Weirdness Extreme: Extended to What I Do To My (Natural) Hair
My favorite TV show lately is Big Bang Theory. In fact, it’s the only show I watch, weekly, Thursday nights at eight. Big Bang Theory is about a bunch of geeks–scientists, comic book aficionados, good at math and video games, and socially awkward. So socially awkward that their love for their hobbies just becomes more intense. Until a hot girl moves in next door and rocks their world by being nice and forcing them to walk outside of their hobbies.
Geeks are often categorized as weird, and although I don’t think I’m a geek, I’ve always been weird. I fall under the category of Misunderstood Artist. Sometimes, my husband can’t even understand what I’m trying to say, even when he spends several minutes trying to follow the speeding train that is my thought. Sometimes, neither can my mom.
I’ve always been weird. Ever since middle school, when searching for friends, the popular girls declared me so. And ever since then, I’ve embraced it with habits and actions that are definitely categorized as weird.
Lately, it’s been a concept called the No ‘Poo Revolution. A revolution that involves hair makes my rebellious-but-Mormon heart go a-flutter; as a teenager, my parents told us, “If they rebel, let it be the hair.” And we all have, guys and girls. Long hair, bleach, dye, ‘fros, dreads, radical cuts… Yeah.
At the beginning of this year. I reached an impasse with my very long, now-auburn hair. I was showering every other day and washing my hair with dandruff shampoo/conditioner once a week. And I was frustrated. I had tried washing with the dandruff shampoo/conditioner every other day and tried all sorts of different variations of hair treatment, and I still had dandruff. I had people tell me that it was inevitable with long hair or that all redheads had a problem with dandruff.
Before this impasse, I heard a feature on NPR about The No ‘Poo Revolution. And soon after read an article in the frequent stream of Apartment Therapy posts on the same subject. After reading all the comments to this particular post and then adding my voice to the community that I was then very much a part of, I became aware of a whole new world.
This world isn’t spoken of too often, one that most people belong to when they pick their noses in private because the act is socially embarrassing. I had never talked about how often I washed my hair or what I used on my head with such a large group of people before. I saw, from their contributions to the conversation, that there was a large range of methods. Also, I’d always wondered how people in medieval or Renaissance times kept their hair clean without the invention of shampoo.
All of these thoughts collided helter-skelter with my own frustration about dandruff, another socially embarrassing thing that is actually rather common. In all this reading, I’d encountered several testimonials that swore that eliminating the use of shampoo altogether also eliminated their horrible, terrible dandruff problem. People with all sorts of hair types and climate conditions.
So at the beginning of this year, while everyone was talking of New Year’s resolutions, I tried the greasy, oily, dirty purging process of no ‘poo without really knowing the reasons or my expectations or even what I would do once I was done with the purge. So as I had wave upon wave of worse-than-ever dandruff, scalp oils that overcompensated for the lack of oil from shampoo every week, and the full use of all my hats, I read. I sought out more testimonials on what people do after they try the no ‘poo purge.
I also discovered that this revolution is happening mostly in forums or in various comment sections. In places like HubPages or Yahoo!Answers or LiveJournal. Of course, as is the norm for revolutions, new material on the topic pops up every day. Several months later, I type in “no ‘poo” to everyone’s favorite search engine and I get stuff I haven’t read at all. Stuff that isn’t in any of the forums I was reading at the beginning of the year.
I’d share the actual articles I’ve found helpful and that have inspired me, but this revolution keeps rolling and the last thing you want is old material. In these articles and comments and testimonials, people share what they use instead of shampoo. Apple cider vinegar and baking soda, the most common approach, seems too weird to me, even as weird as I am already. And I have to go with what I’m comfortable with because it’s my hair and I’m the one doing it.
And I am doing it. I did the purge successfully, and I have my own hair-cleaning routine, which I’ll outline in the comments section below. You see, It doesn’t matter so much what my new routine is; being weird got rid of that dandruff, and I don’t depend on dandruff shampoo/conditioner to do it. Instead, I’ve taken one more step toward ultimate weirdness, and I’m happy about every step I take.