Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Be nice to your hair tip #5: Don't over wash.

One key to having healthy hair is to not over wash it.  If you wash your hair too often or with a shampoo (or other option) that is too harsh for your hair, here is what happens.  Your scalp is over washed, becomes dry, and sends a signal to "Send more oil!".  You get oily roots and wash more often, which in turn triggers more oil.  This give you dry ends and oily roots.  In addition, many people will add silicone containing products to combat the dry ends.  These make hair dirty even faster, which means even more shampooing. 
When you switch to milder cleansing methods, it may take a while for your hair to adjust.  Your hair may be oily at the roots to begin with.
Here are alternate ways to clean your hair, moving from least cleansing to most cleansing.  When you have done one of these methods, condition and style as usual.

Water Washing-  To water wash, you wet your hair and scrub the scalp with the pads of your fingers.  Scrub a lot.  If you usually shampoo, you will have to scrub a whole lot more then you are used to.  When you think you are done, scrub more.  Water washing is cowashing without the conditioner.  Water washing adds less moisture to your hair then cowashing.  If cowashing is weighing you hair down, swap some or all of your cowashes with water washing.  Do not use water washing as your only method of cleaning your hair.  You must also use one of the other methods listed below.

Cowashing (conditioner washing)-To cowash, you use conditioner instead of shampoo.  Scrub the roots of your hair with conditioner.  Use the pads of your fingers and not the nails.  Scrub more then you would with shampoo.  When you think you are done, scrub some more.  Continue scrubbing as you rinse your hair.  This helps the water from the shower reach the roots of your hair and makes it easier to get the conditioner rinsed out.  If you cowash exclusively, you must be careful not to put anything in your hair that cannot be removed by conditioner.  I'll do a post on what ingredients to avoid in the future.

Cleansing Conditioner-This is a conditioner with mild cleansers in it. The cleansers mean it gets your hair cleaner then cowashing.  One example is Curl Junkie Daily Fix.

Condition Wash Condition-  Coat the ends of your hair with conditioner. You can either go from the ears down, or just skip the first few inches.  Wash the roots of your hair with shampoo (sulfate free is milder).  This method helps protect the dry ends of  your hair while cleaning the roots.  Try to keep the shampoo and conditioner separate.  When you have rinsed, condition your hair.

Low Poo (non sulfate shampoo)-Sulfate free shampoo is milder then shampoos that contain sulfates.  Sulfates to avoid include:  Alkylbenzene Sulfonate, Alkylbenzene Sulfonate, Ammonium or Sodium Xylenesulfonate, Dioctyl Sodium Sulfosuccinate, Ethyl PEG-15 Cocamine Sulfate, Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Sodium Cocoyl Sarcosinate; Sodium Laureth, Myreth, or Lauryl Sulfate; Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate, and TEA-Dodecylbenzenesulfonate.  The list of sulfates is from Live Curly Live Free.  It is common for people with wavy hair to low poo about once a week.  This varies from person to person. Some wavies low poo daily, and others cowash exclusively.

Diluted Sulfate Shampoo- You can dilute sulfate shampoo to make it milder.  Keep in mind that when you dilute products, you also are diluting the preservatives.  Either mix up what you need every time you shampoo, or mix up about a weeks worth at a time and keep it in the refrigerator.  Science-y Hair Blog has more info on how to do this.

Sulfate shampoo (regular shampoo)-Very few people need to use a sulfate shampoo daily.  That is too often for most hair.  The people most likely to be able to use sulfate shampoo daily are 1a (very straight), coarse, non porous hair.  This hair is common among Chinese.   

Pre wash treatments-  A trick to taming shampoo or another washing method  is to oil your hair before you wash it.  This helps prevent shampoo from stripping all the natural oils from your hair.  This is most often done with coconut oil.  You can oil your hair 15 minutes to overnight before you wash.  The first time you do this you should only do it 15 minutes before washing and only do one small strip of hair.  Coconut oil washes out easily for some and is hard to remove for others.  This is why you want to test a small strip of hair first.  Many people find coconut oil cowashes out easily.  For me, it even water washes out. Using coconut oil in this manner has made a huge difference in my hair. You can use coconut oil in this way as often as you like, but weekly would be common.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for all the hair tips. What I really want is to come to your house every morning and have you take care of my hair! =D I've always said that if I had the disposable income, I would have my hair done every day.