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

 
Posts: 70
Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Grace Gierucki wrote:I've been no-poo for about 1 1/2 years, I use baking soda and ACV about every 5-6 days and it has been working well for me until now.  I have two questions/problems- 1.  We moved from the city to a house with softened water and my hair has gone totally limp and gets greasy much faster, any ideas what tweaks to make? 2.  Sunscreen, the bane of my existence. I'm very fair and need to use it, I make my own which I am super happy with but it's causing my hair line to be constantly greasy! I'm considering adding a diluted Dr. Bronners step to my routine just along these edges, has anyone tried this?  Thank you



I was the first mate on a boat, where I worked 16hrs a day every day in the sun, all day, and I used coconut oil for sunscreen 100% of the time. I was smart about the sun exposure but it helped enough to keep me from burning 99% of the time, two days that I recall getting pink...and that was really due to me rubbing off the oil.

My tolerance for coconut oil might be a lot higher than some peoples, rather the grease of it than sunscreen. My body chemistry makes coconut oil turn sweet smelling after a few hours, almost over-ripe type sweet.

Dr Bronners may help with the limpness, though it can dry out hair too. Try it!
 
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Location: La Bretagne
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Hello all.
I stopped shampooing my hair fourteen years ago. Before stopping, my hair was oily and I had to wash it daily. I don't remember how long the reduction transition took for me, but I did get to my desired length of time between washings of one week, probably the first year

When I initially stopped using shampoo, I constantly made herbal teas that I would use in place of shampoo. The tea always had honey in it and I placed this honey-sweetened tea on my dry hair, rinsing it out after a minute or so. Through the years, I simplified stopped making tea and just watered down the honey. I still wash my hair like this.

When I used chemical shampoo on my hair, along with being greasy, it was super straight and lifeless. When I stopped shampooing it, that changed. I have body and waves now. I cannot say how long it took to happen though. I intended to document my experience, but never did.

Oh, and I only use soap on my hands. I simply brush the rest of my body with a soft, natural bristle body brush.

I wish everyone courage in this endeavor.

Tiffane
 
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I didn't use any shampoo for about one year now and my hair never looked better. I wash my hair basically whenever I feel like as it doesn't become too oily now for a long time. I use very warm water as a wash, and then rinse with herbal infusion or decoction. Any herbs, whatever I have the most of.  I do use filtered water for both steps as city water irritates my scalp, even without shampoo.
 One thing I noticed is that if my herb mixture includes burdock root, it makes my hair very wavy/curly (I do have naturally on the wavy side hair). So much so as people have asked me, where I had my hair done, LOL.
 
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I don't wash my hair often. Maybe once a week.



Savannah, me, too. Hairdressers always comment how healthy my hair is and I attribute it to not over-washing and seldom blow-drying (except in winter- no wet hair in -40!); I don't use "real" conditioner either- after a wash I slather my face and hands with hand lotion and drag them through my towel-dried hair.

A while back I tried just baking soda and water to wash my hair. Because it doesn't feel noticeable in already wet hair, I was never sure how well I'd worked it through but once it dried, my hair and scalp felt as clean as ever. I would like to do it that way all the time (cheap!) but somehow I acquired a virtual lifetime-worth of shampoos and feel like it would be a waste of money to dump them. On the other hand, though my hair is healthy, my scalp is increasingly sick-scaly and itchy. Maybe the shampoos are to blame?
 
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I read somewhere recently that we have microbes (specifically, beneficial bacteria like lactobacillus or however spelt) all over us just like we have them all thru us. So using soap, like antibiotics, blanket bombs, killing indescriminately, rather than blanket balming, which should rather be the case. It's all part of the permanent culture (read sustainable) that we permies tend to side with. But understandably it's hard to have it pervade all or even many areas of life, or to extrapolate out from permie gardening principles (going organic, polyculture over monoculture) to daily life. I believe soaps in the near future will start to support our natural microbiome just as we make and eat sauerkraut knowing that's best for us. Thanks for starting this thread. OgreNick
 
Tiffaney Dex
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Nick Dimitri wrote:I read somewhere recently that we have microbes (specifically, beneficial bacteria like lactobacillus or however spelt) all over us just like we have them all thru us. So using soap, like antibiotics, blanket bombs, killing indescriminately, rather than blanket balming, which should rather be the case. (snip) . I believe soaps in the near future will  start to support our natural microbiome just as we make and eat sauerkraut knowing that's best for us. Thanks for starting this thread. OgreNick


Yes, we do have flora on our skin, just like in our intestines. And that flora helps keep us healthy.  So, the use of antibacterial soaps is harmful to our natural flora balance, to add to the list of other reasons why it is bad. I do not think that our body will ever be able to adjust to soap,  however. Naturally, we are acidic. That is why people use apple cider vinegar as a rince. It brings our skin back to its natural pH level. Soap is alkaline. It is traditionally made with wood ash lye and animal fats or oil. I believe it is too big of a jump for our flora to go from an acidic environment to an alkaline one. It's like trying to grow oregano  in heather soil. It doesn't work without changing the soil.
 
gardener
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I was inspired to go poo-less by this post, and also by a clip from Victorian Farm with Ruth Goodman.  This BBC documentary on how people in Great Britain lived in different eras:  
   That's not the episode the clip is in, I don't think.  I forgot where it is... so I'll sum it up.

Ruth Goodman explained that in many time periods in England, because bathing was viewed as harmful, people did it rarely.  And that's how they were living on this farm - Ruth, Peter and Alex - to stay true to character.  She gets a lukewarm bath Little-House-on-the-Prairie style, in a metal trough in the house.  Her hair is long like women of that era.  She explains that what women did was comb their hair very thoroughly, every night, top to bottom.  And just not to get rid of knots - the main purpose to spread the natural oils through the hair, which kept it shiny and clean.  That made perfect sense to me since if you look at the hair of native peoples of the Americas, they also often have long hair, don't wash all the time, and it's gorgeous.  Shiny and nice.

I know this sounds silly, but all this time I thought combing was for knot prevention, and a little for lint removal.  So I wouldn't get dreadlocks.  I've had long hair most of my life, as a child and youth it was sit-on-it long.  But I had no understanding that combing was a traditional way of keeping it clean.  So when I went poo-less recently I stuck with the combing procedure.  And lo and behold; it works!  Even for my long, somewhat oily hair.

Throughout history there have been tons of famous hair-combers, who again, I misunderstood the purpose of why they did that so much.  A favored classical painting pose of women is of one with long hair combing it from end to end, and I thought that was sort of a statement on how "proper" women spent their time.  I didn't get that it was actually just the way to care for hair without washing it frequently.  I think it's also oddly relaxing.  A set of male hair combers are the warriors of Sparta, who typically wore their hair long, and famously spent time before battle combing it.  They were mocked for this activity, but it makes sense to me now!

Here is a classic painting, John Williams Waterhouse, "A Mermaid", with the mermaid combing her hair.  He liked to paint women combing their hair; maybe he thought it was hot?  If you look at the picture, I'm pretty sure she's using the technique of spreading the oils to the ends... Now that I'm doing it, I'm realizing that's one of the ways.  She's not bored or vain!  She's doing something necessary!  (Especially for a mermaid, as anyone with long hair knows how tangled it gets swimming.) hah  It is amazing how different things look once I finally understand the purpose.



 
gardener
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I'm on my third week of going without soap or shampoo in the shower. Still take daily hot showers and use a washrag to scrub a bit but no soap. My wife has been the judge on if any problems have come from it and so far no issues. Plus I work 40 hours a week and so far no issues at the office either.

I'm finding that my skin is becoming clearer with less blemishes. Still a few but less than I was having. Though I have also cut back a lot on sugar so that could also play a role.

I'm out in the heat working a lot on my homestead and at times for my job doing restoration work. But not using shampoo or soap in the shower has not been an issue even on days like yesterday when I was outside in 90+ degree weather for the whole day working.

Going to keep doing this as long as no problems show up. Been a good experience so far!
 
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What about the smelly sweat? I know salt somewhat works, but I can't go swimming in the sea when I'm in the city (9 months). Any Ideas?
 
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Location: Western Washington
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I'm 44 years old and stopped using shampoo after reading the labels when I was about 13 years old.

I have very fine hair (it used to be very long) and have always received comments on how nice my hair feels. When asked what kind of shampoo I use most people don't seem to believe me when I say that I don't use any.

I run a lot hotter than most people (I sweat easily and profusely) and have found that the less meat, dairy, and manufactured foods I eat the less I have body odor.

Last year I did a week long water fast (no food, just water) and by the end of it my wife asked what kind of soap I was using as I smelled really good... I just noted that I had been exercising and was a bit sweaty. Perhaps eating real foods and cleansing my system of toxins got rid of the nasty stuff that I had been storing up and it was no longer exuding when I sweat. I cannot say for sure but I used to smell quite bad when sweating heavily and no people don't seem to even notice any smell.

Personally, I suspect that bad body odor is in good part due to stored toxins being exuded when sweating.

As to hair, water has always worked just fine for me. Yes, when I first stopped shampooing my hair it felt weird for a couple of weeks... but then it became soft, easy to comb (it used to be down to my waist), and very soft.
 
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Location: North Coast Dominican Republic
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Dave Burton wrote: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.



This is what I was waiting to see as I belatedly went page by page through this thread. I was hoping to see more extensive lists of plants with natural saponins that can be used this way.

When I was stationed in Hawaii, I found a jungle flower there called "shampoo ginger." Pretty red flower heads, and you could see the soapsud appearance on the surface if they were damp from rain. Now that I have settled in the tropics, I hope I can find the plant available in the DR. But if not, I would like to know about other "natural shampoo" plants.
 
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I have long wavy/curly hair on the top of my head, and keep the sides + back short. Been poo-less for the past six months. My hair looks and feel great, and doesn't smell like anything. No issues with hair knots any more. Took about two months for my hair to normalize after going poo-less. I basically massage my hair and scalp under the hot shower to get sweat, dirt, extra oil, etc, off, and that's it. My hair keeps some of its natural oils afterwards. Showering every 2 days is a good cadence for me, I'm fairly active, and poo-less I spend a lot less time showering. A shower for me takes about 5 minutes, and have no guilt taking a maintenance shower (post-workout, going out, etc).

My spouse had absolutely no idea until I told her about two months ago; she thought the practice was "gross." I occasionally work in a little scented oil for aromatic effect so she thinks I'm back on the 'poo wagon. After much pleading on my spouse's part I did fully shampoo my hair with a natural shampoo last week; my hair was so dry and fragile afterwards, looked terrible, and it kept getting stuck in my hair brush. Took a few days to get back to normal. I have some knots and frayed ends as a result.
 
garden master
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Oh, fun thing! Also, I think aloe vera could work as a soap kidn of thing if you need/want it. I prepared some aloe vera to eat this Winter Break when I was back in Houston, and that thing was slippery. So, there's probably a lot of saponins in that, too. As for the eating, it tastes like water and is kind of slimy to eat. I found it rather tasteless, but I did not mind the slimy texture. So I guess I might be fine eating snails and slugs when the occasion arises.

Now, getting back to topic, I have been pooless and soapless for my entire body and hair, except for my face and hands, for I forget how long. I think it's been two or three years, maybe longer??? But anyhow, my skin and hair have been mostly fine. My hair is a little bit oily, and my skin is a tad dry. But these may be more of things with nutrition that I am figuring out. I'm currently finding a balance point, after having been quite extreme about fasting for a few months, I am now eating one meal a day of pretty good food- salad greens, eggs, as best quality saturated fats I can, as best quality meat I can, little bit of fermented foods, and a little bit of fruit (every other day).

As for smell, I have been described by people as "smelling human", and people who have really good noses describe me as "sweet-smelling or fruity smelling". They tell me that I don't smell bad or good, but that I just smell natural. And the people with really good noses, I guess this may be my personal pheromone that I produce.
 
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Since I left my 9-5 in March of last year I've slowly been cutting back on showers. Basically only doing so on "town" days. I've toyed with the idea of no shampoo for years but never could pull the trigger on it. My hair is middle of my back long and very greasy. My Mom brainwashed me lol. I also have psoriasis and would get a itchy, flaky scalp after a couple days. I've not used soap on my body in years due to severe dry skin on my back. That drives Mom mad even now. 😉
So with this being February and I pretty much live in a hoodie and beanie I decided to have a F@#kPoo February (TM) and see how it goes. Last I shampooed my hair was Jan 28. First time I showered the hot water seemed to really work, no greese and a nice shine to my hair. 4 days later and my head was so itchy I was about to cry. The hot water fixed that but my hair was so heavy. Then last Thursday I water washed it again and definitely could feel a difference. This morning it really don't feel greasy like it should after 4 days and very little itch. I'm gonna get a shower after I feed the chickens and I'm really curious to find out how it will feel after that.
Maybe I will tell Mom when I visit for supper tonight lol!
 
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jacque greenleaf wrote:I quit using regular shampoo and conditioner several years ago. I have curly hair, and the silicone in most shampoos/conditioners is not good for curls.

I thoroughly "wash" my hair every two or three days with plain water in the shower. About every week or ten days, when the oil builds up, I use some Dr. Bronner's liquid soap on it. I've never had so many curls with so much body.

I've used Dr. Bronner's for showering for years, I buy it by the gallon and dilute it. And do I ever love not having my shower cluttered up with numerous plastic bottles of various goops.



Been using Dr. Bronner for a few years and coconut oil as a conditioner after I started to start being sensitive to commercial shampoo and body wash. I very happy with it over all, even if I over do the oil somtomes. Takes two years to go threw the coconut oil 22 dollar costco tub and I buy a litre of Dr. Bronners any where from 4 to 6 months depending on how often I wash the dog with it also.
 
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I did this for a time. The baking soda and ACV for my hair. Now I simply wash it less, about every 3 days. I'm a pretty oily person in general so my hair looked wet quick and while I gave it several months it didn't much change.
 
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I tried this when I was younger and had longer hair. I was able to go about 6-8 months just scrubbing really thoroughly in the shower. My angle, however, had been wanting to reduce waste, but I found the additional time needed in the shower to give a thorough enough scrub without shampoo used more water than if I just did a quick wash every day.

A second time I tried, my hair was healthy, but my scalp was absolutely unhealthy - flaky, red, pimples and such. I gave up at that point, and now my scalp is much healthier using shampoo every day. Just goes to show you, different strokes and all that.

Everyone's head will be different, but I imagine if you can make it through an adjustment period (maybe even up to a year) for your oil glands to slow down and your scalp to recover form the initial shock, it's totally doable.
 
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We quit shampoos conditioners and body products about 7 years ago after a chance reading of an article/'challenge' on the web. I use diluted solution of bicarb followed by ACV half and half with filtered water. My hair was mid length at the time and it's been shorter and now longer. It is very thick too. My hair is no longer greasy, I no longer suffer from dandruff.  Both of which I spent over the years a lot of money on, trying to find a product that worked.  I have a theory that products marketed for those 'conditions' encourage rather than cure, as lets face it, a business model that cures patients is hardly sustainable! I am so pleased  because not only is my hair in great condition, the bathroom is uncluttered, and I spend less no time shopping for 'beauty' products. Going 'poo-less was the first step in a journey that now sees me questioning everything we bring into the house and has me returning products that basically 'stink' from offgassing of who knows what.

Since getting interested in the PEP Natural Medicine, I've been using an Hibiscus and ACV infusion as a final rinse and I swear it's colouring out my grey hair!

A year ago we fitted a Berkey shower filter - it's so nice to stand under a shower without the pong of chlorine!

I now blend essential oils to formulate my perfumes and husband's after shave.

We've found that a small glass spray bottle of diluted ACV for underarms is very effective.

The equivalent of two cans of shaving gel ago, I asked my husband to trial coconut oil as an alternative and let me know what he thought. That was 'two cans' ago. He rubs a small amount of organic coconut oil over his face, and he uses a small jug of very hot water to clean the razor as he goes. (which he empties onto the garden) Water in the sink loses its heat too quickly, plus, there's a real danger of oil build up in the pipes.

If you're still wavering on the fence about removing what are, lets not kid ourselves here, expensive and toxin-laden products from your life, then take it in easy steps, and you'll eventually get to where you want (need?) to be.

My thought is that ditching shampoo is a great place to start!

Lesley
 
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Been on the no-poo kick for about 8 years now. I rinse with hot water in the shower 2-3 times per week. Every 6 months or so, I’ll use a bit of shampoo to see what I’m missing; and am always disappointed with the results! My hair ends up frizzy and poofy, and my scalp dry. Maybe i’m using the “wrong” shampoo, but no-poo works well for me.

I can speak to the “transition period” being a thing, it took me more than a month of greasy hair to adjust and regulate.

It works well for my hair/skin type, but not so much for my partner, who has very fine hair. She tried the dry shampoo thing for a while, but this also wasn’t ideal.

Obviously this is a personal choice, but I don’t think it will be as effective for everyone!

 
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I tried using no shampoo last summer but I felt that it only works for me as long as I wash daily and so I stopped at around fall again. Guess I will try again this summer with some tips from here.
 
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I started the no poo/soap thing about 10 days ago, about the time I found the Kickstarter for Buildng a Better World, and haven't told my wife yet... she hasn't mentioned anything either, so I'm experimenting! LOL

Anyways, growing up as a city boy, I DO like my hot showers most days, even if they are shorter than they once were. I don't use anything but hot water and my hands to scrub, although I am still using commercial toothpaste... I want to experiment with baking soda soon. My teeth have felt much cleaner since I switched to a zero carb/carnivore diet. I wasn't such a good brusher when younger, so don't have pretty teeth, but a major difference in the texture on the surface, how smooth they are now, never bleed anymore when brushing, and I never smell my breath anymore (like I could when eating a lot of junk food and bread, etc.)

So, 2019 has been a great year for changes so far... CV way of eating for 3 months and down 18 pounds (maybe 30-40 more to go to get back to what I consider ideal, around 170-180 at 5'9" and 50 years old in another 6 weeks or so), sleeping better, more energy, food bill overall is down, complexion is better, cracked elbows, knees and feet are mostly gone, Then, I found Paul's book Kickstarter, and went poo-less and am investigating more positive changes to make. Maybe a bit off topic, but... <shrugs>
 
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