no-poo motivation series – nina’s story

hey crunchies! tonight is very, very special, as it is our first no-poo motivation series guest post! it’s from the lovely nina ❤
she’s kept in touch her whole journey and i was so so so excited that she was willing to share her story with all of us!


Hi guys! My name is Nina and I’m here to share my story with no-‘poo.  This is gonna be a wordy post, but I hope you get use from it.

When my friend Bella first told me about no-poo, I thought it was weird and impossible, and I was happy with my Herbal Essences and a-pound-of-mousse-day routine.  But with research on this awesome blog, I found that I needed to switch; so I did. I have thick, dark, frizzy and curly hair, (I’m Italian, if you haven’t guessed. :)) I chose to do lemon juice and vitamin e oil for my routine… diluted of course. 🙂  Here’s my hair uncut and not clarified:

Screen Shot 2013-11-20 at 6.38.31 PM

I clarified (with castile soap and acv) as soon as school went out and went for a haircut the next day.  But, my hairdresser was very rotten about no-‘poo, and she washed my hair with the products after I ask her not to. L  So I clarified again and within a week, a washed my hair with lemon juice and vitamin e oil.  I was very surprised when my hair didn’t get oily, AT ALL. I thought that maybe I didn’t do it right, or maybe I was a lucky one.

I started to stretch out the days, and it was very easy for me.  I went from every other day (and sometimes every 3 days) to every week in one month.  The only time I ever had to wash often was when my hair got oily (only 2 times); I would go in the shower and do a plain diluted lemon juice, no conditioner, and it worked like a charm.  I think the reason I got oily hair both times was because I put the conditioner on my scalp.  Here’s my hair after my first wash and cut:

Screen Shot 2013-11-20 at 6.38.52 PM

I have a confession to make for the crunchy community: I only deep conditioned once. (the week after I washed)  Bless me crunchy community for I have sinned. I know, I know, I need to deep condition.  But my hair never felt desperate for it, and to be honest, I’m a very lazy person. (yes, Bella, you heard me 🙂 )  But, when I did deep condition, I used an accommodated (I didn’t have all the ingredients Alex’s recipe called for) version of the dry hair conditioner.  It made my hair soft, but I had so much build-up. And I don’t know if I’ve told you, but I had a huge build-up problem before no-poo, but no-poo helped clear it away.  So I washed with lemon juice and vitamin e oil, and it got out some of it; but my hair was back to normal. This is my hair deep  conditioning process…

Screen Shot 2013-11-20 at 6.39.18 PM

I have an above ground pool, that is part chlorine and part salt.  Every time I got out of the pool, I use the acv conditioner mix and it worked very well.  traveling with no-poo has been very easy; half of the time, I only need to bring some natural bar soap or castile soap and an extra 3oz bottle and I’m set!  This is my hair after about a month of no-‘poo… it grew 4  inches in 2 months!

Screen Shot 2013-11-20 at 6.40.10 PM

I just switched over to Shea Moisture shampoo (with the vitamin e oil conditioner still) coconut & hibiscus for thick & curly hair.  I also use the matching spray for frizz control.  They work really well; I dilute the shampoo a little less than 1 part shampoo to 5 parts water.  I was my hair a little more often (every 3 days or so) just because I love the smell so much and it leaves my hair so soft and nourished. 🙂  Here’s my hair after my first Shea Moisture wash:

Screen Shot 2013-11-20 at 6.40.19 PM

Okay, so here are some products I recommend/my beauty and hair line-up:

Screen Shot 2013-11-20 at 6.40.29 PM

  • Affilia African Black Soap-$6-16oz-Whole Foods: gentle cleanser for my face, hands and body (diluted).  I got a citrus scented one and it smells delicious!
  • Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap-$10-16oz-Whole Foods or really anywhere: duh. if you buy one thing, buy this. I do full strength to clean my retainer.  I use it with my hands, face and body diluted with coconut oil every once in a while.  My favorite scents are rose, almond, and lavender.
  • Shea Budda (Butter, but I like saying it that way.)-about $1/oz-Whole Foods: I whip it up with so coconut oil and essential oil for a moisturizing body butter/lotion.  It has a very strong earthy scent that I don’t really prefer, but I still like it.
  • Essential oil-depends on the flavor-Whole Foods is a gold mine for EO’s!: I only have one right now, Mandarin.  I want lavender and peppermint next.  These thing are just awesome; remember that a little goes a looooooong way.
  • Tea tree oil-$7-1oz-Trader Joes or Whole Foods: I make my own hand sanitizer with this, rubbing alcohol, and vitamin e oil. I also make my own lip balm, and sometimes I’ll add this and peppermint extract for a mint-eos-feel.
  •  Beeswax-$12-1lb-Whole Foods: I melted the 1lb block and put it into an ice cube tray.  one cube=6 lip balms. seriously. just melt it with some shea, coconut oil, vanilla, almond, or peppermint extract(and tea tree oil), and some honey and SCOOP (scoop it with a spoon into the containers for better texture and accessibility than pouring it in hot) it once it’s a little cool into 50 cent lip balm jars from Walmart in the travel section.
  • Lavender Salt Scrub-$5-10. I forget.-20 oz- Trader Joe’s: great scent and moisturizer with some awesome ingredients.  I use it for shaving—but rinse before shaving—it hurts when it gets stuck in the raser!
  • Biggs and Featherbelle Momma Bar-around $4-regular sized bar-Whole Foods: They have a little display there with all sorts of B&F bars; this one it lavender scented.  I use it for the face and body.
  • Trader Joe’s No-Flouride Fennel Toothpaste-$2-Trader Joe’s. duh.: I actually like the taste and its feel, even though I’m not a fennel person.  the only thing is, it has carrageenan. I think I’m gonna start making my own.
  • Tom’s of Maine Lavender Deodorant-$4-anywhere: this doesn’t work for very long, but has a nice scent at first.  I’m gonna start making my own.
  • Cute Mini Spice Jars-my mom forgot where she got them and how much they were. ugh.  but maybe Whole Foods? or Home Goods? anyway, great for hold deo, toothpowder/paste, lotion, etc.

Okay, so this is the end of my post.  Please comment questions and I’ll answer them.  It’s such an honor to post on this blog; I love this blog and Alex!  If there’s anything else I have to share about my no-poo journey, maybe I’ll update it.  I would like to say thanks to Bella for introducing this routine to me! Bye crunchy community!

-Nina ❤


isn’t nina the greatest?
leave her some love… and questions!

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27 thoughts on “no-poo motivation series – nina’s story

  1. hi guys,
    i’m 3 months on no poo now and i am still stuck in transition. i used dry shampoo for about 2 months and could go a week without actually washing. now that i quit dry shampoo (i’m using white clay for washing btw) my hair is greasy on the first or second day after washing! i’m totally frustrated by now. any ideas? i also changed routine from clay to bs/acv to castile mix to egg yolk to low poo and finally back to clay. nothing really seemed to work. my hair gets greasy all.the.time! i have fine natural light brown hair. i only noticed more volume during the time which i am very greateful for. i just wanna have clean shiny hair again. ;-(

  2. so I am on day 3 of no poo baking soda acv method first i’m a little confused do I use this every day or do water only on some days in between? and also it is winter time now and ever since I have done no poo my hair is extremely static, im guessing its because I don’t have silicones to weigh it down. so what can I do to help this

    1. Hi Laura! You can rinse with water anytime. Do bs and avc every other or three days or as many days as you can go in between washes. As for static, I have this problem too. The best thing to do is KEEP YO HANDS OFFA IT. 😉 and when you go to bed, or are just around the house, or the static gets to be too much, just put it in a loose low ponytail. Let me know if you have any more questions.
      Nina ❤

  3. Hey guys, I’ve been doing no poo for 7 months now. I still can’t seem to get it right. Its either too oily or too dry. I have light brown to blonde hair that is wavy/curly and not thick or thin. My hair is horrible at growing. I’m even taking Biotin to help it grow. However, my hair has completely changed consistency! Before I had to moose it to make it all curl the same or flat iron it to get it all straight. I now pretty much have beach babe waves…yay! Plus my hair is STRETCHY! At first this really conserned me, but my friend (a hair stylist for 19 years) said that is a sign of healthy hair… finally. I spent several months in mexico so that was hard on it from all the sun and salt, but it was easy to find good natural deep conditioners, like cinnamon, papaya,honey. Now im back in the Midwest of USA and am trying to readjust my ruitine to suit the cold. I have been trying Alex’s Clay mix. But it still leaves my hair oily. I’m going to try diluting it. But I may try the lemon next. It is soooo frustrating… I got a few of my friends switched over and they now have hair to their butts! So unfair. But I’m holding out hope… thanks guys for telling your stories. It helps me hang in there.

  4. I am sooooo furstrated with the no-poo! Obviously I don’t wanna (wont) gave up but I can’t seem to get it. My hair is sometime extra dry and with no shine at all, and other times it is super oily.
    The only pro so far is the increased volume of the hair. H.E.L.P.

  5. I love u Nina!! So happy u did this. I would say more to u but I will see u tomorrow so yeah. And they say friends are alike so I will admit this and this is a one-time-only thing but yes….I am lady. But u love me anyway. I couldn’t think of anyone better than u to go on this journey with.
    – ❤ always Bella

  6. Hi Nina! Thx for sharing. Did you not go through a transitioning phase at all? Do you know of any blondies that have had success with alternative poo? It’s been two months, and I’m still not quite there. I’m starting I wonder if I will ever get there. It seems like the success stories I hear about are all people with thick, dark hair. And I am the opposite of that-long, blond, fine. I really don’t want to give up. I love being chemical free. I just don’t know how much longer I can deal with this extra oil. Thx again for sharing!

    1. Hi tori! I had absolutely no transition phase at all. I don’t know any blond no-pooer’s yet, but the color doesn’t really matter. I think you should try doing diluted low-poo for a while, then once you’ve transitioned, go to nopoo, if you want. That worked for my friend Bella; before, she had oily hair transition for 3 months! Do you have a boar brush? you can get them at walmart for literally $2! (thats where i got mine) also, try some of alex’s oily hair treatment, and research others, too. I’ll do a little research for you too. I’m glad and honored to share my story. Please let me know what happens, and NEVER GIVE UP ON NOPOO! (/low poo 🙂 )

    2. Hey Tori,

      I feel your pain! I have very fine, very thin, very blonde hair which is very oil prone. The fine, thin, blonde hair tends to show oil so much more too, so even semi oily days can seem awful! I’m on about day 42 of my transition and I’m still trying to stretch out the days but the most I can really go is 3 days and it looks super oily by the time I need to wash it again. Very annoying!

      Usually I use the baking soda/ACV routine which works ok, but when it gets super oily ill use egg yolks which help a ton! I tried using the clay shampoo posted here, but it just left my hair too greasy 😦 On days when I don’t want to wash but it’s looking oily, the dry shampoo helps a ton, but I usually need to wash the next day or it starts looking super oily.

      What routine are you using? We should start a support group for people with our kind of hair lol. The only posts I tend to see are from people with thick, full, dark hair. Unhelpful for girls like us! Haha.

      Hope your transition gets a little easier!


      1. Hi Devon-
        Thanks so much for responding. We really do need a blond-no poo support group. Haha! I think the oil is more visible on lighter, finer hair. The method that works best for me is the egg. I wish I could use it every other day, but Alex advises only once a week b/c of the protein. The clay shampoo works as well as the egg on the oil, but it dries out my scalp. And when I use honey on my scalp, my roots get oily. Its a vicious circle.

        I think I am going to take a different approach and see how it goes. Instead of trying to find one method that will work all the time, I am going to use different methods based on the state of my hair and scalp. I had hoped to find a routine I didn’t have to think about. That is the one thing I miss about conventional shampoo. Its like McDonald’s at the airport. Its not doing you any favors, but you know exactly what you are getting every time. No skill involved. But alas, nothing worth doing is easy…Good luck to everyone! I feel confident that we will all have gorgeous locks in a few months, and Alex will have a small army of unlicensed hair chemists to go out and change the world. ❤

      2. Hi there, I am a blonde no pooer! I’ve been no poo for about three months. I have strawberry blonde hair with some highlights, that is type 3c on naturally curly. ( which means it fluctuates between ringlets and waves but can be straightened if blow dried ). I use 1 part castille soap in rose to 7 parts water to wash my roots, and 1 part acv to 4 parts water for my rinse. I also use Shea moistures conditioner in te shower JUST on the length of my hair, rinse out and the put just a dab back in my ends as a leave in with argan oil. I use Shea moistures coconut curling milk with a little of bella mari’s organic hair gel. An when I say a little hair gel, I mean a dime size amount ( my hair is halfway down my back). I rarely blowdry anymore and had my stylist put in some lowlights so I can go longer between highlighting (3 months or so).
        I definitely need to deep condition! I’ve tried coconut and other oils but I couldn’t get it out of my hair either. I know use egg yoke and raw honey hair mask and love it! Washes out great!

        Sorry this is so long hope it is helpful. Another plus, my hairdresser told me my hair is significantly healthier! She asked what Ive been using bc she wants to try it:) didn’t have the heart to tell her I was fully no poo, but told her about the diluting Shea moisture shampoo.

  7. You said you put lemon juice in your hair. I thought that that would dye your hair? If you could tell me why that would be great!

    1. Hi Kendall! I heard the same thing, but I wasn’t very worried. It really doesn’t lighten your hair at all, especially if you’re not in the sun that much. (But I was in the sun a lot, and it still didn’t lighten my hair.) hope this helps! Let me know if you. Have any more questions.

      1. Replying to ktlou25… I just get organic Lemon juice from whole foods. any brand is fine, as long as it’s organic and has no additives, it should be fine. i haven’t tried straight lemons yet… huh. 🙂
        -Nina ❤

  8. Well done Nina, It’s encouraging to see No-poo success stories!
    I have some questions for anyone with experience…I’ve tried no-poo for about 3 months now, but I can’t seem to get the formula right yet. My hair is very thick and semi-curly (read coarse and frizzy), I therefore feel I need to deep condition at least once a week. My scalp sometimes gets oily after 4 days of no washing, but my hair feels very dry and coarse. The problem with deep conditioning is that I can’t get the oily stuff out again-I have castille soap and even with this I need to wash very vigorously at least 4 or 5 times to get oil out and then my hair just feels dry and coarse again. I thought that I just need to give my hair more time, but its not really changing. Can you give me the exact name of the shea shampoo you’re using-I’m thinking of giving that a go. I do want to keep the regime as simple as possible, but I think maybe my hair needs some extra attention??

    Also, what vitamin E oil do you use? just the normal one for body use?
    And do you just do the Lemon juice wash and rinse, without using any ACV afterwards?

    Thanks in advance for the advice! I’m hearing such positive stories that I just can’t give up on No-poo yet!


    1. Not sure if this will help, but I made a low poo diluted mixture with water (1:6 parts shampoo) (i used desert essence moisturizing coconut) and added just a tiny teaspoon of Olive oil. I washed my hair and rinsed, then used the regular ACV/water conditioning rinse and left it alone!
      My hair was super dry before I added the olive oil but with it, it has completely given it the moisture it needed. I probably didn’t even need a whole tsp (too much will get your hair greasy, especially by washing it on your roots too).
      Maybe add a bit of it to your wash each time? I wouldn’t make a whole pitcher with it because oil doesn’t rinse out so well so you might end up pouring oil on top of oil.
      Anyways, I hope maybe this helps?

    2. I don’t know if this will be helpful to you, but I experienced the same type of severe dryness the first time I washed. I decided not to use castile soap since it does have a lot of oils in it, so I used a low ‘poo shampoo (Desert Essence moisturizing Coconut), diluting to 1:6 parts with water. I added just a teaspoon of olive oil with the mix to give my hair some moisture.
      It was exactly what my hair needed. I didn’t need more than that (my hair isn’t super thick); it completely brought back that soft, shiny texture/complexion. I simply mixed the low-‘poo/water mix with a tsp EVOO, and washed my whole head. I followed up with a 1 tsp: 1 cup water ACV rinse, focusing more on the mid-part of my hair to the ends (don’t want to get too greasy up top!)
      Anyways, this really worked for me! Maybe it would work for you too? I would make only one batch at a time, washing with the olive oil in the rinse may end up making your hair too greasy since it would be adding oil on top of oil.
      Hopefully, using this as a beginning regiment could help your transition be a lot smoother. Hope this helps! (Sorry this was so long)


    3. Hi Liske! I use the Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Shampoo for thick and curly hair. It has a pink label, and it’s at Target. I would dilute it a little less than one to five. I fit my Vitamin e oil from giant, it’s, like, nature’s way or something. It can be used for the body and orally. I think they have one at trader joes that’s much less expensive 🙂 I do a quarter cup lemon juice with one cup water formula, and do a 1/2 teaspoon vitamin e oil with 1/2 cup water for the conditioner. They’re both alternatives Alex recommends for the regular baking soda and acv routine, that’s not very nourishing for curly hair. I hope this helps! And PLEASE don’t give up no-poo! Tell me if you have any more questions. 🙂

      1. Thanks for all the replies! I’m going to give it a go! I’ve been trying water only, with castille soap after deep condition, but maybe my hair needs some time with low-poo before I can make a complete switch.I might actually try the lemon juice wash for a few washes first. And Tori (I think), I also have blond hair, plus curly-frizzy-coarse-extremely thick…and also been doing no-poo for a couple of months with little success, so maybe blond does take longer? Is this even realistically possible anyone?? Have no clue, but I’ll let you all know how it goes. (PS. I’m from South Africa, so I’ll have to do a hunt for some of the products-probably online.) Anyway, sorry for the long post, but I appreciate all the help! Thanks for a great blog!

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