I’m a recovering shampoo addict. I knew I was washing my hair too often—my shampoo dependency was entirely to blame for the dry-to-oily Ferris wheel hair cycle I'd been on—but I didn’t have the luxury of 'drying out' for six months while my hair got its shit together, either. As dumb luck would have it, I stumbled into the hair equivalent of an e-cigarette entirely by accident.
I swiped Purely Perfect Cleansing Creme off the Gloffice product table because it smelled like mint and I was out of shampoo (an addict's constant state of emergency). During the first use, I aggressively massaged nearly half the bottle on my head trying to force a lather. It never did. Instead, the thick mix of aloe vera and essential oils quieted my scalp's urge to secrete unnecessary oil without that horrifying/gratifying feeling of stripping my strands. I checked the back of the bottle to see if I had accidentally started the hair-washing process with conditioner and saw that Purely Perfect calls itself the "un-shampoo" for its lack of detergents and foams (it's also biodegradable—yay, environment!). My hair was less poofy, better hydrated, and I had less flyaways; the texture was a little more "hot guy hair." I was hooked. It's certainly an adjustment, and it still feels unnatural to use, but now I can go longer and longer without using even "un-shampoo." Cleansing Creme is meant to emancipate your head of conditioner, too, but—blame it on my Dosha imbalance—it's not moisturizing enough for me. And one thing at a time, right?
Photo by Elizabeth Brockway.