It started because I was looking up ways to hide bobby pins when I put them in my hair on Pinterest.
I’m not sure how that led me to reading articles about the effects of shampoo on your hair, but before I knew it, two of them appeared on my homepage, along with natural shampoo alternatives. Both of them got pinned to my fashion board.
(Okay, okay, I didn’t actually find that scientific article first — although it does add a measure of validity to this experiment! Definitely an extra step I’d recommend. Instead, I read the two articles I’d pinned from Beauty High and that prompted me to find the next thing I looked into, as you’ll soon see.)
After that, Boyfriend and I went to Florida and talked with a Winter Park Honey representative about what honey is good for. We learned how it can be used in ways that would make most people say “okay, sure,” and walk away: things like hair cleaning and conditioning, healing cuts, and decreasing seasonal allergies. (Bees, by the way, are necessary. As in, we depend on them to survive. So find a way to help them.)
My first thought? I’ve seen remedies like this somewhere before…
True to form, when I got home, I kind of forgot about the hair cleaning bit until I looked up dry shampoo a few days later. Specifically, I wanted to know how to properly use it. A lady at the salon where I’d gotten my hair cut had showed me exactly what to do…but that had been months ago. I use product about as often as I dress my hair up. In other words: maybe four times in my life.
I’m also the kind of person who does better when I’m first given instructions and then allowed to modify them. This brought along the first article I read about not using shampoo, something called “the no ‘poo movement.”
Yeah. Cue my skeptiicism.
I’ve had greasy hair since puberty. When I hit thirteen, my head was like an oil slick. Every pore, every follicle, every inch of my face and scalp decided it was time to turn into a giant grease ball. All of this did wonders for my self-esteem, in ways that only acne and perpetually frizzy bad hair days can.
Here’s the part where I tell you everything I tried. Just like in all those infomercials, I can list the products that worked (ten percent of the time) and didn’t (ninety percent of the time). I can tell you about how I had to change shampoos and facial cleaners almost monthly, how I hyper-focused on my skin, and how I kept my hair in a ponytail most of the time because leaving it down looked worse.
Instead, I’ll just tell you this: I grew out of it. I still get occasional acne, but the only thing that stuck around was the greasy hair. Oh, and the frizz. Always plenty of frizz.*
I didn’t really look for the source of any of these problems, though. I never really questioned the products I was using, or how often I used them. It also never occurred to me to find out.
I’m going to credit Boyfriend and Sarah for this change in blindly trusting stuff. Boyfriend’s more all-natural than I am, and he’s into trying new things because, literally, why not? He’s the first person my age I’ve ever met whose personality is to question the things he’s been told and look for alternative answers.
I feel like he’s been a catalyst and a partial partner. He’s let me know it’s okay to try new stuff and reminds me to find a logic as to why you’re doing what you do. To be Present in your choices.
Sarah’s also been doing this, but at a slower pace. She’s trying new things, examining them as she goes along. She’s also the first person I’ve really opened up to about the things women don’t really talk about at all.
Sarah’s been the other partner on the road to actually doing things, where we can talk about what new things we’ve tried — either apart or separately — and address the questions we’ve raised about them.
In other words, I feel quite lucky because these traits make them two of the least judgmental and most enthusiastic people I’ve ever met. Together, they’ve inspired me to attempt this. (Despite the fact that they inspire me at separate times, since they’re not usually in the same room.)
Which is good, since I’m trying to embrace change.
My point is, in my newfound awareness, I looked up what makes up shampoo and what you can do instead of using it. On top of finding thousands of recipes for DIY home and beauty products, I discovered different methods for engaging in the no ‘poo movement, as well as why it works.
I haven’t gotten very far. I’m still in the transition period between cleansing my hair with baking soda and waiting until it’s greasy enough to merit another cleaning.
I’m just sick of buying stuff that doesn’t work. Since shampoo as we know it today wasn’t invented until the late 1930s (at the earliest), I’m curious how they dealt with dirty hair before that.
If letting the natural oils in my scalp condition my hair is the way to go, so be it.
In case you’re concerned about my mental health, not shampooing my hair is not the same thing as skipping out on a shower. I have a shower cap. (Which was wildly amusing to put on for the first time because shower caps were clearly not meant to be more than a utility. Or maybe that’s just the one I found.) So when I’m not washing my hair, I put it in the cap and bathe the rest of my body.
But that’s a real concern, I know. All the blogs I’ve read where people have announced their transition into no ‘poo have added a disclaimer of some sort saying “YES, I STILL SHOWER.” It’s also one of the reasons I haven’t announced what I was doing until now. I wanted to see if it worked, to have some sort of proof that I’m not nuts because failure is shameful.
In other words: if I can make it through the no ‘poo transition to never shampooing my hair clean again, then I can proudly say “it works” and explain why. Others have, why not me? And if it doesn’t, maybe there’s something I can change.
For now, I’m in transition. I’ve made up my mind and started the process and now, the only way out is through. I’ve even bought the necessary materials to make this whole thing easier.
Failing to plan is planning to fail. I like plans.
Although I’m starting to think that my hair is too greasy for this whole experiment to be a success…
Have you made any transitions from “mainstream” to “natural”? It could be bath and body related, cleaning products related, or just daily things like reusing water bottles…sort of…
*A note on frizz: it can easily be reduced by rinsing your hair with cold water. Why nobody tells us this in middle school, I don’t know.
PS — You can follow this whole no ‘poo journey via my Twitter account, if you’re curious about how it’s been going on a daily basis.
PPS — I’m making more changes towards DIY products, including perfume and (possibly) deodorant. Links are included, if you’re curious and/or want to give them a try.