Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Conserve Water - Don't Wash Your Hair

If you know me IRL (aka in real life), you may know that I have incredibly fine hair.  It also gets super oily and super dirty.  For example, conversation I had with my roommate the other day after not washing my hair in two days,

Me: "Do you think I should use dry shampoo?"
Her: "Didn't you just wash your hair?"
Me: "No, I haven't washed it in two days"
Her: "It looks wet! I thought it was wet!"

We are talking disgusting here.  However, two of my favorite bloggers have been experimenting with not washing their hair as much, Christina of Second Skin and Mel from Idee Genaile.  Why am I talking about this?  Well, non-Nashville friends... we are working really hard to conserve water here in Nashville since we are only operating on ONE water treatment plant.  I wanted to pass along some tips on how to go between washings.

1.  Baby powder - for blondes its the cheapest alternative to dry shampoo and you'll smell like a baby
2.  Dry shampoo - The key is to vigorously shake as much excess out, and don't hold it too close to your head.  A cheap option is the kind from tresemme although not the greatest, it works and its $6 for a big can of it.
3.  Use a boar bristle brush - this type of brush redistributes the natural oils down the hair shaft (haha, I just said shaft... oh man I'm a 12 year old boy)
4.  Hands off - don't touch your hair with your hands... really.  That oil can cause some serious dirty to your hair.
5.  Fake bed head - Mel has this trick with hot rollers.  You put hot rollers in and make sure you get a lot of lift at the roots... it will look like you went to bed with a head of curls and you get that great second day of curls style. 
6.  Hats - really way too easy
7.  Headband + ponytail - the headband distracts away from your greasy grease and puts a little style in your hair instead.  (This also works with a head scarf too)
8.  Rinse with cold water - Do not use faucet water but you know the bottled water that you bought.  Pull it out of the fridge and have a friend pour it over your head.  Massage your scalp with your fingers to get some of those oils and gunk out.
9.  Beer or vinegar- yep, its a great alternative to shampooing with water, make sure you rinse with bottled water though.
10.  Braids - do a messy french braid and throw on a headband... 
11.  Messy bun - the messier, dirtier hair, the better these look.  Tease your hair at the roots and get some volume and you should be able to rock something that looks really great.

And that's all.  I have tried almost all of these to get my hair to look somewhat normal except for the beer.  I have used vinegar before.  Keep on conserving water Nashville.  We will get through this flood.

How do you go between washings?  Are you one of the few women with luxurious thick locks of dark hair?  How do you handle dirty hair?


  1. Great post! I too have dealt with super fine hair but sometimes I just don't want to wash it again the next day. Fresh washed hair means dealing with OTHER issues - static, fly aways, etc. etc.

    I have dark hair but I have used baby powder before and it's worked fine enough - the key is blending blending blending it all in :) and a pretty light hand, just like with makeup. It's not amazing but it gives my hair more "mileage".

    I'm also a big fan of ponytails, buns, and braids - the first two being more professional and the 3rd can be a bit more punky & fun.

    I live in a desert so water conservation is a well practiced ritual I partake daily :)

  2. Great post! If I'm crunched for time or trying to conserve water, I have a couple of go-to hairstyles for dirty hair. My bangs are always the worst offender, so making a tiny french braid along my hair line usually goes a long way to help that. Sometimes I'll spritz my hair with water and then blowdry it to make it a little livelier, but usually I'll just mess it up and stick it into some sort of messy bun-- hairspray helps to keep it that way so it doesn't sag into a dirty mess. Finally, a hat is totally an option, as is the "fashion turban," especially for summer.

    Good luck! I'm definitely keeping Nashville in my prayers!


  3. Changing your part can also help! I have thick, curlyish hair, and I only wash it every other day. I can get away with skipping 2 days, but after that... I just feel super gross. May take this water-conservation period to try out some of your tips. :)

  4. I love this. I am a shower hater. Seriously, I pout and stomp around whenever I need to take one.... which trust me is more often than I get around to it. Ask Chris. Anyway, one of my biggest reasons for showering is that my hear begins to dread lock in my sleep after a few days. It comes from being curly, frizzy, unwashed, and my being a violent sleeper. Enjoy your Robyn fun fact of the day. XO

  5. I am really glad I started using sulfate-free shampoo back in February, because I can go about a week without washing my hair before it starts to get gross, and even then it just gets hard to style (and I have to pin back my bangs) but not super disgusting looking.

    I also experimented with using baking soda and vinegar to scrub/condition my hair and it works great! But... the vinegar smell comes back any time your hair gets wet. A few Saturdays ago I had washed my hair with baking soda and vinegar, and then it POURED rain as I was out shopping for a dress to wear to my friend's wedding that night. I smelled SO BAD, and since it wasn't going to stop raining and I didn't want to smell like vinegar at my friend's wedding, I had to run to Whole Foods and get a sulfate-free shampoo and then run home and jump in the shower right away.

    Anyway... all that to say... switch to a sulfate free shampoo or a baking soda/vinegar combo and after a pretty gross 2-4 week adjustment period, your hair will stop producing so much oil and you won't have to wash it as much. Just beware of going out in the rain with vinegar-washed-and-dried hair ;)

  6. wait a second... a WEEK?! with sulfate free shampoo?? what the heck??? alyson: do a post on what sulfate free shampoo is, and where to get it and how much it costs, etc. Morgan: what is your hair like? are you one of the thick, beautiful, hardly ever have to wash it anyways people?? or did you have to wash yours daily before you started with the sulfate free??? i need answers, people!!! this is CRAZY!! ;)

  7. I have thick dry hair and can go 4-5 days in between a wash. Although it can make a girl a bit lazy at times! It's cool to hear all your tips though.

  8. I used to have to wash my hair every other day, it is super super super thick but would get oily really fast. Essentially the sulfates in shampoo strip your hair of the natural oils and your scalp overproduces to compensate. So when you switch to sulfate free shampoo your scalp learns to stop overproducing oils, leaving you with a pretty greasy/gross phase for a few weeks but after everything settles down, it's really nice.

    There are some drugstore brands starting to go sulfate free (L'Oreal has one, I think). I used a Liggett's shampoo bar and when that ran out I switched to a Jason's shampoo. I have to wash my hair more often with the new shampoo... but I last washed it on Wednesday morning and it's Monday morning right now (and it will definitely need to be washed tomorrow).

    I've also experimented with doing a conditioner-only wash (you just scrub your scalp really hard with conditioner) and baking soda/vinegar (vinegar makes your hair REALLY soft).

    Also if you have curly hair sulfate free shampoo is supposed to be AMAZING for it. Same with colored hair... less stripping of the color due to harsh detergents.

    These are the things I read before I decided to switch...

  9. Like I've said, my hair is EXTREMELY fine, and so it gets oily very quickly. I did switch to a sulfate free shampoo and conditioner a few months ago and although at first, I didn't notice a difference, in the long run, I could go longer without washing my hair. I use Samy Big Fat 0 Calorie kind. Although it may not feel "clean" it definitely works and gives my hair lots of volume.

  10. i did an experiment like that too... but i used baking soda instead of shampoo, and it worked pretty good. but it takes water. however, you won't be putting chemicals into the system that way. vinegar is awesome, i just wish it smelled better!

    dry shampoo is also great, but i wish that it was cheaper/not in a disposable can.

  11. I go as long as I can without washing, which usually for me is around 3-4 days. It doesn't look particularly dirty by the 4th day (usually), but my hair is fine and by the 4th day it has lost all volume and body so I need to wet and style it again, and that's when I shampoo.

    I used to wash my hair every day and I looked like a big greaseball if I didn't. But then my final month of college, I started washing every other day just because I was so busy and sleep-deprived. And I dealt with the grossness. But then after I graduated, I realized that I didn't even *need* to wash it more than that anymore. I had "trained" my hair to go longer. So since then I've been slowly training it to get more days out of it.

    Also, dry shampoo - my favorite is Bumble & Bumble, although it's expensive *and* it's all colored (you match it to your hair color) which I don't really care for. But it creates awesome volume that looks fantastic with updos.



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