Saturday, February 28, 2009

Day 11

Well, I spoke too soon about yesterday's greasiness. When I'd freed it from the ponytail it looked ok initially but then I saw just how crazy and greasy it was. I note that I did lemon juice after the Dr.B's, and I know that it works much like vinegar (to a lesser degree.) I wonder if I just don't need the "conditioning rinse"? Some people get really greasy on vinegar and I haven't used it in a little while, and have been happier with the results. Hmmm. Normally (when I was shampooing) I could go more than the next day without being greasy; I'd be slightly greasy on day 3, then shampoo that day (or stuff it into a ponytail.) So I feel it's unusual to be that greasy. Yes, I'm transitioning. Yes.

Anyway I wore it in little piglets today to dance practice, and it was super cute- the ends were all wild and fun, like I had gel in it. I liked that. Then I took them out and whoa! Crazy, greasy. When I brushed it for the shower it would lie flat on my scalp. The intersting thing to note is that it doesn't feel gross. Or stink. It looks better if I fluff it out with my fingers; but right after brushing, on any given day, it's slick. It's been very shiny though! Today after dance I rinsed with chamomile only, massaged and rinsed really really well. I dry with a towel using several strokes, sort of like the "Mexican Method".
So these photos show the cute piggies with the wild body, and what it looked like when I took them out (oooh! shiney!); then after the rinse only. The greasiness is greatly reduced with just that.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Day 10

Even though I got sweaty at the gym this morning, I only did a rinse in my hair when I showered. It brushed out nicely (my habit now is lots of brushing before the shower/ in the morning, and at night- probably 100 strokes, but who's counting?) and looked fine, actually.

I massaged a mix of 1 tbsp lemon in a cup of water into my hair, and left that in while I did other shower stuff. When I rinsed that out, my hair felt sort of slick- the oils were still there, but it felt good, actually. After that I put the chamomile/ rose tea in my hair and left that in while I finished up; I rinsed with cool water and was done.

My hair was drying normally, looked and felt normal. I did not blowdry, though, but put it into a ponytail before it was dry. The picture shows the ponytail, not nearly as "slicked down" as last week. It just looks normal. When I took it down tonight, the ends were crazy as usual, and somewhat stringy on the crown but only when I brush or comb it; if I fluff it with my fingers it looks fine.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Day 9

Soooo... I was nervous, having a date tonight (went great!) so I wanted my hair to look good. I know, it's so vain but it is my vanity... worse when it's long!

I washed my hair with Dr.Bronners, which I'd diluted; I found I had to pour it on my head directly to be sure it got where it needed to be. When I'd just put it on my hands, lather it and try to apply it, I didn't feel I was getting anywhere. Dr.Bronners leaves the oils in the hair, so I wasn't sure it was going to be less greasy or not. Then I just rinsed with chamomile/rose tea, and skipped the vinegar. I meant to use lemon but forgot to take it in with me, so after a cold rinse, that was that.

Since I had this date, I decided to blow dry my hair. The photo is from right after that. Wow! Such body! It looked fabulous, and I didn't mind having it down all day. I tried my best not to play with it too much, as that would make it stringy and greasy, and I did a good job for the most part. When I got home I curled the ends- and the style holds great, like I have product in it. I threw it in a headband and it looks great. In all I'd say I've got the greasies a lot less than before.

On an interesting note... once or twice throughout the day, I noted a 'dreaddy hippie' smell, sort of like what you smell on a person with dreds; not a funk, per se, but a distinct smell. Then it dawned on me... it smelled like Dr.Bronners + natural human hair. Oh! Hmmm.... before my date I put more lavender EO on my hair to help that out. The jury's still out on whether or not I feel that Dr.B makes a good hair cleaner for me.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Day 8

Today would be the third day not "washing" since I did BS on Monday. Normally I would shampoo every other day. However... I want to stretch out the time between washings, so I decided to tough out today and see how it goes.

This morning I ran at the gym, so I was sweaty. Things were looking reeeeaaaalll greasy too. Or maybe it was sweat... nah, it was greasy. Anyway I only rinsed with chamomile (and I threw in a few dried rose petals too, for fun). I massaged my scalp well in the warm water, and followed with a cool rinse. It felt greasy in the shower, and I thought for sure that I was going to be a grease bucket all day. I decided against vinegar because I've heard it makes some people feel greasy and heavy after...

Well! Surprise! My hair did not feel greasy once it dried. I was suspicious, and put it in a ponytail for the day. The first photo shows my (ridiculous) ponytail. Doesn't look too bad actually. When I got home I took it out totally expecting to be a stiff greasy mess... and WOW! It's fine! Just- fine! Not really stringy, not really greasy, just kindof normal. It may have been different if it was down and I was playing with it all day (I run my hands through my hair a lot when it's down.)

So, I've been a bit nervous because I have a date on Thursday (eeek! a first date, too!) and I don't want to be a salad head, a greasy mess or otherwise!! I was in despair thinking of it last night since I was so icky. Today has really turned me around and made me feel hopeful that it will work for me. My plan is to "wash" it tomorrow- maybe with Dr.Bronners, and only rinse with tea and EO, no vinegar. I have no wish to explain why I smell like a warm salad to someone I like. Mmmm... no. I am also going to use a blowdryer and maybe curl it... special occasion, right?

So this photo is with the ponytail just out, I tried to brush it but it's crazy. The ends are ruined. Grrr! It's just to show, though, that it's not stringy or greasy at all.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Day 7

Well! I've made it through the first week. Yay! It's been interesting so far, though, because I have also stopped using heat to style my hair... and I hate it. Hate my hair right now- the style, anyway.

Although I went to the gym this morning, I didn't get super sweaty... and because I'm used to washing my hair only every other day, I didn't wet my hair. Yesterday, by evening, my hair had gone from the freshly washed look to somewhat stringy, so I ended up putting it up. It had some body though, and that was nice. Today it looks stringy but doesn't feel greasy. I wonder if that's just the sebum working its way through, and what's supposed to happen? I hope that it won't stay stringy forever, that it will even out. I like it to be smooth and bouncy and right now it's flat and looks oily, though it isn't (or at least, doesn't feel that way.) I think if my hair was longer it would look better because the top looks ok, the bottom where it was razored looks like crap.

Today's pic shows my style is all wonky, because of the flyaway ends due to the cut and because I had it in a little nubbie ponytail this morning to work out. If I could do a close up I would, to demonstrate that it looks stringy but isn't truly gross. I'm self conscious about it though so I'll be putting it into a little ponytail today.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Day 6

Actually, it was a week ago today that I last washed with shampoo and conditioner. I was using Aveda, and only washing every 2 to 3 days, so I feel I'm a bit ahead of the game anyway. This morning I was greasy greasy greasy! Yuck. I usually wear little pigtails to the gym (and it's not a fashion show anyway, who cares). Man, I have to say, it slicks back into a ponytail reeeeaaaal easy these days.

So today after I ran at the gym and got all sweaty, I thought it was time for a BS wash. Last one was Wednesday last week. I think that's pretty good! So as usual I brushed my hair well (never a tangle, these days, not that I have that problem). I get everything all ready to go, like baking soda in a cup, vinegar in a cup and chamomile tea in a cup, that I dilute with water while in the shower so it's not frigid. Today I tried a white vinegar/water rinse, I wanted to see if there's a difference from ACV. This time it was not 50/50 but 25/75. I don't like smelling like vinegar when I run. Anyway I did a vinegar rinse, then chamomile tea rinse and followed up with cool water. Invigorating! The photo here is this morning, after the wash, while my hair wasn't fully dry. It feels good though, not stringy or oily. Yay for BS!

Now my hair feels a bit stripped- sort of like when you shampoo and don't follow with conditioner. Of course, today was a BS day so that makes a difference. I was reading other people's blogs that ACV can make their hair feel a bit greasy and heavy sometimes. I wonder if white vinegar is really that different? The smell certainly is. The more dilute rinse seems better I think, less odor. I also got some lovely French Lavender essential oil (EO) and patted that lightly into the ends after the shower, along with some coconut oil on my face and ends. I only used the coconut oil because I felt like my hair was really stripped somehow, and I couldn't get my fingers through it- the coconut fixed it right up.

This photo is from the evening... it shows that it dried nice, but it got a little stringy during the day. Not really oily, I guess; maybe we (I) just don't know what hair would feel like if it were natural? Certainly if every hair were coated with sebum, the hair texture would change, be thicker, behave differently. Either way by mid-day, it was a little stringy and looked somewhat oily behind my ears. I had the top back in barrettes all day and that looked alright, and was glad I didn't have it down.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Day 5

Yesterday, I thought my hair looked pretty greasy in the morning. I've been brushing/ massaging well in the morning and at night. I went to the gym yesterday morning, and had my hair up in little pigtails; if I comb it really well it doesn't look yucky at all. When I took it down it was flat and gross, but didn't smell bad or feel overly greasy- it just felt like the oils were really working their way down. I thought it took more time but in my case, it's going quickly. I just hope my poor scalp realizes the change soon!

Anyway I felt pretty greasy and had plans to go out on the town during the day and at night, so I wanted to do something about it. I want to wait to do a BS wash- so that I'm only doing that once per week, or wean off it entirely. So what I did was a 50/50 ACV/H2O wash, with lots of good massaging. My hair felt really slick, sort of cleaner but I could really feel the oils. You know that feeling when you shampoo, where it squeaks? Yeah, not anymore. I don't mind leaving the oils in but I didn't want excess. I ended up using a little bit of VERY dilute Dr.Bronner's Lavender (which I've read is a good alternative in this experiment, doesn't strip the hair). That made it feel pretty much similar. Then I rinsed with chamomile, and figured- well! I guess I'll see what happens.

I let my hair air dry. Again, I feel I've got the uglies if I don't blowdry with a style brush- it sticks out like a scarecrow (my stylist keeps razoring the ends, which I hate, it makes everything look frayed). I was self-conscious through the day with my crazy, straight flyaway hair- but it was clean, and looked clean. Not stringy, not greasy, just a little bit flat and no style at all. It felt soft though! The bonus is it is starting to look shinier! I always thought blonde hair just wasn't shiny, like brunettes. It seems that is not true.

In the evening I was going out to a club, so I broke down and used a curling iron in my hair. Normally I have to use product (mousse or something) to get style to take, but I didn't use anything and it held really well- even though it was raining out. Wow! It looked great. I wore a headband, had the ends curled, and felt fabulous... and it's been 7 days since shampoo, 5 days since BS wash.

I woke up with the ends still curled (my ends may be damaged, from all the abuse, so this may be why), but not very greasy. It's behaving as it does when I've swum in the ocean and not washed my hair a couple of days. I kind of like it a little wild, so that's fine! Better than flat and stringy. In this photo I still have a dent in the front from where the headband is, (along with bed head) but you can see the curls, and I think it looks much better this way.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Day 3

Well, today was a little more challenging. I ran at the gym today, so I couldn't just do nothing as I came home all sweaty. So I brushed and massaged my scalp, and hopped in the shower. I rinsed with lemon juice (1 tbsp in 1 cup water) and followed that with a chamomile rinse- I made tea with 1/2 cup boiling water and added cooler water once it had steeped to make it more tepid. That was nice! It smelled good. At the end of the shower I could feel that the texture of my hair was different- a little more slick. Likely the natural oils coming through. When I got out I put some rosemary essential oil on my hand- a tiny drop- and ran it through my hair. After I moisturized my face with coconut oil I put a little of that in my ends, since they looked dry.

Once again I'm grateful my hair is still short, because that will make the process of coating the hair with natural oils much quicker. However... I'm truly hitting the ugly stage of growing out, and man! It was ugly today. I think my hair looks terrible unless I style it with a hairdryer and brush, which is something I've wanted to stop doing (hence growing it out). I didn't put it in a pony tail and quickly regretted that by mid morning, because I kept playing with my hair (tuck it back, let it down, tuck it back...) until I made it a little greasy. Then I got self conscious, which is never fun.

The photo was taken this evening, after I surrendered to using a carefully placed rubber band to put my hair back... so I have a pony-tail bump at the ends. The ends look a little dry and damaged, no surprise since I've been brutalizing it with a hairdryer all this time!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Day 2

Since I normally don't shower or wash my hair except every other day, I did nothing with it today (as usual) except brush it, for a moderate session. I wore it in a little weensie ponytail yesterday and it looked good, felt silky and shiny. I'm lucky I have nice hair anyway.

This morning at the gym, though, I could smell a vinegar smell- like those damned Cape Cod Sea Salt chips I'm addicted to. Hmm. I don't know if anyone else could smell it though, it was subtle. My plan is to get some chamomile flowers and some essential oils to make the whole thing more pleasant, scent-wise. I'm also going to be slowly and gently extending times between cleaning my hair (but not showering in general!).

Since I'm growing my hair out, I'm about to go through the ugly-no-style phase anyway so it's good I'm going to get all the uglies out of the way at once. While I can still wear a winter hat...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Day 1

This morning I went to the gym and ran, so I was pretty sweaty. I massaged and gently scratched my scalp, then combed my hair for a bit before jumping in the shower.

I "washed" with baking soda (BS) (one tablespoon in one cup water), massaged it in and left it on for a bit. Then I rinsed well, and followed with a "rinse" of 50/50 apple cider vinegar (ACV). This I also rinsed well- with water that was getting tepid due to my tiny water heater. That's fine, though! Cool water is better for the hair. After that, I did a finishing rinse of one tablespoon ACV in cool water.

In this photo, my hair is still a little wet- I'm not using the blowdryer anymore either, as much as I hate the way my short hair looks unstyled. I'll wear it in a ponytail until it's longer.

Why I'm going shampoo-free

A couple of years ago, I saw an article on line about a woman who hasn't shampooed her hair for 10 years. Her name was Penny. I searched, then, for information or articles on how to go without washing your hair... I mean, her hair was not greasy or gross, and the article stated she didn't stink or look funky. How did she do it? At that time, there seemed to be no information on the Web about it. I didn't just want to stop washing... but I had no idea how to get my hair back to a natural state.

Not long after reading that article, I went surfing on Cape Cod with a boyfriend. We camped for a week and I made the decision beforehand not to shower, at all. After all... I would be in the ocean every day, and salt water always makes my hair feel amazing. I did it, and felt fabulous! My hair was funky and wild, gently bleached by the sun, and was fun to play with. I have read so many things online about what it will look and feel like to be more natural and I'm psyched!

Recently I came across a thread on Tribe about the "no-poo" movement and started reading. There were tons of links about transitioning hair back to a natural state, and why... stuff about the chemicals in shampoo (a solvent, after all) and the health benefits of not damaging your hair. Not to mention the beauty!

Shampoo wasn't introduced until the early 1900's. Until then people didn't touch their hair with anything but soap, and only once per month or so. Plenty of poems and stories were written about the beauty of women's hair and so on... how is that so? What did they do before Miss Clairol?

Think about it... dogs don't wash their hair everyday. Unless they have food allergies or mange, they are not unpleasant. Or cats. Or horses. Or anything else that just lives naturally and is covered in fur/ hair.

So here in this blog I am going to track my own progress, what I'm using and how it's going. I have short hair that I've been growing out for the past few months, so this is the perfect time... my hair's still short enough to get the natural oils (sebum) down to the ends in a quick amount of time without too much torture.

I'm excited about this! I've been trying to get back to living a more pure and natural life anyway, and this seems to be the way to go. I'll save lots of money on avoiding hair products, and save the environment by not dumping tons of solvents down the drain.

I am going to blog daily about this, and include pictures and a log of what I use. This is purely selfish, so that I can keep track of what does and doesn't work.

Here are some links to what I've been reading: