I promise that this won't be the only subject of posts for too much longer. I had a lot of territory to cover to bring readers up to speed, but now everything is going to happen very slowly (although I shouldn't say that too soon, because it could go wrong very quickly, it's hard to tell this early in the game). Today I didn't want to use anything at all other than water on my hair in the shower, due to my suspicion that the baking soda I used yesterday may have done the exact same thing as a shampoo - minus the chemicals, of course. Specifically, one of the benefits that being shampoo- and conditioner-free is supposed to bring is to allow your scalp's natural oils to rebalance, thereby removing the need to constantly be stripping them off with any sort of product.
Having this in mind, I washed my hair with only water today. I got my hair thoroughly wet, then massaged my scalp with my fingertips (not my nails) for about a minute or two. I then went about finishing up the rest of my shower routine and at the end raised the temperature of the water, massaged my scalp again for good measure, then finished off with a blast of cold water to seal the cuticles of the hair (particularly important if you are going to use the very hot method of water-only washing, I imagine). Again, much like yesterday, my hair didn't feel particularly pleasant while it was wet. When I got out of the shower I blowed my hair dry and gave it a shot of cool air from the blow dryer at the end once everything was dry. Guess what? My hair feels and looks just as good as it did yesterday. This morning is 48 hours since my last shampoo... and counting!