A Week Without Washing My Hair—Grease Training

Ever since Lee from America talked about how she was grease-training her hair, I decided that was something I wanted to try.  I would like to improve the health of my scalp and I am also concerned about my short hair drying out.  The elements and frequent washing can wreak a havoc on both so grease-training seemed like a great way to combat that.

Day 1 of grease training
Day 1 with fresh, clean hair. I showered the previous night and this is the first day in the second week of grease-training.
Day 1 grease training
Side view of Day 1 hair. I just straightened the front pieces to tame the baby hairs. The rest of my wavy hair was left to do its natural thing.

I’m still new to grease-training but basically, it involves taking time to let your hair and scalp develop its natural oils.

Before we delve into this any further, there are some things I want to mention about my hair texture: I recently cut my hair to as short angled bob but, when it was longer, it was easily frizzy and often wavy.  Now, it is somewhere in between wavy and straight, but with a decent fullness.  I usually style it with a straightener to smooth out the hair that frames my face or the rogue pieces at the back of my head.  Otherwise, au natural is easiest for me.  I’ve also got some Latina blood in me so that lends itself to hair with the potential to get majorly oily.

Day 2 grease training
Side view of my hair on Day 2. It’s a little bit flatter but my hair feels smooth without being weighed down.
Day 3 grease training
Day 3 hair doesn’t feel as bad as it looks. I brushed my roots so that the natural oils on my scalp would spread onto my hair and that flattened it out a lot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My hair was ridiculously oily from over-washing.

For years my hair washing routine has been to shampoo every other day.  My second day hair will typically have a little more texture to it but the crown of my head is ready to be washed by the evening.  So, the first step in grease-training for me was to extend washing to every three days.  That felt uncomfortable to say the least.  After about two weeks of going through three day hair-washing cycles, I stepped it up.  I did four days with a hair rinse on day 2.  I’ll talk about rinsing a bit more but first, let me mention some tips I acquired tips from friends on Instagram who also don’t wash their hair frequently ( I won’t out you guys x D ) which I utilized during grease-training:

  • Dry shampoo was recommended and I know it can be a savior for many.  I used it a bit during the first two weeks but opted not to use it as I continued extending the days between washes.
  • Another tip I got was to wash my hair with only water and scrub it really well with my fingernails—I call this a rinse.
  • A final tip was to condition the ends of my hair during the rinsing time in the shower.

I tried all of these at some point but here’s the deal with the mid-point rinse: it helps get rid of the gunk that was building up on my scalp but that gunk just got shoved further down onto my hair.

Day 4 grease training
Day 4 hair feels thick. My mistake was rinsing it last night (evening of Day 3) because that seemed to only exacerbate the oiliness. If I didn’t know better, I’d think someone slathered texturing balm all over my hair.
Day 5 grease training
Day 5 and I’m feeling like I’ve done something wrong. It is REALLY oily and specks of sebum are present close to my hairline. Highly inclined to just wash my hair….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Despite how gross I felt, I pushed through!

The days following the rinse, I just accepted the “thick” look my hair had.  I mean, hey, at least it couldn’t get any worse.

I did two weeks of four day cycles with a rinse on day 2 and shampooed on day 4.  Finally, day 4 came around and I was like, why not try for 5?  Then on day 5 I said, let’s try to get to day 6 and then 7!  I jumped from washing my hair every four days to a whole week without washing.

Let me tell ya.  That first complete week of no washing was pretty damn greasy.  Especially because I squeezed some workouts in daily.  This week was also when I also rinsed my hair for the last time—it wasn’t working out for me.  My hair was an uncomfortable mess but I was optimistic it would get better.  The second time I tackled a week without washing, my hair lasted well for the first few days (see pictures) but needed some attention by day four.

Day 6 grease training
Day 6 hair has surprisingly less grease going on. My roots still feel oily but the texture of my hair itself is soft and full. It’s also getting back my natural waves.
Day 7 grease training
Day 7 and I want to hide in a cave. My hair has taken a turn for the worst and it feels like a greaseball.  Note: I didn’t take a picture of Day 8 hair but it looked something like this so I hid it in a ponytail.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Okay, it was screaming for attention.

My mom was disgusted when I told her what I was doing and told me I should brush my hair.  She reminded me that in the old days, when people wouldn’t shower often, ladies would brush their hair daily.  A daily brushing helpse to distribute the oils and keep their hair fresh.  I honestly never brush my hair but I decided to give it a go.  My hair felt really oily but it was no longer all concentrated at the crown of my head.  It felt like the oils were distributed through my hair but not in the thick way that my hair felt after rinsing.  I kept brushing the days following that until I finally washed my hair on Day 8.  For the record, I wasn’t aiming for eight days.  I just didn’t get the chance to wash it on the evening of Day 7.  My hair felt relieved, instantly clean, and featherweight.

As I write this, I am on my third cycle of a full week without washing (and second week without any rinsing whatsoever).  This week has definitely gone by much smoother and less oilier than last.  My hair actually felt great and looked fresh most of the week!  I attribute that to brushing it well on Day 3 and continuing to do so daily there on after.

My takeaway is:

Grease-training doesn’t happen overnight.  It took me a good month to build up to four days without shampooing my hair.  Now I can last a full 7 days and my scalp and hair feel decent.  More importantly, they don’t look like a greaseball.

Oily roots are the result of natural build up.  So, sure, you can spray dry shampoo on them but that doesn’t help the hair itself.  I opted to use the scalp’s oils as a conditioner for my hair when I gave it the daily brushing.

And the brushing—that makes the biggest difference.  I use a nylon bristle brush though a boar bristle brush would probably be most effective.  If that’s something you want to invest in.

It’s a bit too soon to tell if my scalp and hair are “healthier” but it feels good.  My hair is definitely not dry and I haven’t had to use styling products at all.  I like the way it naturally falls and it holds well in pontytails, buns, or braids.  As far as grease-training goes, it would be cool to be like Shailene Woodley and only shampoo once a month but I’m going to stick with my cycles of 7 days for now.

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Avocado Miso Zoodles Recipe

avocado miso zoodles

Avocado jazzes up any dish and I’ve never once regretted putting a few slices on my food.

When in doubt, add the avocado!

With that being said, we all have our favorite ways to eat avocado:

Toast

Salad

Guacamole

All delicious options but I am constantly trying to think outside of the box for how I can make foods different.  I like trying new dishes so I’m excited when I can find a use for an ingredient, like avocado, that wows my taste buds.

 

avocado miso zoodles

I’ve whisked up an avocado with lemon juice and water to make a salad dressing before, and that’s pretty good, but the addition of miso is next level unami.  I could eat miso on its own (I totally scoop a bit out of the tub with my finger each time I open the container.  Anyone else?).  I could also eat avocado on its own (perhaps with a dash of salt).  Put these two powerhouse ingredients together and you’ve got something amazing!

avocado miso zoodles

I originally saw inspiration for a kale noodle bowl with avocado miso dressing from Sarah at A House in the Hills.  Sarah uses buckwheat noodles but I opted for some good ol’ zoodles.  I peeled my zucchini before spiralizing because I’m concerned about pesticides (see more here) but use organic or wash yours really well.

Also, the instructions on Sarah’s recipe left me a little unsure about serving size but my recipe, as written, makes a good-sized dinner for one.  The plant-based dish is light but satiating thanks to beans and the delicious avocado miso sauce.  Speaking of which, the sauce is generous enough to coat the noodles as well as any add-ins you may choose.  I felt like the dish was filling on its own but feel free to add extra protein or veggies, if desired.

avocado miso zoodles

 

Avocado Miso Zoodles
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Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Vegan, Vegetarian
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 1 bowl
Ingredients
  • ½ a small avocado
  • 1 tbsp miso paste (any variety)
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2-3 tsp water to thin
  • 2 cups chopped kale, packed
  • 1 small zucchini, spiralized
  • ½ cup white beans, rinsed
  • Everything But the Bagel Seasoning or sea salt and sesame seeds to garnish
Instructions
  1. Mix sauce ingredients in a serving bowl, adding more water if needed. Set aside.
  2. In a cast iron skillet or nonstick pan, slightly warm the kale—just until it begins to wilt.
  3. Add zoodles and kale to the bowl and stir to coat with the sauce.
  4. Top with white beans and Everything But the Bagel Seasoning or sesame seeds.

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Banana Tahini Shake – My current FAVE

Alright, alright, alright!  How is everyone doing today?  It is Tuesday and it’s time to break out the tahini! Can that be a thing?  Move over tacos, it’s Tahini Tuesday! 😆

Banana Tahini Shake

It’s no secret that smoothies are my favorite thing ever and if I can sneak some vegetables in them, that’s even better.  Too much fruit in a smoothie can spike my blood sugar and leave me crashing with hanger mid-morning.  That doesn’t mean fruit is a no-go, it just means I need to include a little something extra to stabilize my energy and keep hunger at bay.  A recent discovery that I’ve made in regards to my smoothies is the power of HEALTHY FATS.

I used to be so scared of using oil or eating peanut butter and avocados (not necessarily together), but now I know that a moderate amount of fat is A-okay!  I eat mostly plant-based so when I include healthy fats, I add a satiating element to my meals, too.

Banana Tahini Shake

So, back to the Banana Tahini Shake!  Technically it could fall under the “smoothie” category but it is so rich and comforting that it feels like a shake to me.  Shakes are usually loaded up with ice cream, dairy milk, and sugar but mine is sweetened with banana.  It’s more than healthy enough for breakfast for sure!  Plus, the addition of tahini really helps round out the smoothie/shake.  It is…

Uniquely satisfying,

Subtly sweet,

And perfectly thick.

I have been digging this for weeks now and I’m very excited to share it!  Let me know if you try it out 🙂

Banana Tahini Shake Header

 

Banana Tahini Shake
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Recipe type: Breakfast
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 1
Zucchini adds fiber, tahini adds satiating fats, and banana brings home the sweetness in this simple Banana Tahini Shake.
Ingredients
  • ¼ large frozen zucchini (about ½ cup chopped)
  • 1 med frozen banana
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • a dash of black pepper
  • ½ inch knob of fresh ginger, frozen (I like the zestiness of it but you can sub ground)
  • 1-2 tbsp of tahini,
  • 1 serving of plant-based protein powder, optional
  • ¾ cup - 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • Barbaras Bakery Puffins or other cereal, optional
Instructions
  1. Add zucchini, banana, and ginger to a blender or food processor and ¾ cup of almond milk. Blend away! Then add the spices, tahini, and protein powder. Add more milk, if needed.
  2. Serve the smoothie in a glass with some low-sugar cereal of choice, if desired. Best enjoyed with a spoon and straw.

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Understanding Hope: A Change in Perspective

I was just re-watching a Tea Talk video from Nikki Phillippi where she spoke with Instagram sensation, Tifforelie,  about how to find hope even in the midst of frequent pain or hardships.  You can watch the video here, if you’re interested.

Tiffany described her own hardships with careers, marriage, and finding her passion.  I have not been through the experiences that Tiffany has but I have been feeling frustrated with my own circumstances lately.  I understand how important outlook can be in inspiring personal change, betterment, or good fortune.  Thus, the discussion in the Tea Talk is a welcome source of inspiration.  I felt I could relate to a couple of points discussed in the video.  In fact, by the end of it, I was so grateful to hear that they, and others in the comments, share my same thoughts.  What particularly struck my interest was how Tiffany mentioned that she used to look at someone under hard times with judgmental eyes.  She would offer pity rather than optimism or hope to lift the person up.

I think instances of pain—especially pain that is unfamiliar to us—often receive that sort of reaction.  It feels almost instinctive to extend sympathy but that is not the kind of reaction I would want to receive.  Nor is it how I want to look at others.

The Tea Talk video gave me a lot of nice ideas to consider.  It all goes back to that saying, “treat others the way you want to be treated”.  Except…TIffany’s way of thinking advocates for extending hope and positive vibes by thinking positively of someone else.  Not just so that someone else will think kindly of you, but, to extend hope and positive vibes into the universe.  There is a deeper understanding of others, and ourselves for that matter, that we can tap into if we try.  I feel encouraged to reframe my perspective and think less critically about how others may be living their lives.  There is no reason to fill myself with negative thoughts of others or to waste time creating them.

A quote by Roald Dahl sums it up pretty well:

hope and positive vibes

 

 

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No-Bake Almond Coconut Bars

I’ve got such a case of wanderlust right now; I can’t even handle it.  I want to be anywhere else but my hometown.  Has anyone else experienced this?

almond coconut bars

Every couple of months I get an overwhelming desire to move somewhere new.  A few years back in college, I was itching to head to Ireland for a semester abroad.  The experience surely would have been worthwhile but I played it (financially) safe and did not act on my dream.  Recently, though, all I want to do is move out of my hometown.  If you follow my Instagram, you might have heard me mention how I want to move out of California.  I currently live in the same hometown, or county, that I grew up in and I feel stuck.

Just yesterday I came across this article on Medium about how to live the life you want.  It might sound kitschy but inspirational articles and videos are all that get me by.  Anyway, the article’s author, Isaac Morehouse, stated something that really resonated with me:

“There’s something weird about staying in your hometown. It severely limits the definitions you accept for what makes you successful. Oddly, most of the hometown definitions of success have nothing to do with happiness. They have to do with becoming what everyone in your past expects or desires given who you used to be. It’s a sort of tether to a past self that no longer exists.”

 

almond coconut bars

As I read the article, and the above quote in particular, I felt understood like never before.  I really need a change from my same-old, same-old hometown.  It’s easier to say you want something to happen than to see it happen.  I’ve narrowed down where I want to go and have been applying to jobs left and right.  Unfortunately, I rarely hear back from any of the places I’ve put in applications. My guess is either:

A. No one wants to hire someone from out of state.

or

B. I’m oblivious of how under-qualified I am for the jobs that I’ve been applying for.

Ideally, I want to have some hope of acquiring a job before I move to the area I have in mind.  I’ve got some money saved up but not enough to keep me from wanting to play it safe.  (Thus, the reason I squashed my Ireland dreams in college).  Sigh.  It’s not an easy task to move out but I’m slowly working on it.

almond coconut bar ingredients

On a different note, something that is easy and does not require anyone to move (nice transition, right?) are these Almond Coconut Bars!  They are my ultimate favorite homemade snack bar.  They are inspired by the Balanced Goodness Coconut + Granola Go Macro bars but the ingredients are simplified.  You could totally make them into balls if you prefer small energy bites but I prefer larger bars, similar to the Go Macro ones.

almond coconut bars

They are ridiculously simple to throw together so if you make them, let me know! 🙂

No-Bake Almond Coconut Bars
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Recipe type: Snacks
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4 bars
Inspired by Go Macro Balanced Goodness Coconut + Granola bars. These bars are only four ingredients, naturally sweetened, and don't require any baking.
Ingredients
  • ½ cup (about 15 Neglet) sticky, pitted dates*
  • 2 heaping tbsp of almond butter
  • ¼ cup rolled oats
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened desiccated coconut
Instructions
  1. In a food processor, puree the dates to a thick paste. Add the almond butter and pulse.
  2. Take the ¼ cup of rolled oats and add them to a nonstick pan. On a stovetop, lightly warm the oats until they smell/look toasted. Three minutes on medium heat should be enough.
  3. Add the warm oats to the food processor, along with the coconut, and process until combined.
  4. Mixture will look dry and crumbly but, as you pick it up with your hands, it should mash together. Add 2 teaspoons of warm water if the mixture does not mash together and process again (I didn’t need to add any).
  5. Separate the mixture into 4 balls and form into square-shaped bars.
  6. They will keep at room temperature for a day, or store in the refrigerator for up to a month.
Notes
*If your dates have been stored in the fridge or freezer, or simply aren't sticky, soak them in hot water to soften. I like to heat up some water in a pot on the stove and let the dates rest in the hot water for 10 minutes.
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