The almost vegetarian sure-fire fix for damaged hair

There is nothing, nothing I haven't done to my hair over the years.

I once practically shaved it all off (mummy had a truly classic reaction; even better than after my fifth piercing). I've slathered it in henna (I always swore that even if the place was on fire, I was not going outside with that swamp green goo on my head), dyed it every shade from death black to flaming red, permed it, and cut it in such an array of terrifying styles that if anyone has old pictures, I am prepared to pay the ransom.

You can just imagine the condition of my locks.

So, short of actually buying a wig, I needed some amazing hair product. First, the good news: I found some. Now for the great news: I found it at (of all places) Whole Foods.

And now I'm going to share because I am that kind of wonderful.

Despite what one of my students called while fluttering her fingers in the air "One of those woo hoo new age philosophies" when I used Dr. Hauschka as a case study, they actually have some really wonderful products. One of those is Neem Hair Oil. So let's start with that.

Oil me up
According to Dr. Hauschka, their Neem Hair Oil "Repairs damaged hair and restore {sic} healthy sheen and manageability."

Okay. Yeah. Whatever.

All I know is I oil up, wait an hour or two or three. Pop in the shower. Wash it out (and it washes out wonderfully easily - no need to rinse and repeat and repeat and repeat) and, suddenly, I have this healthy sheen and manageability.

Oh wait. That's what they said I'd get. Jeez, I love a beauty company that can deliver on a promise!

Shampoo, condition, and call me in the morning
Ah, but I know what you are thinking: What does she shampoo and condition with? Well, let me tell you.

These days, my shampoo and conditioner of choice are the Lavera Mango Milk Shampoo and Conditioner.

First, let me tell you about health food store shampoos. So far, every shampoo I have tried smelled horribly (I made my husband try one and he stomped out of the shower, thrust the shampoo bottle into my hands, and said "It smells like horse manure" before stomping away) or was so harsh it stripped my hair of whatever natural oils were left or did both.

This is the first health food store shampoo that did none of the above.

Okay, sure, the stuff is wickedly viscous (I don't mean to gross you out, but if you don't know what that means, than think "mucus"). And tends to ooze out of my hands landing on the floor of the tub in a silent blob (although, on the bright side, I have soft and manageable drains), but any of it that actually makes it onto my hair foams up like a dream and leaves my hair oh so soft.

The conditioner, on the other hand, has a perfectly normal texture, a light citrus smell, and does a lovely job.

And, when I am done, I find my hair doesn't look at all damaged. Why, oh goodness, it looks healthy. And beautiful. And I must find an excuse to throw my head back and shake it right, then left, then right, all in slow motion.

Oh. That cracking noise in my neck didn't sound good. I'm going to go lay down.