Advertisement

A woman who lives in a 'housetruck' in the woods showed how she washes her hair in the freezing cold — and responded to critics about not using eco-friendly products

TikTok screenshots of Kai responding to critics and washing her hair outdoors.
Kai told Business Insider winters are the hardest part about living off-the-grid.tiktok.com/@the_ugly_truckling
  • A TikToker who lives in a housetruck in the woods showed viewers how she washes her hair during winter months.

  • She turned the water to scalding amid below-freezing temperatures.

  • Some critiqued her use of Garnier products, which she took in stride while fielding recommendations.

A woman who lives in a "housetruck" in the middle of the Canadian woods went viral after showing viewers her haircare routine outdoors in the freezing woods. While most people were intrigued and impressed, she also received — and responded to — criticism about using non-biodegradable products.

Kai, who's in her mid-thirties and based in coastal British Columbia, told Business Insider she began constructing her housetruck — a kind of dwelling that converts old trucks and buses into homes, which rose to popularity in the 60s and 70s — a decade ago and moved in roughly five years ago with her partner and their cat.

She told Business Insider she started sharing her journey on TikTok during COVID; now, 908,000 followers are riveted by her off-the-grid lifestyle.

Winters are the hardest part about living in a housetruck, Kai told BI — and one struggle in particular riveted viewers recently.

In a clip shared last week with 4.1 million views, Kai showed viewers how she washes her hair outside in -5 degrees Celsius temperatures (23 degrees Fahrenheit). She first chopped firewood to ensure her house would be warm after her shower, then thawed out her shower hose and turned the water to "scalding" before grabbing her Garnier Fructis shampoo and conditioner, which were frozen solid.

Kai is connected to a well water, she explained on TikTok, which flows through her propane-powered water heater. The greywater, or waste water from domestic activities, then goes into a septic tank in the ground, which is pumped out to a nearby leach field.

Viewers were envious of her lustrous locks, and many applauded her motivation to shower outdoors in frigid conditions. (An indoor shower is currently in the works, Kai said on TikTok.)


"-5???? You're dressed like it's 55°????" one commenter marveled at the TikToker wearing a flannel shirt over a sweater.

But some people — including one top-voted commenter — criticized her for her use of commercial hair products. "If the water is draining into the ground," the commenter wrote, "you really should be using a harmless shampoo like dr bronner's."

Kai responded to these concerns in a subsequent video posted a day later.

Kai said she's tried eco-friendly products in the past, but the fats they contain, such as shea butter and coconut oil, can congeal when frozen and have clogged up her septic system.

While it's not an excuse for using conventional products, Kai told BI her overall lifestyle is "much more eco-friendly than … most other people." For example, she noted that she shops in bulk, uses little electricity, disposes of all waste and recycling personally, and eats vegetables she grows in her garden during the summer.

Nevertheless, she solicited recommendations for eco-friendly hair products that were affordable and accessible in Canada. Some suggested solid shampoo and conditioner bars to prevent freezing, and she's currently researching new options.

When a video goes viral, Kai said she expects floods of criticism since it reaches beyond her main follower base. She's learned to let it wash off her back — even as many rushed to her defense.

"Can't believe with everything going on in this world people are worried about a woman taking a shower outside," one viewer wrote under her response video. "Keep doing you!!"

Read the original article on Business Insider