Wednesday, January 12, 2011

knotty hair.

Except it's not (knot? naught?), I just don't know what word to use (I wanted to use the word "nappy" but upon closer inspection, I found that it not only doesn't mean what I thought it did, but it is also potentially offensive).  So, anyway, this post is about my hair.

Last year I became inspired to try an alternative method of shampooing/conditioning my hair (had to get all the various links out of the way right off the bat).  Unfortunately, right about the time I was inspired to try this, I had recently stocked up on shampoo and conditioner, and wanted to wait until I had used it all up (so as not to be wasteful), but then it seemed to last us right up to the end of our time in LT, and when we got back to the States, we were far too busy to be experimenting with new hair product ideas (plus, who wants to have potentially dirty-looking hair when it is 100 degrees out?  Not this girl.  Also, if I remember right, shampoo/conditioner was on sale or something.  Anyway, just recently, I finally ran out of that shampoo/conditioner, and (even though I did restock that) I finally decided it was time to try this other way.

So a little over a week ago, I began washing my hair with a mixture of baking soda and water, and conditioning it with a mixture of apple cider vinegar and some spices steeped in water (parsley, sage, and rosemary.  Don't worry, Simon and Garfunkel. I eat plenty of thyme on mashed potatoes and quiche).  My reasons are mostly experimental.  Sure I will save money with this, because baking soda costs next to nothing, and a little bit of apple cider vinegar goes a long way, but honestly in 2010, I easily spent less than 20 dollars on shampoo and conditioner (not really breaking the bank, but I guess every little bit counts). The timing helps too.  It can take your hair/scalp a little while to get used to the new method, and there is potential for it to look like you're not really washing it.  Me, having a bit of a break before school starts back up, and it being the winter season (great excuse to wear a hat whenever you need to), and also, working at a coffee shop (pony-tail all the time), it just seemed like the right time to risk having hair that looked a bit unkempt.  Unkempt.  Maybe that would be a better word for the title of this post.  Ah well. That's all the way up there, and we're already all the way down here.

Now, anyway.  Here I am, just an inch over a week into this experiment (I can't really remember for sure which day I started this...probably about a week or so ago?).  Here is what I have to report so far:

  • I'm not really 100% sure that I'm applying the mixtures correctly.  I went to the dollar section of a store that I regret going into every time I go there, and got some spray bottles, so it would make it easier for me to not spill or waste my new shampoo/conditioner.  I have been mostly spraying my scalp and hairline and then trying to massage it in.
Pink for Poo, Blue for....Binegar.
  • So far my head doesn't really itch at all, but everything (look, smell, texture, etc) about my hair reminds me of how my hair is after about 36 hours without washing it (which isn't necessarily bad...nearly 100% of the compliments I've ever gotten on my hair have been when either:
    • a, someone else has done it
      • or
    • b, my hair hasn't been washed in a while)
  • It seems to take even longer to dry, if at all.
  • Ironically though, it has been more static-y than usual.
  • I haven't been doing the conditioner every time, at the recommendation of one of the sites...and that has been ok I guess.
  • My curls are more pronounced.
  • Here's the thing I can't really describe:  The texture of my hair.  I think, for the most part it doesn't look that dirty (I've seen it look worse)....but it seems like I could easily turn my hair into some gross, curly dreadlocks.  And, I didn't know it was possible....but my hair seems BIGGER.  Matted, maybe?  Why did I think nappy was the best word?

A view from the back after having been washed in the morning and in a pony or under a hat for most of the day.  Pony being an abbreviation for pony tail, not the actual animal. That's why I abbreviate, so I don't have to type as much.

No product in this hair.

Side view.  My head's in there somewhere.  I've never wanted to have dreadlocks, and I still don't.  But this hair almost lends itself to it.
Totally self-indulgent.
Anyway, I'm going to keep it up for a while.  See what happens after maybe a couple of months.  If you come visit us and forget your shampoo, don't worry we still have some.


April Emery said...

Oh, Laura :)

Love all the photos!

Some pointers, should you want them:
- As for the texture and tangle-factor of your hair ... try a squirt bottle as opposed to a spray bottle (like the kind that look like ketchup bottles ... the dreaded Walmart sells them for under a $1 I think ... in the kitchen utensils isle). A squirt bottle ensures your scalp is getting most of the mixture. Also, you might want to squirt some of the mixture all over your hair once just to get the gunk from your pre-"no-poo" days. a vinegar PREwash of 1 part water, 1 part white distilled vinegar is a great clarifying rinse that can get excess oils and gunk off of your hair.
- As for tangles ... how much ACV are you adding to your water? If you add too much it feels grimy. Too little and it feels dry and can tangle easily. I add 1-2 Tbsp per 8oz water and squirt it all over the length of my hair (not my scalp so much). I made the mistake of using too much ACV the first time I conditioned and my hair felt so nasty. I had to rewash it because it felt so bad.

I hope your experiment ends well! If not, there are great safe shampoos out there. Poo-free isn't eveyone's thing. :)

Laura said...

Thanks for the advice, April! I think I will try to do the all over thing instead of just the scalp, see what that does. I also forget to brush my hair before I wash it (I think one of the sites mentioned that, to get all the dirts and oils loosened up before you wash it), so that would help too. I think I did the 2 TBSP ACV/8oz of water (and the water I steeped with the spices) :) Maybe less would be better for me.
I think I might do some research about getting some oils or something that smell good (not sure how to describe the smell of my hair...not bad, but not flowery either :)

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