“Vitality shows in not only the ability to persist, but the ability to start over.”
– F. Scott Fitzgerald
Looking at my calendar, I’ve been at this shampoo thing for a month now. That’s 30 days. And of those 30 days, I’ll conservatively estimate that 28 of them have been riddled with failure. There was the sea salt hair, the George Washington powdered wig, the Coconut Oil Debacle of 2012, the coconut milk meltdown, the oil slick – and that’s just off the top of my head. But no matter what, I absolutely refuse to go back to using conventional shampoo and conditioner consistently. Some people might call this idiocy. But for the purposes of this experiment, let’s call it vitality.
After all, through the whole challenge, I have not only persisted, but started over (on multiple occasions, in fact). I’ve tried so many hair remedies in the past month that if all of them worked, I’d have the healthiest hairs on the planet. Unfortunately, I feel like I have the most desperate hairs on the planet – desperate to get away from this crazy person to whom they’re attached.
When my head took a step backward this weekend, I became convinced that I have chronically bad karma. What else could explain such horrible luck? (And don’t say “not using shampoo”; I already thought of that.) In an effort to change the flow of my karma, I decided to make a(nother) fresh start and make a(nother) fresh batch of shampoo. I also tried balancing my chakras, drinking herbal tea, laughing, singing and hugging a dog. Who knows what could work.
A friend loaned me the book “Herbal Well-Being,” which has quickly become my go-to recipe Bible. Not surprisingly, it contains my new shampoo recipe:
- 2 tbsp fresh herbs (I used chamomile again)
- 1 C spring water
- 2 tbsp liquid castile soap (I used Dr. Bronner’s again)
- 1 tsp oil (I used grapeseed)
- 2 drops essential oil (I used tea tree)
If you have a good memory, then you’ll notice that this recipe calls for a bit less castile soap and a bit more oil than my first recipe, which sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. Why would a person with grease issues use less soap and more oil? I also had this question, which is why I used the grapeseed oil, because I found out that it’s very light and supposedly a good choice for oily hair types.
Monday night I washed for the first time with this shampoo mixture. Yesterday’s hair was mediocre. It was arguably clean and manageable, but rather dark at the scalp. I’ve been washing at night, in order to give my hair maximum drying time, and I’ve cut out the hair dryer, because I feel it acts as an enabler for the grease sometimes. I’m also trying not to touch my hair during the day, and I’m using a new shampoo technique I found in “Herbal Well-Being”:
- Wet hair thoroughly; use a dollop of shampoo about the size of a quarter
- Lather the shampoo in your hands before applying to your hair
- Use your fingertips to massage the shampoo into your scalp
- Rinse hair thoroughly, then shampoo again
- Rinse thoroughly with cool water
- Pat hair dry; do not rub
- Comb hair gently
I have been known to cheat on the quarter-sized shampoo allotment when I feel insecure about the lather factor (it’s a liquid soap, so it’s hard to lather in my hands without dropping some anyway).
I hope my hair makes a healthy recovery from its frazzled and fatigued state. Now it’s up to karma. As I was whipping up the new mixture in the kitchen, my mom walked in and asked what I was calling this shampoo. The first thought that came to mind was No ‘Poo #127.
But then I remembered, I need a fresh start. So if this method is still considered “No ‘Poo,” then what exactly do I have left? Just “sham,” I suppose.