Well, after having given a few days to get all the curly opinions in and some time to think about whether the Natural Curly Hair experiment was a success or not, I think it is now time to elaborate. I will go by parts.
My own “curly haired man” opinion!
I think the experiment was a sucess! My curls certainly had retained their shape and texture by Day 30, was not giving any odours, did mat/knot somewhat but no more than expected and did have some residue which was not visible unless looked close enough.
By the end of the 30 day period, the hair had become drier than what it’d be under normal circumstances and I found that at the 20 day mark, the hair sebum was having difficulties travelling down the hair shaft. Thus, the hair was half way through over-coated with the needed healthy sebum while the remaining half was dry and lacking in sebum coverage. This is what I termed the “lamp effect”, as it would cause my hair to look like a (triangle) lamp, with the hair sticking out as half of its length was dry while the other was weighted down by the accumulated sebum. Regardless, the curls turned out to remain with a very similar texture and shape so this area was succesfully accomplished.
When it comes to the smell of my hair, honestly, I was expecting the worse here. As you guys know, I do quite a bit of exercising and I tend to sweat quite a bit. Without being too detailed here, I was expecting my hair to be smelling like the opposite of what a field of roses would smell like. Never was this an issue and I found water enough to rid of any accumulated odours throughout the given day.
It is true that as the days went by I found a higher-than-usual propensity for my hair to knot. You guys have seen how tightly coiled my curls are, which is one of the factors affecting the propensity for curly hair to mat/knot. Incidentally, I found the hair to be matting where there was an excess of sebum coating i.e the mid-length of the hair. This was resolved by throughoutly running my fingers down the hair’s length as I showered among other tactics I employed. By Day 30, the hair was not matted/knotted hence success was also achieved in this area.
In terms of residue, yes, there was some, especially if you got to look at my hair from very close. The residue was none other than the accumulated sebum disintegrating and leaving behind some small pieces. These small pieces were minuscule (to the naked eye) white bits that you’d have to be inches away from my hair to even see and, still, they were not overly populating my head. I made sure to have a solid grooming and watering routine to avoid overly accumulating residue which would have otherwise been a problem had I not been doing it right.
I was very happy with the result and many of the things that I learnt (which I will be sharing with you at Manly Curls) will be useful to having an even more solid grooming routine for my curls!
Curly dudette’s opinion
Other than writing on paper that I was loco, curly dudette was impressed with the results too. She had made a bet with me that after a week of not shampooing my curls I would quit, which she obviously lost and had to treat me to one of the awesome meals she cooks. Curly dudette smelled my hair everyday and inspected it. I relied on her female opinion to warn me when my hair would look so terrible that women would start avoiding even having conversations with me.
Yeah, yeah, whatever…
Curly dudette too uses all the advice I give out for grooming one’s curls and thus has some kickass curls, as you guys have seen on Facebook. She has now adopted a more carefree routine when it comes to shampooing her curls, cutting down her frequency of use as she saw herself how my curls looked better after a couple of days of not shampooing them. She is still put off by the idea of going shampoo-less for 30 days though.
Manly Curls’ readers’ opinion
Considering what you guys have commented (on the Day 30 post), the emails I received and some of the online chat that has surrounded my experiment, I can safely say that the public too agrees with the results. In the beginning, there was a bit of skepticism regarding the sucess of this experiment but it gradually faded as the days passed by and people got to see that not only did I stick with it but that the results were showing. All I have to say to you guys is thank you for the support and appreciation!
We can conclude that the natural curly hair experiment was, indeed, a success! All parts agree and much has been learnt from this as I documented the progression and made daily notes. I feel I have achieved even more knowledge about my own curly hair, getting to know how it lives and breathes without any hair products whatsoever, which will certainly go a long way in estabilishing an even more solid curly hair grooming routine than the one I already had. Live and learn, as they say!
All the best,