Shampoo Free, Thrifty

No Poo: 20 Surprising Results of Giving Up Shampoo

18 November, 2014

I was lying in the bath the other night, immersing my hair in the hot water (not as relaxing as it sounds- I’m a mother, you know? I had an 18 month old sitting on my tummy face planting on to my boobs and a four year old up the other end balancing rubber ducks on my knees) when it occurred to me that my hair is taking a really long time to get soaked through.

Like water off a duck’s back, it was taking almost half a minute to penetrate my hair shafts. I concluded it is because my hair is so strong and healthy now, each strand so perfectly encased with magnificent sebum, that it was protecting itself against the elements…My hair  has become the elite samurai warrior of hair.

It made me wonder about all the extra, often unexpected results of giving up shampoo. I asked on my Facebook page what people have discovered their hair doing since going No Poo, and I loved hearing all the curious side effects…Giving up shampoo - unexpected benefits

One thing people don’t expect is that No Poo will actually make their hair 10 million times better (I actually did the maths, of course) than when they were using an expensive shampoo:

Soft Hair
“Soft as butter” Megan

“My hairdresser commented on how incredibly soft it was.” Katherine

“I have soft, strong non oily hair.” Helen

Voluminous Hair
“My hair is getting thicker and voluminous without the chemical cocktail of shampoo.” Ayse

“I’m finding my hair is thicker” Katherine

“The thickness and volume is great and I find my hair not only is harder to wet but also takes longer to dry.” Kathy

“I went No Poo at the start of Sept and my hair is so much softer and has heaps more body than it had previously. It was always limp and flyaway before so… WooHoo!” Janine

“Just lately my hairdresser told me she had thinned out the sides a bit (I have short hair). NEVER happened before.” Magdelene

Manageable Hair
“Became easier to manage and stopped depositing itself all over furniture/clothes/bedding. ” Ella

Shiny Hair
“I switched from shampoo to baking soda about a month ago and my hair is healthy and shinier than ever.” Laura

“Hair is long, thick and shiny.” Heather

“I switched from shampoo to baking soda about a month ago and my hair is healthy and shinier than ever!” Laura G

Vibrant Hair
 “I also think my natural color is more vibrant.” Bree

Hair is growing like fury
“My hair is growing like fury! ” Heather

“I think I am actually growing more hair?” Molly

People are discovering their hair actually changes, in texture and shape – often times into exactly the hair they want. Personally, I have always had hair as straight an limp as an arrow. A few months after giving up shampoo it got the most lovely wave. HURRAH!

Straight Hair
“My hair is straight! It’s always been unruly and wavy but now I don’t need to use straighteners ever.” Charlotte

Curly Hair
“No need for product to emphasise curls…love it!” Megan

Tangle Free Hair
“I find my hair is incredibly easy to brush all the time, no matter what i’ve done with it!” Rebecca

I found quite quickly that giving up shampoo had enormous benefits for my skin. Spots I have had my whole life, on my face and shoulders disappeared:

Goodbye Acne
“I stopped using shampoo about 3 months ago and I also decided to stop washing my face with anything too. I’ve suffered from acne most of my life and although it’s been a lot less severe as I’ve got older, and since I’ve had children, my skin is truly the best it’s been for a very long time (people have commented on it – even my Mum, so it must be true!!)” Maddie

Goodbye Eczema
“My husband and son both had eczema but since our whole family of 5 has gone poo free they no longer have eczema!!” Bree

Goodbye Warts
“I had a wart on my finger for at least 4 years. Within two weeks of using baking soda instead of shampoo the wart completely disappeared!” Charly

Goodbye Styling Products
“I love the ‘stiffness’ and volume of my hair with no poo, it’s what I used to have to use 2 or 3 diff products for.. (Wax, mattifying powder, and hairspray..) Now it’s just my natural state.. SO stoked to discover my desire for that texture wasn’t stupid- it was exactly how my hairs meant to be.” Maryanne

Goodbye Cluttered Shelves
“My unexpected side effect has been a new obsession with the labels of beauty products, I’m running everything down and switching to coconut oil and bicarb combos. So the bathroom clutter is disappearing too!” Heather

Goodbye Itchy Scalp
“I was getting an itchy scalp with normal shampoo since going poo free my scalp is itch free and my hair feels lighter and just more healthy” Bree

Goodbye Flaky Scalp
“No more dry patches on my scalp!” Molly

“I have significantly less dandruff and my hair looks less dull.” Caitrin

(Hello, Flaky Scalp)
“Why am I getting dandruff for the first time in my life?” Sarah (A few people also mentioned getting dandruff so I did ought to mention it! It is quite common in transition, as the scalp gets used to not being assaulted by toxins! I cover this in my No Poo ebook Happy Hair – I suggest using a rosemary herb tea amongst other things.

And then there is the sense that being shampoo-free is one way we can step more lightly on the earth. I am sure the No Poo movement is part of a wider, ecological movement:

Hello Eco Warrior Credentials
“I am thrilled at minimising all the plastic packaging that store bought hair products are contained in.” Ella

Hello Festival Happiness
“I’ve been shampoo free for about 4 years now, and just love that my hair always looks great! Go to a 8 day festival – no worries, hair looks same as ever!”  Jessica

Do you have any other unexpected side effects from giving up shampoo? Would love to hear from you. 

PS If you are thinking about giving up shampoo do check out my super thrifty ebook – it has everything you might possibly need to know about beginning this journey and every week I get an email from someone who has discovered beautiful hair as a result of reading it and going No Poo.

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  • Frank 18 November, 2014 at 9:01 pm

    I have had SO MANY compliments since going no poo. People keep asking me if I’ve dyed it, streaked or or just generally what have I done because it looks so good!

  • ThaliaKR 18 November, 2014 at 11:31 pm

    Heck, what a list! Great stuff, Lucy. Vive la revolution!

  • No Poo: 20 Surprising Results of Giving Up Shampoo | Love All Blogs 19 November, 2014 at 11:07 am

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  • Sarah 19 November, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    After 6 months of no poo I’ve had to give up 🙁 even though my hair was fab, I had not just dandruff but a sore scalp with clumps of oily scalp in parts. It was helped a little by using a hog brush, but it still remained. I also developed a ‘burn’ line around my hairline. I could only put this down to the bicarb – when I washed it, it felt sore. I don’t know what I did wrong, but I’m sad I’ve had to give up 🙁

  • Bettina @ Books, Bikes, and Food 20 November, 2014 at 11:25 am

    I got a question for the no-pooers: I’m a swimmer. Does anyone experience with giving up shampoo while immersing your head in chlorine water several times per week? Cheers 🙂

    • Bettina @ Books, Bikes, and Food 20 November, 2014 at 11:26 am

      Ups, sorry about those half-sentences in there…

      • Jody 24 November, 2014 at 9:07 pm

        I’m learning as I go. I swim three times a week and haven’t used shampoo for five or six months. Still a lot of variability. DEFINITLY wet hair thoroughly before swim and use a cap.

  • Valerie 24 September, 2015 at 9:56 am

    Hi Lucy! I’ve been browsing through your blog on all things no poo and I just want to thank you for all of the information you have provided. It has truly been helpful to me, especially in my quest to find pH balanced alternatives to shampoo.
    I do have a question though, there’s a lot of information on the web about no poo and the importance of using pH balanced things for hair, but almost no information on protecting the acid mantle for the skin on our body. While many bloggers who use no poo for their hair won’t use baking soda or castille soap because of pH issues, they still frequently post about using soap for their skin. This to me is counterintuitive, because wouldn’t the pH of castille soap still affect the acid mantle of our skin if it does so on our hair? I realize this may not be the best place to post this question, but I was curious if you had any thoughts on it and what you use for your family. Also, if you have any ideas for pH balanced body cleansers, I’d love to hear about them!

    • Lucy 24 September, 2015 at 11:07 am

      Absolutely! We use as little as possible on our skin! Funny hey! Go the acid mantle!!! We use soap nuts soap if anything, but mostly water and flannels. We are perfectly healthy!

  • Hula hoop THE egg 6 December, 2015 at 4:16 am

    OMG YEES, im doing this right now with my four year old in my bath !
    My hair was flaky like cornflakes but now it’s soft as rice snaps!
    My daughter was stroking my hair (like she does to hula and hoop our pet lions) DONT WORRY THERE SAFE! 🙂 I think snakeboy loves my #nopooooooo hair so much! I’m having a baby soon and I will call my next darling egg after your amazing method! love you hun, your an eggstitcher! (sorry Im in love with your egg method)

  • Isobel 22 July, 2016 at 5:03 am

    The most shocking for me is the response of other people. I’ve been refused a hair cut and feel this is just beginning of being a bit of a social outcast! Rebellion at 36 years old!!

    • Lucy 22 July, 2016 at 10:03 am

      Oh really ISobel! That is shocking! Yikes, sounds like you coped though- go you rebel you!