Keep it Real: No-poo hair care movement

News Editor Kelly Foulk keeps life interesting. Don’t be surprised if she shows up at school with a penguin costume on (five minutes late, of course). She does what she wants when she wants to.


When I say I don’t buy shampoo and conditioner, people’s reaction is typically one of shock, and then disgust. I think they probably quickly realize that my hair is far from nasty and is actually quite normal. I have not used store-bought shampoo in over two years and I’m proud of it.

The idea began after I stumbled upon the idea on pinterest. It looked interesting, unique and out-there. After reading Love Yourself Naturally, a blog about skincare and body health, about the various chemicals found in modern shampoo products, I had to try it.

By going “no-poo” one simply stops using store bought shampoo and conditioner; it doesn’t mean that I don’t completely stop washing my hair. Complete details can be found on Love Yourself Naturally. There are numerous different methods of no-poo hair care, with the most prevalent being a baking soda-apple cider vinegar mix. The majority of people report major success with this method, citing smoother, silkier hair.

So I tried it.

The strangest part of the transition was going from a typical foamy shampoo to mere baking soda mixed with water. When I poured the mixture over my head, I swore it did nothing. Whenever I would scrunch my hair (as if I was using shampoo), there was no foam to let me know my hair was getting clean. It was the strangest feeling. You don’t realize how much you like the foam until you don’t have it anymore.

Somehow, despite the lack of foam, my hair was still clean. After combing it out and drying it, it looked normal.

Of course, after switching to the no-poo method one typically goes through a trial period of about 2 weeks to 2 months where you need to wear hats and ponytails, to put it simply. Typical shampoo strips hair of both the good oils and the bad oils, causing hair to go into oil-overproduction to compensate for the lost “good” oils. The noo-poo method only strips away the bad oils and dirt, leaving the good oils. During the trial period, your hair and scalp slowly realize that they no longer need to overproduce these good oils.


For me the trial period was little over two weeks. After that, my hair was back to how it was back when I used shampoo. Actually, I’d say it was better than before. It was easier to comb and had a natural wave that had never appeared before. Such improvements are common for this method, with some people even claiming major changes such as their hair getting two shades darker (link).

Two years after originally going no-poo I’ve tried numerous different no-poo methods beyond simple baking soda and vinegar. Currently I use a honey and aloe-vera combination, but I also liked Wellness Mama’s homemade shampoo. I’d recommend the no-poo method to anyone. While it can seem scary and intimidating at first, I honestly think it’s a great alternative to the typical chemical ridden shampoos of the store shelves.

Kelly Foulk is a News Editor for The Patriot and