I Never Give Up!!!… (well, almost…)
I remember this picture that one of my high school math teachers would show my class.
“Never give up!” was the moto.
And I realize that it’s how I approach many aspects of my life. I am as stubborn as a mule and I fight til the end. When I was younger, this challenge usually comes from an outside force – such as getting good grades for my parents. As I have grown older, more and more challenges come from me. As a way to prove to myself something, or better myself.
I hate giving up, but I do admit defeat, sometimes. I only feel “good” about admitting a defeat when I feel as though I have given it everything that I’ve got. Such as, not taking any short cuts, or making up excuses which may influence the outcome.
One of my recent challenges to myself was to train my hair to produce less oils so that I can reduce the number of times I shampoo a week. (This is part of an ongoing challenge to myself to ween myself off chemical products in my life. More on that later.)
Some background info: I have had oily skin and hair for as long as I can remember. I was the nerd who had acne which started in grade 6 and I still continue to battle it today. Hand-in-hand with acne was my oily hair. For as long as I could remember, I had to shampoo my hair everyday, or it would look greasy. No biggie, just shower everyday.
Recently, I started to read up articles on all the chemicals that we put in our body. Starting with our food and our cleaning products. I already read on the “No Poo” movement out there. I decided to focus on cleaning out excess toiletries (another post on that), and cutting down on shampoo. I don’t colour or use products in my hair.
For a while, I started to use a shampoo that does not contain sulfates or parabens. Then, I decided to take it one step further by washing my hair every other day. The idea was use the natural oils of my hair for moisturizing, and to train my scalp to produce less oils (by not stripping away the oils by shampooing so often).
For me, this was a challenge. There is something that boosts my self confidence and self esteem by having my locks fluffy and clean. I am very self conscious about my hair, and I feel that everyone notices when its greasy. I attempted my anti-shampoo challenge three times.
I tried to go cold turkey and cut out shampoo altogether. I made my own apple cider vinegar concoction and attempted to use it in place of shampoo for a week with a boar bristled brush. No sireee. I went for about a week, until I couldn’t stand the grease in my hair.
I tried to shampoo every other day. This went for about 2 weeks until I just felt like a greaseball walking around. Very self conscious, I know.
Again, I tried to shampoo every other day. This time, I also tied up my hair on the second day. I also washed my bangs only for the first couple of weeks. Then, I just used a bit of baby powder where I was more oilier – still tying up my hair on the second day. I was really determined to make this work. I started this in mid-late November and have persevered since.
One example of my perseverance and dedication to my challenge. My work Xmas party happen to fall on a day where I wasn’t supposed to wash my hair. Wanting to have nice clean hair for the party, I skipped the day I was supposed to wash (going to third day)!
Having entered my 11th week of my challenge, I have decided to call it quits. I originally was going to give my hair 4 to 6 weeks to adjust to its new routine. Not seeing much results, I extended the trial period to 6 to 8 weeks. I have been pondering the last couple of weeks that maybe my hair just doesn’t respond. Even in the last week, after the second day, my hair is still as oily as heck. Very disappointing.
So, yesterday, I made concluded that my hair is just not responsive to being shampoo-ed less. Having stuck to my regime for at least 11 weeks (it might actually be 12 weeks), I can say for certain that I gave it my best shot, and I will stop torturing my hair (and myself).
I will go back to using my gentle shampoo on a daily basis, and I will feel perfectly content about it! No more guilt of wondering if I should have given it more time, or a better effort – I know that I did my best.
What are some challenges that you present to yourself? How do you face challenges? When do you think it’s OK to give into something and move on (or do you?)?