DIY Natural Hair Care

Since I have been trying to be nicer to my lovely locks, I’ve also been trying out various hair care methods. Everything from changing up shampoo/conditioner to less frequent washing. I’m not sure that I can go fully ‘no-poo,’ but I have managed to get to a point where I’m only washing about twice a week. It seemed impossible, but now that I’m past the “my hair looks dirty and awful” phase, I absolutely love it!

I have naturally wavy hair that I used to hate. Even once I came around to hating it less, it was still a love-hate relationship. My new-found sometimes-like came about due, mostly, to laziness. Blow drying and flat ironing every morning before school required waking up extra early. That was just too much to ask of 17-year-old me. Even adult me doesn’t want to get up any earlier than she has to, and I hadn’t blow dried or straightened my hair in months — until recently.

Last week, I gave in to temptation. I wanted to see how long my hair had actually gotten since I’ve been growing it out, so on a particularly bad hair day (a wash day, actually) I came home after work and straightened my sad waves. Sadly, everything except my bangs seemed to have hardly grown! How is that possible?! Here I’d been thinking I was taking such good care of the hairs that they’d respond gratefully by growing into beautiful long waves. Wrong. Turns out, the ends were split to kingdom come and just turning into a fuzzy mess.

My Hair Care Regimen

Monday and Friday are shampoo days. Thursday is cleansing conditioner only. Tuesday, I usually do nothing. Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday could be nothing days, but more often are rinse and thorough scrub-quasi-head-massage days. These last days are my favorite! My hair isn’t fuzzy looking; my waves curl nicely and look amazing! Essentially, it’s the hair I’ve always dreamed about. What more could a girl want, right?

Healthy hair. That’s what.

Natural Home Hair Rinse & Conditioner

Natural Conditioner
• 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (ACV)
• 1 pint warm water

Natural Hair Rinse
• 1 tablespoon baking soda
• 4 ounces warm water

For hair rinse: Add baking soda to warm water and mix well. I use 4 oz. canning, jelly jars because I have them around—they’re easy to transfer from kitchen to bathroom with a lid to ensure no spillage, and they’re reusable! Wet hair in shower or tub, and slowly pour rinse over your head, keeping close to hairline and/or scalp to make sure you get most of it on the hair. Massage into roots and scalp as you pour. Baking soda is abrasive, so I only use this monthly and certainly wouldn’t use it more often than every other week.

For conditioner: Add ACV to your pint of warm water, again I use a Mason jar. Following your baking soda rinse, or regular shampoo/hair routine, pour the apple cider vinegar water over your hair in the same fashion as described above. Work through hair all the way to the ends and let sit for a few minutes. Rinse thoroughly with warm water. You may notice a slight vinegar smell until hair dries. The vinegar will cut grease and condition without leaving behind residue or weighing down hair. For those of use with wavy-to-curly hair, not having the weighed down effect is amazing!

Warning: If you have colored hair, these methods may strip the color. I didn’t think about this until I used them on dyed (red) hair. It wasn’t a big deal to me because my color was quite faded and I had no plans to redye it, but if it were brand new or something I was trying to maintain I wouldn’t want to strip it.

With the help of a good trim, good dry shampoo, and this natural home hair system, I think I’m heading in the right direction. Luckily, I’m finally starting to use my Home Remedies from Amish Country books I bought several years ago. They’re a great go-to source for damn near everything!

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Since writing this blog, nearly two years ago for my old blog Taste for Two, I have managed to continue not coloring my hair. A few months ago, I went back to a pixie cut to chop off all the remaining, faded color and sad ends I had left on my hair.

Unfortunately, short hair seems to require a lot more maintenance, for me, and I find myself washing my hair a bit more than once or twice a week — maybe every other day, if necessary. Plus, I was in cosmetology school for a hot minute and we’d practice shampooing and styling on each other. I noticed a not-so-good difference in my hair almost instantly when using the school’s sulfate- and fragrance-laden products now that I’ve been using a natural hair care routine for so long.

I plan to keep my hair the natural color, for now. It’s been over a decade since I’ve rocked my natural hair color and part of me still desperately wants to know what I’d look like with long, mermaid-esque locks.

Adapted from the WordPress blog Taste for Two.

FEATURED IMAGE BY ARTSYBEE/PIXABAY.
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