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So I'm going to do this "not washing hair" thing. What's in store?!

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  • My husband has been water-only for four years and styles his hair every day. He realized after the first couple months that he could stop using gel and could style his hair with just a bit of coconut oil instead.

    My water-only hair styles much more easily now, because of its natural volume. It no longer hangs limply. If I neglect my brief daily preening, it will get overly greasy on top and eventually get quite nappy, though. It takes just a minute or two per day, far less than a shower and drying.

    And no, the CO-BS mix I use for deo doesn't stain at all. I just get a little bit out, let it soften in my hand or on my underarm skin, then rub it in well. Never enough that it would rub off on clothes, but it always works.
    5'4" 39yo mother to five sweeties & married to their AMAZING DaddyGrok
    Current Weight: 175lb__________________________________Goal: 135lb
    Deadlift: 240lb________________________________________Back Squat: 165lb
    Bench: 130lb__________________________________________Pre ss: 85lb
    ***Winning a 20-year war against binge eating disorder***

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    • I think I am going to officially call myself no-poo now - last night I tried the egg yolk conditioner, swirled with a splash of Braggs acv for dandruff, and am stunned at how it works. I have been using baking soda for the wash.

      Now I will give one of my kids a hair wash today using baking soda - I try stuff on myself before I experiment with the kiddos.

      You know how sometimes you ask yourself "I wonder how we ever got along without (fill in the blank)?!" when you cannot imagine life without x modern convenience/product? Well, in this case, now I know!!
      I have a mantra that I have spouted for years... "If I eat right, I feel right. If I feel right, I exercise right. If I exercise right, I think right. If I think right, I eat right..." Phil-SC

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      • The tides are starting to turn!

        I've been using a lot of the great advice on this thread in my second and last attempt to go shampoo-free. The first time I tried, even 2 months later my hair was a greasy gross mess.

        What I'm doing differently this time that seems to be working:
        -Instead of going shampoo-free cold turkey like the first time, this time I gradually reduced the number of times per week I was shampooing, until it was about once per week.
        -not using any baking soda at all - since it made my scalp so dry last time I tried it, it started to make me think that it was stripping all my scalp oils (which makes it just as bad as shampoo in my opinion) and was probably contributing to the excess oil.
        -using a boar bristle brush everyday (except the one I got is too soft and not very practical)
        -VERY IMPORTANT- using MamaGrok's 'preening' strategy. Several times a day I run my fingers through my hair and give myself a quick scalp massage. This seems to have been making a huge difference.

        Now, after about 2 months, my hair is looking as good as it used to after a shampoo (which isn't very good, so I'm hoping it continues to improve so that I end up looking better). My very thin hair is feeling slightly thicker but the texture isn't any better than when I was shampooing; it's still too early for an official judgement but even if this is as good as it gets, I'm happy to at least not need shampoo anymore.

        Anyhow, I'm really glad I was inspired to try the shampoo-free thing again after reading this thread. Thanks to everyone for the advice!

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        • You can do the lightening weekly -- it shouldn't cause a problem -- or you could do it once a month (or less). The lightening usually lasts a month (grow out), so most people do it monthly.

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          • Originally posted by BestBetter View Post
            -using a boar bristle brush everyday (except the one I got is too soft and not very practical0
            Interesting. I was going to buy boar bristle based on comments here and on Badger and Blade. I was looking at the soft one because I don't like the idea of tearing my hair out with a stiff brush. But the Amazon reviews for the soft one aren't good. And it sounds like you don't like it either. Should I go to the medium?

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            • I'm shampooless and style productless too. The little bit of greasiness and natural oilyness holds well with just some water. I tend to prefer the cowlick hairstyle now since my hair is longer and very suitable for the conditions. Interesting to hear about coconut oil being used as a gel, any dudes use it and is it hard to wash out? I'm male btw.

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              • Originally posted by Rojo View Post
                Interesting. I was going to buy boar bristle based on comments here and on Badger and Blade. I was looking at the soft one because I don't like the idea of tearing my hair out with a stiff brush. But the Amazon reviews for the soft one aren't good. And it sounds like you don't like it either. Should I go to the medium?
                I have VERY fine, thin hair and I find the soft boar bristle brush to be somewhat useless, and I'm looking into getting one that is either medium or hard. Since I'm new to this, and I've only used the soft one, I can't recommend anything. I think I went for the soft one because in the back of my mind I was thinking about how soft toothbrushes are better on the gums, so a soft hairbrush must be better, too...nope! I can only use the soft one if I first brush my hair with a regular brush.

                Also, one thing I learned from reading reviews on these brushes is NOT to get a BBB that is labeled 'reinforced' because this means that a majority of the bristles are plastic. It's important to look for 100% boar bristles.

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                • Originally posted by BestBetter View Post
                  I think I went for the soft one because in the back of my mind I was thinking about how soft toothbrushes are better on the gums, so a soft hairbrush must be better, too...nope!
                  I have similar hair and had the exact same thought process. Glad you beat me to it. I think I'll start with a medium. Thanks.

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                  • apparently the egg yolk treatment doesn't work for everyone! I went cold turkey and just stopped using shampoo - water rinses with conditioner until the static settled down in about a week. After two weeks hair is beautiful and sooo soft but not very shiny, so added a whipped up egg yolk with coconut milk last night. Hair felt like someone poured melted crayons over me. Had to go back into the shower and completely rinse through with vinegar before even coming close to normal. I may yet resort to a shampoo to reset. Oh well, live and learn!

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                    • I have thin and fine hair and have been experimenting with no-poo on and off for a few years now. I've tried water-only, baking soda, vinegar rinses, tea rinses, conditioner-only, but still haven't been able to figure out how to deal with dandruff and itchy scalp, and oily build-up. Oils are too heavy on my hair, and very difficult to rinse out without using something strong like shampoo.

                      Also, I'm wondering-- how do you wash your hair after swimming in a swimming pool?

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                      • I have been experimenting with this for a couple of months now. I tried it once before and gave up so started back up in Jan after this thread started. I have straight shoulder length hair that is fine. A few questions...

                        1. Will the hair ever adjust to no washing, other than good rinsing?

                        2. I have been stretching it out and I try to extend the time. I have been going on almost three months and after doing a bs/acv rinse in a day and a half to two days my hair gets lots of sebum. I can extend with arrowroot powder for another day or so but then it is just a stringy mess. I keep waiting for this magic time when I can go days with my hair looking good. I am doing a bs/acv rinse every 3-4 days and have tried stretching it longer, but it is so bad, I have to wear a hat all the time.

                        3. I have tried castille soap and vinegar only, more BS and less BS in the rinse, but I can't find a balance. I guess I am wondering what a typical routine is for those that have survived this switch. Will I always have to do this every few days, I am not convinced it is helping.

                        Can someone describe their transition and what their current routine is and how their hair looks after one day, three days, etc. just want to know if I should keep plugging along in trying to stretch it out or just realize it may not work. I really want to find a solution!

                        Thanks!

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                        • My experience was that the first time I stopped using shampoo last year (quit cold turkey) my hair was a hot greasy mess for months and never really rebounded. At the time I was using baking soda and vinegar, but the baking soda made my head super itchy and dry. I have a feeling that it overdried my scalp and ramped up the oil production, which was the opposite of what I was trying to accomplish.

                          This time, I gradually increased days between shampoos until I got down to one shampoo per week. I did not use any baking soda. When I felt ready to officially stop the shampoo, I continue to rinse my hair and massage my scalp under hot water only - no other ingredients. After maybe three or four weeks, my sebum production really reduced and my hair stopped looking oily.

                          Now that some more time has passed, I'm still only rinsing with hot water maybe 1-2x/week. Using the boar bristle brush and running my hands through my hair twice a day makes a big difference, but I'm starting to have the issue that my hair is too dry...I think it's very porous. It definitely starts looking a little funky about 5+ days after a rinse, but never oily.

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                          • Thank you so much! Great information. I was wondering if the bs/acv was not working for me and that might be why. My scalp hasn't been horribly dry, but I have been getting a few bumps on my scalp (like an ingrown hair, maybe from sebum overproduction due to dryness?) I will try shampooing again and do what you did by stretching it out over time between washes. Maybe that will work for me, I really want to stick with it but after almost three months of this with not much change I figure it wasn't working and it is not fun either. You give me hope, thanks again!

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                            • Originally posted by zizou View Post
                              I'm shampooless and style productless too. The little bit of greasiness and natural oilyness holds well with just some water. I tend to prefer the cowlick hairstyle now since my hair is longer and very suitable for the conditions. Interesting to hear about coconut oil being used as a gel, any dudes use it and is it hard to wash out? I'm male btw.
                              I use it, and I think it works fine. Only gets too oily if I use too much, although I do still use shampoo, but not as often as I used to. Although I don't know if I would say you can use it as gel... I didn't really start using it until my hair was already long enough to stay out of my face mostly by itself. YMMV.

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                              • I've been shampooless for a week... and.... yuck. I'm going to try and stick it out, but DAMN.

                                I have also been soapless for over a week. My skin is happy about it, but my hair is pissed off. I'm giving it a month. Glad I'm required to wear a hat at work.
                                The process is simple: Free your mind, and your ass will follow.

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