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Washing Your Hair
One knows to keep ones hair clean is should be washed often. But the questions are, what should I wash with and how often?
Washing With Shampoo
Get your hair completely soaked with water by rinsing it for around half a minute.
Rub a dollop of shampoo, around the size of a quarter or a 2p, between the palms of your hands and
smooth onto the scalp area of your head.
3Massage with your fingertips, but not too vigorously! Do not mound hair on top of your head to scrub it, this will cause tangles. You can also use clawed fingers to get the shampoo into the scalp.
4Completely rinse your hair until water runs out with no bubbles. This is very important for getting clean hair as not rinsing it out enough may leave a greasy film.
5If you so choose, wash with shampoo again.
6You can use a flat comb (or just use your fingers) and comb out all the knots to make it extra smooth before you add conditioner.
7Run conditioner (a dollop size again, more if needed) through the hair.
8Leave the conditioner on for a few minutes. If you have one, you can use a shower cap to make sure the conditioner doesn't rinse off first.
9After a few minutes, rinse completely until the water running down the drain has no more suds in it.
10End with a rinse of icy cold water. This will not prevent frizz, as many think, but will only temporarily make hair appear less frizzy. Also, cold water acts to "close the pores" of your hair (as it does with skin), so your hair will look shinier when it dries.
11Dry the hair. If you are towel drying do not rub the hair with the towel as it is damaging to the hair. Instead lightly scrunch and pat your hair. Try not to use blow dryers too often, as they can damage your hair. Blow dry your hair ONLY if you are in a big hurry or if it is really necessary. Try to limit blow drying your hair every once in two weeks if possible, or don't blow dry at all!
No Poo Washing
With a name like no-poo many people are unsure what it could mean. No-poo is a slang phrase for going shampoo free, in this case "poo" is a shortened version of "shampoo". What no-poo means is giving up shampoo and conditioner to wash your hair and instead using more natural options. The most common is a mixture of baking soda and vinegar to wash and condition hair. The idea is to remove the chemicals from shampoos and conditioners that build up in our hair. This allows our hair to return to a more natural, and healthier, state.
Why Go No-Poo?
I am sure that there are some crinkling their noses right now. For the majority of us store bought shampoos are a common staple that have always been a part of our lives. The thought of going without them seems almost too strange to many. Yet those who are taking the plunge say they have never been happier. Once their hair is free from the harsh chemicals that have built up for years they say they have hair that is soft, silky, and beautiful all day and night long. Shampoo works in our hair as a detergent. It strips out the dirt and grime that has collected in our hair during the day. However, like all detergents, it also strips out the natural oils. Stripping out the natural oils can cause damage to hair over time. This is the reason many people need to use conditioners, to replenish the moisture that the natural oils give our hair. When we stop using the harsh detergents in shampoo our hair becomes naturally softer and silkier.
You need to have a lot of conditioner since you will be washing your hair often using conditioner. Any cheapie conditioner will do. However when you deep conditioner your hair you should use a better quality type of conditioner.
You can wash as often as everyday or a few times a week. Washing in the shower is easiest. Just like you would use your shampoo, use the conditioner instead. You want to really saturate your hair with conditioner. The thicker your hair is, the more conditioner you should use. Massage it into your hair well.
After you are finish, rinse all the conditioner out with cool water. Then towel dry your hair.
Add some leave in conditioner and style as usual. After a few weeks you will notice the difference in the smoothness and condition of your hair.
A few hundred years ago, the idea of washing your hair sans chemicals would have been commonplace. Today it seems strange or even unhygienic; yet some people are turning back to traditional methods of haircare. Whether stemming from a desire to reduce consumption, avoid chemicals, relieve conditions such as eczema or dermatitis, or simply experiment, shampoo-free washing (known affectionately as 'no-pooing' or 'water-only washing') can be very effective in maintaining clean and healthy hair.
Why Washing Hair Without Shampoo or Conditioner Works
Hair becomes dirty because of two factors: trapped particles, such as dust, and sebum, a natural oil produced by the scalp which makes hair look greasy.
Washing the hair frequently with shampoo strips the hair of its natural oil, sebum. To compensate, the scalp will begin to overproduce sebum to make up for the lack, resulting in a cycle of overcleansing and overproduction of oil. Once the cycle is stopped, the scalp will eventually regain its normal equilibrium, resulting in the need for less frequent washing. A transition period of about six weeks is required to accustom the scalp to lower sebum production.
Trapped particles of dust and dirt can be removed to some extent by washing with water. To further clean the hair, a boar bristle brush can be used to brush the dirt right out.
How to Wash Hair Without Products
True water-only washing uses no products at all. In this case, the hair and scalp are simply washed vigorously under water, using the fingernails to 'scritch' at the scalp to remove any particles. Some people find that alternating hot and cold water helps to break through the sebum. Finishing the wash with a blast of cold water will lock down the cuticle of the hair, keeping it shiny.
Some people, while refraining from commercial hair products such as conditioner, like to facilitate washing and conditioning with natural products. Baking soda, vinegar, herbal teas, natural oils and butters, egg yolks and even yoghurt can form the basis of commercial product-free hair washing.
Using a Boar Bristle Brush to Clean Hair
Washing the hair is only one component of productless cleansing. A boar bristle brush is used to spread the sebum from the roots to the hair shaft, where it can do its job of moisturising and protecting the hair. Boar bristle brushes also trap dust and dirt in their closely-packed bristles, helping to clean the hair.
To prevent hair breakage, the brushes should only be used on detangled hair. Long strokes from the scalp to the tips of the hair should be used, to move the sebum down the hair shaft. Depending on the length of the hair, it may take several days for the hair to become coated with sebum.
Easing the Transition to Water-Only Washing
The six-week greasy period, during which the scalp learns to produce less sebum, can be frustrating. Greasy hair can be hidden under a hat or bandana, or disguised in braids, which hold particularly well in greasy hair. A boar bristle brush will polish the surface of the hair, which can make sebum look like hair product rather than grease.
It is possible to wean the scalp off shampoo. Alternating diluted shampoo washes with water-only washes will make the transition period longer but less severe. Alternatively, conditioner-only washing can be used for a few weeks before attempting water-only washing.
Some water-only hair washers experience a renewed greasy period some months into their new routine; this eventually settles down.
Washing Hair Without Water
Washing hair every two or three days is sufficient for most people to retain clean, healthy hair. There are situations, however, that may not permit the use of clean water and shampoo; the perfect opportunity to use dry shampoo.
Dry shampoo for people
Waterless shampoo comes in several forms; dry powder, spray, aerosol and foam. The advantage of this shampoo is that it can be used without the aid of any water at all. Years ago, women learned that sprinkling baby powder or baking soda onto the hair, massaging it through and then thoroughly brushing it out gave them fresher, cleaner looking hair between washings. It proved to be time consuming, however, as the white powder needed to be fully removed from the hair in order to be visually appealing. Specially formulated dry shampoos have since been developed that capitalized on the original idea of a waterless means of cleaning the hair without the inconvenience.
These dry shampoos are not meant to totally replace regular washing of the hair, but rather to extend time between washing or to use in waterless situations. Camping in the wilderness, traveling, or during a power outage basic hygiene such as washing the hair is necessary, and using dry shampoo can accomplish this easily.
Dry shampoo for pets
Yet another application for dry shampoo is for pets. Who hasn’t seen the results of trying to bathe a cat in water? While cats have a built in grooming technique that usually works quite well, there are times when they encounter a sticky or particularly dirty substance where they could really use a bath. Dry shampoo is the ideal solution to cleaning the cat’s fur without the painful repercussions of a water bath. Dogs also can be resistant to the idea of a bath, but must be groomed to stay clean and fresh smelling. Waterless shampoo in the form of powders or wipes can provide the cleaning without the trauma to both the pet and the owner. No water and no rinsing is required, and no residue is left behind that could prove to be harmful to the animal.
Hair washing is a necessary task that can sometimes be made impossible or impractical with the lack of water. Using a waterless shampoo can be a convenient and effective method of keeping hair clean in these situations.