I’ve been involved with hair for nearly 40 years and counting. In this time I’ve experienced many types, textures, density, curl patterns and characteristics of hair from a multitude of people of all ethnic backgrounds. I have developed some beliefs about how often you are shampooing relates to the condition of your hair.
With new clients I always begin with a chat; with me seated on the comfy couch and them seated on my stage relaxed into the oversized client chair. One of the first questions I ask is – ‘How often do you shampoo your hair?”
Now this topic of shampooing and actually hair care in general– is an area where ethnicity does make a difference.
It is typical for White, Asian a few Latin or Black people to shampoo on a daily basis. I’ve even encountered those that shampoo twice a day. Often due to exercise or their work environment like working in a restaurant leaves your hair smelling like old food and grease.
Shampooing Less Can Be Better For Your Hair
Most Black people (women) don’t shampoo more than once in a week sometimes even up to once a month. Those wearing braids, dreads, a weave, or have a lot of hair requiring big time commitment to wash and styling fall into this category. I know many think, yuck! Actually it can be good for the hair and absolutely saves on time. Unless there is a scalp issue going on then not shampooing for an extended amount of time would not be beneficial.
Men (with short hair) in general are not affected because the hair is cut frequently. Men with longer hair or growing longer would also benefit more less shampooing.
It is my belief and opinion that optimal shampooing schedule for most hair types should be done every 7-10 days. New clients are always in shock with this, in the beginning. After they hear my reasoning and the benefits they soften and agree to give it a go.
Our bodies are amazing in all that they do, create, organize and protect…truly amazing. The oil (Sebum) that everyone hates and attempts to wash away is what our bodies produce to protect us, basically from ourselves.
We do a lot to our hair; expose it to harsh chemicals, hot tools, sun and our pollution. For instance the new color fade of gray hair –this hair is basically fried, dried out and very porous. It NEEDS the sebum. And By The Way –sebum is an excellent protector and conditioner; it rivals any one on the shelves at the store. If utilized in the correct way. The vital thing about sebum protecting and conditioning is that it must get off the scalp and onto the hair thru to the ends.
Two great ways to move sebum from the scalp is with our hands/fingers or brushing. There was a good reason women used to brush their hair everyday some 100 strokes. It moved the sebum throughout the hair shaft and left the hair shiny and healthy also this brushing stimulated the scalp, which increased growth rate of the hair.
Ease Into A New Shampooing Routine
My suggestion is to add a day to your present shampooing schedule, for two weeks or so. Then add another day for the next two weeks, and so on until you reach somewhere between 7-10 days between shampooing. Doing it gradually like this, lets your body adjust how much sebum it produces. You also should be using your fingers to move sebum thru to the ends daily. Before you shampoo give your hair a good brushing. Be patient –you have had this frequent shampooing schedule for a long time, it will take some time to adjust. Ironically people will begin to tell you your hair looks great, when its pass a week dirty (after your body as made its adjustments to how much sebum is produces).
Now, as your washing schedule changes, so must your styling methods. Has the days go by and your hair gets oiler, move into braids, ponytails, buns or try to slick one side back. Rotate how you style it. And these are not involved styles they will not take more time; they are just different than your norm. Come on, you can do it give it a try. If you don’t like your hair using the suggested schedule, create what works for you. Your hair will show you how happy it is when you utilized what your body makes for your protection.
Natural Products That Nurture Hair
I like clean natural shampoos, like Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Liquid Soap or vinegar shampoo. Sometimes I use one of the above 1st wash, then depending on how many days it’s been since wash and if there is product built up in hair, I’ll shampoo a 2nd time using perhaps another shampoo.
After shampoo is the ideal time to use Earth Tonic’s Herbal Hair Tea to instantly infuse your hair with pure vitamins, minerals amino acids and emollients. Moisture Balance Herbal Hair Tea helps soothe, moisturize & protect dry hair. It also adds body & thickens hair, promotes growth and slows or stops hair loss. It is a excellent natural detangler while soothing the scalp and enriching lifeless hair.
There is no need for any other conditioner! Using this method there is no residue left in the hair and it soft and nourished looking and feeling it’s natural best!
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Written by joi @ studio joi