Dirty Secret: How to Get Away with Skipping a Hair Wash
We've all been there. You spent about an hour blow-drying, and possibly even straightening, your hair, and somehow it's already the next day and you're not quite up for doing it all over again. Personally, I can get away with skipping a day washing my hair. In fact, most women agree that second-day hair is a little bit more manageable. However, and my curly-headed sisters will relate, what if you want to stretch that do out for three days... or more?
The problem you're faced with is a slightly oily look. Here are some preventative measures you can take to prolong the oil (that isn't necessarily "dirty") from forming:
1. Less is more. If you're someone who has to straighten her hair, you're likely to use a straightening serum, relaxer, or lotion. In my experience, the majority of these, especially those purchased at the drugstore, do little to nothing (and some will even make your hair even funkier than if you just went with a good old fashioned fro!). These products are meant to be used sparingly. Use no more than a quarter sized drop, rub the product thoroughly in the palms of your hands before applying, and don't be tempted to use more to achieve more results. Straightening products don't work more effectively in greater quantities; excess will only remain lingering on top of your hair and scalp, thus looking greasy. Also, using less, or no, conditioner and being sure you rinse it all out, will help, too.
2. Keep your hands to yourself! I know, after you've just blow-dried your hair it is softer than ever, and your tempted to just run your fingers through it all the live-long day. However, your hands have natural oils (not to mention dirt and germs) that will be deposited in your hair every time you touch it, only to make you look greasier sooner. Don't brush or comb your hair if you don't have to. Your brushes and combs have oils on them from previous use and will just go back into your hair when you use them.
So, you might be wondering what can be done on that third day, when you want to get a little more wear out of your hair. Women who have to straighten there hair (i.e. ME), spend A LOT of time blow drying, flat ironing, and styling to get it to look the exact opposite of how it is meant to look. To do this every day would not only be damaging to our hair but also be incredibly time consuming (we would likely have well-toned arms, though). So, what should you do on day 3?
1. Don't take a steaming shower that day. It's not the steam that will make your hair greasy (actually, water will eliminate some of the grease), but it's your own sweat. You don't realize it because you're wet, but even when you're in the shower, you can still be sweating. Your sweat often has natural oils in it that will increase the oily appearance of your hair. You're also likely to be sweating under that shower cap you looks so fabulous in.
2. Absorb it! Do you know what is often used to absorb the oil from oil spills? Sand. Please, don't go putting sand in your hair. While sand might absorb the oil, it won't give you that clean look you want. However, having similar properties to sand, baby powder works wonders. At one point, I went through a 5-year bleach blond phase. Baby powder was a God-send during those days. I could shake a little into my palms, rub it into my hair, get a fresh look, and no one was all the wiser. Today, as a darker brunette, it's not so simple. I only shake a little bit into my palm because too much will give me a nice powdered wig look. I can then shake a little bit into my palm again, and repeat as necessary, but I can't do it all at once anymore. Nonetheless, if I just use a very little bit at a time, I can get an extra day out of my do.
3. Blow off! Set your hair dryer to cool (remember, we don't want you sweating), and use a wide-toothed comb to blow out some of the oil in you hair. Before you use the comb, wet it thoroughly and towel it dry. You don't want any oil left over on your comb from previous uses getting back into your hair. Not only will the cool air get rid of some of the oil, but it will also revive some of the body that you may have lost by day 3.
Finally, understand that this is not literally a "dirty secret." You are not at all dirty if you go 3 days without washing your hair. In fact, washing your hair every day can dry it out and even increase hair loss. In my 25 years of having straightened, bleached, and dyed my hair billions of times (that's no exaggeration), it's still pretty darn healthy. I'm convinced that is because I wash it at most every other day. I don't go longer than 3 days because by then it's beyond help. Unless I'm doing some sort of strenuous work, a rarity anyway, or something that really gets me down and dirty, I don't see any need to wash my hair every single day. I'm not ashamed to say it: I don't wash my hair everyday, and neither should you! Thankfully, using these tips, you shouldn't have to!