Hi, I'm new to this forum, felt the need to see if there was any "natural" hair washing forums around since I recently started this journey myself, and am having quite a bit of difficulty finding what works for me. I'm so close to just giving up but I feel I've gone this long, I can't throw it all away just yet, especially because I feel strongly about staying away from chemicals on my hair/scalp, and long for days where I can stretch longer between needing to wash my hair.
So, my ethnicity is white, and my hair is long, straight and thick. Though my hair is less thick lately, I think I might have been losing hair before even switching to no poo, I've been having some sort of problem on my scalp, where there's a thick white coating, that creates a lot of dandruff, it might have been suffocating my scalp for awhile now.
So, I believe it's been about a month since I switched over to a natural "sls-free" shampoo (may be a bit more than a month, I didn't mark down the official beginning). It still had ingredients in it I couldn't recognize, so I figured I would slowly switch over, first by just eliminating SLS, and going through the infamous transition period. My hair started becoming greasy and lank near the roots and scalp, and very dry and straw-like in the length. I felt it was just the transition, so I sucked it up and just continued. I didn't use any ACV or anything else, just that "natural" shampoo.
In the past week and half, I tried something new. I bought some shampoo bar samples from Chagrin Valley. I felt it was better because I could recognize all the ingredients and was more aware of what each bar was trying to do. I tried a Tea Tree bar (for the scalp issue), a Cocoa/Shea Butter conditioner one (for my dry length), and a Henna bar to give my hair shine (I color my hair with henna as an alternative to store dyes, and it's amazingly better color). I like the feeling of the bars, they lather super well, better than the shampoo I had been using. I also started using an ACV rinse after these bars, as I was reading how necessary that is. After pouring the rinse on, I can definitely feel my hair get lighter, like the vinegar is rinsing out all the residual soap and heaviness. I generally have been washing 3 times a week. And I do think my scalp issue might have been getting better slowly.
Problem is, when dry the next day, my hair still sucks! I swear, I feel it's just getting worse and worse, instead of the transition getting better. My hair is super greasy around the scalp, and very... piece-y. At work during the week, I have to pull my hair back to my do my work, and that's an even worse look for me, because it reveals all the greasy hair on the side of my scalp. I used to look forward to the weekend, because I like to curl my hair with a curling wand then, but my hair is so heavy with oil or something, it just pulls the curls straight down, and I look horrible. First I thought maybe it was the extra shea butter I put on my hair, as a natural heat protectant, but last night, I skipped doing that, and decided to just curl without any protectant, and still, my hair reacts like it's just super heavy, and I look like crap. I can tell it's going to be even worse tomorrow.
Am I doing something wrong? Should my hair be adjusting by now, or is this just a freakishly long transition period? I did read about the baking soda wash as well, but I also read some bad things about that, that it's bad for your hair, and could make you lose your hair. I'm not sure what to believe about that.
This is so hard for me, because my hair is honestly one of my best features, before this, my hair was long, beautifully curled on the weekends, with a gorgeous henna shine... I got comments on it's beauty all the time. But now I just feel like lanky greaseball. I want my hair to look great, but also be natural. Is it possible to be both?