Wednesday, January 19, 2011

on hair

There are many wonderful, serious, thoughtful, deep things I could write about today. But I'm going to delve into something trivial, because that is what I can handle before breakfast. Hair.

A few months ago, I read a comment in a magazine about the healthiest way to maintain hair: not to wash it. No chemicals. Just water. Scrub rub rub those roots. And I thought I'd give it a go. My hair hadn't gone all gorgeous luscious thick in my second pregnancy; instead, my hair was tired dry flat. So, logically, I quit washing it altogether.

"Have you noticed anything about my hair?" I asked Justin one night. Really, we hadn't been noticing anything about much of anything between his teaching and coaching, Claire, Grant, getting through dinner to bedtime. So, no, he hadn't noticed anything.

"I haven't washed it in four days," I said, "Can you tell?"

He couldn't. It might have been because I asked him in the shadows of turning off all absolutely unnecessary lights in the apartment so Claire would stay in bed rather than investigate the party (re: sacked out on the couch watching The Office) in the living room.

If you couldn't tell by day four, you could tell by day seven. I scrunched my hair and it held its shape. Natural product! I thought. And then I spent the day just knowing that my hair didn't look naturally product-ed but just unwashed. Greasy dirty. Day eight welcomed two shampoos and scalding rinses, squeaky clean tired dry flat hair.

I went to the internet. Just google "natural hair care" and you'll be directed to some of the same sites I visited. I read about all the best most natural wholesome earthy perfect ways to treat my hair and decided I would manage the baking soda and apple cider vinegar routine, adding both to my grocery list and feeling only a little silly setting them in my shower.

For about two months this is what I did every two or three days: rubbed a baking soda paste into my scalp, rinsed throroughly, then dumped diluted apple cider vinegar over my head and let it sit (soak soak soak) before rinsing thoroughly. After the first time, I raved to Justin, "My hair! Is so soft! I love it! Feel it!"

Then my soft! hair started falling out. Thanks, Grant. I was rocking the mom ponytail and smelling of apple cider vinegar. Rubbing baking soda into my scalp, and then pulling my fingers through the cider-soaking strands, I pulled out gobs of hair. Gobs and gobs.

"Maybe it's the vinegar," Justin said, perhaps just a little impressed by my matted hairbrush.

"It's hormones," I retorted. I sniffed the ends of my apple cider hair. Justin wanted to know what I'd read online next.

A few days ago I was flipping through a UK magazine called Healthy and read an article about hair woes. One of the hooks was a promise to solve thinning hair. Cannot remember what they promised regarding that, but I did read a quick blip that it's okay to use shampoo daily. You won't die. You are not less wholesome for preferring a synthetic fruity smell over apple cider vinegar stinging your nose. I took their shampooing suggestion. So now I am using a penny-sized dab rubbed in both palms, running my hands over my hair but not scrubbing. Just enough to clean the hair. I think I like this best. Mostly because I get the fruity smell back.

Well. Now you know entirely too much about how I wash my hair. Look, I really can be quite deep.


Anonymous said...

i was actually thinking about your hair the other day...

jessica said...

very much funny. I've gone through all this too, for various health/eco/budget issues. If you think "natural hair care" is a ridiculous google, try combining it with "curly" and you get some fanatical forums about nothing more than unmanageable hair. That said, I've settled on the silicone-free obsession lately.

Kelly G. said...

I too have done the natural curly hair care search and routines. I am avoiding any shampoos with sulfates and only shampoo maybe twice a week and but condition daily (my curls are NASTY otherwise). I did the vinegar and baking soda thing too and loved it for the first week, then it was just weird. So now I do it about once a month and get that lovely "so soft!!" feeling. Glad to know I am not alone with the hair deepness ;)

Anonymous said...


i just love reading your stories :) can't say that I've strayed at all from my synthetic hair routines to date, but there's always time :)

I'm focusing right now on learning the principles or eating clean, in the midst of training for my second half, and watching that 9 month old who, at the moment, needs to be released from his bouncy. I had way too much fun at Whole Foods the other day, which I haven't been to in a long time but plan to frequent more often!! I miss living in a city, though, it's quite a drive!

miss you and love you! kiss those kids, hope your hair loves you :)


Sergio en Colombia said...

someone pointed out my small collection of white hairs yesterday. i didn't think they were noticeable. i was wrong. eh!

also, the word verification for me below is "hotskin" ...weird.