No-Poo Challenge, Day 8

I poo-ed.

The thing I learned by doing this is that if I ever needed to, I could do this. Thing is, I don’t need to right now. I am pumping my body full of Slim-Fast…not a health food there and I use deodorant and lotion. I probably wouldn’t have quit, even for those reasons, if it hadn’t been for the visiting of a good family friend from out of town. I just didn’t want to cover my head without conviction or suffer through the evening with oily hair. So I washed it. Thus ends the no-poo challenge.
BTW, still working on that post you should have already read, but I’m packing my bedroom today, so it’ll have to wait…less than two weeks to go before we move!

No-Poo Challenge, Day 6 & 7

So far, so good. I left my hair down on day 6 just to test the waters, but I did cover it with a blue handkerchief style cover from Wal-Mart. I had a dentist appointment to go to Friday, so I knew that wearing it up would be uncomfortable. It looked just modern-country enough that I wouldn’t get extra stares…my long jean skirt gets me more than enough because I cut my denim into a 6 gore skirt and that is not the typical “denim” pattern. Anyway… After my dentist appointment, I realized that though my hair probably didn’t look much dirtier than normal, it just didn’t feel the same and I put it into my standard ponytail with the ends not pulled through all the way.

Day 7 dawned and I didn’t get in the shower right away (gotta love lazy Saturdays…okay, well I love lazy Saturdays) so I didn’t even mess with it, I washed it (per the no-poo instructions) and blew-damp and put it up and covered it. I love this style!!! It is ridiculously simple, it stays put and it keeps my hands out of my hair. The only problem with it is that it doesn’t look normal. (See my post to follow about sanctification…you’ve probably already read it if you read from my blog page…if you haven’t, well maybe I got tired. I plan on writing it directly after I post this err, post.)
So after a week, I have to say that the major difference is in how my hair feels and less how it looks, though keeping it up all day long, I don’t really get ample opportunity to observe this. What I did notice yesterday is the tendency of my hair to form “clumps” or groups of strands which obviously lead to the appearance of dirty (oily) hair. That I have thin hair that is prone to be oily and clump may be adding to the problem, or not. Lately, I have been feeling like I want to quit, feeling like there isn’t a real purpose in me doing this. It marks be as weird, like a person who would consider cloth diapering or even worse, home-made menstrual pads (neither of which I do but both of which I am considering doing!) This really has been a challenge because even when I feel like I have give up attempting to be fashionable and instead choosing to dress modestly and femininely, my hair is something altogether different. Interesting when you throw the whole headcovering debate right into the middle of that!
I am committing to do another week of this routine, but if I don’t begin to see rapid change here, then I will probably just go back to the old song and dance. What do you think? Anybody willing to step out and do this with me?

No-Poo Challenge, Day 4 & 5

I almost “poo-ed”!!! But, I didn’t. Day 4 was difficult for me. My hair was feeling awful and it wasn’t feeling “wet” in the shower. You know how oil and water don’t mix? That’s how it felt with my hair. By the time I got to smelling the vinegar I was just ready to quit! Instead I decided to trust the process and because I wanted to smell good, I used my wonderfully coconutty smelling conditioner on the ends of my hair and rinsed quickly. The pleasant smell was really enough to lift my spirits and once I got my hair up and off my back (and covered) I forgot about it.

Day 5: With a new resolve from my lessons learned yesterday, I am feeling surprised about my hair. I completely expected the front of my hair to be the most oily and nasty, but it is surprisingly dry…almost too dry! What is oily is the center back…and man is it oily!!! The good news is that I don’t think anyone else would notice, so long as you wear it up. I didn’t cover my hair today because I had errands to run and I just wanted to test it out. I put it in a claw clip in a French twist because I knew it wasn’t ready to be worn down. I did just fine and I don’t think anyone would have noticed, but it still feels dirty and that makes me self-conscious. Tomorrow, I want to blow-dry it straight and see how long I can last with it down. I am sure it won’t be long (it wouldn’t be very long if it were clean!), so I’ll probably lift the front off my face with a clip but wear the back long. We’ll see.
So far, I’m glad I did this experiment, though I still believe that I will be washing my hair regularly with shampoo, perhaps I will just wash it less…lots of stuff going on, hopefully I’ll get a different kind of post up soon!!!

No-Poo Challenge, Day 3

Not so good today, I’ll just say that, right up front. My hair is definitely oily today though I took the time to blow-dry my hair and I wonder if anyone who didn’t know me would think anything was up. My biggest concern about wearing it down would be that it would begin to look dirty quickly. I am still repulsed by the smell of the vinegar, even in its watered down state. My hair has been pretty “static-y” lately when I have brushed it, but it’s also winter, and my hair is prone to static and frizziness.

But, lest I post an entire blog post without saying anything positive: I am enjoying being a consumer rebel by trying this. I know that, worst case scenario, I could always go back to shampooing my hair and that this is an experiment. I am really looking forward to the idea of having healthy hair so I am going to keep on plodding along! I am also still covering my head and though I think my head would look okay without the cover, I think I would be constantly feeling my hair which would only exacerbate the problem. Scarf-covers work for me!
Oh, before I forget, I did make two purchases that I wouldn’t want to be without for this challenge. One, I bought a wood comb (real wood, not a plastic comb that looks like real wood) and a 100% boar hair brush. I found both at my local Wal-Mart and I love them. The hairbrush is really good at moving and redistributing the oils in your hair and the comb prevents breakage. Plastic combs are made in a factory in a mold and can have tiny points on them that can scratch your scalp. Never brush your hair when wet, only comb it. This is NOT something I have practiced in the future because I needed to get all those tangles out, before my hair dried and the tangled caused serious breakage (not to mention pain)!
On to Day 4…

No-Poo Challenge, Day 2

Day 2: My scalp itches like it normally does when it is dirty but I feel like my hair should be clean. As much as I HATE the smell of vinegar, I like the way my hair feels after the apple cider vinegar rinse. All in all, my hair is well on its way to oily. I have kept my hair covered the last two days and I would highly recommend to anyone who is attempting to do this that they invest in a few that they like that match everything. Without it, I would probably have washed my hair by now…however, my hair didn’t feel too dirty today but tomorrow marks the longest I have ever gone without washing my hair. The plus side is that the oils in my hair make it really soft, but I don’t want to touch it too much. I knew this was going to be a rough week or two, so I don’t expect to have positive feedback for a while, but I don’t know of any other blog that has chronicled the whole process, ups and downs, so I intend to.

Definitely looking forward to this process being over…I want to know what my hair really looks like.

No-Poo Challenge, Day 1

Over the past few months, I have been reading about this “no-poo” challenge, where the “poo” stands for shampoo. The idea is that there are so many BAD chemicals in shampoo that we should not “shampoo” our hair altogether. That doesn’t necessarily mean don’t wash, but don’t use regular shampoos. The whole idea is that today’s shampoos are designed to remove oil, but much like antibiotics, they don’t discriminate good from the bad and therefore strip our hairs of the natural oils that would normally be present. We then add the conditioner to attempt to replace the lost oils. Your hair is able to regulate its own oils though; its much like a supply and demand situation. The more you remove your oils, the more your hair tries to replace it. The goal, then, is to let your hair stabilize where it needs to. 

There are two ways to do this. First, you can wash with water. Yup, that’s right, your hands scrub and all you put on is water. Second, you use a baking soda paste (1 tbsp baking soda plus water to form paste) and rub that in to your scalp only. Let sit for a minute and then rinse with water. You then take 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar and mix in a large cup with enough water to fill it and you rinse the ends of your hair. Let sit for a minute and then rinse out. There is actually a third, which is to just wash with conditioner (not shampoo). From the detail, you can assume that I am choosing the second option and I found details of it here.
So today was day one. I didn’t plan ahead, I just jumped in and I hope to go at least 30 days. What do I have to lose? There is a “transition period” where your hair has to adjust to the oils which can take up to a month or so, but I figure that I can very easily cover my head if it becomes nasty. My biggest worry is that I won’t be able to stand it. I HATE it when my hair gets dirty and won’t let anyone touch it. I anticipate suffering somewhat for the first few weeks, but hopefully it won’t be too bad. If I can’t take it, I might just try washing with conditioner that day and hoping that the smell of the conditioner makes it feel better…so today, I washed my hair per the instructions on the website and it feels very soft and it was slightly curlier than normal. I went ahead and blew-damp (not dry) my hair because I do that normally, but I also covered it, which I usually do. There were far fewer tangles than normal because I didn’t try to wash all my hair, just the roots. That was a welcome relief because I usually have very tangly hair. Stay tuned to see how long I go. Hopefully I will be able to get some pictures…pictures are really important here!