Monday, February 3, 2014

going natural

   Here's a dirty hippie (as my sister-in-law calls it) post about apple cider vinegar and letting go of some of the chemicals in my life. Last week, when I was snowed in, I was perusing Pinterest like a zombie when I came across an article from Refinery29 about going shampoo and conditioner free. I've been hearing tidbits about going natural with hair care here and there throughout the blogosphere for a while, but never gave it a second thought. For some reason, be it boredom or not, I decided to give it a try. I filled a measuring cup up with baking soda and grabbed the bottle of apple cider vinegar out of my pantry and headed upstairs to our master bathroom to make some hair magic happen.

Allegedly, working baking soda into your wet scalp &  roots cleans your hair of all of that gross muck that can accumulate BUT it does not strip your hair of its natural oils, which in turn gradually helps your scalp to stop overproducing oils. If your scalp isn't over-producing oil, you need to wash your gorgeous mane less. Ya dig? The main point of this is attaining healthy, shiny hair naturally that isn't over-dried or damaged by harsh chemicals. The baking soda shampoo idea was something I could wrap my brain around. The water/apple-cider vinegar conditioning rinse, however, had this girl very skeptical. I've had long, thick, knotty hair all of my life. I'm a devout worshiper of conditioner and go through the stuff like a fiend. If I can't run my fingers through my wet hair without catching a tangle, I haven't used enough, in my opinion.  The reviewers of this method warned that your hair wouldn't feel soft and manageable until it had completely dried. They also warned that the hair would wreak of the stuff until it fully dried. It was a Saturday. I was snowed in with no one to impress. I didn't care. Bring on the stinky stuff! So... I washed and rinsed as directed. I used about a handful of baking soda total. I moistened it with the running shower water before really working it into my roots. The gritty, pastey texture did weird me out a little but once I rinsed it away, my hair felt ridiculously squeaky clean. I was impressed. On to the conditioning.. I put 2 T of apple cider vinegar into a glass and filled it with warm water. I read that soaking your ends in the mixture before you poured it over the rest of your head helped moisturize the roots more efficiently. I'll link to the article, but I beleive it said something about how the mixture helping to bring your hair to its optimal pH.  Whatev..I just wanted it to work. So I did that and then poured it over my head, let it sit for a few minutes and then rinsed. My hair felt ratty and "dry" right out of the shower. And it did stink a little. I gently brushed from my ends up and let it air dry. A while later, with fully dried locks, I brushed and ran my fingers through the softest, smoothest, shiniest, healthiest feeling hair I could remember having. That's a lot of adjectives, but I'm tellin' you, that stuff is LEGIT. I went 4 days without having to wash it again, which is crayyyyy.. especially since I have bangs and they always get piece-y and oily after about a day and a half. 

The verdict? I'm loving it for now. We'll see if this keeps up because I'm honestly a little scared of the "adjustment period" everybody warns you about (crazy oily days while your oil glands adjust to not having to overproduce).  But, all in all, I'm looking forward to saving some dough not buying shampoo and conditioner. And if this is healthier for my hair and my body, its a win-win.

I've read over and over that you muuust use raw apple cider with 'the mother' (no idea what that means). Here's a link to the stuff everybody swears by. 
I've also started to use apple cider vinegar as a natural toner. Its supposed to be great for breakouts and for making your skin GLOW. I'm giving it a college try. I'll post about whether its worth the hype once I've gotten into a routine with it.

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