Rain.

I only wash my hair with the finest Antipodean rainwater…

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My 5 year old says that the rain is her favourite. She gets her gumboots and umbrella and splashes about in the puddles and gets saturated, all with the hugest grin on her face.

I love the rain too. It means I can get a new supply of rainwater to wash my hair with.

Yes, I know that totally sounds really hippie. If you’re imagining the swishing hair of the Herbal Essences ads, or the woman sudsing up her hair under the waterfall, it’s not quite like that. Not actually anywhere near that.

Ever since I have stopped using commercial shampoo, or gone “no-poo”, I have been using baking soda and apple cider vinegar to wash my hair. This works so well! Unless you have hard water, where it leaves your hair feeling waxy which is no good.  And surprise surprise! we have hard water. So whenever it rains I’ve taken to collecting rain water in a big bowl.

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I left this bowl out overnight and it was full of beautiful rain water this morning.

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I then sieve out the dirt and pollen using a funnel and muslin cloth, and pour it into water bottles which stay in the fridge until I need it. Tada! Instant nature-filtered water!

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This time I got a 400ml bottle and a 750ml bottle full, which should be enough for 4-5 washes. Woohoo! That’s the next month sorted. Now I’m all ready for next hair wash day.

The Hair Experiment??

What if I told you that you never have to buy shampoo again…

When I was 14 I stopped washing my hair. I figured that if guys could not wash their hair for weeks, then why couldn’t I? Surely it gets to a stage where it self-cleans? My friends talked me out of that, after my hair became a greasy mess, not without a fight though. And they still refer to it as ‘the time when Sarah stopped washing her hair’.

Now, older and wiser, I decided to give it another shot: I now haven’t used shampoo in 6 months. I know. Gross huh 😉

I used to be a regimental every-second-day washer, and if I missed a day my hair was oily and lank. So what happened?

I blame Facebook. If it weren’t for Mum groups I’m in, then I’d never have found out that some Mums wash their hair once a week. At the same time in another group, people were taking about ways to give up on mainstream cosmetic and beauty products, and the subject of no-poo came up.

Nope, it’s not about actual poo. ‘Poo: short for shampoo. No-poo: no shampoo.

I started by reading Lucy’s blog about alternatives to shampoo. I delved into how shampoo works, how your scalp and hair works and what it needs, and thought why not? What’s the worst that can happen?

So I did it.

I threw away and gave away all of my shampoo and conditioner (though kept the ones without silicones or sulphates) and dove in head first, or hair first.

I started with the no-poo basics: baking soda and Apple cider vinegar (BS & ACV). And it was yuck at first. I wore lots of braid and plaits and twists to hide the grease, but as I stetched out the washes, my hair produced less oil. Now I wash once a week, and rinse halfway through the week, but only if my hair needs it.

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I’ve experimented with all kinds of things so far. Tea rinses: peppermint, chamomile; coffee rinses; aloe vera juice; egg; tap water; rain water; oils…

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I wondered how long I could do it for. I mean if it all turned nasty I could always go back to regular ol’ shampoo and conditioner. And 6 months in it is still an experiment as I learn about what my hair likes (Aloe – YES!! Coffee – not so much). With my trusty boar bristle brush, detangling comb and 10 min of brushing every night, I’m embracing the sebum and my hair is so much healthier and lighter and has more volume. And, I’m not buying a new bottle of shampoo/conditioner every few months. Yay for money saving and less waste!!

So turns out 14-year old me was on to something. I just needed to reach my 30s and not give a damn anymore to give it a proper shot 🙂