Can we talk a bit about hair?
A couple of years ago, I was so satisfied with my hair. It was shiny, manageable and smooth. It looked strong and radiant. And, it didn’t require much maintenance. What did I do with it? As little as possible.
Yes, I was “Water only” (or “Acid only” if you will), washing my hair with nothing but water and the occasional vinegar rinse. I was very content with this regiment, and thus swore to never use shampoo on my hair again.
Because, you know, how very minimalist of me, right?
After a while, though, I gave up the acid rinse. I figured sticking solely to water only was lower maintenance. Before I knew it, dandruff started appearing from nowhere. This was quite the shock for someone who’s never struggled with dandruff a day in her life. I was bummed out and started questioning my “water only” regime. Adding vinegar back in didn’t seem to make any difference to the white flakes drizzling from my scalp. I tried to ride it out.
Surely, my scalp would reset itself and overcome this?
At one point, I became frustrated, and decided not to wait and find out. As a prior user of The Body Shop’s less stripping shampoos, I picked up the Ginger Anti-dandruff Shampoo from The Body Shop. As much as I wanted to be “water only”, I wanted to be dandruff-free more, so I kicked my natural hair care routine to the curb and washed my hair with the ginger shampoo.
Like most other people, I’ve grown up with normal shampooing as the default in terms of daily hygiene, so this first shampoo wash after almost a year or so without washing did feel heavenly. I won’t lie and say that it didn’t. It’s a feeling that I’m much accustomed to, after all. And, I was sure that sticking to this anti-dandruff ginger shampoo would clear my dandruff-ridden scalp right up.
At first, I felt that it worked. The flaky scalp seemed to be less so as time passed, and I was pleased to see the results. But, the hair itself was a different story! This ginger shampoo seemed to render my hair lifeless and dull. And it became tangle-prone. (Yes, the part where I don’t really buy into the whole “you need a conditioner to go with this shampoo”-scheme might have something to do with it…)
So, I did what any good consumer would do, I bought a conditioner to make up for the harsh treatment of the shampoo. Same brand as well, so I couldn’t go wrong, could I? Surely, my hair would pick up shape in no time. Right?
Well, that didn’t happen.
My hair continued to feel dull and tangle-prone. And the dandruff still came and went. And this last year, I’ve also struggled with excessive hair loss (totally unrelated to the shampooing, I’m sure, but still, I felt like I was spiraling into a hair crisis).
Just as we entered this new year, my shampoo bottle started to empty. I was hesitant to buy a new bottle. Mostly because I wasn’t sure what brand I should go with, but also because, who wants shampoo if it does nothing for your hair?
I figured I might have “over-shampooed”, as it were. So, I kept my hair up for a few days and held back the washes. Now I’m a week in since my last shampoo wash, and yesterday I took out my beloved BBB (boar bristle brush) from the depth of my bathroom cabinet. And brushed, brushed, brushed and brushed. And you know what? My hair looks and feels better than it has done in months!
Sorry, hair, I forgot that you know how to take care of yourself the best. That your natural oils are the best conditioner there is, and that harsh chemicals (I’ll caveats this by saying that shampoos from The Body Shop shouldn’t generally be that harsh, but either way) do you no favors.
I’ll try not to make that mistake again. ♥︎
So, yes, I’m back on the “water only” wagon for a while. Let’s see how that works out, shall we?
How about you? What’s your hair care routine?