No shampoo? No chance…

For as long as I can remember, my hair has had a tendency towards being greasy. And this means that I need to wash it frequently. And all the articles that I read say that this is “a bad thing”, that it strips the natural oils from the hair and that the chemicals in modern shampoos and conditioners can be harmful. And then I started reading about the no shampoo or “no ‘poo” process. The articles I read raved about how wonderful it makes your hair feel to use just baking powder to wash and apple cider vinegar to rinse your hair. So I decided to give it a try.

Day 1: Read up on the how of the no ‘poo method and using baking powder to clean your hair and apple cider vinegar to rinse seems to be one of the popular methods. The instructions say to mix one tablespoon of baking powder into one cup (approx. 250ml) of warm water and then pour that onto your scalp, massage in, comb through and leave for a few minutes. My first thought is that maybe that was too much water for someone with short hair, like me. My second thought is that baking powder solution does not taste good when it gets on your lips. The next step is to rinse thoroughly with warm water. Done. Then add 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to one cup of water and pour through hair, then rinse out. Apparently, you should be easily be able to tell if you need fewer tablespoons of the vinegar because the vinegary smell will linger after rinsing. I clearly need fewer tablespoons. However, my hair feels soft and, more importantly, clean afterwards. It does feel a little flat though and the smell is a little off-putting. 

An English Mamma in Stockholm: no 'poo no shampooDay 2: My hair looks decent enough up until the end of the day when it starts to get a little greasy.

Day 3: A bit of product on it means I can get away without washing my hair until the evening. But by that point it really does need washing. (Here I should add that the articles I looked at did say that it would take between two and six (six? really?) weeks for your hair to adjust.) Wash my hair using the same method but this time with only one tablespoon of the vinegar for the rinse. My hair feels okay but not as clean as the first time. And again it is quite flat.

Day 4: By mid-morning my hair is already starting to look greasy, especially at the back where it sits close to my neck. Wash my hair in the evening. It does not really feel that clean after but at least now it no longer smells of vinegar.

Day 5: Have to wash my hair again. Daily hair washing was one of the things that I was hoping to be able to avoid. I am not sure how much patience I have. It’s only five days and having to have hair like this for up to six weeks is not a pleasant thought.

Day 6: Another day, another hair washing session.

Day 7: Decide to be skanky. It’s Sunday, I’m tired and few people will see me. By the evening I am fed up and wash my hair with my old shampoo. It feels clean afterwards and it smells good.

Day 8: Time for a haircut. I tell my stylist about this little experiment. She just laughs. I hope that this means that I’m not the first to confess such an experiment to her. She says that she thinks the method could work well if you don’t live in a city with all its exhaust fumes and unclean air. She points me in the direction of Kevin Murphy products – all sulphate- and paraben-free. I buy the Hydrate.Me wash shampoo and Hydrate.Me rinse conditioner and rush home to relegate the baking powder and vinegar back to the kitchen cupboard.

Okay, I acknowledge that I have very little patience but this really didn’t work for me. I don’t know. Maybe it is because after cleaning my hair this way, I then go and put styling products on it? But if I don’t then my hair looks flat and lifeless. Maybe it is as my hairdresser says and it is hard to do the no ‘poo method if you live in a city? Anyone else tried this out? With more success than me?

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  1. says

    I’ve never tried this but I’m not really that tempted! I wish I could avoid washing my hair every day but it doesn’t last. It’s quite fine and I straighten it which maybe means it gets greasy quicker. Boo!

  2. says

    I think it’s very commendable that you gave it your best shot!
    Cheers to your journey and thank you for sharing.
    As a stylist I’ve been carefully watching this trend. Very interesting. I, personally, wouldn’t ever be able to get over the smell of natural scalp oil (sebum), yikes!
    Thanks for sharing!

  3. Kat says

    Yep, it was an interesting, if short-lived, experiment! It seems that it does work for some people but I just could not live with up to six weeks of my hair looking and feeling (urgh) that way. I guess I should have tried it out while we were on holiday as that would have mattered less, but going into the office each day with that greasy mess on my head just doesn’t work for me.