Monday, September 22, 2014

A More Natural Lifestyle : The Mane Issue

Remember when I talked about Craig calling me a tree-hugger for my "sudden" interest in a more natural lifestyle? This was one of the major catalysts for that particular comment.

However, my reasoning for beginning this particular leg of the journey was a simpler one...born out of a necessity for money savings. I know that sounds weird, but let me explain.

You see, I have a lot of hair. I mean, it isn't one of those things that you look at and say "man, that girl's hair looks like a horse's mane!" or anything, but it takes a lot of shampoo and conditioner to really get it clean. I was buying shampoo every few weeks, which was costing us a nice chunk of change that I would have much rather been putting towards the purchase of cheese. Or something. So, I started buying the cheapest shampoo I could find. It helped the pocket book {and my cheese obsession}, but it did nothing for my hair. It was clean - don't get me wrong - but it was also really, really blah. There was no body. My naturally curly hair was just completely lifeless.

*Sidenote : It was so extremely hard to find a picture of me with my hair down, which proves how terrible it really looked. Oi!

Anyway, I started researching things to help my hair get healthier without spending a boatload of money on hair products. Certainly nothing that requires a lot of time either. Because let's face it - I am not going to do anything high-maintenance anyway. I just don't care that much.

Then I came across this movement. The No 'Poo movement. It's actually a thing. I happened upon it on Pinterest {where else?!} when this whole idea of a more natural lifestyle started to take hold of me. I was wary, though, because everyone that has tried it states that there is a transition period with your hair that makes you look like you haven't washed your hair in 12 years* or something of that nature. Basically, during your transition time, your body {specifically your scalp} begins ridding itself of all of the chemicals and unnatural oils that your shampoo and conditioner add. It flushes out residue that lingers even after washes. Gross, right? I never thought about the stuff we use to clean our bodies containing a ton of crap that that we shouldn't put in our bodies to begin with. 

*slight exaggeration

Anyway, I put off trying it for about 6 months or so before I finally took the plunge. Craig was terrified that I would end up with dreadlocks and smelling of patchouli. Never fear, darling. At least all of the trees around me will be loved and will love me in return. Therefore, oxygen. You're welcome.

Being a stay-at-home gave me a leg-up with the "transition phase" issue because the only people that had to look at my nastiness were my husband and son. To be fair though, I didn't have much of an issue. I am not sure if the shampoos I was using were just so crappy that there wasn't much to them, but my scalp didn't have to secrete a ton of oils and chemicals. 

I follow a very simple regimen and am happy to share it with you, but note that I got it from this particular blog. Also, there are roughly 47,152 more tutorials out there on this exact topic so I know this is nothing new. This is not the be all, end all of the No 'Poo way of doing things. Heck, I may even experiment with different ways of doing things at some point because...why not?! But for now, this is working and I am really happy with the results. 

I think the thing that really showed me out well this was working was our beach trip. You see, it was freakin' hot. And humid. And sandy. And...beachy. {Can you tell I don't love the beach?!} And yet, after not washing my hair for 3 days AT THE BEACH, this is what it looked like.

Even with the humidity, salt air, sweat, and wind, it was curly and full of life. Crazy, right? And yes, for the record, I do realize that not everyone is going to understand just how amazing this is, but you southern girls get me. It is impossible to wear your hair down at the beach {or outside anywhere} during summer in our heat and humidity. So...amazing.

Ok, so for anyone interested in trying this out you can follow the lovely tutorial with major details posted here {which is what I would suggest} or if you are rushed for time - or just love seeing my blog {thanks for that}, here is the general recipe.

No 'Poo
Brush hair really well before getting into the shower.

2 tbsp of baking soda 
1 cup of water
Mix well and put in squirt bottle for easy application. Only apply to the roots of your hair. Massage the mixture into your scalp. Let it sit for a few minutes. You should start to feel like your roots are getting...slimy for lack of a better word. That is a good thing. The baking soda is getting all of the extra residue off of your hair. This won't happen after a while with this process. Rinse out really well.

2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
1.5 cups of water
Mix well and put in squirt bottle for easy application. Only apply to the ends of your hair {anything not directly on your scalp}. This acts as a conditioner so you don't want to over-moisturize your scalp. Let it sit while you finish your shower. Rinse really well. You will know it is out when you don't smell the ACV in your hair. It doesn't take long.

Once you get out of the shower, do not comb, dry, or towel dry your hair. Just let it dry naturally. {The tutorial that I have linked to does allow for drying with a diffuser, but I don't. I feel like if you are going to go natural then go all the way. I mean, with clothes on though. Don't go ALL THE WAY. That would be weird. And illegal in most places.}

You should do this probably once every 3-4 days, or even up to a week if you can handle it initially. Your washings will begin to get more and more spaced out as time goes on. You will notice a difference in your hair immediately - or at least I did.

Bonus : now I can be even lazier about my hair and not wash for days on end!!!

VERY IMPORTANT NOTE : This is not an invitation not to shower. Your body still needs to be washed. I am not advocating for a stinkier world - just a healthier one.

EVEN MORE IMPORTANT NOTE : This lifestyle change did not cause dreadlocks, nor do I smell of patchouli. Yet.

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