Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Unconditional Love

Still working on personal hygiene. Who knew there was so much to ground to cover? The fact that we've got a month's worth of changes should be our first clue that maybe, just maybe, we spend a bit too much time, money and resources on lookin' purdy. So let's see if we can totally drop another item from our regimen. How's about conditioner?

EEEEEEKKKK!!! Lots of you freaking out, I know. I didn't think I could live without it either. After all, I have what my sister affectionately calls "hay hair" because of its lovely, straw-like texture. (note to sis: you are older than me. I win.) So anyhow, if anyone needed some conditioning love, surely it was me!

Turns out, not so much. Oh don't get me wrong, the first few days (or maybe even weeks) were rough. But, as so many bloggers seem to be discovering about 'poo, your hair will adjust to the change. There are a few things you can do to ease the transition, though... here's what worked for me:

1. Always brush/comb before you wash! You can't go into the shower with a rat's nest on your head and expect to come out with Brooke Shields hair. It isn't a magic shower, for Christ's sake. Get the snarls all brushed out before you hop in!

2. Use a moisturizing shampoo. Fortunately, I find that my groovy little shampoo bars clean my hair without stripping all the natural oils. This helps keep my hair looking a little less like cow bedding.

3. Find that bitchin' pocket comb you had in 1984 (you know, the "marbled" purple one that you wore as a fashion accessory in the back pocket of your Jordache jeans) and use it when you get out of the shower. Do NOT use a brush on wet hair! It will damage the hair and leave you with nasty split ends. Always use a nice, wide-tooth comb on wet hair.

4. If you can't go cold-turkey, try down-grading to a cider vinegar rinse for a month, then try going conditioner-free.

5. If you need a deep-conditioning treatment every now and again, try using coconut oil. Put it on your hair at night, wrap your head in a towel and shampoo out the next day. Or if you can't sleep with crap on your head, you can put mayonnaise in your hair for 15 minutes, then wash it out. Either option will leave you silky smooth and help you avoid all the weird chemicals found in commercial conditioners - not to mention the time (and water) saved in the shower. Double Bonus? They work so well that once every two weeks is all you'll need!

So, do tell.... are you feelin' the unconditional love?


greeen sheeep said...

What a perfect title for this post.

I am a little frightened to try this one. I have naturally curly hair that I cannot get my fingers through after washing. I am currently trying to reduce my conditioning to every other day.

Haven't tried the cider vinegar or coconut oil yet, but I will be switching to one of those when my commercial conditioner runs out. I'm willing to go no conditioner for a week. If all goes well, I might not have to switch after all.

Another way to save water in the shower is to share it with your hubby/wife/partner. Hubby and I shower together at night. It's our only alone time together. It's also great for discussing things not meant for the chitlins ears.

Tammi said...

I am one of the No 'Poo masses. :) It was definitely a change and a challenge but I'm glad I did it.

Robj98168 said...

Once again being bald is eco-friendly! No conditioner here- just the occasional scalp massage!

Billie said...

I don't think I could have went no conditioner before I cut off my hair. It just had to feel the spray off the shower to get tangled into an unbelievable mess.

Now that I have my hair very short... I don't need any conditioner. It makes no difference if I have 2-in-1 shampoo or not. Whew! And sadly about the only plastic bottle that has made its way out of our bathroom.

organicneedle said...

I just gave a bottle of conditioner to my neighbor yesterday because I realized since switching to the shampoo bar I never use it. Do I get extra points for being able to read your mind?

PS...you really spend an obscene amount of time thinking about Mike Rowe turning your compost.

Bobbi said...

I use no 'poo and coconut oil. My hair looks better than it has in years!

Beany said...

I didn't know I was supposed to comb my hair before washing it. No wonder I always have a rat's nest.

Kim from Milw said...

I haven't totally gone unconditional, but I've cut down on washing my hair only every other day, and one of those days per week using baking soda/vinegar, and I've noticed that I don't seem to need the conditioner like I used to. I've got hay hair as well, being blonde, and my hair feels so much softer now and much shinier.

Wendy said...

I've forgone both shampoo and conditioner and have been going with the baking soda wash and vinegar rinse for a couple months now and I love it. (I read about it on Angry Chicken's blog)

1 cup water plus 1 Tablespoon baking soda (pour over hair, rub in, let sit for 1 minute, rinse.)

1 cup water plus 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, plus a drop or two of essential oil (pour over head and rinse.)

Lori said...

With short, straight and impossibly fine hair, I've stuck with my volumizing conditioner so far. Now that I'm coming up on the end of a bottle, I'm planning to switch to a vinegar rinse for a couple of weeks to see how I like it. If I like it, that's the first plastic bottle to move out of the shower. Then I'll try a shampoo bar. I figure if I do one at a time, I can see how they each work on my hair. For now, I'm hunting for a good smelling essential oil to add to the vinegar rinse.

This should be interesting...

Harper said...

This is the change I am most reluctant to try. My hair is thick, coarse, wavy, and long. I already brush my hair before shampooing with a moisturizing shampoo and use a wide-toothed comb afterwards AND I only shampoo and condition twice a week. I am curious about the coconut oil but doubt I could sleep with a towel (I am a tosser and turner of epic proportions). I might try the apple cider vinegar rinse to see if it works for me. However, because I have conditioner issues I currently have three bottles of conditioner that I need to use up. The real change will be not buying any more.

Rosa said...

I have very fine, dark blonde hair. I learned a long, long time ago that the answer to any hair problem is "less product". Want your hair to curl? Don't wash it! Dry hair? Rinse with hot water, no soap.

I do feel for the longhaired people, though. Mine is only shoulder length, so everything is easier.

Anonymous said...

i went no 'poo a month ago and my fine, slightly wavy, golden brown hair shines like never before, has lovely body, and smells just fine. i had eased shampooing down to once every 5-7 days, then went from shampoo to baking soda followed by acv rinse. currently all i've done for 2 weeks is 100 strokes at night with a boar bristle brush (to carry oils from scalp down shaft) and everything looks great!

i would not give up conditioner without giving up shampoo; it's stripping the sebum off with shampoo that encourages your scalp to produce more sebum in the first place.

Elizabeth said...

I have hip length, curly, and formerly dry hair and I want to assure everyone that going conditioner free is possible! Ditching shampoo and using coconut oil have been critical to the endeavor. Shampoo is way, way too harsh. Definitely go the soap-based shampoo bar route. A normal bar of soap also works.

I actually use both a vinegar rinse and a few drops of oil after soaping my hair up. The vinegar brings your hair and scalp's pH back to normal, and flattens the scales of the cuticle (technical hair talk; I mean it makes my hair silky and not tangly), and the oil keeps my hair moisturized. I don't comb after I get out of the shower, since my hair's so long and I don't want to damage it.

Anyway, try it, everyone! It really does work. Commercial shampoo and conditioner are just another way for companies to suck cash out of your pockets while doing questionable things to you. My hair is actually better now!

Anonymous said...

We started to green our hygiene awhile ago and while using our homemade bar of soap for everything was a little weird at first now it's just normal. Instead of having shampoo, conditioner, soap, shaving cream etc we just use our homemade soap. You could easily just pick up a nice bar of soap at the farmer's market or something. Or if you have a day you could just make your own. One batch lasts about six months so it goes a long way.