I Have Dirty Hair, and It’s Not Gross

This is supposed to be a "surprised" face. As in, I can't believe that this hair hasn't been washed in days. Surprise!

As an idiotic high schooler, I had a habit of washing, blow drying, and straightening my hair every day. I also put permanent color on it about once a month, so I was basically lucky that it didn’t say “I’ve had it!” and just fall out of my head one day. I’m sure that a lot of you know this already, but for those ladies who don’t, here’s a news flash: Washing your hair every day isn’t good. Seriously. It strips it of its natural oils with very little recovery time. And if you heat style and color it on top of that, your hair will not be happy with you. Then it might attack you, or challenge you to a duel for control over your head.

Okay, that probably won’t happen. But it will rebel in other ways, like splitting at the ends and refusing to grow. My hair did both of those things–with a vengeance–for years. In an effort to get rid of some of the dead, damaged weight, I cut off 5 or so inches my sophomore year of college. Over the next few months I cut off more, until it was somewhere between my shoulders and my chin. Then I realized I hated it short. Oops. And I’m still in the process of growing it back out. My hair already grows super slowly, and it took me a long time to figure out that I was impeding the growth process with all my color and heat and shampoo. So I started training my hair to not be cleansed every day, and experimenting with new ways to style it.

If you’re an every day washer and want to start spreading it out, I’m going to warn you: the first few weeks aren’t going to be so pretty. When your hair is used to being washed every day, it produces more oils more quickly. It’ll take a little while for it to adjust the levels, and your hair probably won’t look that great. I’d embrace ponytails and braids that first week.

But it will get better. See that hair up there at the top? That picture was taken Thursday morning. The last time I washed my hair was Monday night. Bam! My ideal routine now is to 1) shower before bed, 2) let it air dry overnight, 3) curl it with a 3/4-inch barrel in the morning, and 4) use dry shampoo and brush it out over the next few days, letting it loosen up into those casual waves that I am obsessed with. I do cheat and wash my bangs more often, because they get oilier faster from sitting on my face all day. So I just wet them in the morning, run a tiny bit of shampoo through them, rinse, blow dry, and voila. Magically awesome dirty hair.

Here are my favorite products that help make it happen:

1) Moroccanoil Luminous Hairspray $21 on Amazon and at some beauty salons. I can not oversell this hairspray. It’s packed with argan oil, a recent beauty craze, and is actually good for your hair. It provides excellent hold, smells fantastic, and brushes out easily and without any residue. Seriously. I worship this stuff, and you will too.

2) Got2b Fat-tastic Fresh & Full Dry Shampoo $5.99 at drugstore.com and your favorite corner drugstore/Target. I’ve tried a lot of dry shampoos, and this one is definitely my favorite. Shake it, spray all over your roots, work in with your fingers and then brush it out. It gives you extra volume, too!

3) John Frieda Anytime Volume Refresher $6.49 at drugstore.com and your favorite corner drugstore/Target. I like this one because it’s small, so I can keep it in my purse if I need a little boost later in the day. It gives your hair a fresh smell, too.

Aren't you happy that I've tested all these things out so that you don't have to? How nice of me 🙂
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16 thoughts on “I Have Dirty Hair, and It’s Not Gross

  1. My cousin has also decided to do this recently, and then my mother. The odd thing is, I’ve been doing this my whole life. I wash my hair two or three times a week. When I was it more often, it feels awful. I should try some of your products you recommend!

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    1. Multiple times in one weekend?! Holy crap.
      There was a girl on my dance team in high school who’s hair was so damaged, that the salon made her sign a release to say she wouldn’t sue them if her hair fell out.

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  2. Wish I could skip daily washings! I’ve tried in the past, sadly I got the oily board straight hair gene from both sides of the family, and no matter what I look slightly homeless within 18-24 hours of non washing. Used to wear it long and tried about 4 sep times to avoid daily washings because of how much I’d have to dedicate each morning. Finally got wise and chopped it all off into a bob.
    So this is me very jealous you can avoid the daily wash and have such goregous results! Wear it for all of us who can’t!

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  3. Sadly I’m with nerdshirtsandcardigans – I got the thin oily side of the genetic swap. Damn my father’s genes! My mother has huge, thick, curly hair. Why couldn’t I get her hair genes??? Sigh. I’ve read about using baking soda as a cleanser & apple cider vinegar as a conditioner – I think I’m going to give that a try and see what happens…

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  4. I have thick, curly hair, but it’s fine in texture. These days I wash with baking soda once or twice a week, and wash once without anything- and I use conditioner only once or twice a week at most too…and in the summer I use a little gel when it’s wet to help prevent frizz. I really recommend giving baking soda a try.

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      1. I mix it with water, so it’s like a paste, and then comb it through, especially the roots, where hair gets most oily. Avoid the ends too much, those are driest…and there’s lots of sites on the internet with “recipes” for that, and apple cider vinegar, and all sorts of other homemade cosmetics.

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      1. I’ve always wanted to reduce my washing, but my hair gets so sweaty when I work out! I just HAVE to wash it. I dunno! Maybe I can just not work out for a month or something haha. I never feel like just rinsing it works…I don’t know! Constant debate of mine!

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      2. Hahaha that does suck. Sometimes washing it is inevitable. You shouldn’t stop working out. The health of your body is more important!!

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