Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Going shampoo-free

Just wanted to take a moment to confess/proclaim that I've joined the "no-poo" movement. That is, I no longer use shampoo to wash my hair. There are a lot of reasons one might do this, from the environmental to the economic, but I did it because some combination of middle age and parenthood had left my hair so dry and lifeless that I was thinking about cutting it all off. I'd bumped into some discussion of giving up shampoo (using either all-conditioner, or a combination of baking soda wash and vinegar rinse, instead) and finding that one's hair was healthier, fuller, and altogether easier to deal with, so I figured I had nothing to lose by trying.

If anybody's curious, here are two decent links to explain the reasoning behind giving up shampoo, as well as how to go about it and what to expect: Ditching shampoo a dirty little beauty secret and The No-’Poo Do. Until the 1970s, the idea of washing your hair every day (and then conditioning, to partly make up for the harshness of shampoo's stripping effects) was unheard of -- this is an American norm that marketing folks created, so we shouldn't just accept it without examination, even if we like all the smells in the morning...

Well, it's been a couple of months now -- I slipped once and tried the medicated shampoo when my allergies had my scalp really bothering me, and I immediately repented, seeing how slaughtered everything looked as a result. Still tweaking some details, like how much soda/vinegar should be in those solutions, how best to keep it convenient in the shower (let alone for travel), etc. -- but my hair has been so much fuller and happier that people have actually asked me about it. It took a couple of weeks for my hair to adjust to not having all of its oils stripped again and again, and I've added a boar-bristle brush to my evening regimen, but otherwise it's just basically the same old me, clean but unscented, and healthier than before. There may still be a haircut in my future, but it won't be because it's all about to fall off!

flowing red hair

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