going “no poo,” but not really

The “no poo” is a pretty big deal in crunchy circles (please know that I say “crunchy” very affectionately. I may use this interchangeably with “hippie” or “granola,” all meant to be terms of endearment unless the context otherwise indicates).

If you aren’t familiar, the No Poo Method of hair care refers to abandoning conventional shampoo and conditioner and turning to baking soda (shampoo) and apple cider vinegar (rinse/conditioner). Do a Google or Pinterest search and you’ll find people on both sides of the issue. However, most people who are interested in this have heard of the toxic chemical crud of which so many of our products are made.

In our family’s pursuit to be healthier, happier, and wiser, we decided to experiment (as we so often do) down this road to have less chemicals in our home. Not buying shampoo any more was one of our first steps.

wash & rinse

Here it is!

This is what is in my shower right now. Two clear condiment bottles from our grocery store filled with crunchy ingredients (see what I did there).

To be fair to the No Poo movement, we did try the baking soda and ACV (apple cider vinegar) method. However, because of the scrubbing involved with the baking soda, and because my husband was starting to lose even more hair with this method (we’re still in our twenties! we just want to get through these last years with dignity!), we abandoned this full out No Poo method.

The theory goes that you hair gets weigh down with crazy chemicals and then you have to use more chemicals to do what you wanted you hair to do in the first place. Goodbye chemicals for the G family!

Yes my hair is clean.

No I don’t look like I live in a van down by the river.

Basic Recipe for Shampoo

  • 1 can (13.5oz) of coconut milk. I’ve used everything from bargain brand to imported stuff with success. The last batch I made was with a nicer brand and I could tell that it was a nicer formulation. But go with what your family can afford.
  • 2 cups of castile soap. In my opinion, Dr. Bronner can do no wrong. I used the unscented variety for a while, but I used peppermint last time to spice things up. Nice change up!
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of an oil. I use olive oil. I wouldn’t recommend using more than 2 tablespoons of oil unless you feel that your hair really needs it.
  • 60-120 drops of your favorite essential oil. I’ve used everything from lavender, or peppermint, or tangerine mixed with lemon. Have fun with it! Every time I’ve made shampoo I’ve used a low-grade, health food store oil, so that’s why I’ve used so many drops! However, I recently started using Young Living essential oils, which are a higher quality, super concentrated oil. I haven’t made the shampoo with YL oils, but I expect to use 10-20 drops instead of 100. I’ll update this post when I do. 🙂

I dump everything in a quart mason jar, in the above order, and shake! Once I’ve funneled enough into the condiment bottle, I store the rest in the fridge.

And that’s it! It smells amazing, has a wonderful lather, and can work as a body wash if you really want it to. My husband, Nate, doesn’t miss shampoo at all and he gets all excited when I make a batch, asking what scents he can look forward to this time.

For very oily hair, like Nate’s, you can finish with an ACV rinse with a 1/3 ACV and 2/3 water. Sometimes we go closer to halfsies on that mixture. But I’ve found that the ACV dries out my hair to feel like hay in the fall, so Nate uses the rinse far more than me.

I hope this helps you if you are on a more natural quest in your nest. What works for your hair?

Blessings,
Kate

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