My No ‘Poo Experience: The Transition

Ah, friends. The time has come. You deserve to know the truth.

I’m kind of a hippie.

It’s not something I’m ashamed of by any means. I wear used clothing. I don’t always use deodorant, but when I do it’s homemade.  I went to an Essential Oil party. I’ll cloth diaper, one day. I love trees.

Ready for this one?

I don’t use shampoo.

Would you call me crazy if I told you that your commercial shampoo is what’s making your hair so greasy/frizzy/flaky?

My No ‘Poo Journey

I’m pretty low maintenance when it comes to my hair. I don’t use product in it too often. I don’t blow dry unless I’m in a big hurry. I only used conditioner every 3 times I washed my hair. An updo in my book is a low ponytail.

I started questioning what was going into my body about 2 years ago, which will be a lifelong journey. Only recently did I start thinking about what was going onto my body.

Just like the things that we put into our body (food, meds, etc), the things we put onto our body (hair product, make-up, lotions) get into our bloodstream.

How I Clean My Hair

Baking Soda=Shampoo
Apple Cider Vinegar=Conditioner

The logistics of going No ‘Poo can be tricky. I keep two jars under my bathroom sink, one for each. Then, I have two clear ketchup bottles, the ones with a nozzle squirt top in the shower with me. Before I get into the shower, I’ll put about 1 T. baking soda in one bottle, and about 1-2 T. of ACV in the other, leaving the lids off.

Once I’m in the shower, I will fill both bottles up about halfway with hot water. Shake. Putting the spout to my head, I squirt the baking soda mixture all over my head, rubbing it in just like I would shampoo, but without the suds (suds do not equal clean, not with shampoo, soap, or toothpaste–companies started adding ingredients to these things just so we felt “clean”). Rinse well.

After the baking soda is rinsed, I apply the ACV mixture to the length and ends of my hair (not the roots!). I then twist my hair up, clip it to my head until the end of my shower.

At the end, rinse very well! You will know if you haven’t rinsed well because your hair will smell like vinegar all day!

Transition & Frequency

I started this regimen about 5 weeks ago. I would go no ‘poo twice, then use my commercial products. Not everyone does this, but I felt a transition was best for me.

This transition phase lasted about 3 weeks for me. For the last 2 weeks, I have been solely using the natural cleaning method.

As for frequency, I usually shower every other day (if I don’t workout/sweat). The same is true of washing my hair, but I go 3 days, sometimes 4. One days that I shower, but don’t need to clean my hair I will either (a) clip it up and leave it dry or (b) wet it and scrub my scalp with my fingers (no products at all).

If I am more active, and needing to clean my hair more frequently, I don’t use the ACV every time. I have found with my hair that if I use it more often than every 2 days, my hair loses its volume and lays pretty flat.

This method doesn’t work for everyone. There are variations that seem to work better, like including some essential oil in the mixture. It is working for me so far. I am saving money. I am keeping unnecessary chemicals from entering my body.

My sister knows me well, she shared this article with me just before publishing.

No ‘Poo Troubleshooting on MAH

See the other posts in this series: Update #1, Update #2, and No ‘Poo Alternatives

**Update: This method ended up not working for me. I realized after making my own deodorant with baking soda, that I am allergic to baking soda. Which explained the rash/pimples on my scalp and neck and shoulders while using this method. I now use a shampoo bar, made my JR Liggett.

Have you tried going No ‘Poo? What was your experience?

6 responses to “My No ‘Poo Experience: The Transition

  1. I have been thinking about going without commercial shampoo and conditioner for a while. It does nothing for my hair really except makes it smell good. I deal with frizzy and really bad dry, itchy scalp. So I am really happy to see you try an alternative and write about it. And I tried it today!!! I was really surprised that my hair was soft after using baking soda and acv. I was expecting it to be a tangled mess. I also massaged some coconut oil into it, hopefully to help with the dry/itchy scalp. What kind of changes have you seen with your hair since switching over? And just for the record, I don't use deodorant! And haven't for at least a year! So we could be hippy sisters together! 🙂


  2. How did your scalp take to the coconut oil?

    Well, you know how my hair was before, never had too many problems. I can go about 4 days without washing now, and I couldn't before. My scalp feels “cleaner”, when I was using commercial shampoo I would get an itchy buildup at my part. I only use ACV about every 2-3 times. Kevin did tell me that I had “wonderful volume” right after I started 🙂


  3. Hi im actually going through this process myself and sometimes it is frusturating. Like i started about 3 weeks ago. And i think im finished with my transition period? Before i had waxy and oily hair when i started using this method. And now i have DANDRUFF and white residue that is being left on my brush. Ive researched that this is one of the things in the transition period but seriously how long is the transition period?? Forever??? I mean the only thing i have been seeing is that my hair has gone to its natural state. Which is an achievement, BUT THE DANDRUFF is killing me. I absolutely hate it!! :)) I mean who doesn't right? OKay i honestly didnt read your whole article :)) but can u suggest how i can get rid of the dandruff!! i feel like giving up and i dont want to i want [retty naturaly hair thats sioft and shiny hahah :)) thak you for all your help.


  4. Hi Anon,
    Has your hair been waxy/oily since you started the process? Mine got that way about 2 months in. A few things I might suggest is decreasing the amount of BS you're using. You should use about 2 t. per cup. How often are you using this method? It should only be a few times (2-3) a week. Be sure you are rinsing very, very well. I had someone suggest using regular vinegar on the roots to help with the waxy residue, but didn't try it. Let me know if you do.
    I actually just had my aunt cut my hair and my waxy residue was so bad, she couldn't cut it, so I had to use her shampoo. My hair felt cleaner, but now I'm back where I started. My scalp is itching, my hair is flat. Boo.


  5. I've been doing the no-poo for over a year. I started out doing the baking soda scalp wash and vinegar rinse for the first few months, with a natural shampoo and conditioner every 3rd or 4th wash. I have long thick curly hair, so i only have to wash it every 5 days or so. But it's important to brush everyday, as this distributes your natural oils to the hair ends. Eventually I stopped using the shampoo and conditioner altogether, as I noticed my hair was too soft, and hard to manage. I actually need it to be a bit oily, and it's at it's best on days 3-5 (or 6 or 7 – as a single mom it sometimes takes that long to get a long enough shower in). Sometime in July, i realized that I wasn't really needing the baking soda and vinegar anymore, and can just do a hot water rinse. The key is to use the hottest water you can handle on your scalp, to loosen the oils and other stuff, and use a bristly brush on your hair under the hot shower to redistribute those oils thru to the ends. If you want your hair softer, and need help detangling, the vinegar is excellent for that, but only on the ends.


  6. Anon, Thank you for your input. I am thrilled that it's working for you! I'm going on about 2 weeks of using a honey/lemon EO blend for shampoo, a natural shampoo, and hot water wash, using one of those methods every 2-3 days. I have also started combing my hair in the shower, not using a bristly brush though, maybe I'll try that.

    My hair feels clean and great, but looks super greasy at the roots and about halfway down. I'm really not sure what to do next.


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