My No Poo Journey: Weeks Two Through Four…

by allysonrosenbloom

Part One

To be honest, I didn’t think I would last this long.  

Throughout week two, I showered in the morning, only washing with water and scrubbing real hard with my fingernails.  I left my hair down to see how it would look when it dried, and put it in a ponytail midday when I went to class (I’m in my final class for my Masters degree).  During the first day of class, we had an ice breaker activity and had to tell something unique about ourselves.  I confessed about the no poo and was met with surprising excitement.  Instead of being grossed out or confused, they were intrigued and excited to watch my progression over the next few weeks.

Day 12 of No Poo

By day 12 (the day before I washed with baking soda again), my hair felt waxy and looked totally stringy.

I think things are starting to look up though.  My husband’s hair looks great.  I think the grease moved down his hair, and now is completely recalibrated.  We both washed with baking soda in the first week, but that was the last time anything besides water (and my hands) had touched his hair.  I used a tablespoon of baking soda, a drop of tea tree oil and a cup of water in my hair yesterday.  I’m surprised by how good it’s looking.  I was able to wear my hair down the last two days, without greasy embarrassment.  I can see how this could really work.

I have high expectations for my hair.  If after a few months, it looks okay, manageable, better than it looks right now…. then I’m not going to stick with it.  My hair needs to look as good or better than it did before I started this no poo project.

Day 14


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

THREE WEEKS IN OF NO POO

I constantly go back and forth between feeling really optimistic and thinking there is no way this is going to work.  Things looked great after the baking soda mixture this week, but they got bad quickly after.  It’s also crazy hot in Colorado right now, so that might have something to do with it.  I keep hoping every week that the amount of time I am good after the baking soda will keep getting longer and longer.  Anyway, here is what we’re looking at for the end of week three.

no-poo-week-3-side  no-poo-week-three-top
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

FOUR WEEKS IN OF NO POO….

It’s been four whole weeks now.  Not much to write about because not much is changing.  I use a squirt bottle of baking soda, water and tea tree oil every Friday.  My hair looks awesome that day and on Saturday.  But after that, it just lingers around in the “kind of greasy” stage for the rest of the week.  It never gets awful, but it’s certainly not getting any better either.  

A friend recommended a boar bristle brush.  As soon as I use it, my hair looks super greasy and flat, but within a half an hour, it starts to look okay again. I’ve been wearing my hair down everyday, regardless of how it looks… and somedays, it looks pretty bad.  The picture below shows what it looks like immediately after using the boar bristle brush.

Is this ever going to get better?

no-poo-week-4-front

 

 

 

What Are Your Thoughts?

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Cristin June 10, 2012 at 6:15 pm

Allyson,
Your ends are looking great and your hair is looking shiny. I haven’t gone this full tilt, but I’ve always had to wash my hair every day and my hairdresser keeps telling me my hair is getting damaged because of it. But my scalp is too oily to skip, so one hair stylist told me just wash with conditioner. I thought she was craaaazy, but she told me it doesn’t have the abrasives that shampoo does, it will be SLS/ALS free so my color will stay and so will the natural health of my hair, and you’re adding nutrients every day to keep it strong and healthy. I now shampoo only about once a week with an organic SLS/ALS/Paraben/petro free shampoo, and condition every day or water wash every day and its working out really well. My hair is coming back to life. If you can’t keep the complete no poo, try a light gentle organic conditioner. It takes the greasy feel away for me but keeps me from having to poo.

-C

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Torrey June 25, 2012 at 3:38 pm

I have just started doing this, and used a spray in conditioner after washing with baking soda,using up what I had and like it so far but my hair is kind of on the dry side. I like it so far but its only been one week sence I use the ” old poo”. so far im going to stick with this, I will be trying vinegar rince next.

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Michelle June 26, 2012 at 2:40 pm

The boar bristle brush should really help with the waxy feeling you mentioned – just remember to wash the brush often in hot water (otherwise all the waxy build-up your brushing out will just get smeared back in the next time you brush.) It also distributes the oil so you don’t end up with super greasy roots and dry crunchy ends! I usually use my brush just before showering because I don’t like the way is styles after using it

You might also like to try using 1 Tbls apple cider vinegar / 1 cup water as your final rinse. It helps restore the PH balance of your scalp and hair after your baking soda wash. (It really doesn’t smell like vinegar after rinsed out!)

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Allyson June 27, 2012 at 11:40 pm

I started brushing before the shower and it helped tremendously! I can’t believe what a difference it makes. My hair looks so weird after using the boar bristle brush that I rarely use it. But your tip may have done the trick!

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Sarah June 30, 2012 at 8:24 pm

So i started “no poo” about two weeks ago. I’m not ready to do the baking soda only once a week yet. But i use it probably 3 days a week and use apple cider vinegar once a week because i’m not real crazy about how it makes my hair feel. But i’m having really bad issues with my head itching and flaking. I add tea tree oil to my baking soda rinse, and it’ll feel better for an hour after my shower and then it starts up again. Anyone have any suggestions? My hair is slowly getting better about feeling disgusting and waxy, but my itchy head is about to drive me crazy. If anyone knows anything that could help, let me know.

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Allyson July 2, 2012 at 4:26 pm

When I’m in the shower, I scratch my head really well with my fingernails, and that helps to get some of the dead skin cells out. At the beginning I wasn’t doing it as much and I did have some itch. Since I’ve been scratching hard, I haven’t had that feeling again.

Also, have you tried a boar bristle brush? It’s been helping me so much to get the oils down away from my scalp.

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Sarah July 24, 2012 at 6:30 pm

So things have gotten better, no more itching and that kind of thing. It’s been 6 weeks since i started. I haven’t been doing the baking soda once a week, there’s no way i can show up to my work with oily/greasy hair. I would get talked to about it (not in a good way). So i’m not able to do this ‘no poo’ all the way. I’ve been washing my hair every other day with baking soda, and using a lemon juice rinse (i tried ACV but it made my hair absolutely awful feeling) after because the baking soda dries out my hair really badly after one use. I don’t understand why it just isn’t working. My hair in the front looks good and shiny, but feels fried. And the back of my head is still stringy and gross. My hair is fine, but this seems to work for everyone else. I just don’t know what i’m doing wrong. Please help!

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MKC August 25, 2012 at 3:53 am

If this system worked for everyone, shampoo never would have been invented. Even in the old days (that is, 19th century pioneer life), when water and soap were scarce commodities, people still had to do traditional shampooing once a week.

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Bonnie July 3, 2012 at 10:27 pm

I wash my hair once or twice a week and it is doing much better.I do wet and condition it every other day

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Kelly July 7, 2012 at 6:16 am

So I was totally stoked about this idea when i first saw it on this website and i was sold on it! It’s been four weeks since Ive washed my hair and it is still pretty oily and nasty but the end of my hair are looking so much better and overall it feels really good!! But it feel like this “transitional period” can’t go by any faster!! Ive given up on telling people what im doing they tend to think it is really weird and dont understand why i do it, but im not giving up….ive gone this far no turning back!!!!! Anyways thank you so much for sharing, Ive basically gone through every stage and thought as you and its nice to know im not the only one.

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Natalie July 9, 2012 at 6:00 pm

Since you started posting about this, I haven’t used shampoo for about 4 weeks. I have been using the baking soda/tea tree oil/water combo and then the apple cider vinegar and water in spray bottles every 3-4 days. If my hair seems too oily, I have been taking a pinch of cornstarch and rubbing that into the greasiest places (it helps that I have blonde hair).

My hair hasn’t been too greasy, mostly it’s just gotten a ton of volume and has started keeping it’s shape… and after sleeping on it or putting it up that shape tends to be pretty ridiculous, so I have started straitening it. As much as I hate using a flat iron on my hair, I actually think that the heat has been taking some of the grease out too.

I’ve also found that taking baths and soaking my scalp has made my hair feel much less greasy. Baths >> Showers. :)

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Cat August 1, 2012 at 3:42 pm

hi Allison,

i have very oily straight hair, since a kid. i’ve always tried sparing it by washing every second day, and it worked, but soon the 3rd day, wash is mandatory. i hear you all saying how curly and better looking the hair becomes after No Poo, but my goal is different: i’m a short-hair-fan and the only thing i need is THICKNESS and VOLUME. how was the improvement in those, specifically?

thanks!

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Megan October 7, 2012 at 8:19 pm

Cat, I have short hair, and it is super fine and thin. I have been using baking soda and ACV about 3-4 a week, and my hair has gotten a LOT thicker. My husband says that it feels softer, and thicker too. I am loving the change. Good luck!

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Ashlee August 5, 2012 at 4:31 am

I started doing this about three days ago, but I use the baking soda mix followed by a vinegar rinse every day. I read on another website to start off with doing it this way, and then to slowly cut back on them, and then eventually you’ll get to where you can just rinse with water 99% of the time. Maybe you should try using baking soda every day and cutting back?

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Kathy August 22, 2012 at 7:54 pm

I hadn’t heard about the “no poo” experience before this! When I was young I had really oily hair. Once in a while if I didn’t have time to shampoo, I just sprinkled on a little cornstarch and brushed it through. It really soaks up the oil. Back then they used to have “dry shampoos” on the market which basically worked the same way, but cornstarch is cheaper and isn’t full of chemicals.

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garden gal November 5, 2012 at 2:15 am

My day of magic has finally arrived! I was ready to give up on WO washing until I read a post about brushing with a wooden bristle brush and wide tooth wooden comb. I had both, but had read that a natural bristle brush was the way to go. No so for my hair. What also didn’t work for my hair was baking soda and vinegar. I lost more hair with that method than I did at the salon during my hair cuts. Anyway, after washing and towel drying my hair, the waxy feel is there but you wouldn’t believe the curls I have. In fact, the waxiness sets my curls in place the way gel would. I brush my hair before washing it and then comb it in the shower under both hot and cold water. That’s it. This makes for a healthier head and definitely easier while travelling.

I also haven’t used soap for about six years. All I used is a wash cloth and scrub. Even after gardening, my calloused feet come clean. I no longer need to worry about allergic reactions to soaps or lotions and my eczema has cleared up completely.

As for washing my face, I use a warm wash cloth before bed and and tepid water rince in the morning. I’ve also no need for moisturizer on my face since the sebum from washing my hair gets on my face creating a natural moisturizer.

Our ancestors had it right all those years ago! I will never go back to shampoo or soap of any kind. Thanks for sharing your tips on the wooden bristle brush. I’ve had one for many years, but didn’t really know the benefits to using it. Thanks again.

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Gail December 10, 2012 at 3:54 am

So, I’ve gone “no poo” off and on for several years. I also live in Colorado and have found that with the hard water here, it is so hard to get rid of any residue – whether it’s shampoo, baking soda, etc. I found that if I boiled my water first and dissolved the baking soda in it, that worked. Also, I found that instead of using ACV, I use citric acid. I dissolve 1 Tbsp in 2 cups of hot water. Then, I add 2 more cups of water and use about a cup for each washing. That helped tremendously!!!! I don’t want chemicals and have completely gotten them out of all of my beauty products. I had the worst time finding a shampoo that I liked, though. About a week and half ago, I did my b/s and citric acid routine and my hair was so soft and wonderful. Surprisingly, it didn’t get greasy after 3 days like it normally does (even just a couple of weeks ago it did this), so I’ve been trying to see how long I can go without even the baking soda. Today is day nine, and the last couple of days it’s been pretty gross. I think I’ll wash it again with the baking soda, and try to go longer each time. I’d really like to WO wash, but if I can go 1-2 weeks with nothing but water, I’ll be happy with that. I have wavy hair, so it can go for a few days without washing. On the days I don’t use the B/S, I still get it wet to style. I’ve heard that over a period of time using B/S, people’s scalps tend to get really flaky. Mine is flaky right now, so I hope with only using the B/S once a week or two, that it won’t be flaky.

I haven’t used soap on my face in almost a year. Last winter my cheeks got scaly dry, no matter how much oil I put on them. I started using a homemade sugar scrub (just some turbinado sugar with a little bit of olive or almond oil) and only wash my face with that at night. I use argan, or olive oil to moisturize. I haven’t had any issues with the skin on my face since I started this. I workout most mornings, but all I do is rinse my face off in the shower, no more soap. It feels so soft! And I might just get a zit once in awhile, but I’m thinking that’s more due to perimenopause than not using soap. I also don’t soap up everyday in the shower, just once in a while. My sister stopped using soap on her baby, and her skin was so soft, and she smelled so good!!!!!!

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Queenie February 4, 2013 at 4:17 am

Thank you for sharing your experience. I grew up in asia (philippines) and my mom used to rub my hair with coconut oil before bathing, and that would leave my hair thick, soft and shiny. I have straight hair but the ends would curl up. Then i grew up and move to america and believed that i should use shampoo… Now my hair is dry and thin. So im interested in trying out this no poo method. If i use coconut oil on my hair, would that be cheating?
I want to try to go back on how my mom and my grandmom takes care of their asian hair… Plus reduce the hair shredding… I’m shredding like a dog here…:(
Did the no poo method helped reduce hair shredding too?

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Ian February 27, 2013 at 12:29 am

i wonder if using the baking soda and all might be just screwing up your scalp’s natural recalibration somewhat like shampoo does. or maybe it’s going to take your hair longer (it seems to take different lengths of time for different people). i’m trying it (only started yesterday, so not a lot to report yet), and i’m going to try using nothing but water throughout the whole process and see how that goes.

you’ve probably read it, but this is the most inspiring (and confidence-instilling) post i’ve seen on this practice so far:

http://fulfilledhomemaking.com/no-poo-shampoo/

maybe it’ll help you keep the faith!

best of luck!

Ian

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hillbilly homemaker March 14, 2013 at 12:32 pm

I have been making homemade bar soap for awhile and that is what I use in my hair. I make soap using a combo of olive coconut and canola oil. Then I add in sweet almond and castor at the end. my hair was dry and frizzy and kinda wavy-ish when I used commercial poo. now its curly and shiny. It was oily/greasy for a couple of weeks when I first switched tho. I use a lye calculator at thesage . com to make up soap recipes. its easy and fun.

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l-mp April 24, 2013 at 6:32 pm

has any one tried a beer rinse? I found that it left my hair nice and healthy looking after. I’m only 10 days in. The boar bristle brush really makes a difference.

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Debbie July 18, 2013 at 5:02 pm

I just found this today, after washing my hair. Its summer so I’ve been trying to wash it less since I know that shampoo is awful for your hair. I am going to give this a shot since I still have almost 4 weeks until my classes start up again. I think I can get to week five by wearing hats in class if I have to but after that I will be in clinical. Hopefully, my scalp wont take that long to adjust since I’ve cut down on the number of days I wash anyways. Thanks for posting this. I will keep you updated! :)

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Sylvia August 9, 2013 at 11:59 am

Whooaaaaa where is the end of the story???? Did you keep doing it???

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Dave M December 23, 2013 at 2:51 am

Are you still no-poo? Would love to read an update.

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Cynthia May 19, 2014 at 1:28 pm

An apple cider vinegar rinse works well on the shaft (avoid the roots) after washing with baking soda. Also a little arrow root powder will absorb excess water between washes.

How did you do? Did you keep it up?

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mianm August 22, 2014 at 6:23 pm

>>>>

I washed my hair with 2 bags of english breakfast tea and 1 bag of earl grey tea :) I dipped the ends for around 30 sec then poured the rest over my hair :)

Im air drying it now while combing once in a while. it smells kinda nice if you ask me :) hope it looks okay once it dries out 😀

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mianm August 22, 2014 at 6:29 pm

oooops I dont think my first comment got in >.<

Im on day 8 now and my hair feels a bit fluffy and dry on the ends. Days 3-4 was the best for me for some reason. lol Anyway I shower everyday and just wash my hair with warm water and shock them with cold water at the end ( a bit of soap gets in contact with the ends of my hair sometimes). Anyway, Im planning on washing my hair with beer in the next few days just to see what's going to happen. Will be trying the acv soln too :)

* I was only planning on doing this for a week or so but after seeing you hair after week 6, it made me think extending this no poo thing for as long as I can.

wish me luck 😀

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mianm August 28, 2014 at 1:24 pm

ended it it today after 2 weeks :(

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