Alright, y'all. This post is a long time coming.
After having lunch with a good friend and co-worker earlier today, it finally dawned on me why I'm so weird about DIY & natural beauty stuff lately -
It's because I don't want to do anything because it's the 'normal' thing to do.
I may come around to whatever's 'normal' eventually - but I want to figure it out for myself. I want to question authority. And if there is a better way, I want to discover it.
There are several examples of this for me (see my post on bentonite clay deodorant), but tonight - I'm gonna focus on the one that may just have started it all.
Not using shampoo.
I honestly don't know when it really started. I know I was using less shampoo back in 2014 or 15. I was on a dry shampoo kick (eventually switching to cocoa powder and/or cornstarch). I then recall, about 2 years ago, being at my sister's house and asking if she had apple cider vinegar. I had started limiting my 'real' shampooing and started just rinsing my hair with apple cider vinegar instead.
I had read about it.
So I tried it for a while, and my hair was a greasy mess. So, then, I read more and realized I needed to be using baking soda (or coffee grinds?) along with it.
This helped, but the process continued. I read more (okay, sometimes I go reeeally far down the pinterest hole), and realized I could be adding all sorts of fun ingredients. I started adding essential oils, aloe from my aloe plant, coconut oil, I swapped to straight white vinegar, I started adding Dr. Bronner's castille soap into my own mix, I added vitamin E...
These days, I have a somewhat flexible regimen. I use Aveda's Rosemary Mint shampoo and Evo's normal persons conditioner once per month. (I also use this for special occasions, i.e. if someone else has to touch my head - weddings, commercial gigs, etc.) I then wait a week. Most of the time, I don't even wet my hair during the week, unless I have an especially demanding yoga class or something, or, like for my halloween party last week, I wet my hair on a Wednesday to do a crown braid so my hair comes out all curly by the time I take it down for the party on Friday.
So, to recap, week one - 'real' shampoo. Week two, I use whatever bar soap I'm currently using daily on my face and body. Usually, I find soap makers at local markets. I only buy from them if they ACTUALLY make their soap, and can name all of the ingredients - INCLUDING what they mix with the lye to create the saponification. Right now, I'm using a vegetable glycerin and olive oil based eucalyptus soap. Also, at this point - I don't really wash my 'hair' like I do monthly with the real shampoo, I just wash my scalp (and, you know, also all of the hair that's in the way of my scalp...).
Another week goes by, and I then use an actual 'hair' soap bar. Right now I have this little etsy company called Beard and Beauty's Bananarama. I realize that this soap is intended for beard hair, and I can tell - because it is a little too heavy with oils and such, but once a month it's fine for me.
And finally, week three, I use a plain castille soap bar. (Currently, just plain jane Dr. Bronner's all-in-one)
For conditioning, if I can find the time, I grab a piece of aloe from the yard and smear it all over my head (or grab two pieces and smear that shit EVERYWHERE). Then I grab a gob of coconut oil, and smear that on too. I apply it to wet hair in the shower, and let it sit overnight before one of my 'shampoo' days.
Okay. So. Are you still reading?
I know, it's a lot. It's different. But here's what I've discovered along the way.
My hair is H-E-A-L-T-H-Y.
I challenge you to find a split end.
It's shiny and soft. I don't have to use hairspray or dry shampoo OR even cocoa powder/corn starch because I easily go a week without looking like a grease ball! People ask if my hair is real.
I'm actually SAVING time.
Now that I have this regimen down, and I know it works, I don't spend as much time washing my hair every day like I used to! The days I do devote the time to caring for my hair are worth it, and I'm preeeetty sure I'm saving time in the long run.
Finally, and I think this one is my favorite reason, I know EXACTLY what I'm putting in my hair.
There are definitely challenges to this way of life. For instance, I don't know if it's because of the mermaid length, but my hair gets knotty as Fuh. Most of the time that I do spend is usually in combing it out. I actually have to keep a little braid of the hair from the bottom part of my scalp so the knots don't get obnoxious through the week. I usually rock a bun towards the ends of my weeks. I also have had to give in to the fact that my hair will never look like those barbie people with the flat iron straight hair or curling iron curls again. I think I'm willing to live with that.
I don't know how long I'll keep this up. Ideally, eventually, I would like to start making my own liquid castille soap. (I've actually researched this thoroughly and already have all of the ingredients... just need to find the time and the confidence now - I'll let you know how it goes!) I also know I'm juuust about done with my current length, though I'm not sure I'm ready to chop the whole thing off quite yet. Women are funny about their hair, you know? I swear, a good haircut can set you on a whole new life path.
So. In conclusion, I have a unique hair regimen. I encourage you to branch out and discover your own. The end.