Maybe it’s because I was feeling the Whole30 rush, or maybe I’d just spent one too many hours scrolling through Pinterest, I’m really not sure, but whatever the reason, I gave up shampoo about four weeks ago.And you know what?
My hair has never looked worse.
Did you even know that going ‘No ‘poo’ is a thing now?? I was all enthralled with the idea of using baking soda and vinegar for something other than making volcanos and in the process getting luscious Lady Godiva locks. (If you’re reading this and thinking, this sounds like a horrible idea, you’re smarter than me. Please don’t rub it in.)
I read several posts from other bloggers who were all “My hair looks better than evah!” and “I get compliments all the time!” to finally “My hair grew like three feet in one year since I stopped stripping all the natural oils off my scalp like a loser!”
All were accompanied with semi-blurry befores and really happy car selfie afters. You can’t argue with happy car selfies! (You will note, and kindly thank me later, that I am not including any ‘Before’ or ‘During’ pictures.)
I decided to give it a shot. I had just chopped a few inches off and was disappointed that my fresh ends still seemed dry and frizzy. Even after losing the weight of my hair everything was still so limp.
I really don’t like putting a lot of time into my hair, so I hoped that a ‘poo free routine would minimize input while maximizing big sexy hair output. I would no longer feel bad or dirty that I couldn’t find time to wash my hair more than every three or four days. No, now I realized that I was actually pampering my scalp by going longer between washes and using only baking soda to scrub my scalp and a vinegar rinse. No harsh detergents to strip all those natural oils! I’ll show those shampoo companies I won’t be taken in by their lies and chemicals!. ….those, sweet, sweet, lathering chemicals….
I knew there would be an adjustment period. I invested in some head bands and I had some hats on hand too. I was going to keep it a secret from my family, but the kids saw me on Pinterest reading about ‘poo and well, I had to explain myself. (“No I don’t have a problem with that kind of poo in my hair!”)
So, I persevered and went a full seven days between hair washing, but I’d hoped in a few weeks, I could go longer. In between my weekly ritual of dumping tepid water laced with baking soda on my scalp I would just rinse my hair with water in the shower, being sure to massage those healthy scalp oils around. A few times I tried to use a homemade dry shampoo powder on the hair around my face with minimal success. (AKA my hairline looked caked with powered while the remainder of hair on my crown looked doused with motor oil.)
I rocked the hats, the headbands, the slick (very slick) ponytail. (I experienced no wind resistance while walking outside.) I kept waiting for my hair to stop looking like it was perpetually wet after day four and then I noticed flakes started appearing. FLAKES.
Eventually I noticed that the few grey hairs I had stood out like bolts of lighting against the greasy blackness of my dark tresses. White flakes and grey hair were becoming more noticeable, and after three weeks, the baking soda rinse didn’t seem to be cleaning as well. Was my hair too healthy??? Did I need to dump a full container of Arm and Hammer on my scalp?? What kind of sick joke was this?!?!
And then finally, as I was preparing to step in the shower and massage my scalp I pulled off my headband and noticed that my hair was thinner just over my left temple. Trying not to freak out I walked into the kitchen and calmly said “OH MY WORD TONY DOES MY HAIR LOOK THINNER HERE?!? IS THIS A BALDING PATCH!??!” To which my husband calmly said, “Yes. I might not have noticed, but the hair on this side of your head looks different than the hair on that side.”
As I was loudly trying to figure out how this cold be happening to my flaky, grey, oily scalp Tony said, “Your hair looked fine before. I’m all for using natural stuff, but just use some shampoo and stop worrying about it.”
I might have protested a bit more, placing the blame squarely on those super tight headbands that, while lifting the loose skin around my eyes nicely, might have been working as a slow epilator around my hairline.
But ultimately, I had to concede. I started the no ‘poo challenge to make caring for my hair easier and one less thing to think about, yet since starting, I’d been thinking about my hair more because it looked so heinous. So I’m giving up. I bought a couple of bottles of fancy detergent-free all natural shampoo and conditioner because I’m not ready to embrace the $1.98 VO5 supermarket special yet.
I don’t know why going no ‘poo didn’t work magic on my hair. If you’ve got suggestions on how to improve my chances, kindly keep them to yourself. I’m not investing in a 100% boar hair bristle brush made by naked aborigines, breaking out my kids chemistry set to discover the perfect combination of volcano ingredients for my hair type, or raiding the rest of my pantry for a miracle conditioner that will sap up my coconut oil supply.
Besides, I just found a couple great pins about all natural skin care and I need to dig up some castor oil, olive oil, and soil from a part of my yard currently covered in fresh dew that receives at least five hours of daylight in the spring. I‘ll let you know how it goes!