So some people may recall that I stopped shampooing my hair well over a year ago. It’s been a long and strange experiment. While I can’t seem to get on the ROM bandwagon (Rinse Only Method – only water), I’m still rocking awesome hair that hasn’t been touched by shampoo since May 2014. Eat it, Shampoo industry.
Oh, and I still don’t look like a dirty hippy.
Nor do I have the plague. Or lice. But I’ve definitely changed up my routine since the last time I posted. I had originally planned on keeping my greasy locks, letting my body adjust, so I could be one of those awesome ROM hippies. But my hair just didn’t want to do it. I didn’t wash with ANYTHING for about 6 months and it was still making grease. Albeit, less grease than it was before, but grease is still grease and I wanted to let my hair down for a family event. So I gave it the old Baking Soda rinse.
Now most people who are part of the “natural hair care” movement use baking soda instead of shampoo. Most of them, like me, probably notice that it makes our hair feel stripped and worn out. This has bothered me for a while, it seemed just as harsh as shampoo. Then I stumbled upon some article saying “baking soda ruined my hair.” I investigated; a lot of bloggers shared this opinion.
What the ever living fuck. One blogger actually took the time to explain that every time I wash with baking soda, I’m basically running a harsh chemical akin to bleach through my hair. It would take gallons and gallons of water to dilute the PH even by one point. What the fuck, Baking Soda? How could your natural goodness betray me so?
I looked into “natural” shampoos. You know, the “Wen” quality stuff. Most of them included rave reviews on people’s gorgeous locks, but there were the scary bad reviews. The ones saying “this stuff made my hair fall out in clumps!” The hair god himself, Chaz of the Wen hair company, is getting the bleach sued out of him because Wen is causing a lot of hair loss. This won’t do, one of the reasons I stopped shampooing in the first place was because my hair was thinning.
Upon further investigation, I came across another blogger recommending this little gem:
Rye flour. Has the same PH as hair, rumored to clean hair. Add a few drops of essential oil and call it salon quality. Of course, my not-hippy ass had to rush out to the nearest hippy food store and try this. Friendly tip from me to you: don’t get the dark stuff, you’ll be brushing kernels and husks out of your hair all day.
I got a clean jar with a lid. Put 3 tbsp of the flour in the jar with four drops of lavender oil. Added enough water to make it shampoo-like. Screwed the lid on, shook vigorously, unscrewed, and took a whiff. Smelled slightly oatey, but strongly of lavender. What did I have to lose? My hair would still be extra greasy with a side of stank and lavender? I got in the shower and rubbed a good amount of it into my roots, giving myself a nice scalp rub with it. It felt different, but not harsh. My hair didn’t feel any less oily. It probably didn’t work on my hair type. Stick straight, fine hair is apparently immune to hippy cleanliness.
I got out, toweled off, and flipped my hair back. It still looked oily, but at least the musky scent was gone, replaced by lavender. Back to baking soda, I guess. Dammit. I went about my day, letting my hair air dry.
Then something amazing happened. It dried perfectly. Here’s my rye-washed hair about 3 hours after my shower. Still a little fluffy from the drying process, but obviously clean and shiny.
It was beautiful, and it didn’t feel like I just bleached the shit out of it. Can we get a fist pump to Bob’s Redmill for inadvertently making the best shampoo ever? I mean holy shit, this stuff is awesome! So awesome that I bought 3 bags of rye flour on amazon. I’ll even order some more essential oils to make my own special scent. Suck it, Wen, flour costs mere pennies compared to your hair-loss formula.
So there you have it, folks, rye flour. My hair secret.
And those of you going ROM? Your biggest problem: the smell. What the fuck do we do about the smell? It’s so strong, so horrid. I have a solution to that as well. Rubbing alcohol. Get a jar, splash in a little rubbing alcohol, and dilute it with water. I’d say maybe 2 teaspoons of rubbing alcohol to a cup of water. In the shower, run the mixture through your roots. I theorize (with absolutely no research to back it up – you’re welcome) that the smell is caused by bacteria on the scalp. When I go a long time between hair washings, I run this mix through my hair and the smell is completely gone.
And I don’t wanna hear a single person bitch about how rubbing alcohol is “such a harsh chemical.” If your hair is oily enough to warrant the smell, then it’s adequately protected from anything the alcohol could do to your hair – you’re just cleaning your scalp. You could also try a lemon juice or lime juice rinse, but I haven’t tried that yet and I can’t attest to what it might do.
So there we have it. My hippy ways. I’m really not a hippy, though. I like Safeway cupcakes. And shaving my pits. And wearing a bra. I’ll check back with more natural hair stuff next year. Peace, outside, homies.