I have magical hair that glows when I sing …

A few months back I rented Disney’s “Tangled” to watch with my son (he’s two, so I can still talk him into girl movies). It was actually very good. The movie’s heroine is a princess named Rapunzel, who is kidnapped and forced to live a solitary life in a very tall tower and never cut her hair. The woman she believes to be her mother is actually her captor who holds her hostage in order to maintain control of Rapunzel’s “magical” hair. According to the movie, her hair’s magical ability is that it can heal the sick and elderly (also, it glows when sung a special song). In my opinion, the true magical quality of her hair is its ability to maintain its glossy, smooth appearance under very extreme circumstances. Keep in mind that she has never cut her hair, so it’s the length of several football fields. She flings that mane of hair around with complete abandon, even using it as a weapon on several occasions. Still, it stays silky smooth and tangle free. Needless to say, I want that hair. Not the length or the healing properties (although the glowing might come in handy), but the ability to stay so sleek and tangle free.

Just over six months ago, I decided to not cut my hair for two years. This may not seem particularly noteworthy, but I haven’t gone over six months without cutting all my hair off in about two decades. I just don’t like the way my hair looks and feels when it’s long so I generally wear it up every day. It’s very fine and tends to look stringy, thin and just plain dull. Since I will be stuck with a lot more of my hair than I’m used to dealing with, I decided I needed to find a better hair care regime. My first experiment along these lines was going to be making my own shampoo blend using castile soap and a few essential oils of my choosing. And since it seemed silly to me to make my own customized shampoo and then use a mass market, non-customized conditioner, I went on a web search for homemade conditioner. This is when I stumbled upon the “no poo” movement. This has nothing to do with poop. Going no poo involves giving up shampooing your hair. You don’t actually stop washing your hair, you just stop using shampoo on it. Most people use a baking soda and water combo with an apple cider vinegar and water rinse. To be a true “no poo” practitioner you also wash your hair less often. This is all supposed to be better for your hair. So about three months ago I decided to give it a shot. I was unemployed at the time, so my appearance was not so important, and baking soda and vinegar are both things I already own, so there was no money required to give it a shot. The first couple of weeks weren’t too bad, but around week 4 my hair totally went to hell. It got very waxy. What the majority of the “no poo” sites failed to mention is that you have to really scrub the hell out of your hair if you aren’t going to use chemicals to strip it of all its natural oils. But once I got past that one little hump (long, ponytail length hair came in very handy for a couple of weeks), my hair looked like it always did. Yep, all that work and my hair still looked blah …

So last week I gave up on the baking soda, but I wasn’t willing to give up all the effort I put into balancing out my hair’s natural oil production (my usually greasy hair is no longer grease prone). So I bought some Dr. Bronners castile soap (peppermint flavor) and some eucalyptus essential oil and made myself some shampoo. I was very pleased with the results. I am now the proud owner of perfectly normal looking, straight, blah brown hair. Which is all I asked of my hair. So I don’t have magical hair, but at least I find it tolerable enough to actually wear it down most days. The next 15 months might not be so bad after all …

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