No-Poo: what am I doing wrong? - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-19-2006, 11:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have been washing my hair daily with shampoo and conditioner. If I skip a day, or am even late one day, it shows--my hair gets greasy. I would really like to use a safer alternative (and maybe even save $$) by using bs and vinegar, but I can't get my hair clean!

Earlier this week, I ran out of shampoo, so I thought it would be a great time to start no-poo. I got in the shower, saturated my hair with water, massaged about 2 or 3 handfulls of bs into my scalp, applied white vinegar via a spray bottle, massaged a bit more, then rinsed. I got out of the shower and blow-dried, and my hair was as greasy as before I washed it at all!

So I tried the same thing the next day, even putting some more bs into the extra-greasy spots the next morning, and same thing. (that, and whenever I scratched my head I got white under my fingernails.)

Last night I realized that bs and vinegar is supposed to get all fizzy when put together, and my hair wasn't doing that. So I tried it dry. I massaged bs into my dry roots, then spritzed vinegar all over (roots) and rubbed it in a little more. It got fizzy, and I think it may have gotten cleaner, but I didn't have the patience to dry my hair and see. I went out and got some suave and did an old-fashioned shampoo and condition. Now my hair is fine, but I don't want to use the old stuff!

So my question is (sorry so long), am I doing something wrong? Is my hair supposed to be wet or dry when I start (by the way, I rinsed my hair with water in the shower after that last no-poo attempt)? Should I use water at all? Do I have to use acv instead of white? What's the difference? TIA!

Rachel, massage therapist and single mom :to Keanu 7/29/04 and Juniper 11/18/11!  Lovingfemalesling.GIFcd.gifnamaste.giflactivist.gifgd.giffambedsingle1.gif

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Old 08-19-2006, 12:12 PM
 
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Wow.

You completely did the entire no-poo process wrong, from the amounts to the method, lol.

You can't just start slapping ingredients onto your head and not know the method or proportions - you'll, of course, get bad results, get frustrated, and go back to old habits This applies to anything - cooking, beauty, or other stuff. I'm surprised that you didn't break a lot of your hair off.

As we learned in kindergarten, read the directions first. The sticky on the forum provides some tips on no-pooing, I'll give you some more info now.

I don't have much time to type right now, so I'll post a link that gives you the basics of the no poo method, the amounts, the steps, and alternative ways to do no poo.

First of all, you need to get rid of the existing junk in your hair. Use your regular shampoo and add a hefty pinch of baking soda in your shampoo. Shampoo as usual, rinse, condition as usual. Do this for about a week. This gets rid of product build up, oils, silicones, hard water minerals, and other pollutants in your hair before starting no poo. No poo does not like working on hair that has other chemical goop on it.

After a week or two, start the no poo process.


Couple of pointers:

2-3 HANDfuls of baking soda is way too much for your hair. You're just moving around a mush (if it's turning to mush at all, more likely it's just powder) of baking soda, which won't clean your hair. Baking soda is used as a scouring powder. If it isn't dissolved, it is just that - a scouring powder, and not a mild alkali or cleaner.

You wouldn't shampoo your hair with Ajax would you? No! This is the reason you're getting white sandy stuff in your hair.

Depending on how long your hair is, you need to use one heaping tablespoonful for shoulder length hair or more for longer hair. Second of all, you need to dilute the baking soda in hot water. Some methods that people use are diluting it in a cup or old shampoo bottle. I personally put a tablespoon (now less because my hair is used to no poo) into some silicone free lightweight conditioner (Suave Tropical coconut) and dissolve it completely into the mixture.

On drenched hair, massage the mixture in. The dumping method doesn't work on me since most of the baking soda and water just runs down the drain, but it may work for you. If you massage it in a little while you're pouring it (if using a cup), it may prevent some of the waste.

- Do a scalp scrub with the pads of your fingertips, no fingernails.

- Let this sit on your hair while you're doing other stuff.

- Rinse thoroughly, using your fingers to lift your hair at the roots. This ensures everything is rinsed away.

- Use a squirt bottle of DILUTED apple cider vinegar (dark hair or light hair, any kind) or white vinegar (light or blonde hair) on your hair from ears down. Start out with a dilution of 1/2 water to 1/2 vinegar in your spray bottle. If your hair looks greasy from ears down, use more water in your spray bottle. If your hair is too dry, use less water. Lightly massage the vinegar mixture into your hair. Let it sit for a minute. Gently massage it out while rinsing. You won't get any vinegar residue. Apple cider vinegar is recommended, not only for a better scent, but it is better for skin and scalp health than white vinegar.

- Towel press your hair dry, don't rub. Wick the moisture from your hair by making a towel turban. After a few minutes, comb your hair with a detangling comb (wide-toothed) or a pick. Style as usual.

Your hair will be greasy at first and then your hair and scalp will get used to using baking soda and apple cider vinegar. After you get the hang of it, you can start adding drops of essential oils to your no poo, use less baking soda, start mixing baking soda with lightweight conditioner and/or brown sugar. There are lovely mixtures. You have to be patient while your hair and scalp transitions.

Here's a link that will give you all the URLs you need to understand no poo and how to do it successfully. It will also give you the reasons why people no poo and how it may eventually correct any of your hair issues.

The transition period for your hair and scalp to get used to no poo can be 2-3 weeks to 2-4 months depending on if you get the right proportions for YOUR particular hair correct and for your scalp/hair to adjust to it. You may hit jackpot, but sometimes you have to tinker with the amounts of baking soda and vinegar before all that happens. The amounts I gave you are a benchmark, but the amounts you were using were just totally wrong . Not only that, you were trying to make fizz bombs on your head by putting tons of baking soda on and then pouring vinegar all over it. NOT the way to do it.

I hope this helps. Here's the link - check for the links under my nickname "Spastica":

http://mothering.com/discussions/sho...=1#post5358746

Good luck!
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Old 08-19-2006, 02:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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You completely did the entire no-poo process wrong, from the amounts to the method, lol.
: That was humbling, but it's ok, because now I'll be able to do it right! Thank you so much for your help. One question, do I need to use coconut conditioner for best results? (I don't like the smell) Do any other suave conditioners work as well?

ETA: for what it's worth, I did read the sticky about no-poo and several other no-poo threads I found. I also have straight hair, so I hadn't read the curly girl thread before I started this thread.

Rachel, massage therapist and single mom :to Keanu 7/29/04 and Juniper 11/18/11!  Lovingfemalesling.GIFcd.gifnamaste.giflactivist.gifgd.giffambedsingle1.gif

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Old 08-19-2006, 02:49 PM
 
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I have to agree that when I read the curly thread I didn't think it applied to me either. My hair is straight like yours. And mine is very fine as well.

I did the no poo thing for just shy of 3 weeks before i broke down and used my Giovanni shampoo and conditioner. Hey, I tried!

Good luck!

Liz~A wife and homeschooling mother to two gifts from God!
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Old 08-19-2006, 02:52 PM
 
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No worries, I was just like "oooh my God, let's save her hair!"

Yeah any Suave, V05, or White Rain conditioner will work- check the back for anything ending in '-cone'. I just prefer the coconut one for a few reasons: the other ones smell too 'candy' for me and coconut is cleansing and good for hair growth. It also has rosemary essential oil in that particular conditioner, which is also stimulating for hair growth. I like that it smells like pina colada - but it doesn't smell like much when your hair dries.

So, next time you shampoo, start using the Suave/V05/White rain conditioner you choose. This way, you will not be introducing any new silicones to your hair. This alone will get rid of some of your buildup problems.

The curly hair thread is good because it gives the best info for no poo and how to treat your hair gently.

For the no poo method, I would say that the scalp scrub and rinsing is key. Learn how to do both well and you'll have better luck with no poo.

Oneota - anything I can help you with? Actually it's no big deal if you're already using more natural shampoos and conditioners. Just wondering if I could help you troubleshoot. My hair intially did good with no poo and then went all wrong because I wasn't using enough ACV, and my hair was staticky and totally flat. Then after a few months, I finally got my proportions and method right for my hair and things are working well. You can see my old threads of me whining and complaining that I couldn't get no poo to work, lol. So - yes, I went through all that too.

I personally think it's worth all the trouble - my hair is healthier, I don't get any frizz, and my hair has a natural shine to it that old friends who haven't seen me in a while are noticing. I also can use lower heat on my blow dryer and not dry it as much (I used to use the highest heat setting and have to dry it bone dry and bone straight or else it would frizz). My hair is actually growing, rather than being slow or breaking off. My curls aren't poofy fuzzes. It's nice! Boyfriend likes my hair a lot better now and compares his sisters' hair to mine and thinks THEIR hair looks damaged and poofy. Go figure.
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Old 08-19-2006, 03:19 PM
 
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Gina (Spastica) you have helped me a lot. And you gave me a lot of good pointers. Maybe now where I'm at is struggling w/the criticism from my mom and dh. They think it's disgusting. The whole idea and dh completely despises the smell of ACV.

Maybe I'll give it another whirl here after awhile and just not tell anybody.

Liz~A wife and homeschooling mother to two gifts from God!
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Old 08-19-2006, 04:02 PM
 
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You don’t owe them an explanation, just a response.
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Old 08-19-2006, 04:31 PM
 
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The ACV scent shouldn't be in your hair after it dries. If it is, you're putting too much and not rinsing properly. Use your fingers to scrub it out. The pH will be corrected with the ACV, but you won't have extra ACV sitting on your hair that way. You can add essential oils to your mixture to add to hair benefits and to counteract the smell.

You can also opt for lemon or lime juice instead of ACV - but it may lighten your hair a bit. Rinse out very well.

As for the mom and significant other issue - you tell them that it's not that you're just 'Not shampooing' and 'not cleaning your hair' you're pretty much making a natural shampoo. Baking soda is a mild alkali which acts like soap. Apple cider vinegar has been used for a hundred years as a hair rinse. In fact, the best conditioners on the market have some sort of acid in them (glycolic, fruit acids, citric acids). What you're doing is correcting any hair issues, keeping from damaging your hair, and you're also getting rid of any other bad chemicals (pesticides, antibacterial stuff, etc) that can damage health. There's apple cider and baking soda products out there that cost an arm and a leg. You're just smart enough to make it at home and save money

(Check online for some of the spa products, they contain those ingredients - look up apple cider vinegar shampoo or baking soda shampoo or something).

Did you know that spas are converting from their zinc based microdermabrasion products to pulverized baking soda? Why? Because it does not damage the skin, doesn't harm your lungs, and it's environmentally friendly.

Hell, the Statue of Liberty was cleaned in the 80's with about 10 tons of baking soda because the old copper is fragile and difficult to clean.

I told people it's a homemade shampoo and I explain the whole baking soda thing. If people aren't armed with info, they will just jump to their own conclusions and make you feel bad unnecessarily. When your hair finally starts to look nice and is healther, you'll have the last laugh
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Old 09-05-2006, 06:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've been doing this for a few days now, and my hair is clean and soft! I'm so glad I finally got it to work. If nothing else, I will save so much money. Plus, I use vinegar and bs to clean and do 1000 other things, so I always have that stuff on hand!

Rachel, massage therapist and single mom :to Keanu 7/29/04 and Juniper 11/18/11!  Lovingfemalesling.GIFcd.gifnamaste.giflactivist.gifgd.giffambedsingle1.gif

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Old 09-05-2006, 11:12 PM
 
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Yay! *clap*clap*clap*!

I have to pack for a trip to Canada tomorrow, and I don't think I can pack baking soda anywhere - I think I'll feel grungy without my nice multi-purpose scrubby action (face, pits, hair, whatever else I can think of) :

I've become quite addicted to baking soda.

(I didn't have to tell you guys that)
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Old 09-06-2006, 05:50 AM
 
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: Subbing to this! I'm about to go hop into the shower and will be trying the "shampoo and bs" to do gunk. Wish me luck!

(at first I typed "poo and bs" but that just didn't sound right )
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Old 09-06-2006, 01:47 PM
 
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Subbing also - thanks for all of the info, Spastica!

I went straight to bs and water and perhaps that is my issue. Today was day 2 and my hair feels like it still has the bs in it. I never mixed it with shampoo, so maybe I'll try that tomorrow.

I have long hair but it is stick straight and SUPER fine - so today my hair feels super-dry and I'm paranoid about it breaking to shreds. I just braided it back. Better luck tomorrow.

I'll keep trying and reading and updating if I have any revelations. Thanks again!
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Old 09-06-2006, 08:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Spastica
Yay! *clap*clap*clap*!

I have to pack for a trip to Canada tomorrow, and I don't think I can pack baking soda anywhere - I think I'll feel grungy without my nice multi-purpose scrubby action (face, pits, hair, whatever else I can think of) :

I've become quite addicted to baking soda.

(I didn't have to tell you guys that)
I have been putting my BS in an old empty spice container (McCormics). I think it was oragano or basil but it has very large holes so it comes out easy but you can seal it closed for travel. It works good for a cleaning shaker also. I can't wait until kids finish the parmesian cheese so I can claim that bottle. Have a great trip.

I am also starting on my second week of no-poo. So far it is going good, I am experimenting to find what works for me. Plus I got the curley girl book and am finding curls I never knew I had.
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Old 09-07-2006, 12:00 AM
 
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I'm in Canada, and I just use the Arm and Hammer plastic shaker bottle (yeah it's like a plastic parmesan container) and I risked it and kept it in my check-in luggage. I didn't get pulled and I got my bag ok. The reason I said I couldn't pack it, was not because I didn't have a container (I have three or four of the shaker bottles, lol) was because baking soda is considered an explosive.

So I have my baking soda with me
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Old 09-07-2006, 08:06 PM
 
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Yeah I could see why that would be an issue. I completly wasn't even thinking of that. Most of my trips these days involve only car rides in the country. I quess I just wasn't thinking. By the way were do you get the shaker bottles? I havn't seen them in a few years in the stores I have been to. Plus the only ones then didn't close fully, they only had a sticker across the holes. All I can find is the cardbourd boxes types of arm and hammer. I hope you enjoy your trip.
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Old 09-07-2006, 11:04 PM
 
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Originally Posted by AshleyR
Subbing also - thanks for all of the info, Spastica!

I went straight to bs and water and perhaps that is my issue. Today was day 2 and my hair feels like it still has the bs in it. I never mixed it with shampoo, so maybe I'll try that tomorrow.

I have long hair but it is stick straight and SUPER fine - so today my hair feels super-dry and I'm paranoid about it breaking to shreds. I just braided it back. Better luck tomorrow.

I'll keep trying and reading and updating if I have any revelations. Thanks again!
I, also, have stick straight, long, super fine hair. I found that I have to completely dissolve the baking soda or else I'll have trouble rinsing it out. I bought a 16oz tupperware container for liquids just for this purpose. Here's my routine,

Before getting in the shower I put one heaping tbs of baking soda into the empty container. I found that doing more than that leads to rinsing difficulties.

Once I've wet my hair I fill the container about halfway using the water from the shower. I close the lid and give it a really good shaking, so there are no more noticeable particles floating around and the water is white and cloudy. Usually some air escapes when I open the lid.

I pour the water over my head a little at a time, taking care to scrub it into my scalp a bit and make sure some pours down the back. I then scrub as Spastica has instructed.

I rinse with either lemon or ACV mixed into about 16-18oz of water. Again I bought a tupperware for liquids just for this. I leave lemon juice in for about 2-3 minutes. ACV I leave for about 15 seconds and then rinse - otherwise it overconditions my hair. I take care to move my hair around, esp. at the scalp, so the water gets in everywhere. I probably rinse for a good minute, which is a long time for rinsing your hair.

It works really well and I haven't had any issues with baking soda residue.

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