Look Ma, no ‘poo!

Twenty years ago I was introduced to the idea that shampoo might be superfluous. This was a mind-blowing concept to me. My German friend explained to me that we wash all the oil out of hair and then re-add grease via conditioner; if we left our hair alone, then it would reach an equilibrium and need neither shampoo nor conditioner.

I tried it for a month. My hair was greasy and too much fluff got stuck in it. It never reached the equilibrium I’d hoped for, so I reached for the shampoo, and went back to nearly daily shampooing.

But over the years, I’ve experimented with going longer and longer periods of time between washing. I’ve observed that my diet affects the grease level of my hair (and face) immensely.

Over the last year, I was delighted to start hearing about a trend called “no ‘poo” which is “no shampoo.” This trend comes out of a desire to cut down on plastic consumption, a desire to to avoid sodium laurel sulfates, and a desire to simplify overall. I ‘m been trying it, and I like it.

Instead of shampoo, I use baking soda (Arm & Hammer, bulk at Costco) and vinegar (Bragg’s organic – $4/bottle). You wash your scalp in a solution of baking soda and water, and then you rinse out your hair with vinegar and water. My friend, Reanna, has been doing this for a year now. She says her hair feels neither worse nor better than when washed with shampoo.

As for me, I go back and forth.

I wash my hair with shampoo (sodium laurel sulfate-free) about once every 10 days.


  • No extra bottle clutter in the shower
  • Inexpensive
  • Completely non-toxic
  • Christian loves to mix up the baking soda and water (I use two small plastic dishes, that I fill before going into the shower)


  • No shampoo smell
  • Husband occasionally requests toxic shampoo wash, says my hair is too stiff and bristly
  • While I don’t mind the no ‘poo look for everyday wear, when I want look more dressed up, a good conventional shampoo and blow-dry is still worth it.
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