No-Poo and How I dealt with my Scalp Odor

No-Poo and How I dealt with my Scalp Odor

After I stopped using all the facial skin care products, body soap, and lotion, it was natural for me to become curious whether I would be successful in getting rid of hair products as well.

It’s called “No-poo” method when you clean your hair with only water instead of shampoo.

Many people are interested in this method because of these good reasons.

  • No chemical ingredients
  • Hair becomes healthy
  • Budget-friendly
  • Eco-friendly

Do hairs become healthier while saving money and being eco-friendly? As I always prefer natural methods to artificial ones, the No-Poo method sounds fascinating to me.


No-Poo Method Tips

Before I talk about my long story, let me introduce some tips that would help you to start the “No-Poo” method successfully.



Brush your hair thoroughly before shower or whenever you want. Investing in a good boar bristle brush is highly recommended. I bought a Mason Pearson’s Handy Bristle Hair Brush-the Rolls-Royce of hairbrushes.  It is expensive but could last a lifetime. I pushed myself to buy it because I didn’t want to waste on other cheaper ones wondering how better the Mason Pearson Brush is. And I am happy I bought it. It cleans hair effectively, gives a good stimulation on the scalp, and makes hair look clean and smooth.


Avoid too hot water

Same as all the other fasting methods introduced in this blog, avoid the too hot water in a shower as that would dry your scalp and hair.


Scalp massage

Give a good gentle massage on your scalp while in the shower. That will help to remove the excess oil build up.


Citric acid rinse

It helps the pH balance and makes the hairs smooth.  After cleaning your hair with water, add a teaspoon of citric acid in a bowl and dip your hairs into only for a few seconds. Rinse with water thoroughly. Use this method once a week or less as it might be too harsh if used too often.



My Attempt for No-Poo method four years ago

I tried the No-Poo method about four years ago, but it had to end without success.

My hair used to be prone to oily at that time. I had been washing my hair with shampoo every day as most Japanese people do so. The oil problem became the worst when I was using a fancy deep-cleaning shampoo that was recommended by my hair stylist. The shampoo was so harsh that my scalp was producing more oils to protect the scalp.

Because the oil balance was so messed up, my hair became very oily and itchy by the end of the day when I attempted the No-Poo method. It was so uncomfortable, and I couldn’t continue for more than two days.


Second chance of No-Poo trial

Ironically, my scalp condition improved since I have become too busy to wash my hair every day after my daughter was born. I skipped hair wash when I didn’t have time. I was staying home mostly, so I didn’t worry too much about my hair even if it gets oily.

Gradually my hair stopped producing excess oil. And at some point, I set my hair wash schedule for every one to two days. I continued the routine for about two years.

Because of that, when I started the no-poo method again this spring, it was so much easier than the last time. It was surprising to me that I was able to continue without shampoo for the full two months.

Here are my experiences during these two months.

  • My hairs didn’t look greasy nor unclean. It looked ok, but not beautiful.
  • My fingers felt a little sticky after running through my hair.
  • Sometimes I could smell a little odor from the scalp when I wash hair, but it wasn’t too bad (until later).
  • Hair became thicker and fuller.

I thought I could continue “No-Poo” and get rid of shampoo forever until the scalp odor started bothering me.


I became stink

I’ve noticed the slight odor coming from my scalp after about a week or so. It wasn’t too bad in the beginning, and I was hoping this would go away when the oil balance became controlled.

However, the odor has increased day by day.

I asked my husband to smell my head, but he said he didn’t smell anything ( His sense of smell is more than average), but I could smell it. It bothered me in a shower, on the train, or at the office. And I started worrying about what my coworker would think, what people around me on the train would think if they noticed it.

I tried everything that could potentially reduce the odor. Scalp massage, brushing thoroughly, salt water or baking soda wash, citric acid rinse… But none of them worked.


My solution for the scalp odor

Although I wanted to start the perfect “No-Poo” life, I decided to use shampoo to get rid of the smell. Amazingly, the odor vanished instantly. My hair was very light and smooth. It felt good.

Then I questioned myself, why am I doing the “No-Poo” method?
I didn’t commit with anyone to ban shampoo. I started this because I was just curious, but why am giving myself such a hard time to worry about the odor?

The last thing I want is that people think I stink, and I was becoming a stinky woman.

So my solution was to accept using shampoo occasionally. That way, I can still reduce the amount of shampoo I use without being stressed by the odor.

Because the summer has come, I need to use the shampoo once or twice a week currently.  I am hoping that will be less when the season changes.

The good thing about using shampoo minimally was not only eliminating the odor but also reducing the length of the time I need to clean my hairs each time.

Here is the lesson I learned. The most important thing about this whole fasting method is not to push yourself. You cannot be a perfectionist. You can’t neglect the desire to look clean and pretty today.

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