No poo update!

Okay, back in December I told you guys that we did the unthinkable – we stopped using shampoo and conditioner to wash our hair.  If you missed that post, you can find it here.  Now, I promised updates and I’m sure you’ve noticed at least by now – it’s been five months without an update.  And there actually was an update to share a couple of months ago.  You see, our lime water did start to become a problem and my hair started getting this weird waxy build up in my hair.  We bought a water filter (the kind you put straight on your shower) and it got better, but it didn’t fix the problem.  I was beginning to despair that I was going to have to start using the baking soda/vinegar method – not that there is a thing wrong with it, it works for plenty of people, but I don’t want to have to do all that work.  And going back to shampoo and conditioner just was not going to happen.

Even with the waxy problem that I’d been having, my hair was healthier and prettier than it was with shampoo and conditioner – which is saying something because I’ve always had a love affair with my hair.  ^__^  My hair has a natural curl to it, though you’d have trouble knowing that with its length.  The last time I chopped my hair off (for Locks for Love back in March 2005) my hair was short – like to my chin – and it was curly if I didn’t brush it straight when it was still wet.  Now, I’m not one of those with tight curls, I get the big spirals; but as my hair grows out, it falls straight.  Oh, if I fall asleep on it, it’ll hold batches of curls for like an hour after I get up, but most people assume that I have perfectly straight hair.  But not now!  Since giving up shampoo and conditioner – which weigh your hair down – I have spirals again!  My hair is still heavy – we are talking about three feet of hair here – but I’d say the better part of two of those feet hold a soft curl now.  And I’mLOVING it!

Okay, enough about why I no poo.  ^__^  So, as I said, I was having problems with waxiness and I was beginning to despair. (yeah, that’s about where I took a tangent)  Well, lucky me, I’m member of two communities of ladies who like living the crunchy life, too, so I turned to them for help.  And that’s where I discovered sugar scrubs.  Now, I’ve seen sugar scrubs for your face, for your body, and for your feet – all look yummy and make your skin look yummy.  But the other day I stumbled across the idea for a sugar hair scrub.  Now this, I had to try!  So, before hopping in the shower yesterday, I mixed up a single batch of sugar scrub.

Yeah, this is actually how I mixed it for our shower yesterday. ^__^

About 3/4 of the coffee cup of sugar (about a cup and a half) and I added a generous dose of tea tree oil – tea tree oil is good for antibacterial, which is what some forms of dandruff are, and it smells really good.  (it’s also good for killing lice – not that we have lice, just a fun little fact I learned when researching tea tree oil for those with children that age)  Sorry that I don’t have exact measurements on that – I don’t measure hardly anything except bread (which drives my Joshwa crazy when he tries to recreate some of our favorite dishes and I just have to tell him “when it tastes right!” lol).  Now, this amount was enough for me to scrub my scalp and most of my hair (wasn’t too worried about the ends) and Joshwa’s scalp, give my body a bit of a scrub – which was lovely as well – and to still have some left over.  Probably enough for Joshwa to scrub his scalp again, but that’s just eyeballing it.

Yes, real specific and professional – a coffee mug, a chopstick, some brown sugar, and our tea tree oil. ^__^

Now, why brown sugar?  Could you use white sugar?  You could use white sugar, but brown sugar is better because it doesn’t melt as quickly into the hot water, so you have time to give it a good scrub.  You can also clump brown sugar in your hand more easily which makes it easier to get from the container to your hair without losing half of it.  You will get sugar everywhere, especially if you have super thick hair like Joshwa and I do – but that just gets it on your body so you can share the love.  Now, I will admit that the amount of tea tree oil we used made it thick in the shower – it definitely clears the sinuses, but you might choose to less than we do for scent reasons.  When rinsing, be careful of your eyes, because tea tree oilwill burn if it gets in your eyes, but it does rinse out pretty well if you get on it quickly.  The great thing about putting it in the sugar scrub is that it doesn’t really drip, so that wasn’t a problem.

I decided to put it in a pretty glass – sealing – container.

So all of that was last night and it took until this morning for my hair to dry completely – like I said, my hair is long and thick and I don’t use a hair dryer except in dire circumstances, which is less than once a year.  Now I’ve gotten better recently about handling my hair – touching your hair too much can make it greasy because of the oils on your hands – but I always have to feel check it after it dries because while it might look good, it doesn’t always feel good.  So this morning I touch tested and that’s when I knew for sure that I loved the sugar scrub.  Even Joshwa had good things to say about how his hair felt this morning (okay, I had to ask – he may wear his hair long, but he’s still a guy about his hair).

I actually got this container from my cousins this Christmas. It was filled with awesome homemade lavender bath salts.

I think this may definitely be joining our no poo routine.  I have liked going no poo from day one, but I don’t think I’ve enjoyed the process quite as much as I have the last couple of days.  Because while it’s enough to know that it’s better for us and greener – which is always important when we consider new paths to take with our lifestyle – it makes it so much better when you enjoy what you’re doing.

Okay, last one. This one was just pretty – I just set it down (in the sun so it was well-lit) and I just had to snap this picture. ^__^

So, that’s our update.  And I guess this is my first step-by-step post, which was really fun to do.  ^__^  I hope you’ve found something fun to try – yes you can even use this if you do baking soda/vinegar or regular shampoo and conditioner (just do your regular routine after, from what I read).  Just make sure that you rinse it out well.  And, remember, enjoy it!

Last one, seriously. Joshwa thought y’all would like a visual of the outcome. Sorry it’s a mess, he wouldn’t let me brush it first. 😛


6 thoughts on “No poo update!

  1. Hi Lea,

    This is great. Thanks for sharing!

    I’ve been scouring the web for different methods for natural diy hair care and haven’t come across sugar based shampoo replacements before.

    I’ve been using baking soda and lemon juice for the most part but I’ve started doing some experiments recently to see what else might work for my hair.

    If you want to see the results then please sign up for my weekly newsletter. If not then don’t worry.

    Thanks again for the tip and I’ll definitely be giving this a go!


    • I’m glad that I could help someone! I actually stumbled across this either on BabyCenter’s Crunchy Mamas Board or on the Mothering Magazine Community group Natural Body Care – I hate that I can’t remember which and give credit where credit is due. While I love the many sites with information out there, I find these two groups the best because of the sense of community. There’s nothing so encouraging when you’re struggling with no poo as having a group of women who’ve been there and done that coming together to help you find a solution.

      I will say, most people I talked to only used it as a treatment while also using baking soda/vinegar (or lemon juice!) – I think we’re some of the only people who water-wash only, so I didn’t get a ton of feedback from others using only a sugar scrub. I can see us – once we get to a place with better water – not using the sugar scrub every time we wash. We’re only looking at making it a regular thing now because of how hard our water is.

      I will definitely check your page out, as I’m always willing to see what’s working for others. I know that you’ll enjoy the sugar scrub, even if only for a scalp treat. ^__~ Come back here after you’ve tried it and share with my readers how it worked for you!

      BB, Lea

  2. This is great! I want to try this now! I suffer from a real itchy scalp, and I know Tea Tree Oil helps with that, but maybe with the sugar scrub it will keep me from having to use it almost everytime I take a shower. And I had no idea there were sugar scrubs for your hair! Hopefully I’ll be able to make some up this week or weekend and give it a try. 🙂 And I enjoyed the fact that you just kept say poo throughout the whole post instead of the whole word shampoo…Made me giggle.

    • That’s what it’s referred to in the Crunchy community – spend enough time with the crazies and you start talking like them, lol. ^__~

      I definitely suggest doing the sugar scrub – but also, if you’re using dandruff shampoo, STOP. I’ve always had problems with my scalp and I started using dandruff shampoo every few washes. And I won’t lie – the day after or so, my scalp felt awesome, which was an improvement. But then I had to start using it more and more often to get the same results. It got to the point where I was using a dandruff shampoo every time I washed my hair (and then a regular shampoo so that the dandruff shampoo didn’t leave a weird residue on my hair, and then a conditioner to untangle and soften my hair since the two shampoos made it feel course and unpleasant). Even if the sugar scrub doesn’t work for you, putting several drops of tea tree oil in your regular shampoo will help. ^__^

  3. See, this is what I get for not paying you enough attention: I miss out on things.
    Okay, so it’s really cool you’re going no ‘poo. (So much easier to type!) Of anyone I know, I should have thought you would be the most likely to be doing so of anyone I know. And look, success story! Everything I’ve heard on the matter says week two sucks anyway. You ever notice how week two of anything sucks?

    This is getting incoherent. Let’s move on.

    I started going soapless in early May/late April after watching a video in which one of my favorite YouTubers counted everything he owns and at the end was all ‘Oh, and wondering why I don’t have shampoo or soap? Check out this article!’ And the article was all about how chemicals in soap and stuff are bad for you and how great results are with just water and it won me over. The only chemical to touch my skin since has been hand soap, because I am NOT giving up washing my hands.
    And it feels great, except it doesn’t. I shower everyday and I scrub for like forty-five minutes and my hair never stops being greasy and I always stink by midday. As much as it sucks, I can’t imagine going back to soap (except, okay, I fibbed a bit up there. I caved and used a tiny bit of ‘poo (heheh (palindrome!) did yesterday because my mom was going to keep yelling at me for not rinsing my hair very well until I did. But acne levels – while not as low as they were after the first week of being soapless – are down all over. But I have the worst dandruff I’ve ever had…

    Okay, not sure why I’m telling you all this but I am so I might as well ask for your input. Why do you think it isn’t working for me, when I’ve never seen anything but success stories? Is it because I’m a teenager? Should that make a difference?

    Anyway, congratulations on the no ‘poo success, sorry about not keeping tabs on this blog (bookmark time!), glad to hear from you, and super sorry for the comma spliceage.

    • So I had you a long response written up, and WP ate it. Stoopit WP.

      Congrats for starting your move to a healthier way of taking care of yourself. ^__^ I don’t recommend going completely soap-free, especially with you being a teenager; instead, I suggest you find someone who produces homemade soaps locally (or I can suggest the lady who we get our soaps from – she sells online). You’ll want to check their ingredients to make sure they use only natural ingredients (rather than artificial preservatives – there are actually natural ones) and if you can’t find one, you can always order online (I’d suggest the lady we get ours from ^_~). A plus side to that is that many people who do homemade soap, also have things like deodorant that are healthier for you than store bought and are all-natural. For instance, I’m using a deo from our soap lady made of beeswax and essential oils that I LOVE – and, once I got past “detox”, it didn’t break me out.

      As for your hair, it could be a few different things. One could be simply that because of being a teenager, water-wash-only may not work for you right out of the gate. Of course, it could also be that because of the shampoo and conditioner you were using, you’ve got buildup on your hair that just water isn’t going to be able to take care of. You can try doing a baking soda/vinegar routine – give it a try because the baking soda will strip any leftover chemicals out (and the vinegar is to balance your hair’s ph afterward and is great for conditioning/detangling). Try those two first and if you don’t like them, you can try some alternatives – like honey instead of baking soda and/or tea or cranberry juice instead of vinegar. Make sure you aren’t washing your hair every day, since doing that doesn’t allow your scalp to balance itself out. If your hair is stinking, it means that the water washing isn’t enough or you aren’t getting it all wet washed or all dried. Other than that, I have no idea. Definitely don’t give up! ^__^

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