Most of you know that I’ve been without shampoo and conditioner since February. Yes, since February. My hair couldn’t be better, and I’m now able to go one day short of a week with grease-free hair. I’ve written two previous posts about my no poo adventure, the introductory post here and the three month update here. My blog has been absolutely blowing up with readers from all over the web curious about nixing shampoo out of their lives all together. There have been quite a few questions published in my comment feed, and I’ve decided to use these questions to write a FAQ about no poo. Let’s get this no poo party started!
“How much of the mixtures do you use in a setting?”
The baking soda/water mixture and the vinegar/water mixture should last you 3-4 washings depending on how thick your hair is. The point is to get the scalp fully saturated with baking soda, and the length of your hair fully saturated with vinegar.
“How many times do I wash my hair with the mixtures during the transition period?”
Hold out for as long as you can. If your hair becomes unbearably greasy, wash it. Just remember, the longer you can hold out…the longer your period will be between washings, and your hair eventually adjusts to your cleaning schedule. :) I can currently go 5-6 days between washings. By the 5th day I’m still grease free! Look!
“Can I used product in my hair? I can’t live without my hairspray!”
Um…OF COURSE!!! I used to use hairspray every single day. Now I’ve weaned myself to use it every other day. I’m really going extreme huh?! Some girls choose to go completely without any sort of hair product. However, I haven’t gotten to that level of natural beauty. I will forever stay attached to my hairspray and mousse. Baking soda does a WONDERFUL job cleaning the products you use in your hair, as well as releasing potentially years of build up on your scalp (gross I know.) I wouldn’t be surprised if you experienced a few ‘flaky’ days when you first start. It’s just the baking soda loosening up that buildup. :) Also another thing you’ll notice is that after the transition period you will only have to use about 1/3 of the product that you used before. This is because your hair is actually clean and it will take the react to it better!
“What do you do to prevent heat damage?”
My recommendation would be to use less heat products. With no poo you won’t have to blow dry (and fully straighten or curl) your hair every day. Even with the best products, doing heat treatment every day will majorly wear on your hair. So I’d try to cut back as much as possible on that. You can use coconut oil to help a little with heat treatment in between, just try not to use scorching heat. High heat can use that oil and basically ‘bbq’ your hair. yuck!
“My hair doesn’t style the it used to. I’m two weeks into no poo, and I can’t get my hair to curl with my iron! Suggestions?”
I feel your pain! I believe you’re going through your transition phase. I had a few weeks where my hair wouldn’t do anything. It was more like a silky limp rag. Which is awful because I have a slight curl to my hair. I couldn’t even curl it with an iron. I’d just say, stick with it! Do you usually use product on your hair? Are you still using product? I can’t live without my mousse and hairspray. There’s no way I can sacrifice that.
“What if you exercise daily?”
I started with ‘No-poo’ while I was doing my third round of the Insanity workout, and now I’ve moved on to Jillian Michaels. I work out pretty darn close to every day. During Insanity I would sweat a lot more. I would rinse my hair off with water only after a workout, and then every 3rd to 4th day I would do the baking soda solution. Now, with Ripped in 30 I don’t sweat as much. It’s not as long or as intense…and I can squeak by without a sweaty head! I just put my hair up in a high bun while I shower after working out to keep my hair dry.
“Do you know any natural leave-in conditioners? My roots get oily but my ends dry out and break off!”
Coconut oil. It’s pretty much the cure all for everything. I’ve heard of women doing a deep conditioning treatment by rubbing in coconut oil before a shower and letting it sit and soak in for a while, then rinse it out and do your usual no poo rinses. The more common way to moisturize your ends would be to add coconut, Moroccan, or jojoba oil to your ends after showering. I’ve even heard of people using extra virgin olive oil as well too. Experiment! See what works best for you.
“I have really thin hair so my hair tends to look dirty pretty quickly so I’m not sure how well this would work for me.”
I have thin hair too, and lots of it! One thing I’ve learned in the last four months of doing no poo, is that no poo can work for every type of hair. Your ‘perfect’ baking soda measurements may be different than mine. I may use two tablespoons of baking soda per cup of water and lemon vinegar, and you may use one tablespoon of baking soda and apple cider vinegar. Don’t believe me? Check out the Facebook support group ! We just broke 1,000 members, and I guarantee you that you’ll find a girl on there with your hair type!
“Tried it. My hair is super tangly and dry. What should I do?”
Yikes! That’s discouraging! I know mine, being wavy, took forever to get the tangles out at first. I’d try using less baking soda than you used before, and make sure you are using apple cider vinegar. Also try to keep the baking soda in until it feels a little slippery, and then rinse it out thoroughly before adding a generous amount of vinegar to the length of your hair. You can also use coconut oil to help with the tangles! Be sure that when your hair is wet you are using a wide toothed comb to comb it out instead of a brush. A brush can break your hair!
“What is dry shampooing?
The purpose of the dry shampoo is to soak up any grease you may feel during wash days (especially during the transition phase). I can’t even believe how great cornstarch works! There are a few different ways people put it in their hair. Some use a foundation powder brush and flick it into their hair…others use a small round container that has either had tiny holes cut in it, or one that came with them. I’m thinking like some sort of spice container may work? I haven’t tried that way myself. I have only needed to use dry shampoo when I was in transition, or if I hit day 5-6 and don’t want to wash my hair. :) As far as the color goes, if your hair is dark use cocoa powder. See which of the two work better for you! The thing about going natural is that you’re going to need to experiment with things, and understand how your body reacts to them. I love it! Its such a great learning process.
“What do you do if you go to a salon?
Ask for sulfate-free shampoo. If you are needing to use shampoo once after getting a hair treatment it’s not going to screw up your progress too much. I just had to use shampoo last week, and after it’s use my hair felt SUPER dry and stripped (yuck, I hate experiencing what shampoo does to my hair!). I moisturized it with vinegar when I got home, and I’ve been fine ever since.
“I color treat my hair. Can I use baking soda instead of shampoo to rinse out the dye?”
Oh DEFINITELY use shampoo! If you’re at a salon ask for sulfate-free shampoo. 99.9% of salons have it. If you are doing it yourself and don’t have sulfate-free shampoo, go ahead and use the regular. It may set you back a day or two, but your hair will be just fine. Dyes/bleaches have HARSH chemicals in them. Baking soda and vinegar are not strong enough to take them out. You may be risking a chemical burn if you do not use shampoo! Please, please, please rinse your freshly colored hair with shampoo. :) After the initial washing you are free to go back to no-poo.
Will the vinegar provide enough moisture to balance new highlights or will I then have SUPER dry hair?”
I lighten my hair about every 4 months. My last lightening treatment was in early April. I haven’t had a dryness problem. I’ve just been extra careful to fully saturate my hair with vinegar and let it sit for a while before rinsing it out. If you experience any extra dryness, feel free to try a coconut oil treatment or Moroccan oil!
Please keep asking your questions and voicing your opinions! I will be adding part two and three of this FAQ post with the comments I receive.
Happy no pooing!
All of my answers are my own opinions of what I have found with doing no poo since February.
Keep in mind that everyone’s hair is different. I will try my best to help you any way I can.
>>>>>>Second FAQ post here!<<<<<<