Saturday, January 25, 2014

Natural Hair Care Fail

Today was my first time washing my hair with store-bought shampoo and conditioner in a month!
It. Was. Glorious!

I've had an interest in natural health remedies ever since I found a book about it in the spare room of my parent's old house in Ste. Anne. It was a very informative book and after getting the internet in the late 90's, I continued to search for information and recipes.

After graduating from college, I sort of got out of it and stopped caring. But since becoming  interested in eating primal almost a year ago now, I've been very interested in using natural products to cure what ails me as well as for health and beauty.

I can't remember the last time I used soap or body wash in the shower. I wash my hands with soap but that's about it. I use an oil and sugar scrub which doesn't dry out my skin or make it itch like all the different commercial products I've tried. I clean my face with oil and honey. All the facial cleansers I've tried irritate my skin and dry it out. Every hand and body lotion I've ever used has dried out my skin. The easiest solution was to just stop using these commercial products.

After having great success for many, many months not using soaps and lotions, I thought, surely there's got to be a natural solution to maintaining my hair? My hair has always been fine, dry,and limp. When I was a little kid it wasn't, but as I got older, starting showering every day and using hair products, I definitely noticed my hair change. It never felt touchable, it was getting harder to style and it never looked healthy.

The commercial solution is add more product to your hair. More hair serum, more anti-frizz creme, more volumizing hair spray. When you wake up your hair is absolutely disgusting. It's a mess. You have to wash all that junk out, dry it, flat-iron it, add in more products and go about your day. How exhausting. I couldn't be bothered to do all that after high school, so I used less and less hair products and only washed my hair every other day.

This worked out okay for me for many years. Since becoming a stay at home mom though, I can honestly go a week without showering. It's too cold to leave the house and nobody ever comes over here except more kids who don't give a damn what I look like . It probably sounds disgusting, but it's not that bad. I brush my hair and teeth every day! I'm not a total slob.

Commercial shampoo cleans the hair too much. It strips everything away. So then you use a commercial conditioner which uses chemicals that bond to your hair in an effort to replace some of what the shampoo stripped away. Then the scalp goes nuts producing extra oil to try to protect the hair, but it's for nothing because you just wash your hair again the next day.

So, after much reading, I decided I would attempt to only use natural hair cleansers, like vinegar. I kept reading about the "transition phase" and how it can take several weeks for your hair to adapt to any natural and homemade hair cleansers. And if your hair never adapts, try another recipe because "hair care is personal" and not all cleansers will be right for all hair.

I was getting sick of all that and read on someone's blog they just use water to wash their hair and then they have a special brushing routine to distribute the oils down to the ends of the hair. So, I started doing that for a bit. At first I noticed my roots were lifted and my hair had more volume. When I styled it, it actually stayed in place. But then my hair kept feeling thicker and heavier and oilier and after a month I couldn't take it anymore!

Fuck the transition phase! Store-bought shampoo and conditioner make my hair feel awesome. It feels lighter, cleaner, it smells like flowers, and it's very soft. I'm not going to use it every day, but perhaps only washing it once a week combined with the new brushing technique I learned will be a better compromise.

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