|[Image via Pixabay - a great free photo source]|
A month ago I wrote about embracing greasy hair and this is an update on how it's going.
Since my teens I've always washed my hair at least every other day, but I'd grown tired the upkeep of the red colour on my hair. A little back-story that I didn't share in the first post: I've been using henna on my hair since about 2008/9 when I became allergic to traditional hair dyes. I'd been using my usual Directions dye for a couple of years, but one time I did it a day or two later my whole face started itching so badly I was clawing at it. I went to the doctor and they guessed it was a hair dye allergy - I was sitting there with lurid burgundy hair, dead giveaway - and they told me to stop using it. I waited a couple of months then tried a sensitivity test of the same dye on my inner elbow to see if I would still react. Uh, yeah. Within half an hour my throat started swelling up and I was starting to have problems breathing and talking so I called a friend and she rushed round some antihistamines. Since then I've only ever used henna on my hair. There's nothing in Directions which *should* make me have a reaction for any of you out there who use it and are now panicking, but Fibromyalgia causes multiple chemical sensitivities so I'm allergic to a lot of things others aren't. *shrugs*
So, getting back to the purpose of this post - if you read the first post you'll know I decided to wash my hair less often to keep my henna fresh longer. So, I've been washing my hair twice a week instead of 3-4 times and it only took a few weeks for my scalp to adjust. I'm not going to lie - the first couple of weeks were rough. My hair was SO greasy on the 3rd and 4th days it kinda grossed me out, but I slicked it back or put it in a pony tail and sucked it up. I learned to love brushing it really slowly with my Tangle Teezer as it relaxed me. I also started thinking of it as my body's natural oils rather than something dirty. Now my hair easily goes 4 days between washes without looking bad - last week I went 6 days without washing it and I only gave in then as I had roots and needed to redo my colour. I've NEVER had roots since I've used henna as it generally fades all over. Here's a photo of me from last weekend with visible roots.
Can you see that? This experiment is working! The colour remains on the rest of my hair - but my roots are dark brown (and grey, ha).
It's going to take a while to see if there's any noticeable increase in growth from washing my hair half as often, but I'm saving time, water, shampoo, conditioner and henna so that's a win already. My next steps to having healthier hair will be using SLS/silicone free shampoos and conditioners (SLS strips the hair/scalp of all natural oils then silicones in conditioner 'replace' it) and I've also bought an Indian hair powder which you mix with water into a paste to clean the hair and scalp. Thanks to the people who commented on my first post with your advice - I'm on my way to using less harsh chemicals on my sensitive scalp and that can only be a good thing. Can anyone recommend a cruelty free shampoo/conditioner which doesn't have SLS and other nasties?
Thanks for reading.