Hair: Back to basics

I was one of those kids who drew envy in my schools in Nairobi and Paris, just because I had long, black, straight hair that was both soft and shiny. That was easy because my Mother and Grandmother didn’t like shampooing my hair every day. If I remember correctly, I think they only washed my hair twice a week.

Then came the time when I had to set my little foot down and have the say on how often I should wash my hair: I wanted it washed every day, because I loved the smell of my newly washed hair.

Fast forward and no thanks to daily washing, exposure to third-world pollution, blow-drying, and experimenting with treatments, textures and colors, my hair has become dependent on an increasing number of pricey products just to make my mane presentable. My hair, as of January 28, 2014, had dry strands (remnants of coloring), split ends, and my scalp was greasy by the turnaround of 24 hours.

This was a blow to my vanity and to my wallet. While I’ve learned a myriad of ways to keep my hair up (varying ponytails, braids, buns), I didn’t have confidence to keep my hair down for long periods — and that would even require a trip to the salon for proper blow-drying. Whenever I took that said trip to the salon for a trim, my stylist never failed to offer me ~treatments~ and ~hair spas~ that I had to decline because they are just way too expensive.

And so, one weekend as I was staying in and nursing bronchitis, I stumbled upon Rosebud143‘s tutorial on how to cut your own hair:

(and adding this one here for cutting bangs)

It had been a very interesting and REWARDING experience. The mere realization that 1) I will be saving money and 2) actually getting the cut that I want is just life-changing. Unless I have the sudden urge to summon my inner Lucrezia Noin, then I won’t have any reason to visit the salon :B

Though I do miss having really short, wash-and-wear hair…


but I’ll have to be happy with what I have now:D!

I liked how now, my hair can maintain body and that I can bravely attempt to lessen the instances in which I shampoo it. Then I remember that recommended this Baking soda shampoo and apple cider vinegar rinse method

Wash 1: I modified the mix by increasing the amount of water for both mixes, increasing the ratio to 1:4. The result was quite immediate, as my hair felt lighter and softer as it dried on the first wash! And it smelled good, thanks to the peach oil I used ~♥ (which I belatedly found out wasn’t essential 😡 must not use it again!)

Wash 2: I washed my hair 36 hours later, and experimented with red wine vinegar mixed with sweet pea essential oil. I noticed a slight increase in moisture, right after drying. My hair almost went back to its naturally greasy state, and I was just thankful for my hair’s current cut and texture. However, the ends didn’t feel so dry, and my hair was starting to feel balanced.

Wash 3: I decided to maintain the gap of 36 hours, in an attempt to increase my hair’s natural moisturizing rhythm. I still followed my modified mix, but by the time my hair dried, my hair felt a tad heavier — probably because it was moisturized all over, as opposed to my scalp being the only greasy part. I knew that I had to apply some troubleshooting and adjust accordingly.

I’d like to add that my brother complemented the sweet pea scent as he found it “relaxing” :3b

Wash 4: I adjusted the baking soda/water ratio back to 1:3, then the apple cider vinegar/water ratio to 1:6 (and tried white tea oil this time), and used half the amount of the mix than I would. The change was immediate as my hair went back to being light and soft. The only thing I can say about my hair’s “shine” is that the change isn’t very obvious — granted, I’m starting from dry and damaged strands, currently textured with a razor.

Wash 5: This was this morning, and I maintained the mix ratios and quantities, and my hair is currently balanced, soft; and aside from the pre-existing split ends, it’s void of obvious fly-away strands. I have far less tangles, and I very much enjoy leaving my hair down now! I did a lot of walking under the sun today, and I barely noticed the vinegar smell (I probably am blunt to it already 😡 oops).

So far, I am very happy with the routine I’ve set for myself. It does demand more work and time for me as I need to mix the shampoo and rinse every other wash. I hope to be able to develop this habit back into the twice-a-week hair washing, regardless of the humidity and warm weather. At most, such as in exceptionally sweaty days, that can go up to three times. I figure that if I swim, I would have to increase the vinegar rinse to get a much-needed moisture boost. I would like to note that while the vinegar smell tends to rear its head when you’re hot and sweaty, it’s not unpleasant, and it immediately goes away once you’ve cooled down.

I hope that this can encourage you guys to try these DIY and free-from-harmful-chemicals hair-care methods. They’re cheaper than spending for expensive products to get the same effect. And what I like best? Experimenting with essential oils, and I just LOVE the feeling of my hair smelling so fab~

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About Cielo

I am a paper-pusher by day, a log by night, an aspiring singer-dancer and a wannabe artist in-between. I am also a Professional Space Cadet.
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