Here’s a little background…Over the past several years, I’ve been trying to be more natural with our lifestyle. It all started with the types of food we ate, and then I dabbled in the products we used for cleaning, and last year, I started looking into my beauty regiment- that was kind of the last piece for me. Well, so I thought…my next adventure will be Essential Oils
Anyways, I started with skincare- lotions, make-up, face wash, and so forth. I’ve found brands and techniques that I LOVE, so I’ll have to do a post on that soon But, the last beauty regiment to tackle was my hair…I have always wanted beautiful, luscious, blonde, long, straight hair…you know, like the Victoria Secret Angels…instead, I have brown, tightly curled hair that refuses to grow past the center of my chest no matter what I do. For several years, I have been highlighting it religiously, and straightening it every day. Deciding to finally take the plunge and embrace my natural hair was by far the hardest challenge I’ve faced in this whole “natural living” journey. But, I did it. I had my hair dyed back to my natural color in January, I had all of the damaged ends cut off, and I committed to a year of no heat, and no hair products except for natural oils, and a baking soda/apple cider vinegar rinse once a week. (You can read more about my specific regiment here)
My purpose for this was two fold- first, I was really curious what my hair would be like if I just let it be. I’ve had a ton of breakage and thinning in the last 5 years, so I was curious if this would help; and second, I wanted to see if I could get to a place where I felt beautiful with my natural hair, because let’s be honest, straightening and highlighting is expensive and so time consuming.
Ok, there’s the background.
So, how is it going after three months? I’m glad you asked! There are definitely some pros and cons, so I’m going to list those out below. Also, I want to note that I have stayed true to my commitment! Yay I have only washed my hair one time per week with baking soda and apple cider vinegar, and I have only used natural oils for styling and nourishment. I haven’t used any other products, and I have not used any heat- not even once.
- Time Saver– this is by far the greatest perk so far…I pretty much spend no time on my hair. I only wash it once a week, and I’m learning different techniques for styling, which mainly consist of the way I prep my hair before bed. In the morning, I rarely spend more than 2-3 minutes doing my hair. It’s incredible, and liberating. It used to take me an hour from shower to out the door, and now it takes 15-20 minutes tops.
- Hair Growth– My hair is growing leaps and bounds, and without damage! I have a top layer of hair on the right side of my head that broke off after my first daughter was born- that was 2.5 years ago. Initially, I thought it was fine, and would just grow back, but it kept breaking off. I know the hair was growing, because I would see the outgrowth of roots in between highlights, but it must have just kept breaking off, because it would not get any longer. So irritating. It was like this short, random layer on one side of my head that would not grow out. Well, I’m glad to report that it has grown TWO INCHES in the past three months. I am absolutely shocked.When I cut the damaged ends off in January it was several inches, so I have finally hit the point at which my hair normally stops growing. I don’t know what the deal is, but no matter how often I trim it or don’t trim it, I’ve never been able to get my hair longer than the length it is at right now. So, I don’t know if that will happen yet- we’ll see.
- Humility– Ok, I know this will probably sound silly or cliche, but honestly, I never knew how much pride my hair gave me. While I didn’t like it in natural form, I could just highlight and straighten it to get the look I wanted, and it really made me feel beautiful. I’m not saying it’s proud to feel beautiful, but when I started this journey it REALLY affected my self esteem. I felt absolutely ugly. And, I’d be lying if I said I still wasn’t struggling with this. But, it’s getting better. I’m starting to come around, and I’m excited to see what I think once it’s a bit longer, and I’ve lost all of my baby weight. (Note to self…don’t make drastic changes to your appearance when you’re carrying around an extra 60 pounds!!!)It’s been a good lesson in humility and vanity. I never thought I was superficial, but I guess I am, because it has been VERY hard to stick with this.
- Build-Up– This is weird for me, but I’ve looked it up, and I guess it’s totally normal. Because I wash my hair less, dust and whatever else is in the air builds up on my hair over the course of the week. It’s not a huge deal, but when I look at the hair on my brush, it has gray fuzz on it, which is the dust accumulating. Kind of gross. But, I don’t notice it in my hair- just on my brush- so I guess it’s not terrible.
- Smell– I really miss that freshly washed, shampoo smell. Right after I wash my hair, it smells like vinegar while it’s wet- disgusting. Once it’s dry, that smell completely goes away, but so does any smell whatsoever. I want to try adding Lavendar or Lemon oil to my hair oil to add a scent, but I have yet to do that.
- Styling is Tricky– the past few months have been crazy around our house- we sold our house, moved twice, and I had a newborn and two year old to take care of during all of that. It’s also winter in Wisconsin, which means everyone is in hibernation mode, so I honestly have kept my hair in a bun on top of my head probably 90% of the time. Because of this, I haven’t quite figured out the styling piece.The day after I wash my hair is the worst, because it is fluffy and full of volume since the oils have been stripped from cleaning it. After 2-3 days it settles down, and that’s when I like it the best- just to give you an idea, the picture I included above was taken today- Thursday- and the last time I washed my hair was Sunday night. I’ll usually pull my bangs back and then just let the rest of my hair down. The problem is that I’m trying to figure out a way to get a nice, soft wave to it that doesn’t look so messy. I tried using those foam sticks that you wrap your hair around, and use as curlers, but that created WAY too tight of a curl for my taste. So, I want to buy some larger rollers, and see if that will do the trick.
As you can see, there are 3 major pros and 3 major cons thus far, so I’m not exactly sold on this whole idea yet, but I’m only a quarter of the way in, so we’ll see how the rest of this year goes. No matter what, I’m definitely going to stick with the baking soda and apple cider vinegar wash once a week. It was hard in the beginning while my hair was adjusting, but now it’s incredible! The no heat and no dying is going to be the tricky part. If anything, I may just end up cutting down on the heat, and definitely letting it air dry instead of blow drying it.
I’m really going to focus on how to style my hair these next couple months, so hopefully I’ll have some better news next time!
Have a good day!