Thursday, June 5, 2008

Even more crunchy

I have been working on cutting out the yucky commercial shampoos over the past month. I worked on stretching my shampooing out last year( from every day to every other with and occasional plus 1). I quit using commerical home cleanseres so long ago now that i can't remember exactly how long it's been. I switched to a non petro- based dish liquid last summer. It just makes sense that the shampoo would follow.
10yo reminded me this week that the one thing I said I wouldn't give up would be shampoo, conditioner, and lotions. She remembers a conversation we had last spring about it. I remember thinking then that the idea was just crazy. Who would actually want to give up shampoo. Isn't that a little weird? Shortly after though, I was delighted when our grocery store started carrying more organic beauty products and I happily switched over our body wash and half of our shampoos. I wasn't able to totally give up my old friend Pantene until this past month. The last scrapes of the shampoo bottle are finally used up, and I don't plan to buy any more (of that kind anyway.)

I used to use a big glob of shampoo and a handful or more of conditioner every time I washed my hair. This worked out to using 1 large bottle of each every 4 weeks or so. Recently the consumption was higher because 10yo's hair has gotten longer. I don't shampoo the length, just the scalp. The water washing down the length of the hair is sufficient to get that part clean. Conditioner only goes on the lenght below the ears. Let that sink in a minute. All that product, going on a limited amount of space....I have very thick hair. I loved shampoo. I loved the fresh 'clean' smell and the soft silkiness of my slick hair dancing around on my back. So it was with much thought and marinating on the idea that I decided to change the way I was washing my hair. I never thought it would work, I never thought it would smell clean, and I thought there was no way to give up commercial conditioner (that was harder than the shampoo). But, my hair, that I had grown very attached to, ( I don't know how or when that happened because it got long, but I never really gave it much thought... it was just long.) had become a firey split mess. I have never let my hair get like some of that long hair I've seen. You know the fried, frayed, horse tail grown to a point kind. No, I take care of my just got too close to the gas stove top at Christmas and poof! in an instant, fried stink. I did cut about 4 inches that was damaged off, and had been really debated chopping it all. That's when i came to grips with trying different shampoo options. If I'm gonna cut it anyway...

After letting a few hippy-ish ideas marinate a while , and reading a few blog posts, and then researching this no shampoo thing... I decided to give the baking soda and apple cider vinegar thing a whirl. The worst thing that could happen would be that I would have to use shampoo and conditioner, right? Well, to my great surprise the baking soda(hereafter abbreviated BS) and apple cider vinegar (ACV) worked as well as, if not better than Pantene. I couldn't believe it!! No shampoo. No conditioner yet I was able to comb through my ultra thick hair. I have used conditioner since I was 4 years old. Not a wash has gone by (with the exception of 1 time at grandma's...she just didn't have any) that I have gone without conditioner. I was utterly amazed. Then my hair started to dry. And my scalp began to burn. And get tight. And burn some more. My hair stayed squeaky clean for over 3 days. By the end of day 3 I was ready to rub some coconut oil on my scalp to help ease the drying. Baking soda worked...too well. After I discovered the ACV though, I started to use that in place of conditioner. My hair was amazing, but...still starting to be crunchy on the ends. I started to oil my ends a little more heavily and reading some posts at the no 'poo message boards. Some people were talking about alternative so BS washes. Some don't use anything at all. Just water. The idea exited me. Then again, I was equally excited to learn there are companies don't put all that crap in there shampoo.

Water only was something I thought I'd give a whirl during the week when no one would have to look at me...just in case. The first results were amazing. I had 10yo stick her nose in my scalp =(just like the first BS/ACV episode) and whatya know, no smell. Now some WO(wateronly) cleansers are hard core. They never go back to shampoo. I've just alternated WO with those friendlier companies (Aubrey organics, and Giovanni Organics). My hair in the past few weeks is shinier, softer, easier to manage, and even more bizarre (to me) CONDITIONER FREE!! Just this week though I cheated and bought some Giovanni 50/50 conditioner. Very light. I like it. I've also swathed from ACV to Greentea/blacktea rinses with just a drop of vinegar to up the acidity.

I sit before you with hair that has not had shampoo on it since Saturday. My hair is sooo soft, shiny and unbelievable. AND IT DOESN"T STINK!! It's important for me to add that in there. I can hardly believe that a little tea, and water, and a nice mesage can make my hair so incredible. When I do finally wash(which will probably be tomorrow) I'm going to use my new Aubrey shampoo and ..conditoner... I'm a sucker for the stuff and I can hardly wait to use a new product. I know now that I'm not stuck using the stuff though. If push can to shove, I could be shampoo free for a long long time-as long as I had access to water and a few tea bags.