New to no poo, advice re regime and grey

Hi everyone I came across no poo by accident and decided to give it a go from that day about 5 weeks ago. There seems to be lots of differing advice so I’ve tried to just do as little as possible :flushed:. My hair has been VERY greasy at times but I’ve gritted my teeth and got through it. I’m washing with bicarb about once a week, washing with water just once in between. I’m trying to remember to brush every night That’s it. As I say it’s been very greasy at times but at others not so bad. The other morning I was really fed up with it and (in frustration I’m sorry to say) just found myself sitting giving it a really vigorous scrub all over with my fingertips. I don’t know why!! But it somehow felt less claggy after, so I’m doing that every day now.
Am I on the right lines? Will it ever not be greasy or do I need to be doing something else? I’m hoping it’s just a matter of time (how much?:scream:) and if time will sort it out I’d rather just wait than start rubbing something else in my hair. So I suppose my question is: “will it sort itself out if I give it the time or do I need to add something else in?”
I’m 64 so getting greyer by the day as there seems no point in highlights if I’m taking out the shampoo. Any advice re this also?
Thank you in anticipation :blush:

Hi Sue,

I went nopoo on Jan 1/2019, so I’m over a year now. I’m almost 18 and have long, very thin hair (I think that’s the most difficult hair to deal with going no poo, as there’s no volume to hide the grease). Before, I was washing every-other day and had bad (not really bad, but constant) acne. I heard about nopoo before Christmas. I didn’t think you could not wash your hair! Frustrated with the constant washing I said I would try in the new year. We live on a multi-generational farm, (my sister and her family, and my brother and his family). Everything we do is to stay simple and connected to each other, animals, and the land. So when I jumped in to the grease pot, I dragged them with me. It worked perfectly for the children under 10, and the men did well too. My dad always remarks how much he likes no poo…(he’s bald.) lol

For the first few months we used BS and ACV, eggs, oil, bentonite clay, charcoal(that actually worked but it makes a mess)… every weird recipe we came across, we tried. Eventually, we stayed mostly with just water. In the summertime after a long swim in our swimming pond we would take the sandy clay from the edges and scrub and scratch it in, then swim it all out. That works just like shampoo (but not so stripping. It’s how horses keep their hair super shiny…) Now, I sometimes fill a sink with lukewarm water an 3/4 cup Epsom salts, and scrub in that. About once a month my mom says she’s going nuts and tries something wacky, but always concludes it’s best with water and lots of brushing.

What we like/don’t like:
Health… It totally changed my skin and hair health. My hair is almost to my waist but I could not get it to grow. It was so flat and thin I couldn’t do any hair-do. The split ends were terrible. My skin radically changed (we changed our diet to no sugar 3 months in, and that helped too), but the chemicals were making my skin horrible. Everyone else has had very similar results. The strength of the hair is amazing when you’re not stripping it. We still have a hard time realizing that it won’t have that light airy feeling. I’ve only seen it with my 8yr old niece, her hair is so shiny and light, it’s unbelievable. Sometime we moan and groan, but we know that we couldn’t use shampoo again. One other thing we’ve noticed is that now we get sick from strong soap or perfume smells.

All I can say is that, it’s not a choice for me any more. I could never go back. There’s so much pressure to have that ‘look’. We’re constantly having to realize that the oil is healthy, that the constant cleaning is a unrealistic standard we have now cause of the disconnected way we live.

I can’t really say anything personally about the grey hair. However, my Mom is 53 and has a good amount of grey at the front. We tell her all the time how we can’t wait until it’s all white. She says she’s inspired by women who go grey and work it. She says it’s good when she can embrace it as her look, and her age. It’s like everything in life, you have to know it’s good, and the natural way for you to be.

As far as it getting better… It does get less greasy. With thicker hair it does seem to go better. I find you do get into a rhythm after some time. Right now, I wash in warm water and scrub for 5-10 min. (I don’t go hot anymore as I find it cooks the greasy in, instead of cleaning). Also, I try not to shower as the dirt/dandruff can’t float out so well). Then I sleep with it loose. In the morning I part it and brush it gently. It feels maybe a titch gluey, but if I don’t brush it too hard I can wear it down for the day and it looks fine. By the next day I part it in the middle and can wear a more slick look. Once I give it a good brush, the greas comes out too much to wear down. If it feels gluey at all, then you probably aren’t brushing enough. The clag is just old oil that hasn’t moved through. So scrubbing and brushing is the right thing. My mom takes a carding brush to her thick hair to get the glue out from underneath.

I hope that helps. Sorry for the long ramble. I wish I could say it all gets amazing. For me, I would say the process of giving up that look, has been freeing and good. It’s just not natural to have that stripped hair. I’m here to be changed and let go of my way, the comfort of all those extra things that aren’t needed.

If you have any questions about anything at all. Feel free to ask. I will try to post a picture one of these days.

Hope K
(that’s my name. Everyone always thinks I’m just wishing them ‘hope, ok’ when I sign off. :joy: )

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Hi Hope. Thank you so much for your reply. Far from being too long or rambling it was actually really helpful. I had kept seeing all the post about the fantastic hair people had without shampoo I was wondering where I was going wrong. “We still have a hard time realizing that it won’t have that light airy feeling.” was a lightbulb moment for me - I think I was waiting for my hair to become beautifully silky and shiny on this no poo journey, now I can be realistic about it. Id seen posts about greasiness in terms of it being a problem and a failure. The way you talk about grease and glueyness in everyday terms makes me understand that this is new reality of how my hair feels so thank you for that. So my questions now are how often you would expect to wash in water and how often do you do the Epsom salt scrub? I CAN make mine last a few days at a time now as long as I don’t have to go out in public (not a problem at the moment obviously but I’m preparing for after this madness is over!). I don’t bother with the bs any more, I just use water. Like you, when I brush it, it flattens and looks greasy so I stopped doing it so often - from what you say I still need to brush it to move the grease out? Thanks for your help. Sue :blush:

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Hi again,
I meant to reply sooner, but it was my moms Bday on the weekend and for a gift, she wanted the all the family to do a complete spring clean (she’s a big organizer). Then we had a dinner with the whole big fam after, and long talks (she asked us all, as kids and grandkids, ‘what we like about her, and what we would like to help her to change, or get better with?’ It was very interesting)
The virus has changed our attitudes, as we know we’re under judgment, and are humbled/slowed. But we have been blessed to have land to grow on, animals to feed, and people to care for.

Anyways. Hair.
Yes, I wish I wouldn’t have been strung along for quite so long on the fantasy of ‘it can get just as good as shampooed hair’. I do still have this one story I read in the back of my mind. A lady wrote about it saying that she was no poo for 3 years, in the first 2 years she went back and forth between okay hair, and really greasy hair. She said that towards the end of the 2 year, her hair magically switched and stopped producing insane amounts of oil. In some ways I believe her, as I do think at some point it won’t produce quite so much. But I also know now that if my hair stopped giving oil completely then it would be totally unhealthy. I’ve concluded that I have to somehow learn to live with it, and find a rhythm that works. Women in the olden days must’ve had tips and tricks, and I think the most important is how you wear it during certain days after you wash.

It’s only in the last few months that I can wash my hair with water, and have it not greasy/ and not gluey, for maybe one day, (rare exception; 2 days).
I’m glad that it’s completely changed the way I view and handle my hair; even when it can feel tiring sometimes. You’re in bondage either way; to constant shampooing, or to constant managing. Chemicals, or work? I see that with the rest of life as well, which is why, hopefully, I’m learning/ being changed not to hold onto anything that is an easy fix here, but to know there’s something better.

It wasn’t possible for me to make a schedule to get back the ‘Sham hair’. It had to be a change in my goal.

My cycle: Every Saturday, the whole family, runs down to the sauna/pumphouse right beside the pond, and convenes for a sauna. In the summer/spring/ fall we can jump in, but not all the time as it gets really cold here (I live in southern Alberta, Canada). We think it’s good to have a detox (I just read an article, that saunas every 3 days can kill a virus, as increasing your internal tempature by a few degrees can kill certain things), and it’s a usual thing in my dad’s European background. Obviously, after that everyone comes in for a wash, (in the summertime we wash in the large canal that borders our land, or in the pond). On Sunday I can wear my hair down (most of the time)- Day 2, I can wear a middle part with slicked hair, french style (my mom loves this on me, even when I tell her it accentuates my face, she tells me “the classy ladies wear what works for them, and don’t change hair style everyday”. So… I give in) - Day 3 probably a low bun that is tight or loose depending on how greasy… I flip my head upside down and try to get air in to lift it, then put it in a bun (my mom always says it looks like I’m forcing the volume, but I can’t stand to always be slick). Day 4 It either stays in a bun from then on, or two braids wrapped around my head (or leave them down). Other option, is to wash on day 3 or 4. I try to most weeks as I do have thin hair and so have to manage a little more. But if I’m busy, I just keep it tidy, and wash on Saturday. The crown of your head will always be the Judas. Sometimes by front looks good, and the length looks good, and the crown will look ratty, and ruin it all. Like I said, though, I live on a farm, and am ‘Jill of all trades’: Homemaking, gardening, horse training, dairy cow chasing (they love getting out in the spring), psychologist, teacher, and anything else that needs doing. I do have the freedom to leave hair on the back burner sometimes.

About the brushing… You have to learn how often is good for what kind of hair style? I personally hate any type of gluiness. So I’ll brush as often as I need to, so that it’s at least greasy but not gluey. Brushing does bring the glue out, and it brings the moisture down to the ends where you need it. I have really long hair, so I’m always putting a drop or castor or almond oil on my palms and rubbing it in the ends. My crown will look wet and the ends will be snapping off. When I brush, I part my hair all the way down the center, and brush the knots out. Then I take any bristle brush I have (everyone says you need real boar bristles… Well, good luck cause the ‘real’ brush I have doesn’t even go 1/8 of an inch through my hair), I just have a $9 plastic one from walmart. I’ll spend 3 min on either side. Then take the brush to the sink, put a drop of soap on it, and under cold water (warm water will take the stiffness out of the bristles; even plastic ones), I’ll scrub the glue out of the brush, and then dry it as best I can with a towel. And start brushing over again. If I’ve been keeping up with it, I won’t have to wash the brush, as there’ll be no glue build up, just grease to move around. I’ve just found that if it’s really gluey you have to wash the brush to clean it out. Other women say they wash their brush once a week or something. That doesn’t work for me.

Ooops, that got long again. But, hey, some people don’t talk enough :sweat_smile:. I hope you can find some nuggets to help you out.

Hope K

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That’s lovely Hope, thanks for replying. I’m now down to once a week washing with water (fairly desperate by day 7 :grin:), I’ve completely given up the brushing as it just made it look greasier, I comb in the morning with a wide tooth comb and now scrub (massage vigorously?) with fingertips twice a day (if I remember :flushed:). Now I’ve read your story about the other lady, I’m living in hope that at some point in the next two years the lovely locks will happen - maybe we’ll both be lucky/ rewarded for our patience :grin::grin:. Good luck
I hope you and your family stay safe and well through this current sad situation and beyond x

Hi Sue,

I just started my journey and found helped me a lot to get started. I bought the ebook and it has a lot of great advice based on hair type and water type.

Good luck!

Hi Sue

I switched only 6 weeks ago and I am washing twice a week which is working well for now. I do eventually I hope to extend this to just once a week.

I dont use WO though, I use soap nuts to help remove some sebum without stripping my hair. It works well and leaves my hair very light and soft. For me soap nuts are a natural compromise that stops me from going crazy / switching back to normal shampoo! So it may be something to consider if you’re getting fed up.

On the grey question, I have heard of some people using honey masks or chamomile tea to naturally lighten and blend hair tones. Or maybe just embrace it! Personally I think grey hair can look pretty awesome!!

Hi Sue,
Ive been doing no poo since 2010…yep 10 years…and this is my routine. I premix about a tablespoon of bs in approximately an 8 ounce bottle (like an old dish soap bottle) and the acv is in a used acv bottle, I fill that halfway with acv the rest with water (this depends on the amount of conditioning I need). I clean my hair one day and nothing but water everyday. I have been going through menopause so my hair went bonkers for awhile because of the night sweats. Super super greasy all the time. I have gone 33 days without needing to clean my hair as long as i rinsed with water daily. The daily rinse is very important, it washes away the dust, dirt and skin flakes that help make hair dirty and greasy. So I clean with bs and acv, rinse everyday with water and i wont clean again until i cant stand to touch it. If its only been a few days then i will clean but stretch it out the time between cleanings by a day or two each time. Your scalp will eventually “learn” to put out less oil which means less oily hair for longer. You have to “retrain” your scalp. It takes some time but so worth it!