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No I am not promoting unhealthy bowl habits, I am proposing you consider cutting out shampoo and conditioner from your daily routine. Why you ask? Because you don’t need it and it is full of chemical junk.

Remember when I mentioned detoxifying my life? Going poo free is a very effective way to do that.

Now I know that the personal care companies like to point out that the FDA has said that in small amounts the toxins used in their products are not harmful. Unfortunately if these toxins are in our tooth paste, shampoo, conditioner, hair products, make up, lotion, sunblock, etc. We are not getting a small dose. We are in fact getting a very large dose daily using conventional products.

If you want to know the safety of the personal products you are using, and the chemicals you should be worried about check out the Environmental Working Group Cosmetics Database. You will be shocked at the toxins in the products you use every day.

The EWG has a rating system from 0-10, 0 being harmless and 10 being crazy toxic junk. This is the rating for the shampoo I was using 4 years ago, before detoxifying my life.

Ingredient Concerns

Ingredient Concerns Score
FRAGRANCE Ecotoxicology, Allergies/immunotoxicity, Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs), Miscellaneous, Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive)
Data: Fair
METHYLISOTHIAZOLINONE Ecotoxicology, Allergies/immunotoxicity, Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs), Neurotoxicity, Use restrictions
Data: Limited
METHYLCHLOROISOTHIAZOLINONE Cancer, Ecotoxicology, Allergies/immunotoxicity, Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs), Use restrictions
Data: Limited
COCAMIDE MEA Contamination concerns (NITROSAMINES-in the presence of nitrosating agents), Use restrictions
Data: None
COCAMIDOPROPYL BETAINE Ecotoxicology, Allergies/immunotoxicity, Contamination concerns (COCAMIDOPROPYL DIMETHYLAMINE3-DIMETHYLAMINOPROPYLAMINE,NITROSAMINES-in the presence of nitrosating agents), Use restrictions
Data: Fair
AMMONIUM LAURETH SULFATE Contamination concerns (ETHYLENE OXIDE1,4-DIOXANE), Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs)
Data: Limited
SODIUM LAURETH SULFATE Contamination concerns (ETHYLENE OXIDE1,4-DIOXANEETHYLENE OXIDE1,4-DIOXANE), Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs), Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), Use restrictions
Data: Limited
DIMETHICONE Ecotoxicology, Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), Use restrictions
Data: Limited
TETRASODIUM EDTA Enhanced skin absorption, Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), Occupational hazards
Data: Fair
SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE Ecotoxicology, Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs), Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), Use restrictions
Data: Fair
CITRIC ACID Use restrictions
Data: Fair


Compact for Safe Cosmetics Non-signer
Animal Testing Policy UNKNOWN: As of EWG’s last review, this company is not certified by PETA or Leaping Bunny as not testing on animals.


Ingredients from packaging: Water, Ammonium Laureth Sulfate, Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Chloride, Glycol Distearate, Dimethicone, Ammonium Xylenesulfonate, Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Milk, Fragrance, Cetyl Alcohol, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Trimethylolpropane Tricaprylate/Tricaprate, Cocamide MEA, Polyquaternium-10, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Benzoate, Citric Acid, Disodium EDTA, PEG 7M, Propylene Glycol, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Blue 1.
Directions from packaging: Use Me: Hurry, let your hair drink up, rinse and repeat. It’s twice as nice.


Mmm toxic. Here is the shampoo my husband has been using.


Ingredient Concerns

Ingredient Concerns Score
FRAGRANCE Ecotoxicology, Allergies/immunotoxicity, Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs), Miscellaneous, Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive)
Data: Fair
Cancer, Ecotoxicology, Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), Occupational hazards, Persistence and bioaccumulation, Use restrictions
Data: Limited
COCAMIDE DEA Cancer, Allergies/immunotoxicity, Contamination concerns (NITROSAMINES-in the presence of nitrosating agents), Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), Use restrictions
Data: Limited
DMDM HYDANTOIN Allergies/immunotoxicity, Contamination concerns (FORMALDEHYDE), Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs), Use restrictions
Data: Limited
Enhanced skin absorption, Contamination concerns (NITROSAMINES-in the presence of nitrosating agents), Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), Use restrictions
Data: Limited
COCAMIDOPROPYL BETAINE Ecotoxicology, Allergies/immunotoxicity, Contamination concerns (COCAMIDOPROPYL DIMETHYLAMINE3-DIMETHYLAMINOPROPYLAMINE,NITROSAMINES-in the presence of nitrosating agents), Use restrictions
Data: Fair
D&C RED 33 Use restrictions
Data: Limited
AMINOMETHYL PROPANOL Ecotoxicology, Contamination concerns (NITROSAMINES-in the presence of nitrosating agents, OXAZOLIDINE), Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs), Use restrictions
Data: Limited
FD&C BLUE 1 Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), Persistence and bioaccumulation, Use restrictions
Data: Limited


Ingredients from packaging: Active Ingredient: Selenium Sulfide (1%). Inactive Ingredients: Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Water, Ammonium Laureth Sulfate, Dihydrogenated Tallow Phthalic Acid Amide, Cocamide DEA, Dimethicone, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, DMDM Hydantoin, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Fragrance, Sodium Chloride.
Directions from packaging: Shake well. Shampoo, then rinse thoroughly. For best results, use at least twice a week or as directed by a doctor.
Warnings from packaging: For external use only. Ask a doctor before use if you have seborrheic dermatitis in areas other than the scalp. When using this product avoid contact with eyes. If contact occurs, rinse eyes thoroughly with water; for color-treated or permed hair, rinse thoroughly. Stop use and ask a doctor if condition worsens or does not improve after regular use of this product as directed. Keep out of reach of children. If swallowed, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away.


“I love you honey, here is some toxic crap for your scalp so you don’t get dandruff.”

I am now making a coconut milk shampoo inspired by One Good Thing By Jillee for him that is working well for his dandruff by the way. I share my modified recipe here.

How do I go poo free you ask?

There are two simple ways to go poo free. You use baking soda and water to wash your hair, and vinegar and water to condition your hair (really is there anything that baking soda and vinegar can NOT do?), or just rinse your hair in water every day. No washing, no conditioning, just clean your hair with the pure and natural power of water.

This may sound like a horror show to you. You are thinking, “My hair can not handle not being washed EVERY SINGLE DAY or I will look like a dreadlocked hippie and smell funny.” I promise you you will not get dreads unless that is the look you so desire.

I have been poo free for 6 months now. I started by using about 1 tbsp baking soda in 1 c of water. I pour it onto my hair and rub it into my scalp then rinse until the water no longer tastes of baking soda. Baking soda does not rinse out as quickly as shampoo so be sure you get it all out or your scalp will get itchy. Then about every 3 days I would rinse my hair with 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar and 1 c water getting the roots first then just splashing a little on my scalp at the end to help avoid dandruff. Again rinse until your hair no longer smells or tastes like vinegar.

After my hair went through a bit of a detox period (2 weeks), which is very common and happens in pretty much everyone who has been using shampoo and conditioner, I was able to reduce the frequency between hair washing and rinsing. After I got down to washing and rinsing once a week with baking soda and vinegar, I was able to reduce the amounts I was using.

I now do not have to use vinegar at all. My hair is soft enough and produces its own oils so that conditioner is not necessariy. I wash my hair about every two weeks, otherwise it gets itchy and dandruff. I think it is because of the extreme dryness of Colorado.

My hair looks nice and healthy. It is not dry or brittle. It is not greasy, dirty or dingy. Other than the fact that I always wear it in a pony tail because I have 2 kids under the age of 2 I have no complaints. The times I have styled it, it has held shape much better than it did when I was using conventional cleansing products. It has also gotten much more curly than it used to be.


A few notes:

  • You will have to play with proportions until you find the right amount to use for you.
  • You will probably go through a detox period. I recommend washing your hair daily with the baking soda until this is over. What is happening is your hair is so used to having the natural oils stripped away that it is over producing sebum to keep your hair healthy. When you stop shampooing it takes your body a while to reach homeostasis again. This is normal. It looks gross, but is totally normal. Become a friend with your hairband until this phase is over. Depending on how off your body was, and how many toxins your body needs to get rid of, this can last up to two months. Be patient. Be strong. It is worth it!
  • If you hair looks greasy use less vinegar, especially on the scalp. The vinegar is a VERY good conditioning agent. You really don’t need much at all, certainly not as often as you were conditioning.
  • If you get dandruff add Melaleuca, Geranium, and Peppermint essential oils (or a combination of them) to your rinse, or rub a few drops on your scalp when you get out of the shower. They will soothe and condition your scalp and help kill the yeast that causes dandruff.
  • I get my Essential Oils here.
  • If your hair is dry and brittle use less baking soda and wash your hair less often.
  • If you really damaged your hair and it is super dry massage 2 tbsp of jojoba oil, 2 drops of geranium and 2 drops lavender, chamomile, rosemary, or peppermint essential oils into your hair from the roots up. Let it sit in your hair at least an hour, but ideally over night and wash it out. It will take a nice hot shower and a good wash to get the oil out. Maybe two or three washes. What I am saying is do this on a friday night. Once you get the oil out your hair will look glorious. If you really want it to wash out the next day use something like coconut oil shampoo or Dr. Bonners soap to get it out this one time. After the treatment, cut down the amount of baking soda you are using.
  • Yes you can go poo free and exercise. Just shower after you work out. You don’t even need to use the wash, just water will rinse the exercise goop out of your hair nicely.
  • Yes our kids are also poo free. It is really easy and works well. We usually don’t even have to use the baking soda wash, just good ole water.

I have found my hair is happier just being washed every two weeks or so. It is healthy and brushes easily. I really love the freedom of not being beholden to the shampoo gods. I also love that we save about $20 a month not buying shampoo and conditioner!

There are some people who just never find that right balance of poo free living. In that case you can do a few things, make your own coconut milk shampoo. I like this because it is easy and you can customize it with essential oils to make it special to you. You can also go to the EWG website and find hair care products that are less toxic. They may cost a lot but isn’t your health worth it?

Have you gone poo free? What has your experience been?


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This post has been shared on: Tiny Tip Tuesday, Anti-Procrastination Tuesday,  Show Me What Ya Got, Show Me What You Got, Homemaking Link Up, Traditional Tuesdays, Wildcrafting Wednesday, Frugal Days Sustainable Ways, Healthy2Day, Homemaking Link Up, Works For Me Wednesday, Milk and Cuddles Wednesday Link Up,

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About Amanda

Amanda is a mother of two amazing toddlers. She is an herbalist, natural living guru, and real food, gluten free eating pro. She loves to help educate others on how to take control of their own health through natural living, real food, herbs, essential oils, and most of all - a positive mind set. Her other business Natural Herbal Living Magazine is all about helping people learn about how to use one herb a month on a deep and profound level.
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32 Responses to Poo free is the way to be!

  1. Megan Eidson says:

    Interesting.. I was wondering about this, but hadn’t sat down to research personal experiences yet. I don’t use any soap on my body and haven’t in YEARS because of how sensitive my skin is, (and I have no acne or grossness, in fact, my skin is pretty darn nice, considering I haven’t washed my face except on RARE occasion for a decade!) but I was wondering how long my hair would look gross before it started looking better. I’m strawberry blonde, and the greasy look is very clear on us light headed people, but I’m willing to go a few weeks of “detox” before my hair looks good again! My kids have gone periods of time w/ VERY little hair washing and their hair always ends up looking fine (except my preteen girl. but hormones may affect her a little more than us at this moment in her life!)… interesting. I think I’ll try it! 🙂

  2. D'ANN says:

    After dealing with breast cancer as the tail-end of a long, long list of serious degenerative illnesses before I turned 50, I started detoxing my life. I switched to a borax solution for washing head to toe, and using a citric acid solution as a rinse to remove any residues (borax is hard to wash off!) Vinegar and water worked as a conditioner if/when hair was a bit dry. I did this for two years and alot of skin/hair problems went away. However, I have discovered a soapnuts shampoo (organic) that I also use as bodywash. I love that it rinses completely away with plain water. My hair returned to its natural shine and curl – as in what it looked like when I was very, very young – and none of my previous issues (shampoo and soap days) have returned. Since I tend to have dry skin and hair, I use an organic oil like rose hip seed oil or morrocan oil on skin and hair. My hair looks like I just stepped out of a hair salon every time I do the shampoo and oil treatment. While hair is wet (blotted only with towel) I apply a few drops to my palms and massage it into hair from halfway down to the ends. I use a wide-tooth combe to get out tangles and distribute oil evenly. That’s it! Not as inexpensive as water only, but works well with my dry skin and hair, no toxins, and I look and feel fab. I go about 2 weeks between shampoos, using a water rinse in between for hair and body. I highly recommend this method of skin/hair care!

    • Amanda says:

      That sounds like a wonderful routine! Thank you for sharing! It is amazing what it takes for us to finally look at how we are living and motivate us to make changes and detoxify our life.

  3. beth says:

    Good stuff. Thanks for the tips. I haven’t used sulfate shampoo for a while now but it never occurred to me to just use baking soda and vinegar. This will be so much cheaper. Coconut oil and olive oil are very good for your scalp, and hair, too.

  4. I’m down to shampooing only a few days a week and conditioning another day or so, but haven’t been able to give it up completely. Even though I use natural stuff (love Skin Deep!), I think what I really needed was a substitute to motivate. Hello baking soda and vinegar; nice to meet you (again!). Agree, there isn’t much you can’t accomplish with those two wonders! 🙂

  5. Raia Torn says:

    Great article! I’ve been poo-free for a year now and I love it. I live in MT, where it is also pretty dry, and found that the baking soda was making my hair break too easily. Now I just use ACV once a week (twice at the most) and baking soda once a month. My hubby just uses water, and so do my kids. I’ve also stopped using soap since I’ve found that cutting allergens out of my diet and chemicals out of my body care makes my BO pretty much non-existent!

  6. I LOVE poo-free! 🙂 And thanks so much for linking up at Tiny Tip Tuesday! As always, your posts usually go beyond the typical “this is how it’s done” and focus more on the why. I love all of your extra tips; I actually learned a couple of new things! Thanks again 🙂

  7. Jessica T says:

    We started using baking soda and vinegar to wash our hair. I was seriously skeptical, but after trying it out, I wish we had heard about it a long time ago! No more poo for us. 🙂

  8. […] Poo free is the way to be! by Natural Living […]

  9. […] Poo free is the way to be! by Natural Living […]

  10. Andrea says:

    I’ve been “poo free” for a few years now, and I would never go back. Actually the acv rinse is a MUCH more effective conditoner than any commercial (even organic) product I have ever used. (PS. I have super thin, wavy hair past my butt – the worst kind for tangles).

    Often I don’t even use the baking soda, and just rinse with the acv solution. After my shower, I comb through a drop or two of an essential oil (whatever I’m in the mood for that day) and it takes care of the vinegar smell.

    Saves so much money, and is so much better for you.

  11. Shannon says:

    Thanks for linking up on Mommy Club! I dont use shampoo either…and love the points you made. Boy you really had me wondering with your funny title too!!


    • Amanda says:

      Ha! thanks for reading! My husband wasn’t too sure about the title or the opening either but I guess it worked! People are reading it! 🙂

  12. Laurie says:

    Thanks for linking up to Wildcraftng Wednesday. Your link is one of this week’s featured posts –

    Nice tips on going no poo. I tried, but buckled under the ickiness. Instead, I’ve been weening myself off shampoo, slowly going longer between washes, and it seems to be working.

    • Amanda says:

      Thank you! I love Wildcrafting Wednesday! It keeps me writing my herb posts every week even when I don’t particularly feel like it 😉

      It is hard to get through the detox some times. I weaned my self down first. I think its a great idea!

  13. Our daughter is almost 2 years old and she has never seen a drop of shampoo on her little blond little locks, so inspired by her, my husband and I also dropped the poo about 2.5 months ago – and we love it! Most times we just wash with warm water and a washcloth, massaging from the neck to the forehead. If we feel it necessary we also use apple cider vinegar in the rinse, but I prefer to make a bigger batch of tea/infusion of chamomile to rinse with. My hair has so much body like it never had before and actually less snarls too. Amazing, makes me wonder why we are all taught as children that toxic chemicals are the way to get clean.

    • Amanda says:

      I love how children are such an inspiration to living more natural lives! It is amazing and terrifying how much toxic junk we are “supposed to” use on our clean precious little ones.

  14. Christine says:

    My daughter has a lot of problems with her hair and scalp, like cradle cap except shes 20. She gets large areas of soggy dandruff, very itchy scalp and believes she has to wash and condition her hair daily with head and shoulders. Thank you for the info about toxicity it will help. Also has anyone with these type of problems gone poo free and if so what was your experience with it? I need some facts to present to my daughter to help her believe.

    • Amanda says:

      It might, it depends on her mind set largely. Since people in the main stream culture feel it is necessary to shampoo and condition daily she may not believe you can go poo free. I am a big believer that toxins, hormones, and pesticide exposure in our daily life leads to a lot of the problems we face today.

      It might be easier to convince her to switch to the coconut milk shampoo I linked but add 15 drops Melaleuca and Chamomile essential oils, and 10 drops of Geranium essential oil to help with her scalp issues. Also, rubbing coconut oil directly onto the scalp and letting it set at least an hour (preferably over night) will help loosen up that crud and can help clear her scalp.

      I have not come across anyone specifically who has had this problem going poo free but I am sure you could do an internet search and see what you find. What kind of facts are you looking for? I have some good links about how diet and toxicity lead to health/skin problems.

    • Laurie says:

      My son had cradle cap like flaking on his scalp after taking swim lessons (pretty sure the pool messed up his scalp). I used a kombucha SCOBY to restore healthy bacteria to his head –

  15. […] Poo Free is the Way to Be! by Natural Living Mama […]

  16. […] like to stay that way, add 1-2 drops of Melaleuca (tea tree oil) Essential Oil to your shampoo/poo free solution every time they wash their hair. Just to be safe just add it to everyone’s […]

  17. […] see, I was poo-free for a while but I just hated cleaning my hair with baking soda. No matter what I did it dried my […]

  18. […] pulling, showering with natural soap (usually goats milk with fresh herbs from the farmers market), no shampoo or conditioner (poo free) or this homemade shampoo for my self and the kids and this anti-dandruff shampoo for my husband , […]

  19. […] my poo free post, I discussed how many chemicals are in our personal care products. Some of these chemicals are […]

  20. Ally says:

    can you put any EO or something in to fragrance your hair?

  21. Andrea V. says:

    I now do water only washing for my hair (been doing it for about 6 weeks now) and I would like to mention that having a boar bristle brush for your hair is ESSENTIAL to help move the oil from the scalp down the length of your hair, and even moreso if your hair is curly or wavy. You can pick them up fairly cheaply from Amazon. I wouldn’t try water only washing without one! Make sure what you’re getting is 100% boar (and I would do a stiff bristle for scalp massage, too). I do have one that has a taller nylon bristle in the middle of a clump of boar bristles by Spornette that is good, also.

  22. […] Make your own DIY shampoo, anti-dandruff shampoo, or go Poo-FREE […]

  23. I live in Colorado as well and the winters can be MURDER on hair if you’re used to washing it daily or even weekly. I have normally oily hair and have found that a few minutes under very hot water will remove the majority of the excess oil on my scalp. I go for, literally, WEEKS without using washing products on my hair. My kids are the same way and my youngest son has the most beautiful, shimmery hair imaginable! He “washes” his hair once a month or less and most of the people can’t tell it’s been that long between washes.

    I have noticed that using boar bristle brushes makes it easier to go between washes because it seems to make the oils distribute through the hair much nicer than plastic bristles and keeps the scalp stimulated as well. Just an idea for you 🙂

  24. […] want to avoid getting cancer, or endocrine disruption, or lose her hair  and instead chose to go no-poo, washing her hair with baking soda and apple cider vinegar, THEN, very selfishly (according to […]

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