The no-poo movement is simply that: not using shampoo. You can be moderate (and use a cleansing conditioner several times a week) or go to the extreme (not even getting your hair wet).
Over a year ago I transitioned to somewhere in between and I LOVE it. Here's the 14 struggles when you start, the reasons it's awesome, and tips on how to succeed!
1. Con: The phasing-in period.
The phasing-into-no-poo period includes a couple of weeks of greasy hair. There's just no way around this. Your hair is needing to acclimate to its natural oil production after being stripped of its oils every 1-2 days, and it's going to overproduce for a while.
2. Con: No more bubbles.
I no longer got the decadent experience of luxuriating in a lather of sensual bubbles. Maybe it's just the association with how shampoo is marketed as gorgeous models revel in a sea of shampoo bubbles, but I emotionally missed shampoo.
3. Con: No more instant silky.
You no longer have an instant way to make your hair silky and smooth for that special night out. With shampoo, you wash, dry, and you are great--without it, your hair tends to be a little flatter. There are definitely still days when I miss the instant pick-me-up of shampoo. My hair is naturally wavy, but after a day or two it pulls flat, so this was definitely noticeable on me.
4. Pro: Saves shower time.
However, when I started, I quickly began enjoying some of the benefits. No-poo saves so much time in the shower itself. Not only am I not shampooing every (other) day, I'm only getting my hair wet twice a week at most.
5. Pro: Saves life time.
I no longer have to wash my hair for the rest of my LIFE. Getting my hair wet and washing it easily took 10-15 extra minutes each time--HAVING to wash it and get it wet four+ times a week is a whole extra hour+ of time I can now sleep in, make a smoothie, or do anything I want.
6. Pro: My hair is healthier.
Once my hair acclimated to its natural oils, it was more moisturized and soft. My scalp was also far happier now that I wasn't washing it with shampoo and hot water.
7. Pro: You never have to worry about dirty hair.
I never have to worry about unexpectedly going out with dirty hair. My hair is never dirty! If I go 1 day or 6 days without getting it wet, it makes no difference. It looks great.
8. Pro: Save money on shampoo.
I'm only buying conditioner now, not shampoo too, so I cut my bill in half.
9. Pro: Save money on hair dye.
If you dye your hair, the color will last a lot longer when you're not shampooing.
10. Tip: Accept greasy hair for a bit.
To successfully transition to no-poo, just accept your hair will look oily for a while. Use dry shampoo sparingly as necessary, use hats, tie hair back, use headbands, etc. You can use baking soda to more naturally cleanse your hair (I've done this and it works great. Be forewarned: it will make your hair feel quite coarse.)
11. Tip: Be patient.
Your hair's been stripped of its natural oils for a while; it's going to over-produce oil because that's what it thinks you need. Give it time to acclimate to your new lifestyle.
12. Tip: Use a cleansing conditioner.
To ease the transition, you can start by replacing your shampoo with cleansing conditioner, and then phase the cleansing conditioner to once a week or less.
13. Tip: Regular conditioner is your friend.
Use your regular conditioner as usual! I love my Garnier Triple Nutrition: it makes my hair super soft.
14. Tip: Level-up with dry hair.
Once you're comfortable in your no-poo lifestyle, go longer between getting your hair and scalp wet at all. I only get my hair wet once or twice a week when I want to have really nice hair. In between, if a day comes up when I want my hair to look wavy but it hasn't been wet in a while (and has dragged out all the wave), I scrunch it with cool water from the sink, put it up in a bun, and an hour later it's back to its normal waviness.
I LOVE not shampooing my hair. It's saved me so much time, makes my lifestyle so much easier and feels healthier for my hair (and my wallet). Definitely one of the best changes I've made in my daily routine.