Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Ever Thought of Going 'Pooless?

About a month ago I saw a picture of a friend of mine on Facebook and her hair looked amazing, so I told her as much. She said she had ditched shampoo and was using baking soda and apple cider vinegar every other day in its place. She also gave me a link to a website for more info. I was intrigued and decided to try it out.

The gist of what I did was this:

Dissolve about 1-2 teaspoons of baking soda in hot water, use the solution to clean the scalp.

Mix about 1-2 teaspoons of apple cider in hot water, and use it as a conditioning rinse. I poured on the crown of my head, without rinsing the baking soda, so it did a mild little fizz. Then I just let it run through my hair and massaged it in a little before rinsing very well.

Generally, I wash my hair less than every other day...maybe every third day or so. I figured it would be best to continue with that schedule when I made the switch. I read that the first couple weeks could be rough on your hair while the pH level adjusts, but the first two weeks were actually not bad at all for me. My scalp felt clean, I wasn't itchy. My hair didn't feel oily, as some people experience during the adjustment period.

It was the third week that did me in. Suddenly I felt like I had a baking soda film on my hair. Then someone commented on my Facebook page that she knew someone whose hair was ruined from using this 'pooless method for a year, and that it was very drying (which is opposite of everything else I've read - most people who quit seem to do so because their hair doesn't get past the oily stage, but everyone's hair is different so you never know how yours will react!).

I was slightly freaked though, so I decided to put a small amount of coconut oil in my hair to try to bring it back around. I would say I used less than one teaspoon, and my hair was an utter greaseball. I lasted about two days with my hair in sock buns, which wasn't too bad because I like sock buns anyway. At that point though, I had to get the oil out of my hair. I had a sample of a L'Oreal sulfate-free shampoo and deep conditioner in my closet, products that I had never tried before, and decided to use those. There was enough shampoo in the packet for two washes, and then I put the deep conditioner in my hair and left it for about five minutes or so. I let it air dry.

This was Saturday. Once it was dry, my hair felt softer and cleaner than it has ever felt, ever. It's now Wednesday night and I still haven't washed my hair again. It doesn't even feel dirty yet. I use a shower cap when I shower, but I did get it wet in the pool this week. I feel like maybe tomorrow might be a pony tail or bun day, but it's still doing alright.

Now I'm left to wonder...was it the going 'pooless for 3 weeks? Was it the coconut oil? Was it the L'Oreal products? Was it a combo of all three? All I know is I want a repeat performance, so I might just do the whole process all over again. Only problem is I'm going to New York next week, and I don't my hair jacked up for my trip. So what I think I'll do is this:

Wash with baking soda and apple cider vinegar on Friday.

Skip a few days.

Condition with coconut oil on Monday.

Shampoo and condition with the L'Oreal stuff on Wednesday (I leave Thursday morning). Hopefully I can find the same products since my samples are gone! Maybe it would work with any shampoo and conditioner, but I feel like this is some kind of mad voodoo and I have to do it just right!

Disclosure about my hair: I rarely use any product in it, so that is not an issue for me. I know that many hair products can simply be rinsed out with water, but those containing certain ingredients really need to be washed out (if you know which ingredients, will please tell me in the comments?!). Also my hair is "normal" and kind of doesn't really get oily.

Have you tried going 'pooless? I'd love to hear about your experience!


kelly said...

I was doing this, and I was just using water on the days I didn't wash. I was down to washing with shampoo twice a week.
Then I got pregnant and my hair changed and got really greasy fast, but I plan on doing it again after the baby get's here in a few months.

Mrs. Weber said...

Super interesting! I am super scared about this...Does your hair smell weird with the vinegar? Also, I try to run every other day, so I sweat A LOT, so I'm not sure how that would play out.

I have really thick hair that gets greasy after a day of no washing. I may try it for a month like you did and see what happens. Thanks for sharing your experience!

alyaia75 said...

Pregnancy can do all kinds of weird things to our skin & hair, Kelly! Hope it works for you again after your baby arrives!

Lauren, I HATE the smell of vinegar. Really, really hate it! That said, I just washed my hair a couple hours ago with the baking soda and vinegar (it's still a little damp), and when I put my hair in my face and really sniff, I can smell a faint hint of vinegar. This is the first time I've noticed it at all. Hopefully it fades, but it's so faint that it's not bothering me. I haven't had a problem with working out, and I sweat a lot too. You can definitely rinse your hair with water in between washings too.I'd love to know how it goes if try it!

Sam Martin said...

To get more details on going 'poo-less', check out Paul Wheaton's podcast at

BTW, high end hotels, restaurants and caterers all over the world use various combinations of water, vinegar and baking soda for cleaning, disinfecting and odor control because it works better and costs cheaper than most commercial products. Also: white vinegar has no smell whatsoever once it dries.