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

 
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!
 
Posts: 31
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
 
pollinator
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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.
 
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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.



 
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Location: Olympia, WA - Zone 8a/b
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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?
 
Posts: 44
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.
 
Posts: 104
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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