I Didn’t Wash My Hair for 4 Months! Here’s How I Succeeded w/ the No Pooing Method

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 I gave up shampooing for the ‘no poo’ method for 4 months and here’s how it went…

close up of top of womans hair

I will never take my hair for granted. 🤍

Nothing has taught me to appreciate my hair more than the no-poo challenge. Last year, I was challenged by Collin, our fabulous Hip boss & CEO, not to wash my hair for four months. 🥴 And I completed all four grueling, greasy, months with grace (& a little frustration), but more on that later.

In case you missed it, I documented the whole process over on our Instagram stories which you can catch up on on our “No Pooing” highlight tab.

As a deal site, we are committed to bringing you all the things that help you save money and live a better life. ❤️ After seeing this method all over social media and in several health and beauty articles it was time to put it to the Hip test!

Can you imagine not having to buy a single hair product, EVER? 😱

woman with hair in the sand

What is the no-poo method? 

Simply put, “no poo” means no shampoo. It’s a method of cleaning your hair without traditional hair products to avoid overly stripping the hair of good and natural oils produced by the scalp.

No poo for us means … no shampoo, conditioner, dry shampoo, hairspray, hair gel, or other hair product.

Since I was desperate to “wash” my hair with something, we agreed on using only the following products on my hair for the entire four months:

woman holding apple cider vinegar spray

hand holding boar bristle brush

Now, I know what you’re thinking – why would any logical person choose to do this? 😅

You might be surprised to know there is a lot of support for this natural haircare method and several potential benefits.

Here are the potential benefits of skipping shampoo according to healthine.com:

  • Improved scalp health
  • More voluminous and better-textured hair
  • Less exposure to chemicals
  • Breaking the artificial cycle of drying out hair with shampoo, just to add moisture with other products, again and again

Here are the benefits that I, personally, experienced doing the no-poo method:

  • Healthier ‘cleaner’ scalp – After 4 months, even my stylist said there was only one small portion of the scalp with a bit of buildup which was her main concern with this challenge.
  • More volume added to my hair – This was one of the more rewarding aspects of this challenge! Now I know I don’t need to weigh down my hair with extra product just to get a bit more volume.
  • Better texture & thicker hair – After the initial ‘brittle’ phase and the 2-month mark, I could see my natural texture and thickness shine through.
  • Manageable & healthy oil production – After the 2-month mark it was also clear that my scalp and the oils it produced seemed to ‘reset’. Now, instead of overly oily hair after one day, my hair remained manageable and NOT too oily daily.
  • Less plastic packaging waste consumed – This is a huge win for me, my wallet, and the planet! 🌱
  • Less money spent on haircare products/ salon visits: I estimate saving at minimum $200 throughout this challenge between skipping at least 1 of my 10-week salon visits, not purchasing at least two bottles of shampoo and conditioner, de-frizzing spray, hairspray, and root touch-up color.

woman holding hair out with hands

One thing I want to be super transparent about…

I did this challenge from a mental health standpoint – to say that I can do hard things. 💪🏼

We owe it to ourselves to do something out of our comfort zone every now and then, to learn, grow, and become a better human either for others or for ourselves.🤍 I also wanted to be a ‘team player’ and step up to the plate when Collin asked for a volunteer from the Hip team.

Someone who might have found the no poo method organically, is looking to make a drastic change to their haircare, or perhaps truly wants to end plastic consumption/ waste might have even more success.

woman pointing to hair

And now, without further ado, the best way to take you on my 4-month hair journey is through pictures…

first day of no poo challenge

On day 1 I had just colored my hair at the salon.

woman showing top of hair during no poo challenge

Like most women, by day 5 after skipping hair washing is usually when I start to experience grease.

woman holding sticky note during no poo challenge

By day 19 I was still styling my hair when going places. I also shared with all of you that I didn’t just sit around and try not to get my hair dirty throughout this challenge. I did full workouts, sweating as I normally would, and still only “washed” with apple cider vinegar!? 😱

woman holding strands of hair during no poo challenge

From day 1 until day 60 (around month 2) I felt like my hair was constantly greasy and at “its worst”. There were many days when I considered quitting, but so many readers cheered me on and I continued to smile and share my journey.

It was also at the 2-month mark that I was convinced to start trying a baking soda ‘paste’. A reader convinced me to stop hesitating as it would do more good for my hair than the bad that I was reading about. I was assured that the baking soda would help exfoliate my scalp when used in moderation.

woman showing curled natural hair during no poo challenge

By month 3 I had gotten into a routine that worked for me: apple cider vinegar spray in the shower to ‘wash’ as needed, baking soda exfoliation 1-2 times per week, and boar bristle brush regularly.

This helped me feel the most confident in my hair and I could start to see a big change. ❤️

woman showing unwashed hair during no poo challenge

On August 21st, I had officially made it through 4 months without shampooing my hair! 🎉

I was proud of my journey and impressed with my new natural hair, but… I did have a hair appointment scheduled for the next day. 😂 (Which I had scheduled months in advance knowing this day would come)

Here is me waiting for my salon appointment with my unwashed, natural, no poo hair versus my hair right after my salon appointment:

last day of no poo method and after salon appointment

My final thoughts…

As I mentioned, I am proud of myself for persevering through this challenge ❤️ I am also grateful to know what my hair is capable of so I may extend the length of time between washes for a more eco-friendly and wallet-friendly outcome. I think this haircare method can be very beneficial for the right person and I am a better person for trying it.

woman with natural hair without shampoo

Here are the most common questions readers asked about the no poo method:

Does the no poo method help hair grow?

No. There is not enough research to support the no poo method in aiding hair growth as it primarily affects hair cleanliness, not hair growth.

Are you going to try the no-poo method again?

Personally, no. I did this to take on a challenge not to cut shampoo out of my life. However, I do see the benefit and learned how little I need to wash my hair which will cut back on my consumption of plastic products, lessen chemicals on my hair, and extend the life of my hair products = more money saved in the long run!

Are you going to try shampoo bars?

Yes. I am interested in this form of hair washing.

Did your scalp get itchy?

No. I did not experience dandruff or scalp itchiness during the no-poo challenge.

Did you and/or your hair smell?

Surprisingly, no. I didn’t feel like I smelled and my husband & kids who are pretty brutally honest never complained. Thanks, fam 😂

Did your hair feel healthier?

It definitely takes some adjusting to the new ‘texture’ of your hair as it does not feel buttery smooth and soft like it does when you wash regularly. But while it didn’t feel healthier per se, it also didn’t look unhealthy.

How long did it take for your hair to adjust?

About two months. It is SO important to give your hair time to adjust its oil production naturally. For me, it was two months.

How did you deal with the grease?

Owned it. 💪🏼 I also wore lots of hats, buns, ponytails, etc. and all the people I cared about knew and supported me fully. ❤️ At the end of the day, it’s not your hair that makes you beautiful, you are.

Interested in trying the no-poo method yourself? Here are my 3 BEST tips for success:

women with long brown hair smiling at camera

1. The cleaning must-haves I shared above are essential. 

On days when I felt like quitting, being able to ‘wash’ my hair with something really gave me life. Plus, clearly, according to my stylist, these natural products really did the job of keeping my scalp healthy!

2. Give it time and have patience. 

Your hair needs ample time for its oil production to naturally adjust. I’ve seen some people advertise the no poo method for 10 days or 2 weeks, but I truly felt mine did not adjust until the 2-month mark, so you would need this much tie or longer.

3. Own it.

At the end of the day, it’s just hair. You’re beautiful from the inside out.  ❤️

From the bottom of my heart, thank you so much for following along! ❤️ Overall, I couldn’t have done this challenge without the positive support from so many of our wonderful readers!

Check out our new weekly clean natural products series if you’re looking to ditch toxins completely. 

About the writer:

Melinda has over 6 years of experience working in the frugal living and lifestyle online space. She has a BA in Journalism from the University of Connecticut and paid off over 50k in student loan debt with the help of couponing!

Join The Discussion

Comments 34

  1. Ashley

    I can go about 5 days until the hair above my neck starts to really itch…. but I have wavy hair so I need products to help tame it. ( you don’t want to see my hair without curling cream and gel)

  2. jill

    I definitely do not think I could do this. We live in TN and it’s been SUCH a hot sweaty humid summer. I would look like I brushed my hair with a pork chop. I did switch to Kitsch shampoo bars, so no plastic at all, and they have fundamentally changed my hair. So I feel really good about the plastic I’m saving , but still getting shampoo and conditioner and no harmful chemicals. (and no animal testing!!)

    • SoCalLemon

      ” I would look like I brushed my hair with a pork chop” 😂😂😂

    • Melinda (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks for sharing about your recent switch to shampoo bars! I’ve been wanting to try those!

    • Katie

      The Kitsch shampoo bars, like most others, contain “fragrance” in them. Since companies don’t disclose what is used to make the proprietary scents, you are likely still using harmful chemicals with products that have that word on the ingredient list. That one word can represent thousands of ingredients.🤷‍♀️ Rowe Casa Organics makes nontoxic shampoo & conditioner bars. They also have a hair spritz that helps benefit overall hair and scalp health!

  3. Natasha-ai

    Very cool. I wish I could do this, but my hair needs some product help to detangle it. I might have seborrheic dermatitis too. For a long time I used oils, thinking that helped. However, I have an oily face, and someone smartly said that the skin on your face is closest to your scalp, so why add more oil. That made a big difference, not adding oil. I guess I shared this to encourage people to try things that you think are silly or shouldn’t work. Doctors gave me medicated oils for years. Turns out I needed less, not more.

    • Melinda (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks for sharing about your experience!

  4. Anna

    Does anyone know if the refress shampoo bar works? Does it help darken hair that is greying? Thanks!

  5. queen62

    Definitely not for all hair types.

  6. Kelli Ruiz

    I’m in Florida. There is a lot of heat and humidity here. I’ll pass. I understand less chemicals for your hair and all that but a gal’s gotta wash her hair at least once a week. I would feel disgusting otherwise. Never understood it when I see people doing this but abusing their bodies in other ways. Not you, but others.

    • Melinda (Hip Sidekick)

      One of my biggest fears was doing this over the summer with the heat! Thankfully here in Connecticut our summer wasn’t too hot this year!

  7. Hblog

    I think your hair looks really pretty at the end of the four months. I wonder if there’s a middle ground with once a week ish shampooing and using less products. Congrats on being able to do it!

    • Melinda (Hip Sidekick)

      Thank you so much! I appreciate your kind words

  8. Ker

    Apple cider vinegar will lighten your hair though… and give it a reddish tint…

  9. Kimberly

    I’ve been watching your no poo challenge on IG. I have to commend you on making it the full four months. I went through a health crisis three years ago and was only physically able to wash my hair about once a month, for a period of six months. It definitely changed my hair. Before, I was washing my hair every other day. After I got well, I found I only needed to shampoo it once a week. I think we become overreliant on products which “make” us have to wash our hair way more often necessary. Anyway, I really enjoyed all your updates and watching your journey. I think you managed so well during the four months, but it was SO satisfying seeing you finally getting your hair washed. 🙂

    • Melinda (Hip Sidekick)

      You’re so sweet, Kimberly! Thank you for sharing. I agree, I think we typically wash our hair way more than we “need” to. This challenge definitely taught me to go much further in between my washes. I am sorry to hear about your health concerns but trust you are better now!

  10. riss

    A few months ago, I didn’t wash my hair for a week. I was just lazy and busy, and I thought of experimenting. My hair, as I grow older, has become frizzy. Not your regular frizz , but a growling frizzy hair. I think it’s from years of highlighting and use of curling /straightening iron with just on and off use of heat protectant spray. Anyhoo, I was pleasantly surprised that my hair was less frizzy (maybe from the grease?😬) and manageable and looked like my hair from 6 years ago. I should probably do that again, but just thinking about not washing /shampooing for that long plus the heat made me go back to 2-3x a week shampoo routine.

  11. Lynnic

    I was trying to grow my hair for years! I tryed everything masks, biotin, oil treatments. Nothing worked to get me past mid way down my back. I saw one YouTuber who said she limits the amount of times she washes her hair since the stripping causes breakage. I slowly reduced the days I washed my hair down to 1 day a week. My hair is now below my hips!!! Nothing different except the washing reduction. My hair at 36 is the longest I’ve every had it.

  12. Katie

    I truly can’t believe you did this!! So amazing!! I so wish I could do this too. Unfortunately I overproduce oil big time and about 24 hours after a wash I look like I’ve used butter as hair gel. It’s so oily and gross ..dry shampoo can get me through two days and then it will start to itch so bad. I wear hats all the time and my hair is thin and fragile. It sucks. Your day 120 looks like my day 2. Sooo you lived a dream in my opinion!

  13. amyh

    I have switched from shampoo to soap (Dr Bronner’s.) Week two was awful. My hair was so greasy! But I pushed through and at week three now my hair is finally getting back to “normal.” I only wash every two three days and use their Organic Citrus Hair Rinse once a week. I’ve found the oils in the soap are enough for my oily hair that I don’t need conditioner often. I use the soap as a body wash and the tea tree bar for my face. My shin looks incredible now!

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Awesome! Thanks for sharing your hair routine with us! 🤗

  14. Jen

    Wow that’s a harsh regimen. Definately not for everyone. I have to wash my hair every 2-3 days tops and more like every day in the Summer due to the heat and humidity. Also it seems like it stripped your hair. Apple Cider Vinegar is pretty strong stuff! I’m addicted to soft hair that I get from my shampoo and conditioner. To each their own.

  15. Jen

    I asked Microsoft’s AI CoPilot about the risks & benefits of doing this… here is what “it” said:
    Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has gained popularity as a natural remedy for hair care. Let’s explore its benefits, usage, and precautions:

    Benefits of ACV for Hair:
    Acidity and pH Balance: ACV is acidic and contains acetic acid. Hair that appears dull, brittle, or frizzy tends to be more alkaline. ACV helps lower the pH, bringing hair health back into balance.
    Antimicrobial Properties: ACV may control bacteria or fungi that can lead to scalp and hair issues, such as minor infections or itchiness.
    Rich in Vitamins and Minerals: ACV contains vitamin C, B, and alpha-hydroxy acid, which can help exfoliate the scalp and combat dandruff 1.

    How to Use ACV for Hair Care:
    Create an ACV rinse by mixing 2 to 4 tablespoons of ACV with 16 ounces of water.
    After shampooing and conditioning, pour the mixture evenly over your hair, working it into your scalp.
    Let it sit for a couple of minutes, then rinse it out.
    If the smell is too strong, add a few drops of essential oil to the mixture.
    Incorporate this rinse into your hair care routine a couple of times a week 1.

    Dilute ACV: Always dilute ACV with water before applying it directly to the skin or hair.
    Avoid Overuse: Using ACV excessively can be harmful. If your hair or scalp issues worsen, discontinue use.
    Caution for Sensitive Skin: ACV contains acetic acids that may irritate or burn the skin. If irritation occurs, it usually clears up within a couple of days.
    Color-Treated Hair: Be cautious if you have color-treated hair, as ACV may affect the color or cause damage 12.
    Duration: Leaving ACV in your hair for long periods is not recommended. Shampoo or conditioner with ACV usually calls for 2 to 5 minutes before rinsing 3.

    In summary, while ACV can be beneficial for hair, moderation and proper dilution are key. If any adverse effects occur, discontinue use and consult a professional. 🌿🌸

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Thank you so much for taking the time to share these details! Good to know! 🙌🩷

  16. Christine Spearman

    Now that the challenge is over and you succeeded! how often do you wash your hair with shampoo?

    • Melinda

      Hi Christine! I wash my hair now about once a week. I can definitely go longer in between washes but I sort of just got back into the habit of not going SUPER long in between washes. I would love to challenge myself to do this challenge again even if it were for one month or a shorter timeframe.

  17. Tracey

    My son stopped shampooing when he was just out of basic training (Go Coast Guard!); his friends there told him it was better not to wash for both time and health reasons. Of course his hair was shaved off at first, but once it grew in, he could let it grow a little longer. It was killing me that he didn’t wash it haha, but it’s been about 10 years now and he’s still at it – or not at it?! Somedays his hair does look a little greasy, but he’s happy, so what can I say! (He has beautiful thick wavy hair too; he’s out of the CG now so can do what he wants with it.) I do think it’d be harder as a girl to do this though, but that’s just me.

    • Tracey

      P.S. Melinda – Kudos to your for trying this! Your hair is beautiful!

      • Melinda

        Thanks so much, Tracey! Thanks for sharing about your son’s journey!

  18. AngieM

    Good for you girl! For being a team player and accomplishing for your personal goals well! 💪🏼👏🏻

  19. Kim

    Two of my sons don’t use shampoo but they do rinse their hair every day. The other one started getting dandruff so he shampoos once a week.

  20. Amy

    Interesting! Do you completely soak your hair with the vinegar/water spray, or just spray a little in? How often?


    • Melinda (Hip Sidekick)

      Hi Amy! No, I don’t completely soak my hair with the vinegar/water mixture. I mix it in a spray bottle, wet my hair in the shower and then would generously squirt the mixture all over my roots. After letting it sit for about 5 minutes I would rinse out with water. I did this probably once a week! I hope that helps 🙂

  21. Grace Cambron

    See absolutely NO reason to do this…what’s wrong with shampooing your hair like a normal person.

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