV in their eyes because it will sting. Good luck and thanks for stopping by :-)

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  7. I saw this today and just HAD to try it. I'm already using baking soda on my under arms (my deodorant is TOO good, it won't come off with soap) and face instead of a facial cleanser. I'm thinking of just replacing my soap with it alltogether.
    I never even thought of using it on my hair! My hair is so oily that I have to put it in a hair tie every night to keep it from making my face break out. Head & Shoulders for Oily hair is the only thing that makes it feel clean, and I bet I've tried around 30 shampoos.
    I tried it this morning and I'm already seeing a difference. Going to keep on with it for a while and see how it goes. Thanks so much for the information!

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    1. Awesome! I hope it works for you...the top of my hair would get oily the day of or day after I would wash it with shampoo, but the ends would be brittle and dry. Since switching the top of my hair doesn't get oily for about a good 3 days. Soooo much easier. Remember that there is a transition period...so your hair may be just as bad if not worse with the oil...hang in there it will get better.

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  8. how would this work with dyed hair? do you think it will strip the color?

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    1. I first read about going "poo free" here- http://simplemom.net/how-to-clean-your-hair-without-shampoo/
      If you read down to the comments section she actually mentions that she colors her hair and has no side effect with using this method. I have read both things...that it strips/bleaches color and I have read that it enhances and makes your color last longer. I do not color my hair so I do not know from personal experience. If you want to, give it a try about a week or two before you color you hair next, to see how your hair reacts. That way if you hate it you are due to color it again any way. :-)Every one's hair is different though...hope it works for you!

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  9. I was using baking soda washing but found it did remove my color and I had to color my hair (I used Clairol's Beautiful Browns semi permanent, the kind you don't have to mix and washes out after 6-8 washes) My hair was getting brassy and purple tinged!. Since one of the reasons I went no poo was to save money this was counter productive because I ended up coloring my hair more often. My hair is all gray, so in order to grow it out without coloring it I got it highlighted 9I didn't need a toner) Now I'm ready to no poo again. When I was no pooing I found using only the acv rinse on my ends did the trick. Some people found that their hair went through a transitional stage (about a week or 2) when their hair just didn't look clean but they found if they continued with their routine their hair became soft and manageable.

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    1. This is what I am finding...every one's hair is different. What works for one doesn't necessarily work for another. That stinks that it didn't work for you colored hair. I wonder if it gave you more of a problem since it was semi permanent? I do hope you have better luck this time! And yes my hair went through that transitional period too... but you are right continue through it and it gets so much better :-) Thanks for commenting and stopping by!

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  10. Ok, I've been doing no poo for 1 week. At first it was great but now my hair feels so dirty and oily. I have long hair. When I brush my back of my head The brush is filled with white stuff. Almost looks and feels like soap scum. Please tell me this is a phase and if I keep doing baking soda and avc it will get better.

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    1. It does sound like it could be soap build up. It does get better though! Your hair is going to be oily during transition since your hair is used to you stripping out the natural oils on a daily basis...so it is still making excess oil. Your hair will calm down and adjust the amount it needs to make. Good luck! Hang in there...it will take a few weeks to even out but it will get better! :-) You may also experiment with the amount of Baking soda you are using. You may need to temporarily increase the amount you are using to really clean your hair. You may also need to decrease the amount of acv you are using....or only use it on your ends.

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  11. I have curly hair and I read in an article a suggestion to wash out hair with conditioner only once a week. Do you think this will work? Congratulations by the way! :-)

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  12. This sounds awesome! I have been mixing a spoonful of baking soda into my shampoo about once a week to clarify it, I never thought of using it instead of shampoo tho! I'm in!

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  13. I found your blog today while searching homemade shampoos. Love it. I started the BS/ACV mixture today but I was wondering, when you apply the BS and water do you pour it over all your hair or just focus on the scalp?

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    1. The Baking soda I put straight on my scalp and it usually drips down to my roots. If you have super long hair though (my comes just below my shoulders) you may want to put some one the ends. The ACV I only put on my ends and not on the top at all. If your hair on the top of your head is dry instead of oily like mine then you may want to pour it on the top of your head as well. I have a friend who puts her ACV mix in a spray bottle and lightly sprays her whole head and ends so it is even.

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    2. Thanks! I ended up pouring the BS on my hair and massaging my scalp. Hair ended up a little dry. Will definitely put it only on the scalp next time.

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  14. Thanks for sharing your process. I had heard about people doing this, but I hadn't researched it at all or seen any pictures. Your hair looks great! I was a little nervous how this would work with curly hair, but that doesn't seem to really be a problem at all. Very interesting!

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  15. Hi. Due to availability problems in my area, I have purchased white vinegar instead of ACV. My natural hair color is black. Will white vinegar lighten my hair? I definitely don't intend to lighten it. Please help..

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  16. Hey girl! I have a question for you. I have been using this baking soda for about 6 months. I love it. My only problem is the dry skin on my scalp. Do you have this issue? I have small powder like skin in my hair along my scalp. My daughter started using it and has the same issue. What do you think?

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    1. hmmm...I haven't had that problem. My scalp did go through a period when it was super dry and kinda itchy so I cut back on how much baking soda I was using and made sure to rinse really well and I haven't had the problem since. Maybe try that? Sorry wish I could be of more help!

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  17. Just tried this for the first time and hair is still all greasy on the top .... should I use more baking soda?

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    1. I would try a little more. Make sure to really massage it into your scalp. Be careful not to use too much though or you will dry your scalp out and it will be itchy.

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  18. How often is it okay to wash your hair? Where I live, its very hot and humid and I do a lot of work outside. Is it okay to wash it every other day if I sweat and it gets oily.

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  19. I began this method about a month and a half ago and I like it. I have been washing it with BS and using rinse of ACV; the only question I have is, do you style it the same way? If I use the hair dryer is only at the top and the front of my head,but looks frizzy. How about the curling iron? What about hair products like moussse and hair sprays to hold in place? I am doing it to make my hair healthier. Do you have any suggestions?

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  20. I really liked your post. I have been considering going no-poo for a while and figured with the new move...Why not?! I'm in!

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