the no 'poo method

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

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My success story, long but worth reading!
mama2lala wrote in no_poo
My hair....

COLOR: dark brown golden brown ombré ends
TEXTURE: fine to average
LENGTH: Below shoulders
THICKNESS: Shockingly thick
MOISTURE: oily roots
SHAPE: wavy in the back blow dries straight
HEALTH: overall great, not many split ends

I have been no-pooing for 9 months and I finally got it right!!! I was drawn in by the cheap cost and promises of healthier hair. I went through every problem imaginable so I really wanted to document my experience. It's my dream to help someone out like me about to give up.

Problem 1 - Sticky hair

I stared very basic (1 Tbsp. BS in 1 cup tap water) dumping it on my head then massaging my scalp, which is very hard to do with thick hair by the way, then rinsed it out then and did the same with (1 Tbsp. ACV in 1 cup tap water). Every 4 days. I previously only shampooed every three days so this wasn't a huge adjustment. I have read the nightmare stories of the transition phase... It wasn't too bad.

{{I actually like the smell of the ACV it's terrible and overwhelming mid shower but once rinsed out, vinegar smell fades completely away and leaves a sweet hint of green Jolly Ranchers the sour apple kind! Yum. I don't understand why people hate it so much, it's much more nourishing than white vinegar or lemon juice.}}

I was so bummed with the fist 2 months. Dense oil coated my once light hair like a dull grease. It looked cleaner after "washing" and styling but felt nasty! I couldn't run my fingers through it. The underneath got really matted down and heavy. My brush was overloaded with hair because of the effort it was taking to get through the stickiness.

*I was told I wasn't rinsing enough so I tried right-side-up up-side-down even submerged in the tub to really get in there both scrubbing and rinsing. Didn't help.
*I was told for the amount of hair I have I needed a double recipe of BS then ACV solution to up the cleansing power, seemed logical so I tried that. Didn't help.
*I was told to use a boar bristle brush to pull the oils down to the ends. This has actually helped a little. Before showering, I sectioned off brush size pieces of hair warmed up the roots with a blow dryer and brushed the entire length several times with each piece. (Yes, the boar bristle brush was caked with junk and was put in the dishwasher afterwards.) This works like a natural hot oil treatment LOL! it is great for the inner strength of the hair, But it didn't help the overall nasty feel of my hair.

I nix'd the ACV and tried a stronger solution or 2 Tbsp. BS : 1 cup water this seemed to be the ticket. I finally got a lightweight clean I could run my fingers through. Yay?

Problem 2: Straw-like hair

I used to brush my hair like a ninja- fast and silent back in the days of shampoo. Too much BS in the solution was cooking my hair and it sounded like brushing taffeta, a swishy dry sound. It was brittle feeling, snarly and staticky, followed by the first significant split ends of my life. I even noticed damage where the ponytail band sits, and that's a bad sign. I went back to less BS and equal ACV and got dense sticky hair again and about gave up on the whole idea.
I decided not to ask for more advice and just read other people's stories with happy endings.

*I read to continue using conditioner so I went back to using my Biolage detangling solution, it must bond only to shampooed hair? because it didn't feel normal. It created some waxy build up that BS was not equipped to handle so I stopped.
*I read mixing BS in hard tap water was problematic and to at least boil the water before mixing. (My hubby has access to free distilled water at work so he fills a large jug from time to time, also great to have around for the floor steamer and iron) That made a huge difference! My hair was shiny again. Still difficult to brush and heavy, but not dull. I still use the d.i. water. The hard water from the shower is fine for wetting and rinsing just not for washing I have found.
*I read to mix honey in with the ACV (we bee keep so that's not a cost issue) could not tell a difference, not better, not worse, I was skeptical adding sticky to sticky hair, it was ok but no improvement so I stopped the honey and nothing changed again, so that's a mystery...
*I read to try egg yolks, (again we have an abundance of eggs from our chickens) that was just a giant mess, why do we do this to ourselves? yuck. Didn't help. Not that I even gave it a chance LOL
*I read to add essential oils(EO's) tea tree oil specifically for dry hair and itchy scalp, it smells nice and clean, not sure how oil mixes with water but I give it a good shake before applying. I use a very small amount, no noticeable improvement but I like it anyway.
*I read I need a shower head filter for hard water? Haven't found one yet...

Problem 3: Doing it wrong

The biggest mistake I made was in my application. I poured the entire solution on my head, worked it down and rinsed immediately after.
It was difficult to push the BS water down through thick tangled wet hair, so I came up with a new way...
I used an 8oz squeeze-y squirt-y cleansing bottle (yes, the one the hospital gives you after having a baby) to apply it closer to the scalp. I parted my hair (only near the roots) and squirted solution on six or so different parts of my scalp. Then I went back to the top to begin working my fingers through.
THIS IS WHERE IT GETS EXCITING!!!!!
In the amount of time it took to split my hair and squirt my scalp the baking soda began to work in the way it is supposed to, it became slippery! I could actually run my fingers through it (as well as I could with shampoo) it felt slimy and satisfying. Who knew!? Not me LOL!
Before, I never left it on my hair long enough to get slick and I didn't go back to the top after forcing it down. What a difference! It really got my hair squeaky clean without overdoing the BS. I started using the ACV rinse away from the scalp that helped bring back some lift.

Everyone has different hair. For me 1 Tbsp. was not enough and 2Tbsp.'s was too much so I split the difference at 1 1/2 T. But I was still not feeling balanced. The roots were slightly heavy and the ends were slightly dry, this was as good as it gets for me no-pooing. I wanted it all though, to FEEL as nice as it was using shampoo and conditioner, but keep the cost and healthy benefits of BS/ACV.
I wanted to go back to shampooing but I knew I would ruin all the progress I made and have to start over if I wanted to no-poo it again... I invested in some $ L'oreal-EverSleek sulfate and paraben free shampoo and added a drop amount to my cleansing bottle of BS solution. The bottle of shampoo will probably last several years at this rate LOL. It was just the boost my hair needed!
I also splurged on a leave in conditioner spray for the ends. Suave makes a very nice dry shampoo aerosol for $2, great for touch ups where it gets oily first, very easy to wash out with BS!
Another thing I discovered was I have to keep it dry between washings. It could just be me, but if I wet my head all over in the shower without washing it, it stimulates my scalp to release an obscene amount of grease and its all heavy and flat nasty. Maybe a hard water thing? I just use a swim cap the days I don't wash my hair.


SUCCESS!!!

My hair is shiny, clean, lightweight, healthy. I can run my fingers through it as much as I want with no tangles and it lasts a good 4 days between washes. I really have it all, perfect in every way. It repels environmental damage so well, chlorine swimming pools and saltwater shake right off like a magic shield! It's growing so fast now I didn't even know that was a side affect, cool! So freaking cheap too!

Here is the breakdown of what I do:

Once a month, on a greasy hair day, I warm up my roots with a blowdryer and run a boar bristle brush (I'm sure is a plastic knockoff) through small sections of hair to pull down the natural oils.

I have 2 empty 32oz Powerade bottles. Each bottle gets me 4 applications. 16 days.
Bottle 1- shampoo, I funnel in 1/3 cup baking soda, about a tsp. of sulfate free shampoo, and about 3 drops of tea tree EO. Then fill with distilled water.
Bottle 2- conditioner, I funnel in 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar, and about 5 drops tea tree oil, then fill with distilled water.
It works out to be just slightly over 1 Tbsp. per cup ratio, perfect for me.

In the shower I shake the mixture right before pouring it into an 8oz cleansing squeeze bottle. Otherwise the BS settles on the bottom.
I apply the BS solution directly to the scalp in several places, let it sit a minute then run my fingers through it rubbing the scalp- It should feel slimy!!! Rinse it out, Then apply the ACV solution away from the scalp let it sit while I shave, then rinse.

In between washings every 4 days I keep my hair dry using a swimcap. I use suave dry shampoo for touch ups and leave-in-conditioning spray on the ends.

The biolage conditioner has ingredients in it that aren't water soluble, like Dimethiconol/Silsesquioxane Copolymer, so baking soda won't remove it and they'll just build up. You should look up the ingredients for your leave-in if it ever gives you trouble.

And squeeze bottles are usually recommended, although I don't use them, and I'm surprised you hadn't come across that. But it's great you found out what works.

Thank you for sharing your journey. I've recently thrown in the towel and gone back to shampoo, but I may try some of your strategies when the current bottle runs out.

The one nice thing about having gone no-poo for two years, is that even though I'm back on shampoo, I'm still only washing every 3 days, instead of needing it every 18 hours.

I should mention...The leave in condioner spray is "evercreme" from the same l'oreal Ever line so it has "no heavy waxes" no build up what so ever haha