OK, maybe not incredibly epic. But still. (This is adapted from my Mirror Mirror column, because I couldn’t just leave it to an unroast. I had to tell the whole damn story)
A little over a month ago, I stopped using shampoo. And, speaking as someone who has clearly never been in serious bodily danger, it felt like I was being very brave. Just a couple days, I told myself reassuringly. And then, when you look like a horrifying ball of dripping grease, you can do the rational thing and return to the sweet comfort of purifying chemicals and delectable fragrances. Because that is totally how I think of shampoo, when pondering its many virtues alone in the shower.
Honestly, I’m not sure what motivated me to attempt this reckless experiment. An article about the mountaineers who have scaled Everest’s ferocious flanks? That documentary on Netflix about the dude who illegally, triumphantly walked the high wire between the former World Trade Center buildings? Maybe just a quiet, deep-rooted sense of “now or never.”
A quick summary of my relationship with my hair (and please know that I am intensely aware of the fact that I recently wrote a piece critiquing the phrase “first world problems” and that this whole piece might fit into that phrase very neatly):
I did not ever want to be someone who cared about her hair. I picture myself as a kind of fiery, absentminded librarian-to-the-dragon-king type. You know, a Cimorene from Patricia C. Wrede’s Enchanted Forest Chronicles. Cimorene didn’t care about her hair, she was too busy running away from home to have awesome adventures, while her silly sisters fussed in front of the mirror, prettying themselves for visiting princes. The thing is, Cimorene had naturally fantastic hair. Those fantasy heroine’s, no matter how adorably tom-boyish, always do.