There were many daunting preparations required for our recent trip to Kenya— a list of vaccines from Typhoid to Yellow Fever—we even had to drink a cup of Cholera. We doused our clothes in mosquito repellant sprays (while wearing a mass of protective gear), and started a pre-trip regimen of anti-malaria pills. We bought special filters and ultraviolet wands to rid our drinking water of dreaded stomach-destroying bacteria. But I am embarrassed to admit that one of the most disconcerting preparations on my list was gearing up for being without a blowdryer at the safari camps. Without a blowdryer to style my short, straight, lifeless hair I figured I’d be better off not washing it at all. But I was addicted to freshly washed hair—I’d washed it every day for about 45 years.
With a little courage from my hairdresser (she actually prefers her straight style on day 2 when it has a little ‘oomph’) and armed with some dry shampoo, I began practicing going without. First skipping a shower one day, then two, even three days—the longer I pushed it, the farther I could go the next time.
We returned home safely from our trip without catching (as far as we can tell) any of the dreaded diseases, stomachs intact, and for my part, primed to save about 3650 gallons of water this year. I’m showering every other day, giving my blow-dryer a rest, and somehow my hair has trained the limp away. If you suffer a shampooing addition I encourage you to try a little self-imposed rehab and add up the electricity, water, and time, you’re saving—I bet you, and your hair, will never feel so good!