Switching from shampoo to Baking Soda/Apple Cider Vinegar is a pretty big change.  Fairly simple, but very different.  Switching from BS/ACV  is pretty different also.

I still call it No Poo because besides meaning “no shampoo”  it also means “no poop.”  The “poop” being the chemicals, cones and whatnot in commercial shampoos.

Also, not all shampoo bars are made the same.  Some are organic, others are not, some even have SLS in them.  (I’m looking at you Lush!)  I avoid SLS, but not everyone is concerned with it. I’m just saying reading ingredients is always important.  Right down to the lead in your lipstick. (No really, google ‘FDA lipstick’)

Now down to the nitty-gritty!

If you read my previous blog about switching to shampoo bars, you may have noticed I was very specific about how much I had used. I’m able to do that because I cut the bars into pieces.  I don’t have a lot of room to be keeping a bunch of bars in my shower, and it just seems less wasteful.

shampoo bars

On the left is a full-sized Chagrin Valley bar, and on the right a sample. This is how I’ve cut them up, and the smallest pieces of each are the ones I’ve been using since the beginning of January.

How you use a shampoo bar is all about what works for you.  In an F.A.Q. section at Chagrin Valley’s website, Ida says how she uses them.  I think it’s a good place to start.

My hair is too thick to do only that though.  My slightly different process goes like this.

  1. Wet hair with treated water
  2. rub the bar across my part, and in strokes on the top of my head (following the direction my hair is going so it doesn’t get tangled) I also make sure not to miss my bangs, and rub the bar along my front hair-line.
  3. I create a part down the back of my head, rub the bar down the part
  4. I continue creating a few parts, 3-4 on either side of the first, and rubbing the bar down the part.
  5. Then I scrub, making sure the lather reaches all parts of my scalp.
  6. Rinse with some treated water, and rinse some more under the shower to make sure it’s totally rinsed.

I have been experimenting with skipping the treated water to rinse, and just use the water out of the shower, jury is out on that one.

It took me a little while to get this routine down. Not using too much soap, not taking too long to rinse it out, and so on. I also have a water saving shower head,  so for most of the duration of washing my hair water is only trickling out of the shower head.  Water conservation is super awesome, but really I care more about my hot water conservation since No Poo is not always speedy. Some days it seems to go pretty quick, other days I’m having to re wet my hair, use my shampoo bar on a spot I missed or work extra hard because there’s more buildup than usual.

For the Babassu Marsh Mallow bar, that is super extra lathering for me, I don’t have to follow that same routine.  I can actually just lather it up in my hands and then work the lather around rather than having to rub the bar all over my head.

I do still use sulfate free shampoo 1-2 times a month, depending.  Recently I was ridiculously ill and used it for the duration because I just did not feel like dealing with all the extra effort.

I’d be curious to know about how people with other types of hair use shampoo bars!


Or combing wet hair, whatever.

I posted about this previously on my old blog.

Sometime between then and now I changed my philosophy a tad.  Do I think brushing/combing while wet damages my hair?  Nope, still don’t. (if you did not read the linked post Please Note that I know that it’s damaging to some, I just don’t agree that it’s damaging for all, or for me)  However I also don’t do it anymore.  My hair has a slight wave to it, and I found my self wanting to encourage the waves.  A tip I read, probably off of one of the long hair community sites, was not to touch my wet hair.  Literally don’t touch it. Don’t toss it, fiddle with it, nothing, just leave it alone.   It’s helped a lot.

For whatever reason the back of my head is still more wavy than the front, the hair that frames my face and falls in front of my shoulders.  I still haven’t decided if this is just the way my hair is or if there’s more I could do for it, or if there’s something different that happens to the back of my head instead of the front.

The other reason I don’t do it anymore is that I’ve changed my opinion on combs.  Well certain combs anyway.  I invested in a couple of horn combs. I now use them to comb my hair 95% of the time, and you can’t get them wet.  Because a horn comb comes from something that’s pretty much the same as what our hair is made of (keratin) there’s very little resistance.  Almost none as long as you have a well made comb.  Which helped my waves too, since I’m creating less tension.  I’ve still been keeping it around the same length though, just a bit longer than shoulder length.  While I want to grow my hair out, I want to keep it a manageable length until I’ve hit 1 year No Poo at least,  probably a bit longer than that, as I’ve recently decided to grow my bangs out. Hmmm.

When it comes to a plastic comb versus other kinds of plastic bristle brushes, I still don’t see why there’d be much of a difference.  If a tangle teaser is okay (as I’ve seen many people praise, although I’m sure not everyone is in love with it) then so is my ventilated ball tipped round brush.

No Poo – Catch up

March 21, 2013

What has been going on with my No Poo adventure for the past 6 – 7 months?

Since my last update a loooong time ago things have changed quite a bit!

I need to post a new No Poo 101 and troubleshooting guide, as I’ve learned many new things, but if you found this because you’re new to No Poo, please check out my other No Poo posts at my old blog (previous link) for the time being.

At the end of August 2012 I gave Chagrin Valley Soap and Salves  my first try.

My general opinion is that shampoo bars are awesome! They lather! Even all natural ones, no SLS required.  I also don’t have to use a vinegar rinse as long as I’m using a bar that works well for me.  Chagrin Valley is all natural and many of their products are USDA Organic, but only a few of their shampoo bars are. According to their site they are switching more and more products to Organic, so the number of certified organic shampoo bars may increase, but they also state that for some things there just isn’t a way (yet) to make them organic.

I bought three samples my first try: Cafe Moreno, Butter Bar Conditioner, and Coconut Milk.  The Butter Bar Conditioner was the only one that I really liked.  Cafe Moreno had its perks, me being a brunette and all, but it left my hair pretty dry.  So did the Coconut Milk bar.

Even only using the Butter Bar Conditioner sample size bar for the most part, I did not have to buy more until the end of December.  At that time I bought a full-sized Butter Bar Conditioner, and two more samples. One Carrot, Milk & Honey and one Babassu Marsh Mallow.  Even almost 3 months later, I have not yet used up 1/6 of the full-sized bar, and only 1/3 of the Babassu Marsh Mallow sample. The Carrot, Milk & Honey bar was not very good for me.

The Babassu Marsh Mallow, man oh man! If I had thought the other kinds lathered, this one lathered twice as much.  I will go more in-depth on my methods later, but suffice it to say that with other bars I have to rub the bar on my hair and the Babassu Marsh Mallow I can lather it up in my hands and wash my hair with the lather alone.   I will definitely be buying a full size bar later, and probably trying the other bar with Babassu in it next, not sure what else.

I still use treated water to wet my hair. Although the water here is nowhere near so bad as it was in San Diego, it’s still not good enough.  I may also retry previous bars as it gets closer to summer because the air is not so dry here, maybe bars that made my hair dry in California will do better here.

This is why I’ve tried several samples, and will continue to try them. In fact I think that’s why samples are offered in the first place.  Everyone’s hair needs are little different, climate and water quality are a big factor and so are your general health and your genetics.  What works for me might not work for you even if it may seem like we have the same hair care needs.

Price wise, Shampoo bars are just about as inexpensive as the BS/ACV method. I only spent 13 dollars my first go around, and that lasted about 4 months.   Since I don’t normally use a lot of BS/ACV, I’d say the difference evened out, if you consider that I didn’t use roughly half of what I bought. I spent closer to 20 the second time around, prices include shipping. But I don’t think I’d run out of shampoo bar for close to a year with a full-sized bar alone.

As I said earlier, a new No Poo 101 will be coming soon!  Also how I get the most out of my shampoo bars.

Unconventional is at least a real word.

(disclaimer: although there are a few bits of real grammatical information here that I gleaned from other internet sources, it’s MOSTLY about my personal preference over which word I used for this page) 

I’m really not sure if “nonconventional” is a legitimate word, or if it should be hyphenated even.  Google will give you some definitions, but just because there’s a definition for “ain’t”  doesn’t mean it’s a proper word.

I did choose non over un for very specific reasons. True, for the most part they mean the same thing. Definitions found for unconventional versus nonconventional are pretty much the same. (I suspect because one of them is proper and one is not so they apply the same definition.) From my point of view,  un can also mean the reversal, so in a manner of speaking, being in opposition. I am not opposed to conventionality, nor do I seek to purposely go against it for the sake of being against it.

I just ignore it most of the time.  There’s plenty of conventional things that I do in conventional ways, but I never like to do something simply because that’s how popular opinion says it should be done. Sometimes I’m moving in the same direction as the crowd, but I’m not part of the crowd. And there’s nothing wrong with the crowd either.

As a disclaimer, I never assume that my way, my opinions, or my choices are ever any better for anyone or anything else beyond my own life.  They’re just better for me. My personal preferences should never be taken as a judgement against others. (although I am not so naive as to think that such a statement will prevent it) If one were to say their favorite color is orange and they hate the color green, no one else would assume that it’s a personal attack or judgement against people who adore the color green.

I never really explained my choices of blog name before, and it’s not precisely necessary to explain my self either.  Post military I feel like I have more room to breathe, and I feel like it’s so much more important to delve into the reasons behind certain things that I do.  Life is so much more uncertain, while at the same time I no longer feel weighed down by uncertainty.  I think this is going to be good.

Welcome. Welcome!

March 19, 2013


Say hello to my new blog!

I have lots to update, and plenty to move forward with.

If you came here from my previous blog, thank you for sticking with me!  I know it has been silent for quite a few months.

I’m still “no poo” (9 months and going!) and I’ve been up to a few interesting things.  I’m also on a weight loss journey, and hope to soon after that embark on the adventure that is having children. I might even have a few things to say about life after the military. 😉

If you’re new here, I hope I’ve piqued your interest! Please stay tuned!

I’ve skimped quite a bit on the details here so far, but I hope to have it all fleshed out asap 🙂