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Craft Rage

...Making a mess of things since 1973


No 'Poo Update

I recently finished listening to two books by Dean Koontz, Fear Nothing and Seize the Night. I enjoyed both audiobooks very much, but really, the only reason I'm telling you this is so that I can accurately describe what's happening to my hair.

In the books, a DNA-altering retrovirus has escaped the lab. People who are infected are Becoming...becoming what, nobody knows, but they are Becoming someone else, possibly someTHING else.

My hair is Becoming.

Day 1 to day 5 were...pretty bad. Partly because I didn't really know what I was doing, so I was using way too much of everything. On the positive side, everything was from my baking cupboard, so at least I was edible the entire time. On the negative side, I spent a great deal of time trying to pretend that the vinegar smell was NOT emanating from my head. It takes a lot more effort to avoid head-sniffers than you might imagine.

Day 6 to day 8 were...well, they were also pretty bad. I reformulated my "shampoo" and "conditioner", so I no longer smelled like salad, but my hair looked and felt pretty awful. Imagine greasy, static-y straw.

On days 9 and 10, I wanted to pull a full-on Britney, and shave my head right to the skin.

On day 11, I started to feel like, if I didn't shampoo my hair, I was going to have a psychotic break. I took a shower, washed with my hair with my baking soda solution, rinsed with my vinegar/green tea/vodka solution, and then stood in the shower, rocking back and forth, hands outstretched to the shampoo bottle.

I made a compromise with myself; I decided that if I could find a bottle in the shower that didn't have the dreaded 'cones (dimethicone) in it, I'd use it. As an aside, did you know that pretty much all conditioners and many shampoos have silicone in them? I did not. I mean, it's not like I assumed that shampoo was made of magical fairy dust, in non-sweatshop fairy factories, where elves sang as they did the bottling, but I didn't think it contained a derivative of the product I used to seal the edges of my bathtub. Who knew?

Anyway, owing to the fact that I have longish, slightly shampoo and conditioner resistant hair, I have a lot of different bottles hanging out everywhere, because I've tried EVERYTHING. I found a shampoo with no 'cones, and for a few seconds, I just stood there, staring at the bottle in my hand, feeling like an addict who's come face to face with her addiction. After a quick argument with myself (which I did aloud, the pro side in my own voice, the con side done in the voice of Stimpy) I turned my head upside down, put the tiniest little dab of shampoo in my hands, and worked it through the ends of my hair, careful not to touch my scalp.

I shudder to report that the rinse water came out black.


At first, I thought it was dirt, and I can't even describe how grossed out I was. Somehow, I managed to fight the urge to curl up in a ball in the bottom of the shower, moaning "Unclean, unclean, UNCLEAN!", along with the urge to re-wash my hair and dump the no 'poo experiment once and for all.

I finished rinsing, then crawled out of the shower to towel off and pour myself a drink. As I passed the mirror, I noticed that something was different, but I wasn't ready to look too closely. When I combed it out, I finally realized why my rinse water was so dark.

About six months ago, I colored my naturally dark brown hair a very, very dark brown, nearly black. When I dye my hair, I never do an all-over job, because I'm not very good at maintenance, so any treatment that leaves me with the potential for different colored roots is NOT my friend. Instead of doing the all-over head thing, I tend to comb new color through in streaks, starting at random points a few inches from the root, so while I never end up with a shocking new hair color, I also never have visible roots, so it all works out.

Well, after ten days of being washed with baking soda, which is moderately caustic, and rinsed with apple cider vinegar, which is moderately acidic, the little bit of shampoo I used finished the task of stripping out nearly all of the remaining color, which is why the water was black. It also got rid of the last of the vinegar smell, and left my hair feeling soft and shiny, and all-round excellent.

Days 12 to 18 haven't been as bad as the first days; my hair is completely scent-free, and is surprisingly voluminous, and appears to be developing a bit of a wave, which is really exciting. It no longer feels greasy and lank, but it's gotten kind of frizzy, which is a problem I've never, ever had before. Ever. While I'm enjoying the novelty of it, I can see that it's going to get annoying very quickly.

In short, I'm glad I didn't shave it all off, but honestly, I'm not sure that the gladness will last.

My hair is Becoming. I just hope it's Becoming something I won't want to set on fire.



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Blogger Marjie Says:

Interesting! Keep me updated, and give us before/after pictures, if you can!

Blogger Sara Says:

Hmmm....I wonder if your hair would have been so greasy if you hadn't dyed it. And I think I would have compeltely freaked out!


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