educating oily hair

as I’ve mentioned on the previous post (and it seems it made some of you curious), yes, it is possible to educate your oily hair and wash it as frequently as you’d like, instead of being held hostage of daily or very frequent washes.
it not only saves us time to sleep and live, it also saves water, products (we can even start pondering some more high-end stuff for our hair), and the environment…

this is a relatively easy to understand process, but a bit less comfortable to execute, because — you must know, right off the bat — it demands us to be ok with the fact that our hair is not going to be at its best at all times, until it finally stabilises.

what’s the logic behind this shizz?

I’ve mentioned it before: by removing the natural oils from our skin/scalp, it will feel the need to produce more oils to compensate the dehydration. this happens quite noticeably with very abrasive shampoos (and cleansers, btw), but it does also occur just by washing your hair — the more frequent the washes, the more the hair is used to (almost addicted) to keep producing oils, perpetuating the vicious circle.
needless to say that slathering grease on your scalp will not teach it to stop producing said oils, so don’t.
you should gently aid it to get accustomed to the new cycles of oil production, which will increasingly become more balanced and — as we like it — further apart.
kind of like a rehab for hair.

I’ll call “washing cycles” to the time that goes from you washing your hair to having to wash it again. for example, most people wash it every other day, so they have a washing cycle of 48 hours.

our skin/scalp is in constant regeneration, and it takes about a month to create a fully new layer. so, as we should give a month to a new cream before we decide if it is showing any results, the increases on the washing cycles should be small and far apart enough for the scalp to get used to the idea of not being such an annoying workaholic.

so, what I mean is: add a day to your washing cycle every month, until you have the desired time span between washes.
let me tell you, the first weeks of each new wash cycle are not fun, but the hair ends up adjusting to it.

I used to wash my hair everyday, so I started washing it every other day. then every two days, then every three, until I got it where I wanted it.

if you want to take the slow but steady route, you can use the one month (or even a bit more) interval.
if you’re more impatient (like me) and don’t mind your hair being a bit more messy, then really observe your hair, be objective, and as soon as it seems to be digesting the new wash cycle (as in “It’s not that gross anymore”), add another day.

I chose to start this “education” process when I was on vacation, which made the first two weeks more comfortable for me (since I didn’t have any social or professional obligations that would made me feel too self-conscious). when my vacations were up, I was in it too deep to stop, so I pushed through.

have this in mind during the process:

1. avoid too stripping shampoos — as I’ve explained above and on the previous post, this is not the best time to deep cleanse and totally strip your hair and make it squeaky-clean.

2. keep your hair as clean as you can for as long as you can by:
. avoiding hats — it’s tempting to hide our not-so-gorgeous hair days under a hat, bur I find that this not only keeps your scalp muffled and prone to sweating, as you’re providing sort of an all-day-long massage that is not too good if you want your scalp to stay as balanced as it can. it is great when you’re shampooing your hair in the shower, though.
. avoid over-brushing the root area — again, stimulating your scalp to produce more oils…
. avoid styling products — product buildup can create sort of a cap of gunk under which your hair roots won’t be very happy and healthy…
. avoid hydrating and rich products (masks, conditioners) on the root area — because obviously.

3. dry shampoo is your best friend — it absorbs excess oils, so it can help to extend the acceptable-look on your hair between washes. plus, since it adds some texture, you can use it to create some heat-less hairstyles like braids and up-dos.

4. patience and determination are the key words for this process.

5. if you’re considering dying your hair to help to dry it out, have a good conversation with your hairstylist. nowadays, hair dyes are not created equal and some are especially focused on nurturing your hair to keep it healthy — which may not be the effect we’re after, right? also, this is a commitment and an investment — you have to go back to the hairdresser at least once a month to keep retouching your roots (that’s where you need the dye to be). I would’t bet my money on supermarket diy kind of dyes just because there are too many variables that can go wrong (colour matching being the first), but that’s just my clumsy self’s opinion…

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