05 November 2011

To poo or not to poo

After pondering my fate with regard to the water-only method on Thursday night, greasy roots and all, I began to contemplate whether or not this experiment was healthy. I began having doubts as the following thoughts crept up: 'What will happen to my skin?' 'What if the oils from my unwashed hair spread to my face and make me break out?' 'Isn't that inevitable?' 'Will I ever feel truly clean?' 'Won't my hair look greasy if you really look at it?' 'Won't it smell?' 'What about bacteria?' 'What about when I ride the subway and rest my hair against the window; the window that is filled with age-old grime?' 'You mean I will have to live with the thought of that grime festering in my hair?'

I then did my own form of research and stumbled about an article (see: http://health.ninemsn.com.au/whatsgoodforyou/factsheets/798250/do-we-really-need-shampoo) that detailed the results of two people, male and female, who did not use shampoo or any products for two months, and their scalp was examined by under a microscopic camera, before, during, and after the experiment to determine whether or not their scalp remained healthy throughout the entire process. 'Finally,' was my first thought. 'Objective proof which will address my concerns.' I was so idealistic about the water-only hair experiment that I crossed my fingers, hoping that their scalp remained healthy from beginning to end. To my dismay, I was wrong. At the conclusion of the experiment, the scalps were scaling and inflamed and did not look healthy.

This got me very worried because after one week my scalp was a bit saturated in grease and increasingly itchy. It was not a stretch of think my scalp would in effect become extremely agitated and inflamed over the next few weeks as a result of my constant scratching. Then I read more articles and comments about how unwashed hair is a breeding ground for bacteria, mites, and other undesirable microbes. When I began envisioning the probability that after thirty or more days of not washing my hair, it would be a scaling, inflamed, and bug-infested entity, that was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. I decided that water-only washing would not be suited for me. I wanted to be able to wash off any nasty microbes when necessary; especially after riding the subway.

The following morning (Friday), I grabbed my trusty shampoo and lathered up. I can't tell you how good it felt to wash my hair. It was so liberating. My scalp felt relieved and I felt clean. Truly clean and happy. The only downside to have used shampoo was that my hair looked and felt, you guessed it: dry. Back to the drawing board, I thought. There had to be a better way. I'm pleased to state that I did have an alternate idea that would still allow me to limit my use of conventional, chemical-laden products. Enter: baking soda and acv. I have attempted to use baking soda on three separate occasions in the past. Each of my attempts were failures, I will admit. However, I am by no means a quitter and was not allow that to stop me from giving it yet another go. After all, trial and error is the only way to learn, no?

This morning was my fourth attempt. My hair is not looking too shabby, which means I am getting closer to achieving success with the baking soda and acv combo. This is how I made my solutions: 1/2 tsp of baking soda to about 8 oz of water and 1/2 tsp of acv to about 8 oz of water. I put the baking soda/water concoction in a tall glass container while I put the acv/water in a spray bottle. I shook the baking soda and water solution until most of the baking soda was dissolved. I used about 3/4 of each. I first wet my hair and detangled it with a comb. My hair best detangles when it is freshly wet. Then I poured the baking soda/water solution on my scalp. I poured a bit and scrubbed my scalp. I poured a bit more and scrubbed again, on and on, until about 1/4 of the solution remained in the container. I let it sit for about a minute or two. Then I rinsed my scalp/hair. Next, I sprayed the acv/water all over my hair, except on the roots. I then rinsed it away. That's it. Pretty simple, right? Most likely, I will keep experimenting with the quantities of the baking soda and acv, but I have realized that for my hair, less is definitely more.

All in all, I am very satisfied that I can still continue to cleanse my hair, yet with minimal and all-natural ingredients and without the drying effects of ordinary poo.

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