How to extend your wash life
So, as you're probably aware, the cool kids are no longer washing their hair. Hahaha, only partly joking. The no 'poo craze is real and we're living in a day where time is SO valuable to people. I know it is to me. I could get A LOT of productive things done (or watch a lot of Netflix) in the extra 15 minutes it takes to wash my hair, and about 40 it takes to style it. (you think I'm joking... have you seen my hair?)
So, I have pretty much mastered how to properly wash my hair as little as possible. I have a routine down where I can now go up to ten days (yes ten, get that gross look off your face) in between washes. Now, let me add real quick before you all start turning into grease balls and your family and friends start disowning you because you're stinky. This is not giving you permission to not clean yourself. Daily showers or baths are still essential, and even though you're not wetting your hair and starting from scratch, you're still "cleaning" it in a sense. But my hair personally, is naturally VERY coarse, dry, and wavy. My scalp, along with my skin, naturally does not produce a lot of oil to begin with. I rub rejuvenique oil all over myself all the time to soak in as much moisture as I can.
These tips will help make the transition to washing your hair less often much more productive.
Tip #1 - Get a shower cap
If you are going to start adopting this way of life, this is a good place to start. You can find super cheap shower caps for literally less than one cent. (you're welcome) or treat yo'self and get this boujie one for $52 or price in between. But bottom line is, this will make this process easier.
tip #2 - start shampooing properly
It's surprising how many people don't realize that they have been washing their hair wrong their entire life! The only part of your hair that needs shampoo applied directly to it is your scalp and your root area. The excess soapy water will run down your ends and clean them just fine. The cuticle on the ends of your hair is already much more open than at the root area simply because the hair on the ends is older. It has been through more damage whether it be environmental, thermal, chemical or mechanical. Shampoos contain cleansing agents that open that cuticle up to allow dirt and oil to be removed. Shampooing directly to your ends can result in dryness of your hair.
Now the exact opposite goes for conditioner. The only part of your hair that needs conditioner are the mids to ends. Conditioner helps seal that cuticle back up to make your ends softer, shinier and tangle free. You don't have an issue with softness, shine or tangles up at your scalp because that hair is brand new with a much tighter cuticle. Pair that with the oils your scalp is constantly producing and your root area can become oil city if your apply conditioner higher than necessary.
I also go over this in this youtube video, along with some other hacks if you're interested in hearing more.
Tip#3 - Go easy on styling products the first few days
This one is kind of a no brainier, but the more product buildup you have in your hair, the faster its going to get dirty. Again, I have coarse dry hair & I like to start off with a leave in conditioner and a serum through my ends. This helps even further seal that cuticle so that my hair doesn't feel so dry and frizzy. For someone with finer, more oily hair, you may want to start with a volumizing foam or a root boost to add some life to your hair. Or, for those of you with pretty normal, medium texture that air drys well, you could do no products for a few days.
Just something to keep in mind as you start to make the transition into shampooing less, is to hold off on the dry shampoo, hair spray, gel, mousse, creams etc if they tend to buildup fast and make you want to wash sooner.
tip #4- use dry shampoo
Now, contrary to that very last tip, you will need to start using a dry shampoo. If you usually wash daily, use the dry shampoo on day two. Me personally, I don't usually break it out until day 4 or 5. The goal for the dry shampoo while trying to extend your wash life is to wait until you start getting oily and feel the need to shampoo. Then with the help of a good dry shampoo, you should be able to absorb that excess oil, refresh your style a bit, and push it a day or two further.
If you didn't already know, your scalp will eventually adjust and your sebaceous glands will stop pumping out as much oil the longer you're able to extend between shampoos. In turn, making it easier for you to wash your hair less often.
Tip #5 - HANDS OFF!
This one is tough for me, I am someone who constantly likes to run my hands though my hair and tousle it back and forth throughout the day. But the truth is the less you touch your hair the less oily it will get. Your hands have dirt and oil on them and the friction against your scalp also increases oil production. So when you subconsciously go to push your hair out of your face, just try to remember it's better to keep your paws off.
tip #6 - brush daily
So some days during our "dirty hair phase" we just keep it up in a messy bun or maybe you have curls and you don't like to disrupt them. I still encourage you to brush through your hair every day. This helps distribute those oils from your scalp down through the rest of your hair. Which helps prevent the root area from getting ultra greasy, but also seriously helps moisturize your mid-shaft and ends of your hair.
If your hair is curly and brushing it turns you into a poodle, I still want you to do this tip. After you're done brushing, spray your hair with some water or some beach spray, flip your head over, give it a scrunch a voilà, curls are back!
tip #7 - Learn some dirty hair go-to styles
Speaking of messy buns, this tip is huge for helping you stay sane while adjusting to this new routine. Learn a few braids or buns or some sort of quick easy style that can become your go-to on the days that you're trying to stretch your wash a little further. I make tutorial videos every week so I just want to share with you a few easy "dirty hair styles" you can watch and start to master. I've got this one, this one, and this one.
I also love hats on these days. Whether it's a floppy hat, a beanie or a ball cap to cover my oily roots always makes me feel better!
tip #8 - the overnight bun
Along with the shower cap I want you to also purchase some 90's style scrunchies. These are so gentle on the hair and are perfect to secure a loose bun to wear while you sleep. Sleeping in a bun prevents your hair from getting messed up during the night. It also helps prevent tangling and frizziness because your hair isn’t rubbing against a pillowcase all night. It also helps add a little volume to your hair, which is especially important when you're feeling weighed down with oil.
tip#9 - change/wash pillow case often
So when you think about it, it's a no brainier. Duh, if you're dirty hair keeps touching the same pillowcase it's going to continue to make your hair oily. Try to aim for washing your pillow case once a week. This will do wonderful things for your hair and your face.
Now I am a bit OCD and not having a tip #10 is kinda driving me crazy. So, without getting all brand-y I want to just add that using an amazing quality shampoo will truly make or break you stretching out your washes. If your hair is not getting properly cleansed on day one you're kinda just fighting a losing battle. But now think - if you're currently buying budget products and shampooing daily, if you were to switch to high quality products, and get to go 4 days maybe 7(?) between washes, you're still saving money. And you're on the road to some gorgeous, healthy hair. If you click the "shop" tab up top on my site, all products you find on any of the pages linked will be great for every ones hair.
If you would like to chat with me one on one about what products your hair needs exactly, I would be happy to do that. Just e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: "blog"
Now run free with this new-found knowledge and try to figure out something else to do with all the time I just saved you in washing and styling your hair. You're welcome.