It has been two months since I have shampooed or conditioned my hair. This excites me and makes me very happy.
Ever since being old enough to choose my own hair products, I have been something of a product snob; not basing my snobbiness on price, but on name. I was brand loyal and used only a certain shampoo, conditioner, gel, and hairspray. And for many years, I used all four on a regular and even daily basis.
A few years ago, when deciding to move to a more frugal and sustainable lifestyle (I think I’ll be working on this for a loooooong time), I attempted to go cold turkey. No more shampoo, no more conditioner, no more gel, no more hairspray.
Needless to say, my hair looked like crap.
I jumped head first (ha! did you see what i did there!) back into the products, spending lots of cash and telling myself that it just couldn’t be helped.
One day, a couple of years ago, I ran out of hairspray and said, “that’s it. I’m not buying hairspray anymore.” I found that growing my hair long and employing the power of the headband, along side of the occasional pony tail or sloppy bun, I was free. No more hairspray for me.
But I was still in the shampoo-condition-gel-blowdry daily rut.
I then tried making my own shampoos. It was ok, but I found if I didn’t use a commercial conditioner, I couldn’t get a comb through the knots. No homemade conditioner worked. It just left my hair greasy and in knots.
You see, I have thin, fine, tangly hair hair that leans to the oily side of normal.
So back to the shampoo (to clean), conditioner (to return the oil/smoothness stolen by the shampoo), gel (to protect from the blowdrying) routine.
Once my hair made it past my shoulders, I cut back on the gel and stopped blowdrying unless it was necessary. The minimal blowdrying helped as I was no longer damaging my hair with blowing heat.
People started commenting on how nice, long, and smooth my hair looked. It was nice to hear, but it still bothered me that it was mostly due to the shampoo and conditioner. (ok. and hair colour. i do colour my hair as my mousy brown hair makes me want to vomit. how’s that for full disclosure?)
I also played with the idea of washing with just water. A lot of folks do this and have great results.
I couldn’t get past day 5.
shampooshampooshampooshampooshampoo-condition! And my hair was shiny nice again!
Earlier this year, I was at a point of being able to shampoo/condition every other day. but it still bugged me. My daughter washed her hair once a week and her hair was just lovely. Sure, she has fine (and lots of) wavy dark blonde – shall we say – tresses. It knots just like mine, but she could probably even rock the dreadlocks. (for the record, I have suggested it. she looked at me like I was insane.)
I was jealous of my 9 y/o’s hair.
So I decided to go basic.
I dug out the baking soda. I dug out some apple cider vinegar. For a few days, I cleaned my hair with about about 1 tbsp of baking soda mixed with water, and did a final rinse with a quarter cup of the vinegar mixed with water.
The results were great! No tangles, clean hair, and well – that’s about it. But a few days into this new regime, and the bottom half of my hair was a rat’s nest. I actually broke my round styling brush while blowdrying.
So I volunteered my daughter and cleaned her hair with the baking soda and vinegar.
I decided I hated her, would shave her head and glue the hair on my head. Problem solved.
But she wouldn’t let me.
I finally came to the conclusion that if I wanted this to work, I would have to cut my hair. At the minimum, cut off the many inches over-damaged by long term colouring.
Chop, chop, chop – and I had a nice sleek bob.
I’ve been cleaning my hair with baking soda and vinegar for two months now and couldn’t be happier. My hair is clean, it is smooth, and I rarely blow dry it. I do clean it daily, but can go two days without cleaning it. I don’t really like the short hair and am planning to grow it out. With regular trimming I hope to avoid the over-processed ends.
As an added bonus, I no longer have limp, bodiless hair. It has natural body and very little static.
It’s just hair. All natural, hanging there on my head, waiting until it can be tied into ponytails again.
Life can be frugal and natural and good.
(the 9 y/o is also using only baking soda and vinegar. yay her!)