If you’ve got long hair, washing it every day is not only a huge hassle, but it can strip a lot of your natural oils (the good oils!) that your hair needs to stay smooth, soft, manageable and healthy. Over-washing can lead to dry and brittle hair, but what some might find worse is that your hair actually produces even more oil to compensate for the loss of natural oils. If you have long hair and wash it often, your scalp tries extra hard to make sure sufficient oils are produced. This means you end up with hair that looks super greasy by day two (post-wash), or even at the end of day one.
To get healthier and less greasy hair, many experts suggest washing your hair less frequently, maybe every other day, or every three days if you can manage. We are all well aware that Singapore’s weather is ill-suited to this practice, but you can still manage it. Of course if you’ve gone to the gym or spent all day out and about (lots of perspiration), then by all means please wash your hair…for hygiene’s sake. Just be sure to use a more gentle shampoo if you want to wash your hair every day.
But if you have the opportunity to go two or three days in between (which is easier if you’re in the office or at home most of the day), here are some things to try.
#1 Pre-wash oils or treatments
If washing your hair strips it of oils, you can help it out by compensating beforehand. This is especially crucial if you’re using a shampoo that’s going to give your hair a deep cleansing. Some people use coconut oil, olive oil or even avocado oil to intensely nourish their hair pre-wash. Oils can provide a manner of protection for broken or porous areas of your hair cuticles while also nourishing your hair. Leave the oils in for a couple of minutes (or more if you prefer), then shampoo as usual to get rid of the grease.
This will help your hair out a lot in the long run as well, because your scalp won’t have to work as hard to compensate for oil loss. It’ll take longer for your scalp and hair to get greasy as well, which means you can go more days without feeling the need to wash it. Have finer hair and want a lighter pre-wash oil? Try the new Percy & Reed Perfectly Perfecting Wonder Treatment Oil+ ($48) from Sephora. You can use it after washing your hair as well.
#2 Avoid heavy conditioning creams or oils post-wash
Using too many hair oils, serums, or leave-in conditioners can be the cause of greasy hair. Even if you think you have very dry hair that needs lots of help, it’s easy to go overboard with the post-wash nourishing. When using hair oils and serums, always start with a small amount, rub it between your palms to warm it up, and then work it through your hair shaft in downward combing motions. The trick here is to make sure you’ve worked all the product into your hair until there’s no more serum or oil residue left on your hands. If you find your hands still covered in residue after working it through your hair for a while, you probably used too much product.
Avoid oils or creams if you have fine hair as it can weigh your hair down easily and make your hair look greasy. Opt for lighter serums or silicone-free oils, but start with a very tiny amount and work the product between your palms to make sure you coat your hair evenly.
#3 Dry shampoo is your friend
Sometimes, to get from day two to day three, you need a little help with your hair. If your hair is only slightly greasy at the roots but still looking great throughout, you just need to dry shampoo close to your roots and work it through your hair until it looks refreshed. One of our favourite dry shampoos has got to be the Living Proof one (I’m on my fifth bottle since I started using it last year). Avoid dry shampoos that leave too much white dust behind, or try ones made for darker hair if you prefer to. Dry shampoo is very subjective and it really takes quite a bit of trial and error to figure out what you like best.
When I need fabulous hair on day three (for events or meeting friends for dinner), I go in with the Living Proof Dry Shampoo. I shake the bottle really well, spray it wherever my hair looks greasy, let it sit in my hair for a minute, then work my fingers through my hair to make sure it’s absorbed well. My hair looks practically freshly-washed after, but if I have any unruly curls I can’t control, I like to go in with a flat iron and straighten it all out (faster than a curling job). We do advise washing your hair once you’ve gone a day with dry shampoo in it, or the powders and product can clog the follicles on your scalp and you can get pimples on your head.
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