I didn’t use shampoo for 4 months.

Well this post is two months late but hey, it’s here.

For those of you with whom I became Facebook friends since the end of June and the only reason you’re here is because you saw a weird bloggy thing pop up on your newsfeed, welcome. I have a blog. I am not a cool person.

For those of you who are long-time readers, welcome back. You’re probably also not a cool person or you wouldn’t be here.

For those of you who accidentally stumbled across this page in the course of searching for Showbread’s 2003 album, sorry to disappoint. Here’s a song to ease the pain.

On to the hair thing.

To catch you up: I decided not to use shampoo in my hair for four months — May-August — just to see if I could, and also because I’d heard the whole no-shampoo thing was a pretty worthwhile endeavour. And guess what? It totally was.

The last time I gave you the hair update was at the end of June so I have to catch you up on July and August. If you want to read about everything up till June, go here, here, and here. My routine didn’t vary much [read: at all] for the last two months. I did my standard baking soda wash twice a week and rinsed with colloidal oatmeal every second wash. It worked SO WELL. My hair was soft and manageable and did a super neat sort of curly thing all on its own. Overall I was super pleased with how low maintenance my hair was and it definitely freed up time in the morning.

At the end of August I used shampoo for the first time in four months. It wasn’t really real shampoo, it was that Neutrogena anti-residue stuff. It was so nice to use shampoo again. Baking soda doesn’t lather and it was kind of difficult to get used washing my hair with it. I mean it still cleans the hair but I sort of had to massage it in and just guess at whether or not my hair was covered. Shampoo is a lot easier to deal with in that respect because you can just feel where the soap is. So it was nice to have a taste of that again. And by taste I do not mean I was eating it. Just for clarification.

So I used the shampoo once, just to get my scalp really clean, and then I went back to baking soda for the rest of my time at home. I was home for about two weeks and then I headed back to college, where I am now. I had every intention of continuing my hippie hair routine here but I was thwarted by an enemy known as Millar water.

The water here is not good. It’s full of chlorine and other chemicals and overall it is not very pleasant. It’s possible to get used to it but you can sort of always tell that something’s off. But I never really made the connection that I was showering in that same chemically water. It didn’t make a difference to me last year. But this year I noticed a big difference.

Baking soda did not clean my hair. It usually looked clean but it felt waxy or greasy. I put my hair in ponytails for a lot of September because if I left it down it looked really limp. And I obviously didn’t clue in to the fact that it was the water that was making the difference. I put three tablespoons of baking soda in half a cup of water once to see if that would work. Afterwards my hair was dry and gross but still not clean. September was such a gross month.

Finally, finally I realized that it was the water. There’s probably some sciencey explanation for why baking soda reacts differently with different kinds of water but I do not know it. I retired the baking soda for good and switched to only shampoo.

So yeah. After four months of proving that I’m tough and that I can wash my hair without chemicals, I resorted back to shampoo. I’m a bit disappointed.I’m still managing to justify myself in that I’m using that Neutrogena stuff, which is sort of weird shampoo. One good thing that came of the summer is that I still only need to wash my hair once or twice a week. Switching back to shampoo hasn’t changed that. I’m still planning to do the baking soda thing but it’ll have to wait until I’m done at Millar.

So ok. I’m done. The moral of the story is:

Baking soda WORKED. It was really good. I recommend it to anyone who’s looking for a way to change up their hair routine. But if your water is crappy, maybe don’t bother.

[currently listening: stars//progress]

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2 responses to “I didn’t use shampoo for 4 months.

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