My No Poo Experimental Journey (and Failure)

I know the title sounds harsh.  It's not easy to accept that going no poo did not work for me.  Considering I have this blog, considering I try to use the most natural ingredients possible on my skin, I wanted the no poo I've been hearing about for years to work for me as well.  Well, it didn't.

First, if you're interested in my journey up until now, you can check out my post How to Wash Hair Without Shampoo.  My goal was to not only go no poo, but also to just wash my hair with water.  It sounds crazy.  It might be.  But there are some women who claim to do just that and claim that their hair is not greasy.  I believe them, but they're hair must be completely different than mine.

For four weeks I washed my hair with eggs about once or twice a week and the rest of the time I used water.  From what I've read from others online, around a month or so you should be seeing some sort of decrease in oiliness.  This was the not the case for me.  Maybe I gave up too soon, I guess that's entirely possible, but the greasiness was not getting any better, in fact it seemed like it was getting worse.  I could not take it anymore.

My No Poo Experimental Journey (and Failure). Can so relate to this post. If you’ve been trying to go no poo and it’s not working for you, read this article! You’re not the only one.

Why I Stopped Doing the No Poo Method

You see, it started to mess with my head.  First of all, I felt disgusting.  

Here's the thing.  I have really fine hair and an oily scalp which was the very reason I wanted to go poo (I had this fantasy that my oily hair would disappear after a month forever).  But I'm not really sure it works for this hair combination.  Plus we have notoriously hard water here in San Diego leaving hair feeling more on the heavy side.  I even bought a shower head filter to remove minerals, but alas, it was no use.

Now I guess if you have thicker hair and a drier scalp, going rogue and just washing your hair with water might work.  And washing your hair with an egg certainly and amazingly cuts down on the grease, but my hair still didn't feel clean.  I know the feeling of having clean hair may not be "natural" per se, but for me, I just didn't feel good or happy about it.  I was hopeful for the first three weeks, but by the end of the month, I just wanted to go out in public and not look like greasy.

I feel like I need to clarify that before this I was not using the traditional chemical laden commercial shampoo.  I had tried so many freakin natural shampoos that I just wasn't that happy with.  The closest I got was the shampoo/conditioner in one by John Masters which truthfully I really liked.  In fact I went back to this shampoo early last week when I abruptly felt like no poo wasn't working for me (and I must say the feeling of clean hair was totally awesome, so so awesome).  But I also love the idea of not buying a plastic bottle of shampoo every month or so.  

So I'm still experimenting.  The latest is trying shampoo bars.  I'm still on the fence.  I just got mine this week so I've tried it three times.  The first time it left my hair feeling very heavy and almost sticky (most likely from the hard water).  Then I read that it's best to clarify your hair first and also rinse it with diluted apple cider vinegar.  So the next time I did that and it was better.  Not sticky and my hair felt very soft.  Still didn't have that true clean feeling, but it looked clean.  The third time I think I put too much baobab oil on my hair as a leave in conditioner so it felt a little heavy.  I'm going to give it another week or so and try it with very very little oil since my hair is fine.  Also I feel the apple cider vinegar rinse is a must.

It's all so very complicated.

One thing I've learned from this is hair is a very different playing field than skin.  My skin reacted wonderfully to all natural ingredients and is very low maintenance.  My hair though is being a total pain.  But I'm still hopeful that I will find a solution that is both natural and effective.  And as always I will keep you posted.

Note: This post was originally published in 2014 on my former blog, Bohemian Kate.

Update March 2016:

This is a very late update, but I'm still getting comments on this post so I thought why not.  I have not gone back to no poo, nor have any plans too.  It didn't work for me and it sounds like it didn't work for quite a few of you out there too!  No shaming here babes.  

I'm still using John Master's Zinc & Sage Shampoo/Conditioner and their Citrus & Neroli Detangler as well.  The shampoo is the best I've found on the natural side that doesn't leave my hair dried out. 

Update October 2016:

In the past six months I've tried out a couple of "natural" shampoos (with very little ingredients), but unfortunately I felt like they did not clean my hair. I'm back to using John Master's, but this time I'm using his Lavender & Rosemary Shampoo for Normal Hair. I'm not using any conditioner at this time, just a tiny bit of argan oil on my ends after I towel dry my hair, and my hair feels just as conditioned.

Sometimes I also do a white vinegar rinse, which makes my hair feel especially clean.


Salt & Ritual is an affiliate for some of the products linked in this article, which means that when you purchase products through the links in this article we will receive a small commission.  There is no extra cost to you when purchasing through these links. And support through affiliate links helps to us to continue to run this blog and keep providing content. We only recommend products or services we personally believe in. Any questions regarding affiliate links or anything else, please contact us using the contact link in the footer navigation menu. Thanks a bunch!

Disclaimer: All information on Salt & Ritual is based on our experience and is provided for educational and general informational purposes only. The topics discussed in this post may not be suitable for your particularly situation and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Always seek professional medical advice before trying anything you read online. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, and your individual results may vary.