In which I do not write about the elections.

One feels rather powerfully that one should be writing about the elections. All the cool kids are writing about the elections! Shouldn’t I be writing about the elections?

I have no desire to write about the elections — but I feel obliged to say: It’s not going to be as bad as Democrats fear, in part because the Tea Party is so odious and flat-out crazy that a lot of folks who would likely vote Republican are just going to stay home, and in part because the Tea Party is so odious and flat-out crazy that a lot of folks who would likely vote Democrat are scared silly and will vote even though they often don’t bother at mid-terms.

Not to mention that however the GOP is trying to spin this, it really is not a “Referendum on Obama” — the party in power always loses seats in the mid-terms. Or, in the eminently wise (and much better informed) words of absurdbeats:

What This Election Means? It’s a midterm election following an historical presidential race (which itself followed a terrible two-term presidency) and occurring amidst a recession.  Marginal seats picked up two years ago get lost, and high unemployment tends to leave voters with a throw-the-bums-out sensibility.

What It Means: Duck Duck Goose.

So, having demurred to absurdbeats, I will instead write about my hair. (How’s that for a non-sequitur?)

Some time ago, back when I was still an active member of the Jezebel community (it is so a community, overladies of Jezebel! Is so!), I discovered the very unfortunately monikered No ‘Poo movement (sheesh). Not really a movement so much as an approach to hair care, “No ‘Poo” is short for “No Shampoo,” and the idea is simplicity itself: Stop using shampoo – your hair will be better for it.

This doesn’t mean don’t wash your hair. It just means do it sans shampoo. The theory — and lived reality of several people who’ve recorded their ‘poo experience — is that shampoo strips our hair of its oils, to which our hair responds badly, often prompting us to add a second product (or, in my case, a second, third, and fourth [!] product): conditioner (yes – I’ve been using a total of three different conditioners, for probably a year or more). Our scalp then overcompensates, gets all oily, and then we circle back to square one with the shampooing.

Every one of the writers said that when they stopping using shampoo, their hair initially got a smidge-bit nasty (all that overcompensating oil production), but that it was much better after a few days, and that at about the two-week mark, their hair and scalp stabilized — and said that thereafter, their hair was the loveliest it had ever been.

Well, what can I say? This makes perfect sense to me. Perfect, terrifying sense. Perfect because it reads a little like 1 + 1 = 2, and terrifying because if it makes perfect sense, well then, I maybe should do it, and if I do it, I’ll have nasty hair for a couple of weeks, and oh God I hate having dirty hair! And having the world see me with dirty hair!!

But I determined that I would try — because my hair didn’t used to be this dry, it didn’t used to be dry at all, and now it’s not just dry it’s fucking bushy, and I have to constantly flat-iron it to make it NOT bushy, and dude! I used to love my hair! So I’m trying.

In fact, I think that part of why I’m trying is precisely because I was terrified — going out with dirty hair being my personal version of Jackass, I guess. (Read in stoner voice) “Whoa, dude, did you SEE that chick’s hair?! Dude, she’s craaaazy!”

Anyway, so that’s all weird, but here I am, about eight days since I launched my grand experiment, and: Huh! Will you look at that! My hair is much more manageable, and not nearly as weird was it was for the first few days! (And by “weird,” I mean kind of tacky. And by “tacky” I mean sticky. So that was unpleasant). I’ll be sure to keep you updated as things develop!

Important update! I can’t believe that I forgot this part: When you’re doing the no ‘poo thing (both in the first couple of weeks and thereafter), I’m told that washing with very diluted apple cider vinegar helps if you’re feeling particularly greasy. One apparently English woman said she’d put “one capful in an entire beaker of water” — I don’t know what a “beaker” translates to, but I put a generous capful in one of my kids’ summer camp water bottles and figure that must be about right. I’ve used it a couple of times but I can’t tell in this, the still-relatively-greasy stage, how much of a difference it’s made.

Also, too! The “beaker” lady said that she did use shampoo when she’d been working with drywall and her hair looked like she’d “been dragged through an archeological site” — and, she reported, her hair immediately returned to its formerly problematic nature, but then very quickly bounced back. So, do with that information what you will!

Ok, I’m done talking about my hair now.

But, let’s be honest, as boring as that was — wasn’t it less painful than reading more useless wheel-spinning about the elections? I thought so. You’re welcome.

Fingers crossed for Tuesday! Don’t forget to vote!

And if you’re not sure if you want to bother going to the voting booth, or are possibly torn about supporting the Democrats, you might want to watch the following. It’ll send a chill up your spine.

h/t Balloon Juice


  1. I will gladly talk about hair because I am sick of politics. I wash my hair (with shampoo) once a week at the most. It’s the best decision I ever made concerning my hair. Keep up the good work.

  2. dmf

     /  November 1, 2010

    i fear that you are wrong about there being a difference between teaparty and republican voters but hope to be proven wrong, my mother has taken to just brushing her hair with a brush covered in cheeshcloth and then like asgrr shampooing just once a week.

  3. Funny…I posted that same video today on Facebook!
    Let us know about the shampoo experiment…I would love to know the results before I follow in your footsteps!

  4. Karin S.

     /  November 2, 2010

    well, you know that i, for one, am always delighted to read/talk about hair. so i loved your post. and i’m thinking about seeing if clare wants to try the ‘poo experiment.

  5. Spiffy McBang

     /  November 2, 2010

    Ok, I know dick about hair, even though mine’s been pretty long for over a decade, so if someone could help me out…

    Wash your hair, just don’t shampoo it. I’m guessing that also means don’t use the conditioner. Ok, that seems logical enough- stick your head under the water. But the times I’ve done that, it becomes an unholy, nigh-unbrushable mess. Does that go away too over time?

    I’m feeling you on being weird about having nasty hair for any length of time, though. I’m not big on primping and such; as long as I feel comfortable, I’m fine, but having hair that feels so heavy is pretty damned uncomfortable. I feel like I’ve been living in a cave.

  6. Perhaps this works for thick hair, but thin? I dunno.

    I’ve gone days not shampooing while camping, and my hair just gets. . . pitiful. It gives up, sighs itself flat, and sulks greasily until I stick my head under a spigot or hose or nearby lake.

    And even that’s not enough: Soap, please, my hair says. We don’t care what kind or if you condition, but if you don’t give us soap THISINSTANT we will lay down like cement against your misshapen little skull.

    So. My hair is pretty clearly a member of the pro-lather party.

    Sorry, Emily. I do hope, however, we can still be friends across this great and soapy divide.

  7. Joyfulc

     /  November 3, 2010

    I’m on Day 5 of my second attempt to go “no-poo” and so far, so good! I’m washing with a very mild (teaspoon in a cup and a half of warm water) baking soda solution, and using a very mild (couple teaspoons in a cup and a half of warm water) apple cider rinse. Something feels “different” — can’t quite put my finger on what — but my hair is bouncy and doesn’t feel heavy. And my frizzies seem to be gone. My hair changed with menopause — my formerly limp hair that wouldn’t hold a curl suddenly got curly. This was hell for the first few years. At first, it was like I had this patch of what I assumed to be split ends at the back of my head. As time went by, more and more hair started growing in downright ringlety curly. For a few years, I was in hell with some straight hair and some curly — lots of fun. I heard that other women who had similar problems had success with no-poo. I tried it once before, but it was during a really hot and humid week and it was just disgusting! This time, it seems to be going much better and hopefully I can make it through the adjustment period and come out the other side, never to bother with shampoos or conditioners again.

    When I was a kid, most women only washed their hair once a week. And that worked just fine for them. Then came the 70s and we were convinced that we had to wash our hair every day — lathering twice, of course! I do think shampooing is better for the hair care industry than for my hair.