I have recently had more bad-hair days than I care to admit. Anyone who sees me regularly will tell you that my hair pretty much always looks the same. (Style-wise, that is. Dontcha go talkin’ ‘bout my color!!) Last week my hair was pulled up, pulled back, and lopsided on various days of the week. Every morning was a struggle to settle on a ‘do that had a chance of lasting through lunch. And the problem was that I have finally run out of conditioner – a conditioner that I did not want to replace, despite the fact that it worked just fine.
(Side note to my dear co-workers: if you didn’t notice my bad hair days, thank you. You are too, too kind. If you did notice and privately wondered what was up with my hair, well, now you know.)
The conditioner, while promoted as “eco-chic” and even borderline “organic” had more twenty-letter ingredients than I cared for. I could pronounce less than a third of the listing, and my conscience was working overtime on what that might be doing to my hair. Likewise for the corresponding shampoo. There has to be a better product.
This brings me to what I have wanted to try for a year now…making my own shampoo that will cleanse and condition my hair all at once while preserving my un-natural color so that I don’t end up looking like a copper kettle on legs.
(And about that hair color: I am far too vain to go THAT damn natural. I am pushing both 40 years and 40 gray hairs. I can’t do nuthin’ about the years, but the gray hair is another matter entirely!!! I use Naturtint permanent color about every 6 weeks – I should use it every 4. Although plant-based, it too has ingredients I’ve never heard of. But it has no formaldehyde, no ammonia, and no burning or funky smell. It’s a win for the natural-yet-vanity-obsessed.)
In the vast majority of my research, I ran across one problem: many promoters of homemade shampoo tout its awesomeness by cheerily proclaiming that they can go up to five (or so) days without washing their hair.
Friends, I cannot go a single day without washing my hair. Not because it gets nasty and funky and such, but because I CAN’T STYLE IT WORTH A DAMN IF IT’S NOT WASHED AND FRESHLY BLOWN DRY.
You’ve never seen me on a weekend morning, have you? There’s a reason.
So while I am anxious to try some homemade shampoo recipes, I am going to need a lot of support from those of you who have to see me. Sure, there are some great sounding natural shampoos that I really would love to try, but they are $20/bottle. That’s not a price I can experiment with, ya know?
This morning I tried an egg-yolk, coconut oil, lime rinse concoction and PRAYED that I wouldn’t end up smelling like a happy-hour special, or worse yet, breakfast. It felt okay in the shower, but afterward…
You guessed it. Oh. Hell. No.
My hair was remarkably easy to comb through, but no matter which direction I combed it, it stayed in that position. This is not a good thing. Plus, after I managed to rid my hair of all the lime pulp (the lime was a bad idea…just a really, really bad idea…) and blow-dried it, it still looked wet. And unnaturally “shape”-able. Ick. It reminded me of the time I used jojoba oil to condition my hair.
I emerged from the bathroom to be greeted by the shocked looks of my children. “Mommy! What did you do to your hair?!” asked Victoria, her eyes alternately wide open and then scrunched shut.
“I made my own shampoo, sweetie.”
“Did it work? Why does it look like that??”
My thoughts exactly.
And this brings me to my next thought…how in the heck do some people manage to go five days with hair like this when I can barely manage to go five minutes?! I foolishly thought it might somehow get better as the minutes passed, so I put on makeup and plugged in my rollers. And then I just couldn’t take it anymore. I got back in the shower and used the Giovanni shampoo to rid myself of this horrid memory.
So now it’s time for you to enlighten me. Do you use a natural shampoo? Do you make your own? Do you feel the need to wash your hair every day like me? And finally, is there any hope that I will ever find a shampoo or a recipe that makes me both pleased and proud?