No poo method

This year, in February I read on the internet about the no poo method and I was shocked to read that so many people had given up shampoo and showered only with water. Some only their hair and some both their hair and body. I thought that, well, that was kind of gross, even if it is done to avoid the harmful chemicals in shampoos and soaps. But it seemed to work just fine for many people. Mostly for people who wouldn't normally sweat a lot and this kind of makes sense. Then, for the hair, I read about the baking soda and apple cider vinegar rinse. This was a perfect alternative for those who tried using only water and it didn't work out. I thought to start with this one, but first I wanted to know how this would affect my hair and scalp. 

How it works:

Baking soda(sodium bicarbonate) is slightly alkaline(pH 8.1). When an alkaline substance is applied to hair it opens up the cuticle. But you are going to dilute the baking soda in water so no need to worry about it causing damage to your hair. Now, here is what the ACV rinse is going to do: Mild acid has an opposite effect to alkalis and flattens the cuticle ( conditioners have a slightly acidic pH). Remember that you are going to dilute both, the baking soda into a mild alkaline and acv into a mild acid to balance your scalp and hair pH.

My experience:
I started this routine in March and for about a month it was the worst thing I have ever experienced with my hair. But it was perfectly normal to happen that way. Your hair needs plenty of time to adjust. When you shampoo your hair, all the natural oils( sebum) are striped from your hair and then your scalp overproduces them to combat the dryness. I also had some trouble with the measurements. I didn't know how much baking soda and acv I needed for my hair length.

The first time I tried it, the recipe worked just fine. It had been 4 days since I last washed my hair and even though it was extremely oily it worked better than a shampoo. After 4 days I tried it again and I was left with the greasiest hair ever and it was so sticky I hated it. During all that time I wore my hair in a tight bun. Then I used too much baking soda and my hair became dry at the ends. This was partly because I didn't wash my hair correctly. After many errors I figured out the right measurements.

I used:
- 1 tablespoon baking soda in 500 ml (16 oz) lukewarm water. (shake well to mix)
- 2 tablespoons ACV in 1-1,5 l (30-50 oz) water. (I used white wine vinegar once and it worked the same)

How to:
Get in the shower and wet your hair with warm water.
Then, start pouring small amounts of the diluted baking soda on your scalp and massaged it gently. Massage only the roots of your hair and let it go through your hair by itself.
I did this for 5 minutes until I finished all the bottle. Rinse well with warm water.
Then I followed with the vinegar rinse. Some leave the hair like that and don't rinse with water afterwards but I did it because I don't like the smell of acv.

Only after a month my hair began to adjust and here is what I benefited from it:
1. My hair became much less oily. I used to wash it once in 2 days and after this, once in 4-5 days.
2. Dandruff gone. All of it gone. I was so relieved because I had to use a separate shampoo only for it and the funny part is that if I forgot to use it the dandruff would get much worse.

Hair loss is still the same though. The good thing is that it hasn't gotten worse. An option for this is to use few drops of tea tree oil, but I haven't used it myself and I don't know if it really works. You can search for reviews on this.
Last month I had to use shampoo because I used some hair masks and henna. I hope I can find a good organic shampoo to wash my hair to take off the messy masks from my head whenever I see that my hair needs to be treated.

An alternative:
If you don't want to give the baking soda and acv a chance because of the transition period when your hair gets sticky, you can alter the shampoo and soda.
One time use shampoo and the other time use this recipe. If you find the right way to do this,  you will not regret it.

No poo method No poo method Reviewed by Anna B. on June 04, 2012 Rating: 5


  1. Hi Lediaj,

    Thanks for sharing your story!

    You're completely right about having to find the right formula for your hair. Everyone's hair is slightly different and it's very important to find what works for you.

    I've been no-poo for a couple of years using Baking Soda and lemon juice or Apple Cider Vinegar and I love it!

    I've been doing some experiments to find other ingredients to improve home-made formulas. Based on these I can thoroughly recommend beer as an alternative to Apple Cider Vinegar (I just poured straight from the can after standard Baking Soda wash. Also you get a lovely hopsy smelling shower!)

    I'm giving tea tree oil a go next week so if you'd like to find out how it goes sign up to my weekly newsletter and I'll send out the results.

    If not then good luck with your ongoing no-poo adventure!



    Natural Shampoo Kits

    1. Thank you for your comment Rob! I'm new to this so I am opened to any suggestion.I'm certainly trying beer next time.Hoping to get even better results than acv.I subscribed to your newsletter and can't wait to read your results :)

  2. I've been no poo for 5 years.The best decision of my life.I have recently had my hair cut into a bob and it is much easier to wash it with bs.I've saved a lot of money, too. XD

  3. I recently have been trying to make my own shampoo without luck. Reluctant to return to chemical poo storm in a bottle I found a shampoo and conditioner that are chemical and synthetic free. All the ingredients like coconut oil, argan oil, rosemary etc are pronounceable and in my kitchen. Fundamental is the brand and you can find it at This may be good for when you do a mask. I am going to start no poo this week but am glad I found a chem free alternative that really works if I need it. Good luck with the no poo!

  4. I've been using baking soda and ACV for over 7 months now, and I love it. When the weather is dry, I add a touch of honey to the vinegar. I've never tried tea tree oil in my hair.

    Nice post!

  5. I'm so glad to hear of another person who tried "no poo" and had success! I've been using the BS/ ACV rinse for about a month or so. My hair still gets oily a few days after I wash, but I have very fine hair, and I used to wash it every day without fail. I figure that the transition will be a bit long. However, I absolutely love my hair now. It’s not sticky or stinky; it’s thicker, and I’ve noticed a lot less breakage/ shedding than in the past. I already use tea tree oil in my BS mixture. It has a nice smell and antiseptic properties. I love it!

  6. I am 3 weeks into the 'no poo' method. So far so good. I rince my hair thoroughly with warm water every shower and every 10 days use ACV, I have never used BS and will consider it if I feel it necessary. My hair is slightly greasy, but no where near as bad as I thought it would be, but I have a long way to go.

  7. Thanks for your great info. and recipe. I've been washing my hair with well water which has high iron levels and am looking to try a natural recipe to remove the minerals and repair my damaged hair so I'm giving the ACV a shot :)
    Also a suggestion if you've got dandruff and hair loss; I had dandruff my whole life and at one point I was loosing a lot of hair and my eyebrows were even thinning. This is 100% a diet related issue cause by refined foods and sugars. As soon as I cleaned up my eating habits and cut all processed foods and sugars the dandruff was gone and my hair grew back. If I fall off the wagon, the problems return. This diet will do wonders for your health in general and will benefit everyone :)


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