Monday, January 25, 2016

No Poo, Day 4: the Incredible, Edible Egg

Waking up to the 4th day of greasy/waxy hair after my failed baking soda wash on Day 1, I said "Enough!" and decided that it was time to get serious. I mean, if my hair was going to stay that nasty all the time, this experiment would be over by the end of the week!

So I chose an egg wash, hoping that it would get me back on track. I had to tweak the recipe due to a poorly-stocked kitchen - here it is:

-2 egg yolks
-juice of 1/2 lemon
-white vinegar
-distilled water
Directions: Break the yolks and mix them with the lemon juice. Wet your hair and apply the egg and juice mixture; massage it on your scalp and through your hair; let sit for 10 minutes. Rinse out with cold water. Pour a 1/2 cup of white vinegar and 1/2 cup of water over your head; let sit for 1 minute and rinse out with cold water. Allow to air dry.

I followed the recipe for the most part, except I used 3 egg yolks because 1) we happened to have 3 eggs left, and who eats just one egg, and 2) I was really paranoid about getting my hair clean, so the extra egg felt like it would have more "oomph." I also didn't have lemon juice so I added a little bit of water instead and mixed it up. I followed the rest of the directions exactly - standing wet and chilly in the shower for 10 minutes was not the highlight of my day - and towel-dried my hair until it wasn't dripping anymore.

Now that my hair is dry, I can happily say this was a complete SUCCESS!! My hair is clean, so gloriously clean, that I just want to kiss it. It's also soft and smooth. I have read in a couple of places that hair can "overdose on the protein" in egg washes, so apparently it's not a good idea to use it too often, but it will definitely be a permanent fixture in my hair-care arsenal.
Two thumbs up!
So fresh and so clean! clean!

Friday, January 22, 2016

New experiment, Day 1: The No-Poo Move!

I don't know what it is about being over here that makes me want to try new stuff - aside from the crushing boredom and loneliness - but my year in France has been a spontaneous time of trying new things (or, tried and previously abandoned things). The French language, baking, nail art, journaling, retro hairdos, makeup tutorials, sewing....these hobbies have all crossed my path. And now, not yet a full month into 2016, I am starting yet another new experiment: No Poo.

Yes, I still have BMs - "No Poo" is the shorthand for No Shampoo. That is, I am giving up commercially produced shampoo and conditioner in an effort to go natural with my hair. I bought an ebook by Lucy AitkinRead called Happy Hair - The Definitive Guide to Giving Up Shampoo as my reference and dived right in. (I really like spending money, but there are lots of free resources on the internet too - blogs, articles, etc.)

So here on Day 1, it was time for the first Baking Soda wash and Apple Cider Vinegar rinse! I used one "dessert spoon" of baking soda in 1 cup of water as my washing agent, and I'll be honest, I was extremely nervous about whether it would actually get my scalp and hair clean. Not having those familiar, comforting suds calling out, "Look! I'm cleaning you!" was strange, and so I massaged my scalp for a minute or so and then waited another minute or so before rinsing it out.

(Unfortunately, Ms. AitkinRead mentions several times in her book how hard water with lots of lime scale will not help the adjustment...which of course is exactly the kind of water we have here. This fact also increased my nervousness, so I decided to boil the water for the cleanse and rinse mixes first in order to get rid of as much of that lime scale as possible.)

Then came the 2 Tablespoons of ACV in 1 cup of water as the rinse/conditioner. I also let it sit on my hair for a minute or so before rinsing it out in cold water. And finally, the moment of truth: I unwrapped my hair from its towel and grimaced. Is it just wet, or still greasy? What is it going to look like dry?? OH DEAR LORD WHAT HAVE I DONE??

Love that wavy bit
next to my face...
...but UGH - that grease!

To be honest, now that it's dry, I'm seeing not-so-great results. The top layer of my hair looks fine - clean, normal, even a bit wavy in places - but underneath is a different story. It's grease city under there.

EWWWWW - super greasy in the back :-(

I'm thinking that my hair might be too thick to just pour a cup of water time maybe I'll double the recipe, or use a spray bottle and lift my hair up in chunks so I can really get it all over. Dang! I was really hoping for a great first time (aren't we all? WINK). I really have no patience for the learning process, but I guess I'll have to deal with it. Or just go back to normal shampoo.

And why this particular experiment, you wonder? Well, friend, I'm not sure how to explain it. Perhaps I have always been a dirty hippie hiding inside a corporate monkey's body, just waiting to burst out in all her glory; perhaps the EU regulation of chemicals in food and personal products has leached ever so ironically into my consciousness.
Dear God, no.....noooooooo!

Or maybe it's all that time I have to sit around and think about how I would rather not be exposing myself on a regular basis to formaldehyde, sulfates, or parabens, to name just a few of the less pleasant ingredients one might find in modern beauty products. (Thanks, corporate overlords!)

In fact, it's getting so serious that I'm planning a trip to the local organic/health food store to look for ingredients for homemade deodorant, body wash, and toothpaste...dear God....I AM a hippie now!!! Damn you, France! Damn you!!!!

But then again, if these next experiments all go as poorly as this first attempt at No Poo, I'll be back on the corporate spending treadmill in no time.