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the no 'poo method

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

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Hair Ruined
mrsstevenson wrote in no_poo

I've been shampoo free for about a 18 months. I've never had a big problem with my diluted Dr. Bronner's shampoo and diluted ACV rinse until lately. I only need to wash my hair about every 4 days. It was fun, and best of all "natural."

I'm finally admitting to myself that my once silky, long, straight, thick hair is stripped, and thinning. I've decided that the alkaline Dr. bronner's soap slowly stripped my hair and scalp over 18 months. I kept blaming it on other things. My hair was so badly stripped that coconut oil treatments are doing nothing. Then I found this blog post which explained my situation perfectly. The alkaline Castile soap opens your hair's cuticle and then the rapid change back to acid weakens your hair over time.


Dr. Bronners is great for skin, but I wish I had never tried it on my hair. It happened so bslowly that I didn't even see the gradual changes. Of course everyone's hair is different, but I would be surprised if many people's hair can really handle alkaline soaps such as Bronners and baking soda in the long run. I'm so disappointed. I'm getting several inches cut off this week, and then I'm starting over. And now I'm realizing why my 7 year old daughter's long hair is so shaggy.

I'm not sure what non-shampoo (or shampoo?) I will try now. Shikakai? Coconut milk & aloe? Do I need a shampoo at all if I just use an ACV rinse? I would rather use something simple that my whole family could use conveniently. Advice? Thanks.

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yeah, i had a similar experience with baking soda (but this was back at the beginning of this community, and we were all learning at that point) turns out i was using 4 cups of the baking soda wash when i should have really been using at most 1/2 cup. probably even only 1/4 cup. i was looking for the silky feeling and zooming right past it. oops!
i lost all of the subtle flaxen reflectiveness of my hair, and it was a dull version of henna. pretty sure it was slowly bleaching my hair. i thought since it was so long and thick, that i needed more than the average user. turns out to not be true at all. surprisingly little/dilute can clean better than you'd think.

get in touch with your scalp and hair. if it feels like your scalp needs a scrub, use the shikakai. if it seems like you have a buildup of shikakai (it happens) then use some baking soda for clarification. if it seems like you don't need to really clean, go ahead and do water only or ACV only. if it feels heavy and lifeless from too many ACV/oils, go ahead and do the baking soda or dr. bronners. no need to stick to one routine. mix it up.

also, keep the alkalines only to your scalp while you scrub. your length doesn't need to be subjected to such a strong alkaline. it's the alkaline mixing with your sebum that makes a mild soap, and that's what cleans the length. (some sebum on the length is a good thing.)

Ok, so are you suggesting a 1/4 of a Tbs and a 1/4 of a cup of water and the same for acv?
I have been using a cup of each for the last year with a Tbs, sometimes a bit more watered down but still a Tbs.

I was thinking that with the time of year it might be time for a moisturizing bath, but getting my hair off balance always makes me nervous. I once over proteined my hair and it split badly so I get stressed about it.

yeah, just use as little as you need. add slowly while you scrub, and when you feel the slipperiness, stop, and then scrub what's already in your hair. (if i remember, most recently i used 1/2 tsp in about a cup of water, and that was plenty stripping)

i always used the full tbsp of ACV. sometimes 2. (but then again, that's more for the benefit of the length, and, well, it was really thick and at that time, bra strap length.) if you have shorter/finer hair, you'll need less. to save money, i switched to citric acid crystals after my shikakai washes, and eventually my hair became somewhat crispy. (ACV has some natural oils that citric acid doesn't) but it worked pretty well for quite a while, so i would still recommend it for short term/alternating with ACV.

if it's been a year, you might already be through the toughest part. have you tried weaning yourself off? do you do any water-only showers? you might be surprised at how clean it can stay with only the occasional baking soda wash.

I haven't tried water only washes yet. I live south of LA was figured I needed something to get rid of the smog and gunk in the air. Once I got the balance down I just stayed with the rhythm.

aah! completely understandable. there was a point where i was using only ACV, and that was good for a bit. but then it got too heavy, but then a BS wash lightened it back up just fine. never know until you experiment. :-)

I tried water only for a bit, but my hair got lank and sad. I'm due for a trim anyway!

How do you "over protein" your hair?

I have thick, yet fine strands of hair. I was using the high protein hair conditioners and when I went to the hair dresser the were of the opinion that I had OD'd on protein and it had caused it to split badly.

Yeaaaah, that has been my experience with the standard baking soda and ACV method. Even using very little baking soda as I did, I felt it was too stripping. Good on you for posting this; I didn't really know how to articulate what happened. Nowadays, I only use baking soda when I need to remove buildup, orrrr~, as has been the case recently, when I can't afford anything else. I can already feel it taking a toll on my hair.

Previously, my favourite low-'poo method was simply using shampoo bars. I had a ylang ylang one from Mehandi.com that was brilliant, but I wasted a good portion of the bar because I didn't realize it would melt in the shower. It turned into goop. XD At $12 a bar, it is way too expensive for me; I can get two awesome shikakai bars from Etsy sellers at the same price.

It was nice experimenting with eggs and honey when I could, and I still like apple cider vinegar sometimes, but I need all that stuff more as food. Organic shampoo bars made with traditional Indian ingredients seem to be what my hair prefers.

When I was going through the transition stage, I was so desperate to get rid of the greasiness that I used full-strength Dr. Bronners two times. TWO TIMES! And my formerly silky, shiny, often oily hair was dry and crunchy and the ends were so light that my stylist asked if I had dyed them, which I hadn't (I don't have any color on my hair). I'm sure it didn't help that I went through four cycles of IVF, but I had to get like four inches cut off my hair. Now, instead of using anything to wash my hair, I use Everyday Shea conditioner every night and on Saturdays, I use coconut oil on my whole head before using the conditioner. My hair is finally getting back its shine and I don't even care that my bangs get greasy halfway through the day like they used to.

I think that since your hair is striped you should co-wash your hair and before the co-wash always pre- poo. If you have tons of product build up buy a all natural moisturizing shampoo and only use it on your roots and let the shampoo clean your ends by washing down the hair when your rinise the shampoo out. Also to help your hair come back to health i would recommend doing deep conditioning treatments before bed every week or so and doing protein treatments when need also. But over all the one thing that you should do is apply moisture to your hair and either No-poo or def, not poo so often and when need use moisturizing shampoo.

I hope you found this help full and good luck with your hair health best wishes.

PS, leave deep cond. in as long as you have time for it. Overnight then a rinise in the morning is a very effective way to get your hair good and moisturized.

I'll be honest, I dont use anything for shampoo besides scrubbing my scalp with water, but I use conditioner daily. My hair is healthy and soft. I have super thick and curly hair, so YMMV. If you have oily scalp/hair, then I wouldnt condition every day, just use ACV.

I find this post interesting. I've been noticing lately that my hair breaks a lot more, and I came here to ask if anyone had a solution. I don't think the coconut milk would work for me, as I get greasy really easily. I suppose I could do CO, but I really like not buying conventional beauty products.

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