No Poo Washing Method Troubleshooting: Wash hair with Baking soda and Apple Cider Vinegar

Fist week of the no poo method

About five days ago I decided to try the no poo method of washing my hair. I had though about trying this before but chickened out. I watched a bunch of you tube videos on it and came up with my own way to do. I found there are lots of different ways people do the no poo method. The typical way is using baking soda as shampoo and apple cider vinegar as conditioner. There are people who use just water, people who only use conditioner and people who use a shampoo bar. I didn't have any apple cider vinegar on hand and didn't feel like going out to get it so I decided to use honey in warm water as my conditioner.

The first night I washed my hair was Friday and I used one tbl of baking soda to one cup of warm water for the shampoo. I poured it all over my head and then massaged my head. I was surprised when it actually felt squeaky clean. Then I apply the honey in the warm water to the hair below the crown of my head. I washed it all out and did a blast of cold water before ending my shower. Normally when I brush my hair after a shower it is really hard to brush. It is long and thick and ever since I highlighted it last summer has been really hard to brush when wet. So I was very surprised when the brush just slid through my hair. It looked clean and I could brush it so I was happy. I tried doing the sock bun to curl that night but it turned out not curly but puffy so I was not thrilled with that but it was tolerable and got better after a day.

By Sunday night it was getting greasy so I washed it Monday morning again with my baking soda and water mixture and then conditioned with the honey and water mix. Again it looked clean and It was surprisingly easy to brush. I was on my way to work and was extactly sure how it would dry so I wanted to blow dry it. I put in some mouse to give it volume which I never do but decided to do that day. Not being one who likes to spend more then five minutes on my hair I didn't fully finish blow drying it and it had this sticky, tacky feeling for the rest of the day. Last night I decided to take my mouse hair and try to curl it again with out heat while I slept. This time I split my hair into four sections and then made four sections out of each one of those original sections and twisted them into little buns on my head. My hair was dry when I did this but I did spray a little water on the buns before going to sleep.

Today I have these curls I have never had before. They definitely turned out way better than any other time i tried to get curls. Now I have to see how it will look tomorrow. I think I will stick with the baking soda and honey mixes and see how my hair responds.

Curls from twists slept in over night about 12 hours after taking them out of twists.
Curls from twists slept in overnight about 12 hours after taking them out of twists.
curls from twist at end of day.
curls from twist at end of day.

Week 2- No Poo takes a bad turn

So this week my hair is just not looking good. Last week I went five days with out washing my hair. I twirled into to buns each night and had curls in the morning, did a cute side bun and really didn't have any problems except that it was very staticy. To combat the static i picked up some dryer sheets to run over my head. That helped. Now though on my third time washing with the baking soda my hair feels really grimy. I finally went to the store and got some apple cider vinegar and was excited to see if it would help the static. I washed my hair this morning with the mix of 1 tbl baking soda to 1 cup water and massaged my head. I could tell that it felt less clean this time right away. I added a little more baking soda and water and rinsed. I followed up with 1tbl apc to 1 cup water on the ends of my hair and rinsed. I had no problem brushing my hair but it did look different than the last times I washed it with baking soda. I noticed at work after it was dry that my hair just did not look ultra clean. It didn't look greasy but felt grimy and pulled it back into a ponytail for the rest of the day and decided I would wash it again when I got home. The second round of washing I used less water and rubbed the baking soda mixture into my roots, rinsed, repeated with the orginial baking soda water ratio on the top of my head and then flipped my head over and repeated again with more baking soda and water. I was sure this would make a difference. I conditioned with honey this time and rinsed.

Well...My hair is only about 10% better than it was earlier today. Easy to brush though and no static so far but still grimy. I did find a website that has some tips on no poo troubleshooting.

http://thepistachioproject.blogspot.com/2010/09/no-poo-troubleshooting.html

One of the things it says it that if you increase the baking soda and it still feels grimy then it may be the hard water. Now I don't know for sure if I have hard water in this apartment but I am going to boil my water for mixing the baking soda and vinegar and see if that makes a difference. They recommend boiling water and then letting it cool and using this water to mix your solution. You can rinse with the regular water but apparently hard water and the no poo method do not mix. Hopefully I try that next time. Possible even tomorrow because I don't think I can go out in public with my hair how it is now. It looks like day old hair after normal shampooing but feels like 4 day old no poo hair and it has only been 2 hours.

Week two is off to a bad start but I know what I am going to try to I'll see if that helps.

Yeah for boiled water!

Boiled water. It worked. I boiled a pot of water and after it cooled poured it into three water bottles. Mixed one with 3 tbls of baking soda because I wanted to be sure my hair got clean, mixed one with acv and left the other bottle of boiled water alone. In the shower I washed my hair with the cooled boiled water and baking soda making sure to scrub my head and then rinsed with regular shower water. I conditioned with the boiled water and acv and rinsed with regular water. I then used the bottle of just plain boiled water as a cool rinse. This was a definite improvement over the last time I washed it. It feels way better and looks clean. I might have used too mush acv because the ends are a little sticky. So now I am going to stick with using the boiled water for the baking soda and acv mixes and try a pre-wash of boiled water and then a cold rinse of boiled water. I didn't think to get a photo of what it looked like this morning but here are the ones of my hair in sock curls and you can tell that it looks clean now.

Boiled water= clean hair

sock curls and clean hair after using coole boiled water
sock curls and clean hair after using coole boiled water

Sock curls resutls

This is the results from my sock curls. It turned out great and stayed curly all day. By the end of the day they were soft body curls but still looked good about 10 hours after I took the socks out.

Back on Track

Weeks three and four have been going great. I think I finally got the routine down. Boil my water and mix with the baking soda and apple cider vinegar. It took a while but I have stopped using too much acv and my hair feels way less sticky.

Things are going great now.

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Comments 57 comments

Rona 4 years ago

I'm so glad I found this post of yours. :-) I realized that I had hard water and I did not want to give up on my no poo journey. (I've been doing it for 2 months already)

After I boiled the water and let it cool down, I used this method to wash and rinse my hair with the cooled water and I noticed a big difference!!! My hair didn't take long to dry like it used too before. My hair is very long, it's still a little dry on the ends but not so much as before. I am able to run my hands through my hair and I wasn't able to do that before as it was dry and greasy!

I think a few more washes with this method and my hair will be better. I haven't tried any other ratios besides 1 tbs baking soda to 1 cup water and the same with the apple cider vinegar. Either way, it's definitely the hard water in my area! Thanks so much! :-)


silverempiress profile image

silverempiress 4 years ago from Pennsylvania Author

I'm glad this helped you. I had trouble figuring out what the problem was at first and there is not a lot of information on hard water and no poo. I did read somewhere that you can also use distilled water that you buy at the grocery store. I think I am going to try that soon to see if it works also so I don't always have to boil my water.


Gosia 4 years ago

OMG!! I too tried to use boiled water, AMAZING!! thank you for saving my hair, unboiled water will not touch my hair again. I spent summer in sweden, and my boyfriend lives in the alps, and over there it's a totally different story, but i guess the water in my country are really hard. i use one liter of boiled water for the everything, and i wash my hair only once a week, so the trouble isn't big at all. I always knew the problem was the the water, I stopped using baking soda on my hair because of the water, but nothing cleaned my hair, I saw people advice to boil water, but never thought the difference would be this huge. so, girls, IT WORKS! don't be lazy to try this!

Ive been no-poo for a year, and always struggled with this. used to put acv on dry hair to stay over night, just to clean it, besides this i tried clay, used honey, eggs, carrots, sugar, nettles, but nothing works as well as just boiling the water before.

THANK YOU!


silverempiress profile image

silverempiress 4 years ago from Pennsylvania Author

Thanks, so glad this helped.


Mari 4 years ago

I have been doing this since September. I don't use as much baking soda as you. I only use 1/2 teaspoon in 6 ounces of water and the same with the vinegar. Except the vinegar mix lasts me three uses. I love it and will never go back to shampoo


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 4 years ago from Texas

I have just started doing this, and it worked pretty well for me, but my hair turned out pretty frizzy. I wonder about adding an egg yolk as a conditioner. I would do the baking soda and water first, rinse, apply the egg yolk and let it sit for 3-5 minutes, rinse and then do a final rinse with the apple cider vinegar. What do you think?


silverempiress profile image

silverempiress 4 years ago from Pennsylvania Author

I haven't tried using an egg yolk, but it probably would help. You could also try using a little less baking soda. I find that as time goes on I have been able to decrease the amount of baking soda and my hair is still good for about 4 days. If you have coconut oil, take a very small amount and rub on your hands then apply to ends of hair. Just a thin coating will work, don't use too much. I've also heard of people using mayo as a deep conditioner, I haven't tried it but I hear it works. If you try the egg yolk, let me know how it turns out.


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 4 years ago from Texas

OK, thanks! Yes, I use coconut oil as a conditioner before washing my hair. I actually put quite a bit on a couple of days before washing and keep my hair in styles that would use sculpting products in the mainstream world! This does help, but I think I need something applied during the washing to settle my fine, curly, color treated, dry hair down even more! :D I hate mayonnaise. It just makes me sick to look at it, so I would be highly unlikely to use it on my hair, but I have read that women used to use egg yolks as shampoo, so I will give that a try.


missioneventsaz profile image

missioneventsaz 4 years ago from Arizona

I gave no poo a try a couple of years ago, but might have been doing something wrong... maybe it's time to give it another whirl. At least that experience did get me to stop using sulfates and cones though, so it wasn't a total loss.


ellie again - sorry for that one! ^ 4 years ago

i have been doing no poo for about 8 months now! i love it! but i'm glad i found this because i've been having some issues lately. i do a bs wash once a week and it's always super clean the first day, looks GREAT the next 3 or 4 days. but by the last few days of the week it's just greasy and heavy and has little white flecks of buildup in it. gross! i'm not sure if this will solve my problem seeing as you weren't getting any results with the bs even right after.

even though the last few days of the week are sucky, it's still way better than shampoo! my hair is incredibly soft and strong. can't wait until i can one day say all the hairs on my head have never once been touched by shampoo!

thanks for this post :)


Serafina 4 years ago

Hi girl!

Your hair is gorgeous! I am doing the no-poo method too, and I'm 3 weeks into it, and just a couple of days ago I started noticing that my hairbrush and comb are DIRTY. No kidding, it looks like a 1000-year-old dust, and when I scrape it off and roll it in my fingers, it just looks kinda like a mix of dead skin and grease! (I am sorry for this kind of detail!!) I am horrified. Have you ever had anything like that happening to you? I have had the BS+ACV routine and have not changed anything in it. Thanks!


silverempiress profile image

silverempiress 4 years ago from Pennsylvania Author

I had the same issue. Even now if I scratch my head there is a little bit of white residue that comes off. I also notice this on the hair brush too. Especially if you are using an boar hair brush. Which is great for spreading the oil out but the brush will look awful. I have read a lot of other peoples experience with no poo and this seems to be a problem a lot of people have. Some people say it is the baking soda not washing out completely and other think it is a mineral buildup from hard water. If it is really bad you can use a tiny amount of shampoo mixed in with your baking soda and water mixture. My hair is still good for about 4 days even with that small amount of shampoo mixed in. I have found that doing this every once in a while helps with the white residue. I haven't done it yet, but I want to try adding tea tree oil to my mixture and see if that makes a difference.


Tiffany 4 years ago

What is the ratio that you were using i'm about 3 weeks into it and my hair is horrible. My kids' hair on the other hand looks perfect. But I can't blow dry my hair I feel dirty and greasy and grimmy


silverempiress profile image

silverempiress 4 years ago from Pennsylvania Author

3 weeks in I know I was using way too much baking soda and too much vinegar. Less is actually more when it comes to no poo I think. I have a spoon from the kitchen that I use to measure out the baking soda. Just one scoop mixed in a water bottle full of boiled or distilled water. A minuscule of either shampoo or soap just to break up the griminess might be needed from time to time. I have my hair on a 4-5 day washing cycle and I love that it can last so long. I have read that some people prefer white vinegar to the apple cider vinegar also. If it is really uncontrollable just take a enough conditioner to thinly coat your hands and work that through your hair. The small amount of shampoo or conditioner will just help you endure through the tough stages of no poo. Just enough to keep your hair from looking awful but still basically staying no poo.


clean hair 4 years ago

REALLY! HOW NASTY! Not washing your hair for days is totally disgusting!

,


silverempiress profile image

silverempiress 4 years ago from Pennsylvania Author

If its greasy okay yes, but when it is clean and looks the same on day 4 that it did on day 1 its awesome. You still shower, your just washing you hair less.


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 4 years ago from Texas

I just love it when these anonymous people without accounts pop in to share their meaningless blather.

"Clean hair" the notion that we must wash our hair every day and get it "squeaky clean" is a concoction of the cosmetic industry. They know darn good and well that doing this will damage your hair and cause you to need to buy more and more expensive products in an attempt to "correct" your "problem" hair.

Up until the mid 1970s, women did not wash their hair more often than once a week (bi-weekly was the norm) because it was well known that frequent washing was damaging. When your hair is damaged, your scalp produces extra oil to try to compensate. When you take good care of your hair and don't damage it, this doesn't happen, and your hair stays clean for a long time.


silverempiress profile image

silverempiress 4 years ago from Pennsylvania Author

You couldn't of explained it better.

Thanks


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 4 years ago from Texas

My pleasure! I am 4-square against the programming corporate America is attempting to foist off on all of us in the pursuit of money. They brainwash people in every aspect of living through clever advertising to make us think there is something wrong with us that can be fixed by purchasing and using a product. Sheer nonsense!


Rebekah 4 years ago

I am a licensed hairdresser and I can honestly say there is nothing wrong with not washing your hair for days at a time. Before I went no 'poo I went 4 days between shampoos. I'm looking forward to getting out of the transition phase, though!


ThatKid 4 years ago

Can you explain how to do the sock curls?

P.S. I am so glad I found this post!


Laura Schneider profile image

Laura Schneider 4 years ago from Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, USA

I confess, I've never even thought of using vinegar and baking soda on my hair, though I use it for cleaning darn near everything else in the house. I think I'll give this a try... thanks for the detailed descriptions. (I'm curious about the sock curls, too, though).


silverempiress profile image

silverempiress 4 years ago from Pennsylvania Author

If you go to my Heatless curling hub. There is a detailed description of how to do the sock curls and some others heatless hair curling methods including the sock bun, pin curls and twisted buns.

http://hubpages.com/style/Heatless-Hair-Curling-Te...


Laura Schneider profile image

Laura Schneider 4 years ago from Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, USA

Very cool! Thanks for pointing me in the right direction on the sock curls. I would be happy to become a follower, too.


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 4 years ago from Texas

Just posted my own no-poo experiences and am linking to you! :)


Laura Schneider profile image

Laura Schneider 4 years ago from Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, USA

I'm totally stupid here everyone, I apologize, but what's wrong with shampoo? Or, are you just trying to make a greener, DIY recipe? (I'm all for that!) Also, any advice on pool chlorine for active pool swimmers? (maybe new hub)


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 4 years ago from Texas

Shampoo and other soap/detergent products strip the natural oils from your hair. Aside from that, the vast majority of them are filled with chemicals, not the least of which is sodium laurel sulfate, which can cause damage to the central nervous system and has been implicated as a possible contributor to the development of multiple sclerosis. It is also know to cause damage to CNS development in infants, including blindness.

For swimming, wear a swim cap or pre-condition your hair with an oil, such as cocoa butter to help block having chlorine soak into your hair.


mshappy 4 years ago

I want my hair back to normal! Any idea?

My hair lost its shine and softness after using baking soda in my conditioner. Using baking soda has worked like a charm in the past so I don't know what is going on. I started using hairspray and wanted to take the build up out of my hair so that is what prompted the baking soda wash. Usually I just use conditioner on a daily basis.

I have no-poo'd and conditioned my hair a few times in the past few days and it still looks totally un-kept. I rinse with ACV rinse, too.


Laura Schneider profile image

Laura Schneider 4 years ago from Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, USA

Thanks, justmesuzanne! I came upon this article and it and the comments were so engaging... but I felt stupid not knowing the reasons behind ditching normal shampoo. Those are pretty good reasons! I know someone with M.S. and will pass this along. Thanks again!


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 4 years ago from Texas

Sure Laura!

mshappy - It takes a while for no-poo to work. Keep after it. It just keeps getting better and better. Just this morning when I got up and brushed my hair, I thought, "Wow! My hair has NEVER looked this good before!" I'm in my 50s! That's a LOOOONG time of not having my hair look its best! :D I've been using this method for a couple of months and adjusted from an apple cider vinegar rinse to a lemon juice & cocoa butter rinse for more conditioning. I wrote an article on it, which you can find at the top of my profile. :)


Rachel 4 years ago

Wow! I am so trying this. I've washed my hair with the baking soda and water mixture a little in the past, and I always used a light conditioner. I got kinda lazy though, and went back to shampoo. I have really long hair, so I want to make sure that I get proper conditioning so my hair doesn't get dry and tangled. Would you say apple cider vinegar is the best way to go? Do you like it better than honey or light chemical-free conditioner with this method?


nopoolover 4 years ago

The thing with baking soda is that it throws off the pH of your scalp. Your scalp is naturally slightly acidic, which is why acv is used- it restores the acidity of the scalp as well as closing the hair follicles, resulting in soft, shiny hair. :)

I'm another no 'pooer (fell off the wagon for a bit, but I'm about to get back on!), and I believe I was at about half a teaspoon before. I have some frizz issues related to pillow breakage, but my hair is softer and LIGHTER with no 'poo, as well as more visibly healthy. It doesn't smell like chemicals, and it looks significantly cleaner.

Also, as a note, you CAN put essential oils into the baking soda/acv mixes to scent your hair a bit! However, I do recommend checking to see which ones are okay- some are damaging to the scalp. :)


Misty 4 years ago

Just went no poo three days/four nights ago. I've washed twice now, once with baking soda/rinsed with vinegar, and once with lemon and cucumber/rinsed with apple cider vinegar. I love that m curls are more defined, I am able to go product free too, and my hair is slightly softer without an products to hold curls or to avoid frizz. I have to admit that my hair does have the white scum. I hope to address that in time, but for now I am simply trying to figure out the amounts of things I should use. I liked the lemon and cucumber a lot, despite the lemon bits looking like flakes in my hair. I simply rinsed my hair out for a long time, using a comb to force the bits out. Still, my husband didn't care for showering with lemon under his feet this morning. ;-) I think it makes the bathroom smell better though. LOL Anyway, I love going no poo - it's healthier for my hair, it's green for the environment - fewer plastic bottles, and it's cheaper on my pocket book. What's not to like about that?


Jessica 4 years ago

Ok so I am desperately trying to go no poo. I went a week and noticed how dry and brittle the ends were. I tried a coconut oil treatment. That was a complete disaster. So awful that I had to break down and wash my hair with shampoo twice and even use conditioner for the first time in 7 years. I have well water that is hard. So I'm thinking I'll use the distilled water. Thank you for that idea! However I felt like the ACV made my hair dry. Any suggestions?


silverempiress profile image

silverempiress 4 years ago from Pennsylvania Author

If you have hard water definitely boil the water before hand or get distilled water. My hair was gross until I discovered hard water is bad for no poo. I like the ACV it make my hair feel really soft but if that is not working a conditioner without any of the bad stuff like sulfates might be needed. Every once in a while I will put a light coating on the ends. Oil treatments are great but almost impossible to wash out with out some type of soap or shampoo.


mluna 4 years ago

Hi there I started this no poo about 6weeks ago, Im just wondering if anyone can tell me what to do if i workout 4 days out of the week, my hair really gets sweaty, how should i maintain my hair clean and keep it from smelling. I don't want to have to wash with bs and acv every day....any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


Lue 3 years ago

Hey I just decided recently to try and take the plunge of going no-poo.

I have straight mid-back length hair. So my ends tend to be dry and my scalp oily. I suggest a boar bristle brush, it will become your new best friend!

Make sure you go long strokes from the roots to the ends. It spreads the sebum to ends, giving it natural protection and leaving your hair feeling softer.


Laura Schneider profile image

Laura Schneider 3 years ago from Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, USA

I agree with Lue on the brushing of long hair: I had long hair for a long time, too.


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 3 years ago from Texas

mluna: I have found that just rinsing the hair with lukewarm water has good results between washings. Also, you can use cornstarch or a mixture of cornstarch and baking soda as a dry shampoo between washings. Just sprinkle a little on the top of your head around the crown and part and anywhere that tends to be oily. Ruffle it into your hair with your fingertips and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Brush it out. If you do it at night before bed, when you get up the dusty appearance of the powder will be gone!


Anonymous 3 years ago

Thank you so much for this post! I've been doing no-poo for about 3-4 weeks, and after the first week or 2 my hair started feeling gross (but looking fine... weird..). I read this post and decided to try boiling the water first and it worked, my hair feels nice now :)


nicola m 3 years ago

i am so glad ive found this post too

i have been no poo for 9 weeks and my hair is still totally greasy : (

i have been so strong but its starting to get to me now. my family are begging me to wash it. I will try boiling the water tonight : )

thank you : )


Everyday Miracles profile image

Everyday Miracles 3 years ago from Indiana, USA

I love using vinegar on my hair! Baking Soda didn't work for me since our water is so hard, but I may very well have a go at boiling the water before mixing it up. Generally I wash with conditioner and do a vinegar rinse and I get great results from my hair.


mscholistica 3 years ago

Hello,

Just wanted to give my experience with no 'poo.

It's been a month and it's worked great so far. I have changed the method a little bit to suit me. I have long dry, fine, coarse hair which gets oily on the scalp. I wash every 4 - 5 days.

I use 1 heap teaspoon of baking soda mixed with 150mls of water (I use a 350ml water bottle which I fill almost half). I shake it just after my hair is wet in the shower. Then I add a splash of ACV so that it activates and foams - I find this works better than water alone. I then carefully pour it over my scalp and start gently massaging my scalp. I then wring out my hair to allow the mixture to cover some of the hair near the scalp too. I then rinse my hair under warm water.

To condition my hair, I mix 1 tablespoon of ACV with 200mls of water - give it a little shake. To make sure it does my ends, I grap my hair tips into a ponytail and dip it into the bottle. Once my ends are drenched, I pour the rest over my head - this way you can ensure the ends are done. I then continue showering as normal without rinsing my hair. At the end, I gently squeeze out any excess ACV and allow my hair to air dry.

I don't suffer from any white residue which I believe is from the Baking Soda. When you mix it with water, it feels a little slippery. Unless you can rinse really thoroughly, I believe some of the mixture 'sticks' to your hair shafts which would have a little natural grease. Overtime, more baking soda sticks to the grease and accumulates. If you make the soda foam when you wash, the soda is released from the hair shaft without damaging the hair and perhaps removes more of the dirt and grease than soda and water alone.

Give it a try and see if it works for you?


mscholistica 3 years ago

...I also wanted add a few modifications for people.

If you have very fine, flyaway hair, the default measurements for the wash will be too much for you. My friend has very very fine, static and breakable hair before she first tried no 'poo and she found this worked best. Mix no more than 1 teaspoon of baking soda with about 200mls of water and ALWAYS add a drop of ACV. The foam is important because it provides a light cleansing action. If you don't foam, the baking soda is hard to wash off thoroughly with fine hair because you'll have to be under the shower for quite a long time which could damage your already fragile hair further.

When you wash it out with ACV, do not use more than 1 tablespoon to approximately 350mls of water. You basically want to start with a very weak solution on the first couple of times. So maybe after at least 3 days of no washing or until it gets really greasy - she does it when it starts to itch. She started with 1 flat teaspoon and worked upwards until her hair felt soft and clean.

She found that the traditional way of washing is hard to get right as you can overdo the ACV mix and make your hair even more greasy or not enough so that it doesn't come out clean and you accumulate the white residue. She now uses a spray bottle to spray the ACV mix after rinsing off the soda foam as a more convenient and gentler way to condition her hair.

For long hair with dry ends, cut off any split ends first. Use a weaker solution than recommended for the first couple of weeks and foam your baking soda mixture too. Use a wider mouth jar or bottle that is not too tall for the ACV mixture. Always dip the ends of your hair first before applying it to the rest of your head. Do NOT rinse the ACV solution, instead leave it dry naturally on your hair. The ACV is your conditioner and if you wash it out, you can potentially dry out your hair again as water itself can be drying to the hair due to its PH balance (hard water for example has a high PH of 8.5, therefore would need more ACV and less baking soda).

Remember, it's not the ACV itself that conditions your hair, it's the PH it creates when mixed with water which restores the natural PH of your hair. If you add too much ACV, you will change the PH of the water to be too acidic which will cause your cuticles to contract and your hair can potentially break or snap. So you may have to adjust the amount depending on your water type but a little goes a long way.

A note about the white residue. Baking soda is a high PH of 9 so is very alkaline. Alkaline solutions will cause the cuticles in your hair to open (which causes frizzy or flyaway hair). If you find that your hair is 'fluffy' after the wash, it means you need more ACV in your wash or use less baking soda. ACV is acidic which is meant to balance your hair after a soda wash. However, the traditional method requires you to miss out your scalp and only focus on the ends to prevent further grease. However, the consequence is lots of white residue forming because the soda has not been washed off properly - it's still sticking to your natural hair grease in the cuticles and shafts of your hair. Your hair near the scalp will also become very alkaline so you may experience the 'fluffy' syndrome too. Washing the soda mixture with water alone may not be enough (soft water is acidic so will work) because alkaline washed with alkaline doesn't work . Hence boiled water or a higher ration of ACV will be needed.

I hope this would be helpful for everyone and good luck going and staying no 'poo! My geeky friends helped me with the science bits. :)


Laura Schneider profile image

Laura Schneider 3 years ago from Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, USA

Um, sorry, but I have an ignorant question (I looked everywhere in the posts but couldn't find the answer):

What is ACV and where would I get it?

Thanks! :-)


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 3 years ago from Texas

Apple Cider Vinegar! :D Get it at the grocery store!


Laura Schneider profile image

Laura Schneider 3 years ago from Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, USA

Okay, I feel PARTICULARLY stupid now. :-) I totally should have gotten that one. Thanks for enlightening me, even though it was obvious. (Got some under my kitchen sink--no need to shop even.) Duh-me.


LoveMoi 3 years ago

Hi, I am on day 2 of the 'No Poo' method. I'm wondering, the idea I think is to achieve the perfect PH levels, since baking soda and vinegar seem to be trying to balance out an alkaline and acid. Is the purpose to achieve the "perfect balance"? I think it might be a good idea to find out the perfect balance for your hair, then figure out what the ratio is of bs and acv to achieve that PH, and you won't have to spend months tinkering? With today's technology, I'm sure an hour of intensive searching online could give you the answers to both questions... maybe there's a bs vs acv calculator out there somewhere? :) Also, with the greasyness, I tried the water only no poo method once long ago, and omg was my hair amazing, but it took a while to get there. I had to go through the "Funk" stage before I got those thick, luscious tresses. I would flip my head into a HOT shower each morning and take a soft paddle brush not a boar brush that just seemed to give me TONS of split ends, and then brush the hot water from my scalp through my hair. But I missed a few washes and couldn't recover without a cleaner so went back to shampoo. :(

**Can someone tell me how long it will take my hair with the bs and vinegar to pass the FUNK stage? I'd really appreciate it! Thanks!!


jess1561 profile image

jess1561 3 years ago from WV...

LoveMoi I think all the information you're looking for can be found right here:

http://babyslime.livejournal.com/174054.html


C.j. needs help 3 years ago

Hi gals! OK - so I've been doing no shampoo method for maybe 2-3 months (I have really thick, curly wavy hair), and and love it. My hair is always splitting at the ends and im crazy OCD with picking at it. Doing no poo ive noticed my hair getting thicker, stronger, and with less split ends, YAY!

HOWEVER - like i mentioned before, im crazy OCD with my hands in my hair, and since doing no poo, have noticed that after i play with my hairs, my fingers have a sort of grayish grime on them.

So im wondering, am i not using enough baking soda? I don't and have never been the hair brush type of girl (it ruins the curls) .. Is this maybe my problem? HELP! My hair LOOKS andFEELS amazing, so how can i get it to stop having that grime? Or is that grime natural?


silverempiress profile image

silverempiress 3 years ago from Pennsylvania Author

I'm not sure about the grime but I had a problem with white build up on my scalp.the only thing I found that helped it was mixing a small amount of say yes to carrots shampoo which is paraben free and mixing it with a small amount of baking soda and tea tree oil.I put it all in a little bottle and just a small amount goes really far and that really helped.


Jennifer 3 years ago

You have to rinse with the acidic vinegar to neutralize the base of the baking soda. If you don't, it's going to leave a slimy or soapy feeling as it reacts with the oils on your head.


Cammie 3 years ago

I've been no-pooing for over 3 months now but my hair is still super dull. Can anyone suggest a change (I am going to try boiled water) in the standard routine to boost shine? Thanks!


Lucy 3 years ago

Hi. Your post is wonderful! So detailed! And you're still sticking with it?! Wonderful!

I have been trying no poo for only a few days now. I'm wondering if I could get some advice. I'm not sure if it's the hard water or if I'm doing it wrong or if I'm just having issues! (Sorry if this is long)

I tried a few weeks ago but all of a sudden ended up with a thick mass of waxy hair on my head when washing and jumped back to shampoo. I tried again a few days ago. 1 T baking soda to 1 cup water. ACV rinse. First day was waxy but then I started boiling water - big improvement. But after washing today, my hair did not feel squeaky clean in shower. It hasn't felt that way ever in the shower. Although I did get that slippery feeling before rinsing that I've seen in some threads. I have hard water but my main problem is my hair feels heavy and even though I just got out of the shower, my hair doesn't feel wet but waxy. I also don't use the whole cup in one wash. Any suggestions?


silverempiress profile image

silverempiress 3 years ago from Pennsylvania Author

I had the waxy problem also. Truthfully even with the boiled water our water is so hard that the hair on the back of my head would just kind of lay there. I started mixing a very tiny amount of say yes to carrots, about a teaspoon just enough to get with the baking soda and water in a water bottle.I am up to about 5-6 days that I can go without washing it.its not even necessarily dirty them just limp and no volume so I will wash it then.it took about a year to get it where it now. Recently my scalp not my hair is very dry so my hair has done a 360 and I actually am putting argan oil in the roots at night and it still looks fine in the am.give it time and experiment with different mixture of baking soda to water to acv.


Lucy 3 years ago

Thank you so much for the advice! I will try that.


whitehairedgranny 3 years ago

I had dark brown hair when I was young. In my late teens-early twenties I started getting gray hairs. I dyed my hair for several years but became allergic to hair dye. That's when I found out I had completely white hair. I am now 60 years old and have had scalp problems with hair loss that have gotten worse in the last year. Medicated shampoos only helped a little. I finally had nothing else to lose so I tried washing my hair with baking soda and rinsing with apple cider vinegar. 2 months later, my scalp is healthier than it has ever been and I am regrowing hair and its black. Don,t be afraid to experiment with the amounts of baking soda or vinegar and expect a detox period for about a month. I am so glad I tried it.

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