Sunday, September 15, 2013

How to: Stop Shampooing Daily

Yup.  You heard me correctly and you might even be thinking that's gross. But I'm telling you not shampooing every day might be the best thing I've ever done when it comes to my hair.  For the past 15 years, I believed that I needed to wash my hair every day and I was convinced that I could not go a day without it and I could never be one of those people who doesn't HAVE to get up and shampoo every day, but I am now!  I had the same fears as everyone else; I did not want to look like a walking grease monster, and I have a strong aversion to the smell of dirty hair (everyone should, but I seem to be particularly sensitive to it).  The idea of not washing my hair every day disgusted me at one point too.

But the past few years I started to noticed that my hair wouldn't grow past a certain point.  I was having to clean the brushes more frequently, not to mention all the hair I was finding in the bottom of the shower.  I don't want to say that I was losing hair, but...I was and lots of it.  It took a visit to a new stylist who gave me a really great cut, and super fun color that I really loved to get me on the right track.  While I was sitting there in the chair, I told my stylist how I really wanted her co-workers hair, because it was so thick and it always absolutely perfect every time I saw her.  My stylist looked at me and told me that not only was most of it fake and if I look really close I can see where her real hair ends and the extensions begin, but most of the girls there only wash their hair 2-3 times per week.  Then she told me that because we had just put RED in my hair, I should train my hair so that I could wash it less and gave me some tips how to and suggested I do some research online.

I listened.  The color stays beautiful much longer, my hair grew like it hadn't grown in years (really fast!) and it was thicker and healthier.  I've had some moments since then where I slip and return to my old ways, there's just something about washing your hair that feels SO good, but now I value it even more.  At the very least, I'm washing twice a week and at the most every other day.  Here are my tips how to do it....

You Need:
Shower cap
Dry Shampoo  
Hair Accessories (this is one of the best parts!  Think cute clips, barrettes, snoods, buns, and things to make up dos fun!)

Optional:
Restyler
Boar Bristle Brush

This process can take 2-6 weeks so pick a time when you don't have any special events, or things planned.  I definitely noticed things were better by week 2, but it got better and better as time went on.  I'll break the process into days.

Day 1:  You want to start by washing your hair (I chose to do this part at the beginning of the weekend, but you can start any day). In my experience, it's better to use a salon product as I have not had much luck doing this with drugstore brands but if you can make it work then by all means keeps doing what you do.  After drying, style as you normally would.

Day 2: Tuck your hair up under shower cap and shower.  Do not wash your hair.  Day 2 is an excellent day for curls (I've always heard hair that is a little dirty styles better).  Consider a little teasing or backcombing to lift the hair away from the scalp a little bit.

Day 3: Cover your hair while showering again.  Do not wash.  Use dry shampoo to absorb excess oil.  This is a great day for an updo to get it out of your face.  This is the day I use a scarf or make a bun.   Sometimes, I use a restyler instead of Dry Shampoo and get a more scrunched version of the curls from Day 2 and leave it down.  It dries fast and smells pleasant.  (Psssst! Dry Shampoo is my favorite because it smells the best)


Day 4: Wash and start process over.  What I find is I have to use more shampoo, sometimes I have to wash twice for it to feel clean.  You should only apply conditioner to the ends and sparingly to the rest of hair.  This is an excellent time to apply from the bottom of the hair and work up,  But washing will feel like it has never felt before.

After a few weeks, you scalp will start to adjust and stop producing the extra oil.  Once you reach that point, you can continue to lengthen the time between washings if you choose.  I've heard of people who wash their hair once a week, and I've heard of people who go weeks between washing.  I also like to rinse my hair in the shower and I can go longer without washing, sometimes it just makes things more comfortable but I don't suggest doing in until after you've trained for a few weeks.  If I want to make it another day, I rinse on Day 3, use Restyler on Day 4, on Day 5 I rinse and do an updo with a scarf, or a hat.

Hairspray is your best and worst friend.  Too much and your scalp will feel extra gunky when you're transitioning. But when teasing and getting hair off your scalp on day two, and on Updo day when you really need a firm, sleek look... hairspray is your best friend.

I've always heard boar bristles are good for your hair because they're gentle, natural and tend to "drag" the oils through your hair, distributing them.  I have no idea if that is true, but a boar bristle gets that really sleek look for up dos.

I spray it in and work it around a bit with my fingers, then flip my head over and blow dry upside down.  I then run a brush through it.  Different strokes for different folks, find what works for you. 

The positive things I noticed...
Overall, I feel like my hair is healthier.  My hair seems to be growing faster even though I know it isn't and I've really just reduced the amount of damage I was doing to it.  I went from coloring about every 3-4 weeks to coloring every 6+ weeks.  Less damage means less breakage and it looks like it is growing faster/more when in reality I just quit breaking it.

I might be washing twice when I do, but I'm definitely saving on shampoo and conditioner.  I even bought BETTER (read: more expensive) and I'm still saving money because I'm using less.  I'm also saving a lot on styler because my hair not only tends to maintain a little bit of the shape from the day before, but also the product.  A little mist of something new and I'm ready to go again.

Less fading...I'm able to save money on coloring because I can go longer between touch-ups.  I'm not buying products to counter-act the damage.  My hair looks beautiful for longer.

I used to get dandruff when the seasons would change.  I haven't had a problem from dandruff in nearly 9 months.

I have lots of cute hair things now and they actually get used because they're crucial and not just an option.  I have those bun maker things now, and all kinds of pretty clips and combs that I use.  I'm actually using my hair scarves and wearing my hats.  I don't know why I never really used them before, but I feel like they serve a purpose more now.  I have bun makers, snoods, knitted hats, clips, barrettes, things with rhinestones and flowers and glitter and feathers.

I'm saving time.  When I was training, it did take about as much time to do my hair as it would have to style it fresh out of the shower.  I think a huge part of that was I was very self-conscious because I felt greasy and yucky those first few weeks, but now that my scalp isn't freaking out with oil anymore it is really easy to work with dry hair.

I LOVE washing my hair now.  It has made the easiest, smallest task that I really liked before into an experience.  Have you ever seen those old shows where the girl turns down a guy for a date because she is going to be washing her hair?  It was a way to let a guy down gently that you didn't want to go out with, but now I think it is a completely valid excuse.


The negative things I noticed...
The first 2 weeks suck.  Your head feels ishy, and you feel grungy and icky.  I'm not going to lie about this part.  The training is hard because you WANT to go scrub your scalp.

Once you make the decision to stop washing daily, you kind of have to stick with it.  If you stray from whatever schedule you establish even just one or two extra washes, there's a back track effect when you basically have to start from scratch again.  It goes a lot faster the second or third time around and it is much easier, but you're going to have to deal with some scalp irritation.

There is always someone who is going to tell you that they think you're being gross, and it doesn't matter how good or clean your hair looks, feels and smells.

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