Thursday, February 21, 2008

New York Times To New York Ladies: Don't Wash Your Hair


If the New York Times told you to jump off the Williamsburg Bridge, would you do it?

I know that I personally would jump off the Brooklyn Bridge because it's so much cooler than the Williamsburg Bridge. But for realzorz, the Times is all like, hey, looks like ladies aren't shampooing their hair.

Um, duh. Any good pageant queen will tell you -- dirty hair is stylish hair!

And anyone who's heard me go off on my curly haircare rant KNOWS that I've been preaching the no-shampoo gospel for nigh on five years or so. I bought the book Curly Girl (yes, I actually bought a book about hair care, but only because it was just $10 and because I had a Barnes & Noble gift card and because one of my gay bestie's other girl besties bought it and swore it changed her life, so I figured, why not change mine?), written by Devachan founder Lorraine Massey, who's quoted in the article.

I followed her #1 cardinal rule of curly hair -- no shampooing. That was back in the day, and now I haven't used the shit in YEARS, except for maybe once when I went swimming or something. And, no joke, my hair went from "blah" to "huzzah." If you've got curly hair, chances are it's dry (I can't speak to the greasy haired ladies, but you've told me that the idea of not washing daily is a totes no-go, and I believe you). And shampooing, per Massey (AND, supes importantly, per ME!), will only dry it out even more. Seriously, as soon as I stopped using shampoo, it was 1,2,3 Impacto on the hair hotness tip. I still wash it -- probably up to five times a week -- scrub it and use a shameless amount of conditioner. Just no shampooey. It's all the difference in the world between frustrating, frizzy hair and totally transformed curls that take almost no time at all.

I also totes recommend Devachan -- I've been going there for years. It's expensive but worth every cent, especially if you don't wear your hair curly but you're ready to make the jump. They totes takes tons of time to walk you through the whole curly hair maintenance process.

If you don't live in New York, Devachan (I swear to God, I don't work for them -- that's how miraculous their skills are), check out Stylist's Devachan curly hair photo gallery.

Also, the Times article goes on about shampoo alternatives (cheesecloth? uhhhh no thanks), and I've been loving on "Dry Clean Only" by Sebastian ever since I was old enough to legally enter bars, back in ye olden days when smoking anywhere within four inches of an alcoholic bev was still allowed. It's essentially Febreze for your hair. That sounds gross, but if your hair be rockin' it, what's the point in wasting all that water (and time) if you were only in a smoky spot for like 10 minutes -- long to enough to pick up some smokage but not enough to merit a total rewashing, IMO. Or if you have a rad -- and expensive -- blowout. It's not so easy to find, but it's worth the time spent tracking it down. Just a few spritzes and you're good.

Anyway, as far as I'm concerned, there's absolutely no reason to wash your hair every day. Skipping a day or two is good for the planet and good for your hair. That also means that it's time to substitute the "I'm washing my hair excuse" with "I'm color coordinating my sock drawer."

Alright, 'Bingers. True confessions: how often do you wash? And... to shampoo or not to shampoo? THAT is the other question!

17 comments:

selinaoolala said...

you may have changed my life too!
although i will definitely try no shampoo, i'm a bit dubious because before my head was quite dry and i'd get flakes if i didn't wash my hair for a week (say if i was ill) and would have to use anti-dandruff shampoofor like two weeks to get back to normal. also my hair has started to go greasy after about 3 days now i straighten it- haha i sound so attractive! i'll try it, but i hope it tackles my problemos!

Fashion Babelou said...

I absolutely have to shampoo daily but have fine, straight hair that looks limp and greasy easily. I've always admired curly hair but it sounds like a lot of work!!

Delphine said...

I myself am "blessed" with not exactly ringlet-curly, but shall we say, voluminous hair. It's got waves, it's got curls, it's got attitude. I wash it only a few times a week, maybe three at the max. A good conditioner is definitely a must, though. Any you recommend?

Clara said...

I'd love to shampoo less, but my hair is ridiculously greasy :( I would be ashamed to step outside with my hair in its "haven't shampooed in a week!" stage.

laura said...

ummm, since the wedding? zero times. before that whenever my hair smelled worse than the kids i work with.

amanda said...

I, too, have hair that is curly, frizzy, thick, dry, voluminous and generally temperamental. I have mixed feelings about nixing shampoo altogether for various reasons: I live in a hot, humid climate and head sweat stinks; my roots will naturally get a bit greasy after about 3 days; plus, I put product in my hair when I have time to really style it, so leaving all that gunk in there without having some sort of cleanser sounds terrible to me. I generally shampoo once every three days to once a week, depending on how angry my hair is and/or how grody I feel. I always, ALWAYS put conditioner in my hair every time I get my hair wet to keep the frizz down to a minimum (my hair is kinda like a Mogwai -- a little water can have terrible consequences).

Number 5 stupid name ... want to be Kevin or Dave! said...

Yep, I'm also an infrequent shampooer; I actually shampooed my hair for the first time in a week this morning. And ... I totally hate the way it now feels and looks. However, the Bumble and Bumble Curl Conscious stuff is a Godsend, IMO.

JPinOH said...

I shampoo every other day. I have fine hair that is mostly straight (bi-curious on humid days). If I don't wash it after a day or two, it gets greasy and flaky. Ugh. I'd heard the opposite about shampoo, though. Rather, I heard that conditioning one's hair causes dryness. Good to know!

Christy said...

I dont use shampoo ever and its great! I am a dirty person and only wash it twice a week if that? I also use baby powder and hairspray if it gets to oily though this also helps with the fact that I am constantly teasing my bob cut because I love the volume!

WendyB said...

I have REALLY oily hair and everyone always gave me this "wash less and it will be less oily" line. Um, no. It didn't work. It does not get better, it only gets worse! Grease attracts grease. Especially when you work out every day like I do. My friends with dry hair can get away with washing every two or three weeks, but I wash every other day at least.

Bec said...

I do the opposite from you. I shampoo daily but never use conditioner unless i've been in chlorine.
I only use baby shampoo though as it's so gentle on your hair (and smells like summer)

Tamron Lohan said...

Wendy B (and others prone to greasiness) -- yeah, I don't see how this route could work for you if you DON'T have dry hair, though YMMV.

Curly hair hair, as a rule, is almost ALWAYS dry, so skipping a few days' washes is often the perfect antidote for dry, hard-to-manage hair (such as mine!)

So... for curly girls who wash (especially with shampoo) every day, my advice would be DON'T! and you will most likely see a radical difference. I know I sound like an infomercial, but that's only because it's soooooo flippin' true.

No shampoo is to curly hair as Pro Activ is to acne.

love, peace and hair grease,
tamron

Amy said...

if you don't use shampoo, what do you use when you do wash your hair?

ambika said...

I wash maybe once or twice a week and that's usually because I've gotten really sweaty working. I'm going to try scrubbing with conditioner, now though.

I've *tried* forgoing combing but my hair will matt up if I do. Combing with hair soaking in conditioner while in the shower seems to help.

mylene said...

I have wavy/slightly curly hair. I used to shampoo every day and now I do it twice a week max. I always put conditionner in and I use baby powder on the roots almost everyday except the day I wash my hair. I started using dry shampoo when I noticed my bangs were getting greasy easily (constant touching and contact with face skin) and I thought that baby powder would be less expensive and do the same. I passed my secret to a couple of girls I know. I've been doing it for about 2 years and I save time, money and water. My hair is less greasy, too.

Claire said...

Okay, so I have Jew-hair (you know, ringlets, but not SUPER-tight ringlets) and I have frizz and flyaways and all that shizz. I heard about the no-shampoo approach, but I swear every time I try it it makes my hair drier. You know that feeling you get when you use a bad shampoo, where you're running your hands through your hair, maybe trying to work some detangling skills, and your hair just feels like straw? Yeah, my hair feels like straw when I try to wash it without shampoo. I have no friggin' idea why this is, as shampoo, logically, should strip my hair more, and conditioner should solve all my problems. And it does, but when I use it after shampoo. It is utterly puzzling, no? Maybe I need a better conditioner. I do put off washing my hair until my scalp starts to get noticeably greasy (I am such a hottie), but my hair actually doesn't get better the longer I go without washing it; it gets limper and straighter. Maybe it's not as dry as I think and the frizz/flyaways stem from a different source?

Tamron Lohan said...

Claire: That IS weird and annoying. First of all, Devachan makes a product called No Poo (hee.) Also, yeah upgrade the conditioner? I really like Redken Fresh Curls Curl Recovery Intense Rinse-Out Mask. Of course, I'm currently all out because I use so much. Also, um, HOW did I not know about those peacock shoes!?!??!?!?

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