Having Difficulty With Transition


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?


I mean no offence in saying this, but it seems that your washing your hair too often. Maybe if you wash it twice a week and cut it down to once a week, so less sebum is produced, then you’r hair may have better results. When washing your hair, keep it straight forward and simple, use only what you feel is absolutely necessary to use, for it seems your in a bit of a pickle on how much ingredients is being used on your hair. In reality, it’s all about trial and error, and sometimes these things take longer then expected. Can i ask? Do you even the oils put in your hair? Brush them from the top of the sculp to the end of your hair? Do you message your sculp before washing? These may help. I’m sorry my advice isn’t amazing, but ive been through this before and it’s worked for me. Later on, if you feel like your not happy, try something different, see what works for you. I hope all goes well, good luck. Stay strong and keep going with the no-poo. I know its tough and frustrating, but you can do it! Xx


I would also suggest that you seem like you could have hard water. I had a similar problem and I tired for more than a year to fix it, and when I got a water filter everything changed! Try getting your water tested, you can buy test strips at your local hardware store or Home Depot or Lowe’s. If your water has lots of chlorine and minerals in it, that could be the “white coating” on your scalp. The imperfections in the unfiltered water build up on your hair and scalp, making it pretty hard to deal with. I got my shower filter at Home Depot for, I think, $20. You might want to look into it.
I hope you have better luck with your hair soon :+1:


Thank you both for your replies! I have since gone out and purchased a boar bristle brush. Wow, I didn’t realize how effective those were at distributing oils and helping with the “piece-y” oily problem. I still have this problem, but the brush is helping me combat it.

I’m trying to take your advice, Watson, and only wash my hair once or twice a week. Tonight I water-washed it only, and am going to try to do that a bit more also instead of a normal soap-up wash… perhaps using too much shampoo/ACV is the problem, so I’m gonna try to let my scalp get used to having oil on it, to hopefully slow sebum production… I had read some tips about doing water-only, like massaging the scalp before a shower and brushing (I didn’t ever think of doing that). I’ll update on how trying these changes work.

Some good news though, I definitely think the white coating on my scalp is getting better. I’m not sure what I did that helped, though maybe it was a combo of factors. But I’m happy with that at least! I have MUCH less dandruff recently.

If I can’t seem to get relief from the bad hair, I will definitely look into seeing if I have hard water. Never was even aware of that until recently.

I’m determined to try and try again with this. I’m not one to give up easily haha. I had 3 coworkers talk about how thick and pretty my hair looks, so perhaps my hair is improving a bit, or at least not as horrendous as it looked to me lately.


Okay, so, I’m going to try to stay away from the shampoo bars now, and experiment with just water-washing. I’m not sure if it’s the bars or the ACV, but it seems like right after I wash with them, my hair looks so much worse. I went a week without poo, and my hair was oily, sure, I thought when I washed last night it would be a relief, but my hair was worse this morning than any other day this past week. Perhaps the extra oil from the bars is just not geling well with my already over-oil-production problem.

So… water only, and brushing… I may possibly try honey as a wash alternative, as I read about adding honey to warm water, it supposedly doesn’t interrupt the sebum production on the scalp? And hopefully wouldn’t add any sort of oil either.


Thought today would be a good time to give an update, maybe get some advice if anyone is still reading… So, since my last post, I had tried using raw honey, and also broke down and tried the baking soda/ACV combo. The raw honey by itself didn’t seem to clean it, nor make it worse. The baking soda DID manage to make my hair look less greasy. I actually had a few good hair days on the day immediately following using it. I had forgotten what it felt like to have attractive hair… My schedule now, is to wash my hair only twice a week, btw.

The problem with the baking soda, is that it started to give me lots and lots of dandruff/“mystery white stuff” that’s flaking off my scalp. Another problem, is the persistent waxy coating I felt on my hair. Although it helped with the “appearance” of less grease, I still felt a heavy gunkiness on my hair, it wasn’t silky and free hair, it was hard and coated. So, reading about what to do about this gunky feeling, I read that you should try an egg on your hair to clarify…

I tried it last night and I’ll never do that again… I used one egg, a tiny bit of raw honey, added in some water, and mixed it up. Rinsed it off in cool water so as to not cook egg in my hair. I followed it with an ACV rinse. I then did a final rinse with distilled water because I suspected maybe hard water was a problem for me. My hair felt soft and light as it was drying. But waking up this morning? It looked like I washed my hair with motor oil. It was horrific. It didn’t just “not work”, it actually made my hair WORSE. This is the most greasy I have EVER woke up after showering. It’s reminiscent of how my hair looked after the shampoo bars. It just doesn’t make sense to me. At the bars made sense to do that, as they had a lot of oils in them. But I didn’t add oil to my hair last night… The ingredients are conditioning, sure, but to make my hair look like I dunked my head in a bucket of oil?

I am tired. I am sooo tired of trying to find something that works for my hair. I’ve been doing this “experiment” since August and have had crappy hair all this time. I had some slight reprieve with baking soda (which I’ll be washing with tonight to try to help this catastrophe), but it posed problems still, and I’m still not sure how safe it is for long-term use. I’ve ordered some trial shampoo from Moroccan Method. If those don’t help either, I’m honestly at a loss as to what to do next.


My first use of a Morroco Method shampoo didn’t go so well. I used a teaspoon amount, diluted in 8 oz of water (much more diluted than they recommend), and it still left my hair way too oily. I had to wear a hat these past few days to cover up… When I use again, I’ll use even less of the product…

The white gunk is back on my scalp, and shedding off with a vengeance. I’m going out today to buy a showerhead filter in an effort to soften my water. It seems like everything is failing on my hair, and failing to wash out. The only common denominator I can see is my water. So I have to try to see if that’s the problem. I mean, how could EVERYTHING fail on my hair? I had this problem even I was using commercial shampoos. I’m hoping it’s the water, and this could help. Will update again…


So, I finally get to update this thread with some good news! For the first time in months, I actually have good hair!

I was not able to get my filter installed yet, due to my old one being hard to remove. So, I’ve been buying gallons of distilled water to use for a final rinse. And wow, it really WAS the water that was interfering with the shampoos I had bought. I had tried my Chagrin Valley shampoo bars again (which had left me a greasy mess before), but this time, I did a final rinse with the distilled water, and it’s amazing how well my hair has been turning out. The roots are clean, soft and lightweight. My hair not only feels normal again, but beautiful and silky. No more having to use the rough baking soda, no more white flakes everywhere, no more concoctions. Just the shampoo bars and the vinegar rinse, and unfortunately the extra step with the bottled water for now. But I’m just so happy that I’ve found the problem.

I regret not taking the advice about the hard water possibility sooner! It just seemed like an expensive option due to having to buy a filter. And it is being very difficult to change… but I can’t believe the difference that water can make!

So, I may not be totally “no poo”, but I finally managed to have a natural hair care product work, and work well. :slight_smile:


Thank you so much for continuing to update your progress! It sounds like my hair is similar to yours and I have been in the same boat as you for the last month of my no-poo experiment. I have been using shikakai, aritha, and amla mixed together, baking soda with an acv rinse, and bentonite clay as my various “shampoos”, but even though they sometimes give my hair the appearance of cleanliness, it still has that heavy caked feeling like you described. I can’t wear it down for longer than a couple hours before it becomes piece-y and dirty looking. I am going to get some distilled water today to see if this has been the issue all along. My hair has always been very oily so I’ve been washing with some no-poo method daily. Maybe this is too often, but I just can’t go out the door looking like mangy dog. The baking soda makes it look and feel the cleanest, but causes the ends to break. I have almost given up hope, but I’ll try the distilled water first. Thanks again and I’ll let you know if this works!


I hope you can find out what worked for you. I was driving myself nuts over this, for months. I felt trapped because I knew I didn’t want to go back to traditional shampoos after what I learned, but I couldn’t get anything else to work.

Have you tried Chagrin Valley bars? I hadn’t tried many different truly “no-poo” methods, but I can say that the baking soda was probably a bad idea, my gut instinct was to stay away from it, but I caved in due to the oiliness I couldn’t escape… the BS broke my hair too. I have little broken hairs all throughout my length, and I do believe it was because of the BS because of how rough and stuck my hair felt when I poured that on… The CV bars work very well for me, as I think it was necessary for me to have an actual soap, as the natural things like honey, just weren’t cleansing at all.

I tried the Morroco Method shampoo again, hoping maybe it would work as well, once I rinse with the distilled water, but unfortunately, that shampoo still just leaves me greasy and doesn’t really clean my hair the way the CV bars have managed to do. So I think I will just stick with CV.


I am also so glad you continued to post your updates! I have been struggling with the itchy, cakey, flaky scalp. I too am thinking, after reading your post, that my water may be to blame! I have also been using very diluted baking soda to wash my hair but have noticed that the ends feel so dry but feel like I need something to clean my oily roots and dry scalp! With fine thin hair, all of this is a horrible combination! But it’s not all that different that with commercial shampoos, just a little worse.