I started my locks at the beginning of spring and then I went on a tropical cruise and then it was summer, so for the first 6 months there was warm weather all the time. What did this mean?
My locks love water. Even though I didn't wash my hair every week, it was frequently wet. I would wet it down in the shower before I went out in the morning, or I would spritz it any time of day to tame the frizzies or keep it from sticking up. When it's wet it hangs just right and the ends dry to perfect spirals - I love it!
Well...when the cold weather settled in, walking out with wet hair was no longer an option. It doesn't even get that cold here compared to a lot of places, but the mornings are chilly enough that it just isn't smart to walk out with my hair dripping.
I've always washed my hair about once every two or three weeks, even before I had locks - just because straightening or twisting it was such a project that I tried to make whatever style I'd done last. Of course, when my hair was loose, even though I was using more product, I was also combing and brushing daily, so buildup was never a problem.
Before I started my locks I worried about keeping them clean because we all know about the gunk that builds at the base of braids and weaves and other extensions. I was pleasantly surprised when this was not a problem.
Well...lately my locks have been feeling and smelling not so fresh...only in the last 7 - 10 days. I attribute this to two factors. One...I've been so busy I neglected to wash it. And two...no spritzing, either.
My favorite thing is to wash my hair in the morning and let it air dry - hate sitting under a dryer - but as has been discussed, this is not an option in winter. Couldn't wash it at night because I didn't want to sleep on it wet and it takes about 3 - 4 hours to dry. Could have washed it in mid-afternoon, but kept forgetting or had somewhere to go.
So...I went about a month without washing it. About three days ago I noticed buildup near the base of some of the locks I had just retightened and I could smell my hair and it smelled like dirty scalp - ew! I was mortified!
It's like smelling your own bad breath or underarms. Suddenly you think: okay...I noticed it, so did other people notice it first? What must they have thought? Thankfully, I'd been mostly at home. I'd run errands to the grocery store and to get gas and things like that. No one had been in close proximity to my hair, so I think my good hygiene reputation is safe.
Even though I've been in the habit of washing my hair infrequently, I think all the spritzing and shower-wetting I did when it was warm kept my locks fairly clean. There was never any buildup because I was always running fresh water through it. I think three months of not doing that and this last month without a wash just put me over the edge.
I felt like I needed to do something above and beyond my normal wash, so I did an apple cider vinegar rinse - my very first. They get such mixed reviews and my locks never seemed dirty enough to try something 'drastic' that I might not like, so I didn't bother.
I poured some in a spray bottle, diluted it with water and spritzed liberally. All over. I saturated my scalp and I concentrated on the base of my locks where I'd noticed the buildup (about the last half inch or so) and then I moved out to the rest of my hair for good measure.
I left it on for about 20 minutes and then I rinsed it out. I just stuck my head in the kitchen sink and ran water through my locks for about 5 minutes straight. I massaged my scalp and squeezed my locks and then I was done.
It was nice! I liked it. They smelled really fresh and clean. Not like scented shampoo and not like vinegar either. It was an almost anti-scent, like water. And the other thing I liked is that they dried really soft, like I used a great conditioner. I kept touching them all day and marveling at the silkiness.
ACV rinse - definitely a new part of my beauty regime. I will probably do them monthly.