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Please help my hair
November 27, 2011 - 7:20 pm

I'm having trouble finding a shampoo alternative.  I've tried no-poo, and it just doesn't work for me.  My hair just gets greasier and greasier.  Various baking soda and vinegar treatments weren't helpful.  Now I'm trying bar soap, but I can't ever get my hair clean.  Is bar shampoo any different from bar soap?  Does anybody have any tips for shampooing with a bar, or can you tell me what to look for when buying a shampoo bar?  Can you think of anything else that might be good for oily hair?  I'm so sick of having nasty, dull, oily hair.  I really miss my shampoo and conditioner!

December 3, 2011 - 11:24 am

I spent over a year trying to go plastic free and no-poo.  I tried baking soda, vinegar, water washing, shampoo bars, lemon juice, boiling the baking soda in water, etc.  I would have horribly flaky and oily hair with dry ends after two days.  The longest I ever made it before my scalp was awful was three days.

I have finally found something that works for me, but I am not plastic free or poo free, but I can go a week between hair washings!  I use a shampoo bar on the length of my hair stopping about a half an inch from my scalp.  Then I use a nickel size amount of shampoo to wash my scalp.  I alternate the shampoo between Burts Bees Grapefruit and Sugarbeet and Trader Joes Refresh.  (When these run out, I will see what shampoos are in bulk in my town-but it is going to take years to use these up!)  I scrub my scalp well, let it sit while I wash the rest of me.  Then I rinse out really well with water, and do a final rinse with lemon juice in water (about 1/4 cup lemon juice to 2 cups water-yes the lemon juice from plastic bottles-I have used juice from one real lemon in water before and that works well).  I don't rinse out the lemon juice.  My hair feels smooth and slimy like seaweed when I am done.  I put a pea size bit of leave in conditioner on my ends.  My scalp no longer is greasy, my dry scalp flakes are decreasing every week.  I have been doing this for about a month and a half.   My hair stays smooth, shiny, grease free, and no dry ends all week.


I will go put real lemons on my grocery list right now!

December 3, 2011 - 3:38 pm

Wow, that's complicated!  I was actually down to one shampoo a week, but I ran out and I'm trying not to buy more.  I think I'll see what I can do with Dr. Bronner's — those gallon jugs have to be less plastic than the equivalent in 8 oz. bottles.

December 3, 2011 - 4:32 pm

The thing is with going poo free is that it takes your scalp time to adjust.  It is used to having the oil stripped from it every time you shampoo, that is why your hair gets oily so quickly with the baking soda solution.  I have waist-length hair and have been poo free for over a year now.  At first, I washed my hair every other day for about 8 weeks because it would get too greasy if I waited too long.  Gradually, I was able to go up to a week between washings.  During the summer I wash my hair about every 3 days because I tend to sweat more, but during the winter I wash about once a week.  However, poo free doesn't work for everyone.  My husband just didn't like not having lather.  I buy him shampoo bars from A Wild Soap Bar.  It works for him. 

December 5, 2011 - 12:16 pm

That site is SO TEMPTING!  Santa should bring me one of everything.

August 6, 2012 - 1:42 pm

On the topic of shampoo and conditioner, I decided to try bar shampoo.  There are many to choose from, but I finally decided to try J. C. Liggett.  I ordered two bars on line, one with lavender oil and the other called an all-purpose bar that came with a little carrying pouch, really nice for camping or travel.  And yes, I use the bar on my body as well as my hair.  I am pleased with the results.  My well water is pretty “hard” but the soap still lathers.  One bar has lasted about two months. 

I have white hair which is very fine and fly-away, so I didn’t think I could give up conditioner but have gradually stopped using it.  In place of the styling gel or paste pomade that I’ve used in the past, I decided on a Burt’s Bees product called Miracle Salve, recommended for dry skin and hair. (It comes in a metal container.)  After washing and drying my hair, I rub a glob of the salve into my skin — hands, arms and face.  When it’s almost all absorbed, I run my hands through my hair with just enough oil to calm down the fly-aways.  Everyone’s hair is different, and you have to find your own favorites.  But these are mine!  This has been the best summer ever for my hair!

Beth Terry
409 Posts
August 8, 2012 - 12:12 pm

Hey Clancy, I will have to try that!

Jill DeVine
May 15, 2013 - 8:59 am

I finally just got around to reading the reviews about hair care products. I switched several months ago to the “no poo” hair cleaner, and with great success. I have curly hair that is frizzy all over the place when not tamed. I used to use Aubrey Organics B5 Design Gel (long list of what looks to be clean, natural ingredients), but of course it comes in a plastic bottle. I found a source that suggests using gelatin for hair gel. Well, as a vegan, I couldn’t do that, so I experimented with cornstarch, arrowroot, and Agar Agar flakes (a natural sea vegetable thickener), the latter of which works REALLY well for me. It comes in a 1 oz PLASTIC package in most natural food stores, and costs about $10, but I found two food coops in my area who sell it in bulk form, and at a more affordable price. Just follow directions for dissolving in hot water. I put it in a glass pump bottle which makes it easier to dispense. You could add essential oil if you like.


PS-I LOVE this website…

Beth Terry
409 Posts
May 15, 2013 - 10:59 am

For the past year, I’ve been using MadeOn’s Second Life Hair Butter.  (  I had been using Product (, which worked great, but I didn’t love the plastic lid on the jar.  So when the jar I had ran out, I switched to the Hair Butter, which comes in a metal tin.  And I love it.  It really gets rid of the frizz without making my hair totally greasy.  It’s not a holding product like gel, mind you.  But I don’t need my hair to stay still… I just want it to be smoother.  And the only ingredients are shea butter, coconut oil, beeswax, and orange essential oil.

May 28, 2013 - 5:26 pm

I use the shampoo bars from Chagrin Valley, and I absolutely love them. They ship their bars plastic free, except for the packing tape. The classic no poo baking soda and vinegar never worked for me, and neither did plain castile soap (Dr Bronners, and I tried mixing in a few other things), so I was so happy to find the shampoo bars. I think they are somewhat different from regular soap bars, but I don’t know exactly how. 


Right now I’ve been using hot oil treatments for moisturizing and keeping my hair not too tangly, but the oils all come in plastic bottles, so I have to work on that. I’m glad to see the recommendations here. 


Also relevant – I have hip-length or a bit longer hair, and hard water. 

May 29, 2013 - 4:20 am


Have you tried argan oil, i buy pure organic argan oil from Ebay, it comes in a glass bottle, some have the pump spray already in the bottle but some do not.  I have not very plastic free bleached blonde hair and this makes it feel like real hair instead of straw!!  I work it in to damp hair before drying.  You would need to experiment with the amount needed, better to add a liittle at a time, I have discovered that a small amount can be added to dry hair.  I also use this on my face and body as a non-toxic, chemical free and natural moisturiser every day.

July 18, 2013 - 6:19 am

Wow, I haven’t been back in a while and I’d forgotten all about this thread!

I’ve been using Chagrin Valley shampoo bars for a while now.  My hair needed some time to adjust, but I found a formula I like and I’ve been sticking with it since last fall or winter.  I shampoo about once a week, which is what I’d been doing since 2009 when I tried and gave up on the no-poo method.  I put Product on the ends sometimes, but I’ll probably try that hair butter or see if Chagrin Valley has something similar in a metal tin.  Product is also a great detangler for my kids, and I like having just the one jar around.

The strangest thing about the all-natural hair care is how BIG my hair has become!  I’ve always had very straight, flat hair, and now it has lots of wave and body.  It’s also gotten pretty long, and I’m a little afraid to cut it because I don’t know how it will behave anymore.  But I found what I wanted:  a simple routine, and my hair looks and feels clean.

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