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.

First try:
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.

Second try:
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.

Third try:
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?)?

9 Responses to “I Never Give Up!!!… (well, almost…)”

  1. LOL! I enjoyed reading your posts. As hard as we can try, there are certain things we really don’t have much control over =)

    Regardless, “never give up” is a great motto to have.

  2. Annie Says:

    If you decide to try this again, absorb the extra oil with corn starch, and use a spoon of baking soda in warm water to wash your hair instead of going without anything or using ACV. ACV can be used to rinse but I usually don’t bother.

    Here is where I chronicle my ups and downs of life without shampoo.. (hope it helps)

    • Great! I’m gonna check that out! I was thinking of giving it another go, maybe.

      I know that towards the end of my 10-week experiment my hair was not oily until a day and a half later. However, at mid-day I felt super icky if my hair wasn’t tied up, and the next day, my hair would still be very oily during the wash.


  3. […] dry my hair, and I do not use any styling products.  I still shampoo my hair everyday, even though I have tried to stop.  I also make an apple cider vinegar with lavender oil rinse that I use once a week  to make […]

  4. Leah Says:

    Thanks for posting this! I tried the conditioner-only version of no-poo, but after a few days, my hair felt so yucky (and so much of it was falling out!) that I broke down and went back to washing it. I was even brushing with a boar-bristle brush, which other people have recommended, but that didn’t seem to help (and might have contributed to the hair loss).

    Anyway, I’m curious what kind of shampoo you use, and whether you would recommend it for someone who wants to use shampoo. Thanks very much!

    • Hi Leah,
      Thanks for stopping by!
      I used the boar bristled brush, too, and I think that it actually over stimulated my scalp and thus, produced more oil. :S

      I use alternate between using the Kiss My Face (lime scent) and the Abba shampoo (basic shampoo). Hope this helps!

  5. Toby Says:

    If you are still keen to give up shampoo this is what I do. My hair is very long and thick.

    Wet your hair in a sink. (Then turn the water off so you don’t waste water).
    Make a mixture of 3 TBSP baking soda and 1/2 cup of warm water.
    Rub the baking soda mixture into your scalp. This will take about three minutes to really rub it over the entire scalp.
    Rinse it out well.
    Rinse with a dilute vinegar solution. (3 TBSP vinegar with 1 cup warm water).
    Rinse it out well.
    Because my hair is long I have been unable to go without conditioner. I only put conditioner on the last 6 inches.
    I also wear my hair up most of the time so washing it twice a week in winter is plenty. In the summer heat it needs washing every day or two.

    I have been doing this for over a year. I do use shampoo about once a month if I feel like it needs an extra scrub.

    I use this same method on my two long haired dogs. They do not get itchy with this method.

  6. […] If you have a true attachment to your hair – don’t cut it. Love it! Grow it long! Be you! Just because it works for me doesn’t mean it will work for you; if you spend all your time missing your long hair, your just wasting the time you could have used to take care of it. If you want to keep the long hair, here’s a link that might give you some ideas on where to st… […]

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