I Used Not-Clean Shampoo All Weekend And All I Got Was a Crappy ‘Do
So how’s this for irony: The weekend I decide to do the Summer Hair Challenge for my picture is also the weekend I go upstate with friends and dutifully pack my toiletries, not forgetting my toothbrush for once and even remembering to bring my Hope Gillerman Muscle Relief and my Lotus Wei Infinite Love Elixir. What’s the one thing I forget, though? My clean shampoo and conditioner, naturally.
Especially ugh because before hopping in the car, I took a sweaty yoga class—which meant showering and hair washing was going to have to happen at some point. Another problem? We’d planned a scary-hard day hike and after that, indulgent massages at the lovely (and, I’m happy to report, ALL-CLEAN) Mohonk Mountain spa, which, incidentally, carries Lotus Wei—but not shampoo and conditioner. En tout cas, a massage meant someone was probably going to rub oil into my sweaty-from-hiking scalp, necessitating more hair washing.
Maybe you’re thinking, “What on earth is wrong with this chick—can’t she live with a little dirty hair for a weekend?” I mean… Greasy hair is bad enough, but when it’s greasy and sweaty and the air is damp but also hot, it’s a recipe for feeling completely revolting. Plus, I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was a little curious about the Aveeno and the Pantene in the bathroom…
Would my hair be all silicone-sleek and easy to manage? Would I maybe even love the smell? Would it dry quicker with the blowdryer? Would I discover volume I hadn’t seen in ages?
Uhhhhh, ahhhhhhh! Here’s what happened.
Shampoo, day one. Yup, I totally used the Pantene. I read the ingredients while I lathered it into my scalp, trying not to remember what Dr. Mitchell Kline told me while we were writing the book (refresher: Sulfates go right into your scalp!) and banishing thoughts of the inevitable rash to come. I took a deep breath and holy fragrance, batman. Here’s the thing: Alexandra used to use fistfuls of this stuff and hugging her was always a delight because I adore her but also because her hair always smelled so delicious. We’ve talked about this before but it’s always surprising when it hits you again: When you abandon synthetic fragrance and then come upon it again (in an elevator, say, or at Sephora), it kind of makes you want to die. Anyway, I washed my hair with those gigantic Pantene bubbles, slicked on some silicone-filled conditioner, rinsed it and found that my hair felt very slimy even after a long hard rinse. Next up, the blow dry.
Once done, my hair looked, in a word, sick. It was super-shiny from the ‘cones, but not in a pretty way. The ends were going every which way, and it was limp at the top. The smell got to me, too. Better luck next time?
Shampoo, day two: This time I tried the Aveeno. Aveeno’s marketing always irks me (I find it to be greenwashy) and it’s not at all gluten-free, but I did notice it lathered a lot less than the Pantene (though still way more than, say, Rahua or C Tonics) and the fragrance was further down on the ingredient list, making the scent far less pungent. I used a tiny amount on my scalp to rinse the massage grease from me, and then decided to forgo conditioner altogether. There was still oil left over from the spa, and silicones don’t typically wash off in a day. Lo and behold, I could draw a comb through my hair no problem without conditioner. But…
Once dry, I was afflicted with the same gross-shiny mane. Only difference: Lots of volume at the roots, and a less lingering scent.
When I got home last night I decided to wash my hair with my clean stuff and air dry it, then I went to sleep. The resulting photo is my Summer Hair Challenge picture. I emailed it to Alexandra this morning with the subject line “Where’d my waves go?” and in the body of the email: “Let’s discuss.”
Consider this post that discussion. After a weekend of using gross products, my hair isn’t what it would have been otherwise. I’m not mad at how it looks today, but it isn’t exactly representative of how it normally looks when I airdry, and I think it might be a week or so before it’s back to normal.
Anyone else have a cheating-with-conventional-products horror story they want to share? Please?