Monday, March 30, 2009

Day 40

Today was a BS wash day. I followed that with a chamomile/ ACV/ honey rinse. I left that in while I did other shower stuff... mostly to see if it softens things a bit. I've been disliking how dry I feel with a BS wash and how heavy after a Dr.B's wash. Time for a little tweaking to figure out what works for me!

As you can see though, lots of body after blowdrying. I've given up on on the idea of going completely natural until I've grown my hair completely out. This awkward stage is too difficult to manage without some styling.

This morning before I went running, I felt like my hair was heavy but not horribly greasy. I think Dr.B's not only doesn't strip your own oils but likely adds its own. It creates a texture I don't feel I can really handle unless I'm intentionally camping and want feral hair. I didn't feel like anyone could run their fingers through my hair and have a pleasant experience.

Today it's dry, but soft, and has a bit more of the silkiness I'm used to from before. When I do a BS wash it's usually really nice by day 2 or 3.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Day 38

Yesterday I washed with Dr.Bronner's (photo on the right). I was feeling like the BS is stripping my hair... and I'm sure it is. Well, Dr.B's is all oils which are saponified (soapified) but not detergents. This means it doesn't strip oils out of anything, but does definitely distribute them differently and remove excess. In other words... my hair is clean, yes, but not the way it is with shampoo or BS. I use Dr.B's when I camp, and enjoy the way it feels sort of thick and soft... but alas, it does retain the natural oiliness. Is that what our hair is supposed to look like? I don't really know. I know that it's darker in color, shinier, and not exactly stringy or gross; but not fine and "fresh washed" like all the other Miss Clairol-heads either. Dilemma. I don't want to look yucky, but I don't want to strip it.

Anyway I rinsed with just chamomile. I felt after that maybe I had stripped it (I put a little bit of Dr.B's in warm water to make my "shampoo", and it made plenty of lather, may have used too much) because it was difficult to get my fingers through. So I used the tiniest amount of coconut oil, in the ends only. I did this with my head upside down so I wouldn't touch anywhere near my scalp. It dried really thick, lots of body, but the roots looked suspicious because of course they aren't stripped. Headband it was, then.

This morning I have fabulous bedhead of course, and it actually doesn't look too bad but the roots are suspicious. It doesn't look quite as dry or crunchy as yesterday, and it's shiny. I could get away with a head band again or my usual ponytail.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Day 36

Well, it's been two days since my last BS wash and of course things are getting a little stringy. Yesterday I did not rinse, just put it in a headband- it looked fine, normal. Today I just rinsed it with water, and I still think it would look fine if it were long... I let it air dry today to be nice to my hair, and it's ugly because it's growing out, but not bad. I'm going to put it up in a ponytail as usual...

So even though it's a bit stringy it's not gross, no weird hippie smells or anything like that. I'm doing two BS washes per week, though I would like to space that out. Perhaps I will make one of my washes Dr.B's soap, since I'm suspicious that the BS is stripping my hair everytime and that means my scalp will never adjust!

I have to admit something though, even when it's somewhat oily (when I'm getting close to the time for another BS wash), when I brush it I like how deeply golden and reflective my hair is. It's just never that shiny in life, I think! I can see how if I have it long, brush religiously and rinse well, it would just be gorgeous- way more reflective, and that honey color I've always wanted it to be, instead of just sun bleached as it likes to do. I'm eager for this adjustment everyone keeps talking about. I guess I need to push it longer between washes and maybe find a less harsh solution.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Day 34

I spent the weekend with a friend, and she was not aware at all about the fact that I stopped using shampoo. It looked fabulous on Friday (BS wash day); still looked great on Saturday in a headband; and Sunday in a couple of pigtails. I woke this morning with fabulous bedhead as usual, a fact I'm just getting used to. I want to start going longer between washes to train my hair, and I think it is getting better, but I feel I've already settled into a routine of twice weekly BS washes. I'd like to wean off the BS a bit, I think it's pretty harsh and drying. I don't want to skimp on the mixture- it was a disaster last time when I didn't use enough- but perhaps get to once per week, and then eventually longer. I produce a lot of oil though! Always have! I just don't like how dry I feel after I use BS.

Today I tried vinegar again, since I made sure I used the entire BS mixture. I wanted to see if it's truly a problem or not. So far, my hair feels normal. Well, a little better than usual, not quite as dry as it can be after BS washes. I only used a tablespoon, in my chamomile tea. That's it. Perhaps the telling moments will be in the next few days, but for today, looking good!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Day 30!!!

Yay, one month! Today my hair is settled from Tuesday's washing, getting a bit greasy at the roots but not bad. I put it into a ponytail after I did a chamomile rinse this morning, so it's got that fun funky pony-head. I brushed it before I took the photo, and shook it out. Maybe you can see that although the roots look a bit oily, it's not too bad; it does not smell bad (or have any smell, actually) and feels thick and soft.

I am not stopping. I'm curious as to how I'll adjust. I think I may need to start stretching the time between BS washes, in order to actually get my scalp to adjust. I doubt that I will be able to stop BS washes altogether, since I am a good producer of oil... I used to have very oily skin as a kid, one reason I'm aging well now (no complaints here!) I do find BS very drying, and makes my hair feel a bit chalky. Maybe I will try coconut oil again but very very carefully.

I'm traveling away for the weekend tomorrow, so I am going to do a wash and then wing it for the weekend!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Day 28

Top 'o the mornin! It's St.Patty's day and I plan on going out tonight... so today was a BS wash day. I used my new and improved chamomile/ lemon/ honey formula- my hair feels clean and soft.

It wasn't too bad even this morning... here's the bedhead, in case you were wondering. I get the most fabulous bedhead now, I never looked that crazy in the morning.

And this picture is from yesterday, it was a ponytail day... I find that I can definitely go 4 days between BS washes, and perhaps more, but only with my hair up. Maybe that will change with time, or when I have longer hair... it hasn't quite been a month, so I can't complain if I've managed to stretch out to "washing" only twice per week! (With rinses in between, naturally, I do shower).

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Day 25

Oh, yesterday was so frustrating!!! I washed my hair and ended up just as greasy after as when I started! Grrr!

It was entirely my fault though, because I made some mistakes. I am learning... it's a process, indeed. Well, I did a BS wash with the second half of the bottle I made at the beginning of the week. It seemed there was plenty, so no problems there. Then I followed with a chamomile/ honey/ lemon rinse, but I think I was a little heavy handed with the lemon and maybe even the honey. I didn't measure, just dolloped. My hair felt thick and a bit slick at the end, and I wondered if it was going to be gross, but since I've had good luck so far I figured I was fine.

I was running late. This is part of the problem, I'm sure. My face felt dry and I wanted to put coconut oil on it. The last two times I did a BS wash my hair felt dry and chalky so I figured some coconut in the hair would be good too. Well usually it is but I went a little crazy, I think! I don't believe I got it on my scalp but I did have quite a bit on my hands when I passed my hands into my hair. When I went to blowdry and style it, ugh! I could see before I was even two minutes into it that things were gross. Greasy. Especially behind my ears. Stiff, heavy, and oily. Boy did that make me so mad, I wanted to get my haircut too! I didn't bother to finish drying it, just combed it into a ponytail and left.

Later, at work, in front of the bathroom mirror I took it out of the ponytail and shook it out. It didn't actually look too bad, but it definitely did not look like I just washed it. It looked like it used to when I was two or three days out from a shampoo. The ends were horribly ugly (goddamn razor) and flyaway, so I decided to risk getting a haircut after all.

I went and I must confess... I was ready to lie if she wanted to know what I used in my hair. I am not ready to tell the world at large, especially yesterday since it looked a bit heavy and oily. I lied, I'm not proud, and said "sorry it's gross, I need to wash my hair" but she only laughed and said it was not a big deal. At least it never smells bad! It probably wasn't as oily as I thought too. It definitely looked worse damp.

She tried to clean up the damage from the razor, but she tells me it will be another haircut or two before it's totally sharp again. Meh. I hate that- I lost some length yesterday but it looks better, the shape is way better.

I broke down and washed again today. That was a rule I didn't want to break, because I want to space out the time between washes, but I couldn't take it. I felt like wash day was reward for making it so long and I was so disappointed! Plus I'm dating someone and I can't feel this gross. I was careful today- I made a warm BS solution and dumped the WHOLE THING on my head. I made up tea too- chamomile with roses, 1 tbsp lemon juice, and 1 tsp honey. I wanted to see if it made things come out ok. No coconut, nothing...

And this is the result. Much better! New haircut, wash day, things are swingy and soft and pretty. It feels nice, clean and gorgeous. Whew!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Day 23

Missed a day... yesterday was a busy day! Well, all I did yesterday was a rinse with chamomile/honey/lemon. It looked fine, not really greasy, but I put it in a ponytail because I was suspicious it would look lank by the end of the day. This is an awkward hair length- only looks good at a certain length, and when styled. When it's longer it won't matter.

Today I did a water only rinse, and it looks fine. Not really very oily, even. I seem to be able to go a little longer between BS washes without looking hideous. That's the goal! I'm still in the adjustment period, I'm not kidding myself about that one, but in all I'd say my hair's been taking to the experiment fairly well. I'm clean, I don't smell bad or even look bad. I work with some pretty opinionated and straightforward people- if I looked gross BELIEVE ME they'd tell me.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Day 21

Yowza!!! I mean- look at the BODY!!! Whooooeeee! I love my hair today. Just love it. No styling products, people, nothing. Just me, all me.

Today I did a chamomile and honey rinse, massaged really well, and blowdried it (I have a date tonight!). It's soft, thick, and all ROCK STAR. Yeah! I know that if I keep touching it, it could look yucky by tonight... but right now it's amazing! Amazing, and three weeks since I've touched it with shampoo. I've "washed" twice per week with either baking soda or Dr.Bronners, rinsed quite a bit with chamomile, and attempted to balance out my vinegar needs... and I'm so happy with the results right now! I never have this much body!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Day 20

Ahhh. Today was a BS wash day. Actually I have to report that despite the nasties after the last BS wash, I rinsed yesterday and in the evening when I took it out of the ponytails, it wasn't gross. I thought that was pretty odd. I had been thorough in my rinse, but wow!

I ran today, and was pretty sweaty when I got home, but I brushed anyway (gently). I think that's the trick for no flakes, at least for me. (I also don't shed as much, hmm.) I made up a batch of BS solution and used as much as I felt I needed- about half of the 1 cup. Massaged well, rinsed well. Then I did use the last of the dilute ACV, but I took care not to get any on my scalp. Just the ends. After that I rinsed with chamomile.

I did style it, because I wanted to dry it and see what happened. It looks great today. Lots of body, maybe a little dry- I probably should have used a little coconut oil on the ends. Although I always feel it's a bit dry on BS days (it is a drying thing) and it usually feels better the next day. Today I think I will go get a haircut, if time allows; I hate that I have to blowdry to feel good about it and not look like a scarecrow. I'm putting the fear of the goddess into the stylist to never ever use that damn razor comb on me ever again. I hate that I have to lose a lot of my ends to make it right! Grrr. As long as I can still get it into piggies I'll be ok.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Day 19

Well, as it's the weekend I am just not going to do a BS wash. I'm only hanging out with the cats anyway. So today after I ran (outside!!! It's finally warm!) I did a chamomile/lemon/honey rinse, and it feels cleaner. Not taking any chances though so I put my hair in little piggies! I did have to go out and take care of one horse this afternoon, didn't want to freak out my client. Otherwise, I'm going to the gym tomorrow morning and then THANKFULLY it's time for another BS wash. I am going to use more of the solution and try the vinegar again, so I can make a decision on whether or not I just never need to use it again.

It's all a grand experiment! I am definitely still psyched about it. Today I'm making my own shaving cream too... going greener by the minute.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Day 18

Gross. Just, gross. Oh. My. Goddess.

So yesterday was a BS wash day. I didn't have much left in the bottle, but I felt it was enough to do a thorough job so I massaged it in, left it in for a while, and rinsed well. I did a very dilute ACV rinse- 1 tbsp to 1 cup water, with very very scant EO- and rinsed that well, following with chamomile/rose tea. I even did a cool rinse after, like usual.

Well, I felt that my hair was a bit thick, and not all that clean after. I blowdried it because I had a date last night, and wanted to look good. BUT! By 4 or 5 pm my hair was absolutely horrid. On other BS days it's been great, and great for days after. It was thick, somewhat stringy and looked unclean, like I'd used styling products on it a day or two ago and didn't wash. I threw it into a headband, curled the ends and went on my date.

This morning it was perfectly terrible. Just nasty. The most amazing 80's pop star bedhead I've ever seen. Thick, greasy roots, nasty. I combed it out for the photo. I am going to have to rewash it!

What went wrong? Well, it was either that I needed more BS solution (I had 1/4 of a bottle, maybe needed more?) OR it's just that I can't use vinegar at all. I didn't want my hair to be as dry as it was the last time I did a BS wash so I figured dilute vinegar would be ok. And that was pretty dilute! I think what I will do is wash with plenty of BS- enough to really saturate my hair- and follow with the same vinegar rinse and see what the difference is. Process of elimination. If it truly is the vinegar, I am not going to use it ever again. I was horrified by the end of the night and worried my date was going to be grossed out! Lucky for me he's a greaser and has a pompador, with ten tons of pomade in his own hair, so less likely to even notice... but seriously!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Day 16

Holding out for tomorrow for the next BS wash! I'm gonna make it!

I did a chamomile only rinse today, brushing well before the shower and massaging well under the water. I wanted to see if I can actually wear it down or not (how bad is it, does a ponytail make it worse?) so I blowdried it to get some style in the ends, and put it in a headband. It definitely has a lot of body! It feels a little like I went out last night with gel in my hair, sort of next day after night out hair (without the ciggy smell from the old days when people still smoked in bars- ugh!) Not gross, not oily, just thick. I'm not used to having thick hair at all, my hair is superfine.

Anyway it looks great but there's a ponytail holder on my wrist just in case.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Day 15

Well, definitely another transition/ponytail day. I only did a chamomile rinse today (nothing fancy) after sweating my butt off at the gym. I was late and so couldn't dry it; I was suspicious that it would not be a good "hair down" day anyway. Into a pony it went! I took it out tonight, and of course it is a frenzied mess since I put it up wet. It's slightly oily, no more than it used to be two days after I hadn't washed it (and it was never really bad since I only washed it every other day anyway.) I want to hold out for Friday though, so tomorrow will be another ponytail day- with or without a water only rinse.

I decided not to humiliate myself with a picture of the hair down, since it looks like I got electrocuted and then run over by a truck... so all you get is the neat little ponytail. Looks fine, eh?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Day 14!!!

I made two weeks! Yay! Two weeks and no signs of stopping, because I'm happy so far with how things are going. Actually, technically it's 15 days since my last shampoo!

Today I did a little twist on my cute little tea rinse. I put about a tsp of honey and a tbsp lemon into my chamomile tea. I made sure the tea was hot when the honey went in, to dissolve it well. (I got this little combination from a book that was talking about natural brighteners for blondes.) It smelled fabulous, and made my hair feel nice and smooth in the shower. It rinsed out just fine, with lots of warm water (no stickies, please!) and a cool rinse after.

My hair felt a little chalky and dry yesterday/this morning, and I wonder if I didn't rinse the BS out well enough (plus no vinegar after, maybe you need that...) It feels better today, thick but soft and not greasy or dry. Kind of perfect, actually. I did blowdry again today because it's COLD!!! It made sassy little curled ends though, and I love the way it looks today- with all the body of yesterday's picture, but shinier. The photo is from this afternoon, after being out in the wind all day, working. You can see that it looks a bit thicker, that although it isn't brushed it's not greasy or yucky. Just windblown. Neat!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Day 13

Look, Ma... lots of body!

So, this morning was Exxon Valdez to the max. Now, I didn't technically do any kind of a "wash" since Thursday (Dr.B) so really, that's 4 mornings without. I shouldn't be surprised to be so greasy. That's longer than normal for me. I wanted to hold out for today though, since I wasn't really socializing with anyone.

After the gym, I brushed my hair (more like slicked it repeatedly) and hopped in. On a side note- I have had NO trouble with flakes or itchies, mostly because I groom fastidiously. I brush every morning and night and sometimes in between if I'm fixing my ponytail. Anyway, today was a BS day. I massaged with it as usual, and felt the risidual oils. That always makes me nervous! I did my very dilute vinegar (ACV: 1 tbsp/ 1 c H2O) to which I had added waaaaaay too much Rosemary EO. Oh... I put that on my head and was overpowered, not only by the scent but by the oiliness of the EO! So I panicked, rinsed it out quickly and did another BS wash. All I rinsed with after was the chamomile/rose tea.

Soooo... my hair is a bit dry today, and not as shiny. I decided to blowdry because it's -10 outside, and I'm sick of looking like a scarecrow and resorting to ponytails. I think I need to get a haircut on a wash day. I hate the razor scissors, I think they've given me a setback. Grrrr! However, it still feels thicker than it used to, so I imagine there are still oils on the hair. I didn't do coconut oil, so I'm sure that makes a difference. I'm curious to see if I'll overproduce sebum now that I did so much BS. I hope not!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Experiment bonus...

I've been trying to find ways to become more efficient at the whole showering thing and preparing for the shower. I find myself measuring and brewing and taking several cups of concoctions into shower with me- and I abhor inefficiency. I like a shower to be quick (unless I'm cold) because my mornings are tightly timed.

I am also a sucker for beauty in day to day life (I think it's a Libra thing) so if I can make it functional AND beautiful, I've won. If only life could be steam-punk...

Anyway I recycle like mad, and save some of the prettier bottles from products I've used. I chose a couple of the nicer ones in which to put my BS solution, and a very dilute vinegar solution (I'm trying to see if the very dilute solution will work best for me). While it's not necessarily a good idea to take glass into the shower, I can be more than careful when handling it. It's up in the shower rack, too, away from the kitties, who are all about destruction for the fun of it.

So the bonus is that my shower now looks like a proper witchy place- complete with potion bottles! It fills my little aesthetic heart with joy.

Day 12

Oh, today is a greeeeeeasy day. I woke up with the most amazing bed head yet... and did a water only rinse, since I want to wait until tomorrow for a BS wash. Today, it doesn't matter; it's Sunday and I'm just hanging out. Well, water only did reduce the oil a bit- maybe because of the toweling later- but not enough. I threw it into little piggies, which I love, and it looks super shiny. You can still appreciate the oiliness by my ears though, but I comb it pretty well so it just looks like normal. Kind of amazing, actually. The neat thing is that the ends are behaving, they have a nice curl to them today.