Last week, I reached a milestone: I went 8 whole days without washing my hair. And it looked good every single day! I was pretty darn excited. You, on the other hand, may be saying … ew, gross. But stay with me and hopefully, after you get past the ew gross, you’ll come to realize why I’m so excited about this!
Oh, ok, and I feel that I should quickly add this point now, you know, before you decide to never be in my presence again for fear of slipping on hair grease. My hair on day eight looked BETTER than it used to look on day TWO of not washing it in the past. Well, I rarely ever got to day TWO of no washing because my hair was so disgustingly greasy after just one day that it even looked gross when I put it up. And so … I spent a lot of time (and money) washing my hair. Because, you know, some people just have greasy hair and there’s nothing they can do about it, right?
WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!
The Internet is abuzz with the stories of gals who report that they either cut back on the number of times they wash their hair … or ELIMINATED washing all together. They all imply the same message: hair can be trained to be less greasy. Intrigued, I did the math and realized that if I never had to wash my hair, I’d save 9.3 days a year. Whaaaaat?!?! That’s a nice long vacation. And since I’d be saving on shampoo … I guess I could pay for it to be in Hawaii!
(Ha, although, maybe I’d be taking it alone if my hair is nasty!)
Ok, so I redid the math and calculated how much time I’d save if I washed my hair just twice a week instead of every day. My hair is really long so it takes 40 minutes to wash, blow dry, and straighten it (and that’s if I’m really hustling). Long hair = long time for washing and drying. That’s 800 minutes a month or 9,600 minutes a year (160 hours) — or roughly 6.7 days a year. Almost a whole week’s time. That number deserves it’s own picture …
So, twice a week sounded doable. The goal, though, was for my hair to finally look GOOD while not washing it! It’s taken some effort and some time, but I’ve happily reached that goal. And occasionally, I’ll push it even further and not wash it for a whole week. And crazily enough, it still looks pretty darn good after a week. Pretty amazing considering I could barely make it through the day a few years ago. My plan is to keep on stretching that time out.
Ok, so now that I’ve rambled on about the why behind my attempt to wash my hair less, let me tell you how I re-trained my hair so that it would get better and better as each day went on. Not sure if these tips will work for you … but maybe one or more will. When I was searching for ideas on how to help my hair, I found that some worked … some didn’t. We’re all different.
1. I stopped using shampoos and conditioners that contain any harsh chemicals. They’re not good for your body. And they’re definitely not good for your hair. Our hair glands produce oil … that is normal and natural. But if we use harsh chemicals that strip those oils away, it signals to the body to start producing MORE oils. So we begin a vicious cycle. And we also strip the life out of our hair so it looks dull. Once I started using shampoos and conditions with all natural ingredients, voila … my hair was instantly a bit less greasy. And I feel much better about what is seeping into my body. Check out vitacost.com … they have a nice selection of natural shampoos at great prices.
2. I started PUTTING oil in my hair. Whaaaat?! Yes, I added oil. Crazy, huh? I read somewhere about the benefit of using olive oil on the hair and loved the results when I tried it. I love coconut oil in my hair, too (and my on my skin!) But then I found No Scary Hair by Pristine Beauty. There’s all kinds of good oils in this all-natural hair product, including jojoba oil which helps to eliminate product buildup from your scalp. With that buildup gone, your hair becomes more lustrous and smooth. If you check it out, don’t be scared by the high price tag. I’ve had my bottle for about 3 years now and it’s still 3/4 full. I only use a tiny, tiny drop in my hair the days that I’ve washed it. That little bit goes a long way.
3. I fell in love with dry shampoo. I don’t know why it took me 30 years to finally learn about the amazingness of dry shampoo! Sprinkle a little into your scalp at night and then while you sleep at night you’ll work it into your hair. You’ll wake up with hair that’s pretty much ready to go! In the beginning, I was using just plain old corn starch and it worked pretty well. But then I found this particular product and since I liked the ingredients list, I decided to give it a whirl. LOVE it. LOVE it. LOVE it.
Ok … so we’re three steps in. I didn’t want to start off with this next point because I didn’t want to scare you away. But here comes the part that REALLY is tough.
4. I waited. This has been a work-in-progress kind of thing for me for a few years. But I’ve stuck with it because I knew the end result would be worth it!
And so …
5. I made a plan. I basically decided on hair styles that I could do for each stage of greasiness. Day one … hair down and styled. At first, day two was a hat … but quickly I graduated to a messy bun. Day three was a tight bun at the base of my neck with my hair slicked down and sprayed with hair spray to make it look like the grease was actually product. (Ew, I know. But I told you, my hair was reeeeally greasy.) But after a while I no longer needed to slick my hair down. I could still keep it up and loose. Eventually, day two and three became ok for hair down. I also put together a bin of cute scarfs and knit caps that I used for days when I wanted to cover my roots.
6. Around the same time I started switching to natural shampoos and beauty products, I also made a huge change in my diet. I found out my food allergies and eliminated them. I switched to whole, non-processed, organic foods. I stopped drinking sodas. I started drinking tons of water. And I also started taking supplements. Really, I followed much of the advice in one of my favorite books (The Truth About Beauty) on upgrading the way I live my life and treat my body. I can’t say for sure if this helped … but I’d bet you a bottle of jojoba oil it did. Does consuming greasy, processed food make your body produce more grease? Hmm … maybe. Even if upgrading your food and eliminating processed junk doesn’t help your hair, it sure will help EVERY other part of your body.
7. Pick a color and stick with it. There’s a bevy of (kinda sorta) “natural” hair dyes out there. Are they really all that natural? Eh. Most still contain chemical products that strip the hair. At first, I decided to grow out my blonde hair (I’m actually a brunette) so that I could be totally natural. After years of doing this, I decided that it wasn’t worth it … I wanted my chemical blonde hair back! I just didn’t feel like myself without it. Buuuut, the one thing I did decide to do was limit the amount of processing I was going to put my hair through. It’s fun to switch up your color (I definitely did that in the past), but with long hair, it takes a very, very, very long time to grow out over-processed hair. So, since I didn’t want to chop it off, and didn’t want to damage it so that it would start getting greasy again, I decided to stick with just the blonde highlights so that only my roots have to be touched up and the rest of my hair doesn’t have to be processed over and over again throughout the years. (If you’ve got short hair, well, that’s a whole other ball game! : ) )
8. And finally … I’ll leave you with a yet-to-be-tried idea (in my house, anyway): Install a water filter on your shower head (unless, of course, you already have one on the whole house). I’ve been wanting to do this for a while and just still haven’t done it. Most municipal water supplies are FULL of chlorine (eek, and let’s not even get into the other stuff). That chlorine strips your hair, much like the chemical shampoos and conditioners. (Dries out your skin, too.) So removing chlorine will help in the process, too. I’ve really got to get on it and get that filter installed!!!
And so, there you have it. If you have seemingly impossibly greasy hair and have always dreamed of being able to wash it less, then maybe this information will help you : ) As always, this post is just me rambling on about my own life experiences. It’s hardly scientific. And quite frankly, the math might not even be correct, LOL! It’s also NOT sponsored by any of the products listed above. They are just products that I happen to love.
And speaking of not washing your hair, did you read this article in W Magazine? The author went 6 WEEKS without washing her hair.