Hi all,

I'm just wondering if anyone has REALLY had any success going "shampoo free?" I have been on a quest to remove all chemicals and toxic stuff from my life, so my "no-poo" is dual purposed, and I've also tried to change the products I use in my hair, but I am trying to find a healthy balance between my wishes not to use conventional products/chemicals, and my ability to maintain my natural curls well!

Let me start by saying I would NEVER do the "no poo" baking soda method, it just wouldn't work for me, and I know it causes damage and breakage in my hair.

I had some success with castile soap for shampoo with an herbal ACV rinse. I've also had success with Mehandi shampoo bars, also with an ACV rinse. But the ACV rinse seems to affect how well my hair curls. These natural cleaning methods, they're not seemingly drying, but they must be doing something, because my curls just aren't there the way they are when I simply use a "normal" shampoo and conditioner.

So sometimes I cave. I have to use shampoo and conditioner to get my REAL curl back. And YES, I did try the CO-washing, and it didn't work for me. I've tried everything, including washing my hair with HONEY! Let me tell you, honey was amazing the first two days. My curls were better than ever, just PERFECT! But then, complete oil slick.

As far as products, I typically use aloe vera gel, sometimes on its own (sometimes it works AMAZING, then other times it does nothing). But most of the time I use a mixture of aloe vera gel, glycerin, a drop or two of jojoba oil, and I believe it's DevaCurl gel (the thinner type gel), all mixed together in a travel sized bottle. I'm looking to eliminate using the DevaCurl product.

Does anyone have ANY advice at all from something you've figured out, tried and true? No-poo or alternate poo method? Non-chemical styling treatments?

Thank you!
Originally Posted by lauren.dimic
Both baking soda and soap are alkaline so damaging to both skin and hair, they are also chemicals and arguably as harsh or harsher than regular shampoo, soap is worse than baking soda. There is nothing natural about soap it's not found it nature but made in a factory by chemical reaction. Be aware that harsh shampoos and soaps can cause the scalp to produce more sebum, and it can take a while for that to settle down.

Possibly more gentle and natural is egg yolks (packed with natural emulsifiers), but this can leave hair smelling 'eggy'. Also soap nuts or soapwort extract both of which are mildly acidic like healthy hair and skin - these have been used for personal hygiene since the stone age.

If you use any method that strips away the hair's natural oils (sebum and the structural ones holding the cuticle together and protecting it) you need conditioner or to think carefully about how you replenish and protect hair. Jojoba oil has a vague similarity to one minor component of sebum, it doesn't contain the saturated fatty acids, oleic acid, cholesterol, ceramides or 18-MEA found in hair and sebum.

Aloe and glycerin are both potent humectants, does that suit your dew points/ humidity? Too much humectants can draw too much water to the hair weighing it down. Better natural stylers include okra gel or flaxseed gel, perhaps adding xanthan gum for more hold and/ or magnesium sulphate (epsom salts) for curl boosting. Hydrolysed protein is another natural curl booster - gelatin is the only food source. Anything you DIY or add ingredients to you need to consider a preservative unless you want to be putting bacteria or fungal spores in your hair.

Many many wavies and curlies have success with conditioner only washing, but it can take perseverance for some. It means trying a few different products just as you do with shampoo and working on your technique. A lot of times people make the mistake of choosing a 'moisturising' or depositing conditioner instead of one that simply cleanses gently but effectively.

Also make sure all your other products/ ingredients are compatible with your chosen wash method. It's not just silicones that can build up, but butters, some polyquats, waxes including cetyl esters, mineral oil/ petrolatum. It's fine to alternate conditioner washing with other forms of no-poo. Doing all this my hair is literally 'squeaky' clean when I am done, no residue or grease.

There are some nice largely natural products made by companies like Komaza Care, Spiral Solutions, Sweet Curls Elixirs (new see Facebook) and Jessicurl. Even the CURLS line that is widely available commercially (Target, Walmart) is very natural even claims to be organic.
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/ fractionated coconut oils, Hairveda Sitrinillah
Leave in: Fructis Sleek & Shine (old), Gliss Ultimate Volume, various Elvive
Styler: Umberto Giannini jelly, Au Naturale styling gelee
Flour sack towel, pixie diffuse or air dry.
Experimenting with: benign neglect

Last edited by Firefox7275; 08-16-2013 at 11:04 AM.