No poo brush advice needed - Mothering Forums

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Old 10-29-2007, 01:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have been no pooing for 2 years now. For the most part, I am quite happy with it. Right now I am using a standard nylon brush for daily brushing and styling. I have read that natural bristle brushes are better for no pooers. Also, my nylon brush is getting a really gross oily build-up every week or so and it is really hard to clean off due to the little plastic caps on each bristle.

So I have some questions:

Is the oily build-up normal or a sign that something is not right with my hair?

How does a natural bristle brush work? I have never touched one before but from the photos, it looks like it would not do much to work out tangles? Am I missing something?

Any recommendations for a natural brush? Web links would be great.
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Old 10-29-2007, 02:37 PM
 
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You don't have to get a bristle brush, but it's good for people who have frizzy hair and to distribute the oil from your scalp to the rest of your hair. Different brushes and combs each have a different purpose:

- Wide toothed comb (looks like an oversized thick comb with huge teeth and they're far apart): used for detangling hair, especially when it's wet. It's also good to use while blow drying wet hair a bit.

- Vented brushes: Good for blow drying and some styling

- Large Round brushes: styling aid to straighten out hair and curl the bottom

- Small barrel round brushes: good for small sections of hair and bangs

- Any brush mentioned with the addition of metal barrels and nylon stick-like bristles: Aids in straightening and smoothing hair when blowdrying.

- Bristle brush (ideally, mostly jnatural boar with some nylon to aid in frizz): this brush is used after the hair is already dry. It's used to style and smooth down hair and eliminate static. It also flattens hair and makes it straighter. The downside to these brushes is that it takes all the air out of your hair, making your hair look limp (which isn't fun for people who have thin hair - the body in hair is all they have!). If you use the brush from ears down, it won't flatten the hair near your scalp and it won't de-volumize your hair.


Goody, Inc. makes "ouchless" brushes that don't have the plastic bulb on top. The plastic bulb actually snags and breaks hair more.

To clean your brushes - you can fill up a bathroom sink with hot water and some old shampoo or some hand dishwashing detergent (sink detergent, NOT dishwasher detergent), like Dawn or Palmolive, and let that soak all day. Rinse thoroughly afterward. You can also use just baking soda or add baking soda to your shampoo/detergent solution for an extra oompf.

If you are finding a lot of buildup in your hair (some is normal) - and if you scratch your head and there's a ton under your fingernails, you'll need to tweak your cleansing method. Depending on your method, you will always need to finger scrub with the pads of your fingers, but you can increase the baking soda, or add conditioner to your baking soda to help get your scalp clean.

I've noticed (especially for curly hair and those prone to oily scalps) that baking soda and water alone doesn't clean a scalp well and that the combination of a silicone free/lightweight conditioner plus baking soda works really well to get rid of the buildup, but doesn't ruin your curls by overdrying your hair. Another method is to get the large detangling comb or the bristle brush and brush hard or scratch (also called scritching) your scalp so that that gunk loosens up. I don't do this much, it takes too much time and I would think it would hurt your scalp if done too vigorously.

Hope this helps.
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Old 10-29-2007, 03:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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You don't have to get a bristle brush, but it's good for people who have frizzy hair and to distribute the oil from your scalp to the rest of your hair. Different brushes and combs each have a different purpose:

- Wide toothed comb (looks like an oversized thick comb with huge teeth and they're far apart): used for detangling hair, especially when it's wet. It's also good to use while blow drying wet hair a bit.

- Vented brushes: Good for blow drying and some styling

- Large Round brushes: styling aid to straighten out hair and curl the bottom

- Small barrel round brushes: good for small sections of hair and bangs

- Any brush mentioned with the addition of metal barrels and nylon stick-like bristles: Aids in straightening and smoothing hair when blowdrying.

- Bristle brush (ideally, mostly jnatural boar with some nylon to aid in frizz): this brush is used after the hair is already dry. It's used to style and smooth down hair and eliminate static. It also flattens hair and makes it straighter. The downside to these brushes is that it takes all the air out of your hair, making your hair look limp (which isn't fun for people who have thin hair - the body in hair is all they have!). If you use the brush from ears down, it won't flatten the hair near your scalp and it won't de-volumize your hair.


Goody, Inc. makes "ouchless" brushes that don't have the plastic bulb on top. The plastic bulb actually snags and breaks hair more.

To clean your brushes - you can fill up a bathroom sink with hot water and some old shampoo or some hand dishwashing detergent (sink detergent, NOT dishwasher detergent), like Dawn or Palmolive, and let that soak all day. Rinse thoroughly afterward. You can also use just baking soda or add baking soda to your shampoo/detergent solution for an extra oompf.

If you are finding a lot of buildup in your hair (some is normal) - and if you scratch your head and there's a ton under your fingernails, you'll need to tweak your cleansing method. Depending on your method, you will always need to finger scrub with the pads of your fingers, but you can increase the baking soda, or add conditioner to your baking soda to help get your scalp clean.

I've noticed (especially for curly hair and those prone to oily scalps) that baking soda and water alone doesn't clean a scalp well and that the combination of a silicone free/lightweight conditioner plus baking soda works really well to get rid of the buildup, but doesn't ruin your curls by overdrying your hair. Another method is to get the large detangling comb or the bristle brush and brush hard or scratch (also called scritching) your scalp so that that gunk loosens up. I don't do this much, it takes too much time and I would think it would hurt your scalp if done too vigorously.

Hope this helps.
Yes! It does help a lot. Thanks!

I have very thin, fine, oil-prone hair so maybe a natural bristle brush is not the way to go? Good to know. I am also going to get a bulb-less brush because I do have breakage issues.

I do not think I have abnormal build-up. I have long hair and do notice that the middle (lengthwise) of the back of my hair seems to retain a lot of oil. It does not look bad or cause a problem, but I do feel it and I suspect that is where a lot of the brush build-up is coming from.

My current washing (every 4-6 days) starts with a good handful of baking soda paste that i work into my scalp with the pads of my finger. I often will "scritch" with a hand brush (nylon, I think). Then i comb it through my hair with a regular nylon comb. I have tried using a wide tooth comb but find I need a finer comp to get the baking soda through the length of my hair. This might be where a lot of breakage is coming from? I do a cider vinegar rinse for almost every wash in the winter and about every third in the summer. It tends to cause my hair to get oily looking faster until the heat is on.

I am intrigued by the conditioner idea. My thoughts were always that conditioner would cause build-up rather than help it. Are there any specific conditioners you would recommend for oily, thin hair?
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Old 10-29-2007, 03:55 PM
 
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The detangling comb is not for use in the shower, but after you get out of it.

I have thin to medium hair prone to oily scalp and hair breakage.

I use Suave Tropical Coconut, which is cheap, lightweight and silicone free. The light amount of oil in this conditioner plus the baking soda kinda makes a foam, actually, and it gets rid of the buildup (I mix mine in a bottle, mix with some hot water and shake the bottle up - you'll see some foam). If it helps you to use some sort of squirt bottle so you can apply it to all your hair, you can do that. Most people just need to apply the mixture to their scalp and they firmly scalp massage with their fingers and that should be enough. You can use your fingers to kinda work it down the rest of your hair, but since that part is drier, you don't need to put much.

As for vinegar rinsing, you can do that in a spray bottle as well, and try diluting the vinegar to 1/2 water and 1/2 vinegar and spray on your hair from ears down, NOT all over from your scalp down. You can also use the Suave conditioner a little bit to help smooth your hair and give it more moisturization and volume, or in the winter, you can use a thicker, more moisturizing conditioner. A drop of coconut oil or jojoba oil at the ends of your hair when it's damp makes your hair look great too (comb with detangling comb after you put on that little smidge of oil - and don't use more than a drop or else your hair will look oily).
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Old 10-29-2007, 07:51 PM
 
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Hey, I'm wondering if the buildup could stem from it being hard to get the baking soda paste through all your hair.

The way I do no-poo is mix about 1 teaspoon bs and 1 cup of warm water and pour it all over my head/hair (you may want to double that if you have very long hair) then just rub as if I was using shampoo- this seems much easier than the paste method and I like not having to use a lot of bs. Then I rinse with wather and with acv rinse (1 tablspoon vinegar per cup of water)
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Old 10-29-2007, 08:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have messed around with the BS quite a bit over the last two years. when i started no-pooing, I had shorter hair so a lot of the changes I have made came about because of things not working as well as my hair grew. I would prefer to use a more diluted BS concoction. I feel like the paste is too harsh. But anything less does not seem to clean my hair as well. I also would really like to ditch the combing step in the shower because I lose a lot of hair that way. But again, without the comb, my hair is so greasy right after the shower that I cannot even blow dry it without it getting all gummed up in the brush. I also seem to need the brush to help get all of the BS out during the rinse. I have tried finger combing it, but that did not cut it on both the cleansing or rinsing fronts. Not to mention that wet hair between my fingers is a feeling that squitches me out pretty good (like nails on a chalkboard). I am pretty confused about the whole thing actually. I have had several people IRL that ask me about it and I am reluctant to tell them what to do since I seem to struggle figuring it out myself.

The conditioner idea is interesting because it seems like that might be the missing component in my process. Perhaps the conditioner would be the "vehicle" to get the BS into the rest of the length of my hair? But part of my motivation for no-pooing is to save money and get away from the chemicals in commercially produced products. Would there be another way to achieve the same result without buying anything special?

Do other people comb through BS while in the shower? Should I be leaving it sit in my hair for any amount of time rather than rinse right away?
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Old 10-29-2007, 11:23 PM
 
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Actually, I didn't realize you're making a paste - I also dilute the baking soda and conditioner in a bottle and work that into my scalp and hair. The paste method worked for a brief period and later didn't work well at all. It breaks my hair more than helps it.

If you don't want to use conditioner, mix the BS with honey and add hot water to your bottle and then use that. For most people the baking soda by itself is too drying, especially in the winter, it makes for horrible staticky hair without some sort of conditioning agent.
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Old 10-30-2007, 12:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Actually, I didn't realize you're making a paste - I also dilute the baking soda and conditioner in a bottle and work that into my scalp and hair. The paste method worked for a brief period and later didn't work well at all. It breaks my hair more than helps it.

If you don't want to use conditioner, mix the BS with honey and add hot water to your bottle and then use that. For most people the baking soda by itself is too drying, especially in the winter, it makes for horrible staticky hair without some sort of conditioning agent.
Thank you so much for your help!

I already have honey sitting in my bathroom for washing my face so I am going to try that!!!! I would never have thought of honey as a conditioning agent How much honey to BS? The paste is WAY too harsh, I agree. My hair does not get staticky because it is quite oil-prone, but I do have lots and lots of breakage. I had that when I used shampoo too so I thought it was just the way my hair is.

When you "work it" into your hair, how does that work mechanically? I am envisioning that you would use your fingers on your scalp but how do you work it into the length of your hair?

If I used honey, could I get away from the vinegar? The smell is annoying
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Old 10-30-2007, 12:32 PM
 
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Hair below the ears doesn't get dirty much, the solution 'run off' does a good job of cleaning what little you need to on the length of your hair, but you can just squirt the solution all over your scalp and on your hair and using your fingers, just finger comb it down and wash like you would usually. The scalp, temples, sideburns, crown of head, and back/nape of the neck (basically your entire scalp) needs good finger scrubbing. Rinse thoroughly.

As for ratio, you can try 1/2 baking soda to 1/2 honey (or a little bit less if you think your hair tends to get greasy). Most people use 1 tablespoon of baking soda or less. I've been no pooing for a few years and now that it's winter, I don't use much baking soda, probably 1 teaspoon or less and my hair is shoulder length.

Mix everything in an old shampoo bottle or squirt bottle (not spray kind, but those in and out spouts). You can pretty much shake up the mixture and pour it little by little over your scalp. After you're done washing, rinse well.

People use a variety of things to restore the pH of their hair. If you can't stand the smell of ACV, you can use balsamic vinegar or fruit vinegars that smell yummy. I knew a few brunettes here who loved balsamic vinegar and a few redheads that used red wine vinegar. You can also try black tea if you're brunette, chamomile if you're blonde. I personally think black tea is pretty darn astringent and can dry your hair - but I haven't used it, so I'm not sure.

You can also use lemon or lime juice if you have light colored hair. For me, I have darker hair and lemon juice makes it look brassy and ugly rather than pretty and copper colored as with ACV (people think I go get it professionally highlighted with lovely copper strands, it's so funny), so I don't use lemon juice.

For whatever you use, use a squirt bottle with a spray nozzle, and apply the mixture from ears down (don't put on scalp area, your hair will look greasy). Rinse off before getting out of the shower.

See what works and adjust the amounts to what suits your hair. When you get more advanced, you can add essential oils to your no poo mixture to help with the scent and any scalp issues you have (or to moisturize your hair).
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Old 10-30-2007, 01:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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THANKS!

I am printing this whole thread
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Old 10-30-2007, 02:27 PM
 
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No problem - Maybe you can get away with not using an acid rinse, but as you can see, No poo is really about experimentation and figuring out what your hair likes during different seasons.

If you want gobs of info, don't forget to check out the Curly Girl Tribe thread. That has oodles of links for no poo and recipes and all that. Brown sugar helps curly hair and such...all that is mentioned in those links.
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