Less Is More: How To Stop Washing Your Hair So Much

Photo from hairstylesdesign.com

Photo from hairstylesdesign.com

Everyone is talking a lot about this right now. You may have seen Bumble and Bumble’s campaign urging people never to use shampoo again. Or maybe you’ve heard of ‘co-washing’ which is the practice or skipping the shampoo and using only conditioners to cleanse your hair. More and more people are quitting shampoo, and for good reason.

We’re so locked into the psychology of washing on a regular basis. We don’t feel like we’re clean unless we wash it. We don’t feel like our hair looks good unless we wash it. It’s totally not true. Your hair looks better on the second or third day. You might not feel like it does, but it does. 

The fact is, shampoo and conditioner are one of the biggest scams of modern advertising. We do not need shampoo, but because we use it we need conditioner. It’s a vicious cycle of damaging the hair and then trying to smooth that damage over. Enough is enough.

Why We Wash

Your scalp is a creature of habit. It’s also similar to an ecosystem, it has it’s own delicate balance. Shampoo is actually really damaging to your hair and bad for your scalp. When you wash your hair you’re stripping it of the oil your scalp needs to stay healthy and sustain itself. In turn, your scalp will produce excess oil in order to compensate for what was lost.

Let me be clear: I’m not saying that we shouldn’t wash our hair at all, just that we should be doing it a lot less.

You should wash your hair if it’s actually dirty. Just because you went the gym doesn’t mean that your hair is dirty. A good rinse with water would do the trick, and we should really be more mindful of the difference between rinsing and washing our hair.

How To Cut Down

Ideally you should be washing your hair about once a week. Of course that’s going to vary depending on what kind of hair you have. My hair is thick and textured, I do about a week and a half. People who have fine hair might have to stretch to make it a full week, so every 4 or 5 days might be best for them and that’s ok too.

In any case, the first step is to cut back. So how do you get there?

Well, if you’re a brave soul you can just go cold turkey and completely quit washing your hair full stop for like two or 3 weeks. If you can do that then your hair and scalp will be completely reset, you won’t be artificially over-producing oils to compensate for constant shampooing and you can carry on after that washing once a week.

For a lot of us, going cold turkey is a stretch. I mean, it really only works if you’re on vacation. So another way is to gradually extending the length of time between when you normally wash, which will give your scalp a change to adjust naturally over time.

If you wash every day and you really feel like that’s necessary, try just going a little longer and adding a half day by washing in the morning of one day and waiting until the next night to wash again. Try this, washing about every 1.5 days, for a couple of weeks. Trust me, it will work.

Photo from http://www.styleshouts.com/

Photo from http://www.styleshouts.com/

Once you’ve worked your way into that, try doing just every other day for a couple of weeks, again giving your hair time to get used to the new normal you’re creating. Gradually work your way up, adding a day or half day every couple of weeks and before you know it, you’ll only be washing once every week or so.

The Benefits of Not Washing (so much)

First and foremost, the biggest benefit to not washing your hair so much will be the health of your hair and your head. Shampoo is a huge catalyst to issues like eczema, dandruff, and oily hair. Not washing your hair will reset the natural order of your head and you will have shinier and more manageable hair because you’ll no longer be routinely damaging it.

If that’s not enough to sway you, consider how much money you’ll save. Let’s face it, shampoo and conditioner are a big investment. Think about how much you’ll save if you stretch out those 1L bottle of Aveda by washing once or twice a week instead of every day. They will last you forever

In fact, the best thing about not washing your hair so much is that it’s actually free. The only thing you might need is a dry shampoo you like, but even that isn’t a necessity.

And finally, just think about all the time you’ll have. Be honest, how much time do you spend on your hair? Get your life back, girl.

Take that time and do something for you.

~ Chanel.