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eternallyverdan
May 3rd, 2008, 02:59 PM
Hi everyone! I'm a newcomer to the boards, but not to long hair-- I've been growing it for 23 years with only 2 trims, and it's currently just above classic length and still growing! Anyway, this fall I'm going to be spending 6-10 months in rural Senegal, and I'm hoping for some suggestions on how to keep my hair healthy and growing. The program I'm going with says that I'll probably not have a shower (I'll just have a bucket once or twice a week) and I'll be traveling a lot, which means I can't bring any heavy bottles or special equipment. If I do use anything, I'm thinking it might be corn starch or baking powder. I thought about NW/SO, but it looks like it would be too much work, with all the scritching and preening and massaging. So basically, I'm looking for the impossible-- a low-maintenance, low-water, minimal product, fabulous washing regime!

Leisa
May 3rd, 2008, 03:25 PM
Hi, if it was me, I would just take a bar of soap that can be used to clean hair as well. I have some black soap from Africa where it is used for body as well as hair.:)

When in Rome do as the Romans do. You can probably buy soap there that the locals use for their hair too.

Actually black soap comes from W Africa. Mine comes from Ghana. Maybe they sell it in Senegal or you can order it online, or just buy soap when you arrive. Or, use any soap that you like that doubles for the hair. Also use whatever oil they have there for your hair to condition. I think many Africans use oil on their hair for conditioning as that is traditional before there was shampoo and conditioner.:)

What will you be doing there?

justgreen
May 3rd, 2008, 03:47 PM
Washing with water only can sometimes be better than using shampoo or soap. I'd opt for water only, then damp bunning.

Speedbump
May 3rd, 2008, 03:49 PM
A member -- and please forgive me because I can't recall who it was! --had a fabulous thread about her granny's "airing powder" a while back. Her granny washed her hair I believe only once a month, and used the airing powder (basically a powder that soaked up oil and helped get rid of dirt) every other day. If I recall correctly. This member also posted the recipe for the airing powder. (Basically, you put it in your hair and then brush out the powder.)

Also, WO CAN be low maintenance and low water. I did an experiment earlier this year in which I used only 10 cups of water to wash and rinse my hair using the WO method. All you would need is something to hold the water in, and another bucket or something to catch the drips and to keep your hair from going on the ground. I did not do any more scalp massage than usual on that routine. A few minutes once a day is really all I have needed, even on the NW routine I did last year.

Finally, I would not use soap personally, because soap builds up unless you use some sort of an acidic rinse on it, and you may not have that available.

A final option may be to ask the people you are going to be living with what they use. They have adapted to their environment and they may have fabulous ideas and homemade products that you (or anyone here on the forum!) would not normally think of. :cheese:

HTH!

teela1978
May 3rd, 2008, 04:20 PM
Bringing along a bit of baking soda might not be a bad idea to cleanse if your roots are getting bad. It can double as deodorant too so you'd have one less thing to pack.

Nevermore
May 3rd, 2008, 04:55 PM
If you can bring baby powder, I'd suggest that. My reasoning here isn't just that it soaks up oil, but that you can buy it in nice smells. If you're anything like me, oily hair is ok, hair that smells oily isn't.

Other than that, whatever washing/nonwashing method you choose, I'd keep my hair braided in whatever braid style you prefer in your place, braiding it in the morning post-combing and then possibly before bed post-combing. I'd throw in a sturdy hair stick, braided buns are super comfy, easy to do and really only need one hair stick to hold them up.

Loviatar
May 3rd, 2008, 05:15 PM
Speedy, that was 'Nanny Pauline's Orris Root Airing Powder' and I think it was posted by Gladtobemom.

I wish I could find the recipe, it sounded wonderful.

eternallyverdan
May 3rd, 2008, 05:18 PM
Oooh! So many good replies! Sorry it's taken me so long to get back to you all, but my net went a bit wonky.

Leisa: Cool idea, and I'm hoping to be able to use something like that, but I'd rather have something that I know will work before I get there-- I'll definitely try everything that I find there, but it's nice to have something dependable as well. I'm there on a combined college semester/ecological development program called Living Routes, so I'll be in rural villages for parts of it, and I'll also be spending some time in Dakar for classes. What were you doing in Africa?

Justgreen: WO would be nice, but my other problem is that I don't know how frequently I'll have access to water, or how much water I'll have, and I don't want to inconvenience anyone by using too much. But I'm definitely hoping to go WO when the resources are available.

Speedbump: I'd love to find something like that airing powder recipe, because it sound like it would be optimal for my situation-- light, easy to carry, and effective. Do you think anyone else might know the recipe? And like I said before, I would like to try WO, so I'll be looking in-depth at some of the methods I've found here on the site so far-- do you have any particular tips to share on that?

Teela: That's pretty much my back-up plan, just baking powder and a little bottle of conditioner, but I'm a little worried about build-up with minimal water.

Nevermore: Baby powder sound like a great idea, and I especially like the idea of having something that smells nice. And style-wise, that's pretty much what I plan on doing-- after all, I've been doing it for the better part of 23 years!

tigerlily
May 3rd, 2008, 06:25 PM
The airing powder recipe was from Gladtobemom, I have a copy of it, hopefully she doesn't mind me reposting it!

This was a direct copy of her post, it didn't copy the photo that is talked about at the end, but I left that bit in because it included an idea of how much and when to use it.

Nanny Pauline’s Orris Root Airing Powder for the Hair
(Dry Shampoo)

2 quart glass canning jar
3.5 c. Orris Root Powder
3 c. Cornstarch
3-9 drops Rosemary EO
3-9 drops Lavender EO
3-9 drops Honey EO (I used Honey Absolute, I hope it's the same)
9 dried rose petals or 9 little pieces of silk about the size of rose petals.

1. Put 1 c. of Orris Root powder in the jar
2. Put 2 c. of the cornstarch in the jar
3. Close and roll a bit to mix. Do not shake.
4. Put 1-3 drops of EO on a rose petal or silk swatch and drop in the jar after the oil is well absorbed. Roll the jar a bit (don't shake). Do this with each drop of EO. Roll in between additions.
5. Put the rest of the Of the powders in and roll again.
6. Place the powder in a cool cupboard for 3 weeks, Roll jar every couple of days.

Use:
1. Put some of the powder into a fairly free flowing salt shaker. You can keep it in the shaker if the shaker has an airtight lid. (Note, I used a glass spice jar that has a shaker and screw on lid)
2. Cut some cheesecloth ito squares that are slightly larger than your boar bristle brush. Remove all the old hairs from your brush and use a clean brush if possible.
3. Starting on top of head, sprinkle powder as close to scalp as possible. Part every 1/4 to 1/2 inch. Pay special attention get it to the scalp. 1 tablespoons of powder is more than enough.
4. Lift hair gently with fingers next to scalp. The idea is to create a little friction.
5. After 20 minutes begin to brush carefully with BBB. After one brushing, start putting cheesecloth over brush. (Get the hair out of the brush and press a single layer of cheesecloth into the brush a bit. It helps to collect the powder and rub it against your hair.)
6. If necessary, repeat the whole procedure.
7. Your hair will be fluffy and smell wonderful.

Even my husband says my hair smells intoxicating. He was asking me which BPAL I had on. That Orris Root Powder smells heavenly, it has a very clean violet, and slightly lavendar scent.

I do find that no matter what, I seem to use about 1½ Tbl. I put some in an empty spice jar that has a shaker and a cover for application. This is a photograph of my hair 9 days after washing, I used the airing powder on the 5th and 9th days. This photo was taken just after using the powder.

UrbanEast
May 3rd, 2008, 07:20 PM
I think that some of the commercial dry shampoos on the market are pretty good. On the high end, the Oscar Blandi one gets good reviews, but that's pretty expensive. Psssst, which you can find at the drugstore, is another one.

Anje
May 3rd, 2008, 07:57 PM
I'm basically going to second everything that Speedbump said. WO is easy and doesn't require much water, though if I were you I'd try to transition to it before you go. It'll take at least a few weeks to get your scalp to reduce its oil production. I spent very little time with my hair washing WO and my washes stretched out with time. Adding oil to your ends can help save them if you can't get sebum all the way down your length. You can bring your favorite or see what's available there (like shea butter).

I'd avoid using soap or baking soda. Both tend to be basic, which causes the scales of the hairs to rise, creating huge tangles if you don't follow with an acidic rinse (which may be a lot of trouble there). Some people have luck with these, but it depends on your hair and the water you have available. Please at least experiment with them at home before you try taking it on the road, but don't count on them working the same way in Senegal that they do at home.

ETA: Here's a link to an overview of WO washing (http://archive.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=50999) on the old forum. (We had a crash a while back.) Also, this links to Snowy's massage technique (http://archive.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=15976), which is used by some WO/NW/SO people to move sebum. Incidentally, I found water moved sebum better than anything I did to move it manually.

Wavelength
May 3rd, 2008, 08:20 PM
I love that Airing Powder recipe, but where can you source Orris Root Powder?

Speedbump
May 3rd, 2008, 08:55 PM
Thanks for posting the recipe! I wanted it myself because it's the one thing I haven't tried yet. :lol:


I love that Airing Powder recipe, but where can you source Orris Root Powder?
Here you go. (http://www.mountainroseherbs.com/bulkherb/o.php) :flower:

freznow
May 3rd, 2008, 09:00 PM
I love that Airing Powder recipe, but where can you source Orris Root Powder?

I just searched on CamdenGrey.com (Which btw got a major revamp for their site, it looks wonderful now!) and they have it there too. But I wonder where you could get it in real life...

Good luck, eternallyverdan. I'm NW and I honestly don't do much with my hair, even scritching and massaging. No brushing at all. But that's just me, I know others who spend a lot of time on that sort of stuff. Same goes for WO - for some, that weekly rinse is all they'll need, while others use daily washes and lots of massaging. Give some of them a try, figuring out which ones don't work is just as important as figuring out those that do!

And some more thanks for the recipe, I'm considering now ordering some orris root with my EO order (which I will, one day, get around to placing!) for days when I can't be greasy at all.

intothemist1999
May 3rd, 2008, 09:54 PM
Bringing along a bit of baking soda might not be a bad idea.




And make sure you leave it in the original packaging to help you avoid any uncomfortable situations in customs :) Kinda like when my MIL brought us a year's worth of dried summer savory, packed in baggies!!! :rollin:


.

hazelfaern
May 5th, 2008, 02:13 AM
I just searched on CamdenGrey.com (Which btw got a major revamp for their site, it looks wonderful now!) and they have it there too. But I wonder where you could get it in real life...

Frontier has it (http://www.frontiercoop.com/dspCmnPrd.php?p=b&cn=Orris%20Root&ct=hchhaz), which means if your local health food store doesn't stock it, they should be able to easily order it for you (the vast majority of health food stores stock Frontier in the bulk dry-goods section).

Cinnamon Hair
May 5th, 2008, 05:04 AM
You might look into scalp washing. That uses almost no water (certainly no more than average haired people), and if you're wearing buns, the scalp should be the main culprit for dirtyness. If you did this you wouldn't have to condition the length or do anything with it at all most wash days.

Leisa
May 5th, 2008, 09:58 AM
Leisa: Cool idea, and I'm hoping to be able to use something like that, but I'd rather have something that I know will work before I get there-- I'll definitely try everything that I find there, but it's nice to have something dependable as well. I'm there on a combined college semester/ecological development program called Living Routes, so I'll be in rural villages for parts of it, and I'll also be spending some time in Dakar for classes. What were you doing in Africa?


Hi there! That sounds awesome. I haven't been to Africa, I had a friend who had been there who told me about Black soap and shea butter for the hair.:)

Baaba Maal is from Seneca. I love his music.

Also, if your hair looks bad you can always cover your hair as they do. You might like wearing scarves on your head.

Or better yet, you could just have it braided and then rinse it with water. Keep it covered during the day and you wont get dirt in your hair so it will stay clean. Then a little soapy water will rinse your braids. I dont' know, but I'm excited for you, have fun!

lora410
May 5th, 2008, 10:11 AM
Well water only will actually be wonderful for your hair. I would take a boar bristle brush with you to help with itchies and smooth the oil down the strands. You you take try taking just a normal bottle of conditioner with you and do CO only? That will clean your greasys and leave your hair soft instead of dried out with just shampoo.A braid will prob be your best friend during this time.

lilalong
May 5th, 2008, 10:26 AM
How about lots of small braids => less washing and more hair protection

Periwinkle
May 5th, 2008, 11:02 AM
Any chance you could try cornrow braids for at least some of the time? Hair doesn't need so much washing when it's like that, and it keeps it out of the way as well. You'd still have to wash, but less often.

countryhopper
June 3rd, 2010, 09:18 AM
bump :)

This is SUCH a good thread! I especially like the recipe for the airing powder. I usually just use cornstarch. Once I used ground cinnamon, but it was too drying on my hair, plus many people have reactions with cinnamon. I've also heard that you can use cocoa powder, although I've never tried it.

Another tip if you are in a country where water can be scarce if to wash it in a bucket. Use a plastic cup to scoop water from the bucket onto your head/hair (ang your head over the bucket so the water goes back in and you don't loose any.

I used this method to wash my hair and bathe daily for over a year. I got down to using about 1/2-3/4 of a bucket of water.

dropinthebucket
June 3rd, 2010, 09:28 AM
That's sounds so fabulous - I'm sure it will be the experience of a lifetime - good luck on your travels!

BritishBraider
June 3rd, 2010, 09:37 AM
I have heard great things about water-only....

may1em
June 3rd, 2010, 09:50 AM
Seconding the recommendations for a scalp-only wash, which sounds like it might actually be easier with a bucket than it is with my non-detachable shower. I used Queen Helene Mint Julep shampoo for my scalp washes, and it comes in a concentrated form you dilute later, so you could bring a small squirt bottle and mix up what you need each time you wash. For travel, I've only brought along some of the concentrate in a travel-size bottle, and it worked ok.

Also, if you do end up using soap, powdered citric acid mixed with water works as well as vinegar and is more portable. Use the same small squirt bottle for this.