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The face of no shampoo: an urbanMamas green thing

Shetha_noshampoo  Me_no_shampoo

Two of us now have immersed ourselves head-first into a practice that's more liberation than environmental imperative (though it's that, too): we've left the shampoo behind. A practice that's known by the stinky moniker "no 'poo" -- or "what everybody did until the 1970s" -- living without shampoo can be as simple as just rinsing your hair with hot water when you shower. Even at its most complex, the shampoo-free routine consists of a few rinses each week with a solution of apple cider vinegar (about a tablespoon) and water (about a cup) and the occasional baking soda solution (a teaspoon of baking soda in a cup of water).

The important thing about giving up shampoo is recognizing that our miraculous bodies were not manufactured for the profitability of beauty-products companies. In fact: human hair restores its natural balance and loses that greasy, unwashed feeling after as little as a week or two. Shetha's hair, here, is without shampoo for only a few weeks; I haven't used anything but the occasional cursory rub of Dr. Bronner's bar soap for months, and removed the shampoo from my grocery list a year ago (at first, I used a vinegar solution once a week or so). A piece on NPR last spring noted that washing hair every day removes the sebum oil our sebaceous glands produce to keep our hair healthy (and, straight out of that Pantene commercial, shiny!). Our sebaceous glands react and produce more oil, more often. Take away the detergents? And you get sebaceous glands that behave the way God intended, prettier hair and a more healthy scalp.

No one used shampoo, or washed their hair at all, until the late 1800s. For the next century, women used shampoos once or twice a month. In the 1970s, shampoo companies went on a campaign to "educate" us on the need to shampoo daily. Thanks guys! This hasn't been good for anybody; not only have we become dependent on harsh chemicals that strip our hair of the natural healthy sebum, but we've greatly harmed our watersheds and wildlife by washing that stuff right out of our hair... and down the drain. Here's the effect of phosphorus; surfactants are terrifically harmful for fish. Even the "green" ones can be problematic.

These two heads of hair are proof: going without shampoo isn't a hardship. Have any of you gone shampoo-free? How is it going? Do you have questions? Tips? Let us know!

Comments

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Huh. I've never even heard about not shampooing, but it makes sense!

I've got *very* oily hair and couldn't imagine not washing it. I also love the smell and bounce I get with freshly washed hair.

Do you use soap too, or just a vinegar rinse on your body?

I generally wash my hair every other day, but if I let it go longer my scalp itches when I'm trying to fall asleep. Suggestions? Maybe I need to rinse my head?

What about the smell? I notice my daughter's head has a dusty smell if she hasn't washed her hair in a few days. Hair also seems to pick up odors from coffee shops, etc. Does just getting it wet remove the odors?

Eve -- I hear from people who had oily hair before going no shampoo that it takes longer to adjust (upwards of two weeks) but, once they do, their hair is better than ever. mine had been on the oily side -- terrifically bad the third day after washing it -- and it's never more than a tiny bit oily now. I use Dr. Bronner's bar soap on my skin; I haven't been able to give up my soap habit :)

if you miss the smell, you can occasionally take a bath with several drops of essential oils... I did that the other day and (though I overdosed a bit) even the tub smelled wonderfully for a few days!

cg: I think it's just that the chemicals in those shampoos are harshing your scalp's natural mellow. go without for a few weeks just to try it out and see if you stop getting that itchy feeling.

Elle: I haven't had a problem with smell for my own hair; but my seven-year-old, whose hair is super-thick, does get too smelly (I usually let him use the Dr. Bronner's liquid soap b/c he prefers it). I've been thinking a couple of good dousings with a baking soda solution would do the trick -- I'll let you know how it goes.

i haven't "washed" my hair in over two years and it's never been in better condition. strangers compliment me on the street -- i am not kidding! and if you dye your hair, the best argument for not washing it is that hair dye lasts much much longer. i usually only dye every 2 months or 10 weeks now, when the roots really come in.

i also haven't "washed" my face in 10 months and no longer have the cystic acne which i was told once by a dermatologist would be with me for the rest of my life unless i took accutane, but i guess that's another blog post.

The photo above was 2 weeks into my "transition" period for the "no poo" process. Instead of shampooing I either rinse in really hot water, while massaging my scalp, or I use a little conditioner and then massage that, and rinse. I never did the vinegar or baking soda thing (I heard lots of negative feedback about this). This certainly won't necessarily work for everyone but I have to admit -- what a liberation! I have been dreading buying shampoo for years and years, because they all break me out and frizz my hair. Now, no stress! And one less thing to stress about, is priceless!

Very cool. Thanks for writing about this. I'm an urbanPapa but have actually been thinking about our overwashing in general a lot lately... after my wife mentioned that her dermo said hands stop producing natural oils because we wash them so much (then we need more lotion -- dumb).

So i'm going to fw this article to her and hopefully we can stop buying 'poo. besides the health benefits, I hate all the plastic bottles!

I wash my own hair but because it was such a pain (tears!), stopped washing my kids hair ages ago....they go months without actual shampoo, just the odd rinse. What I found out from my son when he was younger was that his hair always smelt bad after a few days post shampoo but when I stopped completely, the smell went away. It never looks greasy and is super healthy....I think people would be surprised to find out I dont wash their hair. I know its self cleaning but havent wanted to go through the couple weeks of greasy hair in the job I do.

i gave the "no poo" a try last year, but found myself incredibly annoyed after a few weeks. i'll try it again.

i'd like to know more about joanna's no wash face regimen. i seem to have the same patch of acne on my chin all.of.the.time., and would love a natural solution.

I also quit using shampoo sometime last year and have not looked back. I've got short hair and have never had much of a problem with it being oily so the transition was rather easy for me. I've done the baking soda thing a few times and I do think it helps if my hair is feeling particularly dirty, but I usually just rinse and rub in hot water. My boys do get their hair washed every week or two, (with rinses/scrubs in between washes) but that's mainly because they ARE dirty little boys! If I hung out in the sand box for hours each day I think I'd need a little 'poo for the hair too!

The 1980's got me addicted to mousse and hairspray and gel and...and... how do I wash out all that gunk without more chemicals?!
I've actually stopped washing my hair (so much) and using something like jojoba oil to help tame my frizzy curls and I'm getting such soft results! I can actually run my hands through my hair without ruining the hair'do! No more crispy hair for me! :)

Anyone heard of the Curly Girl book by Lorraine Massey? It started me on the no-poo path 4 years ago, and I have never looked back. So that also got me thinking about how many cleaning agents we use (in both body and home care, and their subsequent effects on the environment, as well as packaging/distribution issues), and, with a little research, I have found ways to cut back and raise our sustainability level, while still staying clean. Thanks for bringing this one up!

I grew up using dr. bronners but have since strayed from that. i wiil have to pick some up and give it a go. I usually only shampo twice a week but I hate how " fluffy" my hair gets after shampooing. thanks for the post and getting us to try something different that could make us and our delicate planet healthier.

i only wash my hair once a week - but condition it more regularly. i find that i have my worst hair days on the days that i shampoo :) my hair is very dry, course, curly - so the longer i wait between shampoos - the better it looks!

Dana E: I'm doing the Curly Girl method now - almost done with week 2 - and I can hardly stand it! I'd recently cut bangs and after week 1 I had to wash at least my bangs with the teeniest bit of shampoo. I want to tough it out, and I know there could be "2-6 weeks" for things to regulate but I tell you, my hair is so oily, head so itchy now, I don't know if I'll make it.

I didn't think my hair was curly girl worthy-blamed it on the pregnancies. I have stopped washing my hair- last wash was Jan 1! I can handle the look now (I tried to stop with the poo about a year ago). Massage scalp in every shower and finish with a cold water (out of tap) rinse. I've let it air dry and will use product on a whim.
The itch wasn't bad and didn't last long. Good Luck, thanks for sharing the pics!!

help me urbanmamas! i've washed my hair every single day of the last ~35 years save maybe 14 (days). i have washed it in airplane lavatories and in snowmelt when i've washed nothing else. it's a higher priority to feeling clean than crotch and pits and teeth and hands. i have EXTREMELY oily hair. visibly clumped with sebum within 12 hours of washing. i now wear it extremely short so i can go at least 24 hours without it looking and feeling like a month-old calamari fry kettle cleaning swab. dark spot on pillowcase every week. you get the idea.

each of the 3 times i've tried to go no-poo, reasoning that the washing is the problem, my scalp not only itches but blisters and bleeds when i scratch it! this is in addition to it looking and feeling absolutely disgusting. i have tried baking soda rinses (because it feels like acid in its sting) and dry baking soda brush-throughs, to no avail. even supposing the itching/blistering/bleeding and crazy excessive sebum production would eventually subside (once it built up to a quarter-inch crust?), how would i ever get that transitional trauma crap out of my hair without starting the cycle again?

I go without shampoo (using baking soda, no vinegar rinse) when my hair is relatively short. Anytime it's longer than shoulder length or so I prefer to use shampoo, the only reason being that when it's long-ish I don't like the sensation of 'scrubbing' it in the shower with just hot water or baking soda. It's a texture thing.

Kind of on this topic, though... anyone know any good sources for chemical-free hair gels (or similar)? My hair is stick straight and without any product or hair clip, it just hangs right in my eyes.

I have long curly hair and learned from my curly hair kids that it looks better/acts healthier without shampoo. I've all but given up shampoo, will not buy it again. I believe it's bad for our earth and for my cells. It's not natural enough to be healthy for me, right? I gave up deodorant 15 years ago because it made me hot and ruined my clothes(I swear it's fine, ask anyone who knows me) and only use soap on my hands at the sink. I only rinse my face although I do use lotions and light makeup. I drink a lot of water, eat healthy and exercise - I truly don't have armpit odor with rare exceptions (when ill PLUS unshowered). I will probably never buy shampoo again. However, I shave basically everyday. I'm a professional and I promise that these are my little secrets, my co-workers and clients cannot tell. In fact, they would be shocked because my hair is styled, I smell fine and I'm wearing makeup. Ladies and gentlemen, I double-dog dare you to try it, it feels great, it's better for us, saves money and saves the earth for our children!

To the person with the extremely oily hair. Have you tried slowly stepping down the frequency with which you use shampoo? Maybe starting every other day and then after a few weeks adding one more day between washes.
I can definitely confirm what everyone here has been saying as I've gone weeks between washes with great results. Seriously, people stop me on the street to ask what I do for my hair and their jaws always drop when I tell them I don't wash it very often. I was just about to restock our shampoo tomorrow but now I'm inspired to try going au natural for good.

I've also been mostly shampoo-free for a few years; I shower every day and just rinse it with hot water, then use a fairly natural conditioner and rinse that out. I still occasionally use shampoo, like once every three weeks, if I've been in a smelly environment or such. But at this rate, it'll take me years to go through a bottle.

My hair is naturally very dry, course, and curly, and for years I was plagued by how fluffy and frizzy and bristly it seemed. Stopping the shampoo has been a big revelation -- better for the environment and my head.

i've tried the no shampoo route a couple of times when i had very short hair and had a few weeks away from work. to no avail. maybe if i could have held out another month it would have worked one of those times, but i have suuuuper fine, straight, oily hair, and my work life has always demanded that i look somewhat professional every day. so until i retire, i won't be trying again.

but, i've had incredible results with not washing my face! i also had chronic, cystic acne for years. about 10 years ago my sweetie suggested that i try putting nothing on my face (no soap, no medicine, no moisturizer, nothing). good grief. the results were lightening fast. i haven't had a significant breakout since. i lightly rub my face with a loofah and warm water every other day or so. so, i'm convinced that soap and shampoo way over-used and potentially generate the problems we try to solve with them. but i won't be giving up my shampoo habit for 30 years unless i also manage to not be employed or engaged in job-hunting.

my one issue with the "nothing on my face, ever" routine is that i wonder about sunscreen. i don't use it, mostly dodge the sun when i can and say little anti-skin-cancer prayers. any good ideas?

cafemama,
I'm so happy you're writing regularly for urbanmams. I appreciate your insight and content. I'm often visiting your blog for any updates.

Shetha, just wanted you to know that that picture of your hair alone is making me give this a go! I think we have kind of the same hair...so I'm hoping for similar (non frizzy) results. Thanks to both of you for the kick in the pants...

Todd, I feel your pain. I think that most people have lightly oily-normal-dry hair and just don't get the burden of having very oily hair. Seriously, the *only* time my hair looks good is right after shampooing. The next day, I've got flat stringy hair and my scalp feels thick and tacky.

I'd love to stop washing my hair (all the time I'd save!) but I don't think I can go months hating my locks before it starts regulating--IF it starts regulating.

My skin is also oily, and it's one of the reasons I have virtually no wrinkles or crows feet at 40. But if I don't blot my oil, it's extremely shiny, like a teenager's. We're all built differently and no single method works for everyone.

My hair is like Shetha's so I'm going to give it a try. My concern though is - after several days of not washing (I shampoo about every 3rd or 4th day as it is) my scalp gets super itchy and dry and FLAKY. My 7 yr old daughter has the same problem, VERY itchy dry scalp. Maybe the shampoos are contributing to this? We are red-haired with sensitive skin. Anyhow, I'm going to try it. As I age I notice my hair is drier and frizzier than ever. Not a good look!

Ok, someone with chin-length, thin, fine hair that looks terrible if it isn't washed every day, please chime in and tell me your exact routine for this.

Definitely want Joanna to speak up about not washing her face...

As I read this post, I thought, "ewwwww!" But then it occurred to me that I haven't used soap on my body for probably 10 years and have used a deodorant crystal for probably 3+ years. And I smell LESS now than before I made these changes. But shampoo? And what about conditioner? I have longer curly hair that has been flat/frizzy since I got pregnant with my daughter in 2007. Also, I've always struggled with acne in the chin/jawline and can't imagine not washing my face 2x day! I just ordered the Curly Girl book from the library and am now considering the 'no-poo' routine but may need additional prompting on the face...

When I first read this post I thought that is great for people who do not have my hair. My hair is fine and very oily (length between my chin and shoulder). I have to wash my hair every day and if I exercise in the middle of the day I have to wash my hair twice per day. I cannot wear any product in my hair or it will fall flat within several hours. So I did some research online and decided to try washing with baking soda only. I also decided to try doing it after my hair was at its most greasy so I could really see the results. I did not wash my hair on Friday and Sat. I ran 8 miles. After my run I used 1 Tbs. baking soda dissolved in 1 cup hot water and scrubbed away. The results were amazing. My husband commented on how great my hair looked. On Sunday I didnt need to wash my hair and this morning it is starting to get a little greasy. So far I am very excited and I hope the results continue. Thank you for the idea Urban Mamas.

I've toyed on and off with the no poo AND the OCM(oil cleaning method) off and on for months, but have been afraid to commit. After reading this post though, I started my new "hippie head"* regime yesterday. I did the baking soda yesterday and my hair feels great, a little bigger than normal, but great. The OCM info I'm using was found in multiple places, but I'm mainly following the simplemom instructions found here: http://simplemom.net/oil-cleansing-method/
I also have trouble with the 40 year old (ahem) strange hormone acne on my chin and my hairline. Hoping these natural ingredients help me out!
*no offense to hippies intended

Another fine-haired, flaky-scalped mama here, who's seriously afraid that if she stops shampooing every day, her hair will go completely flat and greasy. Sounds like it works great for curly-haired folks, but, like zinemama, I'd love to hear how/if it goes for the baby-haired amongst us.

I've been washing my hair with baking soda and vinegar for about 9 months. I wash it every two days (same as I did with shampoo).

I don't measure anything. I just take roughly a tablespoon of baking soda and rub into hair. Rinse. Then take my jar of vinegar and pour directly on my hair, just a little splash on my scalp and a little splash lower down at my nape. Then massage a bit and rinse.

My hair is fine, straight, shoulder length and not particularly oily. I haven't gotten a hair cut in WAY TOO LONG and I've noticed I have no split ends. Very uncommon for me. I don't think I'll ever use shampoo again. And added plus... Easier to clean the tub!

I'm on day 5 of not shampooing and it ain't pretty. I think I'll try the baking soda and see how that goes. Today's pretty much my last day where I can sport the greasy look before I need to be presentable for work!

thank you all for all your thoughtful, inspirational comments and questions! I can't answer them all at once but I have a few:

todd: yikes! that sounds tough. it seems to me you need some intensive hair therapy. is there a reason you decided not to go with vinegar? I've seen a lot of reports of bad reactions to baking soda. you could also try a hydrogen peroxide rinse (one part peroxide to five parts water), which is supposed to be good for dandruff (and should, according to what I've read, be used as a replacement for vinegar/baking soda) or jojoba oil. I've been reading a lot about using oil to fight oily conditions; if you could stand it for a week, maybe? another option would be just to go cold turkey for a few weeks and grit your teeth through the awfulness, get a vinyl pillow, and wear a (very thick) hat while your scalp adjusted.

fine long hair people: I am you. it did take me a long time to adjust, maybe three or four weeks, and I used a twice- or thrice-a-week vinegar rinse, sometimes two or three rinses in one shower, preceded by at least one baking soda rinse a week. I may not have had to do that much, and it could have been all that which prolonged my adjustment period. after some days of very greasy hair, I got what I have now: hair that only needs a nice long hot rinse.

face washing free (this needs a nice short name, hmmm?): I emailed with Joanna, who did use the olive oil/castor oil method by AnEmily. I love it (and what a great way to use that castor oil I bought with the idea I might jumpstart labor with Monroe) and I'll try it, do some more research, and write a nice post on it later this week or next week.

Curly Girl method: frankly, this sounds really complicated and spendy to me! I love the no-nothing-at-all quality of my current routine. don't conditioners have just as many parabens and other harmful chemicals as shampoos?

anne: *thank* you. I'm trying to write more. some days, it's working.

Ok, I went ahead and tried it. I used 1 tbs baking soda dissolved in a cup of water and scrubbed it in. I put 1/4 cup ACV in an old 13oz shampoo bottle and filled the rest with water. Poured a little on as a rinse.

Honestly, I wasn't expecting much. Especially the first time. But my hair looked good! Like I'd actually washed it with my regular shampoo!

So, my next question...when you are starting out, do you really only do the baking soda a couple of times a week? I'm a once-a-day shampoo gal, and I'm having a hard time getting past the need to do *something* to my hair every day.

My family and I have been making our own shampoo for almost two years now. I wash my hair everyday, however with home-made shampoo it doesn't strip all of your natural oils away. And the best part of all - you can make it in your own kitchen and it takes about an hour to make.

I was so intrigued by the no shampoo concept that I decided to try it. The first day I rinsed and rinsed, and added a little conditioner. The second day, just water. The third day, water rinse and a little conditioner. It definitely took my fine, somewhat curly hair a while to adjust, but I have been shampoo and conditioner free for almost 3 weeks now, not using anything on it in the shower except the hot water, and my hair looks great! It dries faster than it ever has, and I don't have those horrible frizzies that I used to get at the top of my head. I am wondering, though, what I will do when I go to the salon for a cut and color. I am sure my hairdresser will shampoo and condition. I guess I'll have to start at square one again after that...

What a great post! We make our own gentle soap out of left over tallow and lard (really its pretty simple and we use it for everything - body, dishes, laundry, the dog, baby booty) and use it once every couple weeks. I have also heard about using coffee grounds for shampoo and olive oil and egg for conditioner from this cool gal: http://www.fluentself.com/blog/stuff/travel-light/

have been meaning to try it!

i have hair that gets really frizzy after washing with shampoo so i looove the no poo thing.... my hair just doesn't freak out anymore... sometimes though it does get "sore" (anyone else get that?) and a soap wash is the perfect antidote.

Next I am working on doing less LAUNDRY!!! do you know that our grandmothers spent less time on laundry than we do even without machines??? yup its true - that's what "underwear" is for - to keep the "outerwear" clean so you can wear it all week and then only wash one outfit and and a bunch of small under-majiggers..... oh yeah, they also wore apron's while cooking.... how novel.

Thanks for the bold post!

krista

I tried using baking soda & water this morning, (with good results) but I used a bit of conditioner also. As previous poster mentioned, conditioners must have some unhealthy chemicals too. If you don't use conditioner, does straight, fine hair still become fly-away in winter after using only a water, vinegar or baking soda wash?

In 15 years I've washed my hair with shampoo approximately 10 times? Maybe more, maybe less depending on if I was doing a dirty job or something of that nature. What I do is wet my hair, use Pantene conditioner and comb it through, rinse and air dry. Once my hair is dry I will not use a comb or brush, because that causes split ends.

I have waist length curly hair and this method is what has allowed my hair to grow so long and be so healthy and breakage free. I havent been to the hair dresser since high school and I'm 39 now.

I used to have horrible acne before I stopped washing my face every night... now I've been blemish free for almost 2 decades. I think there's real merit in the idea that these products end up causing more problems than its worth. Our bodies have a natural way of taking care of themselves, we are only making it harder by challenging the process with so many chemicals.

I have never used shampoo till my 20s. Back home in India we use Soap Nut a natural soapy fruit that grows in temperate climate. Also termed as 'Rita'(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sapindus). We boiled the soapnut and used that water to wash hair. Needless to say hair was long healthy and shiny. A few hibiscus leaves to the boiling mixture contributed to shine
Since i shifted to shampoo for ease of use, my hair never stopped falling. Ain't no remedy but to go natural. Now I am in my 30s and shifted back to soap nut.

I want to say thank you for this post. I have very dry, curly hair and growing up in the 70’s was instructed to wash it every day. Oh the frizz! It. was. awful. For the last decade or 2 I have washed at most once, maybe twice a week, but it always took a couple of days for the frizz to settle down.
I am about one month in to the no-poo method and I love it. My hair has never looked so consistently good - ever. While the baking soda wash was a bit icky from a texture POV, it kept my scalp cleaner than any shampoo I have ever used. That said I still use conditioner every day. I took a day off yesterday and by the end of the day I felt like Magenta from the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Anyone out there with long-ish (mine is mid-back) curly hair with suggestions about conditioner? I am definitely using less but would love to find a replacement.

I have fine straight hair and have been weening off of shampooing. I am down to about twice a month. I do rinse it out every couple of days. And as for conditioning I find that coconut oil works wonders. I know people worry that it will make their hair greasy and flat but it doesn't, just soft and shiny. I recommend warming the oil into liquid form to better control the amount used.(as easy as tossing your container under the shower stream while you do the rest of your bathing)

Oh I'm so glad I found this link! I didn't wash my two boys' hair for months after they got it... and still only every 6 months or so (for haircuts). I rationalized that if I didn't strip it every day with shampoo, it wouldn't get oily -- and I was right! I'm SOOOO going for the baking soda rinse when they need it now! THANK YOU, and my MIL can REALLY take a flying leap now! -- I didn't feel the need to bathe them every night either which made everyone in that family crazed.

I've been using baking soda and vinegar about twice a week now for almost a month and have noticed no significant change from the shampoo, which is great, but I also still need the baking soda every third or fourth day. Any advice on how to wean off the baking soda? I'm going to try the coconut oil, for sure. I'm already using it as an occasional facial moisturizer and to make home-made deodorant.

I realize this is an old entry, but since I only read it today I'll assume some of you may come back to see new comments...

That said - I gave up shampooing my hair years ago and love it. I am a curly head and my hair is SO much easier and nicer since I stopped shampooing it. For those people who have "itchy" scalps... pretend you are shampooing your hair while in the shower - go through the motions of scrubbing your scalp, etc. just don't use the shampoo. This makes sure your head gets rinsed and stimulates your scalp skin.

However, being a curly head my hair does still get dry from rinsing with water - and it can get really frizzy when dry. So I have not given up conditioner or product - but I found an organic line (MOP) that makes a great natural product with added UV protection. I use:
MOP C System Hydrating Conditioner &
MOP C-Curl Curl Defining Cream

However, I do make two exceptions to the "no-poo" rule: smoke and chlorine. If I go to a really smoky locale, I have to shampoo to get the smell out. Since every place I frequent has gone smoke-free in the last few years, this is not a problem anymore. However, I still have the chlorine problem when I go swimming in a pool. Has anyone come up with a good natural way to really clean hair of chlorine?

I just wanted to say that I was "poo" free and loving it for a few of months. I say *was* because I tried using a little coconut oil in the shower the other day and ended up with the greasiest hair EVER. I had to shampoo my hair 3 times in 2 days to get the wet look to go away. I'm back on the water only method now...and I doubt that I will want to experiment like that again.
Also, I tried the OCM on my face for a couple of months and didn't have any luck eliminating my jawline acne. Next I'm going to try water only on my face. I've been addicted to proactiv for 5+ years and would love to walk away from it.
I've been soap free on my body for years and have been lucky enough to have never needed deodorant.
I'm really starting to think that water is the magic ingredient, inside and out, for being healthy.

I've used the no shampoo method for several months on my curly and it's worked great! I blogged about it here: http://mommygoesgreen.com/2010/04/the-no-shampoo-method/

I quit shampoo a decade ago. Instead I use borax. Put alittle (maybe a tablespoon in the bottom of a bottle) and fill it with water.You'll think its like washing just with water but your hair will come out squeaky clean. My hair has gone from thin and grasy to beautiful and it didn't take long. Many times I also rinse it with a quqrter teaspoon of citric acid (health food store)in a pint of water.

I'd like to do this, but these posts all seem to presume we all shower in *hot* water, and some even suggest a need to rinse for a *long* time. What if I'd like to save energy, as well as the chemicals from going down the drain? Any one experimented if any of these methods work with low volumes and cold-ish water?

Alison, I've been using warm shower water (only) to clean my hair and it is working just fine. I'm about a year into my "water only" switch. I feel like it took a month or two for my natural oils to balance out, but it was well worth the wait. When I used shampoo, I was always struggling between being frizzed out, being overly greasy, or just plain itchy and flaky. Those symptoms occasionally still surface but not nearly as often as they used to. Same goes for my face. Water only, and I don't have nearly the problems I used to encounter when using products. Good luck. It has been such a positive experience for me, I truly hope more people try it and get the same kind of results!

i just ran across this link via a friend and wanted to add my two cents...bc i read enough of the comments to see that people were having the greasy hair issue when switching to no poo and i offer this: when you make the switch, "wash" your hair with the baking soda (BS)/water mix as often as you normally wash your hair with shampoo, for the first week, the following week, cut one day out, and so on until you eventually wean yourself to once or twice a week of the BS (or less, whatever works for you)...it will prevent that over-oily transistion period!! :) if you want to just do water only, still do this method until you've completely weaned your hair from even the BS. it works, i promise! and on ALL hair types, i promise!! :)

Soak 2-3 tea spoons of fenugreek seeds in water. Leave it overnight. Grind these soaked seeds in water to make a smooth paste. Leave this paste for 30 minutes to thicken. Add little water to make it thin and apply this on scalp and hair. This acts as an excellent conditioner. Rinse the hair after 30 minutes.
Pluck some hibiscus leaves and flowers. Grind them into a thin paste adding water. Apply this green magic formula to scalp and hair. Wash the scalp and hair after 40 minutes. This helps to increase the scalp health and prevents dry scalp.
Chose some juicy aloevera leaves and collect the sap. Massage this sap on scalp and hair. Wash it off after 20 minutes. The juice of aloevera acts as a best moisturizer.

I loved this post! And in the last hour, I went and mixed up some baking soda with some warm water and shampooed my head in the sink with it. My hair had gone about 3 days since its last wash and was oily. My hair is dried now and came out incredibly clean-feeling. I am amazed. I may never go back to 'poo again! I thank you all who commented... I've read them ALL and they are so interesting. I am 65-1/2 years old but better to learn late than never!

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