Wednesday, September 21, 2011

All About Hair

Ever since I decided I was going to Georgia last month I've been very concerned about one thing in particular. That is my hair. Why? Well, depending on where I end up living I could wind up only being able to take a shower once or twice a week. I may not even have warm water in my house. And this worries me, not because I'm concerned that I'm going to smell bad (besides, if no one else is taking a shower, who is really going to notice) but I'm very concerned about my hair. I'm not one of those girls who takes an hour every day to do my hair. I wash it, dry it and throw it up. But, my hair tends to be very greasy. Usually if I go longer than 24 hours with out washing... you can tell...
Now, I know it's not supposed to be healthy to wash your hair every day. Hairdressers and magazines always recommend only every 3 days or less if you can. It's not healthy to be pouring, basically, detergent on your hair every day. But, clearly my head is a shampoo addict and if I'm only going to be showering once a week, I decided this addiction my hair has needs to be stopped.

So, I just did a little google search, back after I got home from Spain and I found blog after blog spouting this "No-'Poo" fad. I hate the name because it sounds like something else, but 'poo stands for shampoo. There are a lot of people trying to go greener/ natural and cut out the use of commercial shampoos and conditioners. So, what to use? Baking soda and Apple Cider Vinegar. Yup, no joke. Apparently before dish detergent, people used to use baking soda to even wash dishes... so I guess it's not so far off. Cuts grease on pans and hair.

So, my theory: if I can get my hair off it's addiction to shampoo, I will be able to go longer without showering or washing my hair while in Georgia (and perhaps I can continue the hair washing trend once I leave as well if things are going well). So, Somewhere in mid-August I stopped shampooing my hair and I switched to, first, just baking soda. I mixed one table spoon of baking soda to one cup of water in an old shampoo bottle and just poured the mixture over my hair. The first thing I noticed was that there was no lather. It's like pouring water on your hair.. while in the shower. It was hard to believe it would do anything.

Making an herbal mixture: rosemary, nasturtium, marigold, chamomile etc.  

The first week I only used that baking soda mixture and nothing else. It didn't really seem to do a whole lot, my hair was always greasy, but that's what the blogs also said would happen. Your hair would revolt in protest to the lack of the shampoo and get super greasy. So, I kept trying and waiting. A week later I worked in an herbal rinse made of my own concoction of various herbs and flowers found in my garden. It didn't seem to help or hurt, but I'm still using that. Then about a week after that I started adding the apple cider vinegar to my hair (about 2 tablespoons to about a cup of water). I found that without the apple cider vinegar, after 2 weeks of just using the baking soda and the herbal stuff, my hair was much more stable and less greasy, but my hair was also very flat, stiff and always had just the slightest oily feel to it. The first day I added the apple cider vinegar to it it felt much more alive and soft to the touch, but since then, the apple cider has actually made it feel greasier and I've cut down a lot on using that.

Now, after a month, my hair is still not quite showing the results that the "no-poo" bloggers brag about. My hair nearly always needs to be kept in a bun because its flat and ugly and slightly greasy (to the touch, but is much less noticeable by others now).

My hair on a non-washed day a few weeks ago. Looks ok... but got to keep it in that bun..

Yesterday I got a hair cut. I planned on getting it really short so that there would be less hair that needed to be washed. I have very thick hair and I think part of the problem is that it's just hard for the baking soda mixture to reach every strand. But, the hair dresser was convinced that if she cut my hair any shorter than just above the shoulder that I would look ugly or something and so I have this cute but not nearly short enough cut now that's not really long enough to put up, but just long enough to be annoying. She shampooed it too, and today it feels so nice after being shampooed... so.. not greasy! I miss my old hair! Now, the experiment will be to see how long this hair can go without being washed again after getting a thorough cleaning yesterday. And to see how it looks since I can no longer put it up in a bun like before. This will be the real test.

 The new do- with an without a new hair band I bought that I hope will hide the grease later when needed...


  1. What about keeping your normal shampoo but shampooing less frequently? I used to be a daily shampooer. Over the summer, I transitioned to shampooing every other day, although on the weekends I will sometimes stretch it out (so shampooing on Thursday, Sunday, Tues).

  2. Well, I used to shampoo less in college, but had to bump it up to every day because it was pretty obvious that I wasn't... that's why I was hesitant to try that approach.

    But, seeing as how I don't want to bring a box of white powder into Georgia.... I have decided that I will bring shampoo with me. I have found an organic shampoo which is made with many clarifying herbs (Sodium Laurel Sulfate is the only chemical, that's for the lather effect) I haven't tried it yet, but I plan to start using it soon... maybe I'll even start today to see if it works. The cool thing about this shampoo, though, is that it is in a bar, not a bottle. It saves on plastic and space. Very cool from the store "Lush".

  3. So interesting! I'm trying to go chemical free around the house in many ways, but haven't tried with shampoo yet. It makes so much sense: how about *not* pouring chemicals over your head, so close to your brain? Ha. Funny though, I feel the same way about hair. I hate spending time on it, but it's the one thing I'm a little vain over when traveling. I just don't want it to look like crap *all* the time! ;) Bon courage, my friend! Hope your organic stuff does the trick!

    When do you leave for Georgia?! Now THAT'S an adventure. Can't wait to read updates!

  4. Aimee, if you're intersted, just google "no 'Poo and you'll come up with all sorts of natural stuff. Or, you can just buy an organic shampoo too!

    I leave for Georgia on the 29th, so just one week left!