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Going poo-less: No Shampoo/Soap in the Shower  RSS feed

 
master steward
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Also, I think too much baking soda creates more dandruff for me. I don't use it any more than once a week, at most. It's very much ymmv - depending on, for example, how long since you went pooless, how much oil(s) your scalp produces (which often changes after going pooless), and how hard, soft or chlorinated your water is.
 
pollinator
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i'm about a year into not using shampoo. My wife was not for the whole approach, but a month into she started doing the same. I use baking soda mixed in a ketchup bottle with water. I apply it over wet hair then rub the scalp. I do this every other day. Maybe once a week I will follow up with a spray mist of vinegar water.

My understanding is the baking soda is for the scalp, and the vinegar is for the ends of the hair (conditioner)

Our hair is healthier, softer, and amazingly a lighter color. The best comparison I can give is nice wood vs wood that has been polished with pledge for 10 years and has that coating on it. Removing that coating is what I think lightened my hair.
 
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wayne fajkus wrote:i'm about a year into not using shampoo. My wife was not for the whole approach, but a month into she started doing the same. I use baking soda mixed in a ketchup bottle with water. I apply it over wet hair then rub the scalp. I do this every other day. Maybe once a week I will follow up with a spray mist of vinegar water.

My understanding is the baking soda is for the scalp, and the vinegar is for the ends of the hair (conditioner)

Our hair is healthier, softer, and amazingly a lighter color. The best comparison I can give is nice wood vs wood that has been polished with pledge for 10 years and has that coating on it. Removing that coating is what I think lightened my hair.


Not just that - the baking soda is alkaline, and can (doesn't always) irritate the scalp - so you re-balance it with the acidity of ACV. ACV also takes care of having good backteria growing on your scalp - which keeps dandruf (fungus) away.

I used backing soda and ACV for a year or two and then transitioned to nothing after we moved up here (we had no running water, no hot water in January, not washing my hair at all was easy). The only problem I had was that my hair became so thik (had been very very thin before) that it took me ages to comb. With all the work I had up here I did not have the time to comb it for half an hour + every day, so it would tangle and eventually dread. So I have cut my hair short now, much much easier.
 
gardener
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Snowberries could be used as a shampoo and soap alternative because they have a poorly palatable substance called saponins which give snowberries their rather soapy taste. Some other naturally soapy plants include yucca leaves, grated soaproot used like a bar of soap and rubbed between the hands, mountain lilac berries can be pressed in between the palms of your hands with water to produce a soap, and buffalo gourd leaves work the same way.
 
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Location: Colorado/Montana
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I spent a year living with 9 other people in a Wilderness setting i.e. no showers, no electricity, no grocery store food etc... All bathing was done in the lake or snow. Body odor was very minimal although it still existed. My impression is that either we just didn't notice since we were outdoors for 1 year or maybe the feral diet had a positive effect. In any case the B.O. was much more healthy smelling than what one might experience in more civilized setting. Everyone's hair though was gorgeous. Models spend hours with stylists to get the natural, healthy, thick hair that we had.

Sometimes I notice that we try to replace our modern "needs" with an environmentally friendly solution when maybe we should first wonder if it's necessary at all.
 
Dawn Hoff
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Christian Wolff wrote:I spent a year living with 9 other people in a Wilderness setting i.e. no showers, no electricity, no grocery store food etc... All bathing was done in the lake or snow. Body odor was very minimal although it still existed. My impression is that either we just didn't notice since we were outdoors for 1 year or maybe the feral diet had a positive effect. In any case the B.O. was much more healthy smelling than what one might experience in more civilized setting. Everyone's hair though was gorgeous. Models spend hours with stylists to get the natural, healthy, thick hair that we had.

Sometimes I notice that we try to replace our modern "needs" with an environmentally friendly solution when maybe we should first wonder if it's necessary at all.


LOL - I know exactly what you mean. We haven't had much water up here the last month (our spring dries to a drizzle in the summer), so bathes have been far between. I don't notice it other than a cold shower would be nice when I've been working outside in 30C heat and dust. I shower once a week when I go to a friend to do laundry (I leave the house more often to go shopping and on playdates), and my husband like once a month when he goes to Denmark to work. My mom has been visiting and she usually does not mince her words when it comes to BO She did not comment at all - I don't think we smell.

Yet - Tuesday we went to the Danish consulate to get a Passport for my son, and suddenly my husband smelled? I had to whisper to him "honey - you need a bath!" and he said "I know!" with a face that communicated just how much he thought he smelled... maybe it was the confined space and intense heat in that building, or the smog or... I don't know - but it was very surprising.
 
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So I'm on day two of poo-less and the vinegar/Redmond clay mixture I had for stings and pimples seems to be doing double duty as a shampoo and conditioner. I can still brush my hair in the shower with my fingers and the greasy so far is just "soft" feeling not stringy....I have hard water that leaves my hair impossible without conditioner and my hair has always been greasy without daily washing. It doesn't seem to take much, I rub it in and let it sit while I finish my shower, then rinse well. Keeping my fingers crossed that this keeps working....
 
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I have been using no soap or deodorant for a few months now. I work in a nursery in the hot sun and I don't smell any worse than when I used deodorant. As in I smell like a human after a hard days work, but no worse than when I used deodorant. Which is weird. Why was I wasting my money? I assumed that if I didn't wear deodorant I would smell worse...

I transitioned from using natural unscented soap and cold pressed rice bran oil as moisturiser with an unscented roll on deodorant. I was trying to stay away from strong synthetic perfumes which give me headaches (and made me feel sick when I had morning sickness). Then I started using the rice bran oil as a "body wash", skipping the soap. Then I experimented with different deodorants. I used crystal deodorant which caused a rash (and I think it contains aluminium). I tried a homemade deodorant made with coconut oil, cornflour (cornstarch), and bicarb soda which also left me red raw. I used just coconut oil which was fine, but expensive. Now I use rice bran oil for everything, bodywash/moisturiser/deodorant. I'm starting to only use it for when I go out, for "date night or just to be decadent. I'm worried about the sustainability of using an oil not produced locally or easily.
Another "product" I use is fresh breast milk, which may gross people out... I guess raw cow or goats milk would do the same
My midwife recommended breast milk as a moisturiser when I was pregnant and my skin was maddeningly itchy. It's really high in fat that soaks straight into your skin. It's also probiotic and PH neutral so it clears up infections and soothes. It's also a great nappyrash cream and eyebath for eye infections for those same reasons....

The "Personal care" aisle at the supermarket feels like a conspiracy (doo doo doo do doodoo x-files theme.) You get sold soap, which is a gateway drug to bodywash, body scrubs, shampoo, face wash, face masks,etc which strip off the good oils and good bacteria. Then you have to buy hair conditioners, frizzy hair serums, hot oil treatments, body/face moisturisers, salves, lipbalms, pimple cream, wrinkle cream, hand cream and nail conditioners to put back the oil. Then your skin ecosystem is out of balance so you need deodorants, fresh feminine hygiene sprays, dandruff treatments, foot deodoriser, clothes prewash treatment, laundry powder/liquid and fabric softener to get the smell out of your clothes. None of it works, its not meant to, or you'd never try their newest human de-smell-ifying products. This is all sold to us as a luxury, an experience... I've also seen a certain baby soap ad that says "You're a great mum (mom) because you use product X", not even a subtle implication, an outright statement. Thanks guys, I guess I'm a bad mum.

I reserve the right to smell like a human. (Not fresh linen, ocean spray or sea breeze, what the?) If I want to smell like jasmine, I'll put some flowers in my hair, if I want to smell like cucumber or green tea, I'll add some actual cucumber or green tea to my bath...

 
steward
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paul's writing an article about this. he wants to hear your stories. especially about any health
improvements. it'd be good if you could point out if you are using well water or
city water.
 
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Location: Northwest CT
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My wife and I have been poo-less for years. 1 or 2 tablespoons of baking soda in an old Chinese take-out soup container, fill with the desired amount of water, poor into hair and beard and other hairy areas, and then rinse. Cleans your hair w/out stripping it of it's natural oils. Don't get me wrong, if your hair is nasty from not having washed it in a week and you've been working hard etc... it will no longer be all greasy and nasty after you wash it like this. Sometimes we splash some white vinegar in the soup container and dilute with water for another rinse, makes your hair softer, I usually don't because it's fine with just the baking soda.

My wife says she doesn't get split ends anymore, like ever. We're on city water.

As an aside, I use this Jungleman deodorant that I buy off amazon, it's just baking soda, palm oil (echo consciously sourced it claims), corn starch and tea tree oil. It's the best deodorant ever, doesn't smell like old man cologne, keeps me from stinking (I can be quite pungent w/out assistance), lasts for days, and it's cheap.

We also make our own dishwasher detergent from baking soda and washing soda, and our own laundry detergent from baking soda, washing soda, and borax. All work well.
 
Posts: 54
Location: Paonia, Colorado, USA
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Just short of 2 years using only baking soda and vinegar, sometimes just one or the other. Only real change is that it is far less expensive than "clean" shampoo and I seem to need to clean hair in this way much less often since I guess scalp is healthier. Nothing you can see or point to though. 1st couple months my head itched a lot and I got a lot of fine flake, dry skin dandruff and very greasy/oily hair. But then that cleared up and fine ever since.

What inspired me to start in the first place was that I was in Ecuador and outside of a few gringo catering shops in the few bigger cities, everything there, not just shampoo but EVERYthing is saturated w/ truly offensive petrochem "fragrance" that permeated the bathroom and adjacent room and made me feel vaguely ill. Scary to use toilet paper that smells like that!
 
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For the last two years, I have not used any hair cleaners other than water. I rinse my hair and beard every day and scrub it a bit (as if I had shampoo). I wear my hair and beard fairly short, so that may be a factor. When I first started, my hair was greasy around weeks 4-6, but other than that it has been great. The only "product" I use is a dab of homemade beard oil most days.

For about 3 years, we've used deodorant stones and a couple of deodorants from Aubrey Organics - no antiperspirants in our house anymore. I notice a bit of BO on myself by evening, but none for my wife.

I've tried going soapless for a while earlier this year. I used Norwex micro-fiber cloths for scrubbing, but have been lazy about that since they were getting sour quickly during the summer months. I didn't notice any odor or cleanliness problems. Part of me still likes using a little bit of soap on the more-smelly parts of my body.
 
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I make my own soap using tallow and lard from the local butcher. I just rub that on my hair a bit, and that puts on enough soap to do the job. It's nice because the soap is also used for washing and shaving. A single bar lasts for weeks, even with daily showers. Not sure if that counts as poo-less, but it's certainly non-toxic and really cheap.
 
pollinator
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Hi. Early this year I stopped using shampoo and soap. I am glad I did (though the first weeks were a little difficult). Now I know I don't need them, so I don't need to buy them.
I even stopped using deo. And found out I don't need that either!
All I do is taking a short shower (about 2 minutes) twice a day. And when I was at Curaçao, with its hot climate, three times a day. I only use water, all over my body.
 
Posts: 18
Location: Kuwait
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Not poo-less but we do shower and wash up using the Ziziphus" leaves : dried and powdered - then made into a mud like form to wash hair and body with . It smells great & helps prevent dandruff and hairfall . very popular formula in the middle east ( specially the Gulf Countries such as Kuwait )


the good thing is we use it from the Ziziphus trees on our own farm just outside the house. Thicker , healthier hair , smells great and cools up the scalp in the middle of the summer heat !
 
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Location: Western North Carolina, zone 6
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I haven't used shampoo regularly in at least 3.5 years.
For the first 2 years of that I just used a small amount of Dr. Bronner's liquid soap. I noticed that after a while I had a sort of "film" or buildup and would use someone's shampoo once in a while to clear that up, then continue using just Dr B's until it built up again.

For the last 1.5 years I have been using baking soda and vinegar and never any shampoo. Actually, the baking soda is a mixture that includes various essential oils, powdered herbs/spices, maybe some clay, it's a little different every time I make a new batch. I mix it (and use it) in a baby food jar and use it for hair, deodorant, and tooth powder.
For hair I mix about a teaspoon into some hot shower water in a plastic netty pot with a lid so I can slowly pour it through my hair and rub it in. I let it sit for a minute then rinse it out. I always follow with a vinegar rinse (maybe a Tablespoon of ACV in the same netty pot of hot water). I used to do that once a week with the baking soda and if I showered more frequently I would just use the vinegar rinse. Most recently I haven't been using the baking soda at all, just the vinegar. I noticed that the baking soda was very strong at cleansing my hair of all grease and my hair came out fluffy, poofy, and not how I like it to look. Since just doing the vinegar it retains a bit more natural oil (I presume) and has more "body" and less fluff.
 
gardener
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In case it hasn't already been linked, these people are selling bottles of sweat-eating bacteria for 50 bucks a pop.
AOBiome. I'd link, but I don't really want to promote them. Google it.
William

ps: there's also the MIT engineer who hasn't showered in 12 years, the inventor of aforementioned bacteria-solution.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3223432/Dave-Whitlock-MIT-Cambridge-doesn-t-shower-instead-sprays-live-bacteria-skin.html

pps: If you research around him, there are the names of the specific good bacteria that you are washing away with soap.
 
Bash AlHa
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Location: Kuwait
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William James wrote:In case it hasn't already been linked, these people are selling bottles of sweat-eating bacteria for 50 bucks a pop.
AOBiome. I'd link, but I don't really want to promote them. Google it.
William

ps: there's also the MIT engineer who hasn't showered in 12 years, the inventor of aforementioned bacteria-solution.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3223432/Dave-Whitlock-MIT-Cambridge-doesn-t-shower-instead-sprays-live-bacteria-skin.html

pps: If you research around him, there are the names of the specific good bacteria that you are washing away with soap.



WHAT !! HAHA never heard of anything like that before! thanks for sharing William !
 
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Last winter here in NH with February being the coldest (-47F) driest I've ever experienced and when things thawed, my hair, which was breaking to an alarming degree and skin were in need of an immediate, intensive moisture treatment. I hadn't showed in over a month, but when I did I noticed that my very mild natural soap was too harsh and then discovered how hard the well water is here.

This experience led me to research how to restore and maintain a healthy PH for overall health. Now, nearly 7 months later, after eliminating soap and shampoo and making my own moisturizers and hair products, I've finally healed and reversed the health of my skin and hair. Using baking soda as some have already described, but now I use only water treated with a teaspoon of baking soda for a gallon of tap water, washing and rinsing my hair. A capful of ACV poured over and massaged through, I can comb through mostly without tangles. Yes, my hair is growing back curlier, thicker and healthier than ever.

The moisturizers I use have great exfoliating properties that I can maintain easily with just a skin brush or damp wash cloth using only treated water. Any other personal hygiene issues are addressed with Witch Hazel. I've even heard a couple of compliments of how 'nice' I smell.

Now I'm researching flax seed and mallow root detanglers since a friend asked me about it and for those who need help in that department and would like to make a bottle, can find lots of easy tutorials on YT.






 
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Anybody got a baking soda alternative? I can't use much of it as we have greywater...this sucks since baking soda is the best cleaner ever! Am trying the no shampoo thing, on week three...it does get better, right???
 
Posts: 397
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
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I quit using soaps and shampoos a few years ago, in an effort to preserve my skin's acid mantle and to refrain from killing beneficial microflora. My skin and hair were a bit greasy for some weeks, until my body figured out that it no longer had to struggle to replenish the oils and waxes I'd been religiously washing off for years, and balance ensued. Persistent dandruff entirely vanished, and my skin no longer dries out and flakes during the long, cold, dry interior Alaskan winters. I seldom even shower, mostly relying on regular saunas to keep clean, and always avoid chlorinated water, both internally and externally. BO isn't an issue; a faint manly smell may develop after some sweaty exertion, but nothing putrid or funky. Soap is a hoax; it'll mess you up. The only time I ever use it is to remove heavy and greasy grime from working on mechanical contraptions. I don't know if I'm a special case, but it's great not to have to spend time and money on stuff that everybody thinks is necessary (although it really isn't).

There was a guy up here called Dirty Pete. I met him when he was 92, and he introduced himself by stating he hadn't had a bath in 13 years. He explained that our bodies manufacture oils that benefit the skin, and that no other conditioning is necessary or desirable. When I encountered him, he was driving a forklift around his junkyard, and was pretty spry for a near-centenarian. He made it four more years, sans soap as far as I know. I think old Dirty Pete was onto something. He was a fascinating guy. His junkyard had been declared a federal Superfund cleanup site, but he refused to move off of it. He said he told the government representative that he'd "gone through three wives and thirteen kids right here and all of them are just fine." So he lived in his shack while they did the cleanup. Alaska's full of these characters. I aspire to be one myself some day.
 
Posts: 14
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Started pooless life this january. First tried going without any "substance" whatsoever, incl vinegar or soda, so nothing aside from warm water rinse. Made it into week 6 if I remember well, but my hair did look quite sad. Meanwhile my girlfriend¡ was using baking soda/ vinegar rinse and had good results. So I succumbed and started using baking soda - cleaned me up good and am using ever since on hair, about every 2-3 weeks weeks; that´s how often i wash hair, probably would wash a bit more often if I had an office job though my hair doesnt get all that ugly in this time as it would with shampoo usage! GF washes about every 10 days, her hair works diferently I guess. We mix 3-4 scant tsp soda into a pint of water and wash hair with that. It does NOT work with cold water we found so better have good amount of warm water available.

Armpit - ran out of antirespiration deodorant a while ago and noticed my BO decreased after a while. Either got used to my own smell or natural balance came back? Then started using deo again and felt stinky even with it. Now that seems to have phased out again so I don´t quite know what the hell is goin on. maybe I should just dump body soap and deo for good...
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
pollinator
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I forgot to mention some things. I started brushing my teeth with coconut oil too (at the same time, January 2015).
As I told you I shower twice a day for about 2 minutes. The water is about body-temperature, it's tap-water. In my region (Drenthe, NL) the water is found in the ground and then filtered, no chlorines added. At Curaçao (where we spent 6 weeks in February-March) it's demineralised sea water (!). My hair I do not wet every time I shower, I 'wash' it (only water) twice a week. Maybe I could do it only once a week ...

My husband does not join me in this. He still uses cheap hand soap to wash his body, and an expensive anti-dandruft shampoo. He uses deo and after-shave when he goes out (not often ).
His opinion on the subject: he thinks I smell a little 'greasy' now, but not bad.
 
Posts: 19
Location: London, England
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Water and comb is fine for me. My hair's shoulder length and thick. Water: was London chlorinated, now carbonated spring water
 
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I've been no-poo for more than 4 and a half years now. I use baking soda, as a dry powder on my hair, rinse with water and an herbal vinegar rinse. For the women (or those researching for them) out there, I started just post partum with one child and went through a pregnancy with the another without problems. There were definitely hormonal changes in my hair, but washing it a bit more frequently took care of it.

The transition took about a month for me, but that may have been in part because of the role of postpartum hormones. It was fairly icky at times, but I was hibernating in the winter with a new baby (so it didn't really matter for me....). Brushing it daily with the traditional 50 or more strokes also helps during the transition to redistribute the hair oils from the scalp. I got may hair cut after about two months of no-poo just to get rid of the split ends and haven't had any significant split ends since. In addition to saving money by not buying shampoo, I also save money by not having to have my hair trimmed to remove split ends. My hair is thicker than it was, and my scalp seems healthier, too.

The only comments my husband has made is that he wondered one day why it smelled like pickles after I washed my hair one day. The pickle smell goes away after the hair dries....

Hope Willis wrote:Anybody got a baking soda alternative? I can't use much of it as we have greywater...this sucks since baking soda is the best cleaner ever! Am trying the no shampoo thing, on week three...it does get better, right???


There are a few ways to address this. First, if you use a vinegar rinse, you will turn your baking soda into water, table salt and carbon dioxide. However, if you really don't want to use baking soda, you can do a dry starch like corn starch, potato starch, or flour. Basically, you just sprinkle it on, work it in to your hair, and brush or comb it out. For more specifics, look for traditional African hair care, as this was a traditional method used, at least that is my understanding in the US.
 
Garnet Morgan
Posts: 7
Location: Western North Carolina, zone 6
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Hope Willis wrote:Anybody got a baking soda alternative? I can't use much of it as we have greywater...this sucks since baking soda is the best cleaner ever! Am trying the no shampoo thing, on week three...it does get better, right???



I've also been wondering about this issue with homemade laundry powder based in the various "soda" family chemicals. How much can your system tolerate? 1 tsp of baking soda per shower isn't very much, especially if you only shower once a week or so. Maybe it would be ok for your system? How about using brackish water plants instead of freshwater ones?
 
Posts: 89
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I went poo-less two years ago. I am a female with long, wavy, thick hair and washing my hair had always been a chore for me. Even with shampoo, I'd cut it back to once every ten days. At first, after going poo-less, I just went as long as I could stand it before "cleaning" it with baking soda and then an apple cider vinegar rinse, which was about a month. I typically only brush my hair once per day, and also tie my hair back and keep it dry for my "daily-ish" shower. It was really greasy and icky looking at about two/three weeks, but then seemed to improve in that respect for the fourth week. So, for about a year and a half I did it that way, "cleaning" once per month. At one point, my mom told me that I smelled like I had been riding a horse all day. Gee, thanks. I'll add here that I also eat a 80/20-ish Paleo diet. Diet, I think has a big effect on skin and hair. This was mainly on (very hard) well water in arid NW Montana and city water in NW Washington. After doing this for many months, my hair stylist told me that I had a build up on my hair. Is that a good thing? Bad thing? I don't know. I think my hair isn't as shiny, unless I put oil on it.

Since living in Morocco the greater part of the last 7 months, though, I've been using Rhassoul (or, Ghassoul) clay to clean my hair, and I like it much better, as baking soda was always a bit harsh and left me dry and flaky the first few days after "cleaning." I mix the super light, fine powder with warm water or a mix with oil if I have it (coconut or Argan, another traditional Moroccan beauty product) until it's slick and has a fabulous texture that makes you wish you had a whole tubful of it to plop into and wallow in. In the shower, I slick it on wet hair at the root end, and then wet the hair more to help make it easier to work it in and scrub my scalp with my fingertips. I leave it on for a few minutes, then rinse. Afterwards, I put a teaspoon or two of oil in my palm and rub it between my hands and then through the drier areas of my still wet hair, at the ends and middle-outside. I can buy a little box of it here for $1, and it lasts me about 4 washes, which I do every other week in this more humid and therefore more greasy climate. I guess that's not the cheapest, but I probably use more than I need, and again my hair is long and thick. I looked up a source online for buying it in the U.S., and found it for a reasonable price in a very large quantity from a spa supply company, as in salon/spa. In Morocco, we're on city water.

I can't say that I have seen a complete turnaround in the health of my hair or scalp. It's more or less the same. Although, now that I think about it, I guess breakage and split ends have improved by 50%. But, I won't be going back to poo and conditioner as the issues I still have can probably be attributed to the times I eat grains or dairy.

My husband has short hair, no longer than 3", and quit using shampoo years ago. He is a daily showerer, and even multiple times per day based on activity (blessed with skin that doesn't dry out...unless living in Calgary). His strategy is to just give his scalp a good scrub with his fingertips, and a good rinse in the hot water. His hair always looks great, to me. The times that it does happen to be shampooed, at the barber, it looks "fluffy," and he doesn't like it.

I also gave up soap almost two years ago. I use a clean wash cloth at each shower to scrub my face and p&p's (pits and privates), but the rest of my skin just gets a rinse. Every other week or so, I do a good scrub of my entire body for exfoliation. This soap-less ness is going even better than poo-less ness for me. I still feel just as clean after my showers as I always used to. In a humid climate like here in coastal Morocco, or in NW Washington, I don't need lotion, but in winter in Montana I still needed lotion. I've tried all sorts of things, including ingesting coconut oil, and using it as a lotion...never great results. It's frustrating, because you read so much about how coconut oil is a miracle product, but it actually made my skin feel even MORE dry. I don't know how that's possible. I have a whack-a-doodle theory, though. I know a person from the Philippines who swears by coconut oil for the gorgeous health of her skin and hair. I assume coconuts grow in the Philippines. Maybe her skin is adapted to using the local products. Being of German heritage, perhaps I should try lard?

Now on to deodorant. I stopped using conventional deodorant about 8 years ago. For 6 of the years since, I used the solid salt crystal stuff in the pink tube, and liked it very much, until I read that it might not be the healthiest choice either. So, I just stopped using anything at all. Now, I'm all over the place. I can get super stinky super quick, or have virtually no b.o. for a good 36 hour stretch without a shower. Different times of the month, different diet, stress sweat (definitely an issue), I think are all factors in why sometimes I get stinky faster. I had hoped that a smear of lavender oil under the pits would kill those bacteria...didn't work as well as I'd hoped. Googled other options a few months ago, and found that a lemon slice rubbed on fresh skin does the trick (NOT if you've just shaved! ), and I'm happy to report that that has worked for me very well, unless it's stress sweat.

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

I'm going to look into those leaves from Kuwait, though!
 
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I was "no-poo" for three years. I used baking soda and vinegar. My hair (long and straight) never quite adjusted to it. Absolutely destroyed my hair. The ends got all crinkly and broke off and the roots never got quite clean - like it was coated with wax.

Overall it was a good experience though - I use biodegradable shampoo once a week (as opposed to shampooing every day like before I went "no-poo"), and the rest of the time I just wash with water. I use grape seed or coconut oil on the ends. Depending on where I've been and what I've been doing, honey water will clean my roots enough to make me feel and look clean.

I was using city water and then located to a place with very clean water. I had more "waxy" problems with the pristine mountain water - weird right?
 
Bash AlHa
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Corrie Snell wrote:I went poo-less two years ago. I am a female with long, wavy, thick hair and washing my hair had always been a chore for me. Even with shampoo, I'd cut it back to once every ten days. At first, after going poo-less, I just went as long as I could stand it before "cleaning" it with baking soda and then an apple cider vinegar rinse, which was about a month. I typically only brush my hair once per day, and also tie my hair back and keep it dry for my "daily-ish" shower. It was really greasy and icky looking at about two/three weeks, but then seemed to improve in that respect for the fourth week. So, for about a year and a half I did it that way, "cleaning" once per month. At one point, my mom told me that I smelled like I had been riding a horse all day. Gee, thanks. I'll add here that I also eat a 80/20-ish Paleo diet. Diet, I think has a big effect on skin and hair. This was mainly on (very hard) well water in arid NW Montana and city water in NW Washington. After doing this for many months, my hair stylist told me that I had a build up on my hair. Is that a good thing? Bad thing? I don't know. I think my hair isn't as shiny, unless I put oil on it.

Since living in Morocco the greater part of the last 7 months, though, I've been using Rhassoul (or, Ghassoul) clay to clean my hair, and I like it much better, as baking soda was always a bit harsh and left me dry and flaky the first few days after "cleaning." I mix the super light, fine powder with warm water or a mix with oil if I have it (coconut or Argan, another traditional Moroccan beauty product) until it's slick and has a fabulous texture that makes you wish you had a whole tubful of it to plop into and wallow in. In the shower, I slick it on wet hair at the root end, and then wet the hair more to help make it easier to work it in and scrub my scalp with my fingertips. I leave it on for a few minutes, then rinse. Afterwards, I put a teaspoon or two of oil in my palm and rub it between my hands and then through the drier areas of my still wet hair, at the ends and middle-outside. I can buy a little box of it here for $1, and it lasts me about 4 washes, which I do every other week in this more humid and therefore more greasy climate. I guess that's not the cheapest, but I probably use more than I need, and again my hair is long and thick. I looked up a source online for buying it in the U.S., and found it for a reasonable price in a very large quantity from a spa supply company, as in salon/spa. In Morocco, we're on city water.

I can't say that I have seen a complete turnaround in the health of my hair or scalp. It's more or less the same. Although, now that I think about it, I guess breakage and split ends have improved by 50%. But, I won't be going back to poo and conditioner as the issues I still have can probably be attributed to the times I eat grains or dairy.

My husband has short hair, no longer than 3", and quit using shampoo years ago. He is a daily showerer, and even multiple times per day based on activity (blessed with skin that doesn't dry out...unless living in Calgary). His strategy is to just give his scalp a good scrub with his fingertips, and a good rinse in the hot water. His hair always looks great, to me. The times that it does happen to be shampooed, at the barber, it looks "fluffy," and he doesn't like it.

I also gave up soap almost two years ago. I use a clean wash cloth at each shower to scrub my face and p&p's (pits and privates), but the rest of my skin just gets a rinse. Every other week or so, I do a good scrub of my entire body for exfoliation. This soap-less ness is going even better than poo-less ness for me. I still feel just as clean after my showers as I always used to. In a humid climate like here in coastal Morocco, or in NW Washington, I don't need lotion, but in winter in Montana I still needed lotion. I've tried all sorts of things, including ingesting coconut oil, and using it as a lotion...never great results. It's frustrating, because you read so much about how coconut oil is a miracle product, but it actually made my skin feel even MORE dry. I don't know how that's possible. I have a whack-a-doodle theory, though. I know a person from the Philippines who swears by coconut oil for the gorgeous health of her skin and hair. I assume coconuts grow in the Philippines. Maybe her skin is adapted to using the local products. Being of German heritage, perhaps I should try lard?

Now on to deodorant. I stopped using conventional deodorant about 8 years ago. For 6 of the years since, I used the solid salt crystal stuff in the pink tube, and liked it very much, until I read that it might not be the healthiest choice either. So, I just stopped using anything at all. Now, I'm all over the place. I can get super stinky super quick, or have virtually no b.o. for a good 36 hour stretch without a shower. Different times of the month, different diet, stress sweat (definitely an issue), I think are all factors in why sometimes I get stinky faster. I had hoped that a smear of lavender oil under the pits would kill those bacteria...didn't work as well as I'd hoped. Googled other options a few months ago, and found that a lemon slice rubbed on fresh skin does the trick (NOT if you've just shaved! ), and I'm happy to report that that has worked for me very well, unless it's stress sweat.

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

I'm going to look into those leaves from Kuwait, though!





Connie I bet you have ziziphus trees in Morocco , in arabic its called " Seder " which produces the best honey , and little berries called " Nabaq " - ask the people there they must know them
 
William James
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Currently soaping armpits, feet, and privates (back and front). And hair. My hair gets itchy after 5 days of no soap and I can't stand it.

For all other skin, using a hemp or luffa "sponge". It doesn't hold water and drys out after showering, so not much ickynes there. I sometimes do my ankles or forearms with soap if I've been out in the dirt.

While I can understand how one could go soapless for 99% of the body, there is that one part of the body which is a party for feces -- and I'm pretty sure that poop is not water soluble, so either I would just be spreading the wealth down there or wiping it onto a cloth which then would need to be dealt with immediately. I suppose baking soda would work, but that seems like a real hassle. Itchyness in the wrong place is a byproduct for me.

I tried to do some googling about AOBiome and the poop factor, but found nothing.
W
 
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Interesting discussion. I've concluded thus far that going soapless depends upon a LOT of widely varying factors. Climate. Diet. Type of diet. Personal chemistry. Lifestyle. Social situation.

In my own situation, going soapless is not an acceptable alternative as far as I'm concerned. I work hard every day on a homestead farm, getting dirty and sweating. It's not uncommon for me to take a lunchtime break for a quick shower because I smell bad and am streaked with pasty mud. If I lived beside the ocean, I'd just go swimming. But living up on the mountain means that I need to bathe instead. I find that soap gets the job done quickly. I feel and smell better afterward. Yes, I'm a soap sort of working gal.
 
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Mandar Wilson wrote:I was "no-poo" for three years. I used baking soda and vinegar. My hair (long and straight) never quite adjusted to it. Absolutely destroyed my hair. The ends got all crinkly and broke off and the roots never got quite clean - like it was coated with wax.

Overall it was a good experience though - I use biodegradable shampoo once a week (as opposed to shampooing every day like before I went "no-poo"), and the rest of the time I just wash with water. I use grape seed or coconut oil on the ends. Depending on where I've been and what I've been doing, honey water will clean my roots enough to make me feel and look clean.

I was using city water and then located to a place with very clean water. I had more "waxy" problems with the pristine mountain water - weird right?



I have read that the waxy residue can be caused by hard water. I just do water only--and I only wet my hair about once a month or less, as brushing my hair with a clean comb or pick keeps it nice. But our water is hard, and I was getting a waxy residue when I rinsed it often; however, a rinse of vinegar generally strips it off just fine. I use the cheapest supermarket vinegar (malt, in my case), and dilute it about 1 part vinegar, 5 parts water, pour it on my scalp, rub it in and let it sit for a minute or so, then rinse.
 
Mandar Wilson
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Galadriel Freden wrote:

Mandar Wilson wrote:I was "no-poo" for three years. I used baking soda and vinegar. My hair (long and straight) never quite adjusted to it. Absolutely destroyed my hair. The ends got all crinkly and broke off and the roots never got quite clean - like it was coated with wax.

Overall it was a good experience though - I use biodegradable shampoo once a week (as opposed to shampooing every day like before I went "no-poo"), and the rest of the time I just wash with water. I use grape seed or coconut oil on the ends. Depending on where I've been and what I've been doing, honey water will clean my roots enough to make me feel and look clean.

I was using city water and then located to a place with very clean water. I had more "waxy" problems with the pristine mountain water - weird right?



I have read that the waxy residue can be caused by hard water. I just do water only--and I only wet my hair about once a month or less, as brushing my hair with a clean comb or pick keeps it nice. But our water is hard, and I was getting a waxy residue when I rinsed it often; however, a rinse of vinegar generally strips it off just fine. I use the cheapest supermarket vinegar (malt, in my case), and dilute it about 1 part vinegar, 5 parts water, pour it on my scalp, rub it in and let it sit for a minute or so, then rinse.



I actually used vinegar on my hair today

It then leaves it feeling a little greasy-looking at the roots and dry on the ends... maybe too much vinegar in the ratio?
 
Galadriel Freden
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Mandar Wilson wrote:

I actually used vinegar on my hair today

It then leaves it feeling a little greasy-looking at the roots and dry on the ends... maybe too much vinegar in the ratio?



Maybe too much, maybe not enough? I really only have personal experience to go by.

For me, when I do a vinegar rinse, my hair still feels greasy when I rub my scalp to rinse if off, but not after it dries; I also lightly comb my hair with a clean, wide toothed pick once it's dry. Oh, and I don't put vinegar on the ends, just on the scalp.

However, I fully accept that this may just work for me and not for anyone else For example, my five year old son is also water only, and has never had or needed a vinegar rinse in his entire life (no poo since birth).
 
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I went soap and shampoo free 4 or 5 years ago based on the article linked below. I was embarrassed to tell anyone for the first year. Now I have no shame. I do use a spot of Dr. Bronners for the nethers. I didn't really experience any of the negative of positive effects that many claim. I still have the same amount of dandruff which comes and goes for unknown reasons. Along with diet changes though, I can say I no longer have scaly elbows/knees and no post shower itchiness episodes. Mostly I'm just thinking about how much money I have not spent on surfactants, perfumes and chemicals. Also, I'm very protective of my microbiota, so I've kept them safe and healthy.

http://freetheanimal.com/2009/12/paleo-i-dont-care-i-like-no-soap-no-shampoo.html
 
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I use conditioner but I too do not use shampoo because it makes my hair like straw I also do not use soap except on my hands sometimes if I get motor oil on em. I use limes as deodorant and I sometimes rub moist salt on my junk and ass and then rinse it beware it burns the ass but for me its out of necessity I had a long term rash and I tried everything and some worked a bit but the next day it was back salt cleared it up 4 good with 90% improvement the first day. Now I'm fine and I don't really use it anymore. Oh and the cure for zits is sanding drywall or some other fine dust source.
 
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I am with baking soda as well + lemon juice for not drying the hair too much.
I sometimes add ALOE VERA, as I have it fresh in the garden.
I also use henna for years. Very good for my thin hair.

Soap: I still have an aleppo soap (olive oil + laurel oil)
Try not to use glycerin.

Aleppo soap is a soap, a shampoo, and mainly my TOOTHpaste, as well as for washing dishes and clothes!
Perfect for travelling.

I usually wash my clothes with baking soda as well. It takes off chemicals.
Especially good for washing brand new textile.
Takes off excess tint.

I am careful with toothbrushing with b.soda, but I rinse my mouth with it after any fruit eating.

For my skin: some oil like coconut or even olive.
Then I add aloe: it makes an emulsion and the result is incredible on dry skin hands after some work that damage them.
Really, the mix is better than the 2 separately.
And aloe for sunburns as well.

VIT D:
it is made by the skin only wheen the sun is at more than 50º above the horizon (so, near mid-day part of the year).
AND it is absorbed ONLY if we have oil on our skin.
Our natural emulsion is a mix of oil and sweat.
So, if we wash with soap, we do not get the beneficial vit D....

100% of my tips here, it's not a lot to do!
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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Hi you all! Sorry, I skipped most of this thread. Only want to tell you about my experience with 'no poo, soap, etc.'
December 2014 I decided to stop using all that stuff: soap, shower-gel, deo, shampoo, toothpaste (that was all I used). Better for my health in general, my skin and hair in particular, and for my savings. Since then all I use is a little coconut oil. I use coconut oil with a droplet of tea tree oil in it to brush my teeth, and with some drops of rose and jasmine oil as a deodorant / parfum when I go out. For washing my body, face and hair I only use warm water. For cleaning my hands, f.e. after gardening (I have green fingers, I just love to touch the soil with my hands), I have a 'finger brush', to scrub with water.
I told this in some FB groups, some reacted: "oh, then I won't shake hands with you". I don't worry
It feels good. My hair took some time, when I ended the shampoo 'cold turkey' the first few weeks it was greasy. I had to 'wash' (with warm water) daily. But now even if I don't wash for about five days, it's still OK.
 
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I love stuff like this.
I've just been learning about toothsticks on another thread

I've been no-poo for 3 years now.
I've tried some of the things mentioned on this thread-
baking soda, lemon- too drying and itchy
homemade soap- too alkaline and hair stayed greasy,
vinegar- I stank! Even when dry,
plain water- greasy again.
I've also tried various herb teas which left a residue.

The only thing that works really well for me is rye flour. It has enough mucilage to prevent drying out and it cleans very well. It has Pantothenic acid in it, which Pantene synthesise for their 'hair care' products. Aaaand it leaves my hair smelling like freshly baked bread.
My hair was fine and flyaway before, but now it's thicker and heavier and I haven't lost any shine.
I'd recommend it to anyone who has tried other stuff without success, or is thinking of going no-poo for the first time.
It all depends on your hair type, but in the end your scalp is an intelligent system which will adjust.

And sorry if this info has been posted already but I just skimmed the thread. It's long.
Good luck with no-poo!
 
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Egg yolk every 2 weeks to strip off the waxy sebum from my hair and water-only every 4 days or so to get rid of the excess oil. For the yolk, I scramble it after separating from the white, then "strain" it with the fork to get the goopiest bits out. Usually I do a lemon water rinse after the egg wash. If I  go longer than 2 weeks, working with my hair is miserable and dealing with it before, during and after my shower takes much longer (about an hour versus 15-20 minutes). Also, it stays damp all day and I have to water only wash it more often (about every other day). I went pooless about a decade ago, although I was doing conditioner only (and still do sometimes) instead of egg yolk until about a year ago on the same rotation with water-only as I gave for egg yolk.

For the rest, I've done a "pits and bits" daily wash with soap for years (arm pits and all of the bits where sweat gets trapped), with a more overall wash if I'm particularly dirty and once a week. I'm experimenting with cutting  down on soap and am finding I can just do a thorough rinse with a fair bit of mechanical action (rubbing the pits while rinsing ) every day and soap every 2nd or 3rd day mostly. I work in an office, so going longer to see if my body acclimates isn't an option. I'm not convinced it's worth it since it's tending to take longer to get the sweat smell off, but I'm giving it a few weeks.
 
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