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.


About The Original Kate

Along with artistic tendencies, Kate enjoys unusual people and is constantly striving for some sort of nonconformity. Kate offers a perspective that is thoughtful but well-written and full of images within the words. Other tidbits that might intrigue: she has very long auburn hair, and, you guessed it, her favorite color is orange.

Posted on May 21, 2011, in From Moss-Lined Oregon and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. The Original Kate

    This post was written using the new Just Write tool from WordPress. I love it–not distracted by the toolbar on the side and by all the background gadgets and options I should familiarize myself with already. I love that it has remembered the two buttons that are the only ones I use when writing posts and made everything else simple. I’ll be using it every time I use WordPress.

    I must say, though, that I don’t like the font change of drafts. Any way to sway you to change back?

  2. The Original Kate

    Also, the pictures on this post do not mislead: I use applesauce in place of shampoo–but as a poultice for the top of my head. It feels oddly velvety on my hair, and when rinsed out and dried, my hair feels soft and silky, but without the hidden oils. After rinsing applesauce down the drain, I use One Conditioner Bar, found at Target. This is what gets rid of the dandruff.

    Right now, I do this every other day, but only because it’s new. I hope to decrease its frequency.

    Now that I’ve lured you to the comments section, won’t you join me in the spirit of full disclosure and share how you clean your hair? Or you can share your favorite method of nose-picking… 😀

    • I’ve gotten in the habit of reading your stuff, Kaya. It seems to bring me closer to you and I feel like I don’t have to call you once a week to know how you’re doing (like I have to do with the rest of the fam). When I started reading this I instantly thought of an article that I StumbledUpon: It’s another testimonial of a girl who tried the No ‘Poo thing. I found it fascinating and would love to do it but I think I would be embarrassed if I went out in public with disgustingly smelling hair (at least that happened with this girl) and she also wrote that it took her seven months to get it looking beautiful. To put it bluntly, I’m too lazy to wait that long. Nonetheless I praise you for doing it. Good luck…and thanks for writing in your online blog. I really enjoy reading your posts.

      • The Original Kate

        Looks like you and I are on the same page. I also use StumbleUpon, although right now, I don’t have it installed on my browser. I’ve had trouble integrating it with Firefox 4; StumbleUpon seems to be buggy, so I’m waiting for the kinks to be ironed out. I miss it.

        I’m glad you’re reading, and I’m also glad you’re commenting. I don’t get many comments as it is. Mom doesn’t read my blog very often, and Dad never does. Neither of them comment.

        ‘No Poo was right for this time in my life because I’m not out in public nearly as often as when I was a student.. When I was out, earlier this year, I could get away with wearing hats because it was winter. Seven months is long. I took about three months. I still have a stripe of oil leftover from my purge that’s slowly working itself down my hair, but that’s just ’cause my hair is really long. My hair smelled a little bit, but I only noticed because I touch my hair.

        Everyone’s no ‘poo experience is different, just like everyone’s hair is different. I’ve just recorded mine. I did it because I was washing every other day with dandruff shampoo and my scalp was still constantly itching and flaking. Now, I go most often with no itching at all.

  3. I was telling one of the pharmacists at work that Curt came home to celebrate his birthday and we threw the traditional pie in his face. He commented, “That’s weird!” Yeah, in my family that’s a compliment. thanks I’ll take it. I enjoyed reading your blog about no ‘poo. It’s sounds interesting….even weird maybe. Kenny was reading along and said, Hey mom, have we got any extra applesauce. I should try that. He just got his hair buzzed for the summer….kinda weird. We looked at the oregonstatepark website and checked out the yurts….that’s kind of a weird word, but very cool looking structure. We liked Beverly Beach. The special features said, “proximity to a lighthouse, playground..etc” What do you think? Just keep being you, The original Kate.

    • The Original Kate

      Look at that, Mommy–you commented! Thanks for your encouragement; I’m glad to know that I belong to a family of weirds.

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