Honey Is The New Shampoo: Week 1

Earlier this month, I wrote a blog post about going no ‘poo, where I asked all of you seasoned experts to help me decide whether or not I should ditch commercial shampoo and conditioner in favor of more natural options.

First of all, I want to thank each and every one of you who shared an experience or piece of advice — I was overwhelmed by all of the comments, in the best way possible. After going through all of them, I decided against washing my hair with baking soda. It just seemed that a number of you had negative experiences with this, so ultimately I concluded that it wouldn’t be worth it for me. I did decide, however that I still wanted to try ditching commercial hair products… and there was one suggestion that stood out to me: honey washing. (Thank you, Tiana!)

Honey washing

To try out this method, all you need is raw honey, water, and a container. Just mix 1 tablespoon of honey in about 1/2 cup of water (use warm water to help melt the honey) to make the shampoo. Make sure you use raw honey — non-raw honey may sometimes be processed with other ingredients that can harm your hair.

day 0

On my last day using commercial shampoo, I took the above “before” picture, just so we have something to compare to! I recently chopped off about 4 inches of my hair (eep!), so I’m happy to be going into this with fresh ends! I didn’t use any styling products or tools on my hair this day — just let it dry naturally.

I’ve been keeping a daily diary of the process, so I wanted to share my experience from the first few days!

day1

Day 1: This morning I washed my hair with honey for the very first time! I combined 1 tablespoon of honey into  about 1/2 cup warm water in a mason jar, and mixed until well-combined. In the shower, I wet my hair, and then slowly poured the mixture over my head, trying to get as close to the roots as possible. I flipped my head different directions to reach different parts of my scalp. I gently massaged my scalp for about a minute, combed, and then rinsed. The best part about honey washing is that if you happen to get some in your mouth… it tastes delicious.

After washing, I let my hair air dry. I’m not a huge fan of the way it looks, but I always feel that way when my hair has dried naturally. It feels soft and doesn’t appear to be greasy. It doesn’t feel as clean as it normally does after washing with commercial shampoo, but no complaints here.

Day 2: Saturday… I didn’t wash my hair until this afternoon. I found a new way to apply the honey that’s easier than dumping a mason-jar-full of it over my head. I created the honey/water mixture, and then poured it into an empty honey bear container. This way, I can squeeze it out little by little, right where I need it. I used about half of the mixture for one wash. After washing, I dried and then styled my hair with heat tools – I was pretty pleased with the results. A little greasy, but looks and feels pretty good overall. (I wasn’t able to get a photo today — my apologies!)

day3

Day 3: Today, my hair was pretty greasy, but no different than a “normal” day without washing. It actually looks pretty good in the photo above. It seems slightly greasier in person. I’m going to wash my hair before bed, and I’ll wait until tomorrow to see how it comes out.

day4

Day 4: This morning I styled my hair with my usual routine: took a straightening iron to the pieces around my face, and a big curling iron to the rest. It looks similar to how it looked before washing yesterday, but the grease is starting to get to me. It’s probably not too noticeable to the outside world, but I’m not liking the way it feels, and I even think my hair smells like… hair. You know that smell. It’s not a bad smell, but I wouldn’t say it’s good, either. Today is a day I would have normally reached for my can of dry shampoo without a doubt, but I had to resist. I want the oil to start being produced less, and I fear that the dry shampoo would trick my body into thinking it needs to produce more.

5b

day 5

Day 5: I washed and styled my hair this morning… this is getting to be a little tough. Overall it looks similar to how it’s appeared the past 2-3 days, but feels a little greasier. I’ve also noticed my face breaking out over the past few days. I have sensitive skin and have always been prone to breakouts, so this could be due to a number of totally unrelated things (maybe stress?), but I’m also thinking it could have something to do with the oil on my hair — or the honey — coming in contact with my skin, and clogging my pores. I must admit, if it weren’t for the fact that I’m documenting this shampoo-less journey for you guys, I probably would be very tempted to switch back to commercial shampoo — and it’s only day 5! Must keep going. Thank you all for being my motivation!

I’ll be back next week with another week’s worth of entries! Wish me luck as I continue to endure this transition period, and please let me know if you have any advice! Thank you all!

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Wow, who knew? I was wondering if anyone has a great deep conditioner for dry hair?

Roxy xox
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Em

Very interesting – I may try this. I just got into a groove of making my own beauty products, so why not try with hair? The shampoo I use doesn’t have any sulfate, which I’ve heard is better for my curls. My only problem is that after the third day of not washing my hair, my scalp itches SO much. Imagine a zillion bug bits all over your head, and thats how it feels. So annoying. Anyway, I really like how your hair looks on the fifth day. You can tell that its slightly greasy, but it’s honestly not the… Read more »

Eve

It can be a tough journey to figure out, but it is SO worth it! Remember that honey doesn’t have much “grease fighting” power, so your hair has to get used to producing less oils. In the meantime, a dry shampoo made out of plain corn starch is amazing! Just sprinkle over hair and brush out. It will help you during your transition time :) If it gets to intens, and the honey doesn’t clean your hair well enough, there’s plenty of other options you can add occasionally to thorougly clean. Egg masks are great, as is rasul clay (thats… Read more »

Kari

I find with my natural made products that are supper simple in the ingredient area usually need a couple other treatment options added to the mix/routine. Usually one ingredient is not enough, honey repairs and heals and is an antibacterial, but not so much a “cleaner”, you may need a deep cleanse once a week to balance out the properties the honey does not have. I would look to a diffused water with your favorite aromatherapy oil to mist your hair if I are looking for a scent…… like I said, when it comes to my experience with home remedies,… Read more »

So happy you posted this! I recently started using honey shampoo as well and am so happy with the results. I too am occasionally having oil issues, but usually when I go 3+ days without washing. A little dry shampoo made of baking soda and cocoa powder has worked wonders on those grease days. I’ve also been using peppermint oil when I finish shampooing. I just towel dry my locks and then spread 2 or 3 drops mostly on the ends. It smells amazing! Thanks again and can’t wait to hear how this method continues to work for you!

kguin

I had totally forgotten about the breakouts until reading this- it is the oils in your hair! I started twisting my hair into a tight top knot before bed (also helped me to stay away from heat styling the next day) and washed my pillowcases twice weekly to combat this situation and it worked! Now that the “transition period” is long gone, so are the effects of the overproduction of oils and I can sleep with my hair all around my shoulders again :)
So excited for you!

I am very tempted to try this… the hubby is going back to school and it could save us a little money. Obviously not a whole whole lot, but every little bit counts! I exercise so much that I think I would alternate with a vinegar rinse. IDK, I am kinda terrified. I am glad you are trying this!

Hmmm, I am very interested to see how this goes! Good luck!

xo, Juliette Laura
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I still recommend a mud based product! like Bentonite clay or rhassoul mud so you don’t get that greasy feel in the hair.
….or AVC rinse before or after the honey

….Or mix the honey with 1 egg

Well done so far thou, love your hair!!

Alana Reina

I tried the no poo thing for almost a year, first with baking soda and acv then with just acv then with coconut milk. I have thick curly hair and by the end of it had just gotten so frustrating with having bad hair days for weeks and months on end that I gave up. My hair would be super dry for a couple days, then super greasy then back to dry! Since then I’ve found some really lovely products at Sprouts that are all organic. The trick with buying packaged beauty products is to look at the ingredients and… Read more »

Laura

Keep it up, maybe after your body adjusts it will start to feel less greasy to you. It doesn’t look greasy it all. In fact your hair looks very healthy. I’m really considering doing this myself. I have very very long hair and go thro shampoo/conditioner very fast. Looking forward to seeing your results!!

You should try honey instead of face wash too. I don’t know about the no ‘poo thing, since my hair is fine and gets very greasy, but I have been using honey for my face for about a year and I love it. I use to break out like I were 16 years old (and I’m 28) and it doens’t happen anymore!

Lizzi

I have just started the no poo thing too and I’ve been noticing that my skin is just a little irritated and breaking out as well. I have found that it helps to wash my face a little more often, also sometimes a bit of coconut oil with a few drops of tea tree oil mixed together before bed seems to help with the acne and redness (but remember to wash your face in the morning and don’t put on too much of the oil mixture or it will have the opposite effect. Just enough to balance the tea tree.… Read more »

Belen

Honey is actually pretty good for your skin it helps the skin relax if you ever break out mix honey with nutmeg and cinnamon and apply leave for about 25 mins the longer the better! You might be breaking out because of the oil residue from your hair getting to your face in the shower, if you plan to keep using honey for your hair, after you shower apply baking soda with a lil water wash your face with it, then use a gentle cleanser such as Cetaphil and WaLa!

Jenn

If you want to try an organic honey shampoo that leaves you feeling clean without the work of mixing I use Fair Trade Honey by Lush and it’s amazing. Rinses out, no oilyness and smells amazing.

Jaime

Have you tried Dr Bronenrs? Dilute it with some water and massage that into your hair a couple times a week for shampoo and rinse with apple cider vinegar for conditioner. You can do deep conditioning treatments a couple times a month too with coconut oil.

Kate

Just wanted to recommend that you try the JASON Biotin shampoo. It is amazing… seriously. And all ingredients are healthy for hair. It is only “commercial” in the sense that it is mass-produced, but it is the best shampoo i’ve ever used and the big bottles are reasonably priced and last for a very long time!

Brittany

I’ve been wanting to go no poo since your last post talking about doing it. I have thick curly hair and I think i’m going to go for it!

Ana

You should try using natural bentonite clay as a shampoo in combination with the honey. It’ll leave your hair feeling especially squeaky clean as well as moisturized.

Erin

I’m sure your breakouts aren’t from the honey. I have very acne prone skin (and am in my 20s) and actually wash my face with raw honey every day. It has helped my breakout tremendously!! And as an added bonus it acts as an anti-inflammatory and makes my skin much less red as well.

Arturo

Honey is a true natures gift, what you should do is add some herbs like mint to the process
That way the ph of the mix would be better and you will provably have the clean sensation after
The wash.
It should work I am a bee.

Jake

Wow your hair looks incredible! Did you know that using honey in your hair actually causes it to lighten, so if your planning to do this in the long run, you may end up with natural highlights!, I think your hair looks great, the honey also is known to strengthen the hair, so you may also end up with strong roots with non-splitting ends, lucky lucky!

Meghan Graham

I’m sure the raw honey isn’t causing breakouts. I’ve heard stories of people that use raw honey to treat acne. It’s probably just the extra oils in your hair. ..but isn’t the honey expensive? This hardly seems like a reasonable alternative to commercial shampoo to me. I switched to baking soda because I’m a poor student that needs to save money.

Emelyn

I’ve looked into going no poo a couple of different times now, but the happiest I’ve been is using LUSH products. They don’t have any harmful chemicals in them, but they still get the job done. I use their beer based shampoo and my hair is light and super shiny. I’ve switched off using all their liquid conditioners, and even their bar conditioners rock. My hair is kind of a pain in the butt because it’s curly under and wavy on top with a tendency to get greasy, but I love my LUSH products. They also are fighting against animal… Read more »

Amalla

I’ve washed my hair with baking soda and acv the past year. It did work for me, I was able to use less and less baking soda. I heard some people were able to only wash it once a week or decrease the baking soda so much that they eventually could clean their hair with just water. Though after a year of using it I’m not really convinced it was good for my hair, but for me the baking soda didn’t make my hair worse. I tried the honey once after reading it here in the comments, but I didn’t… Read more »