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confession: i only wash my hair 2-3 times a week. a few years ago, i used to wash it everyday until my hair salon yelled at me for over-stripping my hair of its natural oils and damaging it from all the washing i was doing. i took it upon myself one winter break to tough it out and go a few days sans washing. i remember in the beginning it was horrible. by the end of the second day, my hair looked like it hadnt been washed in weeks and putting it in a bun didnt even help. i did it over break because i knew i could hibernate until my hair got used to being washed less. my poor parents must have thought their daughter had come back from college and forgot basic hygiene. it took a few weeks to really get it under control, but it was well worth it. now i can definitely go 2 days with my hair down and on the third, i put it up in a bun or pony to hide the excess oils. added bonus? my scalp doesnt flake since i let my natural oils do their thing.
although this has helped my hair tremendously, i still suffer from split ends and the top layer in the back of my hair breaks easily and dries out. the thinning out at the ends is probably due to the fact that i a) dont trim my hair enough and b) still blow-dry my hair on the nights that i wash it. i weaned myself off of straighteners or curling irons. lately, ive been trying to find ways around blow-drying my hair without sacrificing the appearance of it. in the past, letting my hair air dry left it a bit frizzy and my layers dried awkwardly. but lately its been working out well for me and my hair is in the best condition its been in the longest time.
so what am i doing differently? im being as low maintenance as possible. obviously, this may not work for everyone (particularly if your hair is nothing like mine - straight and moderately thick) but its worth trying and possibly adapting to fit your needs. on the nights that i wash my hair, i wash twice: first i use a really basic shampoo. right now im using herbal essences hydralicious just to get rid of the initial build-up at the roots. after that, i use bumble & bumbles seaweed shampoo. again, i just focus at the roots. i let it sit for 3-5 minutes and then rinse it out. i love this product because it is gentle and mild but definitely keeps it shiny and removes build-up. it makes my hair so light and silky. ive stopped conditioning in the shower because id rather apply a leave-in product and i hate the way it makes my hair feel - it weighs it down and i end up having to wash my hair more frequently.
after i finish washing it, i towel dry it and let the towel soak up as much of the water out of my hair as possible. its a good idea to brush your hair out before you wash it while its still dry because wet hair is much more fragile and prone to breakage. i usually wait about 10 minutes after i wash it until my hair is a bit drier and use a wide tooth comb to work out the remaining knots. a wide tooth comb is better for your hair, as it doesnt snag and is less damaging on wet tresses. after that, i use a nickle-sized amount of moroccanoil at the ends of my hair and work my way up, avoiding the roots. whatever is left on my hands after that, i gently pat the top of my hair to avoid frizziness. since the oil is so hydrating, it really helps my hair dry frizz-free and straight. if i wake up in the morning and it hasnt entirely dried the right way, i will run a straightener over the few sections that need it. generally this only happens when i go to bed before my hair has had a chance to fully dry and subsequently creases while i sleep.
and thats it! i think the most important thing to remember is that washing your hair frequently is counterproductive. try to train your hair to produce less oils if you can. the first few weeks might be gross but your hair will thank you in the end. if youre wondering about dry shampoo, i generally avoid it and dont really own any. i might use a bit of baby powder if things are really bad and i dont have time to shower. washing your hair twice is a good idea too: i read that shampoos are formulated to be fairly mild these days so removing build-up and then letting the shampoo work its magic on clean hair at the roots for a few minutes is worth it. if you do use products in your hair (mousse, dry shampoo, etc) then washing your hair twice should be a given.
if you feel like conditioner is weighing your hair down, look for lighter leave-in options like the moroccanoil. its very hydrating but not greasy. i re-apply a little bit every night before bed after i brush through my hair. brushing your hair will help re-distribute the oils from the roots to the ends.
photo courtesy of me