Thanks for responding to my desperate cry... hah!
I think I may have started around mid-January or early Feb. Though it was working fabulously at first - I first used some shampoo and baking soda to clarify and then I started baking soda only - my hair started to get really limp and staticky after a while (which is probably due to the winter and indoor heating), and then later, after the heat was turned off, I just have beautiful hair when I first fix it and by the middle of the day, it does a bad-souffle thing and it just deflates. By nightime, it looked stringy even though it wasn't greasy. Forget the next day - I had to use something or else my hair actually looked super-greasy and was in reality, a tad oily at the roots.
Also, though my hair isn't greasy, I noticed my scalp was a tad oily and I could feel a some sebum plugs (nasty, I know). Kind of like an oil-check on your car, I used the pads of my fingers to see how much oil was on my scalp and there was a bit of it - and it didn't smell pretty either. My hair also seemed a bit brittle. I had used tea tree oil, rosemary essential oil, and even grapefruit. The grapefruit worked the best with the baking soda only.
So I went back to what I preached before, I started using the oatmeal and baking soda mix, rather than just the baking soda. My hair is doing a little bit better and then I tried using less apple cider vinegar. Instead of spraying from a spray-bottle like I usually do, I use a drop of conditioner and one squirt of my diluted apple cider vinegar and just finger comb it in the very ends of my hair while I'm in the shower so that I can comb through my hair when I'm out of the shower. I rinse the conditioner mix out and get out.
I do use a blow dryer, though now I don't have to yank my hair straight with a brush like I used to, nor do I have to use the highest heat setting because my hair doesn't frizz anymore due to no-poo. My curls are back and they're shiny, but like I said, by end of day, it looks too shiny sometimes and it gets limp.
So the past few days with the oatmeal/baking soda mix and VERY little apple cider vinegar/conditioner mix, my hair is doing better. It seemed like the baking soda only was making my hair flat, shapeless, and somewhat brittle and lots of hair was falling. The oatmeal/baking soda mix gets rid of the oil, the scalpy smell, and I don't feel the sebum plugs.
I will tell ya though - the oatmeal/baking soda mix makes my hair super soft. It's so durn soft that the top still falls flat a little bit. I've been trying to use a claw clip on the top of my head while I'm blow drying so it adds some height. That's been working a bit.
The softness feels like my hair when I was a little kid. I'm not used to it at all - it's nice to a degree to have healthy hair, no split ends, but then I get mad sometimes that my hair doesn't have any ooompf and I'm almost wanting it to frizz a little so it has some volume. So every evening I get a little crazy and say to myself and then outloud at dinner with my boyfriend 'THASSIT! I'm using real shampoo tomorrow morning!' but I haven't yet.
As for hair growth - yeah my hair is growing like crazy too! It's due to the scalp massage method. It stimulates blood flow to your follicles and it helps your hair get the oxygen and nutrients it needs to grow. Scalp massaging is also relaxing and helps the muscles around your head to not be so tight - tight un-relaxed scalps also have a hard time growing hair.
Since my hair is on the curly side, I can't see how long the back is, so I have to get the boyfriend to yank down my hair down my back to see if it's grown any.
Thanks for encouraging me!!! Keep me updated on your hair too.