Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
24 Jun

Pooh-Poohing the ‘Poo

Modern life presents endless deviations from our primal beginnings. Some clearly have no place in the success of our species (e.g. Ding Dongs). Others may present unprecedented, welcome benefits (e.g. year round access to a veritable cornucopia of Primal goodies like macadamia nuts – my personal favorite). Finally, there are those “additions,” current customs really, that feel idiosyncratic but relatively innocuous. The contemporary obsession with hair might qualify for this eccentric but harmless category – or maybe not. What about the goop we slather on our noggins? Is it another case of sanitizing ourselves into an unhealthy existence? Will I become an eternal greaseball without my daily indulgence in froth and foam? There’s a movement afoot – “poo-less,” as it’s often called – that has something to say about it. Kicking the suds habit, poo-less advocates suggest, not only allows for less toxic, less expensive living but opens the door to a better head of hair itself.

Even the most committed product junkie has to admit that our culture’s fixation on perfect tresses has long since morphed into a marketing frenzy. Products and services galore seek to manipulate every hair into strict submission. Somehow it’s never enough though. There’s always another product to fix something else – likely the problem the first one caused. Increasingly, we’re realizing that we pay a bigger price than the receipts would indicate (although they’re nothing to shake a stick at either!). Conventional shampoos are universally riddled with noxious but unregulated chemicals that have been linked to everything from endocrine system disruption to neurological and immune system damage. Among the biggest offenders, according to the Environmental Working Group, include the ubiquitous phthalates (for fragrance), parabens (for preservatives), coal tar (for dyes and dandruff) and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate/Sodium Laureth Sulfate (for lather and de-greasing power). Other risky chemicals include 1,4-Dioxane and methylisothiazolinone.

Our bodies take quite a beating for the sake of our hair. (Hey, but that woman in the jungle shower on the commercial looked like she was having fun. I’ll have what she’s having – poisons be damned!

But put aside the toxins for a minute. What about natural, toxin-free shampoos? What’s wrong with them? (First off, some aren’t as natural as they claim.) According to poo-less advocates, though, even the “best” shampoos strip and damage our hair. We feel like greaseballs after a couple days without a wash because our scalps are constantly on overdrive trying to compensate for the persistent dryness caused by – the shampoo! The need for a cascade of other hair products (e.g. the conditioners, the gel, the hair spray, the detanglers, etc.) is the consequence of the shampoo’s initial damage. Talk about digging a hole to use a ladder to wash the basement window!

When you read the stories of the poo-less, I have to say that the anecdotal evidence is pretty convincing. After the initial transition of 2-6 weeks (hint: scarves, bandanas, ponytails), people say they have unprecedented softness, volume, natural shape and style. No more frizzies or fly aways or whatever else plagued them before. Several folks on the forum have shared their experiences, and I’d definitely recommend checking out Richard’s experiment at Free the Animal. The poo-less movement has caught enough media attention that even more conventionally-minded publications have called upon their own staff people to give it a whirl and then share their stories. Although a few folks eventually throw up their hands, the vast majority give it a thumbs up. Many even say it’s the best thing that ever happened to their hair.

So, what does a poo-less routine look like exactly? Although every fan has his/her own take, there seem to be a few common routines. Some people gradually wean themselves off by increasing the number of days between shampoos. Others rinse the roots with warm water and use a little conditioner on the ends. Still others use a hot towel method by stroking their hair repeatedly with a hot, soaked towel to distribute their scalp’s natural oils throughout the hair. A large portion of the poo-less group seems to use some combination of baking soda-water mix as a daily/occasional poo-less wash. Many in this camp then do a vinegar rinse (apple cider being the most commonly mentioned version) to “condition” hair. Another basic kitchen combo used is cornstarch and lemon juice. Simple, cheap and healthy, they say. For those who want something a little more than baking soda, there are specially formulated (and marketed) poo-less products like the well-known Deva line. I know a lot of folks use Dr. Bronner’s as well.

For those of us who don’t want to go poo-less, what Primal perspective is there to be gleaned from these folks’ efforts? Their satisfaction, I think, is a reminder that modern living suggests “needs” that really don’t exist. Our bodies, left to their own devices, really can take care of themselves. There’s something to that natural beauty concept. The truth is, Grok probably wasn’t the stinky, disheveled, unsightly figure many imagine him to have been.

Asking whether we really need shampoo begs the question of whether we really need any of the personal products that line our medicine cabinets. If we ditched the creams, conditioners, gels, cosmetics, deodorants, sprays, and powders for a week, would our lives fall apart? Would anyone else even notice? (Probably not.) Would we eventually get used to the simplified routine? Would we end up enjoying it like the poo-less proponents? One thing’s for sure: we’d probably have a little more money in our pockets and little more time on our hands. As for our bodies, after their transition period is over and the dust finally settles, they’d likely be grateful to get back to doing what they’re built to do.

Have your own poo-less stories or tips you’d like to add? Questions or commentary on going au naturale? Thanks for reading, everybody. Have a great day!

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. FYI: If you use baking soda and/or ACV, you can’t use them everyday or they will dry out your hair, especially baking soda. When you wash with baking soda, you should always follow with an ACV rinse because the alkalinity of the soda will do a number on your hair. If you color your hair you shouldn’t use baking soda at all, since it will strip the color.

    I’ve been ‘poo-less for years except for when I go to the salon. I use an acv rinse to wash once a week, and every other day I “wash” with just water and good old fashioned friction. Rubbing you fingers into your scalp does a lot more than you think it would. (Just like using a loofah or body brush to exfoliate skin will do a lot without using much – or any, for some – soap.)

    Again, I have very curly hair so my needs are very different. I have the weird combo of an oily scalp and dry hair-because of my hair texture, the sebum from my scalp can’t travel down the hair shaft, so it tends to be dry, hence the necessity of conditioner. If I had straight hair I probably would use the kind of mild shampoo/soap once in a while, because the oil from my scalp would become visibly obvious, but just washing with water and friction should still be enough for a a few days, at least.

    Check out message boards and blogs dedicated to haircare, especially curly hair. You’ll find a lot of information on going ‘poo-less.

    Lena wrote on June 26th, 2010
  2. Hey what do you think about NowFoods stone deodorant?Also what do you people use for washing your private parts lol?

    Rustin Alexandru wrote on June 26th, 2010
  3. Okay, I’m doing the “poo-less” experiment…It’s been since Tuesday night when I lasted washed my hair with shampoo. My scalp does feel a bit greasy, but it’s not noticable like I thought it’d be. One thing I really do like that I didn’t plan on happening is my hair now has loose curls to it (very cool!). Oh, and I can use a scrunchy as a ponytail holder without it falling out after a few minutes (stays on all day).

    When I told my husband that I was thinking of ditching shampoo, he “forbid” me. LOL. I think I’ll wait a month and then reveal to him what I’ve been up to (that is, if my hair doesn’t turn into a rat’s nest or something).

    Patsy wrote on June 26th, 2010
  4. I’ve been using baking soda and water for the past 1.5 years. I rinse with fresh brewed green tea (cooled to room temp)and acv.I would highly recommend green tea for anyone’s hair. If you have scalp problems (dandruff, dermatitis, psoriasis), green tea is a magic potion.

    Chase wrote on June 26th, 2010
  5. A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far away, Andy Rooney once did a spot on shampoos for 60 Minutes. After ridiculing all the marketing claims of the different shampoo products, he finally praised Prell, because they just called their product, “shampoo”, nothing more. At the end, he revealed his own chosen product, a bar of soap.

    Zohar wrote on June 27th, 2010
  6. Didn’t work for me. Went 3 months without poo, body soap, and deodorant, hair was greasy and stiff. I came back from college and parents complained about BO from 10 feet away. Unless 3 months isn’t enough, I would say this isn’t for everyone.

    Granted my hair is more oily a day without poo than it was 3 months without poo, it’s still too oily going no-poo for me to stick with it.

    Jess wrote on June 27th, 2010
  7. I thought this was going to be an article about how cleaning ourselves after number 2 is not primal, or should be done with green leafy vegetables.

    Andre Sanchez wrote on June 27th, 2010
  8. Interesting. I could see trying the poo-less thing, but no deodorant? I don’t know. I went to the University of California Santa Cruz, a school a lot of naturalists attend. My English class was right after a Zen of Something class and oh, my god, the stench from the students before us was so bad, we had to start class late every time in order to air out the room. One day it was so bad we held class outside. I think most people don’t realize they really stink. It’s called accommodation. People just get used to their smell. Most smokers don’t realize they smell horrible. So, I am hesitant to believe a lot of these “I don’t where deodorant and I smell good” stories.

    Carrie wrote on June 27th, 2010
  9. I’m down with the primal eating but you are going to have to pry my shampoo/soap/deodorant out of my cold, dead hands. Anyone who thinks they can go without soap/deodorant and *not* stink is fooling themselves. I’ve worked out next to you at the gym and you do smell. A lot.

    Now, I do think that using the purest and least chemical-filled products is common sense, but going without? Not gonna happen.

    Amblus wrote on June 28th, 2010
  10. This is so fascinating! All this time my husband has been right! He always said I should forego soap on my face and that it was making my acne worse. I wear make up and have to use something to get it off. I sprinkle some powdered milk in my hands, dilute it and use it for soap. It works wonders and does not have a funky smell. Then coconut oil for moisture. Way better than the acne soap I was using and far less expensive.

    I heard from someone about redistributing oils but never had the guts to try it because of my greasy scalp–very noticeable after one day But now that I think about it, I’m always scratching my scalp and touching it all day because it’s irritated. Perhaps that’s part of the grease issue. I will be experimenting and weaning. It’s a drag having to always shampoo.

    What about glycerine soap for occasional washing? I love an oil based, great smelling soap that I found. I know the lady who makes it and it’s 100% natural so I’ll stick with that as a luxury item, because it is expensive. I’m sure dried milk would work as a body cleanser too, but occasionally.

    Deodorant–tried the crystal and every natural brand out there, and does not help. On another note I’d be interested to hear about natural tooth whitening through diet…and do the same things that cause yellow teeth also cause body odor?

    Kristina wrote on June 28th, 2010
  11. ps, I was also wondering about what our ancestors used for cleanser…obviously when they did use cleansers it was far less often than us, but I believe they made soaps out of tallow?

    Kristina wrote on June 28th, 2010
  12. You could ask them but they all already died from infections and blood poisoning.

    Okay, I kid, but really? Soap is not the enemy. For sure, people go way overboard with products and over-wash and strip their skin and hair of oils but cleaning your body and hair is not going to poison or kill you.

    Amblus wrote on June 28th, 2010
  13. I tried to shave with coconut oil as a shaving foam, but I found that my razor got all clogged up from the grease, which reduces it’s ability to shave.

    Anyone else had this experience?

    Coconut oil as an after-shave works fine though!

    Tarun wrote on June 29th, 2010
  14. Been reading loads of shampoo (and other ‘beauty’ products) bottles since reading this post … scarry … trying no-poo, day 5, tried the bicarb soda and CV rinse but hair does feel like it’s sitting on my head! Have come across this range for UK readers – have ordered some to see but check out the ingredients, I reckon this is as close as you can get for natural ingredients other than going poo-less. they do toothpaste too.

    Kelda wrote on June 29th, 2010
  15. It’s been a week since I’ve lasted used shampoo in my hair and soap on my face. I’m happy so far with the results. My scalp is a little bit more greasier than normal, but the dandruff is gone and my hair has more body to it (if that makes any sense).

    With my face, I’ve always had a problem with blackheads. Tried just about everything under the sun to get rid of them, but it’s not washing with soap that’s actually getting rid of those nasties. The blackheads on my nose are almost all gone. Still waiting for the ones on my chin to go. All in good time, I guess.

    One problem I’m having with going soapless on my face is for some reason I’m getting lots of dry skin there. I’m not a spring chicken anymore, so facial dry skin is nothing new to me, but it’s quite bad right now (kinda painful). I’m also wondering if this could have something to do with me eating a fast food pizza the other day because I did get a headache shortly after eating it. I gave up all grains and dairy some time ago, so maybe my body is rebelling?

    Patsy wrote on June 29th, 2010
  16. Since Sunday I have gone without shampoo or conditioner or shower gel, and started using coconut oil and baking soda for deodorant. So far so good. I did use baking soda on my hair and face this morning, and my hair is doing well. I have used several different brands of antiperspirant, and always had odor problems by afternoon. With the coconut oil and baking soda, I have not had this problem. I sweat but don’t stink. I’m amazed.

    D. wrote on June 29th, 2010
  17. I tried the baking soda and apple cider vinegar a couple of days ago after reading this… it was definitely different! But my scalp seems to have gotten ever drier and my hair went a bit static and fuzzy. :(

    Sara wrote on June 29th, 2010
  18. I have been eating natural since last August, and along with that, have switched to natural hygene products. During that time, I have tried a lot of different things to try to get rid of my dandruff, my latest effort being shampoo bars and ACV (prior to last August I have used a lot of medicated shampoo). Since Monday, I have been rinsing my hair with water only, then ACV, then rinsing it out again, scrubbing my scalp with each step. It seems to be working.

    I love it when my hair smells like flowers as much as anyone else, but if shampoo is what has been irritating my scalp since high school, then I am going to do without and it will be worth it. I don’t stink, I shower everyday, I will still use natural skin soap and I will still use some form of deodorant. I would recommend as natural products as possible, but if your hair is healthy and you love your shampoo and don’t mind spending the money, then more power to you. Those of us who have skin problems are grateful that we have finally found a solution, so be happy for us! :o) Also, everyone is different, just because it didn’t work for you and you went back to shampooing, doesn’t mean it won’t work for someone else.

    Stephanie wrote on June 30th, 2010
    • every tried rosewater to get your hair to smell like flowers (well, like roses) again?

      mm wrote on August 4th, 2010
  19. Hi, about the Crystal deodorant I been using it for about a week and it has been working great. I work on an AC environment but I also do some rock climbing at the local gym and outdoors.
    Also I think for the daily amount I use everyday it should last for several months, maybe a year!

    Luis wrote on June 30th, 2010
    • Because the crystal deodorant keeps popping up in this thread – has anybody had a problem with extreme dryness and/or irritation using it on a regular basis?

      I think the stuff works great and I’d love to use it, but my underarms became (and stayed) RAW – and flaming red – after using it for a few days. FWIW, I shave my underarms daily and it’s possible that that contributed to the irritation.

      G.G. wrote on June 30th, 2010
      • Yes! I had real problems with the crystal deodorant. Not so bad if clothes were covering the area but as soon as I put on strappy summer tops & my underarms were uncovered, my skin would go so red & sore (painful actually, constantly felt as if I’d just waxed!). I dreaded the summer because of it, not realising that the deodorant was responsible!

        Answer… stopped using it. Now I use Toms of Maine deodorant sticks (the rose scented one) and it’s great & moisturising. Lets you sweat freely but leaves you smelling sweet as…well… roses! & has lasted me over 4 months so far & still going! Perhaps there are ones even more natural but I’ve never got on with any other ones so far. NB: I wax though so not sure if it stings after shaving or not..

        If I ever go back to the crystal one I react in the same way after a couple of days. But I do keep the travel one I have in my bag for ’emergencys’ if I stay anywhere & forget my usual deodorant! (rather than just throwing it in the bin!).


        Liz wrote on July 9th, 2010
  20. Just want to chime in about the deodorant – I used to be one of those people who couldn’t hide the stink no matter which deodorant I used. I had to use antiperspirant, and then that crap would bleach all the armpits of my clothes. Since following PB I just…don’t…stink. I don’t. I use the Crystal Rock roll-on stuff just to be safe, but unless I exercise really heavily I am stink-free. Same goes for my feet, and I have been running around in flats with no socks most days. I am amazed!

    Oh – and after going 1 week poo-less and mostly soap-less, for some weird reason I got freaked out and used both this morning. My hair feels so dry and unmanageable! I just don’t think my body needs or wants this stuff. So I’m going with ACV for my hair from now on. After showering (really just rinsing off) I’ve been putting almond oil on my skin, and it’s been great. The oil (I scent it with lavender essential oil) is great for moisturizing and gives me a little sweet scent. But I do still worry about not “washing” my armpits, feet or privates over the long term. What do others use for that, if anything? I don’t want to go the Dr. Bronner’s route – that stuff has always dried me out horribly. I’ve rather go with something like ACV/baking soda/vegetable oils/etc.

    Maggie wrote on June 30th, 2010
  21. I wash my hair 2 maybe 3 times a week and have noticed a considerable difference. My only concern would be the deodorant suggestion. Thats one aspect of modern life I will nto give up. After spending two years in the Middle Eastern desert I have come to realize this is an important factor in our evolutiona nd should be safe gaurded.

    Matt wrote on June 30th, 2010
    • …as long as whatever deodorant you use doesn’t cause your body to overcompensate by oversweating… which is what most deos seem to do to varying degrees to people

      mm wrote on August 4th, 2010
  22. Hi Maggie – once again I have to recommend something by Dr. Ben Kim – I sure hope Mark doesn’t mind!

    He wrote a great little article about not using soap on private parts.

    Kelly wrote on June 30th, 2010
  23. The crystal deodorant tore my underarms up pretty good. I let them heal and tried again. Still the same issue. i don’t shave my underarms, so shaving might not be the issue. I think it is the salt drying the skin causing irritation. What brand of coconut oil? Is it the same stuff you use to cook with? I have not shampooed for the las three days and stopped using soap, save for the under arms and the nether region. no issues yet. I am using plain baking soda for deodorant. working outside and 2 workouts a day and no issues.

    CMT wrote on June 30th, 2010
  24. hmmmmm…tried going poo-less about a year ago but gave up in the transition period as I couldn’t get the bs/acv mixture right for my hair. After reading this, I might try it again…

    I have used coconut oil/baking soda with a couple of drops of tea tree oil for deodorant for over a year. I used to sweat A LOT and now, I barely sweat at all unless I’m working out.

    Sabrina wrote on June 30th, 2010
  25. I shave with a mustache and beard trimmer (small set of rechargeable clippers, basically) with the guard removed. I go against the grain and am able to get a pretty close shave that way w/o any irritation. no product of any kind needed at all. Plus I prefer the look of a ‘5 0’clock shadow’ to a perfectly close shave, which has always looked unnatural to me.

    sean wrote on June 30th, 2010
  26. Been poo-less for a week and seems like my hair is already adapted! Very little grease and looks shinier than ever.
    Nobody seems to have noticed my poo-less life. And when I tell people they are surprised!
    I still use body wash sparingly for certain body parts though.
    Also I think I will still use deodorant for those intense climbing days.
    Now what to do with all the shampoo I have…

    byung wrote on June 30th, 2010
  27. “But I do still worry about not “washing” my armpits, feet or privates over the long term. What do others use for that, if anything?”

    I’ve found, over the last six months, that water alone works just fine (actually *better* than soap etc.). A thorough daily rinse is all one needs to stay clean.

    I think a paleo diet also helps reduce unpleasant body odour.

    Valda Redfern wrote on June 30th, 2010
  28. “I’m keeping my deodorant and shampoo and soap, and toothpaste, and shaving and getting regular haircuts. Primal diet, primal workouts, MODERN HYGEIENE. Damn hippies… ;)”

    And no one is stopping you from choosing all that!

    Lots of us are extremely pleased with our results in forgoing the “modern” :)

    Ann Duncan wrote on June 30th, 2010
  29. Did 2.5 months of no-poohing and hated it. My hair never felt soft or had volume, or smelled great like it always did before. Yes, after a while it is no longer as greasy as you when you start, but there’s always a layer of some sort of build-up that doesn’t go away no matter how much you try to wash it off with soda and vinegar.
    I was so happy when I finally washed it with some organic shampoo.

    chocolatechip69 wrote on June 30th, 2010
  30. CMT – I like Mountain Rose Herbs for coconut oil. 1 gallon refined is $21 – cheap enough for body use. 1 gallon unrefined (better for cooking/food applications) is $37. You can use unrefined oil for the body, though, it just isn’t as cost-effective.

    Tropical Traditions is also a good source of coconut products (as well as palm oil).

    G.G. wrote on June 30th, 2010
  31. This feels totally redundant, given the length of comments, but I’m going to chime in anyway…

    I have butt-length hair. I have used only baking soda for well over a year, with an occasional ACV rinse.

    I mix baking soda and water in a bowl to a paste, use that in the shower to scrub my scalp. I use a pure soap (made by ex-roommate, no additives) in shower. I shower about 2x week. No deoderant, a dash of baking soda if I feel smelly.

    I let my hair mostly dry naturally, then use my fingers to “rake out” the tangles. Once dry, I use a detangler comb (cuz it’s what I have!) to comb it. I braid my hair to sleep at night since I toss a lot in my hammock and the length gets caught under me.

    I LOVE being able to skip all the HBA aisles in the grocery. These days, I pretty much only shop the perimeter and the baking aisle… [g]

    curiousalexa wrote on June 30th, 2010
  32. Quick question for those who are soapless: Do you use a washrag/washcloth or nothing while showering? I’m trying to figure out if there’s a scrub factor that exfoliates dead skin and dirt or if your body takes care of that naturally, too.

    miomymio wrote on June 30th, 2010
  33. @miomymio: I don’t use a washrag – I don’t find it necessary to scrub.

    Valda Redfern wrote on June 30th, 2010
    • Thanks — good to know!

      miomymio wrote on June 30th, 2010
      • I use lots of stuff like brushes to exfoliate any excess dead skin cells that are still clinging onto me, it seems to work

        mm wrote on August 4th, 2010
  34. My husband and I tossed all our chem-laden HABA products about 2 years ago and haven’t looked back since.

    We use 70% isopropyl rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle as deodorant and it works like a charm. The crystal never took the odor away for me…

    For everything else, if I can’t EAT it, I don’t put it on my body! (it doesn’t have to taste good, the point is, it’s got to be food-grade)

    So…three companies I love for products:, and (no affiliation), also . So many products and they are all good and totally chem-free.

    I use lavender essential oil from Young Living essential oils for my face first and then organic coconut oil (1 bought a gallon from mt rose herbals, although I am boycotting them because they ripped me off for shipping and wouldn’t allow me to cancel my order, even though I emailed them within 2 minutes of placing the order, so I am going with tropical traditions next time). I use the coconut oil on my entire body instead of lotion and it is HEAVEN.

    I use Braggs ACV as conditioner, but now I am also going to try the aloe vera gel method mentioned above as well, as I have gray hair and it gets quite dry.

    Aveda products are NOT natural, they use SOME natural ingredients, but they also load their stuff up with CRAP, read the labels. Same with Tom’s of Maine. CRAP. Try, he is great and has the only tooth soap that doesn’t make my husband’s mouth break out in sores.

    My hair and skin look great and I feel so much better since we kicked the chemicals out of our cabinets!

    Jessica Waters wrote on June 30th, 2010
    • I suggest you follow your own food grade rule and switch to ethyl alcohol.

      Sonia wrote on July 1st, 2010
  35. Hi everyone, first time poster.

    this is great. I’ve just started trying to follow the paleo diet and exercise from a previously good diet position and poor exercise one but before that I had got rid of all nasties from the bathroom and stopped with the poo. I have thinning hair and I really think that it is thickening up and sprouting new ones in receded areas. It won’t come back but I think I may have halted it. I think I was allergic to SLS and Parabens because my skin has cleared up a lot too. I use Aloe vera as a moisturiser and that is superb and is closing up pores left right and centre.

    It’s nice to meet like minded people.


    Anthony in London UK

    Anthony Moore wrote on July 1st, 2010
  36. Does anyone who showers feel the use of a water filter is the best way to go also? I don’t like to feel I am showering in chlorinated water, so I do use a filter. Have learned much from others posts as I am very new to Mark’s daily apple. Thanks

    Peggy Holmes wrote on July 1st, 2010
  37. I’ve been shampooing 2-3 times a week for the past couple years (rinsing and using conditioner on alternate days); I thought it seemed to be working pretty well, but my scalp would often be itchy, mostly in the morning. This post inspired me to take things to the next level, so I went the past week without shampoo (did one shower sans soap, but figured I’ll just take baby steps!). My scalp wasn’t itchy, hair wasn’t greasy (probably because I have weaned off the shampoo already)! I also have been putting a little coconut oil on my dry hair as a de-frizzer- it works great!

    Well, I washed my hair with my regular shampoo last night (Redken Blond Glam) and my scalp was all itchy this morning; poo-less is the way to go for me! The next step will be ACV and no conditioner, and maybe no soap.

    *Bonus use for coconut oil- I haven’t done this consistently enough to say whether it really works, but swishing around the oil in your mouth (called “oil-pulling”) for about ten minutes is said to be great for healthy gums. It seems like a long time, but I do it while doing my makeup, etc. in the morning, then spit it out, brush my teeth, then take my probiotic. Ah coconut oil, is there anything you can’t do?

    Julia wrote on July 1st, 2010
  38. Oil pulling with coconut makes your teeth so white.

    I haven’t used deodorant for about 15 years and love it. Sometimes after working out, if I feel I need protection, I just use tea tree oil.


    Connie wrote on July 1st, 2010
  39. I am considering trying baking soda+ water shampoo and the ACV as conditioner.
    Do you guys use a hair dryer after using these ingridients or do you let your hair dry by itself? I cant really leave it be, seeing as its quite cold where I live. Would it affect my hair if I used a hair dryer?
    Also, how long does it take to adjust to this routine? Will my hair look horrible for the first few weeks? My hair is on the straighter side and doesnt tangle much as it is.

    Kalps wrote on July 2nd, 2010
  40. Hi Kalps – I tried it a bunch this past week and a half – and I have to say – my (VERY) dry hair got drier. I tried overnight coconut oil twice and still, dry as straw.

    You said you have straight hair so you might be ok and love it as much as others have mentioned…but as a wavy girl, I just need more moisture. So, I’m not quite ready to try water only (which intrigues me and gives my boyfriend GORGEOUS hair) and have settled on conditioner only. At least until whatever damage I must’ve done with my heat styling tools has subsided.

    I’m air dry only for now, until I can get some health back! From what I understand, in addition to the BS/ACV protocol, there is also water only, conditioner only and sebum only (the last one sure to turn a few stomachs!)

    I “washed” my hair with conditioner last night…and it squeaked! As in squeaky clean…what the heck do they put in conditioner?!?

    Kelly wrote on July 2nd, 2010
    • Hi Guys,

      I’m on day 8 poo-less – the second day my hair did feel greasy although it looked ok, by day 4/5 I tried the once through with a bicarb of soda rinse followed by CV rinse, haven’t done that since as it did seem to dry my hair out a bit. Since day 6 my hair has felt fine, before that it felt like it was sitting on my head a bit (if you know what I mean!). It looks really good now – not unwashed or dirty and it doesn’t smell, it does feel different, slightly waxy to run my fingers through it (but to be honest it often used to feel like that after a visit to the salon with all the ‘product’ they would use in styling!).

      I have a shower each morning (plus after exercise) when I throughly ‘wash’ my hair with just the warm shower water and I rub my scalp with my fingers as if I was using shampoo. Yesterday in the bath I let my hair soak in the warm water for a while and used a tiny amount of lavender oil to rub through the ends. I’ve tried both using a drier and just letting it dry – no difference to the feel, obviously I can style it more if I use the drier. You don’t need styling products either my hair seems to ‘stay put’ now all by itself!

      My hair was pretty much straight, but this no-poo routine is creating curls – this is a good thing! I have mostly naturally white hair, the remaining dark (10% or so) is bleached out and I have wild coloured streaks (currently blue and red) in it. Not sure whether I’ll keep up the regime of having the roots bleached every couple of months or not now I’ve gone all non-chemical!

      I’m in the process of growing my hair, it was uber short in January but has been uncut since then, aiming for flowing Grokkette tresses LOL! How great it will feel unshampooed when much longer I don’t know … watch this space I guess!

      I’ve also ditched soap (or mostly – have found a natural product with lavender oil for when I feel the need), I’m just using a face cloth to wash myself in the warm water. Also stopped using deodrant although I was never a massive user before. I have found a 100% natural one which I will be using on occasion if required.

      So far natural beats everything – my skin is much less dry, is looking healthier. Oh yes, cut out the conventional toothpaste too (reading labels was sure an eye-opener), just dip toothbrush in bicarb soda powder – makes them feel really clean. I do have some natural toothpaste ordered though as I miss the minty flavour in my mouth!

      Kelda wrote on July 2nd, 2010
      • Another good looking website for all things natural beauty … … this really does seem to be a range of shampoos with nothing in there that shouldn’t be … might just have to give it a go if the waxy feeling continues!

        Kelda wrote on July 4th, 2010
        • Well nearly two weeks in and the totally natural shampoo from the above link arrived today along with some conditioner. The ingredients are awesome, and natural and they smell great.

          My hair has continued to feel ‘waxy’ and with the amount of swimming I do has become somewhat unruly so I just used the natural stuff and it felt great and my hair feels really clean and soft without me feeling bad about the ingredients therein!

          The link I gave further up includes an ingredient that although naturally derived seems to be one handmadenaturals make a point of saying they don’t have. The natural toothpaste works ok too.

          It’s been a really interesting exercise and made me MUCH more aware of the horrible chemicals I was using and that are abound in various ‘beauty’ products.

          Kelda wrote on July 7th, 2010
      • Just put the baking soda in a small container and drip about 25 drops or so of peppermint essential oil into it and mix/shake it around. You can add more if you need it to be more minty, but this is pretty minty for me!

        Lori wrote on July 9th, 2010
    • I tend to have very dry ends, even with using a bristle brush regularly (shampoo/conditioner or no). One thing that I find helps is to use a SMALL amount of oil (which oil would depend on the time of year and your hair type – I’ll use jojoba, avocado, camellia, or coconut) on my hair while it’s still wet. Just enough to very thinly coat the dry areas and hold a bit of water in the shaft. I like to add a bit of rosemary and lavender (no more than 10% total volume) to it for smell and shine.

      One other thing that helps with the dryness is spritzing rosewater on anything and everything. As long as it’s actual hydrosol and not “flavor” added to water (what you’ll find at most food shops), it works nicely for a little boost.

      Even better is a bit of hydrosol (or distilled water) followed up by a bit of oil to hold the moisture in.

      Ginger wrote on July 4th, 2010

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