Ladies... we need to talk.
I understand what drives the compulsion to shampoo your hair daily. Few things feel better than a white-hot shower, and a good scalp scrubbing. You feel refreshed, you smell like you've been dancing with rainbow fairies in a garden of Jasmine (or whatever), and your scalp is grease-free and squeaky clean.
See? I get it. However, on behalf of your hairstylist, and hairstylists everywhere, I beg you... STOP. I've heard every bit of (mostly) logical reasoning in the book from clients who believe they're slaves to the shampoo bottle. Maybe you exercise every day and can't imagine not cleansing your scalp after because of the sweat and smell. Good news: there are solutions for that! Maybe you have a thin, fine texture that collapses your style under a little extra grease. Good news: there are solutions for that, too! Allow me to lay it out for you...
The Benefits of Breaking Up With Your Daily Shampoo
Sebum is a natural oil produced by our scalp. Like any other naturally produced oil, it has protective benefits. Shampoo is an emollient that absorbs and traps oil, that we then wash away. When we constantly strip our hair of its natural oils, we send the message to our sebum-producing glands to, in fact, send MORE oil to our scalp. In an attempt to keep your roots from looking like an oil slick, you inadvertently send the message to your body to ramp up the production of oil! At the same time, your ends are being exposed to the constant drying effects of shampooing, blow drying, and hot iron styling, creating dry, brittle locks that are prone to breakage. But worry not, my overly-cleansed friends. There are ways out of this vicious cycle.
How to Say Goodbye
Breaking up is hard to do, and breaking up with your daily shampoo is no exception. It will undoubtedly take time and patience to bring your scalp to a healthy, natural balance, and it will likely mean suffering through feeling a bit slick at the roots from time-to-time. But have patience, and faith.
Start by cutting down your washing habit to every other day. Dry shampoo will become your best friend during this phase (and every phase, for that matter) of your journey to sebum regulation. Be sure to use a high-end shampoo and conditioner. Quality ingredients in hair care products ALWAYS yield better results. Use the every other day schedule for 2-3 weeks before pushing to three days. The key is to slowly adjust the frequency of your cleansing. When you notice the texture of your hair seeming to thicken, and the oil level lessening on your off-day, you're ready to move to every three days. Stay at three days for roughly 4 weeks, or again, until you can tell your oil production is adjusting accordingly. In my opinion the ideal amount of time between shampoos is 3-4 days for fine, and/or thin hair, and 4-5 days for thicker, medium-to-coarse textured hair. Use the last day or two prior to washing to try braids, fun ponytails, or top knots. A greasy or oily texture is ideal for up-styled hair! On days that you aren't on a wash day, but feel like you simply can't take the build-up any longer, try conditioning ONLY, taking care to work the conditioner into your scalp thoroughly with your fingers. This will provide you with a super gentle cleansing that won't trap or entirely strip the natural oils from your scalp.
What to Use
Two of my absolute favorite dry shampoos hail from the Kevin.Murphy styling line. The first is his signature dry shampoo, FRESH.HAIR. The second is called DOO.OVER, and it's like the love-child of FRESH.HAIR, and POWDER.PUFF, his magical volumizing powder. I go through bottle upon bottle of DOO.OVER, it is just an extraordinary product. Section your hair around the crown and spray your dry shampoo at the roots to absorb oil and odors, and add texture as needed. If you're in the OKC Metro area, I recommend picking up your Kevin Murphy products at Rumors Salon in Downtown Edmond. For those out of the area, find an authorized KM dealer here.
For a professional shampoo and conditioner, I recommend the Hydrate formula by Pureology. It contains natural extracts of Peppermint, Sage, and Rosemary, is immensely hydrating without weighing hair down, and the oil tingles and stimulates the scalp which promotes scalp health and hair growth. Hydrate by Pureology is also available at Rumors Salon in Edmond, or click here for an authorized retailer.
Best of luck moving to a new shampooing schedule! Be sure to leave me feedback if you make the switch. I do love a good success story! Also feel free to chime in with any questions you may have about moving to a low-poo routine.