It was a scary prospect, to be sure. Clean hair without shampoo? Impossible! Or was it?
I did a whole bunch of research before I made the decision to do this. I found out that a lot of people no-poo. Some because of allergies, some because they want to get away from chemicals, some because its economical . . . all of that is true but the fact that it's effective is the clincher!
So, like I said, I have not shampooed my hair in a year. In all that time I've used a combination of baking soda mixed with water (about 2 Tbsp mixed with 16 ounces water) to wash; and cider vinegar mixed with water (about 2 Tbsp mixed with 16 ounces water) as a rinse. Sometimes, if I'm feeling fancy, I'll use lemon juice mixed with water as a rinse. My hair is pretty long so if your hair is short you can probably bet by with a 1 Tbsp to 1 cup ratio.
How well does the baking soda clean? Very, very well. It removes dirt and oils and odors. If my hair is especially dirty or stinky . . . I say stinky because I work part-time as a bartender where people smoke cigarettes and cigars . . . I may use a little less water to make more of a paste and really work it in good. But generally I simply I wet my hair, pour the baking soda/water onto the roots of my hair, work it in to my scalp then down to the ends and rinse with water.
Baking soda doesn't get foamy like shampoo, but it doesn't need to. You're hair will have a slick feel to it until you rinse it out. Then it will feel . . . well . . . clean.
Then I rinse with the cider vinegar/water mixture. I just tilt my head back pour it over my hair and let it flow to the ends and rinse it out.
Why the rinse? Baking soda is alkaline; which will leave your hair unmanageable because it leaves the scales of your hair shaft "ruffled".
The vinegar or lemon juice is acidic, which will smooth down the scales on your hair shaft and make it smooth and shiny. Note: Don't use a stronger vinegar . . . like white vinegar . . . because it is too strong.
How does my hair smell? I can assure you that it does not smell like a salad, if you're wondering. I can also tell you that your hair will not smell flowery or perfumy either. What it does smell like is fresh clean hair . . . nothing more, nothing less.
How does it look? Glossy, healthy . . . beautiful. Don't take my word for it. These photos I took just yesterday as I was getting ready for work. They are not retouched . . . what you see is what you get.
The only real draw back is the big box of baking soda and the gallon of vinegar hanging out in the bathroom. You can get baking soda really inexpensively in bulk and vinegar is super cheap.
It's a win / win.
A word of warning . . . if you decide to go no-poo just know that it may take a week or up to a month for your body to acclimate to not having all that crap disrupting it. The early results maybe that your hair and scalp are oilier until you adjust.
The reason for this is because all the stuff they put in shampoo is designed to remove dirt and oil . . . aggressively. Which is why your hair gets squeaky clean and why it looks so oily if you miss a day or two from washing your hair.
Newsflash . . . you're hair and scalp actually need those oils . . . that's why your body produces them. So, when you are shampooing your oil glands are working overtime to produce even more oil to make up for all the oil you've removed.
It takes a little time for your body to realize that your no longer removing all the oils and for your glands to back it down to normal production levels. So when things are normalized your hair won't look oily but it will look nice and shiny . . . from all those natural oils that are supposed to be there. Shocking, I know. You'll get over it, I promise!
I'm happy with the results and I won't ever go back to using all those over priced, nasty hair products.
By they way . . . I also have not had my hair cut in about a year. My hair has grown like a weed . . . there are no split ends, it's elastic like it should be, and there's no breakage.