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The Daily Hair Washing Dilemma

Posted Mar 25 2009 3:56pm

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While continuing our series on achieving great hair days everyday, it's time to discuss washing. You might think that because you've done it all your life that you've got washing your hair down to and art, but there is a right way to wash your hair that will leave it free of build up and primed for the day.

Th_hairchairs-1 One of the first rules to hair washing is that it is not a crime against hygiene to wash your hair only twice a week. For some reason it is considered completely barbaric to take a day off from washing your hair, but trust me, you do not need to wash your hair everyday. Actually, a little natural oil will do wonders for your hair, and it will keep your color longer.

A whole new line of products has even evolved out of women saying no to daily washings. Products like "hair powder cleansers" and "dry shampoos" are becoming the alternative to traditional daily shampooing for women who feel like they need to get rid of excess oil in between washings.  Some women even swear by a little corn starch or baby powder at the roots in between washings to soak up excess oil. The New York Times has even jumped on the weekly-washings bandwagon with their article on the topic last month.

So, live on the wild side this week and wash less. And make sure when you do wash that you are actually benefiting your hair and not damaging it.

First, you should always comb out the tangles before you hop in the shower. Skipping this step can worsen the tangles. And make sure that the water is warm, as this will open the scaly cuticles of the hair while washing all the dirt and oil from the previous day out of the hair. I don't know too many people who like to wash their hair with cold water, but you never know.

While you rinse make sure to use gentle strokes with your fingertips. Rinsing before washing is a critical step to ridding your hair of whatever build up may have accumulated from styling aids, dirt, and oil. Now you're ready for shampoo. Shampoos that do not contain harmful ingredients such as Diethanolamine or potential irritants like propylene glycol can be hard to find. It's especially hard to find shampoos that ditch the harmful ingredients but that also promote manageable and silky hair. Even though Aveda sometimes delivers questionable ingredients, their Scalp Benefits Balancing Shampoo is definitely a winner. Aubrey Organics also has some great shampoos that are not only safe but also strong enough to really clean the hair. I don't recommend a whole lot of their cosmetics products, but I like their shampoo.

Make sure to put the shampoo on your scalp and not on the ends of your hair, which can cause your ends to dry and split. And don't crazily mix your hair all over your head as your shampoo; this will just cause your hair to tangle.

And it is a good idea to shampoo and rinse a second time, letting the shampoo sit for a few minutes. The first shampoo will more than likely merely cleanse the hair, but applying a second time will actually treat the hair.

When rinsing out the shampoo, do not pull or yank on the hair, just squeeze the water out. Hair is at its most delicate when it is saturated with water.

Happy Washings!

Kate Sig

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