I posted at the beginning of this year to say that, tired of daily shampooing my hair, I was going to be experimenting with water-only washing my hair for the next while, in the hope of rebalancing the natural oil-production in my scalp over time resulting in shiny, more manageable locks through menopause and on into the future. Well, that’s supposed to be the long-term goal, anyway.
I’ve also since posted briefly about how I frequently feel tempted in the short-term to throw in the towel and just shampoo my constantly-greasy hair, and about how I’m really struggling with the reality of the inevitable transitional period as my body slowly but surely adjusts to the sudden change. I mean, forty years of daily stripping my scalp of all my natural oils is not going to fix itself a few days, however much I’d like it to hurry the hell up and behave ‘normally’ again!
Now well into my third week with no shampoo, although I’m still clearly in the midst of the decidedly-difficult-to-deal-with transitional stage, I’m finally beginning to understand that there really is a point to it all. My hair is starting to feel so much softer and smoother at the tips, to the extent that even (wonder of wonders) the previously rougher, wirier grey hairs that are (not-so-randomly any more) peppered through my natural dark ash blonde show a sort of supple sinuousness I quite like the feel of.
My hair still looks straggly and stranded-spaghetti-like even immediately after water-only washing, but is no longer clumpy and claggy like it was to begin with. I can now easily run my fingers through my hair from root to tip without ever meeting any recalcitrant tugs or tangles tending to turn it into a bit of a bird’s nest, and there’s now a satisfying overall heft to its natural-flowing fall onto my shoulders that I haven’t felt in years.
And to my surprise, I’m really enjoying the feeling of thoroughly brushing it through morning and night, to redistribute the natural oils and remove any daily dirt. Brushing my hair ‘properly’ is a new experience for me as an adult – apart from a radial styling brush used minimally when blow-drying I’ve only ever regularly used a comb in my hair since my teens. It felt so odd to begin with, but the more I’m getting to know my hair the better I’m feeling about it. We’re not quite the best of friends yet, but thankfully we’re no longer arch-enemies…
I still have such a long way to go with this experiment before I can even begin to judge whether or not it may be successful long-term, but it’s doing me the power of good to feel some kind of improvement along the way, however small my victories may be. It really is as much an exercise in patience and perseverance as anything else. I have to trust that my body knows what it is doing, and that ultimately, my patience will one day be rewarded…
PS Still not taken any photos of the whole process yet – I’m nowhere near reaching an acceptably photogenic stage, and I’m thoroughly uncomfortable taking pics of me at the best of times – but if it works as planned, after the absolutely god-awful transitional phase has passed, I promise I’ll post some pics for you all to see 🙂