Chelating Shampoo

My chelating shampoo arrived today (Joico K-Pak Chelating shampoo in case anyone is interested) and so the big clean happened.

First I washed my hair well with the chelating shampoo twice. I really gave a my scalp a good scrub, even more so than normal, and left the shampoo on for a couple of minutes while working it in to ensure that it had the best chance to remove possibly years of mineral build up. I have lived in a hard water area for my entire life so far and never used a chelating shampoo. I was trying to keep my expectations low so that I wouldn’t become miserable if things didn’t work out as I hoped, but logically this just seemed to be the missing link from a lifetime of bad hair.

At the end of this my hair felt odd. I admit, my perception of how hair should feel is likely somewhat distorted, but it felt slightly stretchy and almost sticky. The shampoo does contain proteins though and this is the first time I have knowingly used proteins on my hair. This could just be my hair reacting to the protein as I don’t think it particularly needs any.

The next step was an apple cider vinegar rinse. I really wanted to make thoroughly sure that every last bit of crap on my hair was removed. I’m still berating myself for having not done this at the start of all my experiments.

After rinsing, I slathered my hair in conditioner (TRESemme naturals moisturising conditioner), popped it all in a shower cap for half an hour and then rinsed it out.

Results of chelating shampoo


I sat here with my hair in my microfibre turban and worried about taking it off. What if this doesn’t work? I’d run out of ideas so if this didn’t fix things I had nothing left to try.

The first thing I noticed when my hair dried was that it dried quicker. I don’t know if that’s a good sign or not but it was something I noticed. I don’t mean a little quicker either, but an hour or two less than normal. It looked fairly messy as I really had tried not to touch it much and had added no styling products, but that wasn’t the aim of this wash anyway.

My hair felt not softer as such, but fuller…not stringy and lifeless as is normal. It looked softer and shinier although I don’t actually think it was softer. And it had pretty impressive waves for hair that hadn’t been styled.


I feel that this was a success, but I’ll take a better look tomorrow after its been slept on for a night to see what it looks like then. If I’m still as happy with it tomorrow then its time to start up the experiments again!

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Posted by on August 10, 2012 in Cleaning, Personal


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Suspended Experiments

Just a quick update to say how stupid I’ve been and to announce that my hair experiments will be suspended for a week or so and then restarted.

My last post was made whilst rather frustrated at the tiny amount of progress I had achieved so far. I showed the pictures I’d taken of the closer view of hair quality to a few long hair friends and someone (the lovely Brave from LHC) asked if I’d used a chelating shampoo before I started.

I feel rather silly. I clarified to make sure all the product build-up had been removed but in my head the only need for chelating shampoos was if you were a swimmer. I had totally forgotten that they remove the minerals from hard water build up. I have never used a chelating shampoo in my life and I have lived in hard water areas for pretty much my entire life. I am totally kicking myself.

More than 30 years of hard water deposits on my hair would easily explain why my hair never seems to get much better. I am suspending my experiments until I can get a chelating shampoo and then will need to recheck all my previous findings on clean hair.

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Posted by on August 3, 2012 in Uncategorized


Lemon Juice


Today I decided to try a lemon juice rinse. I’ve seen a lot of debate about it on the LHC forums and it looked like it might answer the problems I was having.

First I did my usual wash with cheap conditioner, followed by a condition with a thicker conditioner. After rinsing the conditioner out I finished the wash with a cool rinse containing a dilution of lemon juice. I used 2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon (strained to remove pith etc) in 1 litre of cool water. I rinsed my hair over a bowl and refilled the jug several times from the bowl to try to cover as much hair as possible.

After the rinse I scrunched the excess water out of my hair and plopped my hair in a microfibre headwrap for 30 mins to get most of the water off.

Close up of hair










I’m not sure what I think of the results yet. The results that others had reported were (borrowing Ktani’s summary of results from the lemon rinse thread at LHC:

1. Exceptional frizz control that lasts between shampoos – Still looks pretty frizzy to me. Maybe what I think of frizz is different to other people?
2. No reported dryness – This I can agree to. Despite my hair’s tendency towards dryness, my hair feels fine.
3. Defined curls or waves – Well, there were a few defined wurls. There were a couple of spiral curls at the side of my head and many S waves, but there were also a lot of barely wavy at all strands and everything just seemed to become one big mess rather quickly.

I am a little disappointed actually. I was hoping for much more of a difference. I may have fiddled with it slightly more than was necessary maybe or be misinterpreting what is wrong with my hair, but its still a bit of a mess. Too messy to wear down again so back to braids/buns.



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Mineral Oil – My Secret Enemy

I must apologise but there are no pictures today. I’m exhausted and it was as much as I could do to get my hair washed. This is just a quick update to record that I tried my previous CO wash with an Apple Cider Vinegar rinse again still using the SMT as a conditioner and my hair has come out lovely. The only thing I omitted was the mineral oil and suddenly no weird hair repelling mess. The guess must have been right – mineral oil hates my hair!

However this is still leaving me with hair that continually tangles and frizzes as the mineral oil had been an attempt to control this. Time to find something else to try.


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I really screwed up by trying more than one thing at once. I knew I shouldn’t have, but I did it anyway. Some of it worked. My hair suddenly became very soft and had a shine to it, but every strand seemed to be trying to repel every other strand around it.

My suspicion is that the ACV rinse and the SMT were fine, and that the mineral oil’s anti-static properties did not like my hair at all, but I will have to go check all of these separately to be sure.

However, I managed to badly sunburn my hand this week, despite going to great lengths to keep myself covered. Hair projects are on hold until I can tolerate getting my hand into warm water again.


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Posted by on July 25, 2012 in Condition Update, Personal


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Brief Interlude

Its been longer than I would have liked since I last updated. I haven’t been forgetting, I just haven’t been very well and wasn’t up to washing my hair. Its just been thrown into a loose braid and every day I added a little more diluted conditioner or a little oil to stop it drying out.

My hair isn’t overly greasy, even after more than a week and adding oil (jojoba). My scalp is itchy because it needs a wash, but my hair is still drinking up any oil or conditioner that gets near it. Maybe after my wash it will be in better condition than it has been of late. I’m heading to my Dad’s place this weekend to work on more wedding preparations and hear our banns read at the church so I need to prepare my hair for 4-5 hours of travel and still have it look nice on Sunday morning. I’m planning on putting it into rope braids and just gambling that I’ll get good braid waves on Sunday.

After reading a few more tips over at the LHC forums, I tried a little change to my CO wash. I’m still using the cheap clarifying conditioner from Wilkinson’s, but I diluted it a little with water and scrubbed my scalp with it while my hair was still dry. I’m hoping this will help remove the extra oil I put in my hair this week. The scrub felt fantastic after more than a  week with no wash! I really went overboard and worked at it with the pads of my fingers until my fingers and arms ached (OK that’s a lot quicker for me than it probably is for you because of the ME/CFS, but I spent several minutes on it). After rinsing this out, I then did a normal wet hair wash with the same conditioner just to be sure that all the oil and dirt had been removed.

This week my fiancé got me some hair supplies and I was eager to try a few of them just to try to see a difference as well as feeling the need of spoiling myself after such a yucky week. I have some JoJoba Oil, Apple Cider Vinegar and some Aloe Vera Gel. I added 2 tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar to a litre of cool water and let the length of my hair sit in this for a minute or so. After it had sat for a while and I’d tolerated as much of the horrid vinegar stench as I could, I removed my hair from the jug and slowly poured the contents over my scalp (with eyes tightly closed – vinegar and eyes do not mix!). I am hoping that as I live in a hard water area the acidity of the ACV rinse will remove any deposits on my hair as well as ensuring that my scalp has a nice healthy acidic pH again.

Next I tried something I’d been waiting ages to try: Snowymoon’s Moisture Treatment. I have heard so many recommendations about this recipe ever since joining the LHC forums and it sounded like a perfect treat for my dry hair. I didn’t have any Aloe Vera Gel until now though so I’d just settled with adding some honey to my conditioner occasionally. Not today! Today I made a batch of the SMT using all the standard ingredients, really worked it into all the hair well and then left it for 2 hours under a shower cap and towel.


The mixture felt lovely going on, but when it came time to rinse it out there were many white flakes, despite using a brand of AV gel that was reported to not cause flakes. They seem to have washed out fairly well though, although it did require a lot of rinsing. As I’ll be combing it when dry to put into braids I’m not too worried but it would have been a problem if I was just going to scrunch it and leave it to natural curl.

Finally, after squeezing as much water out as possible, I sprayed on a diluted version of my TRESemme Naturals conditioner as a leave-in. A bit of gentle finger-combing to reduce the tangles, another quick scrunch through with a T-shirt to get more water out and then I ran my hands through it with a tiny amount of Mineral Oil to help define, protect and reduce tangling.

I’ll update when its dry but that may take hours yet.


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I tried my second attempt at CO washing yesterday. This time I had a new conditioner to wash with so that I didn’t use the much more expensive TRESemme conditioner up too quickly. This one was a silicone free Wilkinsons own brand.

I did the same as before, except the first wash I substituted the cheap conditioner and then used the TRESemme just for the conditioning part. Did the usual scrunch out of extra water and then plopped it on my head in a Tshirt to dry for a while.

When I took it down, I was disappointed to find that I didn’t even have as much wave as last time. My hair isn’t feeling as dry and crunchy as it has been but I don’t think its managed to get particularly soft and shiny yet. Hard to tell when it isn’t straight.


I guess it was just a bad hair day. I went to bed last night with my hair scrunchied up on the top of my head so I’ll leave you with a rare shot of morning hair (and face).

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Posted by on July 11, 2012 in Condition Update


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