The no shampoo experiment is turning to be everything but what I expected. Sure, I knew my hair wouldn’t be itself for a few weeks, but I never anticipated how this transformation would effect, not only my physical but my mental state as well. I’m not sure if it’s because of the experiment itself or it just magically collided, but the past week I’ve been going through difficult personal transformation as well.
First, after my last hair wash routine with baking soda and apple cider vinegar, I noticed something strange is going on. I brushed my hair after leaving it to dry in a towel wrapped around my head and was instantly in shock. My hair was falling out like crazy. If I had to assess I would have to say there was 3-times as much hair on my brush than usual and throughout the week I kept pulling out my hair in stacks. I immediately checked if I did something wrong with dilution of baking soda, which might have caused this. I couldn’t believe what I found out. My baking soda and water mixture was okay, but there were so many reports circulating the web, reporting the same hair problem.
I read a story of a blogger that washed her hair with baking soda dilution for more than 2 years, 2 times per week. The outcome was destroyed hair that started falling out rapidly. I had that same effect after only 3 washes. I was left feeling both angry and very naïve for believing this was some kind of magical cure for my hair, rather than using my journalistic nature and really exploring what the No Poo method was really about. What this girl discovered next was just mind blowing; according to the method, baking soda is used to wash your hair for its degreasing effect and mixed with water it has a neutral pH that’s the best for washing hair, but there’s absolutely nothing neutral about it. Its pH is 9.5 and even when mixing with a glass of water (like the recipes suggest) the pH stays the same. This girl went even as far as mixing a table spoon of baking soda with 20 glasses of water and the pH stayed the same. What this means for your hair is that the alkali baking soda puts it through the chemical process of dyeing.
“The extremely alkali baking soda opens up the hair cuticle, if it is not closed by using an acidic substance, the hair will look frizzy, dry, and brittle and will be prone to breakage and tangling. That is why, we, baking soda aficionados use something acidic, like apple cider vinegar, which neutralizes the effect of the alkali baking soda and closes the hair cuticle,” writes blogger Sonya Kanelstrand.
I decided to immediately stop using baking soda to wash my hair. What that resulted in is a whole week of unwashed hair that looks just as gross as it feels. I know if I wash it only with water it won’t make a difference so I simply didn’t bother. To top it all off, I was feeling like crap the whole week. I somehow managed to disguise my unwashed hair when I had to attend an important event and the photo doesn’t even look that bad, but for the rest of the week I just hid at home, worked in my PJ’s and didn’t leave the house except for taking out the trash. I had no energy whatsoever and I don’t remember ever pressing the ‘snooze’ button as often as I did in the past week. I couldn’t fall asleep and I couldn’t get up in the morning. I felt horrible! The fact that my hair was a huge mess made it even worse. I was wearing a hoodie for 5 days, feeling like a vampire in front of the mirror and ignoring the whole hair situation.
All this effort to try and transform my hair caused another transformation to take place. I’m not entirely sure the No Poo experiment triggered my mind to start questioning my entire future, not just the method, but I’m sure it has at least some parallels. This past week, I’ve been feeling so out of place and so stuck in both my career and my personal life that I decided it’s time to do something about it. It’s time for a change, a drastic one. I can’t keep living a mediocre life and I’m way passed the age where I should be able to show some accomplishments already. For the past year I’ve been putting my needs and my aspirations to the side, which I cannot keep doing anymore. It’s time to start putting myself on the top of the list.
How will this turn out? No idea! I’m just as scared about my hair as I am about my entire future. But if I don’t take chances, if I don’t try to make a change, it will never get better, right? Being scared is not a reason to not give it a shot. That goes for both my No Poo experiment and my entire future.