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the no 'poo method

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

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Another "My Routine" Post
westcoastred wrote in no_poo
For the last three months, I've been "herbal-only." For the last three weeks, however, I added flax mucilage to my rinses. I looooooove it!


In a saucepan, put three cups of water, three tablespoons of whole flax seeds, and whatever herbs or roots that you need to decoct over high heat. I used comfrey root for its healing and anti-dandruff, anti-itch properties, and whole cloves for cleansing, highlighting red tones, and its yummy smell. Once it reaches a boil, reduce heat and simmer for at least five minutes, stirring occasionally.

While this is going on, put your herbs in a cloth tea bag, or something with which you can infuse, but remove easily. I used calendula, borage, and plantain for their healing, anti-itch, anti-dandruff properties, chamomile, lavender, and rose for their soothing qualities, nettle for its ability to help the skin expel unwanted liquids (it helps with potential bumps), and mint for its deodorizing properties.

Pour the contents of the saucepan through a fine mesh strainer into the heat-safe container with your herbs. This is why you want your herbs contained, because if you strain the liquid after it's cooled, you will lose a lot of the congealed mucilage. Squish and agitate the herbs to ensure proper infusion, then cover.

To use:

Remove the bag of herbs, making sure to squish all the good stuff out, and funnel into as many containers with flip tops as needed. Wet hair thoroughly. Apply a thick layer to roots, rubbing vigorously with the pads of your fingers. When the roots are well coated, use one or two handfuls to apply the "wash" to the rest of your hair. Leave in for 3-15 minutes. Rinse well. Store in the fridge.

I wanted to see if the flax would help with the weird knots I was getting in single strands of hair, which is why I initially tried this recipe. I figured the slipperiness would have a detangling effect, and it did. It also has made my hair feel softer, made my curls bouncier, and acts as a fairly effective protecting agent. I'm diggin'it, for sure! Here are a couple of pictures:

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yr curls look lovely!
do you make only one batch at a time?
how often do you feel you need to wash yr hair using this recipe/method?

Thanks! Yes I only make one batch at a time. The flax goes bad much faster than just an herbal infusion, even in the fridge. If I sweat, then I'd do a wash every three days-ish. When I don't, I'll just go 'til my head starts itching... usually a week or so.

you hair looks amazing. i love your curls!

Ok, I'm definitely going to try this - not only does your hair look gorgeous, the mixture just sounds so nourishing and soothing. Did you think of doing this on your own or did you use a resource to come up with this idea?

Thank you. :) I just took a bunch of ideas, improved on them (in my opinion, anyway), and put them together. Like just using the mucilage. I already know how stinking difficult it is to get the seeds to separate from it, the thought of grinding them up and voluntarily putting that mess in my hair made me cringe.

Holy crap, I want your hair! =D

Okay, so I'm totally into no poo for the simplicity, but your pictures totally convinced me to give this a try. My hair is way less curly that yours, it's just wavy, but on no poo it got wavier, and that's great... only I started letting it dry wearing it up in a clip to avoid frizz, which ruins th waveyness. Can I ask how you dry your hair? Just air-dry? Any special method? And do you use anything at all on your hair other than that recipe?

ALSO (lots of questions, heh), have you ried freezing that mixture? I doubt it would work, but I thought I might ask.

Thanks for posting this! You and your hair are gorgeous!

Also, I suppose I could just use organic herbal tea bags, right?

Of course! I just go to my local "ethnic" store, and get the herbs for like $1 an ounce, though. Anywhere I can pinch a penny... :)

Thanks. Yeah, I just air dry. The trick with keeping the frizz down is not touching your hair at all while it's drying. That's a tough one for me. I usually use some sort of oil to style my hair. Usually a more solid oil mixed with a liquid oil. But, since starting this routine, I haven't needed as much styling stuff. Just a teeny bit on my scalp and ends (scalp for anti-dandruff, and ends to protect against splitting).

You could definitely freeze the herbal infusion, which I do for other things, but I don't know how well the flax would hold up to freezing. Sorry I'm not more help with that. It'll keep in the fridge for up to two weeks, though.

I tried this method today and I loved it!! I have a very different hair type (thin, mostly straight with a bit of a wave) and I was a little worried about it being too greasy. If anything it's a bit on the dry side, but not in a bad way at all. My hair feels soft, silky and smooth, and it's nice and shiny too in a non-greasy way for once!

As a long time user of flax in food recipes, I am so glad I can add it to my hair too! Thanks for posting this!

Also, I would also like to know your hair drying method, or what your general routine is like these days. Your hair is absolutely beautiful!

Hey you! =) Since you tried this method for the first time, I'd be interested to know: did you find it redused frizz, in general? I'm really happy with my no-poo routine, and the only area that could improve would be frizz. Soooo excited about trying this, but must wait until I can buy flax seed. =)

That's awesome! I wasn't too sure if it would work for a non-curly head either, but I'm so glad it did. My styling method is a bit slap-dash. I just throw in whichever oil or wax I feel like (smell and hold are the deciding factors), and I'm done.

My favorite thing about this "wash" is the detangling factor. That's one thing I missed about shampoo and conditioner: the lack of tangles. Curly hair is pretty bad for that, especially as it gets longer. And, thank you. :)

It looks really nice.., How was your hair before? How long did it take for your hair to look like this? And this might sound stupid but... what does "saturate at least three inches with it" mean? What are finger pads?.... what do you mean a good mush? You put the herbs and stuff in a tea bag do you use those too?

Hair before: In icon (I hope I picked the right one)

It took: About six months for me to go from conditioner only (in icon) to grease-head nastiness, then the hair in the pictures in the post.

Saturate at least three inches: From roots, rub mixture three inches down length of hair.

Finger pads: The soft pads at the ends of your fingers.

Good mush: It doesn't foam... much, but it definitely has a "mushy" feel, so when you rub it into your scalp, it will get mushy.

Herbs in tea bag: Yes, you put them in a bowl into which you strain the boiling hot flax mucilage liquid in order to infuse.


you are amazing. seriously. AND you have amazing hair.

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Just wanted to say that I love me some toe socks. They are the best invention ever.

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You aren't by any chance dating a guy named Steve are you? :) He said that he would picture the toes wiggling into the socks, and it grossed him out. What a weirdo. Toe socks enable you to wear flip flops in the winter! What's better than that?

Ha, thanks, but wait. Please tell me that you actually watch Absolutely Fabulous!

so, you put the bag of herbs in with the strained goop, right?

have you tried making a tea prior to cooking the flax? would the cooking mess with some of the herbs' effectiveness?

how long can this mixture stay good for in the fridge?


Do you mean boil the flax seeds in a pre-made tea? Unfortunately, that would mess with the benefits. Boiling any herbs or infusions with volatile oils will cause the benefits, scent, and oils to evaporate. Here is a very detailed article, from which I learned quite a few new things. If you don't have or don't want to bother with the tea bag, you could put your herbs in a super-fine mesh strainer, strain the flax seeds out (with a separate strainer), wipe any remaining bits of root and/or seeds from the saucepan, then pour the hot liquid through the herbs back into the saucepan and cover everything up to infuse it. That way, you could just lift the strainer, and press the liquid out of the herbs.

Or, if you have some string and a paper coffee filter, you could make your own disposable tea bag.

The longest I went before running out of a batch was three weeks, and it was still good. A lot of herbs have natural anti-bacterial components, so they'll keep for a long time if kept under refrigeration.

Link to "detailed article" is broken. Should be: http://www.itmonline.org/arts/methprep.htm

(Thanks for this post -- I tried it this evening (sans a few herbs) and my hair really liked it! I've been needing something to keep it from frizzing after an applesauce wash. This seems to be the solution I've been looking for.)

Awesome, thanks for the post.

Hi! I'm new to no-poo and was just directed to this post. Can you tell me about how much of each of the herbs you use so I have some idea of ratio? I have thick, curly, frizzy hair and this method looks promising.

I don't measure nearly as much as I should... I often make a wonderful product while I'm experimenting, and can never make it the same way again. It really is a pinch of this, a smidge of that, so this is a very rough guess:

Always: Calendula, Spearmint and/or Peppermint, Chamomile, Lavender, Rose, and Rosemary and/or Sage. - A three-finger-plus-thumb pinch :)

I'll throw in a little extra mint and rosemary/sage if my head's a little funky, or I waited too long to wash. That's all.

Then once a month during the hot season, I wash my hair with castile soap. If you do this, make sure you have a serious conditioner, because it does that weird thing that soap does when it's real soap. You know, where your hands won't slide, they stick, and it sounds like rubber? That's the best way I can describe it, anyway. I figure it's a compromise... it's not shampoo, but I really do need a real wash every now and again.

Good luck!

Are you using dried or fresh herbs? Do you buy them or grow them? I am growing some of these herbs but I'm not sure if your rough measurements will work on both dried and fresh herbs.
Also, are you using the leaves and/or flowers of these plants?
I was no 'poo for a few months, got lazy, and am about to go no 'poo again but I'm doing a bit more research this time. I have curly hair that used to form tight ringlet curls but now that it is longer (few inches below my bra strap) it is more wavy with the occasional ringlet!
Thanks :)

Where did you get the herbs for this?

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