Friday, November 15, 2013

Shampoo is a LIE, the thrilling conclusion

I've been wanting to tell you the story of how I finally figured out to get my hair looking good, feeling good, not a hassle, and chemical free ALL AT THE SAME TIME, but I was wondering if that seemed too hypocritical after my little anti-vanity rant the other day. Then I realized why this is different: Hair is totally ornamental, and I've never claimed otherwise. And, anyway, this info is TheBombDotMom, so it's clearly within my mission statement to share it with the world.

So at my last hair update, I was washing it every few days with baking soda and rinsing it with vinegar. I liked this method overall and recommended it to people, but there were some downsides, too:

Pros

  1. No more frizzy hair (this one is huge).
  2. No more buying expensive crap for your hair (also nice).
  3. No more nasty chemicals soaking in through your skin (made me feel good about myself at least).
  4. No plastic waste (which is getting more important to me all the time).

Cons

  1. It was a moderate pain in the neck to mix the baking soda and vinegar solutions and drag them into the shower with me.
  2. The lack of suds feels really weird.
  3. Vinegar smells like vinegar.
  4. Even though my hair looked good, the texture varied a lot, from dry to downright sticky, and I couldn't seem to figure out how to keep it at a happy medium.
  5. I started seeing articles that said this "no-poo" method was actually damaging to hair over the long term because it takes the pH level quickly from one extreme to another.
  6. I despise the term "no-poo."
I started wondering if the whole thing was an elaborate marketing scheme designed to get me to start buying expensive natural shampoos (because, having seen that there was a better way, I most definitely didn't want to go back to my Pantene-and-Frizz-Ease days). And I did switch to an expensive natural shampoo for a short time, but the stuff looked and felt like mud—because it basically was mud—and it solved only some of my problems.

The one nice thing about all this messing-about with my hair was that over time, by gradually going longer and longer between washings, I trained my scalp not to produce so much oil. So whatever hair-washing method I chose, I had to do it only about once a week. (The rest of the time I would just rinse my hair with water or skip it altogether.)

When it was time to reorder my expensive natural shampoo, I just couldn't bear to spend the money, and I started looking for a better option. I stumbled on the term "shampoo bar" and started doing some more research. They were relatively cheap, so I figured I couldn't really go wrong, and I ordered two from this company. It is the perfect solution! No chemicals, no plastics, sudsy, pleasant-smelling…and my hair looks better than it ever has. It's shiny and bouncy, it's soft, and there's zero frizz (this is still huge). I wash it only when I feel like I really need to, which right now is every eight or nine days. I've had a $7 shampoo bar in the shower for several months now and haven't even begun to use it up.

I'm not kidding when I tell you I believe shampoo is a lie. Its whole purpose is to strip your hair's natural protection so that your scalp responds by overproducing oil and you have to keep using the shampoo every day. Oh, and you have to buy conditioners, styling gels, anti-frizz serums, and a bunch of other crap to keep your hair under control because, before it gets all greasy and gross overnight, it's so dry.

I should have written about this a month ago, but to be honest with you, once I got this figured out, I forgot all about my hair. It does its thing all by itself, and I'm at peace with it for the first time I can remember.

4 comments:

  1. I'm pretty sure Burt's Bees makes a shampoo bar, too, I remember using it for ever at one point.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Also, I kind of love the hair mask I made last week: coconut oil, castor oil and a few drops of tea tree oil. The tea tree gets rid of the coconut smell (which you know I dislike). I leave it on for a couple of hours, wash it before bed and then again in the morning (it is rough to get the castor oil out sometimes, since it's so thick) and it feels great and soft and shiny without being frizzy or weighed down. When your hair is as thick and curly as mine and you wash it as little as I do (about every 3rd day), sometimes you just need it to feel soft and shiny again without stripping it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Which one did you decide to use to calm frizzy hair? Your hair is thicker than mine but the frizz is so similar.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've been using the coconut milk bar, but really, I think the lack of frizz comes from not using shampoo (detergent) on my head anymore. It just takes a while for your scalp to settle down and stop producing so much oil.

      Delete