I don't understand "no poo" method

I guess I don't quite understand this method. If I let my hair go too long between shampoos--and I only shampoo once a week, twice in summer, my scalp gets itchy and I get buildup in my hair. How can you keep your hair clean this way?


  • cryscurlscryscurls Registered Users Posts: 27
    I begin my response by saying I am new to this, but I can give you my very basic understanding. In no poo, you are using a conditioner which has surfactants (can't elaborate, learned by reading MILLIONS of posts) which can generally clean things like sweat, dust, sebum, etc from your hair. You are using your fingers to massage buildup from your scalp. The no poo method can't remove silicones from your hair. You will indeed get build up and need a "low-poo" (sulfate free) or clarifying shampoo at intervals that will vary depending on what you have actually used that built up on your hair. No poo works best when paired with avoiding products that build up. I don't know how to link particular posts, but there are many on this site that describe things that build up and require something stronger than a cowash to clean out of your hair. You can search for silicone free products in the product review section for examples. One of the posters on this site (sweetpeacurli, I think:dontknow:) has a site with information that has been really helpful for me:

  • les-leslieles-leslie Registered Users Posts: 10
    I'll start off by saying I'm new to this as well but this is what I've picked up. Conditioners have cleansing properties in them. I found that pre CG my scalp was only itchy because of product build up an dhavn't had and issue with having an itchy scalp since I've gone CG. When you go CG you do not use products that have cones which can cause build up. If you use product with cones you'll need to continue to use a sulfate sampoo to get rid of build up. If you use product without cones the conditioner can basically clean you hair without an issue. Many people still use a sulfate free shampoo, but I havn't needed to thus far. I read something where shampoo had almost the same properties as dish soap which def helped with my decision to go CG!


    this is from the "Intro to the no-poo method thread"

    " The first step is to either totally eliminate or seriously limit the use of shampoo to cleanse our hair and scalp, the second is to use a clear gel to help keep frizz out, and the third to handle the hair in a very gentle manner; the book included many pictures that illustrate how it’s done. The premise for this is tri-fold: 1) the fact that most commercial shampoos contain surfactants that are too harsh for our hair and tend to rob our hair of moisture, 2) that our hair tends to be more porous than straight hair, wIt is necessary to eliminate the use of most silicones (‘cones for short) from our hair care routine because most can only be removed from the hair with rather harsh shampoos. Washing with a CO while using them would cause them to quickly build up on the hair and this results in dull, matted hair and poor curl definition.
    hich makes totally rinsing out all traces of shampoo virtually impossible and that residue causes frizz, 3) the fact that most conditioners (COs) contain mild surfactants that paired up with a little manual friction are more than able to lift off dirt, debris and excess oil from our scalp and hair.
    CG November 26, 2009- loving it so far!
    co wash- prairie naturals tee tree conditioner
    Conditioner-L'Oreal Vive Pro Nutri Gloss
    Re:Coil, HETT, curls souffle

    -wishing I could find a place near me that sells AO!
  • curlygurl25curlygurl25 Registered Users Posts: 25
    Thanks for the advice. Any CO's people recommend that contain no silicones? I was thinking of using the JessiCurl line, which I assume was custom made for curly hair. Thanks.
  • CopaseticCopasetic Registered Users Posts: 222
    "No poo" doesn't work for everyone. Many people still shampoo once in a while, or switch to a SLS-free shampoo, because it works better for them than conditioner-only.
    co-wash: exact vanilla
    rinse out: tresseme naturals
    leave-in: giovanni direct leave-in
    stylers: kccc + he totally twisted mousse + coconut oil to sotc
  • pedahehpedaheh Registered Users Posts: 4,812 Curl Neophyte
    urlygurl25 Recommended no-poo
    Thanks for the advice. Any CO's people recommend that contain no silicones? I was thinking of using the JessiCurl line, which I assume was custom made for curly hair. Thanks.

    CG products on the left side of this blog
    Recommended starter products
    conditioner reviews, not all CG
    Wavy tale's ground product reviews
    conditioners and shampoos

    If you know your hair's properties, this will help you figure out which products are right for you. You need to learn your hair's porosity, elasticity, thickness, texture, and curl pattern.
    http://pedaheh.blogspot.com/ (a blog to help new wavies, go to the how do I get started page)
    2a (nc.com) 2bFi (Fia), very fine, thin, low/normal elasticity, porous, CG, doesn't get weighed down
    Cowash: Tresemme naturals
    Rinse out/leave in: Renpure Organics (red)
    Curl enhancer: FSG
    Gel: BRHG, Salon care aloe, Ecostyler Krystal (normal dews)
    PT: ION effective care, IAgirl's gelatin PT
    Low Poo: renpure (red), Ion swimmers
  • CurlyTreeNahCurlyTreeNah Registered Users Posts: 4
    Me neither i shampoo 1 to 2 times a week.
    I just look at shampoo as more of getting ride of the dirt, oil ect.
  • MizzFrizzMizzFrizz Registered Users Posts: 2
    One of the things covered in the book is the itchy scalp thing. She writes that our scalp is damaged, so when you stop shampooing, it starts to heal, which usually means an itchy scalp. I went through that and it does go away. The itch lasted almost three days for me, but most say it goes away in about a day. Also, something mentioned in the book that I didn't see on the sticky, is that when you first start, your hair may actually look great then suddenly look worse than before for about two weeks. If you can make it past this phase, you will see an incredible positive change to your hair. Of course, if you shampoo, then you are back to square one. If you do have buildup, there are recipes that you can use to remove the buildup without shampooing.
  • Gemini13Gemini13 Registered Users Posts: 5,000
    Me neither i shampoo 1 to 2 times a week.
    I just look at shampoo as more of getting ride of the dirt, oil ect.

    Co-washing can do the exact same thing... it just won't strip your hair of oil the way shampoo can.
    Brooklyn, NY

    Hair: 3A/B, Underlayer of 2B
    HG products:
    Winter- Giovanni Tea Tree (co-wash) & 50/50 (condish); Curl Junkie Curl Assurance Leave-In; Curls Milkshake & Quenched Curls; Re:coil; BRHG
    Summer: DevaCurl No Poo & OneC; CK; Re:coil; BRHG; Honey!!!

    fotki pw= crrrls
  • WurlyLoxWurlyLox Registered Users Posts: 4,858 Curl Neophyte
    It's true that no-poo doesn't work for everyone, me for one, but that doesn't mean you have to use sulfates to remove silicones. Per the Curly Chemist on this site, coco betaine is sufficient to remove most, if not all, and it's in most sulfate-free 'poos.

    And even if you never use shampoo, it doesn't mean you aren't washing your hair. Shampoo is a relatively new thing anyway - no one used it or even soap to wash hair until the last couple hundred years, much less than that for actual shampoo. And, of course, they certainly didn't have the conditioners that we are fortunate to have for co-washing - they used other methods such as those suggested in the CG book.
    2C/3A/3B - modified CG - fairly fine now, normal/low porosity/normal elasticity

    Current Main Rotation: MG217 medicated or Aim2Health 'poos for scalp, Elucence cond., Spiral Solutions Protein & Deeply Decadent Cond., CJCCCC reg or lite,CJ Pattern Pusha,, Giovanni LA Hold Hair Spritz + lots more, sporadically

    HG Method: Super Soaker + Smasters-ing, brief upside down diffusing w/360o diffuser then clips/clamps & air dry. Newly gray - stopped my henna glosses!

  • geminikissgeminikiss Registered Users Posts: 88 Curl Novice
    right before we do cg method do you have to use a no-poo shampoo or something of that sort to get rid of cones or something. im sorry im confused :(
    3a, normal porosity, fine texture, normal elasticity
    experimenting with:
    co-wash: suave naturals
    rinse-out: tresemme naturals moisturizing conditioner
    other products: nothing yet

  • 85MR285MR2 Registered Users Posts: 226
    geminikiss wrote: »
    right before we do cg method do you have to use a no-poo shampoo or something of that sort to get rid of cones or something. im sorry im confused :(

    You need to do one last wash with a regular sulfate shampoo (make sure it's cone-free as well) to get any remaining silicone product out of your hair. THEN, you stop using the shampoos with sulfates and either conditioner rinse or use a "no-poo" option. CG methods will not remove silicones "or cones" out of your hair however, so once you do that final shampoo and get them out, don't put more in! When I tried to go CG the first time my conditioner I was using to wash my hair was full of cones and I was a greasy mess. The silicones coat your hair, get gunky over time, and don't allow moisture in. I did it right this time and it's working out great! Good luck!

    Here, they say it WAY better than I do...http://www.wikihow.com/Follow-the-Curly-Girl-Method-for-Curly-Hair
    CG since 2/23/10!

    2B 3A mix, fine texture and high porosity at crown/bangs, normal elsewhere. I like protein!

    Trying to grow out a short haircut.

    WASH: Jessicurl Cleansing Cream (once every week or so)
    CONDITION: Jessicurl Too Shea! or Aloeba Conditioner
    STYLE: Jessicurl Gelebration Spray/Awe Inspiraling Spray

    http://public.fotki.com/85MR2/ (PICS OF CG TRANSITION SO FAR) Need to update. No pics with the Jessicurl products yet, but I LOVE them!
  • rbbrbb Registered Users Posts: 4,357 Curl Connoisseur
    i agree with what has been said --no poo is using a conditioner to massage your scalp (important to remove sweat, etc.), then rinse out before you use more conditioner to leave in.
    i think of shampooing as using a conditioner type with a surfactant like coco beta...... to remove any buildup without removing moisture. i think it can even remove many of the milder cones, altho i no longer use them. i do use a surfactant type conditioner/shampoo once a week. i have not used a sulfate shampoo since early 2005 when i found out about the cg method. and my hair is shiny, clean, smells nice. i believe the key is to massage your scalp whatever you are using.

    3a, some 2c & 3b, medium texture, porosity normal, low elasticity :-(
    washing/cowashing, conditioning, protein tx: curl junkie products
    leave in:curl junkie conditioners and treatments as leave in
    styling: curl junkie 
    sealants - jane carter nourish & shine

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