Why Washing Your Hair Every Day (Or Even Every Other Day) Shouldn't Make You Feel Guilty
Browse almost any beauty magazine from the past year and you’ll find a million reasons why you shouldn’t wash your hair as often as you do, plus a million more ways to get away with going unwashed completely. From the “No ‘Poo” apple cider vinegar treatment to the bevy of dry shampoos ranging in price from your usual $4 drugstore brands to upwards of $40 a can, it seems that just about every girl has her own go-to way to combat grease and squeeze an extra day out of her blowout.
I know it goes against everything that is supposedly “good” for your hair, but I have to wash mine every day. I just have to. And believe me, it’s not for lack of trying.
In theory, waking up an hour later, taking a five minute body shower and spraying some dry shampoo on yesterday’s hairstyle before dashing out the door seems great. In reality, my fine-as-can-be, naturally pin-straight strands just don’t agree. I can almost hear them laughing at me as I gently tap that tiny shaker of Bumble and bumble Prêt-à-Powder at my roots, examining my scalp in the mirror and willing it to magically wick away the oil. I’m embarrassed to even begin counting the hours I’ve spent dousing my head in whatever dry shampoo was rated highest on Amazon that week, fruitlessly imagining the perfectly messy, incredibly Parisian dose of volume that it would give my pathetically limp locks.
And, more importantly, on the days that I do craft a style resembling something just shy of one of those sad ducks being cleaned with Dawn soap after a traumatic oil spill, I spend the majority of the day daydreaming about that evening, when I can finally massage shampoo into my scalp and rinse away the grease that I know is in some type of weird limbo just between my hair follicles and the strange, foreign powders and dry shampoos now coating my head.
Throughout this occasionally traumatizing process, I've discovered a few ways to wash your hair every day without inflicting as much drying damage on your strands.
1. Switch to a gentler shampoo.
If you're like me and you simply have to wash your hair every day, switching to a shampoo that is free of stripping chemicals can help you to get rid of grease and dirt without also getting rid of your hair's natural oils. A sulfate-free version like Living Proof's Full Shampoo that is designed specifically for fine-haired girls should do the trick.
2. Adjust your washing technique.
The old lather, rinse repeat technique isn't just outdated, it's also incredibly hard on your hair follicles. So are scrubbing your scalp with your fingernails, piling all of your hair on top of your head, and many other common hair washing mistakes. Hairstylists recommend gently massaging your shampoo only into your roots using the tips of your fingers and avoiding the bottom of your hair altogether, then gently rinsing with lukewarm water in order to prevent damage.
3. Turn down the heat.
Because washing your hair daily takes a toll on your strands, you should avoid heat styling more than girls who shampoo only a couple times a week. Let your hair air dry or use a heat-free styling technique that isn't as damaging.
4. Be careful with dry shampoo.
Although dry shampoos are a saving grace for many thick-haired girls who go without washing, if your hair is fine, they can be very drying and harsh on your roots. These products are designed to soak up oil, which is great for that excess oil that you see with second-day hair, but it's important to remember that not all oils are bad. The natural oils in your hair help to create a lustrous shine and healthy appearance, and a dry shampoo that is too harsh on your hair can make it feel rough, tangled and, well, just dry. If you dare to go a bit longer without washing your hair, use a gentler dry shampoo made for fine-haired girls like Klorane's Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk.
While many girls are giving up on washing their hair every day, I'm giving up on the idea that I’ll ever be the second-day-hair type. I tried, I failed, and my oily scalp conquered. I may never perfect the type of slept-in beach waves that come from going sans shampoo, but I've learned to embrace the occasional top knot to give my hair a break from washing. I also recently invested in a paraben-free, non-stripping option that also smells like coconuts, and there are few things more enjoyable than a hot shower that smells like coconuts — even if it means waking up an hour earlier than my thick haired friends.
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