Tuesday 24 July 2018

Giving up shampoo, my journey so far

My hair has always been an important part of my image. For a third of my life it was bleached blonde and when your hair is white, it's hard to not make a big deal of it. I loved having bleached hair, it really suited me and I enjoyed playing around with temporary colours. But it came with plenty of problems, the damage and upkeep being two of them. Eventually I got to the stage where I'd had enough of the straw like condition and frequent trips to the salon. I decided it was time to start growing out my roots and embrace my natural hair colour, whatever that turned out to be.

Growing out my hair has certainly been a process. I stopped bleaching it in 2015 but a year later I had a relapse and dyed it again. I ended up not being happy with the colour and after a couple of root touch ups I decided to grow it out for good.

I liked the idea of having non dyed hair, getting back to my roots so to speak, so instead of covering up the blonde with more dye I just let my hair grow out naturally. During this process I became more and more interested in giving up hair products entirely. From an environmental point of view I wanted to consume less, and from a scientific view I wanted to see if I could actually do it. My Dad gave up shampoo over five years ago and I've not met anyone with hair in better condition than him. Could my hair feel as silky soft as his?

The first thing I needed to do was cut off the final dregs of bleach, which brings me on to the first half of this hair tale. I'd been having my hair cut regularly in an attempt to get rid of the bleach quickly and I was enjoying the freedom shorter hair brings. But I was nervous about going properly short. It was something I'd been wanting to do for a while and despite never usually being precious over my hair I was suddenly a little scared. I'd had a bad experience at a local salon so I knew I wanted to find someone that would understand what I wanted, whilst giving me the advice and expertise need to make my idea a reality. In steps Rush Tower Bridge* and my wonderful stylist Dom.

As soon as I sat down with Dom in the brand spanking new Rush salon near Tower Bridge he put me at ease. I explained what I wanted, long on top and short on the sides, and he instantly understood the sort of look I was going for. He reassured me that the style would look great and it wasn't long before he started snipping. By the time he had finished I was beyond thrilled with my new look. The length on top meant my hair remained curly but the shorter sides helped keep my thick locks in check. I absolutely adored it.

The next stage of my hair journey was to give up shampoo and conditioner. With all the bleach gone, and the fact I didn't use any other products, the challenge seemed feasible, so I washed my hair for the last time the morning before we flew to Indonesia. Everyone said the first few weeks of going shampoo free would be the hardest so it made sense to trial this stage during a three week holiday where the 30 degree heat was going to make my hair look shit no matter how many products I used.

During our three weeks away I really didn't notice my hair feeling or looking greasy, but that's probably because I was so hot and sweaty the majority of the time. I'd wash my hair with water everyday whilst in the shower and give it a brush with my tangle teaser in an attempt to brush out the grease. I've always let me hair air dry so I'd just brush it into place and let it do it's thing. Returning to the UK was a challenge. After our holiday I was expecting my hair to not feel greasy but alas, I was so wrong. The lack of sweat made me realise that my hair still felt 'not clean' despite it looking absolutely fine. However, I was determined to keep going, I'd made it this far so it seemed silly to start using shampoo again.

It's now been over two months since I last used shampoo and whilst my hair isn't 100%, it's still great. My hair still feels a little tacky, but nothing compared to how it felt a month ago. But the best thing is, it looks so shiny and soft in contrast. When my hair was bleached it felt so dry and frizzy all the time so it's wonderful to feel like I finally have a healthy head of hair. Plus it's curlier than it's been for a long time which is an even bigger bonus for me. I'm excited to see how my hair will improve over the next couple of months and I'm determined to never use shampoo again.

If you have easy going hair that's free from dye I 100% recommend giving the shampoo free life a go. I've always been wary about having to rely on hair and beauty products and my shampoo free journey is proof that I can have clean and healthy hair without using anything other than water.

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