Introduction to the no-poo method

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leave it to me to find this thread late which of course is better than never as they say. for a sunday evening though, it's one heck of an "ah-ha" moment.

as usual, thanks for all of the invaluable info
~shauntay (aka "taygirl") in the hizzy.
This seems like agreat idea - as my hair is always so fluffy and puffy! Ill try it out and save on shampoo products too!
Originally Posted by Kathy450
Me too!!!! I might try it this week...but I loove wash days so much I don't know if I can give up my mint shampoo!!
tell me the truth guys- does your hair smell a bit? I like the idea of joining the no-poo movement, but I have to admit I'm a little hesitant.

Also I heard about someone who doesn't shampoo but uses a baking soda/vinegar rinse once a month. Do you guys think this is a good move for our curly locks?
Originally Posted by ohcurlyone

Nope it doesn't smell. My hair has never smelled co-washing everyday and low pooing 2x week
How critical is it to use no silicone products at all? I'd like to try the method out, but I still have a lot of silicone leave-in hair cream at home. I'll be honest- it was expensive and I don't want it to go to waste. I also get really good results with it! Thanks in advance for your advice.
There are a number of of silicones that are water soluble, which you CAN use on the no-poo method but that some still seem to have issues with. So it might be best to do without them for now, and see how your hair responds.
Thanks a million, I am cutting and pasting that into my files.
Wow, it's good to know that this site is going strong. And oh the changes and choices for hair's amazing what you all have done!! I think my last post was June 2004. What I am glad to see are the soooo many choices for using curly hair products. I want to say that I have stopped using shampoo on my hair for 6 years now. When hair dressers see my hair, they wonder why it is so different. I tell them I don't use shampoo and I don't put heat on my hair. Ladies, heat is a big NO-NO-NO. It takes all the moisture out. I don't blow dry. YES... even in winter. If it's very cold, I use a diffuser directly on the scalp at the lowest temp to dry the roots. No burning of the scalp..!The rest of the hair just dries naturally.
I am glad the site is still going strong because now I use this site to work with young teens that have problems with handling their hair and hair care. This site has helped alot. Thanks for all the work you have done Gretchen! Oh and I no longer 46...52
Age 50 +; Living the curly life a REAL LONG time--seen it all from brass hotcombs, clappers; Toni home perms: Ultra-Sheen for Fro's: using Dippity-Do in the 60's: to just forget it just corn row it: blow dry it flat iron it... Oh just leave it alone--use CG.
I started this over a year ago
At first I needed to use shampoo once or twice a week.. just used a tiny bit on my scalp
but now I never "wash"

last time my hair was scrubbed was in the salon 6 months ago when I had it cut/colored

I don't do the baking soda/ACV thing.. tried but the baking soda was just too drying no matter how I did it and just don't like the smell of ACV

Basically all I do is massage my scalp really well under warm water once or twice a day (in the shower).. get out all the lint/dust.. ect..
and use a very thick, good quality conditioner
and rinse really well
that is it

I had a very sweaty, smelly workout and really thought I needed "poo" but just did the above.. and it was amazing.. my hair and scalp felt very clean.. wasn't greasy at all

I have very fine, frizzy, dry, break easy hair.. I have always used salon quality shampoo/conditioner.. but went through a spell of having scarecrow girl hair .. after googling I read about the no poo method and gave it a try

My hair is still frizzy, wild and crazy ..but it is super soft and shiny
For the last 3 months I was curious about this whole going CG thing only to find after reading this post I've been doing my own modified CG. Pretty hilarious . . I do want to try and eliminate my shampoo to see what my hair would be like with just conditioner.
last relaxer; 082708, BC; 081810, CG; 122410
high porosity, med/coarse texture, high density, color treated
condish;TN, DevaCurl Heaven in Hair stylers; Heaven in Hair, DevaCurl Curl Cream oils;Castor Oil


In the past year I've weaned myself to washing twice a week and now I'm ready for no poo!

I just purchased the Deva Curl "Low Poo" and "Condition One." After washing and allowing my hair to air dry, my roots felt and looked really greasy, which is abnormal for me. I tried the Low Poo again the next night, made sure I rinsed really well but it didn't make any difference. Now I'm having a bit of a freak out because my hair looks gross, but I don't want to give it up without a fight -- what could the problem be?

My current gel has silicone in it -- I see that many advise to dump the silicones because they cause build up but I don't put it near my roots. Could this still account for my problem? I also see that a lot of people advise to clarify before going No Poo. I'm going to try that tonight and see if that is the ticket (unless my shampoo also contains silicones, grrrr)
There are literally tons of products and it sometimes takes a while to find what works best and still meets the CG criteria. I decided to tell what I use since I didn't know where to start originally and hopefully this will get any newbies off to a start. These are all easy to find cheaper products until you learn more and want to experiment or spend a little more money.

For the co-wash: Suave Naturals conditioner or V05 conditioner. Find these at any store for around $1.

For the heavier conditioner: Biolage Conditioning Balm in the GVP off-brand at Sallys for around $7.
Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition Conditioner at any store for around $4.

For deep moisture treatments: Organic Coconut Oil at any health food store.
Any natural oils like almond, jojoba, flaxseed, etc at any health food store.
Lustrasilk Shea Butter with Cholesterol at Sallys and most stores for around $4.
Lustrasilk Olive Oil Hair Mayonnaise Deep Conditioning at Sallys for around $4.
Restoring: Paul Mitchell Super Strong Treatment in the GVP brand at Sallys for around $5.
Mousse: Herbal Essences Set Me Up at any store for around $3.
Gel: L.A. Looks any version but I love love the Cashmere Curls at any store or dollar store for about $2.

I made this list after converting a few people to CG who didn't know what to buy or where to start that didn't want to spend much and were clueless on how to read the ingredient label. Hope it helps someone else.
Thank you VERY MUCH to esteemed CurlTalker HalfWavyHalfCurly (Raquel J. Aguiar) for writing this wonderful explanantion for us.


"CG" is a CurlTalk abbreviation for "Curly Girl," a book written by Lorraine Massey and Deborah Chiel, which advocates embracing our natural hair. With this objective in mind, Massey describes a new and revolutionary routine to accomplish healthy, well-behaved waves, curls and coils.

Although the very best way to do this routine is AFTER reading the book, we understand that many people just can’t wait another day because their hair is begging for help, so in order to make this easier here’s the basic guidelines of the routine:

Ia. The first step is to either totally eliminate or seriously limit the use of shampoo to cleanse our hair and scalp, the second is to use a clear gel to help keep frizz out, and the third to handle the hair in a very gentle manner; the book included many pictures that illustrate how it’s done.

The premise for this is tri-fold: 1) the fact that most commercial shampoos contain surfactants that are too harsh for our hair and tend to rob our hair of moisture, 2) that our hair tends to be more porous than straight hair, which makes totally rinsing out all traces of shampoo virtually impossible and that residue causes frizz, 3) the fact that most conditioners (COs) contain mild surfactants that paired up with a little manual friction are more than able to lift off dirt, debris and excess oil from our scalp and hair.

It is necessary to eliminate the use of most silicones (‘cones for short) from our hair care routine because most can only be removed from the hair with rather harsh shampoos. Washing with a CO while using them would cause them to quickly build up on the hair and this results in dull, matted hair and poor curl definition.

Ib. Choosing a good CO for CG - here is what we should look for in the label:

Emollients - soften, smooth the hair and give it shine. There are hundreds of them, natural ones include all vegetable oils and nut butters, others more widely u sed are glycerides and liposomes.

Proteins - temporarily “repair” the hair and/or protect it. Occasionally proteins will build up on some people’s hair, this is really more likely to happen on healthy or relatively healthy hair. In case of any concern, just alternate with a protein-free CO. Examples of them are silk, soy, wheat, keratin or individual amino acids (components of proteins).

Humectancts - absorb water and hold in moisture. They are absolutely crucial in a CO for curly hair. Panthenol, vegetable glycerin, sorbitol and honey are just a few humectants to look for on the label.

Moisturizers - add softens and control to curly hair. Amino acids and aloe vera are two great moisturizers.


After wetting your hair thoroughly, pour a dime sized amount in your hand and using the pads of your fingertips apply to one spot of your scalp and massage well, just as you would with shampoo. Repeat until you've scrubbed all over, then rinse ALL the CO off with plenty of warm water, still gently massaging with your fingertips so the friction will dissolve any residue. Next, pour more CO in your hand (sometimes another richer CO is necessary for this step), rub your palms together and apply over the length as you normally did in the past. Try to detangle with your fingers or with a very wide-tooth comb. For extra moisturizing clip your hair up and continue with your shower, then when you're done set the water as cool as is comfortable to you and rinse your head for just a second or two, gently squeeze the excess water off.

II. Choosing a gel - must be 'cone-free and preferably clear so it will allow the natural shine through.

III. Styling our curls - The main points are: 1) to NOT ever brush our hair; 2) to detangle it only when wet and soaked in conditioner, using a wide-tooth comb or whenever possible just our fingers; 3) to NEVER rub our hair with the towel* but to gently blot the water off using scrunching motions with it; 4) to apply product gently preferably by scrunching; 5) to air dry our hair whenever possible or diffuse only partially to avoid frizz and 6) not touch it while it's drying.

*microfiber towel works best.

IV. Clarifying - Sometimes it can happen that all residue from our gel, oils, etc. may not rinse off with with water and CO and we get a little "buildup". Very often it's easy to notice right away that our hair feels "gunky" but other times our hair just seems to stop responding to the routine, it may begin to tangle easily or our curls loose definition and shine; clarifying will refresh them and usually bring the bounce back. The recipes for natural clarifiers can be found in the forum section titled “Recipes – for hair and body”.


The author concedes to the fact that some people may have to continue using shampoo (hopefully a lot less often than before) because of an oily scalp, this is usually more common in those with wavy hair. To avoid drying the hair, here's the CG way to use shampoo:

1) Wet hair under a gentle shower. 2) Take a tablespoon of CO and using your fingers, lightly coat your hair from the ends to the midshaft. This hair has been around longer than the hair at the roots and needs more lubrication. The CO protects the hair by not allowing shampoo to penetrate and dehydrate the shaft. 3) If you're using shampoo, squeeze a half teaspoon* (no more) onto your fingertips and apply it gently to the scalp and roots only. don't use your nails. Start at the forehead and work around the scalp, then rinse thoroughly. 4) Add a half teaspoon of CO to your hair and work it through with your fingers. Then rinse quickly, for just a few seconds. No you're ready to blot-dry your hair.

*Diluting this amount in an ounce of water or so makes it much easier to distribute and gentler to the scalp.

Thank you VERY MUCH to esteemed CurlTalker HalfWavyHalfCurly (Raquel J. Aguiar) for writing this wonderful explanantion for us.
Originally Posted by Gretchen

The links for the towel and the proteins are broken - FYI
I think it's safe to use the "cones" you have. Cones don't do permanent damage.
I am beginning the CG method, so I thought! I need to do my first wash, Sulfate wash but a shampoo with silicone, right? Does anyone know of something affordable? I am having a difficult time finding one. I already got my Sulfate free & Silicone free low-poo, conditioner and gel.
How incredibly helpful! Thank you so much!
On the look-out for my HG products. No luck yet! Just made the decision to go CG. Wish me luck!

2b/2c curls - a few inches above BSL
LOVES to frizz, medium porosity, moderately thick, gets oily easily

CO - VO5 Strawberries and Cream
For Frizz - Curl Keeper
Styler - AG ReCoil
Follow up with plopping in a t-shirt and diffusing.
I actually think my hair smells better, but if it ever started to smell, I would be doing a clarifying wash with a good shampoo immediately. I'm trying to find out what my hair and scalp hair is definitely softer and less frizzy. I am hoping being modified CG (maybe going completely CG) continues to work for me.
Question...someone said you need to clarify FIRST with a shampoo that has sulfate before starting the CG method? Is this true? Will any shampoo do? Not sure if mine has sulfate or not but I bought the Giovanni Tea Tree to start low-pooing with. Thanks
So... if we only rinse our hair for "a second or two" does this mean we won't be rinsing off the product completely or...? I'm so confused
Nice sharing Gretchen. Your post have very effective information and i must say that many of people are following your post including me.....
gold coast microdermabrasion
I actually got into curly girl via the instructions on The Curly Girl Method without knowing the history behind it / book / etc.

Now that I read more about it (here and other sites), it appears that there are small variations here and there.

Having said that, I'm just writing to say that it works - HOWEVER - as others have mentioned, and this is crappy news for the impatient, it takes TIME

Good luck ladies And if you're thinking about curly girl / no poo, I highly recommend it - just give it its paces and I hope you enjoy the results.

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