A Hot Mess.

All right guys, I’ve got two hours before physical therapy, so I figured I could let you guys know what is going on!

Firstly, physical therapy! The doctor seems to think I have some wear and tear on my left knee. He took x-rays and I got to wear some really unattractive shorts, which, frankly, I would have felt less awkward in my underwear. We took some interesting shots and I got to see what my bones look like. How weird is that? From the pictures, you can see that one knee is a little more worn than the other. He opted for some physical therapy to see if we can straighten that out. It seems, especially when they were putting me through the moves, my right side is stronger and more balanced than my left, which would explain things. Weird, because I am left handed, but whatever. I get to look very silly and do some very silly exercises. My knee is not hurting at the moment whatsoever, but I’m not putting any stress on the kneecap, just the muscles surrounding it. Today, I go in at 10, so we’ll see what the guy says.

Next, omg am I fat. I crossed the “fat threshold” line. Boo!! I’ve gained 30# since I hurt my knee! My doctor wasn’t surprised, you can’t go from running 20 miles a week to the couch and expect to eat the same. I mean, I am not surprised either, I knew it was happening, but I figured, eh? be fat and happy while your knee’s hurt. But this is really too much. So I joined Calorie Count, which is AMAZING. I’ve used the website before. As long as you have a will, it totally works like a charm. It’s super easy to use and as long as you’re honest, the comes off. It’s not a race, it’s one day at a time. You can find me under firebirdpink if you want to make sure I’m not cheating! I’m eating roughly 1400-1800 calories a day with my “mild stretching” aka physical therapy. I’m down four pounds, but I’m sure that’s mostly water weight. If you do want to try out Calorie Count, don’t use their recommended intake. It’s always too low. Go to a BMR calculator, which calculated the calories you use if you were in a coma and not moving. Never eat less than that. Also, check out their forums, great information there. All right! Enough on ewww dieting.

Thirdly, I’m taking the plunge and trying to sell some crochet stuff on Facebook. Sorry, I can’t give you my page, because it is under my fake name and I use my page to tell off color, horrible, bad jokes that you don’t want to read. It’s locked up tight as heck too. I need my ranting space! If it takes off a bit, I’m going to make a real page an of course I will provide a link. I’m not holding my breath, I put the prices fair, as in me being paid a wage to make the items. So they’re all around $40, payment up front, custom as requested. We’ll see. Wish me luck!

Fourthly, sebum only hair is still in the works. I’m up to two weeks before it gets to the point where I need to wear it up. Patience, patience, patience!

Fifthly, of course! I have pictures.

wpid-20141103_073734.jpgmy christmas cactus is blooming!

wpid-20141108_101122.jpgjust a pretty view of Elburn, Illinois.

wpid-20141102_162329.jpgmy greyhound is ridiculous.

wpid-20141102_091653.jpgFormerly a poncho, turned into a rug. My first go at fringe.

wpid-20141029_171403.jpgmy rescued peace lily, it finally flowered after three years! it was such a mess when I first got it! Stinky and full of dead roots.

wpid-20141028_104810.jpgmade a new work tote bag. it has an inside pocket, which is fabulous!

wpid-20141101_175625.jpgrandom pretty sunset

Okie dokie! I’ve got about 10 minutes before I need to hop in the shower, so I’ll be reading away! Hope you all have a great day! 😀

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!

I’m Back!

I’m back! Glad to see you all kept busy! I’ll be chatting soon, but I desperately need a shower and to not move for like, the rest of the day…

However! Real quick, five days of no showering and the joy of no poo:

wpid-20140527_143031.jpgI kept it in braids and under a hat most of the time. Also, I think I need a tag for “wearing ancient aliens shirt” because I swear I am always wearing it when I take pictures

wpid-20140527_143121.jpgboom!

Oh the joys of no poo! My hair looks just fine!

Anyway, I’ll be back when I have showered and recovered a bit. See you all soon!

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.

Monday is For Brush Cleaning

Once a week, usually on Monday I clean my hair brushes. Because, let’s face it, they get disgusting. Also, I am stalling because I have a lot of phone calls to make and I hate talking on the phone. Indulge me, please.

So, as I have mentioned before, I don’t use shampoo. Or baking soda, or anything else to clean my hair. Just water and a good bristle brush. This has led to a few discoveries.

1. I never shed hair in the shower, only on my brushes

2. My brushes quickly get disgusting

Off to a good bath!

wpid-20140217_092741.jpgyou’ll need a sink

In order to do this, mise en place, people, mise en place. You will need a sink, your hair brushes, regular dish soap, white vinegar and a towel. I have my old bristle brush that I use as a scrubber to clean out my new ones. It works very well, let me tell you. You should see what kind of delights I can get caught in a brush!

wpid-20140217_092850.jpgmy wonderful kent brush with a cleaning tool, my regular brush and my sacrificed not so great brush.

First, I pull out 10 pounds of hair. Okay, not that much, but there’s a bit in there.

wpid-20140217_092946.jpglet them hang out with some dish soap

I let them soak for about 15 minutes or so and then get to scrubbing away. It comes off really easily, thank God, so it’s not too much of a tribulation. Then I rinse them well and drain the sink. Refill the sink with white vinegar and water.

wpid-20140217_095538.jpgthey sell it by the truckload

The vinegar will break down the soap and get rid of the suds. Soak them again, maybe give them another scrub and shake the drops off. Quick rinse.

wpid-20140217_095735.jpgit’s like being at a spa

Use the ugliest and oldest towel because you are too lazy to find a kitchen towel that doesn’t look like a civil war bandage even though you bothered to take a picture of this step.

The brushes will dry in record time and, hurray! Clean brushes ready for use! Trust me, if you’ve never cleaned your brushes, you will be delighted to find all sorts of adventures in there. It doesn’t take terribly long and doesn’t have to be done terribly often.

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!