Pregnancy Beauty: Going No-Poo

October 26, 2011 § Leave a comment

One of my goals over the past 10 weeks of my pregnancy has been to minimize as much as possible my exposure to toxins and pretty much any chemicals I can’t pronounce. My first step was to switch from shampoo and conditioner to a “no poo” regimen. I had experimented with this before after hearing rave views from other Paleo-type folks, but pregnancy motivated me to recommit. Another factor that influenced me to ditch the ‘poo was learning that almost all shampoos and conditioners contain gluten (typically called wheat protein in the ingredients list). Gluten causes such dramatic reactions in my skin (red blotchy face, psoriasis patches, dandruff), that as soon as I learned that it lurked in many shampoos, I knew it was time to make the change.

My no-poo regimen is pretty simple (and completely unoriginal–CaveGirlEats has an amazing series of posts on Paleo beauty):


-Baking soda (aluminum-free)
-Bragg’s apple cider vinegar
-Cup for mixing
-OPTIONAL: tea tree oil

My daily regimen:

1. Get my hair nice and wet in the shower.

2. Mix 1-2 T baking soda with warm water in the cup I keep in the shower.
-I usually mix it with my fingers or swish it around with the handle of my razor to make sure it’s nice and mixed up.
-BONUS: Mix in a few drops tea tree oil.

3. Pour the mixture on my head and scrub it into my roots. Let sit while I shave my legs. Rinse.

4. Mix 1-2 T apple cider vinegar with warm water in the same cup. Pour over head and comb through with a wide-tooth comb. Let sit while I finish soaping off.

5. Rinse really well.


The baking soda gets my hair PLENTY clean. My natural hair texture is normal-dry, so I never have had a problem with grease, and I haven’t noticed any more grease since I ditched shampoo. I also like the gritty texture and the effect the baking soda has on my scalp (helps ease dandruff).

The apple cider vinegar does smell pretty vinegary. The tea tree oil drops does help a bit with the smell, but you can still smell the vinegar. That’s why it’s important to make sure you rinse well. Also, once your hair is dry, the vinegar smell goes away.

The best part is that my hair has never looked better. I have a tendency to frizz, and that is pretty much gone. My hair feels thicker and softer than ever before. I’m so glad that I’m no longer dousing my scalp with gluten and other unpronounceable chemicals. My hair and scalp are happy that they are no longer being stripped of their essential oils and then coated with a waxy conditioner anymore.

The only way I will ever go back to shampoo is after I apply an overnight coconut oil mask (just heat up the coconut oil and coat your hair and scalp, let it soak in overnight, then shampoo out the next day). The baking soda doesn’t cut through the coconut oil, so in that case I will use a gluten-free shampoo (Dessert Essence is my favorite).

I highly recommend giving the ‘no poo method a chance for at least 30 days. I know that might seem like a long time, but I have heard that for some people it takes about 30 days to get used to it, and then after that their hair has never looked better. Some people like to ease in by replacing every other shampoo with ‘no poo, and then slowly adding more and more days of ‘no poo to the week. Whatever works for you, but I think the goal of getting the gluten out of shampoo and the chemicals off your scalp is worth it!

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