would you ever go shampoo free?

i’m doing something i never thought i’d do, all in the name of mermaid hair!   this article on refinery 29 inspired me, and as of a few days ago i’m going without shampoo and conditioner.  instead i’ll be using a baking soda/water combo and occasionally an apple cider vinegar rinse.  i’m also going to try to stay away from my blow dryer as much as possible.  i love that if this works for me i’ll be simultaneously saving money on expensive hair products (i do tend to splurge in that department), improving the condition of my hair, and making this one area of my life more GREEN!  do you think i’m crazy?  would you ever do it?  specifics about what i’m doing to keep my hair clean after the jump!    

photo via

 

BAKING SODA HAIR WASH:

mix one tablespoon baking soda with 1 cup warm water and stir until it’s fully dissolved.  pour into an old shampoo bottle and you’re ready to go!

 

APPLE CIDER VINEGAR CONDITIONER:

one part apple cider vinegar to one part water  (more info on the benefits of apple cider vinegar in hair here)

 

**i’ll check back in via the comment section in a few days to let you know how this little experiment is going!

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Reader Comments

  1. spike|

    Sarah,
    I have eczema on my face right now and I believe it's from the all the hair products I've been using. I am going to try this and see if the rash clears up.

    Instead of ACV, blondes should rinse their hair in lemon juice. If you try it, please post what you think.

    Reply
  2. Tania|

    I would love to hear about your experience, I've always been intrigued to know how it goes, and never really made the jump. Also, very happy I discovered your blog today! Looking forward to read some more 🙂 x

    Reply
  3. Shauna|

    Hi Sarah! Can't wait to see how it works out for you. A friend of mine started this about half a year ago and her hair looks amazing. Once my current bottle of shampoo is all used up I think I'll try too…. plus, mermaid hair is hot!!

    Reply
  4. Miranda {onestylishdayatatime}|

    Can't wait to hear how it goes! I've heard that the vinegar smell can be hard to get out of your hair, but that the shine it leaves behind is worth it. If it works though, that'd be awesome. I'm sick of spending so much on fancy shampoo and conditioners!

    Reply
  5. Becky|

    I'm actually trying this right now! I've been going for about a week, and so far so good. I'm also using a little coconut oil after I wash my hair to control some of my frizz. I have naturally curly, thick, frizzy, poofy hair. My scalp isn't as itchy. I've had no problem with oily-ness or odor, aside from the apple cider vinegar. I don't particularly like the ACV smell, since it stay in the hair until it's dry (which, for me takes nearly all day). But, I've had no tangles, my hair feels clean and smooth, and I am not experiencing an "adjustment period"…yet.
    Good luck! Curious to see how it works for you and whether this is something I'll stick with.

    Reply
  6. Lauren Ashley|

    I tried this once, but I think it's all about your hair type, and it wasn't a perfect fit for mine! 🙂 I hope you have better luck. xo!

    Reply
  7. Kacie|

    I'm intrigued! I saw that article too. I have a pixie cut at the moment but I'm totally interested… staying tuned.

    Kacie

    Reply
  8. Rachel|

    Eeek…this is something I have been wanting to try for awhile, because every time I wash my hair, I think about all of the gross chemicals I am exposing myself to. But it's a little nerve-racking to think of switching over to this, because I know I might have to go through a slight smelly/greasy hair phase first. Maybe it's time, though…new spring, new beginnings, eh? I'll be interested in hearing what your experience is!

    Reply
  9. sarah yates|

    i'm so happy you all are as excited about this as i am! i will make sure to post updates, but i'm three days in and so far so good! today i will try the apple cider vinegar rinse for the first time.

    Reply
  10. liza|

    I try to only wash my hair 3x a week now but I think it could really use a detox like this. The blow drying, coloring and spray etc. is kind of a lot.
    BUT, I'm a head sweater. (is that TMI?) And, I practice a really rigorous yoga 6 days a week–where I do a lot of head sweating. So, I think my head would smell.

    When you update please do let us know how it fares when you work out. : )

    xo
    -L

    Reply
  11. ashley rachelle|

    i am definitely intrigued by this concept. i'll think i will give it a try. there are so many chemicals in hair products, so this sounds like a good option. i am just wondering, does your hair/head smell like vinegar or does the smell rinse out completely? that's my only concern…can't wait to hear how it goes. xo

    -ashley
    ashleyrachelle.com

    Reply
  12. Fawn at Cowen Park Kitchen|

    I've been doing this for more than a year now, and I can report that it's great! I now only have to "wash" my hair once or twice a week, which is great since I have delicate hair. I don't combine the soda with water ahead of time, just mix a paste in my palm in the shower. I also have found that a thinner mix of cider vinegar (with cold water) is best for my hair. I don't rinse out the vinegar, and by the time my hair is dry you can't smell it at all!
    My mom told me that my grandmother used cider vinegar during the depression to make her hair more shiny. Heritage beauty, kind of cool!

    Reply
  13. Rocio|

    I read the same article! With a work gala and my wedding happening in less than a month, I'm too chicken to give it a try. I hope you keep us updated!

    Reply
  14. Andrea|

    cool! look forward to hearing about the results, and how the process goes washing with the baking soda mix. that is the part that makes me hesitant, I would just feel lost without the habit of working the shampoo into a nice sudsy lather.

    Reply
  15. Archana|

    I'm really intrigued about this! I have curly but fine hair and used to wash my hair every day way back when. My hair began thinning big-time, so now I only wash it once a week and rely on ponytails, buns and headbands the rest of the days. I'd love to try this if the hair texture comes out well!

    Reply
  16. chelsea|

    I kind of love this idea! I'm working on a bottle of the Wyn cleansing conditioner right now, when that's up I hope to try this.

    Reply
  17. Melissa|

    Hey there,

    I have been doing this for about three months and I am blown away by the results. I have very curly, very course hair that is a frizzy mess – well, was! now it is SO soft and SO shiny people cannot stop commenting on it. I had freshly colored hair and had no problem with it at all. It did not strip my color or anything.

    1. Play with the amount of vinegar to water until you get it right.
    2. Do a second rinse with Chamomile tea for extra shine and to help with the vinegar smell. The smell goes away when dry, but if you get caught in the rain it gets interesting.
    3. Say goodbye to dandruff, dermatitis or whatever skin stuff you may be suffering from.
    4. Watch your eyes. make sure you don't get either the baking soda or vinegar in your eyes. It's not fun. 5. The apple cider vinegar will also immediately balance the ph of your face and your skin will glow. so it can get on your face – just not your eyes 🙂

    Once I get out of the shower, I use coconut oil as my moisturizer. I use the residual oil on my hand a run it though my hair and ends. I also now have a bottle of water with coconut oil in it that I spray on it and voila, gorgeous hair!

    Lastly, I am no longer dealing with any mold in the shower. The apple cider vinegar must be killing it. I am amazed that the less products I am using, the less products I need to buy.

    Good luck and enjoy the cheap, effective hair product lifestyle.
    If you care, Ill share my food grade vitamin c serum too! No more $60.00 Kiehl's for me!

    Sarah, I had a dream that we finally met…

    Reply
  18. nicole|

    do it. i wash my hair once a week, and have for pretty much my whole adult life. your scalp will adjust!!!

    Reply
  19. Marlena|

    The vinegar rinse is hard to get used to, the smell is not pleasant at all.

    fitnessfits.blogspt.com for some healthy life inspirations

    Reply
  20. Emily K. @ Leaf Parade|

    I went shampoo-free about three weeks ago, and everybody thinks I'm crazy! There is a bit of an icky adjustment period, which I'm still working through (whoa, static), but I'm sticking to it and hoping for great results. Good luck to you and your locks!
    -Emily K.

    Reply
  21. Ariane Elizabeth|

    Have you tried washing your hair and sleeping on it? That's what I do and my hair looks like that basically everyday. I just calm it with a little argan oil and I'm good to go.

    Reply
  22. Aoife|

    I would really like to try this too but I have a very client-facing job and am worried that I would be a mess for the 6 week adjustment period! Also I have very oily hair, not sure how it would work for my hair type. But excited to hear your updates!

    Reply
  23. Jodie|

    I have! But I have really thick,curly hair and it is so much easier to detangle now that I don't shampoo. I use leave-in conditions everyday to style my hair so I simply "wash" my hair using the conditioner, once a week or so.

    The only problem is when I go to the hairdresser, I always let them wash it.

    I hadn't heard of the baking soda or apple cider vinegar options.

    Reply
  24. Bev|

    As a professional hairstylist, you are going to destroy your hair.

    The scalp is the basis of healthy hair.

    You shampoo to cleanse your scalp. Healthy scalp=healthy hair.

    Hair has a PH of 4.5-5.5. Shampoos need to be on the "slightly" acidic side to properly cleanse the hair. Conditoners work alongside shampoos to balance the PH of your hair after shampooing.

    Baking soda is high on the alkaline scale 8.9! Causing your hair to "swell" and literally soften/mush.
    Apple cider vinegar has much the same PH as Gastric Acid!……….. enough said.

    If you mess around with high PH levels of products on your scalp regularly (baking soda), you can cause bacteria and fungi to grow. Apple cider vinegar "will" kill bacteria and fungi BUT……VERY drying.

    Google it if you're not sure.

    I suggest getting a "sea salt spray" specifically made for hair if your want beautiful hair with that "played all day at the beach" look.

    Reply
  25. Megan|

    Wow, I can't wait to know how this goes! I, like probably many people with long hair, have trouble with my roots being oily and the rest of my hair being dry so I've taken up dry-shampooing with baking soda, but this I really look forward to seeing how this natural method of no shampooing at all works!!

    Reply
  26. Katie|

    I stopped using shampoo in October and haven't looked back since. I really really love it, and my hair is halfway down my back. I just put a little (teaspoon) baking soda on my roots, rinse, an then rinse with super dilute acv. I do have to put some oil on my ends, though, because they get really dry, but that's it. And I've been using the baking soda to wash my face too, and I swear my pores are smaller.

    Reply
  27. Crystal|

    Sarah, I have fine hair that's on the thinner side and I've been doing this for a while now. Love it. I'll use a cider vinegar and tisane rinse daily and do a deep conditioning treatment with honey and coconut oil a couple of times a month after which I'll shampoo using Oribe's gentle shampoo when I really need it and I notice it doesn't dry the hair at all if used only a couple times a month. I also brush with my Mason Pearson once a day, it helps quite a bit to clean the roots and condition the ends. It took a while for my scalp oil production to regulate. I will use cornstarch as a great dry shampoo or sometimes Oribe Dry Texture Spray. My hair has never been lovelier and I'm very happy to finally be able to grow it long and strong. I'm a hairstylist and have turned many clients on to the baking soda paste shampoo with great results.

    Reply
  28. Crystal|

    Sarah, I have fine hair that's on the thinner side and I've been doing this for a while now. Love it. I'll use a cider vinegar and tisane rinse daily and do a deep conditioning treatment with honey and coconut oil a couple of times a month after which I'll shampoo using Oribe's gentle shampoo when I really need it and I notice it doesn't dry the hair at all if used only a couple times a month. I also brush with my Mason Pearson once a day, it helps quite a bit to clean the roots and condition the ends. It took a while for my scalp oil production to regulate. I will use cornstarch as a great dry shampoo or sometimes Oribe Dry Texture Spray. My hair has never been lovelier and I'm very happy to finally be able to grow it long and strong. I'm a hairstylist and have turned many clients on to the baking soda paste shampoo with great results.

    Reply
  29. Meg|

    Absolutely!!! I love the simplistic idea of cleaning. Although, when I use these tips I do miss the fragrance that comes with sodium laureth sufate. But, from what I here they're very damaging to your hair. See if you can find a coconut butter or oil from Whole Foods. This would be great for a conditioner (hair & skin). Have fun!!

    Reply
  30. Kristina|

    I have tried this exact thing. It helps to have a boar's hair brush to bring the oils that your scalp is producing down the hair shaft. I have especially fine hair (but a LOT of it) that tangles very easily so after about a week it was basically dreadlocked and I decided to sadly turn back to my high maintenance routine.

    Reply
  31. Kat|

    Hi!

    I've gotta weigh in here because this hits close to home. I've managed to keep up the baking soda/apple cider vinegar routine for… 12 months! (I began in march 2012) and I'm proud to say that its sustainable, cheap, easy and the effects are great. I get lots of compliments on my hair and I literally don't do anything to it or put anything in it. Liberating!

    Kudos for trying it out 🙂

    Reply
  32. Anna Papalia|

    I have heard that steeping white vinegar with citrus peels cuts down on the smell 🙂

    Reply