Well. I don't stink (not yet anyhow). It is now 72 hours since I have washed my hair with shampoo (48 hours since using the baking soda and water). I don't know why I find this so surprising and impressive. I guess it is because this "no poo" decision is just so unexpected and admittedly weird, I think I feel compelled to justify my decision by pointing to how "not bad" it is compulsively.
In any event, for someone that has never been able to go two days in a row without washing her hair (without pulling my hair into a ponytail and hoping no one came near it until I had a chance to wash it), three days in and everything is going remarkably well. This morning I again massaged my scalp and hair under fairly hot water in the shower, then blasted my head with cold water at the end of the shower. I made the mistake of exfoliating my legs with a mixture of sugar and sesame oil, and the oil was still on my hands a bit for my last massage of my scalp, so I could tell immediately that the oil had transferred. Nevertheless, I didn't wash with baking soda, because I thought I might as well find out how it would be once it was dry. I blow dried my hair, as usual, and ended with a cool shot. My hair feels excellent, but I can feel a bit of the oil. I am fairly sure it is not scalp oil, but the sesame oil. It doesn't look or smell oily, though, and Tim gave it the smell-test and said it smelled fine. Tomorrow after I give myself a scalp massage if the oil is still noticeable I will wash it with baking soda.
I'm not trying quite as many of the different options as some of the other "no poo-ers" out there in cyberspace (there are lots of resources available on the internet if you are thinking of kicking the habit but want to know everything to expect before you take the plunge, and believe me, there are many different ways to clean or condition your hair without any chemicals whatsoever). I really would like to quickly move to "water only" (WO) washes (which I have done for the past two days) and I can't help but think that if I keep using things in my hair to clean it (such as water with baking soda) that it will slow down the process. So for now I'm going to keep the baking soda rinses minimal, but trust me, the container I use to squirt the solution in my hair is sitting in the shower, waiting for its chance. I guess the initial adjustment period is just about figuring out what works best for you individually. Hopefully in the next couple weeks I will have it down to a science. And no more using the exfoliator before I finish with my hair unless I wash my hands well first!