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  • Writer's pictureEllen Worrell

#Write52 week 39: Solving the shampoo stress

I know, I've been MIA for more than a few weeks, and I was going to start this post by apologising, but to be honest, I'm not all that sorry. Lockdown has been tough and I've simply not had the brain space to keep writing here, too. But today is a new day – Izzy has gone back to preschool for the first time since 20th March (gosh, that feels like a lifetime ago!) so I've got some headspace during the day, and one of the first things I've wanted to do is switch the radio to Scala and sit down to write my next #Write52 post.

While life has been more topsy-turvy in recent months, it doesn't mean we've abandoned our #DitchingThePlastic ways. In fact, it's made us even more aware of what we buy and use, and made me vow never to throw anything away, particularly food. In times gone by, I was perhaps guilty of rushing around too much and I didn't always notice if something had gone bad before it was too late. With us all at home all the time, the fridge door seems to have been opened far more regularly than usual, which has meant I've kept a closer eye on its contents. Granted it's led to some rather random combinations at dinnertime, but I've not poisoned us yet!

As I'm sure has been the case for you all, lockdown life has its highs and lows. The glorious weather has helped no end, too. We'll never know if the beautiful sunshine was fueled by fewer cars on our roads and fewer planes in the skies, but I have my suspicions... We've enjoyed lovely long walks in the countryside on our doorstep. We've had breakfast, lunch and dinner in the garden. We've celebrated Izzy's 3rd birthday (where's that time gone?!). But we've also had tears and tantrums - and not just from the toddler.

With lockdown arriving, Worrell family life went from one extreme to the other. For the first 2.5 years of Izzy's life – and for several years before that – we were used to Ben being away 95% of the time, then suddenly he's been here. All. The. Time. It's been weird and taken us all a long time to adjust. But in these intervening lockdown weeks, he's started a new job – Monday to Friday! The man now has a weekend. Something that's been very illusive for him for far too long. Hurrah! He's mostly been working from home (something else for him to get his head around!), but last week was his first week back in the office. He positively bounced out the door and thankfully bounced back in again at the end of the day. It would seem we're slowly starting to discover what family life will be like; for the next few weeks at least. Still odd, but with each of us having our own space and time during the day, I think we'll be able to enjoy our time at home together even more.

To me, lockdown has demonstrated that the days are long but the weeks are short. I hope I don't forget that as restrictions change/ease.

Sunday morning snuggles

Anyway, back to #Write52. I've grabbed myself a pen this morning and written down another 15 ideas, which will take me all the way up to post number 52 – that magic number Ed set us way back when! It will, of course, have taken me longer than a year to get them all written and published, but hey – I'll still be mighty proud when I get that far.

You may remember that back in Week 16, I asked my friend Bethanie to share her experience of shampoo bars and I made a promise to try them. Then in Week 28, I shared that Father Christmas had brought me my very own Eco Warrior shampoo bar. When my last bottle of shampoo ran out, I switched to using the bar and I got on pretty well with the Eco Warrior one. It lathered up OK, but I found it quite hard to get enough through my hair.

When the Eco Warrior one ran out, I headed to Refill Revolution to pick a new one and decided to give the Alter/Native one a go – I'm a sucker for Lavender & Geranium. This bar smelt gorgeous and was great for the first few washes, but then I started to feel like my hair wasn't as squeaky clean as I wanted it to be. As my hair is in desperate need of a cut, it's gotten pretty thick and long in lockdown. I've been tying it up more than I would ordinarily, so I was able to hide the slight grease-monkey look, but the second I dared to go anywhere near it with my hairdryer/straighteners, I looked like I dolloped a load of coconut oil on my head and left it there. It's fair to say I was pretty miffed and quickly switched to only using it on my body instead.

I then thought I'd give Aldi's new Lacura shampoo bars a go. They come packaged in a lovely tin and wrapped in paper, and priced at just £5.99 for the shampoo, conditioner and body bars, they're good value. Having perused reports online, I was quietly optimistic. But as with the Alter/Native bar, it was fine for the first few washes, but definitely not fine if I attempted to style it at all. Again, I felt miffed and pretty deflated.

I headed back to Refill Revolution and had a chat with one of the ladies there. I really didn't want to go back to buying bottles of shampoo when there are alternatives out there, but nor did I want to learn to live with greasy locks. She suggested I try their refillable liquid shampoo instead. They have several to choose from but I grabbed one of their spare jars and bought a small sample of Faith In Nature's lavender & geranium shampoo.

It smells gorgeous and given that it's not particularly cheap, I'm pleased to report the sample lasted much longer than I expected – despite the crazy lockdown hair. So if you're struggling to get to grips with shampoo bars, why not think about a refillable liquid option instead?

Ignore the greys – but look! Controllably styled hair, hurrah!

"Mummy's crazy lockdown hair", Izzy, May 2020

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