Saturday, January 10, 2009

He-Who-Shan't-Be-Named Isn't Crazy (Me, On the Other Hand...)

So how do I look? Yeah, I know my makeup's a bit heavy. This guy, Vermeer, did it for me (and loaned me the earrings.) Specifically, what do you think of my hair? Does it look okay?

(Link to the big version)

Because I haven't shampooed it since Nov. 30th, 2008.

WAIT! That's not to say I don't wash my hair--I DO. Every second day, in fact. I just haven't been using shampoo.

Yes, curiosity (maybe) killed Shroedinger's cat. I was so startled by the idea of "self-washing hair" that I decided to try it as an experiment.

Recap: "Self-washing" hair is what you're supposed to get if you wash your hair in water only, i.e. no shampoo. After an approximately-six-week transition period, your hair stops looking disgusting and starts looking clean and fluffy again--with the added bonus that it's supposed to be much healthier too.

Now, I don't know if I got to the "self-washing" stage, for reasons I'll explain below, but I did discover you can get your hair completely clean without using shampoo.

Confession time: I tried to do this the correct way, but alas. I am weak. Washing my hair in only water left it looking much better than I would have predicted, but it didn't look good. Although that is expected--that's the transition state--I just couldn't stand the way my hair looked.

So I started washing it in conditioner. Specifically, I would give my hair a good scrub with water only, then repeat that using conditioner, and then I would rinse.

And holy Hans Fassbinder, that worked incredibly well. My hair was literally squeaky-clean afterward, with no shampoo involved, and it was much shinier and more manageable than I'm used to.

If you think about it, the water washes out everything that's water-based, like sweat and dirt, and the conditioner washes out everything that's oil-based, like your hair's natural oils. There shouldn't be anything else. (Although I can't vouch for how well this cleans off hair product, since I don't use any.)

The photo above (minus the paint and pearls) was taken about twenty-four hours after my last shower, and as you can see, my hair still looks clean and frizzy fluffy.

I'm at the six-week point. I don't know if I've got "self-washing" hair, because I haven't been doing this correctly. You're supposed to only use water on your hair and brush it often to distribute your natural oils. I said "To hell with natural oils" and used conditioner to take them all off.

However, I've noticed a change lately. Washing in conditioner did clean my hair really well, but for most of the past six weeks, the effect didn't last as long as I wanted. My hair would look good the first day after I showered, but on the second day, it began to look lank and stringy.

Just this past week, however, that oily-second-day has gone away. Now my hair looks great both days and could even go a third. Do I have "self-washing" hair? I don't know, but I like what I'm seeing enough to keep doing this. It's cheaper, better for the environment, yadda, yadda, yadda.

My hair is shinier, so I assume it's healthier--but I know my scalp is healthier. I used to always use Head and Shoulders™, because if I switched to another shampoo, I would get dandruff within a week.

Hey-ho, it's been six weeks and I don't have any dandruff yet. That implies it was the shampoo causing the dandruff in the first place, and my scalp is perfectly healthy if I just don't put detergents on it.

Yup, I'm nuts. The scientist in me was intrigued by this idea, so I ran the experiment, and now the ditzy airhead in me is delighted: I'm liking my hair, I'm feeling all smug and superior about just what a clever ditz I am, and best of all--El Husbando never even suspected.



Sarf's Travels. said...

The makeup is a little old,, maybe it is time to wash the face ׃Þ

cool self greasing hair.

Maybe I should try it, but I don't have long hair anymore.

McKoala said...

Well, I don't visit for a while and when I come back, personal hygiene has gone out the window!

But seriously, I've always been curious about this myself. I like the conditioner idea. Does it really strip off the natural oils? I would have thought that the idea was to add to them in a good way.

Sorry for lack of visits, I've been using follower, and, ahem, seemed to miss you (and others) off my list. It's fixed.

I like the idea of a partnership of writing updates. My update is that I did get going yesterday and wrote 365 words for Jason's contest - however, the word limit is 250, so the next stage is shaving down and fixing, so after a couple of days I won't have anything new to add to the total - I'll be taking away!

jjdebenedictis said...

Sarf: *wails* But it's not greasy! That's the point!

*sniff* I'm so misunderstood. ;-p

McKoala: *sputtersputter* Oi! I'm perfectly hygienic.

Instant conditioner is oil-based, but it's also made to rinse away clean. So your natural oils do dissolve into it, then they get rinsed away with the conditioner.

I think rough-draft word count is totally okay! You can count that as 365 as far as I'm concerned. :-)

McKoala said...

Is this where I confess to not using deodorant for three days? I have some kind of irritation under my arms so I've had to stop. I was grossed out, but guess what. No damp, no smell. So, has the irritation plugged up my sweat glands or is messing with nature causing more problems than it fixes? Watch this space...

I just took out 120 words! The piece is soooo much better for it. I think we have to count word loss, as long as it's good word loss.

Stephe said...

Wow. This is quite beautiful. Looks very classic--and classy.

I'd put it up in MY foyer, the way you do with portraits of yourself and/or ancestors... and get a kick out of every single person who walked in the door asking me, "Who is that?" (seeing as I'm black and all) and their curiosity killing them, 'cause I'd be real mysterious-like about it. Heh.

jjdebenedictis said...

Stephe: Hee! The portrait does look nice, until you start thinking, "Waaaaaait a minute; don't I know that face...?"

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