I was in high school in the early nineties, a time when the popular girls all had straight hair (and ridiculously tall, tsunami-like bangs). I was not a popular girl, and my hair certainly didn’t help (nor did my Star Wars obsession—back before Star Wars—and indeed, all things geek—was trendy. I liked Lord of the Rings long before the movies came out. I may, in fact, have had a shirt that I referred to as my “elf shirt.” Yeah, I was that geeky). I could tell you my hair is naturally “wavy” or even “curly,” but those terms aren’t quite accurate. “Frizzy” is closer to the truth.
My hair and I have been doing battle for years. I’ve tried all kinds of products. I even tried the “no poo” thing that was trendy a couple of years ago. Or maybe it was only trendy with the online, organic, “diy” crowd. Anyway, the theory was that shampoo is evil and you shouldn’t use it—all you need is baking soda. Or apple cider vinegar. Or both—but not at the same time (unless you want to make a science fair volcano on top of your head). I tried all kinds of strange, non-shampoo-related ways of “washing” my hair. Which means I had a lot of bad hair days. Really bad hair days. The most effective “non-shampoo” that I tried, incidentally, was raw honey. True story.
I have put all manner of strange things on my hair. I still do, in fact. My favorite is a hair mask made of eggs, olive oil, and honey. It really does tame the frizz and add some shine. I mix it up, rub it in, and leave it for incredibly long minutes before rinsing it out.
My hair has been looking considerably better lately. My mother even said so—and she’s not one of those mothers who dishes out compliments to her children just because she’s their mother. If she says it, it must be so. In fact, I even achieved hair static yesterday. Those of you who have hair like mine will understand how epic that is. My hair actually floated up in the back, lifted by static. Static is picky–it only likes healthy, smooth hair. Frizzy hair clumps together in a way that makes it impossible for static to lift.
Here’s what I’ve been doing that works:
1. I use an all-natural bar shampoo. I gave up commercial shampoo a couple of years ago. The sulfates in store bought shampoo strip all the oil from your hair, causing your scalp to freak out and produce even more oil to make up for it. This makes it necessary to wash your hair more often because it gets extra oily in between washes. And because every bit of natural oil is stripped out, you have to use a separate conditioner because it feels awful if you don’t. Natural shampoos are sulfate free. They don’t strip out all the oil, which means you don’t need a separate conditioner. You also don’t have to wash your hair as often. I wash my hair about twice a week. Unless I’m putting eggs on my hair—then I might wash it more often.
The reason I recommend bar shampoo is that it’s pretty much impossible to find a liquid shampoo that doesn’t have unpronounceable chemicals in it. This is because liquid soap making requires preservatives and clarifiers and Ph neutralizers. There’s a lot more chemistry—and chemicals—involved. Making bar soap requires oil and lye and water. Goat milk if you want to get fancy. Or beer if you’re a crazy person.
Incidentally, my company, Beulah Acres Soap, is about to make our own bar shampoo. And I’m super excited because we’re going to make some of it blueberry scented! Right now, I’ve just been using our regular goat-milk soap as my shampoo. Goat milk is moisturizing, and it’s the type of soap I recommend for dry, frizzy hair. If you have oily hair, try our beer soap as shampoo. It’s supposed to thicken your hair, too (which is why I use the goat milk soap. If my hair were thicker, it might develop aspirations of world domination. Nobody needs that.).
2. Eggs, olive oil, and honey. It’s gross, but my hair always looks really nice afterward—all shiny and not-frizzy. If only I had discovered this concoction back in high school. Of course, I was still using commercial shampoo, a hairdryer, and (gasp!) hair spray back then, so it probably wouldn’t have helped.
3. Beard oil. Because what is a beard except really frizzy, awful-looking hair? Beulah Acres Soap just made some all-natural beard oil, and Ralphie has been using it on his beard. And his beard really does look better, less grizzled and somewhat more civilized. So I decided, if it can do that kind of miracle, why not try it on my hair? I tried it—and I must say that it does a fabulous job of taming my hair—it makes it shiny, too. I have discovered, through trial and error, that a little goes a very long way. I tried twenty drops—that’s way too much, even with as much hair as I have. Yesterday, I tried seven drops. That seems to be about the right amount—which means a bottle of beard oil will last me for a very, very long time. Beard oil also combats hair static (I learned this yesterday).
Maybe your hair is naturally gorgeous. If so, congratulations (and I hate you, just a little). If your hair could use some help, however, then I hope you find some of my suggestions useful.