Tiny Girly Time-Out

by Elizabeth on June 25, 2012

Forgive the slight foray into the girly/metro set for a moment, here.

Because, folks, I’ve got a revelation to share.  (If you are bald or have perfect hair, you may now close your browser and revel in your perfection.)

In fact, because I love you, I’m going to give you a read-more option right here, since I’m going to profess my undying love for this awesome thing.

See?  I love you.  Now, for the girly moment:

My hair sucks.

I’ve been locked in an ongoing battle with the stuff since I was old enough to hold a curling iron and wield the Aqua-Net.  (Hey, I was a child of the ’80′s.)  It didn’t help matters that, in the course of this fight, I tried just about everything that would be considered Not A Good Idea:  perms (omg), bleaching, a whole host of electrified implements that created a kind of frizz-based head nightmare that would scare small children.  Everything.

See, my hair has a mind of its own.  I know people say that a lot, but seriously here…I mean it.  It grows out dark (or did, before I started getting greys in there) and bleaches about two inches out to a kind of dirty blondish brownish muck color.  Naturally.  I look like I dye my hair, even when I don’t dye my hair.  And it’s baby fine, and thick, which means one thing: tangles.  Horrible rat’s-nest tangles.  There is no product or service in existence that can keep my hair from turning into dreadlocks in a day or two.  (Or, rather, dreadlock, as in, singular.  Like, one matted mess.)

And if it was remotely healthy, I could deal with the rest of it.  But it’s fragile, capital F.  I sneeze, and five hairs get split ends.  Since taking out Being Outside again, my hair was trying to split itself into double its own volume.  I could get professional cuts, expensive conditioner, and shampoo made for baby unicorns, but I still had really big boofy hair that looks like it was made of barbie-doll hair after a Microwave Incident.

This week, I was reading a few of those hippie-crunchy make-it-yourself blogs.

I read those a lot lately.  They talk a lot about chickens and grinding your own flour.  I like that.

One of them, and I can’t remember offhand which one it was (I’ll link it if I find it again.  My Google Reader leers at me with a combination of overwhelm and guilt for not catching up yet.  I neglect it too often.), was talking about how she gave up commercial cleaning products.  As in personal cleaning products.

I’ve been using my own soap for years, and only rarely use floofy personal care stuff if I can help it.  (The list of ingredients is often scary.)  But this lady was all USE NOTHING YOU DON’T MAKE, and like most of us when we’re too blogged-up for our own good, I had a moment of OH BUT YES, I WANT TO BE LIKE THIS BLOGGER.

She said that, during the course of her experiment, she started using olive oil on her hair as a deep conditioner.

::blink blink::

Olive oil, you say?  On your head?  On purpose, instead of accidentally splashing it there when you’re cooking?  (I admit nothing.)

I had to try this.

Despite the weirdness that came from dumping a handful of olive oil on my hand and then intentionally putting it on my hair, ends-first — I really had no expectations.  After all, I have the official Hair From Hell.  If $60 bottles of chemically-formulated-for-problem-hair conditioner wasn’t going to tame it, I really doubted that a $5 bottle of olive oil was going to be my solution.

Oh, Ye of Little Faith.

 People, I’m not kidding you.  This. Is. Amazing.

I had to shampoo twice to get the muck out of my hair.  And sitting there for nearly three hours with a head like an oil slick was not fun.  And there may now be a ring around my tub that only Hercules can remove.  Fair warning.

But my hair is flippin’ incredible.

slept on it the next night, still a little damp, and in the morning, it took me ten seconds to brush.  I can, at the time of this writing, after not brushing for almost six hours, run my fingers through it.  And it’s soft.  Like SOFT soft.  Like whispy fairy-hair soft.  Otherworldly soft.

I still have my frizz, but that’s more from it’s curly-in-places/wavy-in-others nature.  But even that isn’t as bad as usual.

I’m a convert.

This whole time that I’ve been screwing with my hair, the solution was twenty feet from me in a kitchen cabinet.  Who knew?  (Other than this blogger, and everyone else who thinks I’m late to the bandwagon.)

Moreover, I’m eliminating hair care dollars from my budget, tons of packaging from landfills, and chemicals from my skin.

Talk about benefits.

If you want to try it yourself, here’s the deets:

It only takes a few tablespoons of oil for my hair, and my hair’s long.  You may need less.  Or more if your hair’s dry/coarse.  Just rub it between your hands and apply to your ends first, then the rest of your head.  Put your hair in a loose bun and prepare to be the greasiest human alive for a few hours.

I left mine on for about three hours+.  Knowing how dry my ends were, I figured extra time wouldn’t hurt it.  I believe the blogger suggested an hour or two.  When the time’s up, just clean your hair like usual.  The first time you shampoo, there won’t be much lather while the cleansers are busy stripping the majority of the excess oils from your hair, but the second time through, it should be like normal.  You can condition after, if you’re of the mind to — I didn’t.  I wanted to see the raw effect.

Do not — and I’m telling you from experience here — go outside with it on.  The sun will burn your head in about two seconds flat.  I hopped outside to water the back garden while I had the time, and OW.  Just….OW.  Oil gets hot fast and retains heat.  You could burn your headmeat pretty seriously, I’d assume.  Don’t risk it.

I’m going to make this part of the routine every other week for now, and see if that’s often enough.  I’ll go weekly if I have to, but every other week seems like it should work.

Maybe my long-seated battle with my hair will finally be done.  With olive oil, for pete’s sake.  I’m truly amazed.  Talk about simplicity….

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

adminnie June 26, 2012 at 3:50 am

evoo, cold pressed, hot pressed, straight up, what? and do you think it owuld work for those of us who are chronically flaky, as well as dry-ended?


adminnie June 26, 2012 at 3:50 am

oh, and i do know that whenever, i cook, and i toss something in olive oil preparatory to grilling, when i wash it off, my hands are softer for quite a while. rock on w/your oily self!


LostCityDenise June 29, 2012 at 5:28 pm

This makes total sense to me and I’m going to give it a whirl.

I’ve used straight up olive oil as a skin moisturizer during the cold winter months for several years now. We heat by wood which means dry air. I’m outside A LOT during the winter (because it’s more fun than being outside in triple digit summer temps) so I take showers that are wicked hot to warm up quick and thorough. After the shower I rub my entire body with olive oil, wander around naked until I’m no longer slippery, then dress. No more dry winter skin.


Karla July 3, 2012 at 7:22 pm

So are you going to give us a link to this blogger, or what?


Elizabeth July 3, 2012 at 8:06 pm

I still can’t find the entry! (Too many feeds, not enough notetaking, clearly.) I’ve done a few searches, but there are a zillion results. Apparently, i’m the last person on the planet to know about this! :D


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