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Don’t get us wrong, we love a good hair wash. But sometimes when it comes to keeping your hair in check, it’s better to take a ‘less is more’ approach. Just like you can strip your face of its natural oils (which can lead to overproducing oil) if you over cleanse it, the same thing can happen to your scalp if you’re washing it too much.
It might seem counterintuitive but washing your hair less in the long run will keep it looking and feeling fresh for longer. We spoke Grant Norton, the National Education Manager at GHD, to get some tips on how to pick up the shampoo bottle less and extend your style while you’re at it.
You may not realise, but a lot of shampoos contain detergents—otherwise known as sulphates—that over cleanse your scalp. They get really sudsy and initially make your hair feel squeaky clean, but over time your body could overproduce oil to make up for the dryness. To counteract this, opt for gentle sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner formulas to cleanse your hair without stripping you scalp or strands of the oils they need to stay healthy and strong. “If you want to extend the look [of your hairstyle], try using lightweight products and avoid treatments or moisture-based hair care that can get oily and heavy quicker in the hair,” says Norton.
He also suggests only applying conditioner to the mid lengths and ends of the hair and steering clear of the roots if you tend to build up a lot of oil there first. Another good tip? Try a detoxifying shampoo once a week to get rid of any styling product build up that can also weigh the hair down and make it dirtier quicker.
Once you’ve washed your hair and applied your conditioner, Norton says to boost the overall performance of your styling products: “gently towel dry your hair first and then rough dry your hair 30-40 percent using a Helios hairdryer—this will help make your styling products more effective and give you true hold and lasting support of the style,” he explains.
There’s plenty of ways you can keep your hair fresh while you sleep. A silk pillowcase helps to reduce friction, while twisting your hair up into a bun with a silk scrunchie will keep it off your face while you sleep (sans kinks)—which means your oils and moisturisers won’t transfer to your hair. Try applying a dry shampoo before your head hits the pillow too. This will help absorb any excess oil overnight so you wake up with fresh hair in the morning.
Post-gym sweat is bad news for hair—but there’s way around it. Try tying your hair in a looser style for the gym like braids or a loose ponytail so that you don’t trap heat and sweat close the scalp. To really make the most of it, try and plan your exercise days around your hair washing days.
If you’ve got a hairdryer post-workout, Norton also suggests using the cold shot button around your hairline and nape to cool down and reduce any perspiration.
If you’re down to your final day before washing your hair and have exhausted your dry shampoo quota, try wearing a low slicked back bun using a smoothing serum—it’s the easiest way to make your oily strands into an on-trend style.
Well, try and keep it to a minimum. Running your fingers through your hair will add oil and residue to your style, so keep touching to a minimum and opt for a brush if you need to adjust your hairstyle during the day.
READ MORE: Want healthier hair? It’s time for a scalp detox.
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