Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Why I don't wash my hair!

Yesterday I confessed that I have bucked the tradition of washing ones hair everyday, in favor of the once or twice a week routine.  Here's the link in case you missed it.  And while I know lots of people who are completely grossed out by this idea, I wanted to share my point of view on why I do it and how others can embrace it as well.

The most common question I get asked is "Doesn't it smell or get greasy?" And the short answer is sure - after 5 or 6 days, but generally not.  HOWEVER....it did at first. Like all elements of our body, we get used to a routine, and our hair is no different.  If you wash it every day and strip all the natural oils out of it, it's going to create even more oil.  Don't wash it for a day or two, and you're in grease city.  But, if you stop doing it every day, gradually your body will begin producing less oil, allowing you to go for longer periods of time.

So how I did get started on this whole process - well it's really very simple.  I hated washing and drying my hair.  That's it.  In my teens it would take me a full hour to wash and blow out my hair.  Now of course, in high school even the hint of grease would incite all sorts of comments, so no self-respecting {wanna be cool} girl would ever dare go a day without washing - lest someone assume that gasp  you didn't bathe either!  However, once to college, I discovered that really I could go two days without really anyone noticing.  And at that point, 2 days was about my limit.  But once I began working, and missing my sleep, I began stretching it.  First 3 days, then 4.  Maybe go 5 if I didn't have any weekend plans.  Over the course of the last year I've finally made the switch to once a week.  I referenced Rosie's article in my post yesterday but wanted to share a few extra tips that I thought she left out.

So behold - a Southern Belle's secrets to NOT washing your hair.

  1. Find a shampoo and conditioner that work for you.  My stylist (and all the other stylists I know) hates it when I tell her I use Pantene but literally I've used the stuff for years and my hair is healthy and looks good.  Use whatever you want that works for your hair!
  2. Find a good conditioner that doesn't weigh your hair down - and echoing Rosie's recommendation - DO NOT put a lot on your roots.  In fact, I avoid my roots all together and focus on the mid-shaft and ends.  The roots are the first place that will get the natural oils, so you're just setting yourself up for extra grease.
  3. Consider if your hair style will support this.  Similar to Rosie, I have long hair cut in various layers, so extensive styling is not a must.  If you prefer a very styled look - honestly - this probably won't happen for you easily!
  4. Reduce the number of styling products you use. For me - I don't use anything other than a little bit of straightening serum in the summer when it's humid.  I may use a little hair spray if I curl my hair, but it's sparingly and often the lightest, flexible hold I can find.  (No Aquanet here, unless it's for a special event.) By reducing the products you use, you also reduce the amount of build up that happens, which can make your hair look dull, flat, or greasy.
  5. Remember, it takes time. I promise, unless you have super course or really thick hair that's naturally dry, you won't be able to go more than a couple of days at first.  But have faith - it does get better.  And if you make it to day 3 and your hair is an oil slick, then wash it!  This process is suppose to make your life easier, not cause more stress.  Even now, there are weeks, where by Thursday, my hair is looking rough, I'll either rinse it or do a full washing.  No big deal.
  6. Learn to keep your hands out of your hair!  This is a biggy and was very hard for me because I was always fussing with my hair during the day.  The more you touch, the more oil you transfer from your hands to your hair.  So hands off!
So there are some of my top tips.  But what's my routine?  Well, here you go.
  • Sunday - typically my wash day, because my evenings are calmer.  If I know I want to wear my hair in curls that week, I'll take the extra time post shower, to blow dry it and curl it immediately!  If not, I'll usually just blow dry the roots and let the rest air dry, then hit it with a flat iron the next morning.  This is the time to style it though.
  • Monday - style as normal.  If I've curled it the night before, I may touch it up in the morning, but usually it's just a quick comb (wide tooth or pick style to not break up the curls too much).  If I let it air dry the night before I'll straight it with a flat iron.
  • Monday Night - My hair creases, so I don't do the bun or pony tail like Rosie does, but I'll give it a quick brush with a natural bristle brush to help distribute the oils.  (Not the 100 strokes many of our mothers believed in though!)
  • Tuesday - Usually it's holding the style from Monday pretty well.  I may touch up some areas with the curling iron or flat iron if needed.  Typically my hair on Monday and Tuesday looks the same.  Quick brush at night again.
  • Wednesday & Thursday - Again, quick touch ups when needed.  May pull up the front or sides if it's starting to look flat.  I generally try to avoid the pony tail early in the week if I can.  Sometimes mid-week I'll rinse my hair - meaning just stand under the shower, no shampoo and maybe a little (and I mean very little, like pea size) conditioner on the ends if they are rough.  But usually this is more because I just want to stand under the water than because I need to wash my hair.  Style as usual. 
  • Friday - If I can keep my hair down I will, but most of the time by Friday I'm exhausted and struggling to just get out of the house, so a nice bun, braid, or pony works great.  I may use a little bit of dry shampoo  (the spray kind works great - I don't have a favorite brand, just whatever is on sale when I need it) if I have some areas starting to look bad.
  • Saturday - Ponytail day.  Keep it simple.
  • Sunday - For church, I usually just pull it back into a nice bun or sleek pony. Nothing fancy here.  Ready for another wash. 
And that's it.  Don't believe me that's it's possible - here's a picture three days in!

I hope this helps answer some questions you might have!  If not - please ask!  For me, it saves a ton of time each week and makes my morning routine so much simpler!

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