Natural Hair Care: 11 Months In

For the last almost-year I’ve been eschewing store bought hair products in favour of shampoo bars, hair serums, balms, and gels I can make myself. I’ve also been stretching out my washes, and using only wooden combs and boar bristle brushes. And here are a few things I’ve noticed over the last 11 months.

  • The longer your wash cycle, the longer it will take to add another day. I was able to go from every other day to every third day in a few weeks, but it took me about three full months to switch from every 7th day to every 8th day. Chances are the number of wash cycles stays more or less consistent (I haven’t been keeping track), but it will feel much, much longer (because it is, of course—don’t try to force it).
  • Slightly contradictory to what I just said, sometimes it will take three washes before you can add another day, and sometimes it will take 15, and this isn’t strictly linear. I think it took me four months to go from every 5th day to every 6th, and only one or two months to go from every 6th to every 7th. Just wait it out. It will happen.
  • Figure out what level of greasy you can handle before you start. It can’t be zero or you’ll never get anywhere, but if your grease tolerance is fairly low, keep in mind you’ll be moving pretty slow.
  • If your hair tends towards being very greasy, you might have to start out with 12 hour increments rather than 24. Also, dry shampoo and hats.
  • Updos are more forgiving to dirty hair.
  • After a few months without commercial products, you’ll start noticing the silicone sloughing off your hair. I noticed it as the cause of giant knots in my hair, down past my collarbone and, gross-out warning, the knots would be full of white flakes, but were much too far down to be dandruff. They eventually went away as the silicone worked its way out of my hair for good.
  • After the silicone comes off your hair will tangle much more easily. You can solve this by combing out your hair and braiding it before going to bed.
  • Your hair will start looking different when its dirty after 10 months or so. It won’t go as flat and dull looking, but will actually stay shiny. Not the same shiny as freshly washed, but still a rather nice gloss compared to the alternative.
  • Positive changes will take time to materialize. Your hair should feel softer and be scent-free and shiny, but it will take a few months. But what’s a few months in a lifelong change?
  • Your time investment in your hair will shift. If you’re used to hot curling, flat ironing, and blow drying your hair in the morning, that time will swap to the evening as you boar bristle brush, comb and braid, and/or put in curlers/pin curls the night before.
  • You hair care costs should go way down. Your hair cuts should even be cheaper if you can find a place that won’t charge you for the wash and blowout if you don’t get them.
  • You’ll also develop new ways of styling your hair. Heat free, product-less ways that work just as well, but are better for your hair. Unless you really like straightening, in which case you may just have to embrace what you’ve got, because I haven’t heard about any heat-free ways of straightening hair.
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Wondering where I get my ingredients? I get almost everything from New Directions Aromatics (Canada, USA, Aus, & UK) and Saffire Blue!

4 Responses to Natural Hair Care: 11 Months In

  1. Anubha says:

    Hey I have been silently following your blog (especially thehair care) for slightly over a month n after reading many of your post I am thinking to go all natural but at the same time I am apprehensive.
    I have dull n dry Indian hairs n though I don’t use much heat (straightening/blow dry once in 2-3 months) I feel that my hairs are too much damaged as I have to get frequent hair cut (once in 3 months) due to dry n damaged/split ends and so I don’t have nice length…

    I read about the Hair balm on your blog and I am gonna try it for my damaged ends… Right now I am trying to find all the raw materials… :)

    Thanks a lot for sharing all this with us… :D

    • Marie says:

      Awesome! Congratulations on deciding to take the plunge! If you’re not using much heat and you haven’t dyed your hair much, it doesn’t sound like your hair needs frequent trims because it is damaged—you may have simply reached your breaking point, where your hair just won’t grow any longer. You may be able to help this by amping up the moisture to help prevent breakage, and by cutting out hair products that contain silicone byproducts (like dimethicone) that coat your hair and gradually weaken it. However, if your hair is bound and determined to break at a certain point, you may not be able to change its mind :(

      That said, you can still have healthy, shiny, happy hair! The hair balm is excellent for dry ends, and I also love my hair serum, which is diluted so it’s easier to spread over the length of your hair without getting greasy too quickly.

      I get all of my ingredients from New Directions Aromatics. They have online shops based out of Canada, the USA, the UK, and Australia, so there’s a good chance they’ll be able to help you out :)

      Enjoy your journey and feel free to reach out if you have any questions, I’d love to help if I can!

  2. claire says:

    I found all the ingredients I use on NATURALLYTHINKING,CO,UK
    such a nice website and amazing products!

    Claire

    I am also noo poo. Only use water :) and maybe once or twice a month I use BS and ACV.. I dont think I had a transition period I guess I was lucky. I use a boar bristle brush and I love it, gives me really nice shine.
    I use clay to wash my body.. Green/Bentonite clay.

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