the story so far

Turning hippy

I think that over time I get a lot less hip and a lot more hippy. I’ve always been one of those weirdos that prefers to be barefoot to shod. That began as a little kid and never left me. But now we are in the all new territory of the hippy dippy granola people…

I’ve stopped shampooing my hair.

My hair used to be waist long and curly as all get out. It was thick and full and pretty much gorgeous, but as a middle schooler and high schooler I had no appreciation for it. I straightened it and dyed it and fried it. Right after graduating high school I decided I wanted a change and I was going to cut it off to just below my shoulders. It had always grown back quickly so I had nothing to worry about. Being the trusting naive individual I was, I asked my sister to cut it for me. She had always done it well in the past, so again, I wasn’t worried.

She ended up on the phone with her boyfriend while cutting my hair and wouldn’t get off, so I was screwed. She cut it and then fixed the long side and then fixed the other long side and then fixed the other long side… if you’re struggling to see where I’m going here, she cut all my hair off. It was just past my chin when straightened, which meant it was a short curly bob that barely passed my ears when it wasn’t straight, which by then was most of the time. I was heading off to college with the worst haircut of my life. And I was going to humid Florida where despite my attempts to straighten it often, it stayed a perpetually fuzzy bob.

And it refused to grow.

I graduated high school 8 years ago, and as of a month ago my hair only reached to my mid chest, not even past my shoulder blades in the back, far from what I had hoped and anticipated. It didn’t help that since midway through high school my hit had drastically thinned out. It was the size of my pinky finger when it was in a pony tail and the natural layers made it less full at the ends and just wispy. It has been bad for years.

My hair remained prone to breakage and dead ends and I should have trimmed it a long time ago, but I didn’t want to lose any of my hard earned length that has taken 8 years already to grow back. But since I’m getting married in a couple months, I figured it could do with a spruce up, even if it meant losing an inch or two, so that it would again look more alive. So my sister and I went to a salon nearby and I told them I only wanted a trim with no layers or bangs or anything of the sort, and exhorted the woman not to take off more than an inch as I was trying to grow it out as much as possible.

Well the lady had other ideas for my hair. I should have known based on the fact her name was Violet and she had hyper permed black hair and wore the most intimidating amount of violently purple eye shadow I’ve ever seen caked on a single face. But I tried to be impartial about her appearance, as I had things to do that I couldn’t get to if I waited around the salon longer.

Violet cut between four and five inches off my hair. Because I wear glasses and had to have them off while she cut, and because I’d been so adamant about only losing an inch, I wasn’t constantly checking her progress. Until she held a lock of my hair in front of my face when she was just about finished, and said “yeah I ended up taking this much off all around, is that okay?”

Firstly – she was holding a four inch lock of my hair. Secondly – when you’re done cutting someone’s hair isn’t the time to ASK IF ITS OKAY to take more off than they begged you to. I was livid.

So now, 8 years later and 2.5 months out from my wedding, I’m back to having a short, barely shoulder length bob. “Is it too short? I just thought this would look better on you,” she said when we were finished and I was paying without leaving a tip. “If you want it to grow more you should come back and request me and I’ll take half an inch off per month to encourage it to grow. And you should take biotin. Here’s my card,” she said. No thank you.

Well, I have started taking biotin in large quantities, which has made my nails grow at an alarming rate, but I haven’t seen progress in my hair yet at all. Guess I’ll wait. But what does this have to do with not washing my hair?

I think the chemicals are just too rough. All hair products make me sneeze so I have to assume I have other negative reactions to them. I figure I’ll go 6-12 months without using hair products and see if that encourages growth, or at least helps my hair be less brittle so it stays where it belongs once it grows out a bit.

I’m not leaving it unclean or anything, I’m just washing with baking soda and conditioning with vinegar. Very hippy dippy. I was worried that it wouldn’t go well because with my ultra fine hair shafts and insane scalp my hair already looks oily half way through the day when I use just shampoo and no conditioner. I read a lot of blogs and how-to posts that said it would be a few weeks for the scalp to adjust before it stopped producing so much oil, but mine was fine right away. The smell of the vinegar only lingers til my hair is dry and then it is left soft and shiny and feeling full and textured – results I’ve attempted with countless chemical products and never achieved. So I’m really happy with it. And the baking soda really does absorb and wash out all the oils. I used to shampoo every single day just so I wouldn’t look homeless, but now I can go 3 days without washing it and it still looks clean.

So like I said, I’m pretty happy with my increasingly hippy dippy life.

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