This post written by Caryn, about her hair routine specifically.
To say that my hair and I have had a tumultuous relationship throughout my life would be an understatement. After reading this, I’m sure my family will be calling with embarrassing memories about me taming my mangy hair. Luckily, my hair and I have made a truce and are the best of friends now. There’s no doubt in my mind, finding a way to wash your hair less often is the key to great hair. I wash my hair once a week, and if you’re able to go down this route I highly recommend it!
Bonuses of Not Washing My Hair Often
A huge time saver. The whole process of washing hair, especially if it is long, takes a fair amount of time and effort. If you are jumping in the shower to just soap up and rinse off, you need less time.
Save that money. I used to buy shampoo on a regular basis because it was just part of my routine. Now, I go half a year or more without buying shampoo which is pretty awesome.
Great for your hair. Clearly this is a big one or I wouldn’t be so invested in it! You’re taking advantage of natural oils in your hair, using less product (we’ll discuss more below), and getting it back to it’s wild, wonderful roots. No pun intended.
Less impact on environment. This is the biggest positive in my eyes. Shorter shower equals less water use. Then you have the infrequency of buying plastic bottled shampoos and conditioners and boom. If you buy your shampoo and conditioner in bulk – kudos to you!
These benefits will become more evident throughout this post, but wanted to point out a few to get you thinking!
My Hair Type
To give you a little background on my hair type, it’s naturally wavy, bordering on curly. Pictures of my younger self show free, long, beautiful hair. By middle school, my hair was a dry and curly mess. A pain to figure out as I grew up! I blamed it on getting older and hormones. I had many frustrated and funky-looking teen years.
Then came straightening irons in the late 90’s. Oh yeah, I latched onto them and never looked back. But, like most things, it was just a band-aid that caused more damage, time investment and money over the years.
Easing Into It
I’ve been working on making my life as simple and minimal as possible for a while. I don’t wear much make-up, and I don’t get manicures and pedicures regularly. My hair was that one thing I couldn’t nail down. I wanted to be able to just wash and go, and started day-dreaming about shaving my head to cut down on time spent getting ready.
I finally got there, but it took almost three years. Maybe you have that magical mane that many of us dream of, so the time it took me to get to my happy hair place may not take you quite as long. Regardless, it was well worth the time and effort because I can finally say I love my hair and it takes me about 20 minutes of work a week. Here’s the breakdown of how I got to this simple, every day process!
- Channeled a lot of Patience
This step is a must. Not much more to say. It’s going to take time, but you’ll get there eventually. Hopefully this will help you get there faster.
- No Poo Method
For about 6 months, I did the whole no poo thing. I mixed corn starch with apple cider vinegar and used that as my daily shampoo. The goal of no poo was to reduce my reliance on shampoo and conditioner and let my natural oils build up. I wasn’t necessarily washing it less, just using products that were less harsh on the environment and my scalp. So that was a good first step. However, after 6 months it didn’t really work anymore. My hair felt reallllyyy greasy.
- Washed My Hair Less
Then I found shampoo and conditioner without parabens and cruelty-free, and washed my hair every couple of days. I’d just throw it in a ponytail or a bun for work. This seemed to work well. Definitely started seeing time savings in my day.
- Washed My Hair a LOT Less
Eventually, I started extending the hair washing out further. Shooting for 4 days in between. I used a store-bought aerosol type dry shampoo. I was still straightening my hair almost every day.
- Curling My Hair
I knew I wanted my hair to be curly again, so I taught myself how to curl it with a wand or curling iron. This got me a bit closer to my natural, curly haired roots. I finally stopped straightening it and using a wand all together a year ago. I also started to grow my hair out long since I knew we were moving to Taiwan where it would be more humid in the summers. I tried Deva Curl method once but it was a bit too high maintenance for me and included a lot of product. Instead, I let it dry curly every once in a while, using curling creams. This took some time to learn to manage it myself.
- Natural Dry Shampoo and Oils
When we moved to Taiwan in July 2017, I started using natural, dry shampoos. Cocoa powder and corn starch were my go-to’s. Honestly I prefer the corn starch and use that more often now as it makes my hair feel the best.
All of these steps lead me to the easy, low maintenance process below. It’s just been in the past 5 months or so that my hair has gotten to it’s happy place. I watched a few videos and read articles from Lee From America, Bonny Rebecca and Dana In Real Life. They taught me how to take my hair just a few steps further with natural products and it made all of the difference. I would definitely read their information on this. My hair is growing longer, is shiny and au natural.
My Final & Simple Process Today
Ah, things are so much easier for me these days! In just the last 2-3 months I have finally gotten to a place where my hair is exactly the way I want it without ANY chemicals, blow dryers, flat irons, multiple days of washing, etc. I’m happy I got here, because I really didn’t want to shave my head, and that was the next step.
- Sunday Night
- I put coconut oil on my hair from the ends to the roots
- I add a few drops of rosemary essential oil to the roots.
- I throw it up into two buns on top of my head and keep it in overnight.
- Monday Morning Shower
- I put shampoo on my hair before I get into the shower. One of Lee From America’s followers recommended she do this to get the shampoo to rinse out of your hair better once you shower. I tried it and it worked great.
- I then wash out that shampoo in the shower, shampoo it again and then condition it. I use these organic, natural, cruelty-free shampoos and conditioners.
- Monday Morning Hair Style
- I comb my hair in or right out of the shower while it is wet
- I put either coconut oil or an organic, cruelty free curling cream in it. (I’m out of mine right now!)
- I let it air dry and that’s it. I’m good to go.
- Throughout the Week
- Around Wednesday or Thursday my roots get a little greasy. I put a little cornstarch on different areas of my scalp and shake it through with my hands or a comb. This lasts for two days, so I may put some in again on Saturday.
- I definitely workout and get sweaty during the week! I’ve started using these bands when I put my hair in a ponytail so I don’t get those ponytail marks. I then let it air dry when I’m home, and put water only on the mid to end sections of my hair to re-curl it. I let it air dry and then it’s good to go.
- REPEAT Steps 1-4 Above!