the no 'poo method

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

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poster100 wrote in no_poo
I need a beginners guide to no-pooing. I have so many questions and everyday it seems like I just have more. I understand that every person is different and I need to find what works best for me but, I'm just not there yet. Does anyone have any suggestions on the basics of no-pooing? How often is too often is my biggest question. Who many days do I need to go before I wash it again. If I wait three day between this was and the next should I wait four days for the wash after that? Or is three days my thing? Should I try a different method every time or just pick one and stick with it and how many time should I try a method that I don't think works before 'giving up on it"/switching to a different method that might work better? I really want a rule book. Does anyone have a suggestion like a 30-day-no-poo challenge to get me started? example: Day 1 BP Day 2 corn starch Day 3 no poo Day 4 ect....? I need help I am trying to figure this out and I haven't found anything that works yet? Is it possible that no-pooing may not work for me? Maybe I am just washing it to much/to little? I have been a "no pooer" now for a just over a month however I have had to shampoo it twice over the course of the month for a job interview and a different event that my questionable no-poo results just wouldn't cut it for. Could this be the reason why its not working for me? Please help. Is there a website/blog/a post here that could help me learn more about this process especially for beginners?
I understand that there is suppose to be a transition period? Do you think that I could just be transitioning or am I could I be doing something wrong? I am really getting discouraged. Any suggestions?

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I haven't seen such a guide, but I haven't looked, either. It's hard to give advice regarding changing your routine when you haven't said what your routine used to look like (and what it currently is), as well as what your hair is like.

COLOR: Brown
LENGTH: medium to long
MOISTURE: Super greasy
SHAPE: straight no shape no hight no volume ect

I have mapped it out and my average is to no-poo it roughly once a week. With the exception of twice two weeks apart over the month were I shampooed it directly after no-pooing because sometimes no-poo works great and other times there is no difference between before and after. I attribute this to the transition period and both times that I used shampoo I was worried that I messed up my transition however I still think 2 shampoo's in a month is pretty darn good. It is possible for me to only no-poo once a week because I have no job (but I am looking) and have nothing to do right now and no wear to go so if nobody see's me my greasy hair can wait. Plus everything that I know about no-pooing says you should wait as long as possible between washes. Should I be waiting longer? Should I be doing it more? Is it the fault of my twice shampoo that my results still aren't looking good?
Before I started no-pooing I washed my hair every other day and used BP most every in between day I have very greasy hair.
I use BS and ACV when I no-poo my hair.

What did your routine look like before you started this no-poo adventure? If your hair is long enough, you can toss it in a bun and it will still look OK when greasy. When I started no-poo a few years ago, I had already stretched out washes to once a week (from every other day when in college with shorter hair). If you are used to washing more frequently, then do that and ease up the distances from there. I now wash my hair every two or three weeks.

Hi poster100,

Your basic no poo routine is going to look like this:
1.) Mix 1 Tbs baking soda diluted in 1 cup water, followed by 1 Tbs apple cider vinegar diluted in 1 cup water. Prepare your mixtures in squirt bottles, such as old shampoo or condiment bottles, to easily apply the mixtures where you need it.
2.) Next, get in the shower and begin with your BS mixture. You can apply this to either wet or dry hair (I suggest dry. Also, make sure your hair is combed and detangled). Begin squirting it onto sections of your scalp and use the pads of your fingertips to message it in circular motions. The BS won't lather, but it will create tiny BS suds and a slippery feeling. If you don't experience this the first time, that's okay.
3.) Rinse ALL of the BS out thoroughly. Now grab your ACV mixture and apply it to the length of your hair. Many no pooers experience greasiness if the ACV is applied to their scalp. However my hair benefits from applying ACV to my scalp as well as the length, so experiment and see what works best for you. Leave this in for however long you would like, and then rinse thoroughly (P.S., don't worry about smelling like vinegar all day. The smell will subside after you rinse your hair).

How often you do this:
How often you do this will vary depending on how often you washed your hair prior to beginning no poo and how long you can stand the greasies. If you washed with shampoo every day and your hair gets greasy after 24 hours or less, try no pooing every other day. After a week you can stretch your wash one more day, and one more day after one more week etc., etc.

The transition period:
Generally, the longer you stretch your washes, the shorter of a transition period you will experience. Shampooing during this time will set you back to day one. Cornstarch and/or cocoa powder can be used as a dry shampoo on in-between days if needed. This transition period will be a pain in the butt and the hard truth is there isn't anything that will help but time. It should not last any longer than 6 weeks. If it does, either you need to make some adjustments or no poo isn't for you.

Boar bristle brush:
Invest in one. They can be found at Sally's Beauty Supply Stores. Don't buy one at the drugstore because those are artificial. Boar bristles brushes are recommended by many no pooers to help distribute your scalp's natural oils (a.k.a. sebum) and clean your hair of daily debris. To use, comb and detangle your hair before you go to bed. Then take your BBB to a section of hair and brush through the length. When you are done brushing through the length, start at the top of your scalp at that section and brush through the entire length again. The first step cleans the debris from the length and the second distribute oils from your scalp to the length. After doing this to all of your hair, braid it and go to sleep.

I hope that these basic steps will help clear any confusions you have. I don't suggest straying from this and experimenting with other things until you have tried this for at least a month. If you have any other questions, please do ask.

Edited at 2013-07-08 03:12 pm (UTC)

Just to add to the above:
If you apply to dry hair, you usually need a lot less baking soda, since it's not getting diluted. I use 1/2 a tablespoon in a cup of water. I use the whole cup, only need 3/4 and could maybe get away with half of the baking soda water if I used a squeeze bottle.

Don't use the whole cup of baking soda water if you don't need to.

You can use white vinegar, lemon or lime juice in place of ACV if you don't like the smell or your hair doesn't like it.

Condition the ends and/or length with water soluble oils (not olilve oil) like almond oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, ect. Or just use a -cone free conditioner, usually the cheaper ones like VO5 or basic Suave. Otherwise you can get damaged and split ends.

Baking soda replaced my shampooing and I was already rinsing with ACV. After 3 days my hair looks a bit clumpy and dull but using corn starch massaged into my scalp and on the clumpy places (and then brushed) can make it look okay for 6-7 days. It still looks a bit dull though, and I use a damp rag on any area that looks starchy.

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