Review : No Poo Shampoo Method

Have you heard of this 'No Poo' Shampoo method?  Many celebrities swore by it.  And some people do not wash their hair with shampoo for months and years but just using this method.

Basically, it's the way you wash you hair, without any shampoo but only with baking soda and apple cider vinegar.

I have very bad dandruff problems on my scalp.  Tried every single thing in the market but not successful to eradicate.  These are the things I tried and tested:

  • Anti-dandruff shampoo, from famous brands to cheapest
  • Scalp care treatment at hair salon which cost me RM200++ per treatment
  • Herbal shampoos from ayurvedic to organic
  • Tried washing everyday
First this is what happened when I use the above methods:

  • Anti-dandruff shampoo - It stopped the dandruff for few months but eventually my scalp got immune to it and the flaky stuff came back.  Also, the chemicals in the shampoo doesn't go very well with my sensitive skin on my face and caused itchiness and burning sensation.
  • Scalp care treatment - Very expensive and will only make my scalp feel drier but better for few months.  Then it was back.  I was told I needed monthly scalp care treatment but that was costing a bomb.
  • Herbal shampoos - I tried from organic to ayurvedic and the effects were only good for few months.  Once my scalp got immune to it, it was back to square one.  The good thing was these shampoos doesn't make my face itch.
  • Washing everyday - I was told to wash everyday in order to rid the oil and hence better for my scalp.  Washing everyday was very tedious and not only it didn't help the dandruff issues, it was making my hair very dry.
So every few months, once my scalp got the hang of the shampoos that I used, the flakiness will start.  Sometimes it's so embarrassed to wear black tops as it feels like snowflakes on my shoulders.  Once, my boss was walking behind me and noticed the white stuff all over my black blouse and was shocked and told me to go and see a doctor.  Yup, it was that bad.

Not only was the flakiness present but the itch was unbearable.  The more I scratched, the more the dandruff falls.  

Also, some of the products mentioned above gave me hair fall, like shedding.  I can't even remember which one does that.

Anyway, I was searching online for a natural remedy and I found the 'No Poo Method'.  So I experimented a few times and these were the results:

The method is to mix a tablespoon of baking soda to water to make it into a thick solution.  Then apply it on the hair, massaged it into the scalp.  Leave it for few minutes and then rinse.  Use warm water for that.  Then add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to a glass of cold water.  Rinse your hair with that solution and then wash with cold water.

Experiment 1 - Baking soda only
Baking soda was great to stop the flakiness.  In fact, immediately after I washed my hair, I found that there was no more flakiness.  The thing was my hair became very dry and unmanageable.  Looks as if I have just woken up from my sleep.

Experiment 2 - Apple cider vinegar only
At first, I thought the vinegar smell will be too strong.  But when my hair is dried completely, the smell vanishes.  This solution acts as a conditioner to the hair.  It feels great and gave volume to my hair and also the flakiness stopped.  It doesn't take away the oil completely though.  However, many uses of this will lighten the hair color as it is acidic.  

Experiment 3 - Baking soda and apple cider vinegar
This is the recommended method.  Baking soda acts as the shampoo and removes all the oil and apple cider vinegar acts as the conditioner.  The combination is actually to neutralise hair's pH.  Baking soda is very alkaline while apple cider vinegar is acidic.  And the result was, no dandruff, hair's feel clean and not oily, gave volume and not dry.  

But now I have problem with smelly hair.  No, the apple cider vinegar doesn't makes my hair smell.  It's just that living in a hot and humid country makes everything smells.

If I don't wash it for a day, the smell is there.  So I tried this:

Experiment 4 - Baking soda and essential oil
The effect was same as Experiment 1 but gave my hair a nice smell.  I think I put in too many drops of essential oil and the smell was too strong.  In fact, the next day, I was feeling quite sick with the smell and couldn't wait to wash my hair to rid it.

Experiment 5 - Baking soda and essential oil in the apple cider vinegar
The effect was same as Experiment 3 and my hair smell great after that.  It wasn't too strong too.  But probably the smell is still too strong compared to shampoos.  Still can't get use to it.  May try to reduce the amount of essential oil.  Just 1 drop will do.

Experiment 6 - Coconut oil massage and baking soda wash
First massage the coconut oil into the scalp and leave it for few minutes.  Then wash with the baking soda.  The only thing was baking soda is not as strong as shampoo, so not all the oil can be washed off.  If you are ok with looking wet all the time, then this is the best combo.  The coconut oil smell is great too.  

However, I couldn't stand looking wet all the time as my hair would looked limp and oily.  So, after leaving the coconut oil for 1 whole day, then I washed it with shampoo as I couldn't stand the oiliness.  After that the hair feels so great.  More volume, smooth and smells great.  

I think this method works best with curly hair.

The problem I had with this method was time.  This method needs more time to wash and rinse compared to shampoo.  But that can be resolved by waking up a little earlier.  No big deal.

The next issue I had was smell.  I still can't find the balance in getting my hair smells great without too overpowering.

Another issue I had was finding the right combination.  So, during weekdays as I couldn't get the right combo, I went back to shampoo.

Also, you can't do this method every single day as the vinegar can really lighten your hair colour and in my case, I dyed my grey hairs, so this is not so good for me.

What I am going to try next is this combo:

First, during the weekends, massage the scalp with coconut oil.  Then wash with baking soda and apple cider vinegar.  Then during weekdays to wash only with plain water.  And on weekends, back to the routine.  Let's see if this is the best combo for me.

You may not get used to the no bubbles, no foams method that shampoo has.  You may feel as if your hair is not cleanse properly.  Trust me, it is clean.  But you just need to get over the conditioning that foams and bubbles cleanse and vice versa.