"This is a health and beauty tip.
But fear not! This section of my website is not going to spiral downward into step-by-step tutorials showing how to apply a thin line of liquid liner on your upper lid, or how to create a smoky eye look, or how to feather your hair like Farrah, or how to make your neck look ten years younger. Cross my heart and hope to die.
But I feel compelled to share this tip with you. If it can help just ONE PERSON (she says, beating her chest in martyrdom)…
My hair is not the same as it used to be. Now, I’ve never been tan, I’ve never had a perfectly flat stomach (not even a remotely flat stomach), I have freckles, and I have child-bearing hips. But the one thing I never had to worry about my entire life was my hair. It was always pretty thick and healthy, shiny and plentiful. It did what I wanted, and was probably the only aspect of my person that was a non-issue.
In the past five years, I’ve noticed a marked difference in my hair. It’s more coarse. It’s more thin. It’s a little on the dull side. And its volume has decreased considerably—while my ponytails used to comprise a good handful, they’re pretty small. In a nutshell, my hair has changed.
I started examining this last summer. I felt healthy, but maybe my hair was trying to signal an underlying problem—like a dog’s fur usually reveals poor health. After five minutes on the internet, my self diagnosis was hypothyroidism. OF COURSE! THAT’S IT! I thought. I have all the symptoms: hair changes, fatigue, a few pounds more than I’d like to be, etc. I congratulated myself on such an astute diagnosis and called my local doctor to schedule a bloodtest so it could confirm my brilliance. Then I’d be prescribed medication for the condition and my hair would be back to normal again.
The bloodtest only revealed that there was absolutely nothing wrong with me; my thyroid was just fine. I STILL SAY THE LAB WAS WRONG! Don’t they know I’m the greatest amateur physician in the land?
Throughout the next several months, I continued to examine the causes of the changes in my hair. Stress? Surely not. Cancer? No—hair loss is usually related to treatment, not the cancer itself.
And then it hit me one day as I was emptying the dishwasher and noticing the terrible hard water deposits on my glasses (I was out of Lemi-Shine at the time):
Of course: IT’S THE WATER!
To understand my theory, you need to understand that our rural water is terribly, terribly hard—packed with minerals. If I don’t clean our ice maker once a month, it will become clogged with hard water deposits and quit working. I’ve replaced the motor three times. Faucets, without intervention, collect a white/green residue of calcium and copper. And without Lemi-Shine (my best friend), the dishwasher will become a clouded, murky mess.
We installed a salt water softener six years ago. It was kaput within six months.I’m dealing with some very hard water here.
So the question I asked myself was, if the mineral deposits from my water are killing my icemaker, clogging up my dishwasher, and clouding up my glasses…what must it be doing to my hair follicles? My hair shaft? My Farrah feathers? It was a major lightbulb moment.
Of course, it’s no secret that distilled white vinegar is pretty much a wonder product in itself when it comes to household chores, and through the years I’ve heard that vinegar can prove to be a great hair rinse. I always thought it was more from a vanity standpoint, though, and had other things to do than add an extra step to my showering routine just to make my hair a little shinier.
But then I started thinking about what vinegar does to my coffeemaker when it becomes caked with mineral deposits…and how well it cleans my shower floor…and how sparkly clean it gets windows.
That day, just before I showered, I grabbed a plastic bottle from my kitchen cabinet and filled it with a solution of half vinegar, half warm water. Then I grabbed some essential oil (a mix of lavender and rosemary) and added a tiny drop, just to kill the vinegar smell. In the shower, after I washed my hair (this is getting personal; sorry), I leaned back my head and poured it all over my scalp, letting it run down the length of my hair. Then I left it on for a couple of minutes while I fished all my other shower shenanigans, and rinsed it a final time.
In the week I’ve been regularly rinsing my hair with vinegar, here’s what’s happened:
* My girls have both separately said, “Mommy, your hair is so shiny.”
* My hair feels cleaner than it has ever felt.
* My hair feels thicker than it has felt in a long time. I think the vinegar is stripping away so much gunk that it’s finally feeling alive again.
* I smell faintly like pickles.
* But I’m okay with that for now."