Breaking Out of the Lather, Rinse, Repeat Routine

August 27, 2013

shampooThe “No Poo” Method

Not too long ago, I decided to revamp my hair care routine. I was struggling to get my hair to style how I wanted it or even in any way I thought acceptable. It was oily and what I considered unruly, and I felt constantly self-conscious of it.

Then I read a magazine focused on natural methods for everything from house cleaning to personal care. One article talked about using baking soda and apple cider vinegar instead of shampoo. It’s called the “no poo” method. After additional research, I decided to give it a go. Based on my research, I also added olive and lavender oils to the routine as well and decided to only wash my hair every other day.

vinegarMy hair care routine just was not working well. I kept trying different salon products with no positive progress. So, I decided to break out of that lather, rinse, repeat routine and try something radically different. So far, so good.

The Definition of Insanity

My recent hair routine revamp represents what I think we all need to do from time to time in one area or another. We get stuck and feel in a rut, but we fail to change anything, and we just keep doing what everyone else does.

“Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” (Albert Einstein)

The idea of repetition involves making something a habit, making it automatic. Professional athletes practice the fundamentals over and over again. Writers write day in and day out. And at least to some extent, this repetition should produce positive results.

But Einstein’s point becomes clear when we realize habits are failing to produce those positive results. In fact, they may even frustrate and depress us because of the lack of progress. At times, insanity seems imminent.

This happened with my hair care routine. It’s happened in my exercise routine. My kids often develop pointless habits that need adjusted. These practices of doing the same thing over and over again with no progress not surprisingly produced the same, frustrating, lack-of-progress results over and over again.

Break Out of the Routine

While habits often produce beneficial results, they also often create a rut of frustration and boredom. When this happens, either we choose to break out of the routine or to continue on the road to insanity.

Choosing to break out of the routine includes the following elements (not necessarily steps in this order as many can happen simultaneously):

  1. Assess the current state of affairs. What is not working? What can you change?
  2. Research possible solutions and changes. Get the knowledge you need to make wise changes. Refuse to be ignorant.
  3. Seek wise counsel. Get advice from someone who is where you want to be. Pray a lot.
  4. Acquire the tools. What do you need in order to make changes? Supplies? Instructions? Knowledge?
  5. Obtain accountability. Let someone know what you’re doing, and ask them for honest critique of the changes you’re making. Be willing to hear what they are saying and make adjustments based on their advice.
  6. Find encouragement. Read about people who made similar changes with success. Get around people who encourage you to change & grow. Refuse to let negative in, and that often means shutting out the influence of culture through avenues like television & magazines.
  7. Reassess regularly. Go back to #1 every so often and re-assess what’s working and what’s not.
  8. Try different approaches. Be willing to make mistakes to figure out what works. Mistakes are great teachers!
  9. Nix changes that don’t work. Some approaches just won’t work for you. Keep what works and get rid of what doesn’t.sf_runRace_01
  10. Refuse to give up. You are not trapped. There is a way through, over, under around, whatever. Stay persistent! Quitting is the only sure way to make no progress.

Not only are these elements ones I used to break out of the “lather, rinse, repeat” routine, they are ones I have used to make changes in many areas of life. Sometimes, the changes happen rather quickly like they did with my haircare routine. Sometimes, they happen slowly over time like they did for me with defeating depression.

Never giving up really is the key. Simply refuse to quit running the race (Hebrews 12:1).

DISCUSSION: What elements would you add to the list?

19 Responses to “Breaking Out of the Lather, Rinse, Repeat Routine”

  1. Mark Allman Says:


    A great post. All good points. We often are change adverse. We'd rather keep doing what we are doing rather than be uncomfortable and make a change. It is wise to try to determine the impact on your life and others the things you choose to do. It would make you want to quit some things and add others. I have been successful at doing 30 day challenges to help change habits and to do things I wanted to accomplish. This video is excellent in talking about doing 30 day challenges. I have done challenges of drinking 4 bottles a water a day, drinking a cup of green tea a day, doing a specific exercise each day, working on a home improvement project, and getting up at a different time to add a change to my day.

    • Kari Scare Says:

      Thanks, Mark. With your 30-day challenges, what about after the challenge is over? Is there staying power? I am asking not so much as a personal challenge to you (unless you need it) but as a way for me to learn in my own life how to not go back to old habits & for new ones to stick.

      • Mark Allman Says:

        I think the answer is yes the habits have been easier to make stick once I get through 30 days of them. Some are only meant to last 30 days but one like 4 bottles of water are meant to keep. Some I made a decision that they were not worthy of continuing as well.

        • Kari Scare Says:

          Makes sense. I see so many people doing something for 30 days (or whatever time) & then going back to old habits. I've done it myself. I'm trying to encourage others to push beyond that and trying to do it myself as well.

  2. Larry Hehn Says:

    So many activities in my life fall into default mode, not because they are effective, but because they are familiar and (usually) work just enough to get by. I think it's time to do some breaking out!

  3. cycleguy Says:

    I broke that routine that also included a hair dryer (remember those?) several years ago when I starting shaving my hair closer and closer. Now my wife does it. however, I would not suggest that routine unless your hubby gives you the go. There are some who simply should not shave their heads (women and those with a beautiful head of hair). 🙂 As for breaking out of routines: it is good.

    • Kari Scare Says:

      I still use a hair dryer; if I don't, my hair takes 4-5 hours to dry on its own. Had an acquaintance who lost all her hair due to a rare disorder, but she actually found wearing a wig or just a hat to be quite convenient. I don't think I want to go there, but I am all about simplifying. I'm all about breaking out of unhealthy or stagnant routines, & keeping ones that allow us to grow.

  4. danonleadership Says:

    Great post and list, Kari!

    I've found great value in seeking wise counsel. Anyone would benefit from doing so. I'd add learn something new, read a book or listen to an audio lesson where you learn something you did not know about. Great post!

  5. Barb Says:

    I agree, not giving up is key! I am still working over here on time management. I just heard an idea on a podcast to record how you spend your time for a couple of days, and this is really helping me see the areas I need to change. Your new hair care routine sounds interesting!

    • Kari Scare Says:

      Time management is definitely one of those areas where small changes added together make a huge difference. Keep it up Barb! It is different, but it's working.

  6. […] to Victory | Breaking Out of the Lather, Rinse, Repeat Routine – “Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different […]

  7. Caleb Says:

    Kari, one thing that helps keep me from doing things just because it's a habit is to come back to my vision and my goals. If it's not helping me achieve my goals and isn't in line with my vision then I need to change something.

  8. David Rupert Says:

    I struggle with relationships . What I see as faithfulness others woudl call insane. I just dont give up on people, but perhaps its my methods that push them away more than draw them in. It's probably time for a re-do to the doo

    • Kari Scare Says:

      Some people really have a special grace when it comes to relationships, giving people chances well beyond what others think should be given. I think that can be a good thing. But like any good thing, it can be bad too. Just the fact that it's coming to mind for you says you probably need to consider a revamp in some way. Spend quiet time with God on this. His Holy Spirit will help you know what to do. And, please don't give up on people. Once that happens, life becomes very, well, lifeless and hopeless.

  9. I think #1 (and #7) are key. That constant reevaluation is what it takes to propel yourself forward. You'd be surprised what massive change can be accomplished with a small step after another small step.

    • Kari Scare Says:

      Small things done over time add up to make a huge difference. That concept has changed my life, and I believe it's going to be part of the structure for great things for those who truly get a hold of it's truth.

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