With 3 weeks of only being allowed out for essential shopping, or daily exercise, a lot of people across the UK now have a lot of spare time on their hands. For some, motivating yourself to get up and brush your teeth in the morning can prove hard, during this time. It’s understandable, everyone is going to deal with the situation in different ways. Let’s think on a more positive note, and have a look at how you can utilise your time in quarantine to make your hair healthy.
It’s a daunting prospect not knowing when you may get your hair cut or coloured again, but your hair will no doubt thank you for this brief respite from chemical services. The easiest way to put some nourishment back in your hair is by using a weekly treatment. A lot of people already have these in their bathrooms but struggle to find the time to put them on. The great thing with most treatments is that you can leave them on for as long as you wish. Follow the instructions on the label to get the best results. If you are working from home, you can pop your treatment on prior to any video meetings and simply put your hair into a nice plait. Alternatively, bundle it all up in a headscarf, for minimum effort and maximum effect.
If you are a fan of Olaplex or similar bond builders, please note, these can be used alongside other treatments. Olaplex is not a treatment in terms of it doesn’t add the necessary moisture and protein to your hair. It is still an undeniably amazing product, but should always be used alongside another regular treatment. Olaplex is a bond builder, meaning it rebuilds broken down bonds in your hair. Think of it like the cement that holds the bricks together in a house. Once it has repaired these broken bonds, your hair is a lot more receptive to treatments. So, while you have time to do both, do both.
Basically, stop using heat on your hair. Let’s face it, you don’t need to look perfectly coiffed for your essential trip to the supermarket. Heat from dryers, irons and tongs can be very damaging to hair, especially when used frequently. This is a moment in history where it is globally acceptable to leave home in pyjamas and a ponytail or top knot. If you want to look somewhat presentable, braids are an easy go-to. Alternatively, keep an eye out for the upcoming vlog, or head to my Instagram for videos on different ways to style your hair, and how to wear a headscarf.
Stop washing your hair.
Yep, let’s all get gross.
There are several reasons why washing your hair daily is considered a big no-no, mainly being that you are not giving your hair enough time to replenish its natural oils. If you have got yourself stuck in the cycle of washing it every day, now is a great time to break away from that. Even if you manage to get down to washing it every other day, that’s still an achievement.
Why washing too often is bad for it.
As stated above, over washing your hair will remove too much of the natural oils. Yes, too much oil is not always a good thing, but your hair produces natural oils for a reason. Mainly being to keep itself moisturised, and to protect your scalp. You will find removing too much of these will leave the hair dull and dry. If you have artificially coloured hair, over washing can remove the colour a lot faster. You will also find you are using more shampoo; therefore, it is more expensive. It also takes time. Who really enjoys washing their hair anyway? Have an extra 20 minutes in bed instead. It can also lead to more damage if you are then blow drying your hair every time you wash it, as ultimately you are putting more heat on the hair.
Let it self-clean.
Now, this one is a bit of an ongoing internet myth. There is a lot of conflicting information and somehow very few people who have actually tried it. The basic idea is that if you stop shampooing your hair it will eventually clean itself. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. As we’ve already established, your scalp naturally produces oils which are good for the hair. Once you shampoo, excess oils from your scalp will be removed. Leaving you feeling squeaky clean and ready to face another day. But what if you stopped shampooing? At first, your scalp would continue to produce oils at its regular rate, so the first week or two will be pretty grim. Once you’ve passed this point, your scalp should start to self-regulate the oil production. Meaning the clever little follicles know they don’t need to produce as much sebum (oil).
“But that’s gross!” I hear you cry. Don’t be too quick to avoid any friends who take on this challenge, it’s not as simple and easy as it sounds. There are a few rules you would need to go by to stop hair from smelling, and to make the most out of the greasy situation you face.
You should still rinse your hair; this can be done daily. Doing so will help remove the dirt and grime from your hair, but without shampoo, your oils will remain. The best way to do this is to rinse in warm water first, gently massaging the scalp and hair. Then rinse in cold water – this will help seal the cuticle and give it a bit of shine. If your hair is particularly tangled, then apply the smallest amount (pea sized) of conditioner to the ends only.
Even if your natural hair somewhat resembles the classic Monica in Friends look. In for a penny, in for a pound, right? During the current lockdown situation, you might as well get the most out of not having to look your best. Avoiding blow drying will avoid you stimulating the scalp, which can encourage them natural oils, it will also give it a break from the heat.
This is where it gets a bit more involved. This can be done post rinse, and again in the evening. As often as you feel necessary. This must be done when your hair is dry to avoid damage. As your hair is getting greasier, you need to move some of them oils down the hair, towards the ends. The theory here, is that your hair will be drier on the ends and likely to absorb them and eventually feel healthier. Start with a head massage/scalp brush. The Denman Bebop below is an ideal candidate. Tip your head upside down and brush from root to tip, thoroughly.
Follow this up with a natural bristle brush (pictured and linked below), this will help bring out the natural shine on your ends. Once finished you will need to wash your brushes. Every. Time. It is worth shampooing them, to remove excess dirt and oil from them, so that you don’t wind up putting it all back into your hair.
It may take up to 6 weeks to hit the peak self-cleaning phase. Heck, if you manage 2 weeks without shampooing your hair it will be grateful for it. Getting out of the habit of frequently shampooing your hair is really worth doing. Even if you just do the rinse and condition method in between washes – especially after exercise – this will make a huge difference.