About eighteen months ago, I stopped washing my hair. OK, let’s walk that statement back slightly—I stopped using any sort of soap or shampoo. Instead, I made do with a daily swoosh under the shower, trusting the old saw about the natural oils in the scalp balancing things out.
Slap me dizzy, the strategy worked. I had a fortnight of horrors where the barnet felt like a chip shop wipe down rag and my scalp itched ferociously. I’d deliberately had it cut shorter than usual just before I started the experiment. Whatever happened, it would look ok. Well, acceptable. As long as you didn’t get too close.
After the initial fortnight my thin, flyaway locks began to feel thicker, healthier. The itching stopped. My bonce had never looked shinier. The approach might not be for everyone, but I was impressed. I’ve never felt the need to use any sort of detergent on my head since.
It’s just as well my hair looks after itself, because I can’t remember the last time I let it get as long as it is right now. As it’s able to stick up with no recourse to product, there is a distinct mad professor vibe to my daily look. I don’t mind it. In fact I might leave it a bit longer than I usually allow on the blessed day that I get to go back into a barbers.
I’m not indulging in the shaven-headed beardy look that a lot of my immediate circle of male friends and acquaintances are adopting. It’s not a look that would suit me. I’ve had beards in the past. Patchy, multi-coloured, scratchy chin fuzz. Beards did me no favours and TLC made it an early mission in our relationship to get me clean-shaven.
The habit, once achieved, has stuck. The razor and I do business twice a week, Wednesdays and Saturdays, a careful sudsy scrape under the shower. No mirrors, all done by feel. I have a good memory for faces. It’s a ritual that works well here in The Situation, a way of keeping track of time. A tactile, visual cue that hump day or the weekend has arrived.
In lifestyle news, last week had me in old jeans and a paint-spattered t-shirt, doing some decorating. The front room has been a disgrace for a while and we could put it off no longer. We’re on trend, apparently, with our choice of feature wall colour—a British Racing Green that hides a lot of the shonky plastering we did a few years back in a fit of lurid overconfidence. My respect for the plasterer’s art knows no bounds after that little adventure in clumpy amateurism, I can tell you. We went with Crown’s Steam Engine, ordered in direct from the manufacturer. The notion of going to B&Q really doesn’t appeal.
We’ve also been grown-up with the art on the walls. Instead of drilling holes in the plaster or gods help us resorting to Command hooks, we spent a wee scrap of cash on picture rail hooks and wire and did the job properly. We have limited edition prints that we’ve scooped up over the years (including a lovely red kite from local artist and zine-maker Sam Knight) and put in nice frames from the Caversham Picture Framer, so it makes sense to treat the art with a little respect. Gotta say, it looks good, and was surprisingly straightforward. Not convinced that everything’s dead straight, but right angles in this house are a rarity anyway.
End result—the room in which we spend most of our time makes us smile every time we walk into it, and I had a quiet and contemplative week getting the job done. All very Zen and mindful. All very good for the head.
Of course, there’s still the back end of the garden to deal with, but that’s another story. Maybe I should just nuke the site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.