the Down and Dirty about not using shampoo

I think I’d tripped over a random article about no shampoo and that’s what started the interest. If you google it, you will find HUNDREDS of posts about it – all with varying amounts of information, useful and otherwise.

Apparently it started with curly hair. My hair is the opposite of curly. It’s so straight as to sometimes be oppressive. But my scalp does a weird thing where it’s king of oily and still manages to get occasionally flaky and have tiny pimples from time to time.

Many, many years ago I stopped washing my hair on a daily basis. It started with my semester abroad, where it was very expensive to heat the water in our tiny Italian apartment. Several months ago, I stopped using shampoo with sulfates (L’Oreal Everpure, if you’re interested) didn’t notice a marked difference in my hair. I was also still having the weird scalp thing.

So I’m not quite sure what about the process sounded so interesting – especially if you read about people having SIX WEEKS of greasy hair – but I jumped.

Trial and error:

Most recipes I saw were for 1 T baking soda per 1 c water and 1T cider vinegar per 1 c water. ¬†Based on what I’ve found, I’m using about 3/4 T baking soda. I’ve also added a few drops of my favorite bpal scent to the cider vinegar mix (Bow and Crown of Conquest). I put the mixtures in some generic squeeze bottles with mustard/ketchup tips that you can get at the grocery store. Baking soda mix lasts at least 4 washes, cider mix a lot longer.

I started by using the baking soda mix on my hair while it was wet in the shower. It worked fine but I never understood the ‘slippery feeling’ that was described in some posts. This week I started using the mixture before I got into the shower, on dry hair. I squeeze it onto my scalp and massage it in. I let it sit about a minute, and then massage it out when rinsing (this is where I finally notice the slippery feeling).

I squeeze on the vinegar mix and let it sit, not rubbing it into my scalp, finish my shower and then rinse. Lately I’m putting it in a spray bottle so that I have some to spritz on after the rinse and leave in to dry.


It’s still stick straight but my hair has far more volume than normal. It’s also far more biddable to style on the first day (whether washed at night or in the morning). I used to have to wait until the day after I’d washed my hair to get it to do anything. Most importantly, I haven’t gotten any of the weird little mini-pimples that used to form on my scalp and – not only is my scalp not especially oily, its also not flaky ever.

So the biggest benefit is that it’s very inexpensive to use this method but I’m also very happy with how my hair looks and feels. I’m at 3 to 4 days between washing with an occasional water rinse if necessary.

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