Six ways of going shampoo free aka ‘no poo’

It is often thought that frequent shampooing ‘dries out the hair’s natural oils’ – washing the hair to keep it clean is important but there are ways to clean it without constantly shampooing. 

The natural oils produced by your scalp simply sit on top of your hair shaft and do not penetrate it and natural oils aren’t bad but of course hair can get greasy.

Going shampoo free can mean reducing plastic as well as being better for your hair because unless you look at the ingredients the same ingredients in some shampoos are the same ones used to clean your car or your carpet or your dishes! For example, those bubbles in shampoo? Well – those bubbles are produced from detergents known as surfactants, like sodium laurel ether sulfate (also called sodium laureth sulfate) that remove oils and any dirt trapped within the oil. It isn’t good for hair.



No poo refers to ditching chemical-laden, traditional shampoos for natural alternatives.

So instead use store cupboard staples like apple cider vinegar, rye flour, baking soda, or even just plain water to wash your hair with!

Not to mention, skipping on shampoos means less plastic bottles and less consumption. In other words, it’s a win for the planet, too.

The no poo movement is one that is synonymous with zero-waste, minimalist and simple living.

Further benefits include knowing exactly what has gone into your hair care with no more chemicals stripping it of its natural oils.




1. Dry shampoo or alternative

If you find that your scalp gets itchy from using the conventional dry shampoo, try using an alternative such as baby powder, or even a DIY version. For example, sprinkling baby powder on your hands and then running it through your hair, while paying special attention to the roots, the hairline and underneath, will make it instantly look and smell fresher. It will also soak up the grease accumulated and make it look freshly washed. Such alternatives contain less chemicals, so they won’t irritate your skin after use, and of course, you’ll save some money.


2. Use dry shampoo and use it right

On those unwashed hair days, dry shampoo is definitely your best friend since it’s one of the main ways to prolong a regular shampoo!

Make sure you do these: wait a few minutes before brushing and styling, hold and spray at least six inches away from your hair, and give your hair one to two days rest from dry shampoo!



3. Strategically using hair accessories

If you plan your hairstyle and use accessories strategically, you’ll be able to skip washing your hair for a week or even longer effectively.

You can use any variety headband, hats or bobbles to hide greasy hair while looking cute, which is a style that suits almost everyone. These can help to mask the fact that you haven’t washed your hair for some time.



4. Gradually phase out daily washes over time

Try washing less – if you’re already used to the habit of washing your hair every day, don’t try to get to a once-a-week wash straight away. Instead, you should try to wash your hair every other day for a month, then every third day, and so on until you’re finally used to only washing your hair once a week.

Washing it too much can actually encourage more oil production from the hair, leading it to get greasier faster. Washing your hair less means healthier hair in the long run, but no one wants to suffer during those greasy hair days.


In order to counteract gross amounts extra oil during this time period of re-balancing use vinegar or method below to strip a healthy amount of hair.

Oil build-up makes your hair look drab, lose its luster, and can make it appear unclean! But you can remove it with ingredients from your cupboard, if you follow the instructions below.


Idea one –


  • 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar (also called ACV)
  • 1 gallon of distilled water

1. Mix the vinegar and water.
2. Shampoo and rinse as usual.
3. Pour 2 cups over the scalp and let the mixture saturate your hair.
4. Finish up with a cold-water rinse.
5. Store any leftover mixture in a cabinet or the refrigerator and use it every couple of weeks to keep your hair squeaky clean.


Idea two –


1. Mix two parts baking soda with one part water in a large bowl.
2. Apply the paste to hair thickly.
3. Leave the paste to soak for up to half an hour.
4. Shampoo and condition your hair as usual.
5. Pour any leftover mixture down a drain. It is environmentally friendly and safe, but only usable once.



Idea three –


  • Dish Detergent
  • Conditioner
  • Water

1. Shampoo your hair with Dish Detergent once a week.
2. Apply conditioner after shampooing hair.
3. This will keep your hair from feeling lifeless. It will increase body in your hair.





Idea four –

Brush scalp and brush your hair regularly!

Scalp massage brushes are good for reducing dandruff and stimulating healthy hair. Brush twice a day to maintain a healthy main.

Idea five –

Try Natural Conditioner bars.
They are natural, plastic free, vegan, cruelty free and no chemicals – see here for more.


While some have taken to the no poo movement and have ditched shampoo for years, if it’s not for you, don’t worry!

Try using shampoo bars instead like Friendly Soap Bars featured on my previous post.

They don’t require packaging, so they are much better for the environment than their bottled counterparts. They are also concentrated meaning they’ll last longer, plus, great travel with.

In the review I did it featured a shampoo bar that uses Castor oil – which has been used for centuries as a natural hair conditioner and scalp treatment. Combined with coconut oil and olive oil to produce a rich, moisturising, nourishing shampoo.

A long-lasting and compact alternative to plastic-bottled liquid shampoos, that will tame the most disobedient locks and promote healthy happy hair growth (and promote happy wildlife!)

For more ways to go eco and natural see my posts:

2 thoughts on “Six ways of going shampoo free aka ‘no poo’

Add yours

    1. I use argan oil serum! Which you can buy ones for a £1 ranging to about £4 … I also (weirdly) use the lacura Rose oil on my scalp as it can get dry (obviously I use sparingly otherwise it’s just greasy) theres also some mousses or leave in conditioners that I find helpful as my hair is the same, gets so knotty is crazy 🙈


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