If you’ve been around the web in the health or soap discussions, you might recognize No-poo as meaning “No Shampoo”. Let’s talk scalp and hair.

I don’t have much hair. Right now the longest pieces might reach 2 inches. See?
I’m also not above just taking clippers to my head and getting rid of it all. I’ve grown my hair out and sometimes I will have hair that might actually reach 6 inches…. though that look is usually short lived as it’s not very attractive on me. My hair is also turning grey. There are big chunks of grey at my temples and a lovely smattering throughout. This means the texture of my hair is changing and there’s not thing one I can do to change that. Nor would I, I’ve earned every last one of those greys.

My issues with shampoo have nothing to do with wanting my hair to be flowing and shiny. I’ve used Dr Bronners on my hair before and that’s fine except it feels a little weird like a residue is left over. I want a shampoo that isn’t full of nasty chemicals and that is kind to my scalp.

You see, winter hits and my scalp gets incredibly dry. There’s no snow on the ground. The temps aren’t drastically different than they were in the fall. Yet, my head seems to know what time of year it is and gets dry, tight, and then the flakes happen. Let’s not forget the itch. Dry scalp is the worst. It’s so disappointing. I drink more water, I condition the scalp and yet….here we are again.

I hate all the chemicals in dry scalp or dandruff shampoos. Those chemicals seem scarier to me than the average shampoo chemicals. I avoid using them until around January or February when I can’t stand it anymore and need some relief. I even went to the salon for a special hot intense scalp conditioning one year. My hair felt great (what I have for hair) but not so much for the scalp.

This year, I’m starting early and going to try the No-poo method. It seems reasonable and maybe in the “natural” shampoos that I use there is still something that is keeping my scalp irritated enough that it’s getting this dry. You can google and find tons of articles and discussions about the No-poo thing. THIS is the one that got me started thinking about this option as a dry scalp relief.

Last night my head was so dry and tight that I decided I needed to start this right away. The recipe is simple. One tablespoon of baking soda to one cup of water. That’s it. Last night I mixed it up in a cup with a couple drops of tea tree oil. This is going to be my anti-dry scalp blend. I’m not sure what I think about it.
It felt tingly and good but today my head is back to feeling tight. I don’t expect a miracle overnight happiness. Just recording how it feels. We’ll see what regular use does for me.

I have ordered some empty plastic shampoo bottles but I may also use the ones that we have on hand once they’re empty. The girls say they want to do this too so I’ll make up some scents that they like in theirs. Adding smells or essential oils isn’t necessary but if you know essential oils you know that they can be beneficial. Like Tea Tree oil for the dry scalp. So look up your information and add a couple of drops of what you need or something that smells yummy so the kids will use it too.

Conditioner can be natural too. LilBoog has long curly hair. I plan to do the conditioner for her which is one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to one cup of water.

I’ll report back and let you all know how it’s going. For me it’s about happy scalp. I’ll let you know how it works on the girls hair. BigGirl with straight thick chin length hair (that used to be curly) and LilBoog’s long long wavy curly hair (that used to be super curly).

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17 Responses to No-poo

  1. Norma says:

    You might like the apple cider vinegar rinse for you, too — pH of the skin and scalp has a lot to do with that tight feeling. Here’s hoping you find relief! I went ‘no poo’ for a long while, and cycle back to it from time to time (maybe today, now that you’ve reminded me!), but I really love the solid shampoo (made locally) that I use now, too.

  2. Adrian says:

    Did you use the vinegar? I definitely need to use that every time or my scalp feels tight and my hair weird. You could probably cut down on the baking soda since you don’t have oily hair. That might help, too.

    I love no-poo!

  3. Ella says:

    As a curly girl and someone that has dry skin, in general – I went the no-poo route years ago and haven’t looked back. It takes a little while, but I’ve found that just using conditioner as shampoo (and using conditioner with more natural ingredients) works well for me. As far as my scalp, when i was younger, I used to have a dry scalp. The common remedy for it was to moisturize it, similar to what you would do for dry skin any where else on your body. So hot oil treatments, using a very light oil, applied to the scalp (not the hair), would give me good relief.
    I think using baking soda, for me, would be too drying, especially along with the tea tree oil. Those are both fairly astringent and drying ingredients. There are plenty more moisturizing options available that clean just as well, without stripping or drying (like coconut). Check out natural hair care, no-poo options for curly girls or women of color. xoxo Ella

  4. JessaLu says:

    I’ve done the no-poo thing, it’s great for curly-heads. I’m betting the kids hair will get super curly again! I’m not sure if it’ll help with dry scalp though, I hope it does for you!

  5. Riin says:

    I’ve been poo-free for years. I wash my hair every 4-5 days with conditioner only. You need to use a conditioner with no silicones (any ingredient ending in “cone”). My hair is much curlier now than it was when I used shampoo. Curly hair is thirsty. Shampoo is really drying, and conditioner with cones basically just coats your hair with plastic. Gross.

  6. Lorette says:

    I still shampoo, but only about once a week since I have both dry scalp and hair. I use Everything Balm on my scalp…from Goodies Unlimited, the guy that makes Wood Beams for spinning wheels. I just massage it all over my scalp when I go to bed. It smells terrific, too.

  7. Lisa says:

    poo-free! what a concept… I may investigate/experiment…

    My head goes through long periods of itchy, and I go back and forth with less frequent washing, using natural shampoos, and that nasty tar stuff. I used to have a solid bar made locally, but I haven’t seen her stuff around in a while.

    But my favorite is to just wet it, run oil, homemade lotion through it, massage it all in (except around the front), and wrap it all up in a crazy scarf. Everybody says how “chic” it is… I laugh, because I’m just covering up my “dirty” head…

  8. Vicki says:

    Very interesting… I’ve used no-phosphate shampoos because they’re supposed to help, and have rinsed with ACV… I still have terrible dryness and itchiness. I’ve also used Norma’s locally made solid shampoo and should give that a spin again. My hair was very long for a while; it’s a little shorter now, and curlier because of it — maybe my inner curly girl would come out via the no ‘poo route! I hope you’ll update,

  9. Angie says:

    I’m no (or low) poo for about a year and I’m very happy but every body is different. Lemon juice will sub for ACV in a rinse. Definitely use a rinse after a baking soda wash since baking soda is so alkaline it whacks your hair/scalp’s ph. I have found that gently scrubbing my scalp for several minutes (no nails) helps to keep away the itchies as does an overnight application of jojoba oil to my scalp (then do a no ‘poo). Rav’s Naturally Curly Crafters group has a good forum on no poo methods. Good luck!

  10. annie says:

    also no poo here… i wash with conditioner and do an acv rinse. i have really curly hair, and with shampoo i have a tight, sting’y scalp. i can’t do baking soda.. it doesn’t help at all…

  11. I love tea tree oil and am occasional rinse with Witch Hazel feels and smells good too.

  12. Chris says:

    I hope no-poo works for you. It didn’t help me when I tried it years ago. What did help me was to increase the foods I ate high in zinc, and I also started taking zinc supplements when I saw my scalp wasn’t as dry and itchy anymore. Zinc also had the side benefit of evening out my moods and I got less colds, too. I tried it because all the dry scalp/dandruff shampoos contained zinc. I thought, if it helps putting zinc on the outside of me, maybe it would help even more if I put it inside me. And it did.

  13. carolyn says:

    I gave up on conditioner years ago in favor of ACV, but I only use it once a week since my hair is oily. I generally only use a touch of shampoo on my bangs since they get greasy from my forehead,l otherwise I only do a full shampoo once a week.

    My research into some skin problems I’m trying to fix also reveal that ACV and tea-tree oil can be effective against dandruff.

  14. carolyn says:

    Also, my hair stylist says the vinegar makes you need to refresh your hair color more often, but I don’t really find things to fade so much faster. Your mileage may vary depending on what type you use.

  15. Ginger Palme says:

    It sounds like scalp psoriasis, thats what I have. I try to wash only 3 times a week in a warm shower.I know in Maine we like our hot showers. It seems to be worse in the colder months. I hope you find something that works…………..Ginger

  16. Spiderlady says:

    Morrocan Argon Oil, my skin dries out terribly and I get topical dermatitis on my legs, so I use Argon Oil, no additives and you can run it through your scalp and hair, it hydrates me all winter.

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