Monday, August 23, 2010


Time to come out of the closet. I've been living a lie for far too long, and I need to walk in the sun. I realize this may provoke horror, confusions, maybe even disgust, from my closest associates but it needs to be said. So I guess I'll just let go and let God, as they say. Besides, I've had this post in my head for a while, and it seems like a good way to send off for my weekend. I've also thought about the best way to say this for a while and the best way seems to be just blurting it out so here goes:
I don't wash my hair.

WAA! Hoo-AH! Got that out in one! Just like the band-aid method, which I actually hate. I've spent over an hour freezing my tuchis off in glacial water just easing myself in while everyone else had fun and contemplates leaving as I insist "I'll be there in a minute!" but I suppose that's not the big thing is it? It did kill enough time for Dear Reader to get over the shock and start wondering if a) this is a tasteless joke or b) I've lost my mind. Let me offer assurance, it is neither.

Some years ago I made a misguided attempt to see if blonde's really do have more fun and bleached my much loved hair. This would be the perfect time for an inclusionary photo if I didn't think it would reduce all my readers to stone. Needless to say, it was only a moderate success. the first couple colours were heavily selected from the "orange" side of the blonde scale, and the last few were lovely colored (Dark-haired ladies going blonde? Tip one: get it done professionally the first time at least. It is worth the expense. Tip two: select anything called "ashy", it helps neutralize the brassiness to give it a more natural look.) but were layered on top of hair so fried, frizzled, and damaged it gave me more of a hobo-meth-model vibe than Monroe.

Finally, after a solid year of research I had to conclude that bald women have the most fun. (Science is science, don't argue) Unfortunately, hair does not simply snap back to your lustrous color after your mind has snapped back to the reality that God made you brunette for a reason, and neither are you gifted with your healthy hair (you didn't do it any good the first time, now you have to earn it back!), and instead are issued the "loaner" hair that is dead and lifeless, much like the courtesy car for most shops. One thing people note about me is I pull my hair. Stressed, tired, angry, thinking, nervous, sleepy, hungry, or bored, I tug at my hair like it's the pull start for my brain; have done so since I was about 14 and someone gave me silly putty to spare my tresses. Nothing doin', said my fingers, and they were back at it within a month. Even when I shaved my head, I assumed I would learn other habits and stop, but I even remember the day it became long enough again and my hands went wabbling back up, just to see, just to try it, see if it was long enough, and I "came to" about a year and half later saying, "Wasn't I going to stop this?"

Needless to say, I have a lot of experience with how my hair feels at its best and worst. Over time my hair grew back and was nice again, releasing me from the almost clinical addiction to conditioner that I had cultivated to give my hair some semblance of life. I could even skip a few days of shampooing and not feel like snuffulupagus. Eventually the days got longer, and I started to dislike shampooing it because for the few days afterwards it was always dry and frizzy, regardless of what shampoo or conditioner I used.

The big change came when I was forwarded an email on a phenomenon called "No-poo" which I had assumed was some new radical diet method, but turned out to be what I had been looking for. A whole culture of people who didn't washt their hair. I tried it for a while, and I've never looked back (Wow. Pithy Phrase day is in full swing.)

The intergral part is in still "washing" your hair, just not using soaps or shampoos. I just rinse and brush in the shower (I've found that's best). The only downside I've noticed is my hair holds onto water like its in the sahara. If I'm blowdrying it, which I can do now without looking like a failed electrocution patient, I've got to bring a chair. If I'm ever dying of thirst, I can just soak my hair and subsist for years, if it wasn't for the fact that the evaporting water would give me heat stroke in about 6.5 seconds. Many sites report using baking soda or apple cider vinegar (One girl thought it was apple cider, so she reported back that it made her hair "sticky". I laughed until I snorted.) to clean off hair products about once a week or month, depending, but so far I just don't use hair products so there's been no buildup to rid myself of. My hair never seems to need product anymore, anyhow, its more lively and holds its shape fantastically.

The toughest part, of course, is getting throught the initial week. It seems that the scalp is used to producing extra oil to accomadate for the oil stripped off your hair, but without the stripping, your scalp overproduces oil until it realizes what's going on and slows it down. For the first week, or sometimes two, most people have to just stay indoors, or wear hats. Afterwards, however, most people adore their hair.

The other downside is rinsing my hair after the gym is no longer optional. It used to be that I could get away with it, sometimes wash at the end of the day, but now, the sweat just hangs around, and doesn't feel good at all, and my hair has become so smooth it just clumps with the moisture.

I am going to assume that I don't smell, of course, that being what most would consider the biggest downside, but I've rarely ever had serious body odor issues. On the other hand, how would you tell someone that, and the people I trust most to tell me either love me too much to mention (Vic and my family) have literally no sense of smell (Kirk) or don't spend enough time physically near me to know it's a trend (Andreanna, Joe). So I guess I'll just assume for now until someone dumps a cooler of gatorade over my head and forces me to shampoo.

So there we have it. I've been shampoo free for almost two months and I don't ever anticipate going back. Now, it's not for everyone, but it's good to know there are other options out there, isn't it? Besides, it's not the worst thing I've done to my hair.

1 comment:

Roots said...

Well that's kind of interesting. My girlfriend has issues with frizzy hair. Maybe I will suggest this to her. Naturally I'll need to build my case beforehand as to how this is possible without reducing oneself to the hobo look, but hey that's what internet research is for.

I'll keep you posted on developments of this experiment.