Trail hair salon

3:13 p.m. on January 31, 2013 (EST)
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On longer trips, we think it is a real luxury to wash our hair.  I  manage to wash my hair in just about one cup of water.  Here’s how I do it, using only a washrag, comb, Dawn, plastic cup, and towel.

1.  Soak your head in water—get it very wet.  This has the added value of making you scream out loud when the water is cold enough.  Get the washrag wet as well.

2.  Fill the cup full of water, and take everything on the list to an isolated spot far (200 feet or more) from the water.  Sandy soil is best. 

3.  Put some Dawn in your hair and lather up.  We like Dawn because it is very concentrated, and it is used by environmental agencies to remove oil from birds during oil spills.  It’s gentle. 

4.  Facing down, use the washrag to rinse/rub the soap out of your hair.   5.  Use the comb to comb as much of the soap out of your hair as you can.

6.  Now take the cup of water and slowly pour it, a little bit at a time, over your head to rinse your hair.  Scream again, if you’d like. Repeat until the entire cup is gone, and your hair is rinsed. 

7.  Dry your hair with the towel. 

8.  Comb out the tangles.  More screaming.  Use your mirrored sunglasses to see where to part your hair.

9.  Arrive back in camp looking like a million bucks, and ask innocently: “What was all that screaming about?”

10. Feel good for days afterwards. 

5:05 p.m. on January 31, 2013 (EST)
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Re: Trai hair salon

Last year during my 2500 mile bicycle tour I used my 3 liter Camelbak as a shower. I would hang it in the sun for an hour and then squat underneath it and pinch the mouth piece to wet down, wash, rinse, wash my hair and rinse again. With a couple practices I could easily shower with just 3 liters of water. I used Dr Bonners natural soap.

5:45 p.m. on January 31, 2013 (EST)
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Re: Trai hair salon

The thread title reminds me of this Monty P sketch.

I am blessed with very little remaining hair, and that is clipped on a regular basis. I did catch my partner using a can of 'dry shampoo' the other day, so I could always try that technology on my chest (and shoulders!), should I want to spruce myself up in the wild.

We have used the Ortlieb shower head attachment for their 10L water bag, with great success, in the past. I should see if they make something for the Platypus, which is what we use lately.

7:03 p.m. on January 31, 2013 (EST)
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Re: Trai hair salon

Great link pathloser! Im like you what little hair I have is a quarter inch long or less. I wash it with a washcloth when im washing everything else. Baby wipes work great in the winter, I put them under my layers before I use them so they are warmer.

8:46 p.m. on January 31, 2013 (EST)
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Re: Trai hair salon

Thanks for the link. I had forgotten that one. And time for something a little bit different. Back to youtube,

8:54 p.m. on January 31, 2013 (EST)
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Re: Trai hair salon

You can buy dry shampoo in tiny little travel sizes, and it generally does what it promises. It's made of cornstarch and powdered clay (really), with some scent, so you could no doubt make your own.

We longhaired hikers, however, often don't bother. It's counterintuitive, but many of us testify that hair only gets dirtier for the first three or four days. After that, it hits a happy equilibrium, starts to look and feel better, and will stay exactly the same for three weeks. Well, except for the spruce needles, dead bugs, and random twigs, that is.

9:55 a.m. on February 1, 2013 (EST)
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Buzz-cut. No problems.

9:33 a.m. on February 2, 2013 (EST)
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My head is shaved! Don't have those worries anymore.

12:20 p.m. on February 2, 2013 (EST)
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My typical backpacking trips aren't long enough to warrant worrying about washing my hair.  On my 30 day trip last summer I made a practice of "washing" in lakes along the way every few days.  No soap was involved, of course, but just a good thorough rinse... and only after having washed off any sunblock using a bottle of water some distance from the lake.

Even without soap these "rinses" were quite refreshing.

6:50 p.m. on February 6, 2013 (EST)
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Not sure any of those ideas would help me. I have to wash and shampoo during a swim. Maybe its time to lose the mop? Not the beard though. The beard stays.


2:20 p.m. on February 18, 2013 (EST)
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For a long outing: Buzz cut for me; boy cut for my wife. I like a long handled brush for reaching my back and dry brushing between bathes. You lose up to 2 lbs of waste per day through your skin and dry brushing helps with that so the extra bulk of packing a long handled brush is worth it to me. We use Dr. Bonner's soap (bar or liquid) which can also be used as a mild shampoo (one product, many uses.) I also like to use a natural sponge plus a loofah wash cloth for washing and rinsing while half dressed, upper then lower in case of surprise quests. And one of those swimmer's towels that are almost dry after wringing out. Short hair is great on long hikes and can be washed at the same time you bathe. Plus it grows back for you urban people pleasers, and it is a sort of short term testament to your epic conquest.

2:52 p.m. on February 18, 2013 (EST)
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Bonners for me with about .5 liter of water if limited. If I ever thru-hike I'll buzz cut too.

2:54 p.m. on February 18, 2013 (EST)
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my solution-cut it all off. no problems.

4:30 p.m. on February 18, 2013 (EST)
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I haven't tried Diatomaceous Earth as a dry shampoo but I've been using it on my dog to keep fleas and ticks off and it works great for that. It absorbs moisture as well as any clay and a dusting could be left on your head to rid parasitic bugs as well. I recommend 'Food grade' Diatomaceous earth and you should be able to find it at a farm supply. It can also be used in your sleeping bag for bugs and may help with moisture.

6:41 p.m. on February 20, 2013 (EST)
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I have tons of lil shampoo bottles from being on the road. I use my own when I shower but always snag the freebies for the trail. Most of the time we get free showers after purchasing 50gals of deisel. But, if I stay somewhere I don't fuel up... a shower is $10. So, to me I paid for the shampoo anyway right? And just for a lil insight from someone who knows.... if you are ever on the road and skip the hotel, the Pilot's and Love's truckstop have the cleanest showers. Alot of the other can be pretty run down.

12:00 a.m. on February 22, 2013 (EST)
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trail ? hair ?

deal with it when I get home

12:08 a.m. on February 23, 2013 (EST)
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Tried to do that once Callahan. I came home looking like one of the kids from Beyond Thunderdome. Lol. Not pretty man.

June 21, 2018
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