Saturday, October 20, 2007

The great hair experiment - day 1

Japanese with their crazy hair products... no wonder they're all bald. (Photo by libraryman)

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you just quit washing your hair? Would the oils in your scalp build up and turn your hair into a tangled ball of grease? Or would it start producing dandruff like it was Christmas season again? Or would you just look like an idiot with no grasp of personal hygiene? It is the sacred purpose of this experiment to find the answers to these puzzling questions.

The inspiration behind this experiment is an article I read about a woman who stopped washing her hair altogether. Now she only rinses her hair about once every two months. I'm not sure I'm willing to go that far, but I'm determined to survive without shampoos, conditioners or any other hair care products.

This should actually be really straightforward, since it's obvious that humans did just fine before shampoo or even soap was invented. Who's ever heard of cavemen with greasy hair? If our ancestors could do it, so can I, with a little bit of determination and willingness to look ridiculous for the next month or so (the woman in the article mentioned that it'll take some time before the hair will adapt to the new shampoo-less condition - but that's a small price to pay, right?)

I must admit that I've tried this experiment once before, and I failed miserably after about a week. My hair - which was then kind of short and is now well below shoulders - looked dirty as hell, and after accidentally seeing myself from a different view in a mirror while trying out a suit in a clothes store I decided I looked a crackhead and that I couldn't go through with it. I gave the salesman an apologizing look, told him I would come back and buy the suit later, and ran out onto the street with tears running down my cheeks. Well, almost. The next day I came back, having washed my hair and looking decent again, and bought the suit. There was no escaping from the fact that I'd let something as meaningless as looking like a homeless person let me stop me in my search for shampoo-free days, though.

I believe I learned a valuable lesson that day. The lesson was that no matter how many suits you can buy or how many people will treat you like an actual person just because you have clean hair, you're still a quitter. The cavemen are still laughing.

This time I won't quit at the first sign of trouble. The last time I was mentally unprepared; this time I know it can be done.

This time, it's different.

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