Back in October of 2005, my dermatologist at the time told me to start using baby shampoo and only baby shampoo. Those instructions were in response to my inflamed scalp, which had become so badly inflamed that it was causing my hair to fall out and my lymph nodes to swell.
I was good. I listened to him. Only baby shampoo did I use for about a year. Then I discovered that if I used Scalpicin on my scalp it would not become inflamed AND I could use other shampoos. Then in July of 2006, I added another bad thing to my hair regiment — chlorine damage — I started swimming nearly every day.
So, I started using various shampoos that professed to remove chlorine. Truly, I don’t know if they do or not. But I also started using hair serum (my favorite of which was John Frieda’s Lite formula) to mask the fact that my hair was super brittle from chlorine exposure. Everyone thought it looked so healthy, except I knew differently. And the lady who trims my hair, she moaned in sadness every time she ran her hands through it… “so beautiful, so dry!” she would say.
Then in May of 2008, I noticed something on my scalp. A mole I thought. Right there in the middle of my part. But it had appeared rapidly and would diminish, then reappear in a different shape. It felt scaly to the touch, and itchy. Uh oh.
I made an appointment with my PCP so I could get a referral to a dermatologist — HMO insurance requires a referral to a specialist. My PCP looked at it and said he didn’t think it was cancerous, but not to be alarmed because to get me to a dermatologist, he had to write “suspicious mole” on the referral sheet. I scheduled the dermatologist appointment to occur just before our Hawaii trip last August, but rescheduled it because I didn’t want to be waiting for biopsy results while on vacation. It was bad enough that my pet fish were dying left and right.
Vacation came and went, as vacations are wont to do, and a couple days before my dermatologist appointment, I reached the pad of my finger up to a feel the “suspicious mole” and it was gone. Totally gone. I hadn’t scratched it, I hadn’t brushed it, but it was gone. Figures, I thought. Just like computer problems, the second you call your I.T. guy, the computer fixes itself. In the second before I pulled my finger away and noticed it was covered in blood, I had pondered canceling the appointment. When i saw the blood, I decided to keep the appointment.
The dermatologist confirmed that it wasn’t skin cancer or anything life threatening. He said it was likely a build-up of irritation and he recommended freezing the spot where it had been to prevent recurrence. Except in those two days the spot had completely healed and we couldn’t really tell for sure precisely where it had been. I declined the freeze and said I’d be back if it reappeared. It hasn’t.
Then I factored in the fact that each time I used shampoo it made my hair feel stripped and brittle, I hated how it felt after shampooing. Then I started to think about the fact that it seemed as if I was using ten products to replace the one thing my hair needs… moisture. All my life I’ve used moisturizing shampoo, moisturizing conditioner, recently adding in hair serum (an oil) for the ends and Scalpicin (for dry scalp). Who says scalp oil is a bad thing, anyway? What if the very thing my scalp and hair needs is being produced by my body?
All of that to say, it just seemed to be a natural step to try the “no poo” thing.
Sunday (5/24) marks one week with no shampoo usage. Tony took this picture on that day.
My regimen: Pour one cup of club soda over my scalp, gently rub it in. Use another cup of club soda which I coil the length of my hair into, uncoil it, and then pin it to the top of my head for about 30 seconds. Unpin it and rinse.
I then use a sulfate free conditioner for the scent. Frankly, the smell of my hair is something that my husband loves and having that for him is important to me. Beyond that, I’m not partial to the natural smell of my scalp. It’s not that it’s offensive or bad, it just smells different than what I’ve become accustomed.
My hair looks healthy, but more than that, it feels healthy and softer. I noticed a difference after the very first day… it feels thicker at the scalp, and resists moisture for the first second or so when being rinsed. When I part it, it keeps the part instead of sliding all over the place. Someone used the word “trainable”, and I would agree with that. I haven’t really had what other women experience as far as “oily days” because I’m not training it to expect less cleanings per week. I don’t really feel as if washing my hair less is an option due to the daily chlorine exposure that it receives.
The only bad thing, so far, is my scalp. A couple times it’s started to feel itchy and I’ve had to use Scalpicin for my comfort. I’m trying to reduce my scalp’s dependency on it, but don’t want to end up with an inflamed scalp, hair loss and swollen lymph nodes. That wasn’t fun.
So, one week of the “no poo” science experiment done… so far, it’s all good. I’ll let you know how it continues to progress!
Click to read updates on my “no poo” journey: Link
11 responses to “The Hair Story.”
I think it is wonderful that you’ve found a way to care for your hair that isn’t a “chemical strip”! You hair looks gorgeous!
I’m really hoping I can stick to this. It was a little challenging traveling this weekend with a need for a “full bar in the shower,” so to speak, but so far it’s been worth it.
Thanks for the kudos!
If you miss the feeling of scratching your head, I can probably hook you up with some lice…
Oh Lord. You stay away from me, man! *kicks you in the shins*
I love the smell of sweetie’s hair, it makes me HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY….NANANANANa…XXOXOXOXOX
I know, and your happy is important to me. xoxo
I don’t know what looks better, your hair or that huge smile of yours. They combine for one gorgeous lady.
I love when you visit my blog. You have a silver-tongued keyboard, my friend. 😛
cute pic! 🙂
That’s it? That’s all I get? Not… “hey baby, can you come over so I can wrap myself up in your hair” or “come here, sugar, I wanna smell your hair in waves”… nothing like that? Just “cute pic”???
Very Very Interesting…..The Saga Of The Hair & The Scalp…..STAY TUNED…..(lol)
I hope it all works out really well—And, so far, so good!
Ha ha! I thought of you when I was writing this post… stay tuned. Funny. 🙂
Yep, so far, so good…
Oh poo! You have beautiful hair girl : )
Any ideas on how to make baby fine hair thick?
I know just how you said that, too, the word “poo”… 🙂
Umm, baby fine hair thicker? Go pooless? hehe
I hope it all works out cause I’d give anything to have hair as long and thick as yours! Okay, maybe not as long, cause I’d be tripping all over it. 😉
… but you have Asian hair, isn’t that thick? *puzzled look*
hehe, if yours were long like mine (your hair, that is), I think you’d have it buttoned in your shirts or you’d forget to pull it out from under your shirt. Then you’d be wearing a hair shirt and torture yourself all day.
ever tried tea tree oil on the hair?
Stud and boys have to use a special shampoo made from tea tree oil on their shaved heads to keep the scalp healthy……
BTW, your hair is GORGEOUS baby! I am soooo jealous… but then when am I not jealous…oh i know, when you are having “poo” issues. LOL I crack myself up.
I did try tea tree oil back in 2005. Sadly, it made the irritation worse. 😦 Thanks, though.
HA! You’re just saying that because you want me to come visit you. But you know if I do, I’m totally gonna use your toilet! hehe
What about just dipping your finger in some pure olive oil, the stuff that’s been cleaned up for use in ears and just rubbing that into the scalp?
When I was bald I used to use body lotion on my head, but that would be a disaster with the soda poo routine…
Oh, great. Now you know I’ll be researching olive oil on the scalp and body lotion on the head… uff! 🙂
“… but you have Asian hair, isn’t that thick? *puzzled look*”
My dear Jammie J, did you just make a racially stereotypical remark? Tsk tsk….
I’m more Spanish than Asian, anyway.
Hey, hey! Most of my close friends are Asian and my mom lives in Korea! I can’t help it, sometimes I forget I’m a whitey, and that’s what makes it a racially stereotypical comment, isn’t it? 😛
Which, of course, means that before you admitted your Spanish descent we were *thisclose* to being BFF’s! hehe