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#184498 - 10/07/09 05:55 PM Cleaning your hair without water?
dweste Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 2463
Loc: Central California
Assuming water to be in limited supply [edit: and that you have hair to clean], how would you clean your hair in a longer term emergency?

I have tried rubbing in and brushing out corn starch - horrible mess and never quite out of the hair. I looked at a spray product but I never achieved the "separate each lock of hair to get spray to roots" thing, and I did not like the spray migrating around. I have seen advertized something called "No Rinse" that you rub in and towel off, but have not located any yet.

Thoughts?

Thanks.


Edited by dweste (10/07/09 06:25 PM)

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#184503 - 10/07/09 06:57 PM Re: Cleaning your hair without water? [Re: dweste]
Y_T_ Offline
Newbie

Registered: 10/04/09
Posts: 31
Loc: Arizona
First, I'd suggest that you focus on washing the scalp, not the hair, especially when you have to conserve water. Washing the hair just tends to strip it anyway and most people don't need to actually suds and wash the hair more than once or twice a week. (The exception being if you're working out regularly and using lots of product, but neither of those are applicable in an emergency situation). When you rinse the scalp the rest of your hair will get wet. You can use that to do a quick scrub of the hair without using extra water.
(edit: Also, combing the water through the hair at that point will help distribute it, eliminating the need to dump more water on the hair wet or scrub it. Use a wide-tooth comb to avoid hair breakage since it's often more susceptible to damage when it's wet.)

When you need to clean the scalp with no water witch hazel is often recommended. If you need something stronger you could try diluting tea tree oil. You apply either with a cotton ball.

When you have to clean the hair itself and have little to no water try a white vinegar rinse on the hair to remove dirt and oil. I've also read lemon juice can work. You can google for specific directions. It'll likely strip hair dye, but I don't really think that's a concern in an emergency scenario.

Another that helps to reduce the amount of water needed for hair washing is to comb out all the knots first, then use a spray bottle and a comb or brush to wet the hair. That saves tons of cups or gallons being dumped on the head. I've never done it but you could try using a spray bottle for white vinegar as well.

If you have long hair try to keep it up and/or covered with a hat or scarf during SHTF situations, as it will help keep the hair itself cleaner longer.



Edited by Y_T_ (10/07/09 07:00 PM)

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#184504 - 10/07/09 07:07 PM Re: Cleaning your hair without water? [Re: Y_T_]
Kona1 Offline
Newbie

Registered: 09/29/09
Posts: 42
Loc: Pacific Northwest, USA
"No Rinse" type products can be found at good pharmacies or stores catering to the care of the elderly.

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#184510 - 10/07/09 08:15 PM Re: Cleaning your hair without water? [Re: NightHiker]
benjammin Offline
Rapscallion
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4020
Loc: Anchorage AK
Ethyl Alcohol will do just fine. Surfactizes and alluviates, though no foam. Also disinfects and deoderizes.
_________________________
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

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#184517 - 10/07/09 08:40 PM Re: Cleaning your hair without water? [Re: ]
dweste Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 2463
Loc: Central California
Y_T: You get the most interesting-picture-on-the-thread award. Which of the methods you mention have you used with good results?

I will try the ethyl alcohol wash, if I can get Ethel to tell me where she keeps it [sorry].

The baby powder thing strikes me a being a very messy procedure. Is baby powder biodegradable?

I have checked with stores in my area that have in home health care supplies for shut-ins, etcetera. They have only $6 scrub bonnets that are bulky and one-time use, and the spray product I mentioned earlier.

I like the idea of a liquid or gel that can be massaged in and toweled off.

Any other product suggestions?

Thanks.

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#184520 - 10/07/09 08:47 PM Re: Cleaning your hair without water? [Re: NightHiker]
2005RedTJ Offline
Addict

Registered: 01/07/09
Posts: 475
Loc: Birmingham, Alabama
Originally Posted By: NightHiker
I'd just shave my head.


This. I already keep it at about 1/8"-1/4" anyway.

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#184526 - 10/07/09 09:33 PM Re: Cleaning your hair without water? [Re: dweste]
Y_T_ Offline
Newbie

Registered: 10/04/09
Posts: 31
Loc: Arizona
Originally Posted By: dweste
Y_T: You get the most interesting-picture-on-the-thread award. Which of the methods you mention have you used with good results?
hee on the av. and I've done all of the methods mentioned for washing hair with very little water when I've camped. I've also used witch hazel on the scalp in lieu of washing it (when I had hair extensions). Those methods have worked fine for me. For reference, I have shoulder length, medium weight hair that is prone to knotting.

I have not needed to do an entirely water-free hair wash so I don't have first hand experience on the white vinegar or lemon juice. However, given the choice I'd use white vinegar. Because it's not as sticky as lemon juice, is more readily available, and doesn't require refrigeration. It also is less likely to attract bugs. But when I was a kid we used to spray lemon juice in our hair to try to sun bleach it so we'd have summer streaks. wink

The only time I think I'd use the tea tree dilution was if I was feel seriously grubby or if lice were a concern and I was trying to do a preventative treatment. Or if none of the other products were available.

I personally wouldn't use rubbing alcohol on my scalp or hair because it dries out both, which could result in an itchy scalp and totally unmanageable or breaking hair (which is why some people try to avoid styling products with high alcohol content). Witch hazel is less harsh. However, I have combo skin that tends toward dryness and dry hair. Someone with oily skin or hair may find alcohol works well.

Originally Posted By: dweste
The baby powder thing strikes me a being a very messy procedure. Is baby powder biodegradable?
I've read about baby powder and also thought it sounded like a mess. It might be ok if you have really short hair.

Also, keep in mind there's a difference between corn starch and talcum powder. People tend to use the term "baby powder" as a generic catchall for either. I'd opt for corn starch there over the talc. I don't know if either is biodegradable, but I'd venture that corn starch is better than the talc in that regard.

hope that helps

oh...
Originally Posted By: dweste
I like the idea of a liquid or gel that can be massaged in and toweled off.
I wonder if hand sanitizer would work for the scalp or hair, keeping in mind my comment about the drying effects of alcohol earlier.


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#184541 - 10/08/09 01:39 AM Re: Cleaning your hair without water? [Re: dweste]
LED Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/01/05
Posts: 1474
Come to think of it, growing up I used to see my grandfather wash and rinse his hair with about a liter of water. Grandma would pour the rest over a basin when he needed a rinse. And then it was used to water the plants! Course, they lived through a depression and war, so they never wasted a thing. A liter of water once a week should be doable. If water supplies are too tight for that, washing your hair would probably be the least of your worries. Good topic BTW.

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#184543 - 10/08/09 02:03 AM Re: Cleaning your hair without water? [Re: LED]
EchoingLaugh Offline
Member

Registered: 09/20/09
Posts: 156
Loc: MO, On the Mississippi
Originally Posted By: Y_T_

Also, keep in mind there's a difference between corn starch and talcum powder. People tend to use the term "baby powder" as a generic catchall for either. I'd opt for corn starch there over the talc. I don't know if either is biodegradable, but I'd venture that corn starch is better than the talc in that regard


Baby powder is Talc and corn starch.

Corn starch is organic. [25% amylase (enzyme) and 75% amylopectin (polysaccharide and polymer of glucose found in plants) Translation: stored sugar and stuff to break it down VERY biodegradable]

Talc is a mineral. [will degrade into smaller units but not quickly]

Edit: I am in college to teach science, just covered talc, last year I learned about corn starch. Checked my figures on wikipedia.


Edited by EchoingLaugh (10/08/09 02:20 AM)
Edit Reason: addition
_________________________
Jim
Do you know where your towel is?
Don't Panic!
I have an extra.

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#184545 - 10/08/09 02:33 AM Re: Cleaning your hair without water? [Re: EchoingLaugh]
Desperado Offline
Veteran

Registered: 11/01/08
Posts: 1530
Loc: DFW, Texas
This brings back the memory of a brand new and highly vain buck private in one of my units.

We were in parts unknown without access to resupply, nor access to any water source. Said young man was well know for his ability to stay minty fresh even though we had been downrange for months.

We get down to a VERY VERY limited water supply, and someone caught him using it to wash his hair.

I honestly thought I was going to be involved in an intentional blue on blue shooting to prevent this young idiot from being murdered by the other two soldiers in his gun truck. Either that or kill him myself.....
_________________________
I do the things that I must, and really regret, are unfortunately necessary.

RIP OBG

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