FAQ/Troubleshooting

Guide on Terminology:

  • WO: Water Only
  • BBB: Boar Bristle Brush
  • ACV: Apple Cider Vinegar
  • BS: Baking Soda
  • Co Washing: Conditioner Only Washing
  • CGM: Curly Girl Method
  • NP: No Poo!

Should I give up shampoo straight away?

Some people prefer to wean themselves off of commercial shampoo by increasing the time between shampoo washes. Other people prefer to go cold turkey! It is completely up to you.

I exercise a lot, is sweat an issue?

Sweat is water-soluble, so as long as you are washing regularly, it’s not a problem.

How often should I wash/brush my hair?

As often as you feel you need to. Whenever you change your routine, it takes a while for your hair/scalp to get used to, so you should wait ~1 month before deciding that a particular No Poo method doesn’t work.

How long does the transition period last?

Most people find the transition periods lasts between 1 month and 3 months. However, it varies from person to person! And could take longer.

Is there a vegan alternative to boar bristle brushes?

Unvarnished wood can also be used. Some people say that plant fibres (agave, etc) also work. Or you could buy a used boar bristle brush (check eBay), so that your purchase doesn’t increase demand for new animal products.

Can I add essential oil to my hair?

Yes, that’s fine, but don’t add a lot and don’t add citrus oils – they react with sunlight and can cause skin irritation and staining.

My hairdresser washed my hair. What will happen now?

It’ll take a few days for your hair to feel right, but that’s about it. Just continue on with your normal No Poo routine.

How do you deal with dandruff?

There are many ways to deal with dandruff but the main questions is: what is causing your dandruff?

From simple things like bad nutrition and low hydration to light fungal problems to actual skin conditions that need medical treatment. So the remedies or treatments vary.

With the most common though, proper massaging, not using hot water, BBB, aloe, honey wash, co washing and ACV rinses can help the problem. Read our blog post on rosemary.

Hard water vs Soft Water

The hardness of your tap water has an effect on the efficiency of soap, shampoo, laundry detergent, dish soap, etc. — including your no-poo method. The harder the water, the more minerals the water contains — and the harder it is for soap to lather and clean. In hard water, more soap is needed to do the same job that less soap could do in softer water.

What it feels like: Soft water feels slippery when you wash your hair. Soap lathers easily and washes out easily. It’s the opposite in hard water. Hard water is more alkaline which causes the ridges on our hair shafts to stand up. The minerals in hard water get stuck on the rough edges of our hair strands, causing hair to feel tangly, dry, and unmanageable, feel like there is buildup on hair, cause color dye to wash out, and even cause dandruff.

To determine the hardness of your water, you can test it at home, but you should also look it up on your city’s website to see where your water falls on the hardness range. You can also ask your homeowner whether or not your home contains a water softening system (which would then mean you have softened water).

There are some inexpensive options you can use to soften your water. For hair washing, the two common solutions are to use distilled water (or boil your own water to remove some of the impurities – instructions here), or to install a shower head filter. Many people in this community have had success with AquaBliss.

Note: Bottled water doesn’t mean softened water and many times it’s no different from tap water, and drinking water filters don’t always remove hard minerals, so research these brands before buying and using.