Wednesday, January 19, 2011

More on the Hair

I got a comment/question re: the non-hair washing and a few emails with other questions so voila - a blog post was born whereby I will expand upon my non-hair washing-ness.

1. What do you do after exercising - doesn't your hair get all sweaty?
Short answer - not really. I only have energy to run for 30 minutes at the Y, which is not enough for me to get sweaty hair. Sure some of the hair by my face will be a little sweaty or by my neck but it isn't drenched. I go home change into my pjs and pretty much go to bed. NO I DO NOT SHOWER. Yes you probably think this is gross. But I have dry skin - if I showered twice a day, my already flaky skin will turn into a cracked bleeding mess. I cannot not shower in the morning so that is the only time I shower. My husband doesn't seem to mind sharing a bed with me. This is the winter plan. In summer, this does not happen - I usually shower post-run in summer. And in that case, i will rinse my hair but not wash it.

2. Do you wet your hair on the "off" days at all?
Short answer: no. Here is my routine - exactly with products and all.
Day 1: Wash hair with shampoo and conditioner. In winter, spray a leave-in conditioner in it. Put some sort of straigtening cream in it. [Right now I am alternating between a bunch of free samples - Got2B Cashmere Straigtening Cream, Aveda Smooth Infusion Prep Cream and Redken Blown Away Protective Blow Dry Gel. I have not found a big difference in any of these.] After putting that in, I will blow dry it mostly dry with a regular hair dryer and then switch to my blow dryer styling brush to finish. (If I have time, I will use the blow dryer styling brush only). Then I will spray a quick spray of hairspray and be done. (SIDE NOTE: Any recommendations for hair spray? I am growing out my bangs so this is a must-use product but I'm not really a fan of most I've tried. Currently I am using this free sample of Aveda Control Force Firm. It has nice hold but still leaves the crunch factor).

Day 2: Wake up. Put hair in ponytail and headband and put shower cap over all of that. Take a shower. Take ponytail and headband out. Brush hair. Done. Looks pretty much the same as Day 1. Occssionally by in-the-process-of-being-grown-out bangs need to be braided or twisted and secured with a bobby pin on this day.

Day 3: Here's where things might start to go downhill and options must be had. I will still shower with a shower cap. If hair is looking a little greasy near the face but otherwise ok, I will use a dry shampoo. Right now I am using the Tressemme Fresh Start Dry Shampoo. There are two versions - One for dry hair and one for oily hair. Although I don't have oily hair, I use that version because the dry hair version gets your hair wet. I spray this in and then brush hair as usual. Voila. Done. I have read that baby powder or cornstarch will have the same effect as dry shampoo. I have found this to be true but a lot messier and since i do my hair after I am dressed, this can be a disaster.
If hair is looking a little flippy, I will pull it back. I have found that my hair works better pulled back on Day 3 or 4.
The other thing I use a lot are headbands.

Day 4: The tipping point - sometimes I can squeak by with doing Day 3 routine again and other times Day 4 becomes Day 1. If my hair is looking pretty flat to my head, I sprinkle in some Aveda Pure Abundance Hair Potion along my part. Boom. Instant volume. [Side note: I love this product but store it in my fridge. I found out the hard (read: expensive) way that this product pretty much gets destroyed with humidity, which is often found in one's bathroom.]

So - I can really only pull the wash-hair-every-4-days routine with longer hair. When i had short hair, I was definitely washing/styling every other day. Also, bangs made a difference - bangs (at least on me) require more work and I could really only rock bangs on the day I washed my hair. Thus, you can see why i am growing out both my hair and bangs - TO SAVE TIME!

Some other caveats - I don't really play with my hair all day. I find the more you touch your hair, the greasier it gets. I don't have silk pillowcases, or sleep with it in a ponytail or anything like that - these are often recommended in magazines as ways to save your hairstyle. And the above routine only applies if I wear my hair straight. If I wear my hair curly on Day 1, I have to wash it on Day 2 because 1) I have to use a lot of product to get it curly and 2) the curl factor does not last through a night of sleeping. If I let my hair dry naturally on Day 1, then everything gets moved up a day in the above rotation.

This is probably a defensive comment, but every single hair stylist I have ever had commends me on not washing my hair everyday saying that it is good for your hair and scalp. I also do not have any problems with dry itchy or dandruffy scalp since I started doing this - which definitely was a problem in the past.

3. Doesn't your hair start to smell?
Short Answer: Yes/No. By Day 3 or 4, my "hair smells like hair" as my husband likes to say. So it no longer has the scent from shampoo/conditioner in it but it doesn't reek either. Using a dry shampoo puts some scent back into it but I don't like to have too many scents going on at once anyways. Those of you that personally know my husband know that he is the antithesis of a hippie so he would be honest about the smell factor.

4. Do you use special shampoo/conditioner?
Speaking of hair stylists, this is the question I hate getting the most from them mostly because I feel like they are going to try to sell me something. Yes I have found that some (but not all) "nice" shampoos are awesome. Example: Kerastase which is what my old salon used to use. Am I going to shell out big coin for this? No. Even though I could probably rationalize it by saying that I don't use as much shampoo so it would last me a while, I am still too cheap to spend $30 on a bottle of shampoo. Also I would not let Nate use this fancy shampoo (he washes his hair daily) and then we would have two bottles of shampoo in our already crowded shower caddy thing.

Generally we shop for shampoo using two rules:
1) Nate has to like how it smells and
2) It has to be a moisturizing formula.

This is when we buy shampoo - because of my free sample habit, we often are using shampoo from the free sample rubbermaid tub in our closet. Currently we are using a god-awful shampoo from Trader Joes. It smelled good but DOES NOT rinse out of your hair very well. Again - WHY DON'T WE JUST THROW IT OUT. I rarely throw anything out, for good or for bad. So we are sucking it up and finishing the bottle.

Conditioner - Generally I will use stuff from the free sample tub. If I buy a conditioner I try to get an uber-moisturizing one. (Are you noticing a theme with me? I crave moisture.) Right now I am using some Pantene sample that we have about ten of.

I am not loyal to one brand. I like getting "nice" shampoo/conditioner as gifts but am too cheap to buy it myself.

What are people's thoughts on shampoo/conditioner? Are you loyal to a particular one?

Back to the hair stylists, I never confess the above to them. I totally lie and say some salon brand. And you know what their response is? "You can totally tell - you have really nice hair." Suckers.

I think that covers all of the emails/questions I got. Hopefully you are not too grossed out by me now.


Tara said...

I wish I could "train" my hair to an every other day washing schedule... my hair has always been on the greasy side and ends up looking pretty bad. I do like the dry shampoo for weekend days at home.

I looooove Kerastase and use to justify it in my free-wheelin 20's but have since moved to products on the lower end of the spectrum.

I just started to using the Neutragena deep condition (it is in a tub that looks similar to the Kerastase) and am really liking it alot.

Also, I have a hairspray that I really like... I think it is Sebastian. It holds but doesn't have any crunch-factor.

Apparently I had a lot to say on this topic :)

Old MD Girl said...

I've recently moved to an every-other day washing schedule. And yes, it took some training, and a few weeks of being very very oily, but it has been very much worth it. I have the opposite issue from you -- I have very VERY oily hair and get acne. Acne on the face AND back, even more now that I stopped my OCPs. Therefore, not showering after exercise is not an option for me. Also I swim, so there is that too.

For shampoo, if I'm not swimming, I will use a moisturizing shampoo. If I am swimming, I use head and shoulders because it seems to cut the chlorine better than anything else. I ALWAYS use a very heavy conditioner -- either Aussie 3 minute miracle or herbal essences for permed or color treated hair. AND then I use Paul Mitchell "The Conditioner" leave in conditioner. I've been told (by stylists) that this is why I am so greasy, however I beg to differ. Without both of these products, I get static galore, and my hair gets very brittle very fast. The stylists seem to want to solve this problem with mouse and hairspray and a ton of other products (that they sell), but I hate the way my hair feels with all that product, and plus it doesn't work very well. I've had enough annoying conversations with stylists about this to try to avoid the subject when it comes up. Fortunately, the woman I go to now understands.

Emily said...

The funniest thing about this post is that you have so many free samples they warrant their own tub. Please tell us your secrets for getting free samples!!

Nadi said...

OK, so I am completely amazed by this post...for several reasons. 1) I am a black american with very black american hair (now that I have grown out and cut off all of my relaxed hair) and know very little about caring for non-black hair.
2) the little I do know about non-black hair would have me to believe that you HAVE to wash your hair every day because your scalp naturally produces oils that weigh the hair down...whereas for me, my scalp does not produce any oils. I can not wash my hair daily because it would dry out and fall off...or so I thought.

Until I cut off the chemically relaxed hair, that's what I thought. Now, I can actually wet my hair daily, or a few times per week and with proper foll-up conditioners/coconut oil, it thrives and grows very fast!

Regarding the curly hair stuff (since I now have it) I can say that you may want to try co-washing your hair. If you read ingredients, the same detergents (yuck) that are in shampoo to cleanse your hair are also in conditioners for some reason. They are there in high enough concentrations to actually do a great job cleaning your scalp but not drying your hair out...
Also, if you use styling products to keep your curls nice looking. sleep with a satin pillowcase or satin bonnett (not the cutest thing in the world, by far). If you want day-2 curly hair, just put water in a spray bottle and lightly mist it in the morning. The mist will kind of reactivate the product and you should only have to shake your hair a bit and go...mind you, I know absolutely nothing about your hair, but these things really work for me.

ON shampoos, if you need moisturising shampoos, you may actually want to try those marketed for black people (pantene's rediculous brown bottle, for example)...not sure if this would be too heavy for your hair or not...herbal essence 'hello hydration' is super cheap and AWESOME.
Take care! SORRY for the long post :0)