At the beginning of the year, I posted about how I was trying to use up stuff I already had before I bought more.  Two main areas I targeted were my candy cupboard (which became lagom in late October), and my makeup/haircare cabinet.  I have been diligently working my way through all my accumulated beauty products, essentially shopping from my own shelves when I crave something new.  It feels surprisingly tedious – I am nowhere near to having exhausted my current stash.  Until I started this exercise, I didn’t realize just how often I shopped for makeup and beauty products as a pick me up – there is such…HOPE in buying beauty products.  And I have always been a makeup loving girly girl, even playing with fake plastic makeup kits before I was allowed to wear the real thing.

It’s a testament to how much crap I have that for almost a year, I have not had to buy much of anything – outside of the drugstore body lotion I use every day.  I’ve even found myself repurposing a lot of products – for instance, this Kiehl’s facial scrub:

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I remember trying a small sample of it, and loving it so much that I decided I wanted a full sized version.  Before I made it to the store, Kiehl’s sent me a coupon – one of those “spend $65 and get $20 off” type deals.  I was super excited to use it, and bought two full sized tubes of the facial scrub, because of course, I was going to love it forever, right?  Ignore the fact that I have super sensitive skin on my face and a tendency to develop weird reactions to a lot of products after about a week – which I did with this product as well.  It kicked up my rosacea if I used it too often, and I never made it all the way through one tube before it became relegated to the back of the cabinet in favor of kinder, gentler cleanser.

But the skin on the rest of my body is not nearly as sensitive as the skin on my face, and one day while giving myself a home pedicure and wishing I could afford a fancy foot scrub, I remembered the Kiehl’s scrub, and gave it a try.  It worked great, I didn’t have a reaction, and now I keep it in the shower and use it as a body scrub.  No extra money spent, no product wasted, and a need fulfilled.  Perfect.

I was trying to do the same thing with hair products, steadily working my way through all the partial bottles of shampoo and conditioner littering the showers in both our bathrooms.  We also have a ton of hotel amenity sized hair care products that Ron gathers when he travels (though I did give a bunch of that stuff away earlier this year).  I was determined to work my way through all of it before buying another bottle of shampoo or conditioner.  And I stayed true to that goal.

That is, until my hair started breaking off and falling out.

I know some people claim soap is soap.  They will wash their hair and body with the same bar of Ivory and call it good.  I was trying to commit to that idea, figuring I had probably been a sucker for marketing and packaging all these years, dumping too much money into fancy products.  Remember those Suave shampoo commercials from the 80’s, where the woman would talk about how times had been tough so she switched to Suave to save money, but now she was wealthy and successful and STILL used Suave because it made her look like she spent a fortune on her hair?  I wondered if maybe that woman was right.

Well, between you and me and the handfuls of hair I was continually pulling out of my brush, I don’t think she was.  Maybe if you have tons of thick, really strong hair, you can withstand washing it with dishwashing liquid or whatever else crosses your path, but I am pretty sure that all the cheap, random chemicals I was putting on my hair were taking a toll.  I’m all for living with less stuff – but not less hair.  I like having hair, and it was clear I needed to take better care of it.

So I did a bunch of online research, and it seemed like most people were pretty in love with Oribe hair care products.  I looked at the prices for shampoo, and choked a little – around $35 a bottle. But if it worked as much as everyone claimed it did, I wondered if it might be worth it.  And it did make me remember that the whole POINT of this lagom project is not to have nothing or the cheapest thing possible- it is to have what is “just right” for me.  Which means ideally, instead of having 10-15 cheap to mid-range bottles of shampoo I just kind of liked, I would have just one bottle that I completely loved.  In the end, one bottle of expensive shampoo would probably cost me less than the multiple cheap ones I kept trying and rejecting.

So I found a nearby salon that carried Oribe, and went to purchase it.  The owner saw me hesitating over the bottles, and came over to help me, and I admitted I was wavering on my resolve to buy it, because it was so expensive and I didn’t know if I’d like it.  “Oh, well let me give you some samples!” she chirped, and brought me a couple sample packets of the shampoo/conditioner that were fairly large and would give me at least a couple weeks of shampoos.

The online reviews did not lie – I LOVE this product.  I love the way it makes my hair look and feel, and after only a week, my hair has stopped falling out.  I was sitting next to Ron the other night, and he suddenly said, “What smells so good?  Did you get new perfume?”  and I was so excited to tell him that no, it was my hair – and reason number one million why I love this shampoo.

I finished the samples up this week, and with no hesitation or guilt went back to the salon to buy the full sized bottles.  Yes, I spent about $75, and that is a lot of money.  But damn, it is so worth it.  The pretty bottles are waiting for me in the shower, and I can’t wait till I wash my hair again and get to use them.  Isn’t that how it should be?

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MAGIC. VERY EXPENSIVE FANCY MAGIC.

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