Have you heard of the no-poo movement? It’s definitely not my favorite term, but the philosophy behind it is worth exploring. It refers to the droves of people turning away from expensive commercial shampoo and conditioner. These products often contain harsh synthetic fragrances, sodium laureth sulfate, propylene glycol and other creepy ingredients that come from mystery labs around the world. We trust that these products will make our hair gorgeous and drench ourselves in weird chemicals without knowing how they affect our overall health. Plus, think of the millions of plastic bottles that end up in the recycling bin, or worse, from all of the hair products we use.

But you HAVE to use shampoo, right? Nope! 

We’ve been told to lather, rinse, and repeat for decades now—and with dreams of healthy, shiny, flowy, bouncy perfection, we have complied. But what happens? The first day after a wash, your hair is kinda frizzy and dried out. On the second day it’s looking pretty good. By the third day, it’s a crazy greasy mess again and time to shampoo. This cycle happens as your scalp desperately tries to maintain balance. Most shampoo strips your hair of sebum, the natural oil produced by sebaceous glands to help condition and protect each strand. When it’s completely washed away, your glands sound the alarm bells and produce even more sebum to compensate for the sudden loss of protection. Using gentle cleansers and washing less often allows your body to function the way it was meant to.

Going "no-poo" is a different experience for everyone, depending on your natural hair and scalp condition. I have very fine, curly hair with a normal-to-dry scalp, so the transition was super easy for me. I started using the Chamomile Rose rinse recipe below just once a week. My hair immediately looked so much healthier and had more body and shine. Suddenly, instead of one good hair day a week, my hair was consistently awesome with less frizz and no scalp irritation at all. I know other people with thicker, oilier hair go through a not so fun transitional phase where the sebaceous glands continue to produce more and more sebum in anticipation of that regular shampooing. If you can stick it out, the process will eventually find homeostasis and revert back to a normal sebum production rate. This usually only takes a few weeks and is well worth the wait. Just think of all those neglected hats waiting in your closet!

Shampoo Replacement: Herbal Hair Rinses

Ready to try it out? These herbal hair rinses are amazing. They are so easy to make and will leave your hair feeling soft and your scalp clean and revitalized, but not stripped or dried out. Use once a week to replace your shampoo for good and allow your natural oils to condition each strand from root to tip.

Herbal Hair Rinses

10/5/2013 8:00:45 PM

the addition of coconut oil as a leave in conditioner helps though, I forgot to add.

10/5/2013 7:59:30 PM

baking soda can be a little drying to my hair if I over do it. the herbs are a nice touch though

10/1/2013 11:12:13 AM

Kimberly, that is sad that you felt you had to give up already :( I have used baking soda/vinegar rinsing for a few years now. I use henna on my hair and on occasion color treatments but not for grey just for fun. Yes, it does have a strange feel to it at first. Try a nettle and chamomille infusion. If you use a rinse with vinegar on ends not as much the scalp, your color treatment will wash out faster but will balance that dry crusty straw. Unfortunately, coloring our hair makes going natural a bit more challenging. Maybe you could switch to a natural color agent such as henna or herbs like chamomille and/or mustard powder. I suggest a little bit of coconut oil in a cup of tea or water as an after rinse and only do this treatment about 3 times a week. It does take time and grey hair, as is curly, is extremely porous and adding some B6 to your diet and a chinese herb called He Shou Wu (Fo-Ti)nicknamed he who has black hair. It is the depletion of B vits in our diets, as we age, that causes color fading and greying. Hope this is helpful and good luck! )O(

9/12/2013 11:18:27 AM

I was excited to try one of these, so I made and used the Rose-Chamomile Hair Rinse. I'm a natural brunette (can you still say that when your hair is 50%+ gray?), but I color/bleach my hair to golden blonde every 4-6 weeks. Unfortunately, this rinse dried my hair out so much it felt like straw. I don't know if anyone else with chemically treated hair has had this problem, but a caveat might be in order. Thanks, anyway, for a good idea. I'll keep looking for one that works for me. :-)

elderberry, echinacea, bee hive


Feb. 17-18, 2018
Belton, Texas

Sit in on dozens of practical workshops from the leading authorities on Natural Health, Organic Gardening, Real Food and more!