My dearest travel companions: About my somewhat unconventional hair products
It was the summer of 2014, we were in the lucky position to have a car with a roof tent to travel for a few weeks and decided to go on a road trip to Greece. From the moment we reached the Mediterranean Sea, I went swimming every day, rinsing my hair with tap water in the evening, and only after they were no longer combable I washed them with the shampoo and conditioner I used at that time (of course without silicones, with plenty of organic certificates plastered on the bottles) and was horrified when they where dry. I had an impressive mob on my head! It was this moment that made me think: How can it be that my hair is so dissatisfied with the neatly selected products I use? Aren’t there any other ways to take care of them than taking along two massive bottles of liquid (which also are quite heavy) on travels? I started to read up on the topic and after a few unfortunate attempts, I found a solution that makes me and my hair happy. For over a year now I have been washing my hair with hair soap and supplement it with an acid rinse made from natural apple vinegar and water. This rinse works like a conditioner which makes the hair shiny and easy to comb.
Along the way to hair soap, I have tried the following products:
- Sodium hydroxide solution followed by an acidic rinse
- Whole grain rye flour paste followed by an acid rinse
- Type 1050 rye flour paste followed by an acidic rinse (that was my routine for about two years)
Out of these methods I like the hair soap the best by far. It cleans the hair (like the rye flour paste or Sodium hydroxide solution) but without dehydrating it. Using the sodium hydroxide, I had the feeling that my scalp did not like it very much and the rye flour paste must, to achieve a particularly pleasant result, be stirred up a few hours before using it. For travelling, especially with a tent, that’s not very practical. In addition, flour is not a particularly light or practical travel companion. The soap in contrary last for an surprisingly long time and is a lot more practical than the flour.
Of course, I understand that this method does not suit everyone, but I feel like my hair is as healthy as never before. In addition, my washing rhythm has lengthened enormously. It seems as if my hair can not produce fat as much anymore as when I still used “normal” products. Every 10 days I feel the need to wash my hair. Of course, they are no longer beautiful in the last days of this period, but when I tie them up, no one notices; not even me.
If you feel like trying this method, please do not forget that the hair needs some time to adapt to this change. Do not lose patience too soon!
On a different note, a method that works for everyone, whether using shampoo, hair soap or rye fume is a natural alternative to dry shampoo. For this you take a small hand full of wheat flour, with dark hair, stir it with some natural cocoa, and sprinkle it over your hair (but not the scalp). I always do that with my head upside down. Then comb out the flour thoroughly and any trace of greasiness is gone. I always travel with a small amount of flour in case I do not have a shower at hand.
One last peculiar thing about my hair: During the summer or whenever I travel in the sun I like to boil a very strong brew of chamomile tea and fill it in a spray bottle. After swimming in the sea or a lake, I generously spray my hair with the broth and let it dry in the sun. The chamomile fastens the bleaching process of the sun in a natural way, making you look like you have been on a long summer vacation. You should wash out the chamomile as soon as possible, since it otherwise dehydrates the hair.