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How To No ‘Poo

Please welcome Brittany of the Pistachio Project. She’s sharing about the ultimate in crunchy-living: no ‘poo. I’ll let her tell you more…

No ‘Poo. It’s the latest craze in the natural world. What exactly is no ‘poo? Thankfully it’s not some sort of crazy bathroom torture. No ‘poo simply means “No ShamPOO”.

Now I know what you are thinking. No, shampoo? Doesn’t your hair get dirty and gross if you are not washing it? The answer is thankfully, no.

There is the true ultimate form of no ‘pooing which would be washing with water only but I am not that die hard and I’m perfectly happy to continue washing my hair with some sort of product. So instead of shampoo and conditioner, I use baking soda and vinegar.

Ah baking soda and vinegar. The age-old cleaning products that many of us already use for our house cleaning. These same two products that you can use to clean your bathroom sink can be used to clean your hair as well! Baking soda becomes the “shampoo” and vinegar becomes the “conditioner”.

Why would someone want to No ‘Poo?

  • It’s cheap.
  • No toxic chemicals.
  • Helps hair and scalp to rebalance its oil production.
  • Less waste as you don’t need to buy so many bottles of product.
  • Hair dries faster.
  • You may end up not needing hair products after going no ‘poo.

How To No ‘Poo

Shampoo: 1 tablespoon baking soda mixed in 1 cup of water
Conditioner: 1 tablespoon vinegar in 1 cup of water.


Before getting into the shower, add your baking soda to its cup and your vinegar to its cup. Don’t bother adding the water until you get into the shower.

I like to add the shower water to my cups just before I need them that way the water is nice and warm.


Take your baking soda cup, top off with water. Mix it around so that it’s almost dissolved. Pour over wet hair.

You can “rub it in” but you really can’t do too much as you will not get a lather. Let this mixture sit on your head for about 1 minute and then rinse well.


Take your vinegar cup, top off with water. Pour over wet hair. Let this mixture sit on your hair for at least a minute and then rinse really well.

That’s it! Your hair will feel amazing!

Notes about No ‘Poo

You should no ‘poo every 3-7 days. You really don’t want to no ‘poo more often than that although the occasional day 2 wash is okay. This is particularly because baking soda can be too harsh if used too often for some people and because your hair actually needs to be washed less in order to be less greasy.

Greasy hair is a result of hair being washed too often. It signals to your scalp that since it’s so clean it needs to ramp up oil production and thus results in a vicious cycle.

Since you no ‘poo every 3-7 days, you will probably go through a detox period. This detox only refers to the days after day 1 and possibly 2. Your hair should look amazing right after a no ‘poo. If it doesn’t then you need to do some tweaking.

However, as you go past that first day or so, your hair will become greasy. Hang in there. Eventually your hair will get the memo that it needs to slow down oil production and soon you’ll be able to go the entire duration with perfect looking hair. I can now go 1 week with great looking hair.

If you have any more questions about no ‘poo, I have a troubleshooting post and a FAQ as well.

Brittany lives in Seattle with her husband and four children (a 6 year old, 5 year old, 2 year old and 6 month old). She enjoys researching everything that involves living naturally and writes about her increasingly crunchy life at The Pistachio Project.

Title photo by stevendepolo on Flikr


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  1. Nice one Brittany! I’ll definitely try this!

  2. Love the tips, Brittany! I’ve tried no ‘poo but I used ACV as the conditioner. I’ll have to try vinegar when I try again! It’s really something you need to be dedicated to for a while so you can see results and I’m not the most patient person ;)

    • ACV can be used but white vinegar is cheaper and a bit less smelly. :) As I mentioned in my post, right after a no poo your hair should look and feel great. If not then you need to tweak the ratios (sometimes hair prefers more or less acidity) the detox process can be annoying but it is well worth it.

    • Hi Jonathan,
      You can premix the vinegar part but I don’t generally recommend premixing the baking soda as it can dissolve too much and loose it’s cleaning power. I recommend keeping a box of baking soda in the bathroom cabinet and then just mixing it up right before a shower. There are alternatives to the baking soda. For instance my uses honey for both his shampoo and conditioner and that you can store right in it’s bottle in the shower.

  3. Thanks so much for sharing! I have a friend who swears by this regimen! Her hair is super shiny– so something is working!

  4. Thanks so much for sharing ! My friend swears by this regimen, and there must be SOMETHING that is working because her hair is super shiny!

  5. I pinned this because it’s something that I’ve wondered about for a while now but have been scared to try. My hair is greasy and I have to wash it every day or it feels and looks gross. I know that all of that shampoo can’t be good for it

  6. I really want to try this. Maybe when my current stash runs out!

  7. What about sort of “no poo” with castille soap and distilled water? Does the same no wash but ever 3-7 days work for that as well?

    • Hi Sam,
      Sorry I just saw this post (I’m the guest post author) you can no poo with castile soap. I definitely recommend using the vinegar rinse though after because castile is pretty tough on hair. Even with the vinegar rinse, some people still feel like there’s a residue or straw like feeling to their hair.

  8. I workout everyday. Like heavy duty hair-is-so-wet-you’d-think-I-just-had-a-shower wet. I usually shower and shampoo once a day, although not immediately post workout. My fear is that even if I detox, the amount of sweat that my body produces in these workouts makes no ‘poo every 3 days seem unrealistic. Thoughts??

  9. I workout everyday. Not just a walk in the park. I do more extreme fitness and my hair and body are so wet that it’s like I just showered. But it’s sweat. I have contemplated trying to go no ‘poo but I am worried that even if I make it through the detox process that going every 3-7 days on no ‘poo is unrealistic. Thoughts??

    • Hi! I’m Brittany the guest post author. I usually tell those who are very active to do the usual no ‘poo washing every 3-7 days and then do water only washes on the days in-between if they find that they need it. Washing with just water will help remove the daily sweat and yet it’s gentle enough to not ruin your hair.


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