I ditched shampoo and I liked it

I first heard of the “no poo” (hair care where commercial shampoo and conditioner are ditched in favour of more natural alternatives) phenomenon when my friend Gina wrote about it. I was intrigued, but not yet ready to take the plunge myself.

In the middle of this year, as we reached the last of our shampoo a little too far away from payday, I read this article about how Katherine Martinko was still no-pooing six months after experimenting with it. What really impressed me was that Katherine seemed to prefer the no poo method and it seemed so easy. Bicarbonate of soda, or baking soda, is inexpensive when bought in bulk and apple cider vinegar, although not inexpensive is still cheaper than buying shampoo and conditioner. So I tried it. Yes, just like that.


I was surprised that the bicarb seemed to have a little foamy lather to it on my scalp, and the apple cider vinegar didn’t smell off putting to me. I would strongly suggest keeping eyes firmly shut while pouring over the bicarb as well as the apple cider solutions. Soap has nothing on bicarbonate of soda in the eyes!

Three months later and I am still at it. Due to my being so caught up with the kids I had already whittled down my hair care routine to washing once a week, a long long time ago, so I just carried on with my usual routine. I did experience a little oiliness towards the end of the week in the beginning, but apparently this is normal for the “detox period”. Who knew there was a detox period? I didn’t before today! I’ve found that my scalp doesn’t itch a few days before I wash again the way it did with commercial shampoos. I have noticed that I am losing less hair in the shower when I wash it, which is a really good thing. For years I have had a lot of hair loss, pretty much all the time. My hair isn’t thinning at all, it’s just been falling out especially when I wash and style it. The only negative to my no pooing experience has been that my hair is incredibly tangled now. I prefer not to brush it when I leave it natural (instead of straightening with my GHD) to keep the curls, but my hair is so knotted and tangled that it tends to look a little too mangy for my liking. And the kiddos are constantly pulling on my hair and getting their fingers and toes stuck in the birds nests. Oh, the other hassle is that I have to mix up the solutions before washing my hair, instead of just reaching for a shampoo bottle handily waiting for me in the shower. I keep a container of bicarb and a bottle of apple cider vinegar in the bathroom along with a measuring spoon and my mixing containers, which has made it a little less of an inconvenience :).

I do need to add that I still colour my hair using a commercial product. I am just not ready to go grey and I am not confident enough to try henna (yet?). I haven’t even researched what the natural options for hiding greys are. I was also using my commercial heat protection spray and after-straightening balm, but have run out of these so need to get reading up on what the natural alternative is! This week I tried rubbing coconut oil through my hair before straightening it, I was a little heavy handed so it left my hair a bit greasier than usual and I was not sure whether it was doing anything to protect my hair from the intense heat from the GHD. I was desperate to get my hair looking semi-decent for our night out though!

I have some more “no poo news”, which I will keep for my next blog post, but in the meantime please share your experiences or advice for natural alternatives to commercial hair products. Have you tried to go without commercial shampoo or conditioner?