Diane Takes a Vaca and Recalls the No ‘Poo Challenge

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!  We certainly did.  And now it’s the last week of 2009, a week I’ll be spending with family taking a blogging vacation.  So since I’ll be doing a “no bloggy”, I thought I’d share with you the “no ‘poo” posts I’ve done this year.  Throughout the week I’ll be posting once again my no ‘poo challenge updates, some of the most popular posts done here to date.  I certainly get a lot of email on living without shampoo, and I’m happy to say I get email every week from those of you who have given it up too, and love it!  So to start, here’s my first no ‘poo update taken from early this summer when I first began my life with totally chemical-free hair:

My Personal No ‘Poo Challenge

Hoping I Don't Look Like This Next Week...
Hoping I Don’t Look Like This Come Next Week…

No, I haven’t given up my beans and roughage.  I’ve given up shampoo.  I know it sounds radical, but I gave it a lot of thought – at least 7 minutes – and decided I was up for the challenge.  I recently finished reading Sleeping Naked is Green, and so I was inspired to do something extra.  I’ve been using natural and chemical-free shampoos for years and with great results, but for some reason my hair has been acting up lately.  Perhaps it’s the changing seasons or (ahem) my changing age, but even while using my most trusted bottles of natural shampoos and conditioners, my hair was completely disobeying me.  

So in a strange blend of experimentalism and curiosity, I set aside my shampoo and went the no ‘poo route.  For the past seven days (did I really make it that far already???) I’ve been using either a vinegar rinse, the rosemary sage tea I talked about last week, or just plain water – and lots and lots of scrubbing!  So far the results are very surprising.  My hair feels clean and not oily, I don’t need a conditioner, and my very thick mane that has always given me fits is easily combed through with my fingers.  I haven’t needed any hair product except occasional light mists of hairspray on windy days.  I’ll be honest, I’m a little icked out that I haven’t used any shampoo, but my hair actually looks and feels good, and it’s much more manageable than I’m used to!  The rosemary keeps my hair smelling really good, but even on the days I don’t use it, I haven’t had any issues or spousal complaints.  Since I’ve always rinsed out vinegar after using it (not everyone does), I never smell like a salad bar.  

But still I’m a little icked out.  

I’ll keep up the experiment for as long as it works, and I’ll keep you posted either way.  I did a lot of research on the subject today (perhaps I should have done that a week ago), and I’m finding there’s actually a lot of controversy and heated debate on the topic!  I imagined it would work differently for everyone, but the two sides of the issue are pretty strong.  I’m still teetering in the middle somewhere.  I haven’t had the grease issues a lot of people go through, but I imagine that’s because I haven’t used conventional shampoos for a few years, so my hair didn’t have to go through the transition of figuring out how to deal with no sulphates or other chemicals.  

Overall, I’m bouncing between a self-satisfied “Bear Gryllis would be proud” moment to “Ick – what the heck am I doing?”  At least I can enjoy the survival aspect of it even though it’s hard to feel like a survivalist in the middle of suburbia.  In the meantime, please let me know if you’ve ever tried this, thought about trying it, or know someone who did and suddenly woke up bald.  I’ll keep you posted on my results and whether I get bogged down by the ick factor or eventually start up my own survival show living off dandelions and tracking wild carrots in the depths of suburbia.  Or if I end up looking like good ol’ Fido here.

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