HELP! Residue Brushing Out of Hair?

I recently started my No-Poo journey - about a month ago. My hair feels great and looks great. However, I noticed there was some sticky-looking dust type stuff on my brush. It was an older brush, so I didn’t think much of it, I just threw it out and got a new comb and bristle brush. Then, I realized that the residue was coming from my hair. After combing and bristle-brushing, the residue is in side the bristles every time. My scalp is a little itchy too, but it doesn’t look like dandruff - it’s not flakes, it’s more build up (and I have never had issues with dandruff before).

I have been doing the Baking Soda (paste) and ACV (spray bottle). I thought maybe I wasn’t washing the Baking Soda out enough and it was building up, so last night I didn’t use Baking Soda at all and there was still build up this morning. I stopped using hair products the past few days. I did use ACV spray on the ends last night, but I feel like the residue is more coming from the top. Could it be from my water? (I live in an old apartment in the city?)

I have a picture of my comb I will try to attach, to give an idea of what this residue looks like! It almost looks like grey dust gunk? (lol that’s the best way to describe it). My hair does feel a little gross at the top, but not “oily” per say. I do have very thick hair, so it may be holding stuff? I really don’t know what is causing it? Any ideas???

1 Like

I did a little more research this morning and finally found someone with the same issue. She says this:

"I believe this gunk is some combination of sebum, baking soda residue, and dead scalp skin (lovely thought, I know). Anyhow, I discovered that the combination of the acid rinse and the combing really helps to get rid of the extra sebum and remove any sticky feeling. I actually read about one system that involves using a washcloth on the wet hair instead of a comb… I tried it for a while, but combing seemed to work better.

Anyhow, I know some people say that you should never comb your hair when it’s wet because it can easily break, but I found that much less hair comes out with this method than with the hours and hours of brushing that I tried before, And I really found that the combination of the strong acid and the physical combing was what I needed to get the sebum down to manageable levels."

Does anyone have any additional experience / thoughts / tips !?

Thank u so much for your post, it was exactly the info I was looking for! I havnt used products for two months and at the start it went really well, then the last two weeks it was so greasy and dull. I have only used bs and acv once, about 6 weeks in. Used the acv and coconut oil in ends today and have combed out the residue. Here’s hoping it will turn around for me, I really want to keep going with no shampoo!!

I have this issue as well. I haven’t used shampoo in about 3 months. I wash with water only. The residue in my hair is waxy. I’ve used powder dry shampoo a couple times. The residue seems to have gotten a little less thick but it is still very waxy. My hair is long, like mid back length. I believe this is just the natural oils of my hair. It doesn’t look/feel terrible but when i comb it or brush it, there is a lot of reside that comes off on the comb and on my hands. I haven’t tried washing with vinegar yet. I also have to spend a lot of time wiping the residue off the comb between all the fingers of the comb. I was wondering if there’s a detergent i can soak my comb/brush in that will dissolve the residue.

Hey, I have the exact same thing! From what I’ve read lots of other people do too. I believe its a combination of dust, and dead skin cells and probably anything else that flies onto the hair and gets stuck in the sebum. I think it’s just natural grime from daily life.
I wash my brush after every use because it’s not something I want to transfer back to my hair. I’m at week 3 in my no-poo journey and my hair is still sorting it’s sebum levels out so mine is a bit oilier right now. I don’t know if this is just one of those things we have to get used to now or if it will go away. I only wash my hair with water and make sure to massage my scalp etc.

UPDATE: 8 weeks and still have this residue

Okay so i just noticed the same thing after using my flea comb after washing my hair in cold water. I also noticed this on my brush but each time i needed to remove it from comb and brush i used dish soap, so i am going to try and throughly wash my hair with dish soap and maybe update how well this works at taking out the residue. Good luck everyone!

You have mites, and they are causing the sticky nasty buildup, knotted hair, and hair loss. My whole family has been dealing with this nightmare for 2 years, but thank goodness I believe we are finally winning. First, I want to say, we are clean; we are showering everyday, sometimes twice a day, and have always kept a clean house, just in case anyone is wondering. Long story short, nothing worked for us until we treated everyone with lice shampoo (and no, we didn’t have lice, which the MD confirmed). Anyway, we washed our hair with lice shampoo once (which immediately made a difference: no hair knots or loss for days after/ coincidence- i think not), then we washed our hair with sulfur shampoo or a bar of sulfur soap daily. You really shouldn’t use lice shampoo anymore than you have to, but sometimes it’s necessary. using Sulfur Daily isn’t going to hurt you though. Just try it, and you will be shocked at the immediate difference it makes, and good bye hair knots, sticky grey buildup and hair loss (btw, if you really wanna see what’s going on up close, you can buy a cheap little microscope from Amazon that connects to any tablet or phone, and take a look at some of the hairs that are falling out and/or the stuff coming off of your hair.) Good luck.