No More Shampoo

Did you know there are a lot of people that don’t use shampoo or conditioner on their hair? Until very recently, I didn’t know that. Not long ago we posted an article about Trying to Escape Chemicals that talks about toothpaste, deodorant, fluoride, sugar, BPA, aluminum, pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers. As I was clicking around reading different articles and blogs I ran across The Homesteading Hippy which had an article titled How To Make Homemade Shampoo. This reminded me of our journey to escape chemicals, so I read it. What I read there lead me to do a search about leading a no shampoo life. I was amazed at what I found.

You see, Frank has not used shampoo or conditioner for as long as I can remember. He only uses Dove bar soap. I, on the other hand have always used a shampoo and conditioner. About 20 years ago I started having an itching problem and tried many different brands and types of shampoos and conditioners. After a few years I was diagnosed with psoriasis and have since used a liquid medication on my scalp along with selenium sulfide shampoo twice a week, in between using a very mild shampoo and conditioner. I have kept up this regimen for years and years.

When I read about the no shampoo information and all of the chemicals found in shampoo and conditioner I wondered what impact it might have on my itching problem if I could eliminate them altogether. My only reservation was the possibility of having very greasy hair. You see, I have long hair. But I was excited about the possibility of clearing up some of my psoriasis problem as well as not having to use the chemicals found in the medications I have been using for years.


Then I read about the chemicals found in many hair care products and realized this was another source of toxins my body was being exposed to everyday. Here is a list of just a few of the sites I read while researching the ‘no poo’ movement that is out there. I think a lot of this activity has been sparked by the desire to live more naturally. Some of these activities can be taken to the extreme, but some are just good common sense.

How To Go No Poo

No Poo Method

Cancer-Causing Chemicals Found In 98 Shampoos and Soaps

Finding a Safe Shampoo, and What Ingredients To Avoid

Toxic Ingredients in Personal Care Products

Hair Care Products, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

What Chemicals Should You Look Out For in Your Personal Care Products?

It’s quite a list, isn’t it? The more I read and researched, the more I realize that we have been using many chemicals for years and years. Even just a few years ago, I really didn’t give it much thought. I knew there were chemicals in the food, water and everything under the sun, but I was not serious about eliminating as many as possible. It appears that now is my time of awakening and action, so I want to share what I am learning along the way. If it is of use to you, that’s great. If your time has not come yet, I perfectly understand, mine was years in the making.

After reading a lot of information, this is the regimen I chose. I had bought some condiment containers from the warehouse market, the kind you use for mustard and ketchup. These worked great for my ‘shampoo and conditioner’ bottles. I mixed up one tablespoon of baking soda with two cups of water for my shampoo. For the conditioner, I mixed up two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar with two cups of water. To wash my hair, I wet it down first, liberally put the ‘shampoo’ all over my scalp and hair, then rub it in all over. I let it sit for about two minutes, then rinse it out. I only put the conditioner on the lower two thirds of my hair and not on my scalp. This is to, hopefully, prevent the hair on my scalp from looking greasy. I rub this in my hair, then rinse. That’s it. I thought my hair would be really hard to comb out since it’s so long and I wasn’t using a traditional conditioner, which I had to have just to comb it out without major tangles. But, you know what? I think it is easier to comb out now than with the commercial conditioner. I was very surprised.

After one week

So, am I happy with my hair? Yes, I really am. One, my head isn’t itching hardly at all and that is a real blessing. And two, my hair is thicker. Is that because it is dirty? I really don’t think so. Is it because of the baking soda? I don’t think so, but I really don’t know. My hair feels very different, not bad, just different. In the shower, my hair feels more like my skin, and in some ways it feels more natural. It’s kind of like when I started using baking soda instead of toothpaste. I thought my mouth wouldn’t feel as clean, but it was just the opposite. I don’t feel like my mouth has a coating of ‘stuff’ on it from the ingredients in the toothpaste. I think it is the same way with my hair. It doesn’t feel as if it has a coating of the stuff in the shampoo and conditioner. The last time Frank trimmed my hair, yes he has been cutting my hair for years, he thought my hair was much thinner. I had been noticing the same thing for a while. Now it feels much thicker and I don’t think there is near as much left in my comb or brush when I comb or brush it out. I’m not sure why. My only theory is that it is stronger or healthier, but I really don’t know if that is the case. I only know that there is not near as much coming out or breaking off in my comb and brush.

It has only been a week since I began this new routine. So far I am very happy with the results. If any adverse affects come about sometime in the future, I will let you know. This is one more experiment I wanted to share. We all have times in life where different learning opportunities come along. Enjoy yours. Don’t be afraid or wonder what others will think. Do what is best for you and your family. Always.

Until next time – Fern

24 thoughts on “No More Shampoo

  1. Another alternative deodorant is plain rubbing alcohol ! Apply and wipe off lightly with wet wash cloth, or just let it air dry. Thanks so much for the no poo treatments. T R

  2. When I started reading about the people that aren't using shampoo and the results they got, I felt the same way. It only took a few days for me to start trying this as well. I hope you get great results. Let us know how it goes.I'm glad you found us.Fern

  3. Thank you for sharing this information, Mary. It is interesting to hear from folks that have already been using something similar to this. I am learning a lot.Fern

  4. Fiona, I have been a special education teacher for 30 years. I have heard many, many theories over the years about the cause of autism and I have come to no conclusions.Thank you for your encouragement to continue learning and sharing more.Fern

  5. Fern, I just started reading your blog recently after Patrice over at Rural Revolution mentioned you. In the last 2 weeks you have provided me with information I've been seeking for awhile. Like you I have very long but very thick hair coupled with chemical sensitiveties that has me searching for natural alternatives. Thankyou so much for sharing this. I'm starting this experiment immediatly!

  6. My daughter has been using the \”no poo\” method for years now and loves it. She has very long hair that is quite fragile (always a problem with split ends when she was using shampoo). I have short hair and use the same goat's milk handmade soap on both my body and my hair. I just started that about six week's ago and when I recently got my hair cut, my stylist commented on how healthy my hair is. She has been cutting my hair for 8 years, so she had a good basis for comparison.

  7. Great Information…it made me think of something we rarely mention…wisdom! We gain wisdom as we get older. But so much Modern convenience is grabbed from a shelf without a thought for ingredients. Ralph and I have been paying attention to the things we put in and on ourselves and it has made a huge difference..this shampoo information is awesome.PS: Did you see the latest statistics on Autism….children have a 1 in 58 chance of being diagnosed with it….could this be related to modern food and personal products?

  8. I just got my hair cut and the man who cuts my hair has always been desirous of finding alternatives to all the chemicals put on hair. He has his own shop now and can do a lot of things he could not if he worked for someone. He washes his hair and his family's hair … and now his customer's hair…. with oat flour. He takes about 1/4 cup of oat flour and makes a paste with it with a bit of water. He works it in the hair and scalp, then rinses well (need to get all the tiny bits out) and it does a really good job. He says that some of his clients no longer have oily/dry hair after a week or so of using it. I'm game to try but haven't had the chance yet. I'll let you know. Also interested in the baking soda….Thanks for the tip! Your hair looks spectacular!

  9. I like mixing about a cup of coconut oil, 1/4 c. baking soda, and a 1/4 cup cornstarch or arrowroot for deodorant. Just melt the oil and mix. Works great, you can also and essential oils for different fragrances, but I haven't tried that yet.

  10. I will. Look for installment number two in a month or so. I want to give it time to see how it turns out. Then if I make any adjustments in the process, I can let you know.Fern

  11. Baking soda for deodorant, too…good idea, Shannon. You are very right about the cost, it is minimal compared to other products. I think it is just great to discover non-chemicalized means to live a healthy life. Thank you for your comment and information.Fern

  12. Well, thank you, Granny. I have been very surprised at the result. And Shannon (the next comment) has it right, it is just pennies on the dollar compared to commercial products.Fern

  13. I don't think the length of the hair matters. I appreciate hearing from someone that has experience with this and knows that it works. I hope to hear from more folks. I think it is great to discover something that others have been doing that I didn't know anything about. Thank you for your comment.Fern

  14. Kathi, one of the sites I read recommended mixing the baking soda with just enough water to make a paste for the shampoo. You might try something like that. The reason I use the condiment bottles is so I can just squirt it right on my head, then rub it in. Hope this helps.Fern

  15. I stopped using shampoo/toothpaste/deodorant about a year ago. I use a local farmers goat milk shampoo/body bar for my hair, I use baking soda with a bit of peppermint oil for my toothpaste and I use baking soda for my deodorant. My hair is healthier, my teeth are whiter, my sweat doesn't stink like body odor…. and I do a lot of work outside in the gardens/pasture/chicken house/barn. We have been sold a bill of goods with all the chemicals quietly hidden behind the scenes in the products that the main stream media has told us we must have to be attractive. It just isn't so… and by the way….. the cost is pennies a month.

  16. I've done this for several years, and love it. 'Course, if my hair is long enough that a comb or brush can have a noticeable effect, I know it's time for a trim, so I may not be the best spokesperson…

  17. Thank you, Fern. I've been trying to find an alternative to commercial shampoo for over a year now. I've been using a vinegar rinse instead of conditioner for years, but my shampoo attempts haven't been completely successful. I've come close, but my favorite \”brew\” is as thin as water and I want it to be a bit thicker so it doesn't run out of my hand and down the drain. Baking soda… I wonder if that would help…

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