I Didn’t Wash My Hair for 4 Months! – Here’s How I Succeeded With 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…

woman with natural brown and grey hair

I will never take my hair for granted. 🤍

Nothing has taught me to appreciate my hair more than the no poo challenge. If you’re new here, I was challenged by Collin, our fabulous 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.

I even documented the whole process for you on our Instagram page – just look for the button that says “No Pooing” for all the videos, start to finish.

As a deal site, we are committed to bringing you all the things that help you save money but more importantly, live a better life. ❤️ 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. So, 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.

And my team & I weren’t the only ones intrigued! After seeing this method in several health/ beauty articles and all over social media it was time to put it to the Hip test!

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:

hand holding boar bristle brush

Now, I know what you’re thinking – why would any logical person choose to do this? 😅 But 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 on a daily basis.

Less plastic packaging waste consumed – This is a huge win for me, my wallet, and the planet! 🌱

And, of course, if you’re coming at this from a deals standpoint…

Less money spent on haircare products/ salon visits: I estimate saving at minimum $200 over the course of this challenge between skipping at least 1 of my 10-week salon visits, not purchasing at least two bottles of shampoo & 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…

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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 every team Wednesday.

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…

Like 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 that I may extend the length of time between washes for a more eco-friendly and wallet-friendly outcome. I think this method of haircare 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 necessarily cut shampoo out of my life. However, I do see the benefit and learned how little I really do need to wash my hair which will overall cut back 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/ 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.

woman holding apple cider vinegar

Interested in trying the no poo method yourself? Here are my 4 BEST tips for success:

#1 I cannot recommend apple cider vinegar, baking soda, and this boar bristle brush enough! 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. 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 and cheering me along! ❤️ I could not have done it without the positive support from so many of our wonderful, readers!

Looking for more natural hair products? Sara’s hair mask uses just ONE ingredient!

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 18

  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!

  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!

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