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My hair. Well I used to have a lot more of it than I currently do (see my profile pic for current length) but as usual, that is another story. Which I shall of course tell some other time.
I’m racking up a lot of those….but I digress.

Hair.
For years and years I wanted to grow my hair long, long, long. Like Arwen long but it would only grow to just above my bra strap and then it seemed to stop. Or my ends would split. Or it would just look scraggly. I tried every damned combination of shampoo, conditioner, deep conditioner, etc that existed and I ended up with very expensive hair that stopped growing just above my bra strap.

Enter Canadalnd into my hair care equation when I got this bright idea to go to graduate school (again another story I will eventually blog) and enter wavy hair?!!?
The fuck you say! Wavy? Where on earth did that come from?
My father it appears, but I never knew because I lived in humidity free climates my whole life. Add humidity and low and behold my hair goes very wavy, and I hadn’t a bloody clue how to care for it.
Can you say ‘Hello Google!’

I found many forums and posts on ditching shampoo and only using conditioner on your hair to help moisturize your hair and bring out the curl so I thought I’d give it a whirl. I also bought, and now adorethe Curly Girl book and off I went to very good results.

These results required a HUGE shift in how I took care of my hair. See shampoos in general are not that great for your hair. They have these things called sulfates in them that are basically laundry detergent or hand soap. They are what make soaps and shampoos foamy which some where along the line advertising convinced us meant clean. It also means striping the natural oils from your hair and leaving said hair very dry. This is why shampoo company’s started marketing conditioner, to re-hydrate the hair that the shampoo just dehydrated. Fantastic marketing scheme really. Then people started to notice that their hair just was t shines anymore, this due to all the striping of oils and heat appliances and perms and coloring and all the other stuff we do to our poor heads. The next major marketing development was hair serum which is basically straight silicone. Great for adding shine, not so great for the hair. See it seals your hair from root to end which can work wonders for some people but for lots of folks, me included all it does is dry my hair out further. So no serum for me, I tried shine inducing conditioners, which low and behold contain freaking silicone. In fact now a days more that 95% of all conditioners contain silicone!! This means you strip the hell out of your hair with the shampoos and then seal the hair up so it can not get any of those nice moisturizing ingredients found in your very expensive conditions. So then you buy the deep conditioner, which has more silicone and then you need more shampoo to wash it out as your hair starts to get lifeless. It’s a ridiculously vicious circle.

So what can you do? Well in an ideal situation you wouldn’t use shampoo! Just conditioner. See the emollients in silicone free conditioners are enough to cleanse your hair. Put it in your hair, massage your scalp, leave it in for a bit and rinse it out. But you say to me that if you unit using shampoo you will be a giant grease head. Yup. You would. So instead of uniting shampoo cold turkey you do it gradually.

Now remember I said I got very good results doing this! That’s true, but I didn’t say how long it took to get said results…..
so here’s the thing, it took Months, and was a multi step process.

Here goes in a nutshell:

  • switched shampoos to a non-sulfate shampoo so that I wouldn’t strip my hair, did that for 2 months
  • shampooed my hair every other day. On off days I used only conditioner, did that for 2 months
  • cut shampoo days down to twice a week, using conditioner only on two other days and leaving hair unwashed the other three days, did that for 3 months
  • stopped shampooing entirely, just used conditioner. Found that I had to add two days of conditioning in so now I conditioned 4 days and did nothing to my hair the other three. Did that for 2 months.
  • cut it down to only 2 conditioning days a week and grew my hair to my waist
  • It was lovely, shiny, super long hair. And I kept it like that for years.

    20130625-231148.jpg

    I found I had to cut it far less than before because my ends did not split very much. Every 4-6 months I would get a trim or get bangs or try and layer bangs to grow them back out. But my hair was ridiculously healthy.

    When I moved to Canadaland it got super wavy and then a little less than a year ago I got this wild idea to cut it all off for a fundraiser. See. Great and dear friend of mine had just found out her three year old son had Neuroblastoma cancer and in the process of his treatment they would have to move to Toronto from Hamilton. We thought we’d cut our hair for a fundraiser and donate it to kids with cancer. It was a roaring success and for the first time in 20 years my hair was above my shoulders!

    20130625-231618.jpg

    Of course my hair routine changed as it was WAY more wavy than I’d ever imagined so nowadays days I still only use conditioners but I do an initial conditioning cleanse on my scalp, giving it a good massage and then leave it for a couple of minutes. Then I rinse the hell out of it and put conditioner on my ends by scrunching up on them and then smoothing conditioner over the curtain or exterior of my hair. This way my hair isn’t too weighed down my the conditioner after I rinse it out allowing my waves to really bounce out. I rinse the heck out of I at the end of my shower and I add either gel or foam moose (both silicone free! and then use a micro fibre towel to scrunch up the waves. I mostly let it air dry but if I want some oomf I use a diffuser for most the way then let it air dry. It lasts me two or three days where I just spray it down with water in the mornings and scrunch with the towel again to gently bring back my slept on waves.

    My hair still grows like a weed with a conditioner only routine which has allowed me to experiment a little with this shorted hairstyle. I’m back to shoulder length after cutting it to chin length in Febuary and may let it grow to donate it again. We shall see

    Alright soec, enough blathering, tell us about products!!

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