My Secret to Healthy Hair: Ditch the Shampoo and Conditioner

Image source: Thinkstock
Image source: Thinkstock

Okay, so my whole family has not ditched conditioner and shampoo; it’s just me.

I know it sounds kind of gross, but read on to see how it’s actually good for your hair not to use shampoo or conditioner. In January I decided I was going to stop using those products. I am a pretty simple person, especially when it comes to hair and beauty products.  But I can’t stand to have frizzy, dry and limp hair. In my very Hispanic family, healthy hair was of utter importance. It’s the first thing everyone comments on when you walk through the door (that and your weight).

no poo hair
Image source: Mari Hernandez-Tuten

I was online doing some “research,” as I call my Pinterest obsession (though I do actually like real research). So while researching I found this blogger and this blogger who shared how they went “no poo” and how it changed their hair dramatically for the best. I thought, that just sounds ridiculous. Well, by late November, my hair was limp and split-end-infested and I was desperate for a solution, so I took the plunge.

So what is “no poo?”  No Shampoo and no conditioner. You wash your hair with baking soda and vinegar, that’s it.

Let me clarify; my desire to go “no poo” has nothing to do with the environment or saving money—it’s purely vain. I don’t spend a lot of time on my hair or at salons but I do care about the health of my hair. I wanted my healthy and shiny hair back. Before you judge my vanity, let me assure you there are environmental and money saving advantages to going “no poo” as well.

This is how I go “no poo,” keeping in mind everyone has their own method that works best with their hair type. I experimented with it some and this is what finally worked for me: 1 tablespoon of baking soda.  I wet my hair. Then I take the baking soda and pour it in the palm of my hand and then put drops of water over it, just enough to create a paste.  Then I rub it into my hair and scalp, but focus on massaging it into my scalp and covering my hair with the mix.

Finally, you rinse just like you would if you had shampoo in your hair. Don’t forget the rinsing with water step or you will end up with a fizzing science experiment. Ahem, I won’t tell you how I found that out. Only after you have rinsed with water you will condition your hair with apple cider vinegar.  I also experimented with the amounts here.

I do this every other day (3x a week) and my hair has not been shinier and healthier in years. Give it some time. Everything I read says your hair needs at least a month to “detox” from the shampoo and conditioner you have been using. Apparently, shampoo and conditioner work like detergent and strip your hair of its natural oils.

What you need to know about the “no poo” movement:

What you can expect when you go “no poo”:

  • More body
  • More shine
  • Less frizz
  • Healthier hair


…strips our hair of its natural oils. Our hair needs these oils for protection, shine, and strength.

Baking soda as shampoo:

  • It’s gentle
  • It’s the weakest alkaline
  • It gently clarifies hair from chemical build-up
  • The recommended ratio: 1 tablespoon of baking soda to 1 cup water (tweak as needs, but don’t use too much baking soda)
  • If your hair is too dry, use less baking soda (or dilute your baking soda solution with an additional cup of water)

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) as conditioner:

  • It is a mild acidic that counteracts baking soda
  • It detangles hair follicles and seals hair cuticles
  • If your hair is oily, use less vinegar

What works for me:

For shampoo, I create a paste using 1 tablespoon of baking soda and a little water. I massage it into my scalp and all over my hair before rinsing with water.

For conditioner, I mix 2 tablespoons of ACV with 1 cup of water. I massage it into my scalp and hair before rinsing with water.

And just so you know:

Expect your hair to go through an adjustment period. Mine lasted about 1 ½ weeks. After that, you’ll enjoy healthy, shiny hair!

Article Posted 5 years Ago

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