the no 'poo method

no, we're not constipated. yeah, we get that alot.

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No-Poo Newbie
tarheel34 wrote in no_poo
Hi, everyone! I am really new to this whole no 'poo thing. In fact, I just started this past Saturday. My hair would be classified as 2b, I believe. It is wavy and has a normal thickness, but is a little on the thinner side. As my hairdresser once told me, my hair may not be thick, but there is a lot of it. [: It is currently about shoulder length. I also dye it red. I used to wash my hair every day, but have been washing it every other day for the past few months. If I don't wash it at least that often, it gets visibly oily, which is odd because my scalp is currently a little dry.  My siblings and my mother all have super curly, lusciously thick hair. I was hoping going no-poo might show me that there is more curl to my hair than I think.

That's enough about me. [: I started last Saturday night with CO, figuring it would be better with my harder, mineral laden city water. I massaged conditioner (it is 'cone free!) into my scalp, let it sit for 10 minutes, washed it out, then applied it to my ends and rinsed. I finished up with a cold water rinse and let it air dry while I slept. The next morning, the middle layers of my hair were stringy and my scalp felt greasy. That night, I showered again and applied conditioner to my whole head, concentrating on the ends. Monday morning, the stringiness was even worse and my hair looked disgustingly gross. Thank goodness I have to wear it all up and under a hat for work! I had originally decided that I would try simply rinsing my hair with water that night, but the amount of sebum that had built up was so bad, I decided to use BS on my scalp and conditioner on the ends. I used 1 T of BS in 1 C of water, poured it on, massaged it in with my fingertips, and let it sit for a minute before washing it out. But, to no avail, my hair looked even worse the next morning. I scoured the No-Poo community for help last night because I REALLY didn't want to get trapped in my abusive relationship with shampoo again. After reading through countless pages on here, I decided to try a sugar scrub, followed by a citrus rinse, heavy on the citrus. I scrubbed about a cup of sugar onto my scalp and on the stringier sections of the hair shafts and rinsed. I'm not sure how much lemon juice or water I used. I didn't measure, but I used a very generous amount of juice. It was not fresh-squeezed juice, but bottled juice I bought from the grocery store a while back. I decided that enough was enough-- if my hair did not look better in the morning, I was going to use my shampoo.

Well, this morning, I went to the bathroom, looked at my hair, and it was still terribly greasy. There was no way I could leave for work with my hair like this. So I hopped in the shower and lathered up with the smallest amount of shampoo I could. It looks better now, but the crown still has a bit of sebum built up. However, my hair feels incredibly soft! I ended up buying a sulfate-free shampoo by Organix and some sulfate and silicone-free dry shampoo. I also bought a BBB today, hoping that would help in the future. I really don't want to go back to shampoo, but I simply cannot walk around with hair that looks greasy all the time. The reason I didn't use the BS/ACV method in the first place was because I was afraid BS would be too drying for my scalp and that the vinegar would only emphasize the natural oiliness of my hair.

Now that you have wasted the last ten minutes reading this novel of a post, I call on all of you No 'Poo veterans and resident experts to help me figure this thing out. When you first started, how did you control/camouflage the ridiculous amount of sebum build-up without drying out your scalp? Also, what can I use that will help preserve my red color? I will be showering again tonight to start this journey over, so if any of you have some advice, please please please share! [:

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I'd suggest going a little longer between washes to start with, instead of every other day see if you can't get a third day in. :) Also rinse in cool to cold water. I found when I went no
'poo the hotter the water (alas!) the greasier my hair was.

OH! And cornstarch. I love that a teeny bit of starch will cover the greasebomb look. Dip your fingers in a container of starch (preferably not the original container that you may use for food) and rub it in your palms. If you can see the white, you have too much left on your hands. Dust off so you have a shimmer and massage into your scalp and hair. Brush in with a boar bristle (or similar material) brush upside-down. You'll look like Preacher from Firefly, then brush your hair down again. Should end with soft hair that doesn't look greasy. Definitely try this once or twice when it's not urgent and you're not about to head to work or a date because you'll want time to rinse it out if it doesn't work!


The first month, I used 1 tablespoon of BS (baking soda) on 1 L (about 4 cups) of water. I had very greasy hair so I needed to get it become less greasy. After two weeks, I followed the BS with a conditioner-rinse (my store-bought organic conditioner which I already had, brand "Urtekram"), because my hair got too dry from only BS. With this, I could stretch washes to once a week :) Before that I washed 2 or 3 times a week. I continued the BS+conditioner for a month, then did BS + vinegar rinse for about 1.5 months. Then half a month of tea rinses, occasionally with vinegar as well, sometimes water-only inbetween. Then I passed through my transition period, used shampoo once again (to try) and it didn't really have an effect on the dryness/greasiness of my hair (only that it tangled more again and it did get soft). This morning I tried an egg shampoo for the first time and it made my hair very soft! Like as if I'd used shampoo. Maybe it will also help with your greasiness? However, I don't know whether it will protect your coloured hair - I think I remember reading somewhere that it's no problem for coloured hair, so it's probably safe :)

I mixed:
-1 egg yolk
-half a tea spoon of sunflower oil
-1 teaspoon of ACV
-1 teaspoon of water

I also made 1 liter of cold green tea.
I applied the egg mix like normal shampoo (though it was a bit more liquid), let it sit a bit, then rinsed it out using the cold tea and then a bit of colder water from the shower. Your hair will smell a bit of egg, but you could look into adding essential oils (I didn't have them at home) or, if you're going walking outside after showering, the smell will go away because of the wind outside (which is what I did).

Some links I found about the egg stuff:

That sounds pretty normal for most people, sadly. I didn't have as bad of a transition because I really only washed my hair 1-2 times a week to begin with.

If your hair looks really awful, try rubbing in some cornstarch to your dry hair to absorb some of the oil. Dry shampoo is your friend.

Cranberry tea in an ACV rinse can help keep red colour vibrant.

Hi Newbie!

I've just recently started the no 'poo thing myself, and had terrible problems with it until I realised the issue was with the hard water in my area. Hard water makes the BS precipitate out of the water and onto your scalp, and results in a really gross build-up. What I found worked wonders was instead using boiled water (that had cooled down of course). The boiling process helps to remove some of the minerals out of solution in the hard water, and it works SOOO much better when washing with BS as the BS then dissolves so much better. So I wet my hair, do my BS wash and rinse all using the boiled water, then do my ACV rinse. Hope this helps you! Best of luck with no 'poo - it really is awesome!

If you use mix the bs with your hard water it forms a mineral, calcium carbonate, that makes hair look dusty and doesn't clean it. I mix a tbsp bs with 1 cup distilled water, you can get it at the grocery store, and apply straight to my dry hair, scrub and rinse out the sebum. It certainly isn't harsher than shampoo. I do use diluted vinegar only on my ends when they get dry. The citrus rinses can really help with mineral build-up (think lyme-away) but I didn't feel they conditioned my hair. Part of it is just the transition phase, you just have to get through it, I wore my hair up for weeks. My transition period was about 2 months, it's hard but it's worth it!

I'm going to answer your Q by briefly telling my story :D Basically, I went through that icky stage last summer (right about this time of year) and I'd hardly done any research. I just heard that if you stop shampooing for six weeks, your scalp will adjust, your hair will look AWESOME, and best of all you won't ever had to touch shampoo again or get oily. Ha. Ha. *sarcastic stare* If only it were that simple!!! XD *siiiiiiigh* Now I've just ended up washing with BS/ACV every week ((I still think I could be completely cold turkey if my diet wasn't so crappy, lol)

But here's the thing. I now think back to the very beginning of my no-poo "journey" and remember all those days when I knew my hair looked totally gross, which made me so self-conscious as I interacted with people. And I continued to just stay strong and deal with it because I had so, so much hope that one day it would all be worth it. I tolerated the grease and wax for WELL over six weeks.

So here's my advice to you. Don't put yourself through so much misery! I see all these pictures of me from last summer and go, "dang, my hair looked HORRIBLE!!!!" :D I really wish that I had just eased into it. You know, one wash a week or something. My main problem was that I thought I needed</> to go through weeks and weeks of embarrassment in order for it to "work." But—and this is something I wish everyone could hear when they start no-poo—you DON'T have to do that to yourself!! Your hair won't look amazing at first, but no one has to think, "Wooooowww she hasn't showered in weeks, has she?"

You might be trying to do as little as possible to your hair, which is fine. But at the very least I would recommend using some cornstarch or baby powder. :) What I did for awhile was sprinkle a bunch of it on your head before bed—just around your hairline if you plan to wear it down, or closer to your face if you're putting it up the next day. In the morning you just brush it out with a BBB brush. Whenever I do it, I rub (okay, and scratch :D) it off my scalp and finger-comb it out of my hair. Usually I also flip my head over and shake it out. It is SUCH a great improvement, and I seeeeriously wish I could go back in time and make myself try it back in the beginning of my transition =)

If everyone adjusted perfectly after just six weeks of grease, then I definitely think it would be totally worth it!!!! But we both seem to have learned that's not the case. So seriously, be patient, and don't be afraid to drag out your transition time for the sake of your own dignity =) I WISH YOU THE BEST, FELLOW GREASE-HEAD!!! =D

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