As I have said before, I don’t wash my hair. This is commonly referred to as “No Poo” and now that we have gotten that clarified that for once I am not talking about poop, I would like to write another post about it. My first post regarding No Poo mostly discussed what it is, how it’s done, a plan if you wanted to go No Poo and some troubleshooting. If this is your first trip learning about No Poo, I suggest tackling that post first and then coming back to this one. I am running on the assumption that you know what I am talking about. I did also discuss brush cleaning, which is a must for No Poo.
Ok, let’s get some Grateful Dead going here!
if we’re going to act like hippies, we better listen to hippie music, dammit.
So, it has been brought to my attention (and I did also discuss this in the first post) that it is almost impossible to find a information from someone who has successfully gone No Poo. Many posts are from beginners and sooner or later, many of them discuss how they failed and went back to shampoo, or often called “low poo.” It’s like a cult, or something.
FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION!
If you sincerely want to go No Poo, and I completely understand if you don’t, I have some Golden Rules:
1. The first rule of No Poo Club is do not talk about No Poo Club.
I am being completely serious here. If you want to go No Poo, do not tell anyone. Why, you ask? Well, let’s be frank. Not using shampoo is weird and if you tell people you stopped using shampoo, every time they see you they are going to look directly at your head. And probably have some thoughts on it. Which, if you’re having a bad day, which happens, the last thing you probably want to hear is commentary from the peanut gallery. I didn’t tell anyone until I had been doing it for about 3 months. Mostly I got a “Huh. You looked a little greasy a couple days, but I didn’t really notice.”
2. You have to be prepared to work for it and be prepared for it to suck if you don’t. Or just be prepared for it to suck.
Honestly, it’s not terribly hard, but like any new skill, it takes some getting used to. And some days, maybe you don’t feel like rubbing your scalp with baking soda and using vinegar. Well, you might have gross hair that day. Sorry. Some days, your hair might be too dry and you might (ask me how I know) decide to put way too much oil in your hair and it won’t rinse out for three days. You have to experiment, everyone’s head is different and there is no one-size-fits-all option. Now, on a less ominous note, this is only in the beginning, IT WILL GET BETTER, promise! You just have to work it. I took me at least three months to get a rhythm down. I had to find out what worked, what didn’t and make my own rules a bit. It was months until I got down to one baking soda/vinegar shampoo per month. It took years to go completely water rinses only. Was it worth it? Abso-fricking-lutely.
3. BUY A VERY NICE BRISTLE BRUSH. NO CHEAP BRUSH. A NICE ONE.
Honestly, I can’t scream this enough. A crappy cheap brush will not do you a single favor. Buy a real one. Spend some money. I like Kent. Literally, when I first used mine, it was a miracle. It has made my life so much easier, it’s hard to describe. I got the one for thin hair (mine is thin) and it literally was like BAM! MAGIC YOUR HAIR IS NOW PERFECT. Seriously. It’s up from $20. MAKE THE INVESTMENT. No arguing!
Alright, now that we have the rules out of the way, let’s switch gears a bit, Uncle John’s Band, anyone? I love this song.
Back to business. So how did I tackle the No Poo mountain? Well, I read tons of information about it. Here are some links for your enjoyment:
- Instructables, How to Go No Poo – Goes over the basics, which is also in my first post, but I suggest you read as much as you can. Don’t just believe me!
- No ‘Poo Method on Livejournal – There is literally a metric ton of information on here.
- Buzzfeed The 37 Steps of Going No ‘Poo – I am not a fan of Buzzfeed, but it might cheer you up if you are down about the whole process. Literally no useful information here. Big surprise, Buzzfeed.
- WikiHow How to Wash Your Hair Without Shampoo – Again, knowledge is power, so read everyone’s thoughts on it.
To be completely honest, you should read as much as you feel comfortable with. I spent a long time reading about it and I found a lot of common themes that I would like to “debunk” here.
I am trying x plus x in my hair with a little of x and it’s my homemade recipe!
Okay, then. There is nothing, let me repeat, nothing more important than experimenting with No Poo, you have to find out what works for you. So please, if you want, try all the fun and funky no poo recipes out there, have fun, but just be completely honest about how well they work. If you want to go completely No Poo into the forbidden Water Only crowd, you’ll have to give this stuff up eventually. But have fun!
WHAT IS THE MAGIC INGREDIENT TO SOLVE X PROBLEM?
Well, it depends on the problem. The problems I have seen can be wildly specific or wildly random, but they all boil down to the same old thing. It’s “I am not happy with the stage in No Poo and I am freaking out.” Honestly, you’ve got to roll with the punches. Good days, bad days, you’ll eventually add up to awesome days. Just relax and go with the flow. Dry hair? Add a tiny bit of oil. Greasy hair? Use the baking soda/vinegar or I personally just take a hot bath and find my hair problems solved. The goal, at least in my mind, was to be rid of all shampoo and all products in my hair. So I would let my hair get oily and gross. As long as I could stand it. Then I would use the baking soda/vinegar. Repeat. The longer you stretch it out, the faster your hair will adjust.
I’ve given up and gone “low poo”
It’s okay. Let me repeat, It’s OK. Some things don’t work for everyone, so chalk it up to experience! You tried it, you didn’t like it and it’s okay.
Now here’s what to expect if you go long term, my fourish year journey. When I started, I was dyeing my hair. I did not use shampoo when these pictures were taken.
I started out with hair dyed black.
Then I began to slowly dye my hair brown, my goal was to get back to my natural hair color without having to bleach it or strip it.
Then when I reached a suitably close to my natural color, I stopped dyeing all together.
Today, after work at the factory (yes, I work in a factory now, very glamorous! Honestly, much more satisfying than my old corporate job.)
This is where I am today. All the black is out and I have just a few inches of brown left. My hair grows very slowly. Want to see me as a bleach blonde?
Anyway, I hoped those pictures helped you a bit. I had good days and I had bad days but I kept on trucking…
..because I really, really wanted to give up shampoo. So just keep trucking on. That’s my best advice.