Category Archives: Going "Natural"

Going "Natural"

I have my very own domain name!

March 17, 2010

Yes, it’s quite exciting.  Today I got my very own domain name —  So now you don’t have to type in the!  It’s like I have my very own website.  How very 2002 of me.  On another note, Happy Saint Patty’s Day lads and lasses!  Yes, it’s true, not only do I look like a riverdancer, but I do actually have some Irish roots.  I will be celebrating tonight with some corned beef and cabbage and Irish soda bread.  Delicious!  Also, the weather today is GORGEOUS so I hope you all had some time to go out and enjoy the sunshine on this holiest of holidays.

Alrighty roo, down to business.  I washed my hair on Monday night, but due to a full day of babysitting + KC’s dad’s birthday dinner last night, I had pretty much zero time to post yesterday.  So here I am posting about it now, just back from working (and working out) at Bar Method.  Here are some pictures I took of my hair this morning…

That last shot is one I took at Bar Method later in the day while I was working.  My hair held up fine, even after the BART ride into the city.

Ok, on to a few questions.  I’ve been asked about tangles — since I’m not using conditioner, does my hair get more tangled, is it harder to get the tangles out of your hair, etc.  Truthfully, I guess probably because I straighten my hair, my hair doesn’t tend to get too tangled throughout the day.  The tangle issue was a concern for me when starting this challenge, but I haven’t really noticed a difference in the severity or amount of tangles I have.  I do brush my hair before getting into the shower, and then comb the baking soda and vinegar rinses through my hair once in there.  I have noticed that even when my hair has to withstand a windy day that my tangles aren’t too bad and tend to be confined to my ends (because they’re so fried….ahhh need a haircut!)  The funny thing is, on windy days my hair tends to perform better and stay less tangled than it did when I was using shampoo and conditioner.  I’m not really sure why that is (since I, too, thought that no conditioner would equal more tangles).  It’s a mystery, but I’ll take it!

On to the vinegar rinse.  If you’re thinking about going no ‘poo, here are a few tips regarding how often to wash your hair and how to use the vinegar rinse.  If you’re going to go natural, I would not recommend washing more than twice a week with this mix, only because it tends to be drying.  For those of you who wash everyday or every other day, this means that you may want to start by weaning your hair off the ‘poo more slowly (cut down your shampooing little by little until you’re only washing twice a week before making the switch).  Also, especially if you’re a frequent washer, know that when you switch to no ‘poo your hair may go through a transition period where it’s really greasy for a week or two.  I read about this when doing my research before beginning the challenge, and basically it’s where your natural oils over-produce while your scalp adjusts to the natural diet (because shampoo strips your hair of those natural oils).  During this time, resist the urge to over-wash your hair and stick to the 2 washes a week.  The grease will pass; just throw your hair up and revel in the “Wow, your hair looks so SHINY!” compliments.

As for the vinegar rinse, this is the main part of the routine which will need tweaking based on your hair’s individual needs.  Some people leave the vinegar rinse on their hair, opting not to rinse it out, because the natural diet can be very drying for those with already dry hair (also, this can help prevent tangles for those of you with long and/or curly hair, according to my research).  Others claim that the vinegar rinse makes their hair oily and opt to either use it on the ends of their hair only, or simply cut it out altogether.  If you’re dealing with greasy hair during the transition period, this may be the time to cut down or cut out the vinegar rinse, until your hair regulates itself.  Also, don’t forget that there are things you can add to your vinegar rinse based on your hair’s needs (see this website).

Any other questions, feel free to post a comment, email, or just ask.

Fun fact for today: I have been getting lots of compliments on my hair lately from people who were unaware that I have been doing the no ‘poo thing.  I will take this as a sign that the benefits of my new natural diet are not all in my head (but, rather, on it.  Hilarious.  I know.)

Hope you all enjoy your Guinness, Killians, and Ginger and Jameson’s tonight!  (And don’t drink and drive.  Drink and BART!)

Going "Natural"

A very late update

March 15, 2010

So I said I would post an update about how my hair fared on that very rainy Friday.  Well, here it is (only a few days late…sorry!)

Ok, rewind back to Friday… Despite my sour mood due to the rain, I did end up hanging out with Alexis.  She came to my place for coffee, then we headed to Walnut Creek for lunch, manicures, and shopping.  Lunch was at Tomatina (delicious, of course), then post-bar celebration mani’s at The Nail Shop (my gift to Alexis for running the mental marathon), then we walked all over Walnut Creek shopping (no purchases, but lots of good leg work).  So yes, despite the rain, we managed.  My hair got lots of rain exposure so I was very curious to see how it handled the whole day.  Normally, on a day like Friday, my hair would be all kinds of wavy/huge and I would end up tying it back out of sheer mane embarrassment.  However, while my hair wasn’t perfect, it performed much better than the usual frizzy blowout.  Here are the pics (post-rainy shopping):

Sorry for the serious face, I was probably sulking over the fact that I’m unemployed and will soon have to panhandle with the crazies in SF in order to make rent.  Ok, just kidding, let’s not be dramatic.

Anyway, as you can sort of see (again, sorry for the crappy light, it was night time), my hair isn’t super straight (as I usually aim for), but it’s not a large frizzy mess of random waves (victory!).

Alrighty, off to wash the hair!  Post later 🙂

Going "Natural"

Stupid Rain

March 12, 2010

So normally, I love the rain.  Being a fair-skinned lass, I love the cold, rainy days where I can bundle up and stay inside with a hot cup of coffee.  However, today I had plans to head to Bar Method for class in the morning and then meet up with Alexis for lunch, manicures and shopping.  I got up early and got all ready to go this morning, went downstairs and opened the door leave the building and…RAIN.  Buckets of it.  I was under the impression that there was only a chance of rain, and if it did rain, it would be light and only in the morning.  Well, judging by the torrential downpour which was happening and the 6 inch puddles all over my street, that was a big, giant LIE.  So, I trudged back upstairs in my workout gear because I just can’t seem to handle doing the walk to and from BART twice just for an hour of workout bliss in the city.  Blah.  So here I am, back at the apartment, still Lulu-clad.  I made some oatmeal to cheer myself up and added too much brown sugar.  It’s one of those days.

Ok, enough moping.  Alexis will be here for coffee any minute so I’ll make this quick.  I washed my hair this morning.  There’s the before shot… Having washed my hair Monday evening, I think I could have definitely gotten away with not washing it today (and, due to the rain, it probably would have been a better idea to wait, but whatever).  However, I’ve got weekend plans (which now includes a workout since I bailed on mine today) so I didn’t think I’d have time to wash.

Ok so more about the hair.  I’ve noticed that my hair has gotten a little static-y lately.  I only mean more so than when I was using shampoo and conditioner, which means rather than never being static-y I’ve noticed some static on (I think) 2 occasions.  Big whoop.  Yes, boring, but true.

Ok, the post-wash picture… I noticed more fly-aways today than usual.  I am going to chalk this up to the weather (since my hair tends to freak out when it rains).  I haven’t actually set foot outside yet so I’ll try to do an update later about how my hair fared in the rain today.  I’m hoping the natural diet will keep my tresses tamed so I look less like a lion than I usually do on rainy days (just call me Mufasa…RAWR.)

Another fun fact about the natural diet, my hair dries way faster now than it did when I was using shampoo.  I’ve noticed that my roots are dry literally about 2 minutes after stepping out of the shower, and my blow-drying time has been cut almost in half.  I think this is due to the fact that shampoo and conditioner leave a waxy deposit on your hair which slows down the drying process.  Speaking of which, previously when it came time to wash my hair, I couldn’t wait to jump in the shower because, by that time, my roots were pretty slick and there seemed to be a bit of build up on my scalp (sorry, gross, but true).  I assumed this was due to the heat styling products I was using on my hair.  But since going no ‘poo, my hair is significantly less greasy on day 3/4 and there’s no build up.  I think if I really wanted to, I could actually get away with washing my hair only once a week (let’s see just how lazy I get…)

On another note, I did finally get to cleaning my apartment last night, and ended up finding the earring I lost in the great debacle that was Sunday night.  I guess maybe that was the universe’s way of saying “Thanks for getting up off the couch and cleaning your dirty apartment, finally.”

Speaking of lazy, time to text Alexis and find out where the heck she is.  Adios!

Going "Natural"

Hot Mess

March 9, 2010

So my plan was to wash my hair twice a week on Tuesdays and Fridays.  So far I’m 1 for 3 in sticking to that.  Ironically, the deviation in the schedule has nothing to do with my hair not behaving properly, but more to do with my very rigorous, um, social schedule.  Due to a little snafu on Sunday night (aka me turning into a hot mess, thus forcing KC to take care of my sad self.  Seriously, that boy deserves a trophy.  I’ll tell you about the incident in person if you’re curious — I don’t think it’s really blog material at this point) my wash got pushed from Tuesday to Monday.  Thrilling, I know.  Anyway, my hair is still doing well.  I have gotten comments (usually in surprise) like “Wow, your hair looks great!”  Yes, it’s surprising that you can have good looking hair after giving up shampoo, I understand.  I think most people are shocked to see that I’m not a homeless, greasy mess since beginning this challenge.  I have to admit, I’m a little surprised myself.

Truth be told, I had hopes that this challenge would change my (hair’s) life; but in reality, I kind of thought that I would give it a whirl for the 30 days and then most likely go back to the ‘poo.  However, being 1/3 through the challenge now, I don’t think I’ll be going to back to shampoo anytime soon.  Since day 1, I feel like my hair is looking and performing better than when I was using shampoo.  As I mentioned before, my hair is naturally somewhat wavy/curly, but because I am not particularly adept at styling my hair, I end up just straightening it.  However, due to my natural wave and the humidity of the Bay Area, my hair tends to not stay as straight as I’d like throughout the day.  Since beginning this challenge, my hair has suddenly stayed straight and styled the way I always wanted.  Why?  I have no idea.  All I can chalk it up to is the condiment party happening in my shower.

Ok, so I apologize for the crappy light in my apartment.  These pictures were taken on Photo Booth after I got home in the evening.  The point of these pictures is this:  this is my hair after being out all day — it’s still straight.  Amazing!  I didn’t even brush it before taking these.  Also, my hair was put up in a ponytail for class at Bar Method for an hour during the day, and look — no dent left from the band.  How is this all possible?  Baking soda and vinegar I tell you!  Look, I’m even taller and thinner too!  Ok, so that’s not true.  But the hair stuff is (I wouldn’t lie to you would I?  Well, maybe.  But not about this.)

Alrighty, onwards and upwards.  One of the questions I got recently was, “How much shampoo do you really use?”  I guess it would make sense that I would start this challenge because I’m lathering up daily with handfuls of perfumed goo; but no, truthfully, I only washed my hair twice a week before this.  Think of it this way though, even washing only twice a week with an ounce of shampoo and an ounce of conditioner adds up to 208 ounces of shampoo and conditioner going down the drain each year.  That’s close to 2 gallons.  Multiply that by the number of years you’ll be showering regularly (let’s hope that’s all or most of them) and you’re looking at, easily, over 100 gallons of shampoo and conditioner over your lifetime.  Not to mention the number of plastic bottles that this represents on top of that.  A bit of impact on the environment, no?  On top of that, if you’re anything like me, you spend a bit more on your shampoo and conditioner (color care?  Yes, please).  On average, I’d spend at least $10/bottle on shampoo and $10/bottle on conditioner.  My new regime?  A bit more cost effective.  Not even buying in bulk (hello Costco…), I got 12 oz of baking soda (which works out to 24 washes, or 12 weeks) for $1.99; 16 oz of apple cider vinegar (which works out to 32 washes, or 16 weeks) for $1.49; and .5 oz of lavender extract (which works out to 300 washes, or 150 weeks — yes, seriously) for $8.99.  Cost per week?  A whopping $0.32.  Yes, I did the math — $0.16 per wash.  And if you bought your baking soda and vinegar in bulk, it would be even cheaper.  Think about what you could do with all that extra cash!  You could get your hair done more often, save the whales, and still have something left to buy your sweetie that flat screen TV he won’t stop talking about!  Ok, so maybe that’s an exaggeration, but see if you can do the math and figure out how much you’d save on the natural diet.  (And hey, maybe you can use that extra cash to take your friend Chelsea out to dinner.  Yum.)

Going "Natural"

Washed hair, new post. Life is good.

March 6, 2010

So wash #2 happened this morning.  My plan was to wash my hair on Tuesdays and Fridays (as I generally wash my hair at night); however, given KC’s work party last night…I wasn’t in any shape to be washing my hair once we finally made it home. (By the way, KC and I discovered that we are an awesome karaoke duo last night.  You’re welcome PwCer’s).  Sooo cut to this morning when I finally stumbled into the shower for the baking soda and vinegar party part 2.

As promised (or, alluded to…) previously, I took photos of my hair pre and post-shower this morning so you can see how my hair is faring on this new detox diet. (Don’t worry, I’m fully clothed.  I’m not that desperate for a job.)

Yes, this is what I look like first thing in the morning after a night of merriment (aka boozing it up like college student.  Hey, I’m unemployed, I need to bring joy into my life any way I can; if it happens to come with an olive and a straw, so be it).  I know, those glasses, the un-combed hair, the sexy powder-blue tank…KC is a lucky man indeed.  Anyway, focus more on the fact that this is how my hair looks after not washing it for 3 1/2 days (and after not styling or brushing…whatever, it was a long night).

Here’s another picture…  Yes, clearly I have no shame posting pictures of myself sans makeup or, let’s face it, basic hygiene.  Ok, so maybe I don’t look so fabulous, but you have to admit that (despite the lack of styling) my hair looks fairly decent for day 3 1/2.  Also, that adorable tail on my left belongs to this critter:

Seuss Mackey the Lionhearted (who, even when you catch her looking like an evil beast mid-meow, is still just ridiculously adorable).

I rescued Seuss from the Humane Society in December 2006 and our love affair has continued ever since.

Yes, there’s a story behind Seuss’ unusual name.  Long story short, Alexis (the very same sister who inspired this challenge) had a dream that I had a child out of wedlock (I’m apparently quite promiscuous in Alexis’ subconscious) named Seuss Mackey, whom I hid in a duffel bag so no one would know about him (perhaps because I was embarrassed of his sharpied-on eyebrows…?).  Anyway, this dream (the product of severe jet lag on our trip to Austria) spawned the name for Seuss (who happens to be female, but I think still embodies the spirit of that original duffel-clad illegitimate child of mine).

But I digress, back to the hair (what this post is supposed to be about right?).  So I washed my hair as I did the last time I posted (1 tbsp. baking soda + 1 cup water; 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar + 1 cup water + 1 drop lavender essential oil) and here’s the result in photo form: (Yes, I do generally look like a normal person.  I pull it together quite well when I need to.)

I’ve noticed so far that, though my hair feels much dryer when wet than when I was using shampoo and conditioner, once I blowdry and style it, it feels fairly soft.  I should say though that my hair has a bit of a different texture these days since starting the no ‘poo challenge.  I don’t know how to describe it, other than to say my hair feels less fine.  It’s almost as if my individual strands are thicker somehow.  Strange, but that’s the only way I can really convey it.  Also, my hair seems to be looking smoother and healthier than it did when I was using shampoo and conditioner.  I generally have a fair amount of fly-aways and split ends due to my heat styling routine (my straightener and I are very close, BFF you might say); but my fly-aways seem less noticeable these days.  My split ends are still there (because, let’s face it, it’s not like I can get rid of those without a pair of scissors), so until I get my act (and finances) together and get a trim, I doubt much will be changing on that front.

Ok, so now to answer a few questions (or…one question): yes, my hair is uncolored.  I used to color my hair regularly, but because of my personal employment situation (aka financially-challenged) I decided that was an expense which I could live without for awhile.  So now my hair has been not permanently colored for over a year, and not demi-permanently (wash out) colored for 6 months.  So yes, I’d say it’s pretty safe to say that my hair is back to it’s natural state color-wise.  Because of this, I don’t know how this regimen would affect hair that’s been colored.  Based on my research, some say that the diet strips your color faster than shampoo/conditioner, others claim it’s about the same.  Still, some say that going natural has actually helped them maintain their color longer because they wash their hair less (1-2 times a week, as opposed to 3-7 times).  I only washed my hair twice a week on average when using shampoo and conditioner, so I’m not sure what the change would be, if any.  If I happen to become employed in the near future (fingers crossed!  *Insert shameless self-promotion here: Hire me, please. Seriously.) and go back to my highlight routine, I will let you know how the natural diet affects it.  Until then, the research I’ve seen is inconclusive at best.  Also, a note about the vinegar rinse — if you opt to use the lemon juice version, know that it may lighten your hair (natural highlights anyone?); but you knew that already from your 1998 adventure with the Sun-In bottle right? (Yes, I’m talking about you, Alexis).

If you have other questions about the challenge, please feel free to post it as a comment; or, if you see me everyday (Bar Methoders…) feel free to ask me in person.  Maybe your question will show up on here later (with your name attached?!  OMG.  How famous are you!)  Yes, your very own question might be posted on this blog which is read by literally tens of people every week.  You’re pretty much right up there with J Lo and Celine Dion.  You’ll probably have your own Vegas show by the end of the month.  Sweet!  Just remember who gave you your start and get me some good seats and a comped suite at the Wynn (or The Palms, I’m easy).

Until next time…one more adorable Seuss pic for the road: