Washing Your Hair Without Shampoo And Conditioner

A movement that has been building momentum here within the last few years which is something called the no poo method which is basically quitting using shampoo in your hair.

Why would anyone stop shampoo you wonder?

Well shampoos do a good job of cleaning your hair but they also remove all the oil that’s in your hair in the process.

Now I can see you thinking well duh isn’t that what cleaning hair is?

Well sorta, we are suppose to have oil in our hair, that’s just natural for us and no I’m not meaning natural as in hippie tree hugging type of deal here.

I just mean that our natural oils help keep our hair conditioned and healthy. When you add shampoo into the hair it strips away all of that oil and hits your hair with all kinds of chemicals.

So basically the point of washing your hair without shampoo and conditioner is to help keep your hair healthy and clean. It’s not about saving trees or any of that crap.

Where to even begin on swapping over

You have a few options here which I will give you my opinion on.

First off when you stop using shampoo/conditioner you’re not quitting washing your hair. You are still going to clean your hair, just in a different method.

Here is a list of a few alternatives that we can do.

  1. Wash your hair with water only.
  2. Wash your hair with baking soda.
  3. Wash your hair with apple cider vinegar.
  4. Washing hair with a co wash conditioner only.

Now for my opinion on these options on how they worked out for me.

Washing hair with water only

Washing your hair with only water will only clean your hair so well. Of course it’s better than nothing at all but your hair will look very greasy (mine did at least) with just using water.

But you said we wanted to keep oil in our hair so how do we keep oil without it looking to greasy?

Well that’s the million dollar question.

Trying to find a great balance between just enough oil in the hair to help keep its natural weight/look without it getting to oily and starting to look unkempt is exactly what we are aiming for with the no shampoo method.

So yes using just water will cleanse some of the oil out but not enough, or not enough for my hair anyways.

Washing your hair with baking soda

Baking soda is suppose to be a more natural alternative to shampoo for helping clean the hair.

After trying to use baking soda I was disappointed with the results. It seemed to do the same thing that shampoo does which is basically get rid of all the oil in my hair which isn’t what I was hoping for.

The result was me having dry/frizzy hair for the next day or two, until the oil in my hair started to come back.

Washing hair with apple cider vinegar

Now something people started to do is add apple cider vinegar into the hair after using baking soda to help with the dry/frizzy hair.

Apple cider vinegar helps the hair as a moisturizer and I will give props that it does do a decent job of that.

The downside of it and the downside is huge is the smell. I could not get over how it made my hair smell so I stopped it almost immediately.

This might be more of a me thing so give it a try but just keep in mind if you’re around other people they might react to the smell negatively.

Washing your hair with a co-wash conditioner

After trying all of the above options I resorted to looking for another option which is when I found information on a co-wash conditioner.

So what a co-wash conditioner is targeted to do is clean the hair without having all the chemicals in the hair that damage or dry out hair like shampoo does.

This is the closest option I have found to provide a good mix of leaving some oil in the hair while providing a good clean to it.

It does strip out some of the oil but not all of it, so this is exactly what I was looking for!

It still does take a bit to much of the oil out, causing some frizz but like I said not all of it.

Something I started doing is washing my hair at night before bed with the co-wash then in the morning just rinsing my hair with water when I’m in the shower.

This method gets my hair clean and gives my hair a little time to rejuvenate some of the natural oil back into it before I hit work the next day.

Trying this method with shampoo doesn’t work because shampoo strips out everything so to it takes a few days to start getting oil back.

Another thing I’ve started doing lately that you might want to look into is using the co-wash in the morning like you usually would before work and then adding some leave in conditioner into your hair once you get out of the shower.

I’ve been experimenting with this lately and have been very happy with the results.


As you see there is no step by step method to swapping over to no shampoo because there are so many different variables to take into consideration.

Everyone has different types of hair and wants their hair to look so many different ways so you just have to try out these different options to see which one you like best.

As you can see I’m all for experimenting and seeing the results so if any of you try out something new or maybe hear of something then let me know.

I enjoy seeing new methods that might work better for my hair even though I feel like I’m very close to a great method for me with the co-wash/leave in conditioner method.

If you made it to the end of this article then I appreciate you reading!

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This site was created to help those who are going through the process of growing out their hair. You can find articles on what to expect when growing your hair as well as tips to help you through the more difficult stages.

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