Sunday, February 14, 2010

'Poo Free *updated!*

Is there anything baking soda can't do?

I started out by saying that I am going "Shampoo free" but after many skeptical looks and after the suggestion of a friend, I've now chosen to call it, "I make my own shampoo and conditioner." Yes, it economical but for most women who care about the condition of her hair, "economical" is a bit farther down on the list of important hair product qualities. I'd venture to say 8 or 10 notches down the list behind, "Makes my hair look shiny," "Smells good," and "Is good for my hair". Believe it or not, the recipe I'm going to share here attains (and even exceeds) all of these qualities for mere pennies.


1 Tbs of Baking Soda

1 Cup of water

A few drops of essential oil (optional)


1 Tbs Apple Cider Vinegar

1 Cup of Water

The Method:

Mix the shampoo and conditioner ingredients in two separate containers (I use cheapo water bottles from Wal-Mart). Bring into the shower with you and pour the "shampoo" over your scalp until you hair is covered. Rinse. Repeat with the "conditioner". Rinse in cool water. Use once or twice a week.

Important: Did you know that your scalp only produces as much oil as it needs? Meaning, if you shampoo everyday, you'll have to shampoo everyday. Since the baking soda mixture is such an intense "cleanser" you really should only "shampoo" only once or twice a week. In fact, even if you use normal shampoo, you don't need to shampoo every day! The oils on your scalp are great for you hair. Over cleansing strips your hair of beneficial oils causing frizz and dry hair.

Detox Period:

When you switch to going "poo free" there will be a detox period your hair has to go through to adjust it's need for scalp oil. I hear it usually lasts 2-3 weeks but for me it was close to 4 1/2 or 5 weeks. My "shampoo" days are Saturdays and this week is the first week my hair wasn't a total grease ball by Wednesday. By Saturday, it was about as greasy as day 3 with my old shampoo habits.

Does this really work? When I told the last sylist that cut my hair what I use for shampoo, she informed me that they use Baking Soda the strip the hair of build up caused by product. Yes, the baking soda mixture works. It's pretty powerful stuff which is why you only "shampoo" once a week. The vinegar works great as a "conditioner," also. If you rinse well enough, the salad smell will dissapate from your hair in seconds.

I've heard a lot of raves about the condition of people's hair when switching! Most people say their hair is softer, less flakey, less itchy, shinier and healthier. I even read one report of a woman whose hair lightened! I switched over after my last bottle of shampoo ran out and the beginning of January. For me, I do notice my hair is softer and healthier but not necessarily shinier. Yet, anyway. My last gourmet shampoo I purchased from a high-end salon was almost $50 a bottle (YES, you read that right) and my hair is definitely healthier now than ever, even while I used that shampoo!

*Update from 2011, one year after going 'poo free': I think I am now seeing hair that is actually shinier, softer and more healthy. My hair is FINALLY growing and getting pretty long. I had about a 3.5 year streak there where my hair just didn't grow. This benefit can probably be attributed to my change in diet, though.

I did end up coloring my hair in November of this year and that was somewhat of a nightmare! A month later I could still scratch my fingernail over my scalp and end up with dye until my nail. I think if I were to color my hair again I would shampoo using Dr. Bronner Castile Soap, however. A month and a half later the dye is completely gone.

Did I ever fully 'detox'? No. My hair is still crazy greasy the day before I wash it. I probably should wash every 5 or 6 days but that would be a lot harder than washing on the same day every week. Honestly, I just don't care!!

I still LOVE going 'poo free' and plan on continuing. You can't beat the price, that's for sure! :-)


  1. Wow! Fifty dollars for shampoo! yes baking soda would be MUCH cheaper(0: This is Jess by the way I just use Jason's profile!

  2. I figured it was you :-)!!! I don't know why I ever bought that shampoo! It was a little ridiculous! Especially since it didn't seem to work any different than when I just used grocery store stuff!!

  3. Way back in the "olden days" we washed our hair once a week (using regular shampoo) and rinsed with Vinegar ... or lemon juice ... same portions as your recipe. It left our hair really shiny and soft AND, no dandruff.
    For dye, we used a Henna rinse for varying shades of red ... depending on how much Henna was used.
    Thanx Hethir for reminding me!!!