Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My Shampoo-free Experiment: Some people call it "crazy," I call it "open-minded"

So.... I read a lot on the internet, and it's gotten me to do some crazy things. Sew things I don't know how to sew, cook weird food, eat (sort of) healthy, go natural, save some money, spend more money than I save.

There are some things that are still on my I'll-never-try list. I would link to them, but it skeeves me out. Let's just say, no matter how green I get, I like bathroom materials to be disposable.

I'm open to learning about new things, and I love the idea of getting back to simpler ways. Part of that comes from my Life in India adventure - when I had to make do without a lot of the "modern conveniences" (read: chemicals and preservatives that make life easier).

So, when I read a post about going shampoo-free, I was hooked. The more I read, the more I decided that it was time to stop stripping my hair of its natural oils, time to stop slathering my head with the equivalent of dishwasher detergent, time to save the money I'd been shelling out for the varying plastic bottles lining my shower.

I did my research, and collected the supplies for this new lifestyle: baking soda to wash, apple cider vinegar to rinse, and little plastic bottles to mix everything in. My side of the bathroom turned into a science experiment - all in the name of natural living.

I had to go through a two-week "transition" period where my hair got used to not being stripped of its oils every day. I actually thought that wouldn't be so bad, since I'm not a faithful hair-washer anyway, but it was pretty gross. Gross, gross, greasy gross. I planned the transition period when Ben was traveling, as to save myself some embarrassment.

Eventually, I made it through the transition, and my hair started to appear "normal." Not what it used to be in my shampoo days, but it wasn't really greasy. To be fair, it wasn't really pretty, either.

I began to notice that in the one month of shampoo-free grooming, I didn't get one compliment on my hair. Not even the "I don't know what to say, so I'm just going to tell you your hair looks nice" compliment.

That's right - one month with no shampoo, no conditioner - just a science experiment on my head.

I'm sure to some people the results would be acceptable; worth it, even. I, however, eventually had to accept the fact that my hair was ugly. Ben suffered in silence, but you should have seen his face when I finally washed my hair - it was like the husbands on Extreme Makeover.

Hair is supposed to be pretty, and for a while my open-minded foray into green living clouded my memory of what pretty hair looks like. I even convinced myself that my hair looked normal. I'm here to tell you, my friends, it did not.

I am now enjoying my beautiful - stripped down and reconditioned -  hair. I am so thankful for it coming back to me after how I've been treating it that I'm going to treat it to a great haircut.

Congratulations to my husband. He's made it through the Shampoo-Free Experiment, and I've yet to tell you the stories of my commitment to Leg Waxing, which involved a very long period of not shaving. Poor Ben. He's stuck with me forever.

(PS, I'm sure that this works for some people, so give it a try if you're so inclined, but don't say I didn't warn you.)


Heidi said...

I am rolling with laughter! I have recently decided to only shampoo every other day, and I do think my hair is healthier. I have also been using a new shampoo that has no sulfates in it....healthier, I guess. It doesn't lather great and it is expensive, so I'm only experimenting on my own hair so far. I think it does a good job. It is Pureology, available from a salon only, I think. Can't wait to hear the leg waxing story...

Anonymous said...

THAT was freakin' hysterical!!

Rachael said...

I'm glad you tried this so I didn't have to! You have far surpassed me in crunchiness in this area (though I do feel a pull toward family cloth in the bathroom on my crazier days...).

linds said...

ok, this is so funny! i love it! and i love how you find these things on the internet and try them.

Kirsten said...

Wow you are brave. Thanks for giving it a try so I don't have to. :-)

Jen said...

rachael--is family cloth what i think it is????? gross!!! i'll take my john freida root awakening shampoo and conditioner any day. and i will continue to use 2 towels on a daily basis feeling guilt free.

Kelly said...

you just crack me up.

Natalie said...

okay now that stuff is funny! Girl, you are hysterical! I love your creativity, your willingness to do some crazy stuff... for whatever the reasons are... for a brief moment I thought to myself, "Maybe I'll try that..." and then I finished your blog and thought, "Maybe I'll take her advice and not go there." ha!

Megan@SortaCrunchy said...

Good for you for trying it!

I have to confess that I go back and forth the shampoo-free stuff. After my first experiment with baking soda/ACV, I found that I much prefer using Burt's Bees shampoo and conditioner. It's free of all the harmful stuff and leaves my hair very wonderful feeling (and smelling!). Just FYI!