1. Stop Washing it So much! :)
I wash my hair approximately 26-30 times... a year.... I know, I know, that's about how often most people wash it in a month. But yes.... I wash it about every two weeks, give or take. You probably fall into one of two categories right now... you either a.) think I am gross or b.) you want to know how you too can achieve this glorious freedom that also brings with it the gift of healthier hair. If you are in category b, keep on reading! If you are in category a, even if you think it's gross, you are probably still curious, so you should keep reading too ;)
Your body produces oil for your hair because it is actually good for it. Every time we wash our hair and strip the oils out of it we are actually depriving our hair of what it needs. The more we strip the oils, the more our body tries to compensate, the more oil is produced, and the more we think we need to wash it. If we could somehow reverse this cycle, the less oil our body will produce, the more will actually make it into our hair, the healthier our hair will be, and the less we will need to wash it. That's kind of the foundation here.
If I want to have long hair, but also have three kids, and don't want to get up at 5:00 a.m. (because, hello, with a baby still waking up in the night after 14 months, I gotta sleep when I can), and I'd like to look semi put together and don't want to leave the house with my hair wet in a ponytail any time I'm going somewhere, something's gotta give... I don't have time for long luxurious showers, blow dries, styling and then still have time to put on makeup and choose something other than sweatpants to wear. Besides being long my hair is also thick, and it takes a long time to wash and dry. So instead of washing it daily or even every other day, about two years ago I started washing it only twice a week. Then I moved to just once a week. Now I'm down to every two weeks. I doubt I will do it any less frequently than that, but this is seriously a life-changing wonder. On the days I am not washing my hair I still have time to jump in the shower with my hair in a bun or wrapped in a towel to keep it from getting wet (you could also use a shower cap), do a minimal makeup routine, and get dressed in about 15 minutes, without worrying about my hair at all. And I actually love it more than ever. My least favorite hair day is the first day or two it's been washed. It only gets better with time. On the days you are washing your hair, make sure that you comb it out with a wide tooth comb while you are still in the shower and the conditioner is still in your hair to detangle with minimal breakage.
(In the photo below it had been exactly two weeks since I washed my hair... one week of that time had been spent at the beach no less.... in other words, there was probably sand in my scalp, but my hair still looked and felt fluffy and clean)
2. Dry Shampoo// Baby Powder
When//if you first start this journey, you might need to use this type of product more often. I usually wait til about day three to use anything. But let me back up. If you don't know about the miracle of dry shampoo, well then hang onto your coffee mugs, because your world is about to be rocked. There are lots of expensive brands you can buy, or you can do the less expensive route and use baby powder (like I do). When I feel like my hair is starting to look a bit flat or oily, I simply comb it all out with a wide tooth comb, then sprinkle a little baby powder at my roots. There are some definite tricks to doing this well. NEVER apply baby powder right where your part is, or you will look like you have gray hair or a white scalp, or both. Using your pointer finger, run your finger through your hair and part it slightly to the left or the right of your part, put baby powder on your palm, and then dust your palm over your hair. The further you get from your part then it is ok to start to sprinkle the powder directly onto your roots. Do this all around the crown of your head, then flip your head over and rub it in really well with the tips of your fingers. Flip your hair back and check to make sure it is all rubbed in, repeat if necessary.
If you have blonde hair like mine you can just use the baby powder as is. But if you have darker hair mix a little cocoa powder in to tint it darker, or if you have red hair you can mix in some cinnamon to tint it a more auburn color. If none of these tricks get it to the exact color you need, you can always buy tinted dry shampoo from somewhere like Sephora. Now I don't particularly love the scent of baby powder, but as long as I use a minimal amount, and rub it in well, I never notice the smell. I also spritz my perfume on my hair instead of just my clothes though, so that probably helps.
3. Add Oil to the tips of your hair
You can do this right after your shower, and/or you can do this on the days between washing (as long as you don't use much). My favorite is Moroccan Oil, I know it is expensive but a little goes a long way. I actually haven't had any for a long time (like at least a year), but I am going to try to get some more sometime soon. The purpose of the oil is that it protects your hair from heat damage during blow drying or curling it, and it can add a little shine on days your hair is looking dull.
4. Curling Wand
Purchase a curling wand. I have only had mine for a few months (this is the one I have), but it is amazing, and I would love to get another one in a bigger size. The curls last so much longer, I can curl my hair once and it will last the full two weeks. The curls get softer and turn into more of waves, but I love the progression. I can even comb through them, braid my hair, wear it in a bun, and still, the curls are there when I take it down. Not only does it save time only having to curl it once, but it only subjects my hair to heat one time for a curl that really lasts.
You can also get a looser curl by wrapping bigger sections of hair around it (like I did in the photo below)
Or you can get a tighter curl by wrapping smaller sections of hair, like I did for my sister's wedding. I should also note, that on my sister's wedding day it had been four days since I'd washed my hair. I still went another week and a half and these curls lasted fabulously the whole time.
5. Products I like
Bumble & Bumble dryspun finish is a newer product that I really love, I spray it at my roots or all over for a good textured feel and to add some body.
I'm still super simple with my hair spray and just use Garnier Fructis, but now that I have my curling wand I actually don't even use hair spray very often anymore.
Matrix shampoo & conditioner are still my favorite. It's expensive, but a bottle lasts a very long time with the limited amount of hair washing I actually do.
And of course, Moroccan Oil, like I mentioned before.
(Sorry for all the photos, I think I am sub-conciously trying to prove to you that my hair does not look dirty or gross!)
-using a silk pillow case is more gentle on your hair while you sleep.
-blow drying your hair on a cooler temp helps prevent breakage.
-I don't take vitamins specifically for my hair (or at all actually right now) but I have heard good things about them and they do exist. If you just can't seem to grow your hair past a certain length they might be worth looking into.
I hope all this info was helpful in some way, if it seems like too much to digest my recommendation would be to buy a good brand of shampoo//conditioner and some baby powder and just try spacing out your hair washing by an extra day and see how that goes. I'm sure this isn't for everyone, but it's been a huge time saver with the unexpected blessing of healthier hair for me, so I just had to share :)
Here's to many happy hair days!