Smoky Mountains Tennessee

I’M BACK. With Moonshine

Put this on:

yes, i caught a southern accent while there. omg, i’m such a damnyankee. it’s gone now, thankfully.

Anyway, we had an absolute blast! Our cabin was lovely, in the mountains, driving up/down the mountain was terrifying. You could smell the brakes. So our original plan was to get to the cabin, To Catch A Falling Star, and drop off our stuff and get some groceries. Well, getting seven flatlanders from Illinois up that kind of incline, kind of made us never want to go back down…so we ordered pizza. Pro Tip: If you order pizza, and ask the delivery driver to bring coffee grounds (we couldn’t live without it) and offer him extra tip, he totally will. Duh.

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i cropped out the tourist trap area.

No one told me that Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge was a TOURIST TRAP. Oh my Lord. It was like being at the Dells in WIS. It was ridiculous! But hey, it was fun. We did some tourist stuff.

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this was a serious tourist trap, but the moonshine was delicious!

Also, we did a chair ride to catch the view:

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you can see that IT’S A TRAP!

We also did some hiking, or, more accurately, rambling in the woods taking seflies and eating snacks. Let me set up the scene:

The photographer has been waiting all day for the light. His camera is set up, film is ready, now he waits. He wants a picture of a small group of falls. Just as the light gets right, seven kids (me in the trunk, btw) pile out of a car making off color jokes, eating snacks and taking selfies. He hates us.

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really, I would hate us too.

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So after we ruined everyone’s day at the national park…

We had a hot tub, which we used liberally and a LOT of alcohol. It was a damn fine time. My husband was “house husband” and being the only male, got a fine taste of how polygamy must be awful. Poor guy. We had a great time though! 😀

Back to Hooking.

Sorry, I had to use that title. It was one of those kind of things. You can’t crochet without using at least one “hooker” joke per month.

In repentance, look at the story of my life:

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In all honesty, you’re more interesting when you have food.

One of my very good friends is having a hard time right now and my repertoire of responses to that situation is either food or gift related. Having a bad day? You need an entire pie. Or…maybe just a crochet scarf? Will that do? I certainly hope so.

I hopped off to the craft store, on another unrelated mission and stopped by the yarn. I was looking for a hunter green, but I just could not find the right color. I found a very pretty skein for myself, but not what I was looking for. I knew I had some leftover grey from that infamous poncho, so I was hoping that would be all right.

I wanted to do something different and it had to be sort of unisex for this particular person, to match their style. After trying out a few swatches, I went with a front post crochet to create a ribbed texture and worked the scarf along the long edge, rather than keeping the rows short. I think it looks rather smart. Which was the goal, duh.

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 THE DUCK FACES WILL CONTINUE UNTIL I FIGURE OUT HOW TO NOT HAVE RESTING B*TCH FACE.

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I really do like the texture. I think it will look good on my friend.

Having hauled through that while watching Hoarding: Buried Alive which is the replacement for Hoarders WHICH WAS A WAY BETTER SHOW AND GOT TAKEN OVER TO SHOWCASE FAKE REDNECKS. Bunch of wannabes. There is a process for being a redneck. Convenient segue, that post is about hoarding flowers. Ugh. Anyway, while I was binge watching the show I knocked out the scarf in about 3 hours. Give or take time for snacks, of course. Can’t not have snacks. I go to the gym, so I can have snacks.

Now, of course, I am on a roll and itching to start a new project, so I whipped out my new yarn and started a scarf that I modified from another pattern entirely. I’ve made this scarf before, you’ve seen it on myself and on my stinkhound. Actually, I made it for brittlynnstalker, but I like it so much I kept it, then immediately went to the store, bought another of the same skein and made her one. We match. Duuuuh. That’s starting out rather well,

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 I think I am going to make it an infinity scarf this time.

Other than that, I’ve continued to be rather dull. Which is fine by me, I’ve had plenty of excitement for a while, thank you.

Oh, lest I forget, I did have to express Abraham’s anal glands. How fun! I put in a how to for ya. In case you ever need it. Just so you know, I did work at a vet clinic as a cleaning person when I was like 16, but I occasionally got pressed into unpleasant service, so I’ve done it before. Not like I’m not used to butts at this point in my life.

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butt.

Oh, Make Me Over…

I’m all I wanna be.

Super duper vanity post. But, as my life has slowed down to a normal pace, I have nothing on my hooks, sewing machine or in the oven. I’ve been reading, ok? Stephen King. I get lost in books sometimes. Oh, trust me, there is a To Do List. I have another baby blanket, paid in full. I have the fringe on that infamous poncho. Oh, I did send my baby fishies home with my mother in law. Not sure if they made more or not. I would wager that, as Giorgio Tsoukalos would say “The answer is YES!” They are quite the breeders.

Anyway, back to me being vain and what not…I got my hair cut…

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always with the stink face…

I just…needed a hair cut, man. I am totally not kidding. The last time I got a hair cut, it was one of those cheap and quick ones. The girl did do a good job, but my hair is just, not anyone’s friend. I got a really awful cut like a year ago (hint, WAY TOO MANY LAYERS!!) and my hair just hasn’t been manageable since. I’ve been putting band aids on it, but seriously, this person cut a layer that is, now at least a year later, only three inches long. So…that means it was like an inch long. I’m not kidding. It was soooooo bad. And there were a LOT of layers. So it was constantly getting tangled. Ugh! So I went to a real salon. God help me, the woman was like “whoa, who in the actual cut your hair like that?” I just, had no comment. I asked her to take off as many of the layers as possible. So that’s where we are. Ugh, I’m not super pleased. I mean, yes, it’s not constantly tangled, but man, it’s short for me. She couldn’t get that stupid 3″ layer, so I’m going back in 6 weeks, maybe we can get it out then. So stupid. Don’t let children cut your hair. This is what I get since my hair cutting friend left me for Chicago. She cut my hair perfect. All I had to do was buy her dinner. Oh and, one final note: “JUST BECAUSE I DON’T PUT ANYTHING IN MY HAIR DOESN’T MEAN I DON’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT HAIR, THANK YOU.” I was bleach blonde for a bit back in the day. I know how hair works. I think I annoyed her with my whole no poo thing. She talked to me like I was born in the back of a greasy spoon. But oh well, as long as she gets the damn layers out and I can go back to growing my hair.

Ok, so good stuff! I’m down 13#! Whoot whoot! And my muscles are coming back! I was so depressed after my knee problem (ahem, NO THANKS OBAMACARE.) I just stopped going to the gym and lost my lady guns. I look, like, 1000000xs more like myself.

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just, don’t ask about my #selfies. long story, inside joke. involved teasing one of my friends who brained herself with a wine bottle.

This is right when I gained a bunch of weight:

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#ancientaliensshirt from, like, my first post?

I’m pretty happy about that! I knew as soon as I got running again, things would get better. At the time, I was just like FORGET THIS.  You can’t run 20 miles a week and then just stop and expect nothing to happen. Onward and downward? I’ve got about another 20# to lose and I’ll be back to my old self again. Anyway, I’m going to go read my book. Tomorrow, crochet. Ta ta!

No Poo Number Three “Sebum Only”

Sorry I’ve been away for a bit. Nothing interesting happened and I was busy playing with trouble kitty and working. I did managed to have a lot of fun. Fall is awesome this year, the weather is great! I haven’t had a desire to be inside. I’ll post some photos at the bottom of this, just for fun.

I’ve never been a big fan of rules. I’m a libertarian, after all. Why did the chicken cross the road? NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS AND AM I BEING DETAINED?

wpid-2014-10-12-19.48.25.png.pngproof that I was being an idiot with a foam finger long before miley cyrus was out of diapers!

As you may recall, I have been no poo for some time and was to the point where I was only using water to “wash” my hair. That was all fine and dandy until I became aware that my hair was kind of dry on the ends. At first, I thought a good haircut would do the trick, I used to wear my hair up all the time and thought that I had a lot of breakage from that. I’ll be honest, genetically, I have terrible hair. Thin and wispy. My mother couldn’t get hers past her shoulders. The fact that I even can mange moderately long hair is a miracle. It used to be a lot worse until I went no poo.

I got my hair cut, professionally. This was a big step for me as I am very leery of hairdressers. I’ve gotten a mommy mullet cut when I was entirely too young for such a terrible hair cut, so I have my reasons. Obviously, mommy mullet was not my intended hair cut. I have legitimately never had a good experience with a professional cut, style or color.  Anyway, the woman there did a great job. She actually just simply did what I asked her. How novel.

After that, it was still dry. Okay, fine. I dumped a bit of coconut oil on it and brushed, brushed, brushed. That helped phenomenally. Then I came across the “sebum only” concept. I paid it very little mind until I read that too much water can make your hair dry. Cue light bulb over my head.

Okay, then, let’s give it a swing. For a week I did not get my hair wet. I showered (I’m not completely disgusting) and avoided getting my hair wet. I kept it in braids, because after 4 days, I was getting pretty greasy. No one noticed. Day 8 I decided I was sick of putting my hair up so I took a nice tub soak and scrubbed my scalp. When dry, it actually looked much better, believe it or not. My ends looked much more moisturized. So now, three days since that bath, this is my hair:

wpid-20141017_104008.jpgI would call this a good hair day!

My head does smell a bit mustier than usual, but not terrible, I’m still getting the swing of this. The ends are a lot better. I am going to try to go a week and a half without wetting it. Baby steps. Also I am brushing like a madwoman and am going to ramp up how often I clean my brushes. Wish me luck!

As promised, here are some photos of my recent adventures:

 wpid-20141016_110528.jpgtrouble kitty is watching you make stool

wpid-20141010_165821.jpgour backyard red maple

 wpid-20141007_103808.jpgstarted some granny squares for a hoodie, inspired by this post.

 wpid-20141005_141003.jpganother road trip scarf for a friend

wpid-20141005_140519.jpgangie and abraham are getting along

 wpid-20140927_112558.jpgthe baby fish are getting big!! there’s four

wpid-20140930_180951.jpgstunning view i thought

wpid-20141001_075736.jpgour red maple again. such a beautiful tree.

Ok, that’s it for now! I have to go pick up a kombacha scoby for a friend. I got a lead on it and my friend wants one, so I’m off! Have a great day and I’ll be back to check on you all in a little bit!

Falling Face First Into Fall

Dear Illinois:

You’re terrible with the weather.

Love, BMary.

I believe it was, oh, two days ago, was 80 degrees and humid. And now, we are in the 50’s, if we’re lucky! Bonus if there is sunshine! Who the heck plans this stuff? I know it’s September, but seriously! Calm down, Illinois, you’re drunk. Go home, take a pill and lay down. Pluto is not a planet. How much did you drink?

Anyway, apparently it is FALL RIGHT THIS MINUTE YOU GUYS CEREALLY, RIGHT THIS MINUTE. So my husband and I hit an apple orchard and got some (duh) apples, cider, doughnuts, fudge and possibly diabetes. I can make that joke, right?

We had a great time, I completely forgot my phone at home so I have literally no pictures of this grand outing. Which, in hindsight, was all right. The place had just opened for the season, so just the store area was open. No corn maze or hay ride or petting zoo yet. Damn. Also, we’d need to borrow a kid if there was a petting zoo, because you bet your back end I’d go in there to pet the baby goats and whatnot. It’s the kind of thing you need a kid to get away with though, it’s weird to see some almost thirty year old squeeing over baby animals. That almost thirty year old being me. Don’t judge me. I like animals and I like to pet them.

I did get something productive done, however, I finished the Road Trip Scarf! I wrote about it’s beginning here and I got stalled by not calculating the right amount of yarn needed. Even after 3 skeins of 145 yard yarn, I still needed to borrow from my stash for the tassels and flowers. I went tassel crazy, not going to lie.

wpid-20140914_145401.jpgI PEED IN THE POOL!

I was sort of inspired by the shirt I procured the other day. Fringe is back, baby! I love fringe! So I went nuts with the tassels. Instead of weaving in any ends, I just added a few more strands of yarn and braided them together. Best idea ever. I got the buttons from my grandmother’s stash that I inherited.

I’ve also already started another version…and ran out of yarn…I am terrible at thingslike countingor making adult decisionsand portion controland rambling

wpid-20140914_191215.jpglove me some UGLY yarn! I was dying to think of a project for this yarn.

wpid-20140914_162833.jpgAngie helped.

Tomorrow is that husband and I’s “dating anniversary” which is silly to celebrate, since we’re married. But only freshly married. Like, we still haven’t managed to squeeze out a honeymoon yet. So we’re going to celebrate that for the last time. Probably dinner and drinks and fart jokes. You can’t go without fart jokes. Ben Franklin rolled with the fart jokes and he’s on the $100 bill.

Keeping it classy over here in Illinois,

xxxbmary

No Poo Number Two

As I have said before, I don’t wash my hair. This is commonly referred to as “No Poo” and now that we have gotten that clarified that for once I am not talking about poop, I would like to write another post about it. My first post regarding No Poo mostly discussed what it is, how it’s done, a plan if you wanted to go No Poo and some troubleshooting. If this is your first trip learning about No Poo, I suggest tackling that post first and then coming back to this one. I am running on the assumption that you know what I am talking about. I did also discuss brush cleaning, which is a must for No Poo.

Ok, let’s get some Grateful Dead going here!

if we’re going to act like hippies, we better listen to hippie music, dammit.

So, it has been brought to my attention (and I did also discuss this in the first post) that it is almost impossible to find a information from someone who has successfully gone No Poo. Many posts are from beginners and sooner or later, many of them discuss how they failed and went back to shampoo, or often called “low poo.” It’s like a cult, or something.

FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION!

If you sincerely want to go No Poo, and I completely understand if you don’t, I have some Golden Rules:

1. The first rule of No Poo Club is do not talk about No Poo Club.

I am being completely serious here. If you want to go No Poo, do not tell anyone. Why, you ask? Well, let’s be frank. Not using shampoo is weird and if you tell people you stopped using shampoo, every time they see you they are going to look directly at your head. And probably have some thoughts on it. Which, if you’re having a bad day, which happens, the last thing you probably want to hear is commentary from the peanut gallery. I didn’t tell anyone until I had been doing it for about 3 months. Mostly I got a “Huh. You looked a little greasy a couple days, but I didn’t really notice.”

2. You have to be prepared to work for it and be prepared for it to suck if you don’t. Or just be prepared for it to suck.

Honestly, it’s not terribly hard, but like any new skill, it takes some getting used to. And some days, maybe you don’t feel like rubbing your scalp with baking soda and using vinegar. Well, you might have gross hair that day. Sorry. Some days, your hair might be too dry and you might (ask me how I know) decide to put way too much oil in your hair and it won’t rinse out for three days. You have to experiment, everyone’s head is different and there is no one-size-fits-all option. Now, on a less ominous note, this is only in the beginning, IT WILL GET BETTER, promise! You just have to work it. I took me at least three months to get a rhythm down. I had to find out what worked, what didn’t and make my own rules a bit. It was months until I got down to one baking soda/vinegar shampoo per month. It took years to go completely water rinses only. Was it worth it? Abso-fricking-lutely.

3. BUY A VERY NICE BRISTLE BRUSH. NO CHEAP BRUSH. A NICE ONE.

Honestly, I can’t scream this enough. A crappy cheap brush will not do you a single favor. Buy a real one. Spend some money. I like Kent. Literally, when I first used mine, it was a miracle. It has made my life so much easier, it’s hard to describe. I got the one for thin hair (mine is thin) and it literally was like BAM! MAGIC YOUR HAIR IS NOW PERFECT. Seriously. It’s up from $20. MAKE THE INVESTMENT. No arguing!

Alright, now that we have the rules out of the way, let’s switch gears a bit, Uncle John’s Band, anyone? I love this song.

Back to business. So how did I tackle the No Poo mountain? Well, I read tons of information about it. Here are some links for your enjoyment:

To be completely honest, you should read as much as you feel comfortable with. I spent a long time reading about it and I found a lot of common themes that I would like to “debunk” here.

I am trying x plus x in my hair with a little of x and it’s my homemade recipe!

Okay, then. There is nothing, let me repeat, nothing more important than experimenting with No Poo, you have to find out what works for you. So please, if you want, try all the fun and funky no poo recipes out there, have fun, but just be completely honest about how well they work. If you want to go completely No Poo into the forbidden Water Only crowd, you’ll have to give this stuff up eventually. But have fun!

WHAT IS THE MAGIC INGREDIENT TO SOLVE X PROBLEM?

Well, it depends on the problem. The problems I have seen can be wildly specific or wildly random, but they all boil down to the same old thing. It’s “I am not happy with the stage in No Poo and I am freaking out.” Honestly, you’ve got to roll with the punches. Good days, bad days, you’ll eventually add up to awesome days. Just relax and go with the flow. Dry hair? Add a tiny bit of oil. Greasy hair? Use the baking soda/vinegar or I personally just take a hot bath and find my hair problems solved. The goal, at least in my mind, was to be rid of all shampoo and all products in my hair. So I would let my hair get oily and gross. As long as I could stand it. Then I would use the baking soda/vinegar. Repeat. The longer you stretch it out, the faster your hair will adjust.

I’ve given up and gone “low poo”

It’s okay. Let me repeat, It’s OK. Some things don’t work for everyone, so chalk it up to experience! You tried it, you didn’t like it and it’s okay.

Now here’s what to expect if you go long term, my fourish year journey. When I started, I was dyeing my hair. I did not use shampoo when these pictures were taken.

I started out with hair dyed black.

wpid-screenshot_2014-04-29-18-24-41-1.pngok, it was a little green…

Then I began to slowly dye my hair brown, my goal was to get back to my natural hair color without having to bleach it or strip it.

wpid-screenshot_2014-04-29-18-24-55-1.pngyou can see the brown against the black…

Then when I reached a suitably close to my natural color, I stopped dyeing all together.

wpid-screenshot_2014-04-29-18-26-21-1.pngyou can see the dirty blonde coming through, and you can see I was a little greasy that day. Also I was illustrating my desire to shoot myself at work.

Today, after work at the factory (yes, I work in a factory now, very glamorous! Honestly, much more satisfying than my old corporate job.)

wpid-20140429_202013.jpgyes, I am on the toilet. get it? no poo? I’m HILarious.

This is where I am today. All the black is out and I have just a few inches of brown left. My hair grows very slowly. Want to see me as a bleach blonde?

wpid-screenshot_2014-04-29-18-25-11-1.pngthis was like a million years ago!

Anyway, I hoped those pictures helped you a bit. I had good days and I had bad days but I kept on trucking…

..because I really, really wanted to give up shampoo. So just keep trucking on. That’s my best advice.

The Jeep Apparently Got Jealous of the Bike and the Sewing Machine

Le sigh.

My Jeep, beloved Jeep, 1996 Cherokee Classic with

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miles on it started complaining yesterday.

Brief aside: I saw a commercial bragging that “they had more cars with over 100,000 miles on the road than any other car company” and I laughed so hard I had to go outside, gather more oxygen in a bushel basket and then continue to laugh.

Now, I know I am a girl and I am not supposed to know anything about cars. But I can tell you a few things:

  1. I have had enough Jeep maintenance to usually have a pretty solid clue what is going on
  2. Boys, oh those precious boys, don’t know as much as they pretend to.
  3. My Jeep is old, man!

My Jeep has a name too, it’s name is Low Spark. I name everything because I probably prefer to yell at things by a name rather than as an object. It’s more satisfying to yell, “DON’T WORRY, LOW SPARK, MOMMA GONNA GET YOU SOME GAS, GIRL!” than to just growl at the gas gauge. It’s actually named after this fantastic song:

ANYWAY. So Low Spark was being cranky. I started her up the other day and she was growling and scraping at me. Well, I have had starters go bad precisely twice, so I know what a fun sound that is. But I am a bit puzzled. I SUPPOSEDLY got a new starter about 3 years ago from the World’s Drunkest and Most Sexist Mechanic. I did not go to WDMSM of my own volition, it was out of my hands and let me tell you; a bad time was had by all.

Firstly, it wasn’t the starter going bad. It wasn’t grinding, it was being lazy and starting fine after I sat on it and gave it some gas. I had to have someone drop it off while I was at work and they took it to WDMSM. So I told the WDMSM that it probably wasn’t the starter. He drunkenly (I am pretty freaking confident about the drunk part) told me it was and he had already put it in. Great. Not even three days later, Low Spark is acting a fool again. So I took it to my BELOVED mechanics, who are not SEXIST nor DRUNK and they EXPLAIN FULLY what is wrong, lo and behold, it was the distributor cap. One teensy weensy like $50 later and it was all better. What a jerk. Oh, did I mention WDMSM refused to speak directly at me? Despite the fact that I WAS HOLDING THE CHECKBOOK FOR MY JEEP and I just happened to have a MALE give me a ride. He only talked to the MALE who was not paying. Seriously, I was MAD. But, I digress.

So as I am now in another city, I couldn’t take Low Spark to my Beloved Most Excellent Wonderful Mechanic, but I took her to one of their sister stores. They seem all right, time will tell. They do look me in the eye and take me seriously, so I’ve got that going for me. We’re getting to know each other.

wpid-20140314_080110.jpgthis is how i keep the hatch of the jeep from braining me while i use it. she’s old!

I biked back home, since I hate sitting around at repair shops and would rather be a chatty cathy with you guys. Awaiting their call…

So what else? I finally finished that tunic top redo, which I made much smaller than the original. I think it looks cute! My focus was on straight seams, so I added a few that were not called for in the pattern.

wpid-20140314_082503.jpgworst selfie ever.

wpid-20140314_082907.jpgwait, this might be worse…should I flash an imaginary gang sign or something?? HOW DO YOU TAKE A SELFIE?

Obviously, there are some bits here and there that I can nitpick at all day if I wanted, but overall I am pleased with it.

wpid-20140314_083210.jpgapparently i was drunk taking this photo…BLURRY FRONT!

wpid-20140314_083159.jpgback, must’ve sobered up.

wpid-20140314_083248.jpgmade two rows of stitches for the hem, for practice, not too bad!

wpid-20140314_083320.jpgadded more top stitching to the straps and the band around the top.

wpid-20140314_083121.jpgphotobomb curtsey of the aloe vera plant

So for now I am just hanging out waiting for a call about my Jeep. I might have more misadventures later, but it’s sit around and drink tea and continue in the crochet sweatshop. I am making pretty good progress! I would say I am about a quarter of the way done! Maybe I’ll have a wedding dress by June, otherwise, I am just going to wrap myself in yarn. It’s modern art, people. #yolo #criesatnight #doesnthavemanyfriends

It’s getting weird in here without the Jeep…

No Poo Hair Care How To (with 4 years experience!)

Good morning!

wpid-20140205_093105.jpgpre-coffee

Today I want to write about No Poo Hair care, which is something I probably should have done a while ago. I was tra la la-ing through blogs yesterday and I bumped into a lovely post from a beginner No Poo’er. Of course I read it and left some, hopefully, helpful commentary. This reminded me of when I first started No Poo. Rarely do you find an “update” or “x many years later” about the topic. Mostly it’s beginners starting off. So I am here to fix that!

I have been No Poo for about 4 years. I stopped using baking soda and vinegar 2 years in and only wash my hair with water.

BEFORE YOU READ:

1. I AM WHITE

2. I HAVE STRAIGHT THIN HAIR

Please be AWARE that if you are a different race or have a different texture of hair, you might want to look into some other writer’s thoughts on No Poo as well. Hair type matters. Basically, the method is the same, but you may want to look into tips specifically for your hair.

This is how I am going to set it up for you:

A. What is No Poo?

B. How to wash your hair in the No Poo Method

C. The Plan for Going No Poo (what I did and results)

D. Troubleshooting

wpid-20140205_065802.jpgthis is my hair, literally immediately after the gym. i just took it down, shook it and there it is.

A. What Is No Poo?

No Poo is basically the cession of the use of shampoo. Gradually, you wean your hair off of shampoo and use a different method. The typical method is baking soda and apple cider vinegar. Generally, you “wash” your hair with baking soda and then “condition” it with apple cider vinegar. And why would anyone do this? Well, you no longer have to buy shampoo or conditioner. So, less money spend, less bottles in the garbage. Also, there are claims of nasty evil chemicals in shampoo. Is there merit to that? I don’t know and I don’t worry about it. I don’t think they make shampoo with GMO Diet Coke and McDonalds, but who knows?

My personal thought is that my hair has evolved over bazillions of years and I doubt some CEOs at a shampoo company have a better idea what my hair needs than my own head and genetics. They want to sell shampoo. Duh. It really does do wonders for your hair. My hair was very thin and brittle (thanks, creative dye jobs) and now it is thicker (still on the thin side) and much, much stronger, it does not break as easily. Also in general I have less frizz, my hair dries much faster and sweat wicks off when I am at the gym so my head doesn’t stink like a foot. My hair combs better, stays styled better and in general, looks better consistently. Like 99.9% good hair days. I forgot what a bad hair day was. I no longer use any hot styling tools as they have become unnecessary.

wpid-20140205_092909.jpgthat’s the side of my head, guys!

B. How To Wash Your Hair in the No Poo Method

This is where I am going to get sincerely long winded. But I want you to know 100% the exact details of how to do this to set you up for success. Did I follow these rules to the letter? Not always, but if something started to go amiss, I could usually ferret out the reason. This stuff does not feel good in your eyes, so avoid that.

I am going to reenact this for you, but I am not going to actually use the products. I’m going to dump them in the toilet and see if they clean it. I’ve heard that works well, so why not?

wpid-20140205_081015.jpgstuff.

Things You Will Need (NOT NEGOTIABLE!)

1. Baking Soda (here on out known as BS)

2. Apple Cider Vinegar (here on out known as ACV)

3. 2 Cups (I use coffee mugs)

4. Water and a Shower (ok, duh, sorry)

5. 10 Extra Minutes of Time

6. A GOOD Bristle Brush. I like Kent. They run up from $20.

wpid-20140205_074518.jpggather your stuff.

Step One:

Measure out about a teaspoon of BS into one cup and a tablespoon of ACV into the other. Add enough water to fill the cups. About 3/4 C. You might find you need more or less. No Poo is very much determined by your hair type. You have to experiment.

wpid-20140205_074607.jpgthat looks kind of like pee.

wpid-20140205_074624.jpgi am sure without a visual aid, you couldn’t handle this.

wpid-20140205_074714.jpgstill looks like pee. stir around the BS to make sure it mixes well.

Step Two:

Either use your sink or your tub. I prefer my tub, because it’s easier to kneel in front of it for me. PREPARE A TOWEL! Kneel or stand over the tub/sink. Pour a quarter of the BS mixture onto the back of your head. Use your fingers to scrub. Take your time. We’ll wait. Repeat for the sides of your head and your forehead. Focus only on your scalp and scrub deep.

Step Three:

Rinse all of the BS out! Your hair should feel squeaky. Like that is the best I can come up with. Squeaky.

Step Four:

Dip the ends of your hair into the ACV cup, as deep as you can get them then pour the rest onto your head. Let it sit for a few second. Squeeze out the excess.

Step Five:

Take a shower, you filth pit! Avoid rinsing the ACV until the end. You will smell the ACV, but as soon as your hair dries it disappears. Rinse with cold water to close up the hair cuticle. (I did find a post contradicting this, however it also said that if you don’t wash your hair it could become inflamed and your oil glands produce the same amount of oil no matter what. I smell bull crap and quackery.)

Step Six:

Whether you No Poo or not, you should make sure to NOT USE FRICTION to dry your hair. Squeeze out the water, shake, squeeze. Blot up moisture with a towel. Wrap your hair into the towel and let it air dry. I usually leave it in the towel for ten to fifteen minutes and then I let it out to finish drying. I rarely blow dry, about once a year. Since my hair now dries straight, it is not necessary. Do not brush it until it is at least mostly dry.

Step Seven:

When your hair is dry, brush it out with your bristle brush, I do on average 20 strokes but sometimes I will go off on a daydream and do 100 or more. Pull sections of your hair and brush from root to tip to distribute the oils.

Step Eight:

Enjoy your amazing hair!

wpid-20140205_093134.jpgi just am not good at taking pictures.

C. The Plan For No Poo

Ideally, you want to stop using all forms of shampoo, BS/ACV and just wash with water. It takes some time to get there. It took me two years and I have not washed my hair with anything but water. You probably aren’t interested in that quite yet. So let’s make a plan. I am going to call these “Phases” because each phase has no time limit and entirely depends on your personal preferences.

I am going to assume you shower every day, or nearly. When you shower, SCRUB YOUR SCALP. Give it a good rub down with your fingers for at least a minute.

Phase One:

Stop buying shampoo. Duh. Start washing your hair less often. When I started, I washed every other day and I cut it down to two days a week. Condition as normal.

Phase Two:

Conditioner only washing. Wash your hair, again as little as you can get by with, but only with conditioner. It contains most of the same ingredients as your shampoo, I dare to assume. Go ahead, look at your bottle. Try to keep it at twice a week.

Phase Three:

Ditch the commercial stuff. Hold off on washing until literally you can’t stand it. Ponytails and braids are your new best friends. Do the No Poo method when it gets bad. I did it once a week in the beginning, and then once every two weeks. It gets better, promise. You just have to be patient!

Phase Four:

Keep trying to minimize the amount of times you use BS/ACV. Keep dragging it out as long as you can. Your head needs to adjust. Strange things might happen, be patient! When you get to once every three months, you can get ready to make the jump!

Phase Five:

Water only. You can get there, I promise. Just keep trucking along. Read the troubleshooting for some more tips!

wpid-20140205_092948.jpgmy part/scalp

wpid-20140205_092959.jpgclose upish?

D.Troubleshooting

Dry, straw-like hair:

  • Apply an oil, such as coconut or even olive oil to the ends of your hair. Put a very small amount in your hands, rub them together and lightly rub through your hair starting at the ends. I never bothered to wash it out, I would just wear my hair up until it faded out, like 2 days max.
  • Make sure you are brushing from root to tip with a GOOD BRISTLE BRUSH. I can’t emphasize this enough. Invest in a GOOD one.
  • Don’t forget to SCRUB your scalp. Move that oil.
  • Cold water rinses always help

Very Greasy Hair/Scalp:

  • Again, the brush thing. And the scrubbing thing.
  • If it is really bad, take a 20 minute hot bath. I’ve found this works wonders. Scrub in the tub!

Dandruff:

  • I never had a problem with this. I would guess it would be due to not scrubbing or brushing.

How Do I Style:

  • Stop using heated tools. Rag curls, waves, anything is possible. Just avoid the heat. My hair no longer holds a heated curl, I tried it for a party and it just did not happen. But rag curls work fine.
  • Wispy ends: You won’t have them.
  • Frizz: You won’t have it, or put a very little bit of oil in your hair.
  • Dyeing: I stopped dyeing my hair. This was a personal choice. You have to decide for yourself. There are natural dyes out there if you would like.
  • Wut do I tell my hair dresser? I don’t know, I don’t have one. I would BS/ACV prior and just tell them not to wash your hair. If they pout, remind them who is paying them.
  • Dirty brushes: Wash weekly in dish soap and rinse well. Your brushes will get dirtier. Keep them clean
  • My hair doesn’t smell pretty: I don’t know. It never bothered me that my hair doesn’t really smell. Well, it smells like hair. And bread. Probably because I bake a lot. You can add essential oils to your hair if you want. Just be careful. Maybe put a few drops into a small spray bottle with water and shake.

That’s about all I can think of! Give it a try if you want. Worst case scenario you go back to using shampoo. Best case? Never use the stuff again. If you have questions, please leave a comment!

*edit 4/29/2014 I have added a No Poo Number Two installment. If you like this post, you might want to check it out!