If you are not redirected automatically, follow the link to Gretchen, In-Between I No ‘Poo, Do You? | Honey, I Shrunk the Gretchen!
Pages Menu
Categories Menu

Posted on Mar 2, 2012 in Dear Diary, Food | 33 comments

I No ‘Poo, Do You?

Ahoy-hoy! Happy Friday folks! After the total and complete train wreck that was yesterday morning, I could honestly not be happier that Friday is here. Granted, my day got decidedly better after 5 PM, but it still took me a bit of shopping and a lot of deliciousness to pull me out of my funk.

Thankfully, my friend Lara was more than happy to help me achieve both. I met her at Tysons Corner, where we did a little of what was supposed to be window shopping, and then grabbed a bite to eat at La Sandia.


La Sandia is an upscale Mexican restaurant that I’ve been meaning to try forever, but never got the chance to. It always whet my appetite to see the diners out in the “patio” area having fresh guacamole prepared tableside. Naturally, Lara and I had to follow suit!


The guac was fantastic, as you’d expect. I also got a glass of sangria that was nice and strong — not watered down and overly sugary like you often find. I didn’t get a chance to try Lara’s margarita, but I assume it was also pretty bangin’.


For my entree, I got the grilled skirt steak tacos. They came with three mini tacos, rice, refried black beans, and salsa roja on the side. The rice and beans were delicious, as was the steak, but I guess I had kind of forgotten that I’m not a huge fan of the texture of corn tortillas. I ended up eating one full taco and then the filling out of the other two, haha. Overall, I would definitely come back to La Sandia again, if for nothing else but the guac. I think it’d be a great happy hour spot, though it is a little on the expensive side.


So despite what you may think, the title of this post does not, in fact, refer to constipation nor to the hilariously named confections that I picked up in Harry Potter World. I am instead referring to the on-and-off experimenting I’ve been doing with my hair over the past few months. The ‘poo is simply “shampoo”, shortened. If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you may remember that I tend to change my hair — both cut and color — quite often. In fact, I often joke that I could start an entirely new blog about just that.


I’ve actually been pretty lucky that all the wear and tear I’ve performed on my hair (rhyming!) hasn’t destroyed it too much. That said, I do find that the regular ol’ shampoo and conditioner caboodle hasn’t really been doing it any favors either. I have bone-straight, medium-thickness hair that gets greasy pretty easily. Because of the grease factor, I was washing my hair every day, which meant my hair color would fade very quickly. So in order to preserve not only my locks, but the many bottles of drug store hair-dye that I pour into them, I figured it was time to test out some other solutions of the non-shampoo variety.

omg so judged

I started doing research online and decided to try remaking myself from Beauty Base Zero. I read about the methods of cleansing your hair using baking soda and apple cider vinegar. I know, strange, right? After all, we’re not baking up in here! But still, I figured I’d give it a shot. I made a “shampoo” solution with baking soda and water, and used watered down apple cider vinegar as “conditioner”. To my immense surprise, the vinegar actually really worked as a conditioner. The baking soda definitely made my head feel clean, but it tangled up my hair something fierce, as you can imagine. Pour a little of the ACV solution on it, though? Bam. Silky. It was crazy! The instructions said you really only need to do this every couple of days, but after about half a day my hair would start greasing up again. In the end, this method just wasn’t for me. (I should note: most of what I read said that it takes a couple weeks of the baking soda/vinegar thing to really reset the balance of your hair, so if you stick with it then your oil levels will reduce and you really can go days and days without needing to wash it. I just wasn’t patient enough to wait that long, haha.)

I went back to shampooing with “color protecting shampoos” (what a load of crock) in the meantime, before remembering something. See, way back in college, my now-friend and then-classmate Tiffany gave a presentation on Wen Cleansing Conditioners. Created by celebrity hair stylist Chaz Dean, these puppies were designed to cleanse and conditioner your hair in one — without any of the harmful, oil- and color-stripping ingredients like Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (the thing that makes your shampoo lather and makes your hair feel “clean”). It took me a while to actually commit to trying it out, since it’s like $35 a bottle, but when I did I was admittedly quite impressed. It doesn’t give you that same lathering effect that shampoo does, but when you add a little bit of water to it and really massage it into your head, it froths up a bit (bonus: it tingles!). You leave it on your head while you go about doing all the rest of your shower biz-niz, and then rinse it out REALLY well. The end effect? Super soft hair that really DOES feel clean! Clean enough to go a day without washing, in fact. AND there’s much less colorful run-off water from my burgundy coiffure. Whaaat?


Of course, as mentioned, this ish is kind of expensive (says the girl who pays $40 for her face wash, haha). So when I ran out of Wen the first time, I didn’t bother replacing it and backslid into my old shampoo-ing ways. It wasn’t until I had to redye my hair YET AGAIN this time around that I realized I should probably try getting back on the horse. In doing a little more research, I found out something interesting for the budget-conscious of you, however. The ingredients in Wen are pretty similar to the ingredients in the conditioner I already had (purchased in conjunction with the aforementioned color “saving” shampoo). In fact, while waiting for my new bottle of Wen to arrive from Amazon, I tried using the same method with my regular conditioner and guess what? My hair felt totally clean. I think I read that the cleansing ingredient is the cetyl alcohol which is found in a lot of conditioners (including super cheap Suave brand), so they have the same cleansing ability for a fraction of the cost! I still really like the smell of Wen, so I’m not that upset that I committed to another bottle of the stuff. Still, I’ll definitely be experimenting with other, cheaper solutions once this one runs out, and suggest you do the same!

What’s your ‘poo philosophy? Are you an everyday shampoo-er? A non-shampooing hippie (heh)? A cleansing conditioner convert?


  1. I have fine hair that gets greasy very easily, so I definitely wash everyday. I use Pantene Aqua Light Shampoo and Conditioner which works fantastically and keeps my costs pretty low (thank goodness!). I also don’t dye my hair very often so I don’t really worry about keeping my color. Although, whatever I used Christmas eve seems just as dark now as the day I dyed it!

  2. I LOOOVE that you wrote about this! People ask me about my hair process all the time and a lot of times I refer to that presentation! That was before the no ‘poo movement went pretty mainstream too!!!

    • When my hair finally grows out I will strive to make it look exactly like (a less thick, less luxurious replica of) yours! 😀

  3. I like my herbal essences shampoo and don’t mind washing my hair every day but when i used to color my hair it wasn’t as fun since you’re right- the color doesn’t last. Alas, now that i am boring and do nothing with my hair it’s fine!

  4. I generally only shampoo my hair once every week or two in between the shampoo, I co-wash. Co-washing is basically just using conditioner to wash my hair. It works great for me.

    • Yup, that’s what I’m doing now! So far so good…!

    • Obviously I’m super behind in my Reader.. but all you do is use conditioner to “wash” your hair? How often do you cowash then? Daily? Every other day? This is interesting! I’ve tried only going every 3 days with washing my hair and it just gets soooo greasy. I’ve got coarse, thick hair and the greasiness usually comes during day 2 of not washing and by day 3 my head feels so incredibly itchy and weighted down that I have to wash it. I want to try this cowashing though. This sounds like this could work!

      • That’s basically what I do when I use Wen — it’s just a conditioner, but it really cleanses my hair! I still wash at least every two days, but it’s so nice knowing that I’m not stripping my hair of its oils and color but still getting it shiny and clean. 😀

  5. I just revamped my ‘poo regimen a while back too! I have used every kind of ‘poo and deep conditioner found in stores, but they all ended up drying my hair out, making it a frizzy mess with lots of dead ends. I was constantly in need of a trim which made it impossible to grow out. It also got greasy really fast. I was miserable!

    Anyway, I started used a sulfat free shampoo. I found Organix to be the best brand and it’s available in all stores. The blue bottle (Morrocan oil) seems to work the best for me. I also stopped washing it every day and switched to every three days. My hair hated it at first, but I used a dry shampoo on the second day and then pulled it back in a cute hairstyle the third day. My hair finally got used to it and doesn’t get greasy until the third day which is nice. You should check out the blog “My Yellow Sandbox”. She did a 30-hairstyles guide and most are pretty easy.

  6. I have super fine that I usually need to wash every day or it will look limp and greasy. However, one of the fantastic side effects of pregnancy was that I could get away with washing every other day. I use Pureology. It’s a little expensive but way better than the dozens of other brands I’ve tried. Also, I don’t blow dry my hair. I think that helps keep it healthier, besides, it’s gonna be stick straight no matter what I do to it!

  7. I wash my hair every three days. I haven’t made the switch to any non- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate shampoos, that’s the next step. At first, my hair didn’t like it because it was so used to every day. But now, it’s great! Pretty much day three is an up-do day, but it’s still not that greasy..it basically is the perfect up-do texture on day three. But, I pretty much have this feeling of guilt every time I use my shampoo…I imagine all the chemicals I’m washing down the drain. So, soon, I will be switching to something less chemically 🙂

  8. I have used Wen for about 6 months and have never looked back. That said, it definitely is a lifestyle shampoo. My hair is fine, delicate, and soft but very shiny when its taken care of and I find Wen gives it the best shine and guards best against breakage. Yes, it is expensive but what can I say—have to protect my best assets, which include my hair! I, too, have been on a 30-mins of workout a day routine for the last two weeks so I shower and washing my hair daily. No damage so far! Still great hair! I started with cucumber aloe, went to sweet almond mint and found it kind of weighed my hair down. Got fiesty and tried the winter vanilla mint (seasonal) and while that was great, am now back to cucumber aloe as my staple 🙂

    • Cucumber Aloe is the one I started with too! I just got the Almond Mint to try, and this morning was my first go with it. I wonder if I’ll find it different too — I just love the smell and the tinglieeeees!

  9. How I misspelled my name, I will never know…


  11. Wow, thanks for all the beauty tips, guys! I’ve never tried anything more exotic than the occasional raw egg (and not even that in years), but I have just found over the last two months or so that I’m starting to gray. At my age (38) it’s only to be expected, but I can’t help being super bummed about it. For years I looked ten years younger than my real age, and I guess without realizing it I was a little bit vain about that. Time to face the music! So, I was thinking about coloring my hair to cover the gray, but I have no idea how to go about it. And no budget for it either, I might add! Any thoughts, anyone?

    • There are a lot of really great at-home hair dyes for gray coverage that only cost like, what $6 – $10 a box? You should give one a try. I use Garnier Herbashine for my hair, which is a 10 minute one (and makes me feel better about putting chemicals on my head since it’s only for a short period of time, haha) but I know there are ones specifically formulated for gray coverage!

  12. It sounds like you and I have very similar hair — stick straight, medium thickness. Like you I (used to!) have to wash it often or it would get flat and greasy. My solution, I’m afraid, was to switch to higher-end products; I’ve been using Bumble and Bumble for a few years now and now only have to wash my hair twice a week. (Seriously.) I rinse almost every day and condition about every other day if I’m not washing. I did take some time cutting back on how often I washed my hair; I think I started out washing every other day and slowly lengthened the amount of time between washes.

    Washing my hair so infrequently allows me to have to splurge on shampoo MAYBE twice a year, but I’m also looking for a cheaper solution and like you I don’t think the baking soda/vinegar combo will really work for me … but until I find something that sticks I’m trying out a lot of natural shampoos and products without sulfates.

  13. I have tried the Wen but after a few washes, I felt that my hair seemed very heavy and weighed down and looked greasy. I have since switched to the L’Oreal Sulfate free shampoos and conditioners that are called “EverStrong” or “EverPure”. I fond that these leave my hair feeling about the same as the Wen did but I can still do my every other day hair washing and not look like a grease ball. I have thought about trying some of the other “flavors” other than the Sweet Almond Mint but haven’t made that leap yet.

  14. Geez, Gretchen- thanks for taking all the time to break it down for people like me who are far too lazy to do the research! I color my hair every 3 months or so and wash it every day- I have to. I sweat like crazy when I exercise and when I’m done my hair is drenched. If i didn’t wash it, I’m sure it would stink. And conditioner is my best friend. I usually buy whatever organic stuff is on sale- usually Jason brand. I LOVE Mineral Fusion though.
    I’m very intrigued by the baking soda/adv remedy… I might have to try that (although thinking about it makes me think of that science experiement that kids do in elementary school to make a volcano “erupt.”

  15. I have stick straight, medium thickness brown hair. In November I decided to take the plunge from an everyday washer to an every other day washer, as I kept on hearing that washing your hair everyday sucks the life out of your hair.

    So…. I went through a month long transition period where my hair got greasy which sucked. But now four months later I wash my hair three times a week and love it!!!! It saves time and , surprisingly, I like my hair better on non-wash days as it holds style better. So my hair looks more put together on those days. Who would have thought!?

    Anyways…point of this is that you should really try sticking it out.

    Another tip, on the second day after a wash I never put my hair up (even though I want to) because I find it makes my hair even more greasy.

    Good luck!!

  16. Since I donate my hair to cancer, I’m not allowed to wash my hair everyday. The natural oils need to stay in to keep it healthy long enough to get to the appropriate length… or else, SPLIT ENDS GALORE! So in simple language, I wash my hair about once every 3-4 days, both shampoo and conditioner applied.

    • I just wanted to say that I think it’s awesome you donate your hair!

  17. Interesting…I was just reading up on co-washing the other week. Right now I shampoo & condition every day. Maybe I should give co-washing another look.

  18. Haha, you said poo [so mature] 😛 I can’t count how many times I’ve thought about trying La Sandia- I’ve heard similar things, tasty but pricy… Maybe I’ll take your advice and stop by for happy hour…

  19. yeahhh I wash my hair everyday with Pert Plus. Its thin and gets oily super quick and I find Pert Plus to be a light and good shampoo. I feel like it’s probably bad for me because I’m sure its choc full o’chemicals but Pantene, Herbal Essences, even Biolage make my hair feel rubbery. It’s weird. Meh.

  20. Some people might think this is sort of gross, but I only shampoo my hair maybe every week (or longer, if I forget.) I use conditioner every day, but shampoo, not so much. I have curly hair though so it dries out very easily.

    • I mean once every week.

  21. Hey, I’ve been to that location! I went about two years ago while visiting my friends in DC, small world 🙂

  22. love this! i switched to the wen a few months go and here are some of my money saving tips. Wen goes on sale a lot of QVC. Around Christmas i snagged 5 bottles for 80 dollars so that was about 16 dollars a bottle! not bad at all considering it is shampoo and conditioner. They also make an organic no sodium laureth at walmart http://www.organixhair.com/ that is about 6 dollas a bottle. but at that price for me at lest, i would rather just use the wen. I love that stuff. I tried going back to regular shampoo and my hair looked so brassy and was not nearly as nice! great post, i will have to try and just conditioner wash when i need a quick fix or for traveling cause i havent figured out how to travel with wen.

  23. I love your hair!!! I wish I was bolder with mine in terms of cut and color. I’m so glad you are figuring out your ‘poo’ routine! Yippeee!!!! I have extremely fine hair that totally has to be washed every day. I’m obsessed with Dr. Brooners and Aussie shampoo 🙂

  24. Because I have course, dry, curly hair I only shampoo my hair one to two times a week. Otherwise it gets very frizzy. I have used many things to condition my hair from avocado and egg to every conditioner on the market. My favorite products right now are by “It’s a 10” they make great hair products for my type of hair and they don’t strip color.

    Apple Cider Vinegar is also very good for your scalp. It helps prevent dry scalp and light dandruff.


  1. A Day in the Life | Honey, I Shrunk the Gretchen! - [...] yesterday, so I quickly hop on the scale before popping into the now-warm shower. It’s a non-hair-washing day, plus…

Post a Reply

Your email address will not be published.