Perhaps there is an argument to be made that I shouldn’t encourage dirty engineers and dirty French people to be even dirtier. But the no-poo movement is too good not to share.

First, what is it? The theory is that shampoo strips hair of natural oils, making your scalp produce more oil than it otherwise would. Which makes it necessary to use more shampoo, usually in a day or two just to keep that oily, clumpy feeling away. To prevent this, the no-poo movement advises switching to baking soda then eventually washing hair with just water.

I was also skeptical at first. But let’s be honest: I’m lazy and the idea of washing my hair once every two weeks instead of every other day or so was extremely appealing. I didn’t want to mention it until I was sure it was going to work for me, and now I’m sure. I’ve been doing it for over two years and I usually go 3 weeks to a month between hair washings. No one seems to notice. My hair actually looks better, if anything.

If you want to give it a try, there are many tutorials online, but I find that it’s not a fussy regime. For example, I don’t even measure. I just scoop what I’d estimate to be about 2 teaspoons of baking soda into a handy wash bottle like this (available for about $6):

Fill it up with water, shake it well, then baste my scalp with the solution. I then use a shampoo brush to make sure everything is thoroughly distributed. Mine is shaped like an octopus, but one like this I’m sure would also work (you can get it for $5):

That’s it! A standard box of baking soda costs less than $1 and lasts me over a year. I don’t have to wash my hair more than once a month or so.

Oh, and I also have a bristle brush to help distribute the scalp oils to the rest of my hair. Mine is ridiculously expensive, but I love it. A much more reasonable alternative sells for around $7.50:

Really, none of these things are even strictly necessary. They just make the experience more convenient for me. There are many resources online, and entire blogs dedicated to it. But if you’re sick of feeling forced to wash your hair every day, this may be perfect for you. Just try! I’m sure you’ve got a box of baking soda somewhere in your kitchen…


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