...comes the story of HOW TO WASH YOUR HAIR WITH PORRIDGE.
I think the funnest part of no-poo, or anti-sham, for me is that I am a witch at heart. I love experimenting, making potions, making things up as I go along. I can't fully indulge my love of witchery in cooking, because too many things go wrong - cakes deflate, soups overboil, and, in the end, you actually have to eat the stupid thing. But making shampoo?
Now that I can do.
I still wash my hair every day, mostly because I feel okay with that - after all, no harsh detergents are coming near my precious tresses - and because I play with my hair so much that my hair is in dire need of a good scrub by lunchtime. And, because it's ridiculously fun making all of my concoctions.
My two main shampoos are my brown sugar scrub and my applesauce shampoo, which I have adapted from widely-used recipes in the no-poo community. I was really surprised on how well the brown sugar scrub tackled my notoriously oily hair - who knew that honey could actually make your hair clean? Applesauce is also pretty amazing, as well.
I add tea tree oil, witch hazel and cinnamon to my shampoo recipes. Cinnamon is meant to prevent hair fall, tea tree is antibacterial and antifungal, and witch hazel, which I have been using as a toner for a long time, is a good astringent which prevents scalp problems.
I've started using black tea for my rinse, because of the higher caffeine content - caffeine is meant to block the DHT hormones that cause hair loss, and the tannins in black tea thicken the hair shaft. Black tea is also supposed to darken the hair, which is apparently getting lightened by the honey and cinnamon I use a lot in my recipes. So now my hair is very, very dark, with a lovely red glow from the henna I did a little while ago, and the cinnamon, I suppose. I used to add a little tiny dab of coconut oil, before deciding that it was more trouble than it's worth (my previous crowing was a direct result of triumph rather than rational thinking) and honey, but the tea has to prove for half an hour, and nothing really dissolves properly in cold tea. My rosemary acid conditioner is still brewing...
I have graduated from basic white vinegar to apple cider vinegar - which is much more acidic, and also has the mystical benefits of...apples. Yeah, I don't really get it, but apparently apple cider vinegar is the bees knees of no-poo. I add a tablespoon to the shampoo and two tablespoons to the rinse. And no, I don't smell of vinegar. I think.
I wanted to experiment with a new shampoo recipe, mostly because I'm probably running out of applesauce and using far too much of my mother's organic raw honey. I've used oats before as a face mask, and I know it can be used on animals and humans (hair's hair, right?) to cure and sooth a variety of skin diseases. I've seen shampoo that claims to have 'extract of oats' in it all the time. Oats mixed with cold cream is also a traditional remedy for rough elbows. I figured...why not?
This is, however, the first recipe I've kind of made up completely - there isn't a lot of literature on How to Wash Your Hair with Porridge. Here is what I came up with, based on what I know and like:
Three tablespoons of oats (I only had quick-cooking rolled oats, I'm sure any oats are fine), about a teaspoon of cinnamon, a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and three drops of tea tree oil. I added enough boiling water to make a thick paste and thinned it out with witch hazel. I kind of made this a little while before actually showering, and I had to thin it out again with yet more witch hazel because it kind of became oatmeal cement. In my experience, the closer it is in consistency to a store-bought shampoo or conditioner, the easier it is to handle.
It was quite sticky and, when mixed with water, very slippy, but otherwise it wasn't so bad. But it was a bitch to wash out, though! Seriously, I never thought I'd get it all out of my hair. It might be easier if I had colloidal oatmeal but, ya know...blenders aren't really my thing. I wouldn't have been so paranoid about it had I not had black hair...
I used my black tea rinse, washed that out, and my towel dried hair felt pretty...bleh. Because I am not such a huge fan of bleh hair, I rubbed two drops of argan oil into the ends and lengths. Big mistake.
Becauuuuuse.....my hair is freaking LOVING PORRIDGE. And my hair never really got on well with argan oil. So now my hair feels and looks lovely, but has a couple of random greasy bits. FML.
And so porridge joins my rotation of shampoo. I think it's important to rotate these things
Tomorrow I shall wear my hair in a ponytail as penance. And so that I stop freaking playing with it.