Wednesday, September 01, 2010

You Have an Appealing Coiffure. What is Your Grooming Regimen? You're Asking Me What I do With My Hair?

I've been asked by several different people what to clarify the whole "giving up shampoo" thing. I decided to blog about it, since I don't really know I didn't just do that in the first place.

My routine for my hair was to wash it with Suave shampoo and conditioner once a day. Since my hair is long and thick, I went through those bottles really fast. I bought new bottles every one to two week. That worked for a few years, but last year I noticed my hair was damaged. VERY damaged. And I had flakes, split ends, and all around damaged hair. But why? I don’t blow-dry. I don’t use a curling iron or a straightener, I just shampoo, condition, dry with towel, spray in detangler, brush and go. Why was my hair so damaged?

So I tried using different products. The only one that seems to help the damage is Pureology, and those are insanely expensive. It would cost me around $50 a month just for shampoo and conditioner. And it wouldn’t solve my flake problem.
The product that works for my flake problem is the Neutrogena stuff that comes in a green bottle…I can’t remember what it’s called. It costs me about $20 a month. It does not solve my damage problem.

So I turned to the Internet. The Internet tells me my problem might lie within commercial hair products. Apparently, my hair has been stripped of all it needs to be healthy. That’s what commercial shampoo does. It’s a detergent and it strips your hair of what it needs. Conditioner is designed to put artificial good stuff back in your hair. It’s not as good as the original good stuff so you have to wash your hair more often, and therefore strip your hair more often, and in some cases your hair just ends up stripped-out. I think this is what happened to my hair. Not only that, but after reading more, I discovered that some of the chemicals in your shampoo are really toxic! Every time you shower, you are poisoning yourself. All the products I was using was cruelly and pointlessly tested on animals, and every time I bough new bottles I was contributing to the landfills.

So! I made my own shampoo. I looked at several recipes and came up with my own. I was warned that there was a fourteen to thirty day "transitions" in which your hair is all oily and gross, because it needs to learn to regulate itself, but then it's all better.

I didn't really like making my own shampoo. It was fun to make, but when I washed my hair is was a mess and horrible to brush and felt oily and blec. The best way to describe my hair during that time is flat. No volume, no nothing, just flat. It looked like I had gone a day or two without washing it (I was pregnant at the time so I just used that as an excuse).

After thirty days of that I came across the concept of "no poo" which is where you use baking soda as shampoo and vinegar and conditioner. Again, I was warned there is a fourteen to thirty day "transition" where you hair must adjust to regulating its own oils. However, the very first time I did it, My hair was AWESOME! I attribute that to the fact that I had already gone through transition and my hair was already used to regulating its own oils.

It's so easy. Baking soda + water = shampoo and Apple Cider Vinegar + water = conditioner.

I take about 1 tbsp (but really, I just eyeball it. I'm not going to stand in the shower with a measuring spoon)  of baking soda and mix it with one cup water. You can put that into a spray bottle or in a cup, whatever works for you. When I take a shower I wet my hair, then either spray or dump the stuff onto my scalp and massage it into my roots. I really don't worry about the rest of my hair. After a lot of massaging I rinse it out and then use conditioner;

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar and 2 cups water in a cup. Mix and dump over your hair. I've had a few people telll me they skipped the Apple Cider Vinegar step because they don't like the small. DO NOT skip this step. It's like shampooing your hair and not conditioning it; your hair will be tangled and yucky. If you don't like the small you can add a tsp of honey and vanilla.

The conditioner also works as a detangler to my hair is like silk when I try to comb it. I keep my hair long and it is full, shiny, clean and healthy. It always looks like I just washed it, even though I only wash it maybe twice a week, sometimes only once a week.

My hair is A LOT healthier. A LOT. I love it. No split ends, no damage, no flakes. It grows faster (because of all the massaging) and it looks and feels great.

And now you know. It worked for me, it was the best choice for me, but I can't say it will work for you. This is just my experience.

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