(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
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.