Ideas on why no-poo not working for me?

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Hi All,

Sorry, I know there are like 100 posts about no-poo not working, but I wanted to be specific about my situation.

About 6 months ago I went completely no-poo: did a last sulfate wash, and ever since then I've been co-washing with Suave Naturals and conditioning with Tresemme. I guess the very basic, starter no-poo that a lot of people try. I occasionally deep-condition with a mix of coconut and jojoba oil. I would say I co-wash twice a week.

I'm not thrilled with results I'm getting. Haven't noticed a reduction in frizz or breakage; curl pattern is mostly the same and styling is still as time consuming as it ever was (I use Ouidad Tress F/X, that's it, as a styler). But the biggest thing bothering me is that my hair used to be soooo soft. Now it just feels kinda "meh"--not soft, not super brittle. Pre no-poo I used Aussie Moist shampoo and conditioner and hair was soooo soft and pretty shiny.

I'm reluctant to go back to shampoo despite the fact that I think my hair looked better then; would rather troubleshoot this before giving up entirely. Any thoughts appreciated!

Oh, I'm a 3b and low porosity according to float test. THANKS!
The DIY porosity tests are junk science, go by how hair behaves or have a microscope hair analysis. What is your elasticity and hair texture (fine/ coarse)?

Why are you deep treating with coconut oil and jojoba? If your hair is low porosity penetrating oils like coconut are useless and jojoba is a wax that doesn't penetrate so will just cleanse away again. If you want softness you might try a commercial intensive conditioner rich in the major emollients (fatty alcohols/ cationic surfactants).

Also not everyone low porosity does well with conditioner only washing, they prefer a gentle shampoo at least some of the time.

I wouldn't particularly expect a change in curl pattern with basic ingredients. As far as frizz control a lot if that is amount of each product and technique in applying and drying. You haven't really replaced the softness and shine conferred by silicones with other ingredients, but its difficult to know which to suggest without confirmation of hair properties.
2a-2c, medium texture, porous/ colour treated. Three years CG. Past bra strap length heading for waist.

CO-wash: Inecto coconut/ Elvive Volume Collagen
Treatments: Komaza Care Matani, coconut/ sweet almond oils, Hairveda Sitrinillah
Leave in: Fructis Sleek & Shine (old), Gliss Ultimate Volume, various Elvive
Styler: Umberto Giannini jelly, Boots Essentials gel
Flour sack towel, pixie diffuse or air dry.
Experimenting with: benign neglect
Shampoo actually isn't a bad thing. Your hair may be need to be shampooed or clarified using a sulfate free shampoo or an apple cider vinegar rinse to get rid of buildup from products and silicones in conditioners. You may also want to try a protein treatment.
Shampoo: Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine
Cowash: Curls Unleashed No Restrictions Conditioner
Deep Conditioner: Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Masque
Leave-In: Curls Unleashed No Boundaries
Oils: olive, argan, and Jamaican Black castor oils
Just Googled the Ouidad gel.

It's loaded with humectants which can cause problems in some dews (glycerin, protein, panthenol) plus ingredients that can build up (protein, polyquats). Either can contribute to or cause frizz or a dry feeling.
2a-2c, medium texture, porous/ colour treated. Three years CG. Past bra strap length heading for waist.

CO-wash: Inecto coconut/ Elvive Volume Collagen
Treatments: Komaza Care Matani, coconut/ sweet almond oils, Hairveda Sitrinillah
Leave in: Fructis Sleek & Shine (old), Gliss Ultimate Volume, various Elvive
Styler: Umberto Giannini jelly, Boots Essentials gel
Flour sack towel, pixie diffuse or air dry.
Experimenting with: benign neglect
Hair is fine, elasticity seems...medium. Can you suggest a deep conditioner rich in emollients?

I'd be surprised if the Ouidad gel were the issue--I've been using it for more than 15 years.
As mentioned, I would first suspect your styling gel as a culprit. Check its ingredients, it is highly propable that some of them build up on your hair.

Low porosity hair are very prone to build up, you should even use oil with caution. Coconut oil is rather light, but jojoba is actually more of a wax that sits on the hair surface.
Moreover low porosity kinda need more alkaline enviroment in order to loosen the tight cutilcle and let some conditioning agents penatrate into the hair shaft. I wouldnt through shampoo completely out of my regime, if I were you.

If your hair is fine you should try some protein conditioners. Look for hydrolized protein in at least the first 6-7 ingredients of your conditioner.
Avoid conditioner rich in oils, silicons and polyquaterniums.
The advice I always give for people who co-wash / no-poo and don't like it, is to try low-pooing instead. It's a simple suggestion but it might just do the trick.
rbb and twirlygranny like this.
Allie

Curly type: 3A Botticelli curls. Medium porosity / density.
Pre-poo: Organic Virgin Coconut Oil
Low-poo: Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine
Conditioner: Faith in Nature Raspberry and Cranberry
D/C: Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Restorative, mixed with honey & other goodies
Leave-in: My DNA
Styler: Umberto Giannini Scrunching Jelly / Ouidad Climate Control Heat & Humidity


UK curly. CG since October 2013.
Aiming for WL curls (eventually)
Thanks for your input! I'll try low-pooing instead. Can you recommend any drugstore brands?

I had thought that protein was not supposed to be good for low-porosity hair, was I mistaken?
There may not be one problem but a combination that is not working.

You used the Ouidad gel for years, but alongside shampoo which is a more effective cleanser for certain ingredients than conditioner (prevents or reduces build up). Perhaps over a conditioner containing more occlusives (silicones, oils, butters, waxes).
sixelamy likes this.
2a-2c, medium texture, porous/ colour treated. Three years CG. Past bra strap length heading for waist.

CO-wash: Inecto coconut/ Elvive Volume Collagen
Treatments: Komaza Care Matani, coconut/ sweet almond oils, Hairveda Sitrinillah
Leave in: Fructis Sleek & Shine (old), Gliss Ultimate Volume, various Elvive
Styler: Umberto Giannini jelly, Boots Essentials gel
Flour sack towel, pixie diffuse or air dry.
Experimenting with: benign neglect
Hydrolysed protein is good for fine hair but it can build up on any head. Low porosity hair seems to suffer more from some types of build up. Many need less on winter than summer.

This winter has seen super low dew points, even negative in some parts of the US. That changes how hair reacts to ingredients with humectant properties, including glycerin and protein. Always check your dews and look at this alongside porosity when choosing ingredients and products.
2a-2c, medium texture, porous/ colour treated. Three years CG. Past bra strap length heading for waist.

CO-wash: Inecto coconut/ Elvive Volume Collagen
Treatments: Komaza Care Matani, coconut/ sweet almond oils, Hairveda Sitrinillah
Leave in: Fructis Sleek & Shine (old), Gliss Ultimate Volume, various Elvive
Styler: Umberto Giannini jelly, Boots Essentials gel
Flour sack towel, pixie diffuse or air dry.
Experimenting with: benign neglect
The only drugstore brand low poo that I have liked (that doesn't cause any buildup) is the Yes To Cucumbers - the one with the rounded edges that is sulfate-free (there are 2 different ones). A lot of people also like the Giovanni ones, but I personally haven't tried those.
BotticelliBrit likes this.
2c-3a - coarse - normal-high porosity - high density - growing out to donate

NP/LP: KMF Whenever Conditioner/ YTCucs
RO/LI: Sevi Pumpkin Seed DC / CJ Argan & Olive Oil, KCKT, YTBbs
DT: Coconut Oil + scalp massage
OIL/STYLER: SM Elixir / KCCC
COLOR: henna, amla & indigo
You are the 3rd or 4th person tonight that I've seen complaining CG is not working for them and who is using a Suave CO... I used to be a regular here years ago (for a total of 4 years) and I invariably saw that those that were having problems with the routine were using a Suave CO, the reason for the failure lies in their heavy content of some fatty alcohols which tend to cause buildup, especially if the water is hard. So you probably don't need to look any further than that.
rbb likes this.
Why don't you try an actual "no-poo" product? By this I mean an actual cleansing conditioner that has surfactants (cleansing agents) in it rather of just a regular conditioner. Something that is meant to be used in place of shampoo--cleans like a shampoo but does not lather. Maybe you just need more cleansing, the conditioner isn't really cutting it.

There are a lot more non-sudsing cleansers out there nowadays that actually clean well without having to require suds of shampoo but also do not build up like cheapie conditioners (which were not made to clean, btw). My hope is that they will become even more popular so that we can have more variety. Though I am personally partial to Curl Junkie's Daily Fix...greatest product ever
4a/3c, fine strands, low porosity, medium density
Last relaxer: Jan 2010 - BC'd: 2/27/11
My Fotki
My Blog
In addition to the other things people have pointed out about the Ouidad Tress Effects Styling Gel, it has lanolin as an ingredient, and pretty high on the list. Sulfate detergents would shift that, but co-washing might not. My recollection is that I used a product with lanolin in it very early in my CG journey, and ended up having to low-poo to remove it, and it took more than one low-poo before my hair acted more its normal self.

I agree with the person who suggested that the Suave Naturals co-wash might be part of the problem. I used it at first, and was reasonably happy with it, low-pooing occasionally. However, once I tried VO5 Herbal Essence Kiwi-Lime Squeeze Conditioner, I stopped using the SN because I could tell the Kiwi-Lime Squeeze was doing a better job for me, and I rarely feel the need to low-poo any more.
CGSince2002 likes this.
Peace,
Morgan

Baby Fine 3B, low porosity, normal density and elasticity
CGing since July 2008
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 279
Reading your first post, you seem to have expected cowashing to change your texture. As I posted in another thread, frizz is NATURAL for some hair. It is natural to my hair because of my African ancestors especially ( I am biracial) Another word for it could be cottony hair or wooly hair. This is different than straight hair frizzing by drying it messy or from it being dried out.
Co washing did not change my DNA to take away my frizzy natural hair. It simply made it feel a little less dry.
Cowashing instead of washing does not alter curl pattern or natural frizz pattern.
The ONLY thing I use which helps with frizz is silicone conditioners.
artemis513 likes this.

Last edited by dixygirl; 05-04-2014 at 10:19 AM.
Reading your first post, you seem to have expected cowashing to change your texture. As I posted in another thread, frizz is NATURAL for some hair. It is natural to my hair because of my African ancestors especially ( I am biracial) Another word for it could be cottony hair or wooly hair. This is different than straight hair frizzing by drying it messy or from it being dried out.
Co washing did not change my DNA to take away my frizzy natural hair. It simply made it feel a little less dry.
Cowashing instead of washing does not alter curl pattern or natural frizz pattern.
The ONLY thing I use which helps with frizz is silicone conditioners.
Originally Posted by dixygirl

I like what you've said here and wanted to expand on it.

Frizz will always be there. The best solution to frizz is acceptance. Accept that frizz will never totally go away and it makes caring for it 100x easier.

I am not biracial but I have various textures on my head (like most folks) and the only way I could handle all of this on my head is to accept what I have and roll with it. Frizzy sections and silky sections alike All the time I get told that I must have "that good hair" and I laugh because I have the same hair that those AA people have who think that our hair is undesirable. I tend to be a jerk (unintentionally, I promise!) when I respond but my automatic reply is, "I have hair like yours, I just take care of it and leave it be". They never like that, but truth hurts sometimes lol.
dixygirl likes this.
4a/3c, fine strands, low porosity, medium density
Last relaxer: Jan 2010 - BC'd: 2/27/11
My Fotki
My Blog
Why are you deep treating with coconut oil and jojoba? If your hair is low porosity penetrating oils like coconut are useless and jojoba is a wax that doesn't penetrate so will just cleanse away again. If you want softness you might try a commercial intensive conditioner rich in the major emollients (fatty alcohols/ cationic surfactants).




Firefox,per your comment above...can u name specific intensive conditioners that are rich in what you recommend above?-I'm not sure what fatty alcohols/cationic surfactants are for sure-could you either list specific ingredients or specific products ? much appreciated!
Why are you deep treating with coconut oil and jojoba? If your hair is low porosity penetrating oils like coconut are useless and jojoba is a wax that doesn't penetrate so will just cleanse away again. If you want softness you might try a commercial intensive conditioner rich in the major emollients (fatty alcohols/ cationic surfactants).


Firefox,per your comment above...can u name specific intensive conditioners that are rich in what you recommend above?-I'm not sure what fatty alcohols/cationic surfactants are for sure-could you either list specific ingredients or specific products ? much appreciated!
Originally Posted by IAgal
I'm not Firefox, but if I'm looking at broad categories of ingredients, I often refer to the Ingredients Commonly Found in Hair-Care Products page here on nc.com. You can scroll through, or use Ctrl-F (on a PC) to find specific words. It doesn't have every example of a given category of ingredients, but it does have a decent sampling of the more common ones.

The fatty alcohols and cationic surfactants from that page are below...

Fatty Alcohols
Provide emollient effect, lubricity, emulsion stabilization:

Behenyl alcohol
Cetearyl alcohol
Cetyl alcohol
Isocetyl alcohol
Isostearyl alcohol
Lauryl alcohol
Myristyl alcohol
Stearyl alcohol
C30-50 Alcohols
Lanolin alcohol

Cationic Surfactants
Quaternary Ammonium compounds:used to provide conditioning, some detergency, emulsion stabilization:

Behentrimonium chloride
Behentrimonium methosulfate (gentler)
Benzalkonium chloride
Cetrimonium chloride
Cinnamidopropyltrimonium chloride
Cocotrimonium chloride
Dicetyldimonium chloride
Dicocodimonium chloride
Dihydrogenated tallow dimethylammonium chloride
Hydrogenated Palm Trimethylammonium chloride
Laurtrimonium chloride
Quaternium-15
Quaternium-18 Bentonite
Quaternium-18 Hectonite
Quaternium-22
Stearalkonium chloride
Tallowtrimonium chloride
Tricetyldimonium chloride
CGSince2002 likes this.
CG since 11/2011
2c /3a F /Mii, low porosity

Summer Products /Routine:
Clarifying: ACV rinses, Suave Professional Men Deep Clean Peppermint
Low Poo: Renpure Luxurious Argan Oil
Co-washes: VO5 Kiwi Lime Squeeze or Strawberries & Cream
RO: VO5 KLS or S&C, Cure Care
LI (if needed): VO5 S&C, VO5 SC, Cure Care
Stylers: FSG, AIF,
Tresemme Flawless Curls Bouncy Curls gel
PT: IAGirl's (link) as needed
Geek Chic, thank you!!
Re: the "float" test. I wouldn't trust it for one obvious reason: most people, including myself, probably try to do the test with hairs that have fallen out while co-washing... definitely not a good sample at all. The hair would have to be stripped of anything so it's true porosity was revealed. Thus my very color-treated hair floated even after an hour because it was invisibly coated with ingredients from my CO (possibly even a 'cone) that minimized the porosity.

Possibly, a better indicator of porosity is how long it takes to dry, very porous hair starts drying out as soon as you blot it dry whereas non-porous hair seems to take an eternity. I've obviously been on both sides of the equation, when my hair is well conditioned it seems to stay wet much longer (which I don't see as a bonus but...).

Btw, I was the "Anonymous" that said it was the combo of Suave and possibly your water that was not working for you. Today someone mentioned a map of the U.S. which shows where the water is hardest and many states fall in that category, and by my own experience of having lived in 3 states in the past 17 years, 2 with rather soft water and one with hard (where I started CG with Suave...) I feel MORE strongly than ever choosing the right product when the water is hard is critical for success with CG and to avoid buildup (that is not only due to 'cones...).

CG can indeed "change" someone's texture because by rehydrating the hair it is more likely to reveal it's true texture than when the person was stripping it with a harsh shampoo and/or using an ineffective conditioner. Also, a lot of people that have been straightening one way or another have damaged it to an extent so the curl seems to relax some, therefore, they really can't tell what their real curl type is (and we see it all the time with newbies asking for opinions about that...).

But good results can be seen by many even right away if using good products and the right technique. I did even though my hair was fairly damaged when I started, but I had to ditch the Suave pretty fast and was lucky enough to find Avalon Organics Lavender CO at a Walgreen's next to me. I eventually used it as a LI after finding, of all things, a "cholesterol" CO that contained 5 oils and tea tree oil for my co-wash (which cured a bad case of dandruff I also had), didn't use a gel and NEVER had frizz, because the healthier the hair is the better it will retain moisture and thus will not frizz.

I also did DTs like 2x/week the first couple of weeks, so very soon my hair bounced back and for a year my routine was as simple as could be. Because of the water in S. FL I did have to clarify maybe once a month, but my Avalon Organics Lemon Verbena left on for a few minutes did as good a job as the "Lemon-aid" or ACV rinse.

Climate can definitely be another factor, when I lived in a lower humidity climate (and shampooed) my hair only had waves, once I moved to S. FL which has high humidity and heat almost year-round my hair developed a ton of frizz pre-CG, but after CG I finally saw real curls besides no frizz. Now my hair has more gray in it, which changes things all over again, so I had to make some changes again.
Joined Curltalk 1st time in early '02 shortly after starting CG. I'm a non-practicing Cosmetologist.
Hair: color-treated, mostly 3A.
CO-wash: VO5 K&L
RO: SpaHaus Salon w/OO, VO5 Shea Cashmere, W.R. Trop. Coconut, Dai
ly Defense Moisturizing & others.
LI: Beautiful Curls w/Shea Butter & C.O., Hollywood Beauty OO Creme, VO5 K&L, Aveda Be Curly Curl Enhancer.
Gels: LAL Wet Look, ORS Lock & Twist.
Oils: Jojoba, EVCO & Africa's Best Ultimate Herbal Oil

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