It's been some years since I've written in this blog. In the interim, I hennaed for a while, and then quit. I stuck with the shampoo bars until I started realizing it was stripping my hair too much- it was hard to comb and manage as it grew out. I also hated how dark my hair was getting when I no longer wanted the red of the henna… little by little the commercial products crept in, until voila- I was back where I was. First, I dyed my hair again because I hated how dark it was. Then, because it got all dried out by living close to the ocean and having stripped it of color (I go for light blonde in a box), I went for the shampoo and conditioner again. I was buying the "natural" stuff, no SLS or silicones or parabens; but still. Wow, that stuff is expensive! Expensive and honestly not doing a whole lot for me.
After a few years of running on the beach and sailing, swimming in the ocean and intermittently coloring my hair, it was dry as straw. It was long, down to mid back, but honestly looked not so great. I went to a salon and was sold shampoo, conditioner, leave in conditioner- all costing me around $100! Seems ludicrous, right? Right! I remembered my days of "no poo" and wondered how I could get my hair back to health.
First, I stopped dying, about a year ago. My own natural blonde has been something I've hated for a long time, but I've grown to love the deep honey color it is. Then, I just had my hair cut to my shoulders to get rid of the bulk of the damaged stuff. It wasn't horrible, but it wasn't great; and it was much lighter than my natural color. So off it went. Right after, I thought- wouldn't this be a great time to try again? I'm committed to no longer coloring my hair, and letting it just be vibrant and healthy whatever it looks like. Why not ditch the shampoo?
When I started this experiment many years ago, I jumped on the BS and ACV bandwagon like everyone else. Back then there wasn't as much info as there is now, the movement was much smaller. I went on the 'net and saw that so many more people are giving it a try- including celebrities!- and saw that people are actually going towards completely natural hair, with no product or recipes at all (see: water washing). There is some evidence now that baking soda is actually quite rough on the hair, causing dryness and breakage over time. I absolutely believe that.
So last week, I gave my hair one final clarifying shampoo, and jumped. I've been using honey to soften and clarify my hair, followed by a quick rinse with dilute cider vinegar.
I know the dreaded "transition period" is upon me. I've been ok so far. My hair is trained to only be washed every 3 days (yes, I shower more frequently than that) so I am not suffering from total greasies yet. Plus, all the reading I did prepared me; I have a boar bristle brush, and brush each night to distribute my hair's natural oils. So far so good! I think that the people reporting the worst of the greasies are not using these brushes to bring the oils down the hair. You have to groom every day! It's a must. It's helpful that my hair isn't so long, and no longer carrying damaged weight. I'm looking forward to growing it out completely healthy and strong.
What will I do? Well, I am going to transition for a while using honey and ACV. My hope is that I will eventually be able to space that out to monthly, or as needed. We shall see!
This photo is immediately post-haircut; I will shampoo once more to clarify, and that's that.