12 October 2011

Experiment: Washing hair less

I'm doing my own little experiment in which I cut back on my usage of shampoo so as not to deprive my curly hair of the moisture it so desires. The reason I'm trying to cut back on shampoo is because I feel like it creates frizz and severely dries out my ends and the top layer of my hair in particular. Rather than attempt to restore moisture artificially, by coating my strands with commercial conditioners or masques, I decided to go with a more natural approach. My main concern with using conditioners is that I feel like they merely mask the problem. Also, for me, commercial products, and conditioner in particular, tend to cause me to break out.

I thought that the least harmful approach to attempt to restore some of my hair's natural lustre would be to reduce the frequency with which I shampoo my hair on a weekly basis. I'm aiming for 1-2 times per week. While I've tried this experiment in the past and did make it to about the fifth day before shampooing at one time, the experience was not pleasant. I've made some changes this time around to try to lengthen the time period of no-shampoo without having to sacrifice with regard to my hair's appearance. When I tried shampooing less before, I lasted until the fifth day, and by that time my hair did not look pretty. My roots were very greasy/oily and my hair as a whole, didn't look good.

This time around, I'm combing my hair at night and I'm using a natural substitute for dry shampoo (ie. oat flour) on my roots. While I do shower each day, my hair is only rinsed with water and no other cleansing product. It's been four days since I last used shampoo on my hair. I must admit that my hair doesn't feel unbearable or look as unpleasant as the last time I tried this. Whereas before I was desperate to shampoo my hair by the fifth day because my scalp had accumulated so much oil, it's now only slightly oily at the roots, and this is easily concealed with my natural dry-shampoo.

What I have noticed is that the top layer of my hair is much less frizzy and more shiny than normal. My curls are also more pronounced. I do think the fact that I have been combing my hair as a nightly ritual is also beneficial in that it distributes some of the oil from my scalp through my hair and to my ends, where I need it the most. Rather than dreading the thought of going another day without shampoo, I am actually looking forward to it and may just wear my hair down tomorrow. We'll see how it goes.

Interestingly, I did go to the gym on Monday as well as tonight and even though I did break a sweat, this really hasn't had any ill-effect on my hair. Can I make it a full week without shampoo? I'm not sure yet. I will say that I'm taking it day by day. However, I'm looking forward to see how long I can make it and if shampooing my hair 1-2x per week for an entire month with have a lasting difference on the overall quality of my hair. I'll keep you posted.

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