May 26, 2020

What is hair training and how to do it

I’ve been hair training for a few months now, but I have to say this pandemic has really sped up my progress. Two months from the start, I had gotten to the point where I washed my hair every three days. This, for a gal who sweats like a crazy person (I blame hot yoga for doing this to me), is a big deal. 

Since I work out every day in some capacity, I found I had to wash my hair every. single. day. My hair felt greasy and gross with sweat and oils lingering in my long tresses, which is not my favourite feeling.  

Which brought me to try hair training.

For those of you who are wondering what on earth is hair training, let me explain. It’s simple. It’s teaching your hair, or more accurately, your scalp to produce less oil and, consequentially, wash your hair less often. 

When we wash our hair too often we strip away the natural oils. This tells our scalp, “Hey, we are dry again! We need to produce more oil! And quick!” The more oily we get, the more we feel we need to wash it. The more we wash it, the more oil our scalp produces. It’s a bit of a vicious cycle. 

As I mentioned before, I had gotten to the point where I forced myself to not wash my hair until the third day, which meant even on the second day I was wearing headbands, scarfs, and using dry shampoo just to go collect the mail. 

Enter the global pandemic. 

All of a sudden, I’m not going out in public or going to work. THIS WAS MY OPPORTUNITY (lemonade out of lemons folks).

It may be the small things in life that bring me joy, but four months in and I’m pleased to announce that I’ve been making it to washing my hair once every six days! Mazel Tov!

My hair still looks fairly fresh on day four and then things start going downhill, but that’s a lot better than looking/feeling greasy every day!

So how does it work?

-First, prepare yourself that this is not a glamorous journey. Get yourself some wide headbands/scarves, a hat, and a Costco pack of dry shampoo. You’ll need it.

-Start with stretching washing your hair by one day. The idea is to only have one “greasy” looking day before you wash it (unless you really want to push the envelope like I did. I would go 2-3 days with less than ideal hair because I’ve lost all pride).

-Rinse your hair. You’re still going to go through the “motions” of washing your hair, but with no shampoo or conditioner (you can condition the dry ends of your hair if needed). These days, I swim multiple times a day, so in the salt water I rinse my hair and give myself a little scalp massage. 

-Use warm water when rinsing, as hot water can be too drying (which can stimulate oil production). 

-Try not to touch your hair. When I’m reading or doing something mindless I tend to run my fingers through my hair. It’s a bad habit, but I find when I don’t do it, my hair stays fresher a LOT longer.

-Use dry shampoo on your roots when you’re feeling less than fresh. It’ll give you another day or two. 

-On the days where your roots start feeling dirty, take advantage of hair-dos where it’s actually advantageous to have slightly dirty hair. Try the classic messy bun, a fancy chignon, or even go back to that 90’s hair claw style (so easy) that’s trendy again! Or, my favourite, go with that slicked back low bun. Shhh, don’t tell, but that’s one of my secret hairstyles when working for my airline. I look professional, chic, with that slick Kardashian style…as if I added gel for that ‘wet look’ on purpose. It 100% is not a hair product but I’m not ashamed. 

-Be patient. This hair training thing can take weeks before your scalp stops panicking and clues in to slow down production in the oil factory. 

A lot of people couple hair training with the ‘rinse your hair with apple cider vinegar thing’. Raw, organic apple cider vinegar (the classic Bragg ACV is my favourite) is somewhat acidic and will help restore the pH balance of your hair. This can reduce the buildup in the scalp, yet is mild enough that it doesn’t strip essential nutrients from your hair. Frankly, I haven’t tried it…but I know many people who have even completely eliminated shampoo from their lives by doing this. I’m definitely not there yet. 

I’m hoping I can sustain this no-wash thing as the isolation rules lessen. My goal is to wash it once every four days (at the very least).  

Hope you enjoyed these tips for prolonging your hair wash days! Are there things you’ve tried during isolation that you wouldn’t have otherwise? How often do you wash your hair?

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