I swear no one ever believes me when I say this; but I only wash my hair once a week. Now, before you cringe or turn up your nose in disgust, let me be clear: I don't have dreads, I don't stink, I'm not a grease ball, and NOBODY can tell the difference.
The old hair me, used to be a hot mess. My color treated hair was dry, and super fried from the constant passes of my blow-dryer. My scalp was dry, flakey, and uncomfortable. And the Florida humidity hit me extra hard! I spent the big bucks on every deep conditioning or protein treatment I could find- and they worked too! For a whole day! I hated my hair and I had no idea how to fix the problem.
Then I stopped shampooing.
Not all together! As crunchy as I can be, you'll never see me hop on the no-pooing trend! I love that feel good, clean hair feeling. I stopped shampooing every other day, and began shampooing only when I couldn't stand it anymore. And it was the best decision ever! Gradually my hair became silkier, healthier, and more tamable. And it makes sense too! Shampooing less, meant I was doing less damage. I was no longer stripping out the important sebum my glands produced for my hair. My colored hair wasn't fading as quickly now with fewer washes- which meant I didn't have to refresh my color as often! My hair wasn't being fried by the heat of my blow dryer every-other-day. My scalp felt great, and the humidity stopped hitting me as hard because water can't penetrate the hair shaft as easily if more oil is present. I loved my hair again! I looked and felt great.
I cut down my shampoos and never looked back. If spreading out your shampoos farther than every other day is something you struggle with, here's a few tips to get you off the ground:
Ease yourself into it.
Maybe you don't have a crap ton of hair like I do, so the sebum your glands produce doesn't distribute out as far. That's okay! You might not be able to stretch your shampoos to once weekly like I can, but that doesn't mean you can't get a good four or five days in-between! Start slow. The cool thing about our bodies is that their reactions are so heavily influenced by outside factors! Get this- our bodies produce oil based on how much they think we need it. Ever try REALLY hard to get that amazing clear skin? You wash, wash, wash your face, only to find yourself really oily instead of flawless? That's because every time you wash your face, you're depleting your skin of the natural oil it produces to keep your skin moisturized. When you strip away that oil, your receptors send a message to your body that says, "Need more oil!" Same goes for your hair. The more frequently you wash your hair, the quicker your scalp becomes oilier. It's simple. Gradually ease yourself into washing your hair less and less. You'll notice a huge difference in how oily your hair feels, and pretty soon you won't have to worry about over-production. It's science.
Mix your styles up.
No joke, I have a routine with my hair. For starters, I have a hair washing day. I know, it sounds like one of those funny excuses to not hang out with someone- but it's real life. Every Saturday, I wash my hair. After washing, I let my hair almost completely air dry if possible, and then give myself a good blowout. I round brush my hair smooth and for two days I wear it like that! On day three and four, I typically style it into a fun top knot, braids, or some kind of easy casual updo. The next two days, I rock the natural waves I created, or curl it! Then it's hair washing day! By mixing your styles up each day, you help distribute the oil your scalp produces throughout the rest of the lengths of your hair. In turn, that helps you go a little longer between shampoos!
Learn to give yourself a good blowout, or go see your stylist for one.
A good blowout can last for days! That means you aren't fiddling with your hair as often to over compensate for its lack of style, which means, cleaner hair!
Dry shampoo is my secret tool to make it past day three hair. I don't typically need it until then, but some might. The trick is to focus on the roots, and pay special attention to the portions of your hair that may attract more oil than the rest; the front hairline and along the part, your crown, and anywhere below the occipital/the nape of the neck. These are all areas that attract more sweat and see more of your hands than other portions. I love a dry shampoo with a great fragrance, that doesn't seem to cake up. That's where my Perk Up Dry Shampoo by Amika comes in. It absorbs excess oil so well, smells fantastic, and doesn't break the bank. Spray directly onto the roots, and let it sit for three to five minutes. Afterwards, brush your hair out thoroughly and style as usual. It's a lifesaver.
For the same reasons you shouldn't be touching your face, stop touching your hair! Hands are gross. When you have your hands in your hair all the time, your hair then becomes gross. Moral of the story... don't be gross.
Keep Products to a minimum.
I'm not telling you to skip your heat protectant! That's a no no! I mean all those cream/oil based hair products you're applying to your hair day after day; chill out with them. Because my hair is color-treated, my ends are thirsty. They need a little extra TLC every once in a while. That doesn't mean I go slapping product all over my hair, greasing myself up. If I do feel like I need some more moisture towards my ends, I first give my hair a good brushing to distribute all of the oil in my hair evenly. If that didn't seem to be enough, I then go in with a non-greasy shine product on my ends. This one from Kevin Murphy is my all-time-fave:
Taking care of your hair is tough work sometimes, but there's no reason to make the job even harder than it has to be. Cutting down on my shampoos has made one more aspect of my life easier and has left my hair looking better than ever before. Try it. Pretty soon you'll be bragging like me next time you get a compliment on your hair! "Thanks! It's day five hair!"