Monday, June 27, 2011

Say, I Just Noticed....

.... that my hair appears to be getting longer! Looking at the two recent pictures of my hair (and after deleting tons of the older ones from a month ago from my phone just today) it appears that my hair is indeed getting longer! I wouldn't say it is growing faster than normal, but I'm pretty happy with the length of it after being somewhat depressed at how short my last trim seemed to leave it.... though that was definitely necessary.

I've been doing a lot in my garden lately and I'm super happy that my rosemary plant is taking off. I've taken a couple cuttings for a few friends, for my use, and one to pot separately that hopefully takes off, and it seems to still be doing marvelously. Fabulous, because I plan to continue adding it to my vinegar. I just hope once the season is over that I can move the plant indoors so I can still reap it's rewards. My mint is growing out of this world as well. Good for the same reasons :)

So yesterday I used the coconut oil, and today I simply water-only washed my hair. It still seems extra-moisturized, and looks almost oily at the ends, which isn't a normal place for hair to appear oily so I'm hoping it looks just fine. I can't take a picture now but hopefully will later tonight. We'll see.

Oh, and I looked a few things up about no-pooing and look at these wonderful articles/blogs I've found on how to clean your hair without shampoo (from Simple Mom) and one from NPR stating that when it comes to shampoo, less is more. Not that I needed a reason to have a renewed interest in this no-pooing project of mine (which I'm sure you've not noticed by my lack of postings, or by my recent string of 'scheduled' postings, ahem), but this sure does make me feel better about my decision. I'm seeing some light at the end of the tunnel, whereas for the past month or so I was beginning to wonder if this method of washing my hair (or not washing, really) was really for me. My hair's been frizzy on and off, and it's hard to see how good it can look when I'm constantly pulling it up in a ponytail.

Recently a coworker stopped me and said she thinks I have hair similar to her. She described her texture and I told her about mine. I tried to stay positive about my hair (which -I've mentioned before- I have a love/hate relationship with) and I described it's frantic curls and sudden straighten-ness to her. It always does the one I don't want it to. I told her, though, about my past three 'poo-less months and she seemed intrigued. If I remember correctly I think she even complimented my hair.

I'm still sticking with it. I'm enjoying my hair lately, and hopefully it will continue to last. :):):)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Yes, Please

So, I used the coconut oil! Many thoughts abound.

Firstly, here is a picture of my hair, 10 hours after baking soda washing, apple cider vinegar (with rosemary and mint leaves soaking in it) rinsing, and coconut oiling:

As you can see, it looks overly-moisturized. Here're my thoughts: After my twice-weekly wash (see above) I toweled my hair lightly, then stuck three fingertips into the yummy-smelling coconut oil. I ended up with probably 1/2 teaspoon, if I have to guess, and I rubbed it into my palms until it softened quite a bit, then I rubbed it into the ends of my hair. It glided into my hair very smoothly and it was like I could feel the flyaways sucking back into each other so as not to be, well, flying away. It was amazing. I plopped my hair with a T-shirt of my hsuband's (which I haven't done in forever, and also haven't mentioned, so here are awesome, illustrated directions) and let it set for a few minutes. After I shook it out I thought it smelled amazing, and it looked pretty cool (though still wet), too. My husband said it still smelled like vinegar, but I think I'm immune to it. I will say that lately when I've been vinegar-rinsing I have not been rinsing out said vinegar... I rinse with the vinegar, comb it while I'm still in the shower, set my part, and get out. 

Throughout the day I really did think it looked all right, just like I'd used some gel. It had the 'wet look' to it, if you know what I mean. I liked it, and as the day wore on it smelled better and better (remember, ACV loses it's strong scent as it dries), and it actually felt dry but moisturized to the touch.

I guess I maybe used too much oil, which is a good lesson to learn because now I know I can save a little more money by using lesson. I'm a happy camper.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Coconut, Schmoconut

I finally found a tub of coconut oil! It was fairly inexpensive, about $13.99 for a 16oz container. I'd been told you can't find it at CVS, Walmart, or any other place around here and I didn't want to make a special trip any time soon for something I'm not sure about, so I've just been waiting to stumble across some. Lo and behold during a trip to the Greenwood Park Mall today I remembered there is a GNC store and in I went. The nice feller within showed me several things of Coconut Oil... and I bought one that was priced mid-range.

I've read a few things (here and here and initially here) about using coconut oil on hair in many ways, primarily for those crunchy, hippie types. Of course I was intrigued, and as my hair has been so frizzy since I started this endeavor I was super-ecstatic to bring home the bacon. Or coconut oil.

I also can't wait until my aloe plant takes off. It's doing pretty well so far, but I hesitate to break a piece off because I want it to get nice and hefty first. I'd hate to deplete it too soon.

My loverly mama aloe plant (baby not shown)

Thursday, June 23, 2011


So, baking soda wash and vinegar rinse today was extra special after having soaked some rosemary and mint in my vinegar, even though it hasn't been a week yet. I felt pretty clever doing it, and couldn't wait to see how my hair felt after it dried. It ended up being a little less frazzled, and I actually received a few compliments on it. It was pretty soft and I managed to keep it down for most of the day, but as usual the heat eventually got to me. It's been over three months now, so this is quite nice. :)


Monday, June 20, 2011

Rosemary & Mint

Hmm, sounds like "Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme." But not what I'm going for.

Rosemary, front & center

I grow a couple different herbs in my garden and around my yard and house. One of them that's doing ultra-well is rosemary. I looked online for things to do with rosemary and one of the things that popped out to me was to use it in my hair! *Awesome* I think I will. The page I looked at suggested putting a branch of fresh rosemary with a sprig of mint into a bottle of apple cider vinegar and letting it set before rinsing hair with it. I happen to have an obnoxious amount of mint (luckily it's contained in a pot so hopefully I won't randomly find it in my yard, I'm told it spreads awfully) so I added the two herbs to my vinegar bottle today... we'll see what happens.

Here are some websites/articles on the herbs:

Saturday, June 18, 2011

It keeps going, and going, and...

It's been a month since I've posted, which means another month of not shampooing. It's been so hot that I have a hard time not letting my hair just hang dry, instead I keep wanting to pull it back in a ponytail. I've been unhappy with it lately because it get's a freaking ponytail mark in it because of my impatience and inability handle the hair on my face and neck!

I got myself an aloe plant start which has already split, and as soon as I feel confident that it's going to do really well I'm going to experiment with using it in my hair. I was also reminded by a friend about putting mayonnaise in my hair as a conditioner. I hope to try that as well. I can tell my hair is getting longer but I just can't stand the frizz.

One of the hardest things so far this summer has been dealing with pool hair and with sweat-head. I really feel like a true shampoo and good conditioning would do wonders for my hair after a busy hot day outside followed by a dip in the pool. But, I'm dealing.

At this point I'm kind of not sure what my goal is, to be honest. I can tell the overall condition of my hair is better but it is just so frizzy. Also, I just want the clean, invigorating feel a shampoo gives me sometimes. I am going to continue for now but don't have high hopes of this lasting forever. It just seems like a fad... though I'm surprised I've lasted this long.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I'm Posting!!

No, I still have not shampooed.

I apologize; I've had a lot going on (A. LOT.) and haven't been able to get pictures of my hair or even just make short posts. I'm on my lunch break at work and am trying to not work through my break for a change... So here goes!

It's been almost two months now and I'm still having bad days and good days. I am baking soda washing/apple cider vinegar rinsing about two times every 7-10 days, though I sometimes do a conditioner-only wash or an apple cider vinegar rinse in between on occasion. I am enjoying my hair for the most part, although the constant rain here lately mixed with the good 'ole Indiana humidity is giving me hair-anxiety. But all is well :)

Here is a picture of my hair yesterday after much ado... I'll explain below.

My mom gave me some hot-rollers, and while part of my intent with the whole no-poo undertaking is to learn to appreciate my curls more I still crave having my hair straight... It just seems simpler (i.e. it doesn't look ridiculous after it's been pulled back, I can sleep on it without screwing it up for the next day, it doesn't look as frizzy... all personal opinions, I suppose). I thought the hot-rollers might be a safe-ish way to give my hair since it's been bugging out with all the humidity lately. Anyway, it didn't really work for me because my hair is extremely thick, is wavy on it's own, and also I have tremors so handling my own hair for very fine things is NOT easy. The result was less than satisfactory so I w/o-washed my hair and didn't take the time to plop or pull it half-back or anything, I just put a tad bit of vitamin E oil in my palms and scrunched a little and jetted. I think it looked great all day and was really pretty frizz-free most of the day. This picture was taken at the very end of a hectic day, so I'm pretty proud.

Anyway, I'm hoping to eventually get my hands on some aloe and coconut oil so I can somewhat style my hair (re: plop) without using product. I feel like those things will make my hair even less frizzy.

It's neat that when I see people I know around town I often am told that people are keeping up with this blog. Awesome! Guess that means I should post more, but I feel like I don't have too much insightful stuff to say.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Hair Cut

I made it past a month! Today is day 34, and I think I will likely stop keeping track of the days. Mentioning the exact day on each post is a pure pain in the ass.

I keep talking about how much I want to get a trim and I finally found the time to do it. I told the chick at Great Clips that I was 'no-pooing' and she had no idea what I was talking about. I felt ridiculous. She tried to sell me some dry shampoo and when she told me about it I just kinda said 'huh.' and left it at that. I'm thinking the trim will make my hair less frizzy. I also had her thin it out with thinning shears. I hate that it is shorter but know this was necessary.

Also, on a completely unrelated note, I had my last class of the semester today, bwahaha! Not that it matters here or that anyone cares...

So, I am making it almost a week between baking soda washes at this point. On Monday I bs/acv-ed for the first time in 6 days, then I did it again today. It feels good to be doing it less and less frequently.

The first pic is a pic of my hair yesterday after water-only washing it, so you can see the length. The second picture is my trimmed hair. I can't wait to see what it looks like after water-only washing it tomorrow and plopping it. Hooray, me for trimming it and for lasting over a month!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Coming Up On A Month at Day 26

I can't believe I've made it this long... it feels so good to have stuck with it so far.

I keep forgetting to mention that there've been a few instances where I've used a dab of my conditioner on the ends of my hair. I haven't checked to see if the condition is 'cone-free, but after looking at the link below I see that it's not listed as 'cone-free.... 'Cones are basically silicones, and the ingredients that are siliconic (is that even a word??) generally end in -cone, -conol, or -xane. I found a (possibly incomplete) list of 'cone-free conditioners here, and as mentioned, my conditioner isn't on it. Hmmmmm.......

Anyhow, I water-only washed it today and then tried something new. I put a tiny dab of Vitamin-E oil in my hands and rubbed into lightly into the ends of my hair before I plopped. I was actually very pleased with the results! I don't know that it would be good to do it often, but I'm going to look into other ways to keep my curls/waves from separating too much.

Here are two pictures... I hate the first one and almost didn't post, so please don't look at it for too long :)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Day 23

I think I've gotten into the swing of things, sort of. My hair isn't nearly as greasy looking/feeling a few days after my baking soda wash/apple cider vinegar rinse days and I'm a little more confident about it, even when I feel like it isn't looking very good. I actually like telling people about it but then I get embarrassed when people act like they can't get past their disgusting feelings about not washing. I wonder if those people have ever gone a day without washing their hair. I also wonder just how greasy and broken down their hair is. I guess this is my defensiveness poking its ugly head out...

I actually ran out of the box of baking soda that I'd bought for this purpose and had to resort to using the one that I'd been keeping in my refrigerator. Nate bought me a huge box (not sure of the weight, don't have it in front of me) and said it was only a "few bucks." Looking online I see a 4 1/2 lb box for about $8. He also bought me another bottle of apple cider vinegar for a "few bucks." I'm noticing that I don't have to bs/acv as often anymore... I've been doing it about two times a week but think I might slowly wean myself off of it and try doing it just once a week.

Here is picture of my hair before it is completely dry, after water-only washing and plopping with my scarf.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Day 21

So it's been three weeks now, I guess!

I baking soda washed and apple cider vinegar rinsed my hair today after first rubbing some eucalyptus oil into my scalp and letting it set for a few hours, just like I did last weekend. Not sure if it's my imagination but it seems like it is helping :) My hair doesn't seem to be getting as greasy in between washes but it doesn't seem as bouncy and beautiful as I'd like it to be between either. I'm finding that I like the fresh start I get and the look it creates when I wet my hair every morning, but along with that I'm also finding that it is hard to get the water to penetrate my hair and it also takes even longer than it did before for my hair to dry... as in, like, a few hours. I'm sure this is normal but it's frustrating. My hair just looks like a morning-hair blob if I don't wet it because it loses it's curl but also isn't straight.

I have been using my scarf to plop my hair after wetting it and it is nice because I barely notice it's there while I'm getting ready. Actually it makes me miss being able to wear scarves or handkerchiefs on my head when I was younger and didn't have to follow a dress code :)

I actually have been getting some comments on my hair both from friends who know I'm doing this and those who don't as well as from people who don't know anything about me. I'm also astonished by how many people I see only every once in awhile who tell me they've been following this blog. Good, let me know how my hair looks next time you see me!

I'm a little concerned about the smell or lack thereof my hair has... it's just like a hair smell and I don't mind it but I sure do miss the fake floral or fruity scents my shampoo used to give me. But at least I can still smell my 18 month old's hair when I want to re-experience that. I'm wondering what I'll do when I travel in a few months... if it will be easier to just shampoo and condition or if I'll take along a box of baking soda and some vinegar... or if I just won't wash at all, hmmm!

The first photo of my hair today is directly after bs/acv-ing and plopping and it is not quite dry. The second photo is a crappy quality one I took myself just now and it is dry but has been through the wind and pulled back in a pony a few times. Heh.

I really wish I could get better pictures!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Day 16

I haven't been posting as often 1. because I've been pretty busy and 2. because I haven't seen either improvement or much change lately, and most importantly 3. because it's hard for me to remember to corral Nate to take pictures of my hair, plus he gets tired of doing it.

I baking soda/vinegared my hair on Wednesday and on Thursday I beer rinsed and vinegar rinsed it. I left it until Saturday. Saturday I took my newfound bottle of eucalyptus oil and mixed a little with water and massaged it onto my scalp... I let it set that way for about four or five hours (even though Nate said it smelled too strong) and then baking soda/vinegared it out. I actually thought it felt really soft and looked pretty good. Sunday I did nothing to it, and today, Monday, I didn't either... at first. I pulled it halfback and thought it looked decent but then had to walk the dogs in the rain and it frizzed wayyy out at the bottom but looked matted and helmet-ey around my scalp. Ick. So I baking soda/vinegared it once again. I plopped it using a scarf instead of a towel and it made pretty soft curls that I thought looked okay today.

I have been wanting to get a microfiber towel because that's what I've seen suggested for plopping. I have no idea how well it would work. I haven't been able to find one, but I do feel like the towels I've been using are just too heavy and thick.

I just can't wait for my hair to get longer and for me to find the time for a trim. I am starting to feel like my hair looks greasy up top and frizzy around the bottom and I hate how I feel like it looks. It never seems to really look as bad but it certainly doesn't feel soft all the time and I wish it would stay together instead of flyaway-ish. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Day 10

One step forward one step back... seems like I'm having as many poor hair days as good ones. Before bed last night I went to comb my hair and it was awful. Painful and a tangled heap of... hair. I know it was from the hairspray because my hair still had that hard feeling. I combed as much as I could with a wide tooth comb and a fine tooth comb. I'm embarrassed to say both combs had gunk on them, which I'm sure was mostly hairspray. I went to massage my scalp with my nails and that's how it all started, the tangled mess. I realized it was pretty gnarly. Anyway, I got it combed and brushed out and it felt like hair feels when it's been bombarded with too much hairspray. You have no idea how tempted I was so wash it... but I didn't. I rinsed it under the tub faucet as well as I could and combed it out. This morning I did a water only wash and it still felt just heavy. I cannot wait until tomorrow... even though the baking soda is really tough to work into my hair it always feels cleaner after the vinegar rinse and after it begins to dry. The possibility of it feeling cleaner after tomorrow morning is the only thing keeping me from lathering up right now!

I have no picture today because today was hell. I slept less than two hours last night and am pretty self-conscious about my appearance overall today. Hopefully tomorrow will be a wonderful hair day and a wonderful day in general and I'll have gorgeous pictures to post.

We'll see about that.......

Monday, April 4, 2011

Progress on Day 9!

Well today makes me feel better about my shampoo-less decision thus far.

This morning I simply rinsed my hair and sort of scrubbed with my fingertips in the shower... a water-only wash is what I guess its called in no-poo lingo. When I got out of the shower I wringed (wrang? both appear as spelling errors, but whatever) it out, brushed it, then plopped it with a normal towel. I'm finding that my hair is still a little frizzy and wonder if a microfiber towel (which is what I see other no-pooers suggest) would make a difference. After about 20 minutes I let it down and it looked pretty good... I decided to try leaving it down all day instead of pulling it back.

I also had time before I had to go to work and decided to try a hairspray recipe an anonymous poster posted on the no shampoo experiment blog I constantly refer to in these posts. I didn't do the recipe exactly, though. I put about 1/2 cup of water with a little over 1/2 Tbsp of honey in a measuring glass and heated it in the microwave for 90 seconds, then stirred it and added about 2/3 Tbsp vodka, then stirred it. I put it all in a would-be cleaner spray bottle (you know, the kind you can buy at the dollar store) that had never been used. I left it uncapped and put it in the freezer for about 20-30 minutes to let it cool and then sprayed it on my hair. It didn't spray the way a normal hairspray bottle would've and so I had some drippage, and I also got some on my arms. Once it dried on my arms it was pretty hairspray sticky-like, which I took as an excellent sign.

I tried taking a picture myself (the first pic below) but am so shaky it didn't turn out well, but whatever. My hair looked styled all day, though I endured gnarly rain and wind, so I take that as a good sign. Still kinda frizzy, but I'm attributing that partly to the rain and wind. I had Nate take a picture just now (second pic) and I think it looks all right after a long day and weather.

I'm pretty happy with things so far. I still can't wait to get a trim but with my work schedule and Nate's job hunting it's not easy to find the time. Also, I am noticing that my hair smells like..... hair. After the honey-vodka smell went away I would occasionally smell plain old hair when I'd whip my head around or something. It's not a bad smell but it certainly doesn't have a shampoo smell.

I also found two .17fl oz bottles of essential oils today off my work's free table... I snatched 'em up in case they might be of use... Neroli (Citrus Aurantium Dulcis) and Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus Globulus) oils. I haven't had time to do much research but a quick Google search tells me that the eucalyptus oil can be used to stimulate hair growth. I'm definitely interested in that, but am hesitant to rub oil onto my scalp when I'm not shampooing. We'll see...

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Day 8... It's Been A Long Week...

I did a baking soda wash and apple cider vinegar rinse today in the shower, then plopped it with a towel afterward while it was still completely wet... I didn't even dry it much first, but did comb it out. When it had dried a bit I let it down and just kept it down for once and tried to just live with it around my face instead of pulling it back. I gave in a few times at work and pulled it back but ended up letting it back down most of the time. I was determined to get it trimmed after work but of course every ding-dang hair place closes at freaking 5 which is when I get off work, so no such luck. It seemed awfully frizzy to me, and as usual I am really eager to fins something that will tame the frizz and keep the curls clumped together. The wind was wretched today and I happened t be out in it enough that I thought my hair would knot up but it didn't completely go wacko. I just really want a trim and some product to keep it looking styled. :)

So here is my hair which I was pleased with while it was still a bit wet, and the second picture is just now at about 11pm after a windy day. It still looks all right as well, not greasy or anything and actually very shiny. Please ignore all the shit on my table.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Day 7: Uncertainty...

I wanted to at least get my hair wet today because it's just starting to be really shapeless. Or actually, too shapely. It isn't straight and it isn't as curly as my hair is naturally. I think I really need a trim. And not putting anything in my hair to help shape the curl is making me feel less confident about it. I need to look into what I can put in it that will help the curls form.

So I did a little researching to see what else makes a good rinse for hair, and a few days ago I saw on a message board that some people use chamomile tea... so of course I tried it. I steeped 3 bags of chamomile in 24 ounces of water and let it cool.  I did a water only wash but still scrubbed my scalp with my fingertips so it would hopefully rid my scalp of anything too gross and also promote the sebum... I don't even know what I'm saying I guess. Anyway, I poured the tea over my head which was kind of painful because I'd let it cool quite a bit and it was very chilly.  I left it on while I soaped up and then rinsed it out with tepid water. I have to say that so far this is the worst my hair has felt post-shower, though the tea did make it feel a little smoother than if I'd not used anything. I tried plopping it and once I took the towel off I shook it out and tried to pull it half-back, got frustrated and ended up combing it out. I knew it would look awful when it dried so I wet it again, plopped it again and left it up for awhile. When I took it down it looked all right but I pulled it half-back gently so the curls would hopefully stick in the back a little better. It's still wet but here it is, day 7:

It actually doesn't look bad from the back but once again I just wish the curls would form better. My hair doesn't feel heavy with oil, it actually feels lighter, and maybe that's part of the 'problem,' maybe it's just something I need to get used to.

I am noticing how uneven my hair also is... it's much longer on the left side. Hmmm... I'll stick it out for awhile longer but I just want some curl control.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Day 6

All right, so still no wash today.  I last washed it with baking soda and an apple cider vinegar rinse on Wednesday and then did a water-only wash yesterday.  I mostly wore it up in a ponytail because it just seems pretty shapeless (or maybe too awkwardly shapely, if you will...) if I don't curl it or straighten it.  I know straightening is probably a bad idea and it just takes so long even though it's my favorite way to wear it.  I want too look into other things to use to help hold the curl if I plop it.

I read a lot more of the shampoo-less experimenter's blog today and read about massaging the scalp and hair itself to work the sebum from the roots down to the tips, which apparently is a long process.  For some reason it really makes sense, so last night I sat for awhile and finger-combed my hair and massaged my scalp.  It actually felt really good and my hair felt a lot more normal this morning.  It's like you can't even tell I haven't washed it; to me it looks normal just not as dry as it had been looking.  I have a lot of grays and they tend to be wiry and stand straight up and make my hair overall appear a lot more frizzy.  They don't seem to be as texturally different the past day or so.

I hope this continues on well... I'd really hate to have not washed for a week only to give in or for it to end up not working for me.  So far so good, but I hope it gets better as well.  I wish my ends weren't so raggedy, and I probably actually just need to get a trim.  I'm just not sure I could get a shop to trim my hair without washing it.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Day 5

So today I was sort of at loss for what to do... I obviously didn't want to shampoo and I really don't feel like baking soda and vinegar is something I should use every day.  In fact, I wondered if doing it twice in a week was even a good idea.  But unless I straighten it I don't feel like it looks very good after I sleep on it, and I really didn't want to just pull it up in a ponytail.  So I just did a water wash.  I worked my fingers through it like I was shampooing it but didn't use anything.  Actually my 18 month-old son insisted on showering with me which makes me nervous so I really couldn't focus too much at all on my hair.  When I got out I dried it and pulled it half-back without giving it too much thought.  It felt just fine and looked all right, though I ended up worrying that it looked greasy and pulled it up into the inevitable ponytail anyway before the day was done.  

My manager actually asked me today what my goal is with this, so I feel like I should detail that a little more personally.  While I'm not super-duper wasteful I have to admit I'm not as organic and conscious of my eco-footprint as I should be, nor do I pay much attention to what I put onto or into my body except to think about how good its going to taste if its something I'm eating.  The Conscious Parenting Without Fear post really did get me interested and my husband can vouch for the fact that I get caught on ideas and get really ambitious about something.  Honestly, I usually forget about whatever it is or else I just give up not far into something.  I'm known to rarely finish something, unfortunately.  But I really want to say I at least tried this.  So anyway, I have been really tired of the brittle feeling my hair has had lately and I just wish it would be a little less dry.  The shampoo I've used for about a year now doesn't seem to be doing it any good anymore and I just really feel like the only I have to lose is the excitement of this potentially doing good for my hair and realizing it's not that great really.  Let's hope that doesn't happen.  I also know it will be a lot more financially friendly, at least for awhile, and I like the fact that I won't be putting anything in my hair that has a list of ingredients and chemicals I'm not sure of that's longer than the papers I'm writing for my master's degree.  

I just think it'll be fun and don't see anything I have to lose.  I'm willing to experiment.

Anyway, sorry, still no pictures.  I have my husband do it and just didn't think to stop him for it today.  Tomorrow, though, for real!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Day 4: Surprisingly OK!

So when I woke up today I figured I'd do the baking soda wash and apple cider vinegar rinse again.  I didn't have my husband around to hand me the goods while I was in the shower so I had to set everything up right outside it and open the door and reach for them when I was ready which was a complete pain in the ass.  It took forever to feel like my hair was completely saturated... normally when I shampoo my hair I let it get wet for awhile because my hair is so thick and wiry that it just doesn't wet as quickly as you'd think.  Normally I shampoo it once and it doesn't lather or feel satisfying so I shampoo again and its like it just works better the second time.  I didn't really know how to work the water in without the shampoo but I guess it went okay.

I shook about 1 tablespoon of baking soda into my son's bathtub rinse cup and mixed some water in.  I'd read that it should make a paste and that I should work it into my roots... it didn't really make a paste... it seemed really watery so I added some more baking soda and it still didn't seem pasty.  I didn't want to go overboard, though, so I just went with it... I worked the watery gritty mixture into my roots... or tried, anyway.  It seemed really hard to get into the roots.  It felt like I was washing my hair with chalk mixed with paste.  I had woken up late and got kind of freaked out and worried what I'd do if my hair was a total mess, but figured I'd just break down and shampoo if it was awful.  After rinsing the BS out my hair still felt gritty and gross, but I went with it.  I mixed about 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar with about 1 1/2 cup water and dipped the ends of my hair in it and worked it around, then dumped the stuff slowly over my scalp and tried to kind of work it in as best as I could.  My hair immediately felt softer and I could pull my fingers through it much more easily... I felt much better, but since I have to worry about something I started wondering just how often I really should be doing the baking soda wash and vinegar rinse.  Whatever.

I wish I'd taken a picture.  I tried the plopping again and pulled it half-backwhile it was still somewhat wet and headed to work.  I wondered if it would feel oily at the roots and couldn't wait for it to completely dry... it did dry and it didn't feel oily!  Still felt light and soft and silkier than normal, but because I didn't use any product in it to keep the curls postured they kind of took off on their own and not in a great way.  It didn't look bad but I kept taking it down to feel it and thought it'd look better down (which it did) and then I'd end up pulling it back into a half-back or a ponytail.  My hair is at that awful length where it gets in my face and under my shirt collar because it's still too short to stay behind my shoulders on it's own, so while I know I should've left it down I just couldn't handle it.

Overall I'm pretty happy especially considering I didn't have to rewash it.  The BS wash/ACV rinse worked just fine!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Day 3: Pretty Boring

Left my hair straight again today... just pulled it up when I showered and brushed it out when I got done.  It surprisingly doesn't look or feel oily, but it doesn't feel super dry either.  Weird.  I didn't take a pic today, though.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Day 2

When I got home last night I foolishly decided to straighten my hair.  I know it's not good to expose hair to so much heat with no protection and I did it anyway.  Oh well.  This whole thing is an experiment and to be honest I don't always use heat protectant products on my hair when I straighten anyway.  The result was pretty nice!  It looked great, I think.

So obviously today I didn't wash my hair, I just left it straight and got plenty of compliments, which isn't unusual when I straighten it.  The people who are aware of my experiment said it looked good but they probably don't realize that when it's straightened I usually don't wash it for a day or so anyway.  That's about it.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Day 1: Getting a Head Start

Before I jumped in hair-first (I think that's really funny, can you tell?) I consulted a blog that a friend pointed me toward to get some ideas.  This was when I really decided I was going to do it... because if you check out the most recent photos of this chick's hair it looks really magnificent.  I actually didn't read her whole blog, just flipped through a couple dates on it and looked at a few things she linked to.  But I do want to give her credit since I also am obviously creating a blog as well... gotta give credit where it's due.

So after my decision to go shampoo-less today was my last shampoo, so to speak.  Friday is the last time I truly washed my hair.  Today I washed it with very little shampoo mixed with about a teaspoon of baking soda.  My reasoning for mixing instead of cutting out the shampoo cold-turkey was that on Friday I had used a little bit of product to tame and boost my curls and I wanted to make sure to get that all out... I'm sure it was mostly just me being a little wary of the cleaning power of the baking soda (see below).  I rinsed with a cup of apple cider vinegar mixed with about 1 1/2 cups of water.  The baking soda/shampoo mixture  sudsed up okay so it still felt like I was really washing my hair, and the vinegar stunk (of course) and burned my eyes but my hair felt so soft and tangle-free I was pretty happy.

After my shower I combed it and did a towel-wrap thing that 'plopping,' which I (once again) read about in the blog above.  The method for plopping is described here along with some other really cool resources for curly haired people.   It looked all right, but my curls didn't really stick together.  As my hair dried it looks shiny (not greasy shiny, just light-reflective shiny) and it felt lighter and cleaner.  When I got to work my co-worker said my hair looked great today...

I looked a little more into baking soda and it's uses and found several things that both uplifted and slightly scared me.  It can be used to clean things... for example baking soda can be used in conjunction with apple cider vinegar to... clean your sink drain.  It can also be used on your toothbrush (have you noticed how many toothpastes have the Arm & Hammer symbol??), in the tub for rashes and itching (and on that note I did notice my skin felt silkier, which could be coincidental), and in many other ways.

So far I'm happy.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Going Shampoo-less... Why?

While looking at the Conscious Parenting Without Fear page on facebook the other day and stumbled across this post about natural tips.  One gal simply said, "Anyone else 'no poo' their hair?  Google it."

So I did.

I updated my status asking my facebook friends to tell me what they knew about no poo and I checked out a few sites and suggested blogs (such as this one, which has been fairly inspiring and helpful), too.  What I found was too intriguing to not keep looking into.  The more I researched and the more I thought the more intrigued I became.

I decided to jump in hair first.

Like many people I have a love/hate relationship with my hair.  It's thick and wavy and dirty blond.  I've worn it as short as about 1-2" to as long as midway down my back.  About a year ago I cut about 12 inches off my hair (see below).  I really enjoyed it at first and loved how it looked.  Maybe it's the winter weather but lately I feel like my hair, which I'm trying to grow back out, is just plain awful.  I know I need a trim but don't want to take the time or spend the money to get one, and it just feels dry and fried.  My hair is naturally very wiry and doesn't get super oily.  In general I wash it about 4-7 times a week: when I wash I shampoo it twice (the first time never seems to suds very well...) then condition it by leaving the conditioner in for a few minutes then rinsing with cool water.  Because I've been so blah about my hair lately I normally pull it half-back and put a little curling and de-frizzing balm into the ends and that's that.  Every once in awhile I straighten it, which takes about 30-45 minutes so I try to avoid it.

Before my major 2010 cut

After my 2010 cut

I'm ready for something new.

I do know a bit about shampooing and it's effects.  The purpose of shampooing is to remove dirt, oil, product, smell, and other stuff that gets into our hair.  Modern commercial shampoo first really came about in the 1930s; before that most people just used soap.  The push for daily shampooing really came about in the 1970s with campaigns by Farah Fawcett and Christie Brinkley who said it was unclean not to wash your hair every day.  Shampooing removes the natural oils (sebum) that is produced by your pores and after a shampoo your scalp tries to replace the sebum... its similar to how washing and moisturizing your face can affect the oiliness.  When your face first dries after washing it feels really tight if you don't moisturize and if you wait a few hours and leave off the moisturizer your skin will over-produce oil.  Shampoo also contains sulfates which are drying to the hair, so the ingredients combined with the frequency with which most people shampoo is really pretty damaging in terms of moisture.

When I've told people before that I don't always wash daily they almost always respond one of two ways: either they say they're the same way (which doesn't really happen that often) or they act a little grossed out and say they could never do that because their hair gets oily or greasy when they don't wash it every day.  And ya know what?  I believe them.  In fact I know they're right because when I've found myself in the habit of washing every day the moment I skip a day the grease creeps in.  But you have to break the cycle and teach your hair to do what you need it to do.  When I have moved to an every-other-day shampooing cycle it sometimes takes a few days to get my hair back to a normal state, and it usually ends up being cleaner and less greasy or overdry.

So now I'm breaking the cycle in a major way... I'm going no 'poo.  Shampooless.  What have I got to lose?  My hair's in a pretty bad state lately anyway.  So here's my documentation of my progress.  I'll try to post pretty frequently and keep track of how my hair reacts to my experiment.  Here goes nothing!