The Real Green: Healthy Hair

One of the first projects I took on, back in 2008, when I was ready to go “deep green” was to get natural with my hair. I had a very strong hunch that my hair would be much more beautiful and healthy if I could find a way to maintain it more naturally. My hair is naturally pretty oily and everything I had read made me believe I could find a way to reduce the oiliness and still enjoy beautiful hair.

I went cold turkey, getting rid of all my styling products and shampoo and conditioner. I started experimenting with “no-poo” (baking soda) and vinegar rinses. I loved it. Unfortunately, I found that long-term no-poo’ing made my scalp a little dry and itchy.

At that point, I tried making my own shampoo out of castile soap mixed with water. That actually worked well, too, but was sometimes a bit heavy for me.

Years later, I transitioned to shampoo bars (my favorites are Sellwood Soap and Aquarian Bath) which I also found a little heavy, but I loved how long they lasted and how easy it was to use.

Eight years later, I’m still going strong. I still use all these methods to wash my hair, occasionally rotating them. In general, I’m very happy with all these methods.

For a long time, I tried to give up styling agents, as well as products – meaning curling irons, hot rollers and straighteners. But after seeing pictures of myself that made me feel self-conscious, I decided to go back to using hot rollers, but I still refuse to use styling products, even though my hair sometimes gets a little messy on windy days.

There are a few inconveniences – for instance, my hair gets tangled easily, it leaves a gray, waxy buildup on my brushes that is a pain to clean off and it’s still oily, despite my best efforts – but I have never been tempted to go back to commercial products even after all these years.

On the plus side, my hair is healthy, shiny and beautiful. My hair dresser often says she can’t believe how healthy my hair is, which I take as a huge compliment. These tresses are 100% natural and I’m very pleased with the way I look. Most of the time.