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February 28, 2011

As part of my latest obsession, I bought some clean shampoo last week.  “Clean shampoo” is supposed to be a chemical-free, low-lather way to clean your hair.  I thought it’d be an interim step, a way for me to get used to the idea of not using shampoo.

So I bought a bottle last Thursday.  Used it Friday, and had a “hm, not bad” reaction.  My hair didn’t feel as squeaky clean as it normally does, but I figured it was fine.  It WAS very shiny, and it smelled nice.  I figured maybe I didn’t use enough of it or something.  I do have very thick, very dense hair, for one thing; and I am still coming down off the pregnancy hormones, for another – I’m still losing hair by the fistful, and I expect to continue to do so until I stop nursing (that’s what happened the last time, anyway).

So I stuck with it, and used the shampoo again Saturday.  I used more of it – some on the scalp/top, and some on the nape of my neck and the ends.  It still wasn’t very lathery, and I still felt my hair was a little greasier than I expected it to be.  But maybe that’s what clean shampoo is all about?, I thought – maybe it’s letting your hair get itself back into it’s natural balance?  And it still smelled great.

I woke up Sunday morning with a serious case of the greasies – I mean, like what happens after I’ve had a fever for a few days, and haven’t showered.  I have never EVER had the greasies the day after I shampoo.  But again, I thought it might be part of the migration process, so I combed it and moved on.  I never actually made it into the shower.

So this morning I knew I was in for a struggle in the shower, and I combed my hair beforehand as sort of a preemptive strike.

I used the same amount of shampoo as I had on Saturday, and in same the two-section maneuver.  But this time I had snarls – SNARLS! – like I’ve never had in the shower.  And my hair was clinging to itself as I was trying to wash it, like it was trying to form itself into dreadlocks.

Like I said, my hair is very thick, and it’s very dense.  It’s also extremely straight, and all one length.  I have never experienced anything like this before.  Knots before I get into the shower, sure.  Knots after I towel-dry, sure.  Knots DURING the shampoo process?  Never.  Never ever.

I rinsed out the shampoo as best I could, to the point when I was mostly able to run my fingers through my hair, and got out of the shower.  I picked up my wide-toothed comb, as I do every time I was my hair, and guh.  I couldn’t get it through my hair.  I tried another section, same thing.  And another, and then another.  The only part I could successfully comb through was my bangs.

I panicked.  Part of this may be chalked up to a very late Oscar-watching night, that was complete with a few Guinness’s.  Part of it may be blamed on the fact that I was already an hour late getting out of bed, too.

Nonetheless, I panicked.

I jumped back into the shower and pulled out the high-test drugstore shampoo – filled my palm with the stuff, and lathered myself silly.  I ran my fingers through my hair with it, and it was slightly more manageable, although still very stick-togethery.  I followed that up with my usual daily shampoo, and after that it was back to what I considered normal.

I got out of the shower again, and was able to towel dry it to my usual standard.  It was still a struggle to get the comb through it, but I was able to do so.  I followed it up with a spray-on leave-in conditioner for good measure.

Five hours later, as I type this post, my hair looks like it’s been days without washing.  And feels both greasy and strawlike, not sure how that’s even possible.

Needless to say, I think it’s gonna be a while before I try another “clean” shampoo…

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