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.

 

 

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Tutorial: How To Use Hot Rollers

When I first bought my set of hot rollers I didn’t really have any idea other than I wrap my hair around them. I was reluctant to buy them earlier because it looked like something complicated with a lot of parts compared to a straightener or a curling wand or iron. They just have one piece, it’s simple, you plug it in and get to work. With the rollers there’s clamps, clips, rollers and the container that holds the rollers and heats them-What’s with all this stuff??

Luckily I found it’s not much more complicated than that. I use them now because i find it convenient that I can wear them and be in the process of curling my hair, but still be mobile, still have my hands free.

Here’s the video where I show exactly what I do to get curls pretty effortlessly.

Healthy Hair

Do you want it? Do you have it? 

What can improve, change or keep it in good health?

Vitamins: From food and in pill form. Eat as well as you can, it’s best to get what you need from food. It’s not necessary to invest in every vitamin there is or to take a bunch of pills. However, there are some things that I’ve noticed to really help with hair. Omega-3 fish oil helps with keeping your hair strong and adds shine. Vitamin D helps with hair growth. If there are areas of your head with thinning hair try Vitamin D.

*Vitamins won’t work in a few days or even in a few weeks, they can take time to “kick in” (usually a few months) Be patient.

Limiting Heat: In the middle of the winter it’s hard to resist using heat to dry your hair, and in this case it’s better than going out with a wet head. If it’s summer or you live in a warmer climate, why not let your hair air dry? If you must use a hairdryer set it on “warm”or “cool” and style your hair without heat. Look up some heatless hairstyles. Roll your hair, braid it, there are so many online. My rule is I try not to do both using heat. It’s either I dry it or style it. It helps from drying out the ends.

Cutting your hair: Don’t go 6 months without cutting it , speaking as someone who just did that, keep your hair healthy by cutting it every few weeks (6-8 weeks) and it will repay you. It will seem thicker, help to give it a lift and remove any dead ends that cause dullness.

Coloring less: If you go every 2 months to color your hair double check that that’s when you really need it and not just when the receptionist schedules you for next time. Of course it’s better for your hair to color your hair brown than bleaching it to a platinum blonde, but the idea is to touch it when you need and that’s it. If you can get away with highlights go for highlights rather than coloring the entire head.

Using styling products that work with your hair: Easy on the hairspray. Make sure the serum isn’t making your hair oily looking. If it’s on your head and in your hair it should have a purpose, otherwise it’s just sitting there. If you can lessen the amount of added product you have to scrub out later that day it’s a plus.

Shiny, thick, strong hair easily creates curls, takes color well and falls just so along your face. Having your hair in good condition makes everything easier, no matter if you like your hair pin straight, voluminous or tousled, it’s better all around.

Greasy Hair: Dry Shampoo Alternative, Shampooing

The usual advice you’ll get is not to shampoo your hair, or at least limit it. It’s not bad advice and in theory it does make sense…but what do you do when it’s not really an option? If your hair already looks like you haven’t washed it the last thing you want to do is leave it alone for a few days. 

My favorite dry shampoo alternative is baby powder. Why an alternative in the first place? If you’re like me you have sensitive skin and all that fragrance and extra stuff added in the dry shampoo can bother you. The other thing that I like is that it’s not expensive. If the smell of baby powder isn’t your thing try plain cornstarch. That’s as simple and cheap as it gets. Cornstarch is the base of baby powder, the only difference is there’s no smell or aloe. The best way I’ve found to apply it is to use a brush and with small strokes work it through your hair. Most likely you’re starting from the scalp, so work down with little motions to distribute it evenly.

*Important with any dry shampoo or alternative- If you don’t need it don’t use it. In other words it’s not necessary to cover you’re whole head if only the area around your face and ears are greasy.

As for shampooing, the less ingredients the better. Something simple and gentle works the best. It doesn’t have to be organic, even a plain Neutrogena or Dove shampoo will do the trick. Don’t be afraid if there are oils infused in the shampoo. It won’t cause your hair to become oily. Use just as much shampoo as you need, don’t go overboard. Focus on the scalp and let the rest of the shampoo trickle down to the rest of your hair.

Conditioner? Yes, just not at the roots.

Not only will these help tackle the grease and oil that’s your hair now, but it will also prevent it to become just as greasy later on. Within the first few days you should see an improvement combining these two methods. Going back to what was mentioned earlier, this will allow you to stretch the time in between washing your hair, if you choose to skip a few days. It’s enough to carry you over and keep you looking fresh while curbing the oil.

Curling Iron vs Curling Wand vs Hot Rollers

Now that I own and have used all three, I can safely compare. Now, while writing this we’ll assume one doesn’t stand out clearly because of lack of quality. For example, I’m not comparing a decent curling iron and curling wand to an old hot roller that burns my head and pulls my hair out when I remove them. Assuming all are decent quality products, and are somewhat in the same ballpark, let’s get into it.

*In case you are interested I use all Conair (just coincidentally), the YouCurl Curling Wand, Instant Heat Curling Iron and Xtreme Instant Heat Ceramic Rollers.

Curling Iron: This was the first thing that I owned and used to curl my hair. To me it’s very straightforward, it does the job, the only two things I don’t like about the curling iron are the marks it leaves on your hair from the clamp and the lack of variety in the curl. If you have hair that is all the same the length it can be a challenge to create different looking curls with a curling iron , even with taking different amounts of hair.

Curling Wand: This leaves a more natural looking curl in the hair. The one I have gets leaner towards the top, so it allows for a some different curls. Easy to use, you can turn it and angle it easily without it pulling on your hair once it’s locked into place from the clamp. The downside is you can’t wrap the hair and let it heat on its own, you have to stand there with your arm in the air holding the hair, also on shorter pieces of hair it tends to slip out of the wand easily. There’s a higher chance of burning yourself because your hand is always near it, but most come with gloves to protect you.

Hot Rollers: According to my hair stylist, rollers are the least damaging for your hair when it comes to curling. I like that with curlers after you curl it you are free to continue getting dressed, doing your makeup, make phone calls or whatever else you need to do. As far as the look, they give the most volume, but they also flatten out the easiest, as soon as I’m done I need to spray a little hairspray . They can be pretty fragile when unraveling them from your hair. The trick is to leave them in for long enough, or else you’ll walk away with curls and come back with a slight wave. Something else to consider with these: Does it bother you having something on your head for a period of time?

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The breakdown…

Time

Best=Curling Wand

Worst= Hot Rollers

As imagined, the hot rollers take the longest because you have to wait for them to heat up, put them up, take them down and put everything away. The curling iron was the quickest because it’s pretty quick and mindless, it heats up, grab a piece of hair, a few seconds wrapped around, and when you’re done just unplug it. The curling wand was a little longer because of hair slipping out or not curling to the right amount, so there was more re-dos on sections of hair, which takes time.

Appearance 

Best=Hot Rollers

Worst=Curling Iron

The reason I put hot rollers as best was because of the volume they add. I really also like the shine that comes from using the curling wand. I don’t know what it is about the curling wand, but I find it smooths my hair well and takes away frizz. The indents that curling iron’s clamp leaves puts it further down.

Overall I like all three. I use them depending on the style I desire. The curling iron is terrific for pieces of hair, I use it when I put my hair in a ponytail and need a few quick curls. For the entire head I like using the curling wand or hot rollers. Of course your results will depend on the type of hair you have , but I see the value of each one of them.

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Less Is More

Maybe that’s just me. I feel like when it comes to hair it’s best not to have layers upon layers of various sprays, gels, conditioners, serums, curl definers, smoothening creams, treatments of whatever your hair calls for. Less put in is less to wash out.

I’ll go into what I use because I’ve used it for a while now and I can say I really don’t have any complaints. Just so you can compare, my hair is on the fine side, but I have a good head of hair. I get highlights and have had 2 or 3 perms in the past, so it’s not completely untouched.

Shampooing: Head & Shoulders (Classic Clean) – I used this mainly because it was what was in the shower. My brothers use it, I use it. Now I don’t have dandruff, but I do like the smell of it, it’s simple it’s clean. It’s pretty basic and that’s really what I look for. For the most part it does what it says it will, it cleans. Your hair will come out similar to how you went it. It doesn’t condition, dry out or add shine. It just cleans.

Conditioner: I don’t use conditioner, just because I ran out one time and I didn’t get around to getting it and didn’t notice a huge difference so I just left things as they were.

After showering: I do however use a leave-in conditioner. I like to put it directly on so it can dry on my hair. I don’t have frizzy hair, but it helps keep it smoother and easier to brush through. What I use depends on what they have at TJ Maxx. I kind of just get whatever looks good and it’ll be a good price. At the moment I am using one by A’Kin, I hadn’t heard of this brand, but it’s sort of all natural, it has a very light scent and it doesn’t leave your hair greasy.

Heat protectant: I’ve used this one for years. I think Got2B is a good brand overall. I have the Guardian Angel which protects up to 425 degrees. They have in the heat protectant line sprays for curling and blowouts , but I use it for anything that I do to my hair with heat. I like the idea of having something in between my hair and whatever I’m using that’s hot and could damage it. I’d say if you’re not using one, you do need a heat protectant. Without using one I did find my hair (especially the ends) to be a lot drier, even fried looking.

Occasionally I’ll use coconut oil through my hair and leave it for a little while and wash it out , but other than that, that’s pretty much the full rundown on what I use on my hair. It’s simple, I’ve been doing this for a while and my hair is in good condition.

Pick what you need and you’d be amazed what your hair can do just with a little help.

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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.