Keeping Hair Healthy, Not Greasy

Is it possible to go a few days without washing your hair and have it look healthy? Yes. Are there other ways than dry shampoo? Yes.

I don’t know about you, but it seems 95% of advice about oily hair or hair that gets greasy involves dry shampoo. Don’t get me wrong, it works, but it’s just putting a mask on what can be improved. In the end I found that I was just loading my hair up with dry shampoo which created a film by the end of the day and left my hair looking dull. I still like dry shampoo, I use it occasionally, but it’s not your only option. In fact, since integrating these few rituals I barely have to use it anymore.

Sometimes you don’t have time to wash your hair everyday, or others choose not to add to the health of their hair. An easy solution is to wash your hair everyday, but sometimes that’s not even enough, I’ve seen hair that greases up within 30 minutes of taking a shower. I generally wash my hair every other day or every 2 days. If it is better for your hair not to wash it everyday I don’t want to be left out, but most of the time it’s just for lack of time.

Wherever you fall in the debate, here’s what I’ve been doing:

Styling Hair ASAP-I’ve found that the sooner I curl or straighten my hair the more it will last through the next few days. I’m not saying fry your hair by curling it everyday, but even giving it a few heatless waves will lift your hair off the scalp, your neck and face. Let your hair have the least amount of time resting on skin or contact with skin.

Sleeping with Hair Up- It’s a long night, tossing turning, resting on pillows, your hair on your face- all this + heat= hair that sticks to you. As mentioned above keep your hair off your skin, plus sleeping in a loose bun will add volume for the next day.

Hands Off During the Day- This is the last I’ll mention about the skin and hair, but it is important to be mindful of running your fingers through your hair/scalp during the day. The more you touch, the more oil will find its way to your hair.

Using A Balancing Shampoo- Everyone can use a shampoo that balances whatever it is that is out of order causing the oiliness.

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3 days without washing

Distributing Oils- You may have heard that your hair actually needs a little greasiness to be healthy. “It’s your hair’s natural oils!” That’s true, however they aren’t just going to magically gravitate to drier parts of your hair (especially the ends.) Even if you go a decent amount of time without washing your hair the majority of it would accumulate at the scalp. Every night I’ve been brushing through my hair top to bottom, manually distributing the oils. I’ll add that my hair has gotten stronger, shinier and in better condition through this practice. I find it easiest to do at night, but you can do it whenever works best for you.

Conditioning Selectively- I believe this is common knowledge, but just in case you need a reminder: use conditioner as needed and never on the scalp.

Incorporating DIY Hair Masks- Most of the time these are one ingredient conditioning masks such as a few tablespoons of olive oil or coconut oil- and for this I do go up to the scalp. As saturated as it looks, it will come out with shampoo in the shower. It’s good every now and then to condition your hair and add back moisture and balance. It doesn’t get any easier than 20-30 minutes and an oil of your choice.

 

*Personal note* I apologize for not writing for a while. I will be returning to college in the fall and  I’m in the ever-daunting process of deciding what school to go to and what to major in. It’s been all consuming, but I appreciate your patience.

 

 

The Beauty of Coconut Oil

I’ve been using it for about 2 years and every time I go to use it as something else it somehow succeeds. There aren’t too many things that are as versatile as coconut oil. There are so many different uses, it doesn’t have any funky aromas, it’s natural and it’s fairly inexpensive. It can be bought at the supermarket that alone makes it appealing.

Combine it with coffee or sugar to exfoliate: Sometimes using just sugar, just coarse sea salt, or just coffee grounds can be irritating on the skin. If you mix coconut oil into any of the above it will make it moisturizing while turning it into a paste (better for storage too)

Create your own one ingredient makeup remover: Olive oil has also been said to be a great makeup remover, it’s true, it works well. The thing that I like about coconut oil better is that it is solid until it melts as you apply it . It gives you a bit more control. Any makeup comes off easily, there’s no scrubbing involved.

Replace your body lotion: You don’t need a lot, a thin layer will do the trick. Best done before bed because it is still oil, it will stain clothes if it’s not completely soaked into your skin.

Get shinier, healthier hair: Coconut oil can bring hair back to life. Run through hair (scalp to ends or just ends) , leave for 20 minutes and rinse with warm water. This will do a job no conditioner can do. It’s so concentrated and nourishing. Your hair will be left softer, shinier and smelling nice.

Use it as a lip balm: Why not put it there? Your time with dry, dehydrated or cracked lips will fade away.

Make face masks:  Add in whatever you like, my favorite mask to make with coconut oil is with honey. You’ll want to use a little less honey than coconut oil to make it easier to apply. Leave for 8-10 minutes. Honey has antibacterial properties and the coconut oil as mentioned many times before works so well for moisturizing whatever it comes into contact with. Wash off with warm water to find your skin smooth and soft. I do this maybe once every 2 weeks to “reset” my skin.

Needless to say, I’m a big fan. I wanted to share the ways I use coconut oil. I’m sure there’s even more and I’m looking forward to trying them.

Do yourself a favor and stop taking hot showers

Intimidating as it might seem to take anything but a steaming hot shower it’s something I can promise you will get used to and might even like. Even mentioning a cold shower most people shudder. I did too at one time. Last year I started to take cold showers, the results were made the few minutes of ice cold water worth it. My skin wasn’t blotchy and dry after a shower, I didn’t come out of the shower more tired than I went in, my hair was shiny, I could use less shampoo, any back or chest breakouts vanished.

Cold showers burn more calories (if you’re into that) , improve circulation, and strengthen the immune system. You’ll find you’ll spend less time in the shower. I’ve cut my showers from 15-20 minutes to 5-7 because that’s all you’ll really want. In the last 9 months I’ve taken one “traditional” shower , hot and the room full of steam, one I would have used to taken. They are that good.

Be prepared for a different experience. This is unlike any other shower you’ve ever taken. You’ll have to mentally prepare yourself, there’s a definite plunge you’ll be taking by jumping in. There’s a shock that’ll come over you, but go with it…breathe, move around, and face the water. I’ve actually found there is something meditative about being under extremely cold water. No other thoughts will enter your mind other than getting out of there. Now that you’ve done it, start enjoying your new skin and hair. I’ve found I don’t need conditioner anymore and I rarely have to moisturize my skin. You’ll feel refreshed when you leave the shower, not in a daze from all the steam and heat.

There are things to make them easier to handle. 

A few tips :

1. Don’t take them coming right out of bed. That’s pretty intense. Move around a little, go have something to drink and then take your shower. It’s pretty unpleasant coming out of a warm bed to find yourself underneath icy water.

2. Start off lukewarm if necessary then go colder as the shower continues. Lukewarm means lukewarm though, do not go to hot or warm because I can almost guarantee you’ll end up giving in and taking a normal shower, it’s very tempting.

3. Workout, then shower. You’ll be more ready for it and it’s less harsh.

4. Only go as long as you can. In the beginning of getting used to cold showers I could only handle 1-3 minutes. You’ll build up a resistance and be able to withstand more. Usually a week into it you’ll start getting used to it.

Give it a try, give it a chance. It’s not something you have to sign on for life. Just something to consider or even break the monotony of your usual shower. It’s something to experience and see if you notice any improvements in your skin , hair or overall feeling after showering. If nothing else, you’ll be more appreciative of a hot shower.