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Monday, 15 April 2013

30-Day No Shampoo Challenge Results

If you have been following me on Facebook or YouTube you may have noticed that I have been doing a 30 day challenge where I have not used any products like shampoo or conditioner in my hair. You also refrain from using hairsprays, gels and de-tanglers but I wasn't using these products to begin with, so it was just the shampoo and conditioner I had to do away with. I started this challenge as an experiment to see if shampoo was the cause of my irritated, dry itchy scalp. I can't remember the last time I had a healthy, flake-free scalp for more than a week. (except for when I spent 10 days in Hawaii!) 

I exhausted every possible product over the years starting with expensive salon shampoos and gluten-free shampoos, moving to paraben and sulphate-free, then anti-dandruff shampoos like head and shoulders, to organic, then to vegan with no success lasting longer than a week. I was tired of wasting my money on these products and knew there had to be a better way.

I just looked under the sink and counted 11 different shampoo bottles plus their conditioner counterparts

I was inspired by 40 Below Fruity video on facebook to try this for myself.  She hasn't washer her hair in two years and it looks beautiful. I researched other YouTube videos and found that going 'poo-free' is trending and that it is working for people with all different hair types whether you have corkscrew curls or poker-straight hair like me. 

Check out the BSV rinse video here -->

I started by washing my hair with a baking soda solution and rinsed it with apple cider vinegar, as suggested by 40 Below Fruity and other poo-free challenges on YouTube. The first time went over great - I couldn't believe how nice my hair turned out. I left it for five days and tried the BSV rinse again, with less success. My hair was overproducing oils and I had to wear a scarf/headband to hide the slick-ness. I knew this was to be expected as my head was adjusting to being poo-free and it inspired me to try other things like diluted food grade hydrogen peroxide, pureed bananas and avocado! It wasn't always pretty but I am so happy I tried this.

Banana Mask
Click here to watch the banana mask demo -->

Here are the results of my 30-Day No Shampoo Challenge:

My hair is gorgeous. I love the way it feels, the natural shine and the reduced irritation of my scalp.
After 30 days my hair is not overproducing oils like it used to, and the BSV rinse works well every 5 days or as needed. As for my dry scalp, I will continue to use bananas and avocados to moisturize and treat the flakies. I can already see great improvements and feel that if I continue on this path it can only get better.

One downside is that my hair doesn't hold a curl as well as it used to. My hair is poker-straight and had trouble holding a curl before, unless I used a flat iron to curl my hair. Now the ringlets don't last, but I actually like how they fall into loose beachy-looking waves. And I probably shouldn't be using that intensity of heat on my hair anyways if I'm going to all this trouble to restore it's health. I think the curls don't last as a result of my hair being more healthy. I have noticed over the years that the more damaged my hair was the more curl it would hold. It's also slightly heavier, weighing the curls down. Bottom line -I'd rather my hair be healthy than curly so I guess that's a no-brainer.

Got knots? - apple cider vinegar - it's THE best de-tangler for your hair. Even if you don't want to go poo-free I recommend trying the apple cider vinegar for your locks. The vinegar smell goes away quickly and you are left with easy to comb, shiny hair. Apple Cider Vinegar has made my tangled locks the easiest hair to comb in all of Canada! Seriously!

And if the Baking Soda isn't cutting the grease, try a pureed - banana mask - It may leave some sugar flakes but it absorbs the excess oils. Rinse well with water then use the apple cider vinegar solution to de-tangle.

My hair is also not as static-ky, which is nice, I don't enjoy it sticking to the side of my face and getting in my mouth!

List of things I tried in 30 days:

  • Baking soda and water solution (2 tbsp mixed with a little water in ketchup-type bottle) with an apple cider vinegar rinse (4 tbsp mixed with 1/2 cup water in the same bottle). This worked great the first time, but lost its power in the 2nd and 3rd week. Now that my hair has adjusted it works well again. 
  • Epsom Salts - I was inspire to try this as a result of how great my hair feels after I've swam in the ocean. It didn't really do anything that I noticed but I will try this again later on and see. 
  • Food grade hydrogen peroxide - a small/specific amount diluted in the bath water that really cleaned out the gunk, leaving my hair more bouncy and curly but failed to remove any of the excess oil. ***warning, this can be dangerous if not done properly and extremely harmful if this gets in your eyes.
  • Banana hair mask - left on 1 hour -worked great for moisturizing scalp and removed excess oils better than the baking soda solution. I rinsed this with the apple cider vinegar to detangle and remove the sugar. I was left with some sugar flakes and it loosened the natural flakes on my head. I just wore a headband for a few days until I washed again with BSV. 
  • Avocado mask - left on 30 minutes - moisturizing scalp and roots of hair. Worked best for flakes and itchy-ness. 
  • Coconut oil in ends of hair - used this to tame any fly-aways from winter static

So now I can toss all those bottles and know that my hair is more beautiful and healthy the Naturally Ashley way using Baking Soda, Apple Cider Vinegar and Bananas! (except the Dr. Bronner's - I use it to clean everything, great for bathtubs, body wash and laundry!) 
I challenge you to try 30 days poo-free! The first month is tough but so worth it. I'm looking forward to sticking with this and seeing how it goes.

Thanks for reading!
Lots of sweet, fruity love, 
Naturally Ashley


  1. I am currently on day two of no poo!! I feel so self-conscious about the grease! I used the Bronner's soap and conditioning rinse but I think I will switch to just baking soda and ACV. I go to work and worry about my hair and how I look but I am not willing to give up!! I don't want to use the harsh chemicals any longer. My question for you is that you said you use the ACV rinse about every five days... I am a very active person and I run every morning, with how sweaty I get I need to shower and wash my hair everyday. Should I just be rinsing my hair (with water) and then washing with the baking soda and ACV every five days or should I do it more frequently with my activity level? Thoughts?

  2. That's a really great question Brittany! And congrats on doing the no poo challenge!! I would try rinsing with just water after a workout. And if you need to use the ACV, go ahead, but know that it's going to take some time before your hair stops overproducing oils. You may have to tough it out for a while. I wore a lot of cute headbands and scarfs!
    I also had already been going at least 3-4 day without washing when I started the poo-free so it was a personal challenge of mine to last at least 5 days. Do what feels right for you, experiment and have fun with it! I had a blast playing around with different ideas. Try the cacao/carob powder to combat the oil on your roots - it works! Just be careful not to use too much or you will have a chocolate part!

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  4. Good ideas!! Have you had to get a haircut since you have started the no poo? I want to get mine cut to get rid of some really dead ends but now I am wondering how the whole can you not use shampoo or conditioner thing will go....

    Also, I'm curious as to how your hair is doing now? I know this was posted in April!!

    1. Thanks Brittany. I haven't got a haircut since starting, but with long hair I usually only cut it twice a year anyways.

      My hair is doing good! I'm still experimenting, going longer in between BSV washes. My hair feels healthy but it's a different kind of clean than I'm used to as I am never stripping the natural oils completely using natural rinses- which, depending on how you look at it you could take as good or bad - I think of it as good and look forward to it only getting better!

      *when I do wash it, I feel like I am losing a lot of hair, but then I remind myself that I haven't washed(and usually brushed) it for sometimes 6-7 days.

      Good luck with your no-poo adventure!

  5. Hey! It's been quite a while since you posted this... are you still poo-free? I decided last week to just stop shampooing (I'd read up on it a couple of years ago but never got around to it), & while my hair has not looked greasy, it feels different. I did do a baking soda rinse last night which got rid of the gritty feeling, but my hair still feels... heavy? Is this something that you get used to in time? Or does it go away? It is the only thing that has me tempted to run back to my shampoo, but I'm trying to be strong. :)

    1. Yes I am! I just did a video on it here:
      Stay strong! You will be happy you stuck with it! It takes 30-40 days normally for your hair to adjust!

  6. Hii I also wanted to go for this no poo thing but I get really hard water in my place so is there any other option to go for it ?
    Any help would be appreciated
    Thanks 😃

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