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No ‘Poo: Get Beautiful Hair with Just Baking Soda & Vinegar

no poo curly hair

No ‘Poo for Curly Hair

The most common question I get when I talk about no ‘poo is whether it works on thick or curly hair. My hair is thick and a little bit wavy, and it works just fine for me, but I couldn’t speak for truly curly hair. A little research turned up an account from Lorissa from Beautiful Somehow who did a 30 day no ‘poo experiment. Here’s what she had to say:

I am so completely happy with my curly hair now! The curls are bigger, more defined, and not as frizzy as before. I am still using a tiny, tiny, tiny bit of mousse to set the curls. I am currently looking for a more natural alternative for it though. So if you know of one, please share!

You can read all about her no ‘poo experience over at Beautiful Somehow, and if you have any tips for an alternative to mousse, I bet she’d love your suggestions!

Tips from Fellow No-’Pooers

Stephanie Moram from Good Girl Gone Green does a slightly different mix for her hair. She recommends about 1 tablespoon of baking soda in a cup of water, and about the same ratio for vinegar. You can read about her no ‘poo method here.

My Healthy Green Family doesn’t like to call this method no ‘poo, but over there, Free Range Mama talks about the baking soda and vinegar method that she uses. She likes the same ratio as Stephanie recommends, and she also talks a little bit about a common question that folks have when they’re new to no ‘poo: the vinegar smell. As she describes, that smell should fade quickly as your hair dries. If it doesn’t, try using less vinegar in your mix next time.

Do any of you do the no ‘poo thing? I’d love to hear what’s worked for you – and what hasn’t! – in the comments.

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Becky Striepe

Becky Striepe is a freelance writer and vegan crafter living in Atlanta, Georgia. Her life’s mission is to make green crafting and vegan food accessible to everyone! Like this article? You can follow Becky on Twitter or find her on Facebook!


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I was excited to read this article, because I don't trust corporate America to have our health in mind when they create products. So I've been on the baking soda plan for more than a year, and used it with my children, as well. Recently I started noticing that my hair seemed to be getting a lot thinner, which is odd since I'm 50 and have always had thick hair. A little late to start going bald when it's not in the family.

Yesterday I looked at my hair in the mirror, after seeing a bunch more hair in my comb, and was shocked by how thin it had become. I started researching minoxidil and wondering how this could be happening to me. Then it occurred to me that I never had problems until I started using baking soda shampoo. I just looked up "baking soda and hair loss" on Google and found several pieces about how it burns your hair because it is very alkaline. i'm going to stop immediately and hope that the damage isn't permanent.

9:35AM PDT on Aug 11, 2014

Good article! I'm always delighted to find another no-pooer. In response to your question, I've been doing baking soda/Apple cider vinegar for nearly five years and wouldn't go back to commercial products for anything. I have thick, wavy hair and always had trouble finding a shampoo and conditioner that didn't leave it looking and feeling kind of greasy, gloppy and icky.

My routine is to wash my hair every fourth or fifth day with 1 tablespoon baking soda in a cup of warm water, followed by a rinse using 2 tablespoons organic apple cider vinegar with live cultures. In the beginning I used 1 tablespoon ACV, but later found that 2 work better for my hair, leaving it silky-feeling and soft. The other days, I do water only and a quick scalp massage.

I blogged about my experience for awhile, and more recently wrote about it on Squidoo ("Could you give up your shampoo and conditioner?")

I hope someday to get to the water only method, but I've a ways to go. By the fifth or sixth day, my hair still feels lovely and clean, but in the mirror is hanging slightly greasy and clumpy, so I wash it again.

Your article is so well done. Thank you for sharing it here.

3:37AM PDT on Jul 10, 2014


3:44AM PDT on Mar 22, 2014

If you have dandruff, you might try limiting animal products and eliminating gluten. Along with the baking soda wash (for skin too) that's what rid it completely for me.

4:52AM PST on Feb 23, 2014


4:50AM PST on Feb 23, 2014

very good, I did wonder if it would work for me as I have curly hair, I'll check out 'at Beautiful Somehow' and see how she got on!

10:07PM PST on Jan 29, 2014

That’s a nice site you people are carrying out there..
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4:42AM PST on Jan 25, 2014

i have been seeing and reading a lot of no-poo approach. and im getting very curious that will be trying this soon. i have been doing the vinegar though. its a hair rinse as they call it. i boil 2 cups of water put in rosemary for anti-dundruf (but you could use whatever herbs you want) and once its cooled i add 1-2 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, you could add a couple of drops of essential oil if you fancy. and make sure thats its not hot when you use it.

in the first 2 weeks i have been doing my hair rinse 2x a week but now its only once a week. and i must say i got good results, my hair is not as dry as before and my dundruf is lessened.

hope this helps somehow.

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