My No-Poo Fail

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My No Poo Fail

For a long time, I wanted to try going “no-poo.” If for some reason you haven’t heard about this trend, it’s just switching from shampoo to a natural, one or two ingredient hair care regimen, usually comprised of baking soda and apple cider vinegar. It seemed like all the natural bloggers were writing about it, and showing pictures of their glamorous long hair that they hadn’t washed in five days since they switched to no-poo. No toxins! Frugal! All-natural! I’ve gotta try this, said my crunchy-self.

I finally got brave enough to give it a go. I washed with a baking soda paste and showered the ends of my hair with an ACV rinse. It went well- for a while. But, eventually (a few months later), my hair started feeling dry, looking gross, and getting tons of split ends. Hmm, this couldn’t be healthy, could it?

Then I gave birth to my daughter, and the awesomeness of postpartum hair loss set in. Excellent. I couldn’t take it anymore, and went and bought actual shampoo (though it was “natural”). My thirsty locks blessed me with thank-you’s and vibrancy that they hadn’t had for months.

After finally getting off the no-poo kick, I discovered other women had also had back luck with the experience. One woman reported a lot of gross greasiness with no-poo. This lady had her hair falling out with the method. And this writer describes how the pH level of your hair treatment can make or break your hair- and for her, no-poo broke it.

So, after enough warnings, I quit no-poo- for good. I will say that I am sure it could work very well for some people, but like any health/beauty regimen, every body is different- and so, perhaps our hair has different needs as well.

Since then, I’ve tried several natural shampoos- some with more success than others. They have included:

  • Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Soap– I love this soap for shaving, body-wash, and baby-washing. But it left my hair too dry. You, however, may like it if you struggle with greasiness!
  • Dr. Woods Shea Vision Pure Castile Soap– This is wonderfully moisturizing- but too much for my hair. You may like this if you need more moisture! It’s also great to wash the babes.
  • Alaffia Authentic African Black Soap– The first time I used this, my hair felt so soft! But after a while, it turned into a grease-ball on my head. Now I’m letting my husband finish the bottle for me.
  • Yes To Carrots Shampoo – The winner! Not perfectly all natural, but almost. And this shampoo provides the best balance for my hair over the long run. Not too dry, not too greasy, and easy to use without a conditioner.

Your experience with these products may end up completely different than mine were. I think they are all good options, but not all worked for me. You may choose something completely different- and if you do, please tell me about it so I can keep it on the back burner for when I want to try something different!

Have you ever tried going “no-poo?” What do you like and dislike about it? What healthy shampoo options do you recommend? Thanks for sharing!

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5 thoughts on “My No-Poo Fail

  1. April @ April Tells All

    I did the no poo method for 2 years and loved it! In the winter I would find my hair would get drier and have more split ends, but that usually just meant I had to decrease the amount of baking soda and increase the acid (I used lemon juice not ACV), and the ph would balance back out. (But like you said everyone is different.)

    We moved to a place that has really bad iron filled well water, so I had to stop. The no poo method wasn’t strong enough to get the iron out of my hair. I tried several natural shampoos but they weren’t strong enough either. Now it’s just plain old Pantene that I use, which I hate. I keep experimenting with homemade shampoos, but so far nothing has worked. Someday when we get the well fixed I’ll go back to no poo.

    1. Abi Post author

      Thanks so much for your feedback! You know, I tried messing with the balance of the no-poo “formula,” but I never got it right. It’s nice to hear from someone who got it to work for a while though! I hope that you’re able to find a good solution for your water soon!

  2. rebecca

    I went off shampoo two years ago without doing much research, so I’ve experimented with a lot of different options. Baking soda really didn’t agree with my hair; it makes it too dry. Dr Bronner’s also made it too dry, even though I have oily hair. So I stopped using the high pH things, and I found that vinegar works fine without any soda or soap, and if it gets too oily then I can wash it with saltwater once in a while. Lemon makes it smell really nice. Most people are not this adventurous, but my very favorite is to wash with my own urine once a week, and then with salt about once a month. My hair loves seawater! It makes it really curly and awesome. Once in a while I rub olive oil on my hands when detangling my hair, and I never use a brush.

    1. Abi Post author

      Thanks for sharing your ideas and insight! And wow, you’re right, most people aren’t that adventurous- but my husband is always saying that we under-appreciate the uses for our human waste all the time. (He’s usually thinking for gardening/compost, but still.) I’ll have to tell him about this one!


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