Having a bad hair day?
We all experience this phenomenon at some time or other, so what do we do? Tie it up, wear a hat, chuck a sickie?
Did you know that how we feel about our hair is directly related to how we feel about ourselves? There is a definite psychological boost to having a good hair day and it may all be in how often we wash our hair – or not.
In medieval times the populace may only have washed their hair a handful of times a year. If you were poor, quite possibly less! They used powder to soak up scalp oils and to hopefully suffocate head lice in between washes!
A mixture of ashes, vine stalks and egg white was used as shampoo; all natural and no processed products with unpronounceable ingredients here!
The general acceptance of shampooing wasn’t until the 1800s and by the turn of the century (1900s that is) it was relatively common place for the hair to be washed once a month until an advice columnist for the New York Times suggested that every two weeks was fine. Jumping forward to the 1950’s it was de rigour for ladies to regularly visit the hairdresser weekly for a shampoo and style.
Everyone has an opinion on how often you should wash your hair, but what it really boils down to is what is right for you.
General consensus amongst the experts is difficult to find but some interesting snippets to take into consideration are:|
- The longer, thicker, curlier and more processed your hair is, the longer you should leave between washes. The oils don’t travel down the hair shaft as swiftly so the hair tends to be less oily.
- If your hair is constantly frizzy and unmanageable, try shampooing less.
- Daily washing, whilst on its own may not necessarily be a problem, can lead to possible overuse of styling products which build up in the hair making it limp and heavy. Also, heated hair styling appliances such as dryers and straighteners used daily can ultimately do more harm to the hair than the actual washing. The solution? Wash less and/or allow your hair to dry naturally occasionally.
- Pick a shampoo and conditioner that is right for your hair type – preferably sulphate free. Sulphate free shampoos won’t foam as much as other shampoos but are free from harsh chemicals. It’s not the foam which does the cleaning, that is just perception about how a shampoo should work.
There is also a minority movement around of those who choose not to wash their hair at all. The idea is that after a prolonged period of no washing, the hair and scalp will settle down and little maintenance will be required apart from a regular rinse. I do know a couple of people that have tried this, but only lasted about 3 weeks. Apparently their shoulder length hair would hold a ponytail without the elastic band!
A couple of maintenance ideas floating around this theory are massaging a paste of bicarb soda and water into the scalp to control the scalp oils, and rinsing with apple cider vinegar or lemon juice. I’m sure most of you will have heard of the old egg shampoo from back in the 70s? Well they are still around, new and improved, but I like the following idea much better.
Those that purport to surviving without ‘washing’ their hair also suggest that cracking a whole egg over your head and giving a good rub does wonders for conditioning your hair. I would suggest for those of you that like a very hot shower to perhaps cool the water for this one, I think raw egg works way better than cooked!
How often you wash your hair is a very individual thing.
Sometimes life just gets in the way of spending that extra 5 minutes in the shower. Small children that follow you everywhere, even to the toilet, giving a whole new meaning to the words “I’ll just have a quick shower”, or you sleep in and have 10 minutes to get ready for work, coffee in one hand and toothbrush in the other, who has time to wash their hair?