As a woman with greasy hair, I’ve often struggled with how to keep my tresses moisturized and healthy without them getting weighed down at the roots by too much product buildup. I have long, coloured hair that’s usually curly, so I have a variety of different factors I have to contend with when it comes to how to care for my mane.
The “no ‘poo” (not shampooing your hair, just conditioning) method has been trending lately, but can hair as coarse as mine really survive without the extra moisture? How do I get my tresses to look like Priyanka Chopra’s? And most importantly, how long can I live off of dry shampoo before I really should just wash my damn hair instead?
After 26 years on this planet, I still haven’t figured it out – so I spoke to some experts and tried out their tips and tricks.
Given that my hair is curly, it seemed natural to speak to someone that understands the struggle. Caroline Muir from The Curl Ambassadors was able to break down a few of the basics to me.
First and foremost, I wanted to know how often I really need to be washing my hair.
“It varies based on your lifestyle,” Muir says. “If you workout often, is your hair coloured or not, how you like to wear your curls, etc. You can range from 3-5 days, sometimes more.”
As for dry shampoo, it turns out I should be laying off a bit, as it’s not the best for my type of hair.
“(It’s) more prevalent for our beautiful straight hair friends mostly,” Muir says. “Us curlies need water and hydration!”
For the actual washing, it seems I’ve also been using too much product, shampooing and conditioning every wash.
“The majority needed is co-washing — which is really just using conditioner, then de-tangling with conditioner in so as to keep those pretty curly locks hydrated and prevent damage and breakage,” Muir says.
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In terms of seeing her clients go longer between washing, Muir’s response is a very enthusiastic yes.
“We have clients who come back in and tell us, ‘Oh my god, I used to wash my hair everyday, now it’s every three days and it still looks fantastic,'” she says. “Their locks are more hydrated now as the natural oils can replenish the scalp.”
I was interested to see how well other types of hair compare to mine, so I spoke to Ernesto Domanico from Salon Solis in Toronto to see what the situation is like for non curly-haired people.
“The trend is extending the periods between each shampoo, but it’s different depending on what your hair is like,” he said.
“If you’re colouring your hair or doing ombre or bleached and washing too much, the hair’s already dry and that just makes it dryer. For a woman, if she colours her hair, she should be washing no less than every 2-3 days.”
And for those that rock the au natural look?
“If she has non-coloured hair, it might be sooner than that depending on how oily it is,”says Domanico. “People that have natural hair with no colour in it usually have a lot more oily hair than people who colour their hair.”
So, it seems that natural hair with no colour needs the most washing as it’s the oiliest while hair that’s coloured needs a bit more infrequent washing to not dry out the hair. If you’re like me and have curls and coloured hair, you should be washing even less.
Given that I usually wash my hair every other day — and sometimes even every day — I was definitely doing things wrong.
I began trying to go longer between my washes and began just using conditioner, but the grease levels were gross. Like, gross to the point that I didn’t want to leave the house. I had a date with a Very Promising Man that I almost cancelled based on sheer vanity, but I put on a sassy headband and prayed it would deflect from my oily roots.
Apparently, it’s all part of the process.
“It’s just a mini transition, about four weeks max,” Muir says. “Know that day 3-4 day you can get creative: pull it back on one side, do half-up, do cute clips or a trendy headband.”
Lo and behold, about three weeks into my new routine my hair became bouncy and full of secrets. Using conditioner only and washing more infrequently seems to have banished the dreaded second-day greasy roots I used to be plagued with.
I have noticed it’s become a bit dryer, so I’m still tinkering with the variables on my quest to have a mane like Priyanka – but for now, I’m thrilled with my hair transformation.
What’s the longest you go between washes? Let us know by tweeting us @YahooStyleCA.