. . . with normal shampoo. Let me explain.
June 18th. It was a normal day. I washed my hair with the shampoo I’ve been using for several years. I didn’t know it was the last day I would be washing my hair with normal shampoo, but over the next few days I would be reading about how to stop washing your hair so much for the sake of its health, then stumbling upon some blogs discussing the “no-poo” method, which includes washing your hair with baking soda and conditioning with apple cider vinegar, or other variations . . . but finally, I read about people who had stopped washing their hair altogether, and it had never looked better. Sounds crazy, right? But think about it: what did people use before shampoo was invented? Before soap and the billions of beauty products that we see in stores today? NOTHING. We pour so much money into things that are completely unnecessary. Your hair gets greasy BECAUSE YOU WASH IT. Culture and money-seeking industries convince us that we have to, but we don’t need any of their products. In fact, all of the chemicals are bad for us and bad for the environment. Look it up, there are so many blogs that talk about it.
Anyway, I’m fascinated by this, and I’m reading every blog I can find on it . . . and before you know it, I decide I’m gonna do it. I buy myself a boar bristle brush and clarified my hair with apple cider vinegar and that was it. I was headed for the transition period. Over five weeks later, here I am to tell you about my experience. Here we go.
The process . . .
Your hair gets really greasy. Shampoo strips all the natural oils from your hair, which are actually necessary and good for it, and then tries to replace it with all the chemicals that are in your conditioner. When you over-strip all the oils, your body over-produces them to replace what you lost. When you stop washing your hair with shampoo, your scalp is still overproducing oils even though it doesn’t have to anymore. It takes a while for it to realize that it can stop. So, for a few weeks (like 3? I don’t know), my hair was greasy. I used my boar bristle brush to distribute the oils from my roots to my ends, which helps it not look so bad, and then scrubbed it under the water in the shower to clean it, but to be honest, it still feels gross all the time. After a while it’s more waxy than greasy. So I’m in this transition period, about a week in, and my first anniversary with Diego is coming up, right? And I’m like, can’t go out on a date with my hair like this. There was no way I was going to give up and use real shampoo, so I consulted some more blogs and found out you could wash your hair with an egg yolk. There were actually tons of different recipes for homemade shampoos, but an egg yolk was easy and I didn’t have to go buy anything since there were eggs in the house. I did it, and as I was washing it in the shower, it really did feel like it was getting clean. Not the same as using shampoo obviously, but it was better than the greasy-waxball I was before. I got out of the shower and let it dry. It looked perfectly clean! And it curled nicely too. Not the best I’d ever seen it, but it was fine. I showed Diego, and he was so happy to see it looking clean and parted how I always part it, that he hugged me and pressed his nose into my hair . . . and then immediately backed away. He said my hair STUNK of egg!! I looked it up, and it’s definitely a thing. I guess some people’s hair hold on to smells a lot more than other people’s do, and my hair always smells like what I use. Soooooo, egg smell. Which I got really upset about, since I did it to have nice hair on our anniversary. Blah. So I shed a few tears, then pressed on. I was still committed to not using shampoo. A few weeks later, it was still pretty greasy, and I noticed a had what looked like dandruff. I don’t know if it was really dandruff or what was happening with my scalp, but my skin was definitely having some issues. Also, my hair didn’t smell very good. It didn’t smell bad, but it didn’t smell good. So I used some baking soda to wash it, which made it a lot better, but then the dandruff came back. It didn’t really ever get that greasy looking again, but dandruff?? That was actually worse to try and deal with. So in another week or so, I used baking soda again. And then it got even worse. This Wednesday I flew in to Louisville with Diego, and I told my mom about it, and asked her to smell my hair. She said it looked clean, but kind of smelled sweaty, and again, not bad, but not good. That, combined with the dandruff, was too much for me. There was more and more white stuff in my hair everyday, and I could stand the constant worry about whether or not my hair smelled bad. So, I decided to give it up. But I still wasn’t going back to normal shampoo. There are natural shampoos (referred to as “low-poo”) that work kind of the same (they don’t lather a lot and they don’t make your hair squeak, but that’s a good thing) but have ingredients that aren’t bad for your hair and don’t strip all the oils out of it. Before I went to a natural shampoo, I tried coconut oil soap on Saturday morning, but it was hard to wash my hair with it and it didn’t fix my dandruff. So I went to the store Saturday night and bought some shampoo and conditioner. Last night I washed my hair for the first time in 40 days, and . . . oh. Oh my. It was a magical experience. It looked great and felt great and my dandruff or whatever it was is gone! I’m definitely not planning on going back to washing my hair everyday or even every other day . . . maybe once a week or even less than that. We’ll see. I want to keep experimenting, because I would really love to be as natural as possible and use the least amount of products as possible . . . but for now, this is the place I’m in.
Let’s not forget . . . the results.
Even though I quit it because there were some issues, that doesn’t mean I didn’t have awesome results. First of all, I cut my hair at the beginning of this summer because I had a lot of dead ends that needed to go bye-bye, and my hair has grown back several inches in just like 2 months. Not joking. I’m talking at least 4 inches if not more. Absolutely amazing. It also looks so healthy. No split ends, nothing. And it would curl so beautifully. My hair is more of a wavy-curly, but I had actual beautiful curls when I was just washing with water. I’ll miss that, but for now, I’m trading it in for hair that feels clean, smells good, and is dandruff-free. However, if someday I figure out how to prevent those problems, I will try again. Overall, it was a great experience, and I’m glad (and surprised!) I made it so long.
Any feedback? Tips? Have any of your tried or currently doing low-poo, no-poo, or water washing? Let me in on any secrets I’m missing!
Until next time.
P.S. Shout out to Diego for putting up with me through my many experiments and smelling my hair every time I asked him to. He’s a keeper :)