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.


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