the no 'poo method

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Trying to go no poo
maisekai wrote in no_poo
Hi, guys. I'm trying this, but I think I'm doing pretty badly!

When I was a few years younger, I used to wash my hair every other day, but I absolutely hated how it looked the days after I washed it; my hair looked like a horrible, greasy mess. So I started washing it daily. I knew I was only making it worse, but I figured it wouldn't matter if i washed my hair every day (smart!).

So I've been washing my hair every day for two years. Recently I learnt about no poo, and people who had tried it and were so happy with the results. So I wondered if I could get out of my unhealthy shampoo routine.

So I started the baking soda thing almost two weeks ago and I was sort of impressed. My hair didn't quite look or feel like as good as it did when I shampooed it, but it looked good enough, much better than I'd expected. It did get progressively worse with each passing day, but it looked good enough to pass as clean.

But when I was just a week in, I decided to dye my hair (with commercial dye, no less!). I hesitated a bit because I knew it would take me to square one again, but I've always wanted to dye my hair, and it was only a week of no pooing anyway so I went ahead with it.

I did read this community a bit before dyeing my hair, and I saw that baking soda is supposed to strip your hair of color if you've dyed it, so I decided to skip it and wash my hair with just water. Now, my hair looks and feels greasier than ever. It's so bad that today I wore my hair in a ponytail for the first time in two years! So, dyeing my hair while going no poo has probably been a terrible idea, and I don't know what to do. I feel that if I stick with it, the transition period is going to be awful... my hair already looks disgusting, and it's only been 4 days since I dyed it, and I know it's going to get even worse. So what should I do? Should I go back to shampoo and wait till the dye washes out, then try baking soda again? Should I stick with baking soda even if it will make my hair dye disappear? Should I stick with water only and try to figure out creative ways to make my hair not look disgusting for about a month? Any other options?

For reference, my hair is fine and straight, and a bit above shoulder length, and I live in a soft water area.

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You and I have similar-ish hair (my hair has a bit of a natural curl/wave to it but is superfine), and for me water only looked crap. I don't doubt that my hair was clean but it didn't look presentable. Fortunately I was a college student and could look like a greasy hobo without any serious ramifications.

I have never been one for dyeing my hair so I don't have any advice about that. I will say this: I think the biggest thing with no poo isn't necessarily the switch of cleaner of choice (though that's still important), but with the frequency of hair-washing and what we have learned is necessary. I think every other day is too much, even. For my hair, every third day seems good, no matter what I use to wash it. Unfortunately, changing how often you wash your hair isn't a silver bullet fix: you WILL look like shit at least for a while. Your scalp needs to adjust. How to make this transition period bearable?

You might want to try corn starch. I've had really good luck with that keeping me not looking like a greaseball. The trick isn't to dump it on your head, but the "gymnast hands" route: powder up your hands, dust off the excess and run your fingers through wherever it needs it. Give it a while to suck up the excess oil, then comb it out.

I've found that blow-drying my hair leads to better things than air drying. Too bad I hate blow dryers...

Another trick I've found, though not tried myself, but seems legit (and I have been meaning to share here, thanks for reminding me!):

One part corn starch, one part rubbing alcohol, four parts water. Spray, distribute, blow dry. Repeat as necessary.

baking soda doesn't work for everyone, and there are a lot of options out there! I know the community memories have some good recipes, and different methods to try.

If I was in your shoes, I would try washing it with SLS-free shampoo (something organic and all-natural if possible) and working myself down to washing it every 3-4 days (I use baby powder in between to absorb the oil) and then down to once a week. Once you've gotten there, your hair/scalp should have adjusted to having the oil stripped less frequently, and you should have an easier time washing with whatever you like after that.

ETA: also get a Boar Bristle brush. It helps absorbs extra grease in your hair, and I find that it makes a big difference!

Edited at 2013-11-06 04:36 pm (UTC)

I did the baking soda wash for about 2 years, until I started dying my hair to get rid of the white coming in and to get rid of the boring sandy mousey natural blonde of mine ( I'm now a strawberry brunette ). The baking soda did strip the color out, even permanent color, so I switched over to a paraben and sulfite free shampoo made specifically for dyed hair ( Simply U, available at Wally World ). I do still use the ACV / rosemary oil or vitamin E oil / water rinse after washing, and my hair is still as healthy as when I was using the baking soda wash.

Your hair just needs time to adjust itself to the different methods of cleaning that you're using, and like morningapproach said, don't wash it as often. If your hair DOES feel a bit dry after your shower, you can always rub a LITTLE bit of organic coconut oil through it.

Edited at 2013-11-07 12:02 am (UTC)

Okay, so from my experience BS strips some dyes more than others. I was BS/ACV washing for over a year until recently have switched to WO. During this time I have used a few different semi-permanent dyes. Some of them were stripped after the first wash and some of them, like my most recent, were not affected AT ALL by the BS (which was ironic because I was trying to get rid of it.) So you can give one BS wash a go and see what happens.

It sounds like you've been no-poo for two and a half weeks if I am correct. You still have a lot of time before your hair doesn't look awful all the time. My hair took about 6 weeks to adjust, washing with BS about every 3 days. Since then I have been able to stretch it out to once a week, but since I cut the BS I WO twice a week.

How often do you wash your hair? From what I have gathered around here, the more often you wash it, the longer it will take for your hair to adjust. So keep that in mind. In the mean time you can use cornstarch and/or coco powder as dry shampoo to soak up some of the greasies. Also find a boar bristle brush to distribute the oils every night (not the fake kind that are found at drugstores). You can also try an egg wash every week or so, but not too often because you don't wan't to overdose on protein.

Let us know how it goes and if you have any more questions!

Thanks, guys! I think I'm going to try to wash my hair less often, and also try cornstarch thing. I think I'll switch back to BS once the dye fades away. My ultimate goal is to try WO and see if it works for me, but that seems reeeeally far away from now. We'll see. My shampoo has a lot less crap than most others (no cones or parabens), but unfortunately it still has sodium laureth sulfate. I'll try to find an SLS-free shampoo asap!
To answer to the above, I used to wash my hair every day, but since I've gone almost 2 weeks without using shampoo, I'm going to try to work it down to every 3 days for now. Wish me luck!

I still have a few questions:
- Is it okay if I wash my hair with just water on the days I'm not using shampoo? I feel like it'd help the transition phase a lot.
- What's the best way to clean a boar bristle brush? Am I supposed to clean it at all?

You could WO wash your hair in between shampoos, you might be able to stretch the days in between shampoos until your WO washing every day of the week, and then you can stretch those washes. It will definitely take a lot longer to achieve total no-poo that way. In my opinion it's best just to go cold-turkey. But do whatever works for you!

I brought a wire brush cleaner from Sally's to clean my BBB. I rake all the hair and gunk out every week with that and then I let just the bristle parts soak in soapy water for 5 minutes. Then I let it air dry and use the wire brush one last time. Works purdy well.

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