Are you still using shampoo?


I haven’t bought any shampoo or conditioner since the end of May. Don’t worry, I’m still washing my hair. but now I use baking soda and apple cider vinegar. Maybe you’ve heard of this “no-poo” thing already? It seems like everyone’s talking about it these days.

Perhaps you’re still a tad skeptical? Trust me, so was I.

I used to love shampoo and conditioner. I usually had four or five different brands lined up on the edge of my bathtub. I knew that many cosmetics contain ingredients that are supposedly not so great. So I shopped for mine at the health food store and scrutinized the labels for parabens and pthalates, sodium laurel sulfate and sulfer. The few products that did not contain those suspect ingredients made my hair look, well, sort of flat and tired. And they cost a lot – $7.00 or more for a 12 ounce bottle. If I went more than a day or so without shampooing, my hair got greasy. So I ended up buying and using a lot. For so many years, I thought all of this was just normal.

Well, here’s my new normal. I use this method every other day or every third day. It is remarkably easy, inexpensive, and effective.

1. Mix a tablespoon or two of baking soda with just enough water to make it into a paste.
2. Wet hair.
3. Massage paste into scalp for a few minutes. (It feels great!)
4. Rinse hair well.
5. Pour a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar into a quart jar and fill up the rest with warm water.
6. Pour the vinegar water mixture on ends of hair and let it sit on hair for a few minutes.
7. Rinse well.

It took my hair about three weeks to adjust to the new method. During the transition time, it was at times amazingly soft and manageable and at other times very greasy. I almost quit on several occasions. I’m so glad I stuck with it. Now my hair looks great every time. It doesn’t get greasy even after three days between washings. And it does not smell like vinegar. Plus, I’m saving money and cutting down on the plastic containers I purchase. Amazing!

Want to read more? Go here , here, here, or here.

(This post is for Steady Mom’s 30 Minute Blog Challenge.  Post time, start to finish: 28 minutes.)

Have you tried ditching your shampoo and conditioner yet? I’d love to hear the results.

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About Abby Quillen

Abby Quillen writes fiction and magazine articles. Her articles and essays have appeared in YES! Magazine, The Christian Science Monitor, Colorado Central Magazine, and on Common Dreams, Nation of Change, Reader Supported News, The Daily Good, Truthout, and You can find more of her writing at


  1. Yep, 4 months in and still going strong!

    I make my baking soda mixture much thinner, as I found I had a hard time massaging a paste in – it wouldn’t get to my scalp as a paste. So, I make a watery mixture and pour it in little sections around my head and massage in.

    • newurbanhabitat says:

      Thanks Rose! It seems like people find slightly different methods that work for them. I’ve heard some people add essential oils to the vinegar mixture too to make it smell more fragrant.

  2. I use a ACV rinse , but I don’t rinse it out afterwards, and works well. I still use shampoo. I can’t use baking soda like that as it burns my sensitive skin, so people that have issues with their skin should probably be cautious that baking soda can burn a little bit. 🙂

  3. I have only been no-pooing for a couple of weeks but I love it- it’s so liberating. I have been shocked to realize that shampoo is totally unnecessary. My hair really is better already- my dry scalp issues have disappeared and my hair is really soft! I also add more water to the baking soda and I use essential oil in the rinse.

    • newurbanhabitat says:

      I know, it’s so liberating! For me, it exemplifies the power of advertising. We’re sold so many things we don’t actually need. And the really strange thing is that most of the cleaning and personal-care products I used to buy did not work as well as the miraculous, inexpensive, versatile trio of baking soda, vinegar, and hydrogen peroxide. Thanks for sharing your method!

  4. Thank you so much! I will try it! I have been asking myself how to get off shampoo and conditioner for months.
    BTW: I stumbled upon your blog and love it. Simply reading it is calming to me.

  5. Can you use it on color-treated hair?

  6. I’d wash this way as well, but find with my baby fine hair I get more body in my hair if I skip the vinegar.

  7. Interesting. I just posted a link to this article on my blog.
    I don’t think I could change to the baking soda side of life at the moment.. then again, I am stubborn as heck :-/

  8. I am 14 days in to using the water only method, only breaking once to use a soap bar on my roots. Now I am getting more used to the feeling of my hair being temporarily greasy. It doesn’t have a bad smell and after rinsing my hair everyday it’s actually not so bad. I just can’t wait to see when my hair finally decides to adjust.


  1. […] Try using baking soda and apple cider vinegar. This combination works much better than the most expensive natural shampoos and conditioners I used to buy. I wrote about it here. […]

  2. […] Posted 6 August, 2010 by lindseytinsey in Uncategorized. Tagged: beauty, conditioner, hair, health, links, shampoo, stumble upon. Leave a Comment Are you still using shampoo? « New Urban Habitat. […]

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