HOW I TRANSITIONED TO WASHING MY HAIR JUST ONCE A WEEK + MY MUST-HAVE HAIR CARE PRODUCTS
I have always had a ton of hair. For years thought I had 'thick' hair, but as I got older and got better hair stylists, I realized that my hair strands were actually really fine - I just grow a ton of it. Which explains why I'm also the kind of girl that has to shave everyday if she wants consistently smooth legs. Haha thanks Dad! Anyway, for years I totally fought against my own hair style and washed my hair EVERY SINGLE DAY. I had convinced myself that because I was an athletic kid, I needed to be washing my hair every day to keep it clean and sweat-free. So I'd get up every morning, take a HOT shower (I grew up in very cold Maine!), then blow dry my hair, straighten it, and then use a bunch of products to smooth down the frizz and flyaways my crazy hair always had. Here's what I was really doing: a LOT of damage. First, your hair doesn't need to be washed everyday. It only needs to be washed when it looks or smells dirty really, which sounds like some hippie sh!t, but bear with me. Your hair has natural oils that keep your scalp healthy and moisturized. These oils travel the length of your hair, obviously more concentrated at the scalp, to keep it moisturized and healthy as well. Because I was washing my hair EVERYDAY, my poor hair oils were getting stripped on the daily with no chance to ever repair; I was washing in super hot water, so my hair and scalp were drying out more they should be; I would get out and towel dry like crazy, rubbing that friction all around my wet strands, trying to get excess water out; I would then heat style my hair with no heat protecting products, and then head out into the freezing cold winter air in Maine and watch it just POP into frizzes and flyaways. And no wonder!
After years of poor hair torture, I met a stylist who really broke it all down for me. I needed to wash less, every couple days. I could style with heat but needed to use protective creams and oils first. I needed to take care of my hair! Especially as someone who doesn't dye or do anything crazy really, hair health is SUPER important to me - and I didn't understand how people with color-treated hair could have nicer locks than I did still! I realized I needed to overhaul my hair routine, starting with how often I was washing it. Even though the salon said every few days, I was having a lot of trouble transitioning from my once-daily washing at first. Because my hair had become so accustomed to my stripping it of it's oils daily, even washing a few times a week left me with greasy looking locks by day two or three. I HATED walking around with the 'greasy' look - I felt so unprofessional looking! - and went back to daily washing. I needed a better solution, and started doing a lot of research into once weekly hair washing online. The best advice I got was from other women who were experimenting the same way and trying to cut back on the 'poo. Their advice? GET OVER IT! Haha. Really! It only takes a few weeks for your hair to really adjust, so if you can be a little oily and wear a baseball cap for a few days, you can transition your hair to once weekly washing. I started utilizing dry shampoo and avoiding social situations for a few weeks, and before you know it, my hair started finding some real balance!
I'm not in the group that coconut oil bombs my hair before I wash because usually by that point in the week, my hair is pretty oily at the roots and doesn't need any help. The most helpful trick I found while transitioning my hair was to stick to a single day of the week for washing your hair - two, if you need it while you work your way down from daily washing. I still shower daily but keep my hair in a shower cap or high ponytail to prevent it from getting wet UNLESS I've been working out, then sometimes I'll rinse my hair clean and let it dry and style as normal. For instance, I might wash my hair on Sunday when I shower, but mid-week I will only rinse my hair after a super sweaty workout session. If I don't rinse my hair of product every two days or so, it gets greasier on it's own due to product build-up.
So, let's fast-forward to now! I am totally crazy about keeping my hair happy and healthy - and honestly it looks better than it ever has. I feel like I've finally gotten a handle (at almost 30) on how to take care of my hair properly, and how to make to look pretty good, too! Here's my current hair routine: I wash my hair on Sundays. I use Giovanni Tea Tree shampoo above to give myself a good scalp massage and really get my hair clean, then rinse really well before using the corresponding tea tree conditioner above, as well. I use each for about half the length of time it takes me to shower - which isn't very long - maybe two minutes on each. After I'm rinsed and ready to get out, I pull my hair into a low ponytail and squeeze all the excess water down the drain. I flip my head over and wrap it lightly but securely with a towel - not tousling at all. After a few minutes in the towel, I take the towel off and use a Bass wooden comb to gently help my hair part. It naturally parts pretty much right down the middle, but sometimes some of the hair is out of place, so I carefully use the comb so make my part where I want it. I DON'T brush my hair. (Literally EVER. I have pretty fine hair and I never need it. That said, if you have more texture in your hair and need a brush, brush gently and as little as possible. It causes breakage!) I then use my fingers to separate the strands of my hair and sort of arrange them how I want. The less I touch it the better - it dries with more natural wave that way. I usually spritz some Beach Waves Spray from The Gnarly Whale in and occasionally scrunch it in to create some extra waves. (They have a million scents for their beach wave spray and lately I've been hooked on birthday cake!) I always let my hair air-dry these days - I don't even own a blowdryer! Luckily we live in a warm place, but I always plan ahead and allow for dry time if I have to go somewhere. This also helps my natural wave develop as it dries.
Once my hair has dried, I have a couple options. If it's midweek and my hair is a little oily, I'll sprinkle in some Acure Dry Shampoo and tousle it around. Its my favorite dry shampoo that I've tried and it sops up oil in a second, leading you with fresh looking hair in no time! If I'm already feeling freshly washed with no need for the dry shampoo, I skip right to the Moroccan Oil Dry Texture Spray. It adds a ton of volume to my fine, limp locks and is especially helpful after a few days no washing - it makes my hair look like I've gotten a fresh blow out! To keep the volume and tame any flyaways at my crown, I like Aussie's Headstrong Volume Hairspray. It's probably toxic AF but it's one of the few hairsprays I've tried (and I've tried them all!) that gives me the perfect balance of hold and bounce without being too shiny. And that's it! Occasionally I still straighten my hair, but I really try and keep it to the ends or for touching up the crazy cow lick I get on the right side of my part.
And that's it guys! The secret to my hair. Haha, not that its a secret or an at all impressive routine - but I had been getting so many questions, I figured it was time to break it down for you babes. Hope this was helpful! Do you have any killer hair helpers you've discovered? Let me know! I'm always on the hunt for new, rad products!