As a teenager, my mom would often approach me right before a shower: "Kate, have you washed your hair lately? It looks dirty. You should wash it." Sometimes, I knew it was dirty and I was going to wash it anyway, or I didn't care because I had more important things on the brain like projects that were due. Other times, I'd turn to the mirror and say, "Really? It doesn't feel dirty. And it doesn't look shiny or greasy to me."

She would always assure me, "Yeah, Kate. It's gross. Wash your hair."

My hair is actually quite a bit longer than it was in high school. And projects have still gotten in the way of me caring about what's going on with the top of my head. After I got married, instead of fighting a mat once a week accompanied by tears, I finally got into a daily hair routine: brush every morning, wash every other day. And that was a healthy and water-saving routine for me. Until I read this, along with the comments and testimonials here: both proof of a movement called "No-'Poo", as in Shampoo.

This fascinates me, this idea that we've all got a build-up of a by-product of crude oil conversion in our hair. This idea that someone decided to bottle it and sell it and we've all been convinced that our hair needs this every day. I spent a few days studying strangers' heads, trying to see if I could tell what they washed their hair with and how often. And I thought that my shower routine was simple enough--I have, total, one bottle of shampoo, a bar of soap, and a razor that belong to me in our shower. It's quite sparse compared to roommates I've had.

Of course, the setback of this revolution is that while each of us figures out individually how to eliminate that frequency down to a minimum, our hair is greasy. And I'm not suggesting that rinsing with baking soda and vinegar is pleasant or even an appealing idea. I'm not converted to that much of an extreme. But I'm working on trying to find out of my hair can stand being washed once a week by shampoo, and then just washed with water for any other time that Automatic Mother installed inside tells me that it's time to wash. And I've been convinced that the Clean Smell comes from my shampoo; but when I wash with just water, it feels and smells exactly the same.

I'm still in the middle of my experiment, but I hope I can push you toward thinking about your own shampoo experiment. How much shampoo does your scalp actually needs to be clean? Could you be applying shampoo too often? There's the transition at the beginning of the experiment that's gross: the oils overcompensated on my scalp, as is mentioned in the links I've offered.

But I like the change. I'm still clean, but I'm wasting less, my showers are shorter, and I don't feel brain-washed anymore. It's a new routine and a new idea for me, the thought that something simpler than a handful of shampoo is necessary. Two days ago, I just used a penny-sized lump, and it was perfect.

Of course, you might not need my convincing or the articles I thought interesting. I told Just'In about this new idea I'd discovered and he just shrugged. "Yeah," he said, "I already do that. I rinse every couple of days, but I only need shampoo about every week. I just clean it when it feels dirty."
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