Did you ever stop to think, and forget to start again?

I have a confession to make. I didn’t make it to Easter.

Baking soda, I have cheated on you. It isn’t you. No, actually it IS you. You’re messy, and smell weird and I can’t take you out anywhere. I shampooed my hair, and it was good. It lathered, and I did it again. I feel a bit bad for not lasting the whole 40 days.

I just needed to feel presentable. And to top it off I put tips on my nails too. So I now have gel tips with sparkly blue varnish and a bath full of bubbles.

Is it helping me think clearer? Well, no. Not really. But the simple act of painting my nails did give me something to focus on other than the incessant to do list that keeps being shouted from all directions from in and outside my head. I didn’t help myself yesterday by digging my heels in and refusing to answer the emails about small things. They could wait for Monday morning – no one is going to die if I don’t answer the email now. Ah, but it did mean that the first four hours of Monday morning I needed to grow an extra pair of arms so that I could teach and respond to everyone that was asking for ‘just five minutes’.

But I did it, and I finished the day with most of my to do list complete. Now, what I need is the mental chatter to quit thinking of extra things for me to do. Stop singing weird 90s songs at me. Stop giving me a running monologue of what I’m doing. I don’t need a theme tune. And if I did, I don’t want it to be something recognizable from Adventure Time! I also don’t need to be reminded of tomorrow’s to do list at 3am. Let it go brain, there’s nothing I can, or will do at 3am about the papers that need marking. 3am marking will do no good for me or the students. That road leads to bad things, and lots of coffee.

Being mindful is harder than it looks. Especially when your brain is on overdrive and a seemingly silent room is full of voices yelling about stuff you should be doing instead of resting.

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No Poo Means an Up Do

It’s week three and this week has been quite interesting in the no poo experiment. (No shampoo, rather than no poo for weeks – that would be a whole new wrong)

Last weekend I gave in and dyed my hair as my roots were driving me crackers and I’d faded to a lovely shade of bright orange. That had been the first time a chemical had touched my hair in a fortnight. So in went the dye and out it washed and I have to confess to using the conditioner… And it felt clean, although still a little waxy. And it smelt lovely.

Since then I’ve been WO (water only) and its hardly been oily at all. Today, after a whole six days it’s finally decided that it could probably do with a wash soon. We had family day today which meant swimming followed by a roller disco after lunch with one of beanpole’s friends, so I have fallen onto the trusty ‘up do’. I have a thing about the 50s look and with just a bun donut, a hair band and a million hair pins this maintains my mild stalkery obsession with Betty Page. Frankly, it’s all about the bangs.

This has got to be one of my favorite ways of keeping my hair in check and after 10 hours of abuse with swimming, and generally goofing about I don’t look like I’ve been dragged through a hedge backwards for a change!

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I’m now contemplating whether I want to go back to BS and vinegar as I don’t want to fade my colour, but the tea didn’t work well last time. Maybe I’ll try again and see if its any better without the coconut oil. I could of course just go for another egg wash.

My confession – I miss shampoo. I have until Easter to become a convert, but week three is when the willpower is waning.

How do you take your tea madam? On my head please.

Day 11 of No Poo and after 4 days my head feels a bit itchy and could do with a wash. This is a distinct improvement, and after the success of the weekend egg on my head experiment, today, I’m trying out tea.

More specifically chamomile tea (technically this should be roobios tea as I’m an unnatural redhead) with a teaspoon of manuka honey and another of coconut oil mixed into a pudding basin of boiling water.

I used three tea bags, and have left the water to cool (I’m not about to pour boiling water on my head as mental as I may be). Tea is mildly acidic, as is honey which whilst cleaning off the excess oil, helps to close the hair follicles to give the shiny just stepped out of a waterfall look.

Why tea? Well, I’m totally determined to stick this out, but I had a conversation with my long suffering husband that went a bit like this:

H: you could just wash you know
Me: I AM washing, just not with shampoo
H: but you smell like a salad
Me: WHAT?!?
H: not much, just your scalp, but it smells weird
Me: weird how? *Sniffs hair in a panic…. Smells nothing*
Small child: *sniffs my head* “yep. It smells weird”
H: it just smells of nothing really… Just a bit weird… I used to like smelling your hair
Me: I’m not bloody washing it. I’m doing this…..
H: it’s FINE, I’m not asking you to. Just don’t stop shaving or anything like that…. *mutters under his breath* mental hippy

So in the interests of not smelling weird, I’ve just tipped several liters of herbal tea and honey on my head. I certainly don’t smell of vinegar, but I do smell quite strongly of health food shop. I don’t think that’s going to win me any anti-hippy points.

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Edit: tis the morning after having let my hair dry naturally all night. Hair does not like tea and I have returned to looking like an unwashed 80s rock icon. So an emergency egg in the shower this morning it is!

Taking photos of my head

Seems a bit weird, but I’ve now started getting my long suffering husband to take photos of my hair (if nothing else but to prove that I don’t look like the child from The Ring or Gollum since I stopped using shampoo). Poo free transition seems to be on its way out, as the photos below are 48 hours post egg & ACV wash and showing no real signs of dirt or grease.

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My roots need some attention in terms of colour, but aside from that its not looking too bad (it’s gone very straight?!).

The only thing I will say is that I’m thinking of making a hair perfume from lavender or similar just to get the smell back. It smells of nothing in particular, but the plain hair smell is weirding my long suffering husband out. He keeps sniffing my scalp suspiciously and no spouse should do that. Not unless they’re pregnant, and he assures me he isn’t.

An egg and a hairbrush (walked into a bar?)

I added a few extra things to my no shampoo journey last night. If I’m honest, it was out of desperation – I had a head full of oil (seriously, day 7 of no poo and Americans would have declared war to get to my scalp) and we’d just been swimming so I’d combined head slick with chlorine. I had started to resemble Wurzel Gummage only a week into my experiment. This was mightily depressing.

I wasn’t quite ready to give in, so I tried an egg wash which had been mentioned on other blogs. Basically, I took an egg in with me while I had a warm bath, cracked it into a bowl whisked it with my fingers then rubbed it all over my scalp whilst my hair was dry (raw egg is grim, but actually once it was on my head it felt good). I’ll admit to having a moment of looking at myself rubbing raw egg into my head and thinking I’d finally lost it. Perhaps I have, I’m not sure normal people find themselves in the bath massaging chicken ovums into their noggins. But here I was.

Making sure I rinsed out the egg wash, I rinsed my hair with a couple of cups of apple cider vinegar in water (about 10ml per cup of water) then gave it a quick rinse. There are lots of stories online about women scrambling eggs on their head by using water that was too hot, but I appeared to escape that (seriously, how hot must their shower water be?!).

And the verdict? My hair is soft and my scalp is clean! Shampoo clean? I’m not sure. It’s more moisturized than shampooed hair, but then I wanted that.

Feeling more confident, I also went on the hunt for a bristle hair brush. This is the secret weapon for long haired Victorian women who washed their hair once per month. The bristle brush removes dirt, skin and dust from the hair whilst also pulling the oil down from the scalp through to the ends of the hair where it works like a leave in conditioner (rather than making it lank and yuk, it make we it moisturized and thick). There was one issue with this. No bugger sells them! I’ve found some beautiful brushes online which will be making it to the Christmas list, but fair now I’ve created another dirty secret – my brilliant new wooden handled bristle hair brush was originally designed for…. A dog. Before you laugh, it does the job. Tonight I spent a good 30 mins with a daughter laying across me having her hair brushed and enjoying every second (normally I have to chase her down to pull a brush through her tangled tomboy locks) and off she went to bed with some very silky hair. The same goes for my own mop – a few minutes of grooming with the “soft strokey brush” and I have some really shiny soft tresses. Static, but soft. I can live with that.