Tuesday, May 28, 2013

No Poo!

It was a few weeks ago when I went out with two girlfriends for dinner. It had obviously been a long time since I'd had a girl's night out and this occasion was for a birthday dinner. After we got settled in our table and a few moments after we'd ordered, I leaned forward and whispered, "can I ask you a personal question?" They leaned in, I'm sure not sure of what they were about to hear...

"Where do you get your eyebrows done?!" They leaned back, a bit relieved, I think, that the question wasn't too personal too early on in the evening.

"I do mine myself. Not too much."

"I dye mine because they are so light; and I don't pluck."

Huh. Encouraging but not totally helpful. The conversation delved into how French eyebrow bars pluck too much to how French coiffures just have one style they like and only cut that despite what you ask for. But then the conversation really piqued my curiosity.

One of my friends doesn't even shampoo her hair! And the other one had known about this trend! It's called the "No 'Poo Movement" and it's all about not using commercial shampoo and conditioner. There are people who've joined the movement in an attempt to reduce their use of plastic. By not buying shampoo bottles they break the cycle of using plastic, adding to the recycling problem and help the environment. The other "feature" of this revolution is that by using all natural ingredients to wash your hair, you save money, don't put chemicals on your hair and actually (apparently) help your hair be more healthy but letting the scalp return to its normal natural balanced state. Apparently using (or overusing) shampoo creates an unnatural environment for your hair, producing more oils and creating that vicious cycle of having to wash frequently because your hair gets greasy.

The secret is baking soda. Huh. My father has been using baking soda to clean with for decades! Could it be he was onto something, once again, before it was trendy?! 

As I write this, I faintly recall an article where a friend of mine was featured in the Wall Street Journal about this very topic. Back in 2004 or so.

Anyway. I was riveted. I asked questions. I got answers. And I decided to try it.

I went online and researched a few articles. Too distracting. Let's keep it simple. I recalled what my friend said and just mixed 1 tablespoon of baking soda with water. Except I forgot to use warm water so when I dumped it on my head I was in for a shock! Okay. I scrubbed. And I rinsed. Onto the Apple Cider Vinegar Conditioner. Also mixed with cold water. Urgh.

Other than smelling like cheap wine, it seemed to be okay so far.

I let my hair airdry. It was full and fluffy. Like when I go swimming in the ocean and my hair dries at the beach. The second time I played with the measurements and my hair was flat, dull and kind of stringy. Hum... Third time (yesterday), I was successful with the measurements AND warm water. Looking okay. Could it be that my hair truly is going back to its natural, healthy state?

The test today was my visit to the hair salon. Would I have the guts to tell them to please not use shampoo? Would they inquire why? Would they laugh at me? Would they dump shampoo on my head anyway because what-kind-of-a-silly-request is that anyway? None of the above. They simply rinsed my hair and then we went in for the cut. My hair was more snarly than usual (oops). And each time the stylist took a section to blow dry (I figured I'd let him at least get to blow and style it) I smelled a faint whiff of vinegar. Ack! How embarrassing! Is that why Joss asked me if I had been using any products on my hair? (I said 'No...') oops.

Well, I made it out of the salon without too much embarrassment. My haircut looks nice, and the no-poo experiment is going alright for the moment!

(Stay tuned!)