001: soapless

before I begin, i just want to assure you that this isn’t some crazy rant about being a hippy, being green/eco friendly, saving loads of money, or the grooming / beauty product industry, it is just something i’ve done.

i haven’t washed my hair with shampoo or conditioner since the 1st of January 2010.

new years eve, i was sitting at home being boring, babysitting my ex’s kids & came across this article : I Like No Soap; No Shampoo  and as Sean Bonner from Boingboing so eloquently put it a year later in 2011: The TL;DR version: Your body is designed to regulate itself. Smearing chemicals all over it wrecks its own built-in processes, and screws with naturally balanced pH levels. this made sense to me and I thought I’d give it a shot.

when i was 17 i was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease, and after leaving hospital i was taking in excess of 20+ pills a day to get it under control. for nearly 5 years i was taking corticosteroid steroids: fortunately i didn’t experience any of the more unfortunate side effects of long term steroid use but the one i did experience (aside from burning horribly the instant i walked out into the sun) resulted in dry skin patches all up my arms, across my upper back & forehead. my skin before this had never been particularly sensitive – but i remember after about 18 months of taking my tablets i was in the shower in my flat at university washing my hair. quite suddenly my skin began to burn, it went red and looked VERY unhappy with me… even after i got out the shower i felt like i was on fire.

after some experimentation, i quickly realised that i had become super sensitive to almost all kinds of soap, shampoo, conditioners, and body washes. Mm doctor basically told me to suck it up and prescribed me E45 cream. it was  obvious to me i couldn’t continue using ‘normal’ products most people used.
for the years after; my product selection was based solely around seeking out the most natural, simple, gentle products i could find. believe me: i tried ALL the things. a little later my housemate in 2006 was a manager of a LUSH (still is infact). i can positively report I experimented with almost their entire range.

so sticking to the natural simple products cleared up my skin pretty well. some worked better than others, and the last of the small patches of dry skin that did remain were something i could live with – i wholeheartedly recommend the Simple Skincare range to anyone who suffers from aggro skin; and also LUSHs’ dream cream was also a product I would totally recommend (and it smells frickin amaze too!). the good news is eventually in 2008 I came off steroids. the bad news was the bad skin didn’t go away.

considering i had never managed to stick to a new years resolution and this was a relatively simple lifestyle change: i decided to go soap/shampoo free and gave it a go.

the first week was the worst. my hair was greasy by lunchtime but I resisted the urge to shower in the evenings and powered on through. by the end of the second week things had started to settle in a bit, and my head was less of a disaster area. i have to admit i was always really conscious of my greasy hair and was definitely paranoid at work that people were noticing it. but apparently they wern’t.

by the end of the first 6 weeks my hair was was looking healthy, soft and in better condition than it had ever been! the results were quite remarkable.
in the beginning i was combing my hair with a normal hair comb in the shower. but as the my hair degreased the level of dandruff created by my head didn’t decrease at the same rate. so i thought the best way to get rid of it was to just comb it out, so i went out a bought a bad assed nit comb.

just using a nit comb and water in the shower does a good job of removing any loose hairs that might be ‘stray’ (thanks dad :C) and any dandruff that’s lurking about – as you physically scrape it off your head with the comb.

now, some of you reading this may be embarrassed by the presence of a nit comb in your bathroom. but when I look at it, i know that its my only grooming er ‘instrument’ and i’m cool with that. PLUS its super useful/efficient and space saving if you go away traveling!

i would say that my hair is pretty short and has been varying lengths of short – shaggy since i started this whole thing. here’s a recent picture of me with post party hair

lastly, not that I want to go too deeply into the subject BUT Ladies & Gents incase your wondering.. hygiene in the nether regions has neither been a problem or an issue. NO weird smells or odours and honestly I think the lack of soaps and other foreign chemical has actually had a positive effect. i think i smell great! women certainly don’t need to ever purchase ‘femfresh’ vaginal wipes or what ever the shit. that’s for sure.

so there we are. post done. after over two and a half years (30 months) of not using shampoo or conditioner i can honestly say i would never go back.
i have found, that i simply do not need soap or shampoo in my life.

000: seems simple enough

its july 2012 and i turn 27 this month. i thought maybe its about time i started a blog..

well i say started… i registered this wordpress account around 2010. its a stupid url name, but i thought it sounded pretty emo, and i liked it. (and if you don’t think that’s not a good enough reason to name anything anything, you can go fuck yourselves)

as i mentioned ages ago in this post over on tumblr. i HATE writing. it’s probably my dyslexia, but i can’t ever to be bothered to pluck up the inclination to sit down and actually write something. or maybe its my chronic procrastination. right now as i type this i have 30k of words sitting unfinished and unpublished in my google docs. i’m going to try and finish them.

one of the main reasons i want to start a blog is i have been contributing to the edgeryders platform and (god forbid) i *might* have actually enjoyed sitting down, writing something, and hitting publish.

i kinda took a break from a lot of things last year up until relatively recently. that break included spending some time away from the internet. i started a few projects and had some cool ideas – for example i was toying with the idea of doing ‘some kind’ of podcast/audio essays in place of actually writing a blog. but it turned out to be WAY more effort than simply sitting down and writing a god damned post. i have three audio experiments sitting on my computer right now – but i wasn’t happy with them at the time. maybe i’ll edit/recut them and post them at some point.

ive decided to also post a public list of ‘things todo’ or ‘things i want to do’ list as a separate page. some of the shit on the list will be personal things – like updating my flickr account for example. it hasn’t been updated since october last year and i still have photos going all the way back to aug11 to sort, edit and post. i’m hoping that forcing myself to start writing about shit will make me more productive in some ways and more inclined to work on other stuff too. especially as its august next month and i really can’t face going through 12 fucking months of photos. so i definitely need to make some headway before then. other stuff will be stuff i want to do. it might be a big project, or something i need help with. i guess/hope that if anyone sees something on the list and wants to collaborate: well… that would be super awesome.

i’ll populate that list as i go. i have a ‘master list’ of ideas in the back of my current notebook that needs typing up.

so as of right now i have absolutely no plan on what i’m going to write about. probably whatever the fuck i feel like. so we’ll see how it goes.

BUT for the next year:

one post a week. 52 weeks, 52 posts, doesn’t seem too hard…