The Way We Wash: Hair Edition


Carlotta-Manaigo

Sometimes Amelia comes to work looking particularly fresh. She creeks her neck and the faint smell of newly-cut tulips essentially emanates from her head.

Now that I’m writing this and not just thinking it, I feel relatively uncomfortable and vaguely inappropriate, but that’s not it. Charlotte does this too. She walk in, looking all unassuming and cool, flatforms on foot, cactus onesie on body and always insouciantly, she walks to her desk. While she’s putting her things down, I’ll notice a sparkle in her hair and for a moment, I consider asking her on a date.

Then I remember that I’m married and infidelity/inter-office relationships are not on my list of movements to subscribe to. So I wonder, what do these bitches do to their hair?

I should mention that other times they both look and act like dirty dishes, which is to say they’re still important, useful and all, but only after they’ve been cleaned. It’s just, who’s going to clean them? Not me! Please!

And do they ever wonder the same about me? Sure, on a bad day I walk in smelling like a stale knee cap and my hair is rarely clean, but on the off chance it is, do they believe that I walk in radiating the swagger of, say, Fred Astaire if he were in a Pantene Pro-V commercial? According to Amelia, yes, which is why we’ve decided to institute a new installment that may or may not start and end right here on the way we wash things.

Of course, today is about our hair. And that’s only because as is always the case with a Minor Cogitation, we want to know what YOU do to keep your hair feeling like the best version of itself.

Me, personally, I oscillate between using Bumble and bumble’s surf shampoo and conditioner and Pantene Pro-V generic-pharmacy shine bright like a diamond shampoo. I think it keeps my hair clean (sorry, wrong word, what I mean is full o’sulfate) for a longer period of time. Often, I’ll use Purely Perfect cleansing cream right after the shampoo application. Then I’ll wait for my dumb hair to dry and flat iron this bitch like it is 2002.

Amelia: On average I wash my hair about 4/5 days a week — I can’t stand having dirty hair. I typically shampoo and condition with Garnier Color Shield. I leave the shampoo on while I wash my face and hang out so that it has a few minutes to soak up all the gunk before I rinse it. My hair has to squeak when I rinse, or else I feel like it isn’t clean. Then I put conditioner on starting halfway down my head. I let that sit while I shave my legs or sing the full song to “Don’t Rain On My Parade” so my hair can soak up the conditionz. Twice a week I use Purely Perfect cleansing cream instead of “regular” shampoo and conditioner. When I do the final rinse, I use the coldest water I can stand. I let the whole shebang air-dry almost every time I wash it EXCEPT for Saturday nights, which is blow-out city.

Charlotte: I have some of the driest locks around — think wire-haired dachshund frolicking in the desert — so washing my hair only exacerbates the problem and leaves me with a whole lot of coarse frizz. I wash maybe one time per week and despise the process. Depending on my dandruff situation I alternate between Head & Shoulders and a Kérastase shampoo and conditioner for dry hair. I really glop on the conditioner and try to leave it in for about 10 minutes before rinsing and occasionally I condition twice. But if we’re being really honest here, I secretly get my hair blown out far more frequently than I care to admit so that is probably why Leandra thinks my hair looks nicer than it actually is.

Okay, your turn. HOW DO YOU WASH YOUR HAIR?

– Leandra Medine

Image shot by Carlotta Manaigo


Thoughts?
  • Alex

    You guys need to get away from sulfate-filled shampoos! You will notice you will have to wash your hair only 2-3 times a week from the regular 4-5! My favourites to use are Arbonne shampoo and conditioner (Vegan line, smells amazing, lasts forever – I wash my hair twice a week with this stuff!), and GOA shampoo and conditioner (Vegan line as well – I find more for dry hair types).

    • Amelia Diamond

      That purely perfect stuff Leandra and I use is sulfate free!

  • CarlotaLMorais

    I wash my hair 3/4 times a week cuz it gets very frizzy! I use Boticario (brazilian brand) shampoo and conditioner cuz it has no salt in it and that means it makes my hair less frizzy!! Also use an organix hair mask once a week! Like Leandra I let it dry and then……………..KILL IT WITH HEAT. Only because I hate looking like a poodle! Dont judge!!

  • Laura Mitchell

    I’m with Amelia! 4/5 times a week and only blow dry when it’s a weekend. I use purple shampoo every time so my blonde stays platinum (sometimes a little violet?) and finish off with Oribe signature conditioner. If I’m air drying ill comb it out wet, throw some Oribe dry texturizer in it, and put it in a wet bun so it dries a little wavy

    • Amelia Diamond

      Oribe = those two-hands praise emoji

  • http://www.looseleaved.blogspot.com/ Zoe

    I wash my hair maybe two times a week? I think? If forget. Anyway. When I do wash it, I use typically either Wen or Herbal Essences, and really focus on scrubbing at my scalp. When I’m done, I condition and leave it in while I finish up my shower duties, like shaving, washing my face, et cetera. I use a wide tooth comb to de-tangle and follow up with argan oil on my ends. I totally could wash my hair more than twice a week but that takes time. and effort. xx

    http://www.thewhatsinbetween.blogspot.com

  • GapToothedGirl

    Actually I’m using an argan oil basd shampoo, but still I can’t find any difference. Has someone a gene in a bottle to have dream hair???
    Love, gap.
    http://www.gaptoothedgirl.com

  • http://stellamayday.blogspot.com Mar

    At the moment I use Oceanic shampoo and Spa conditioner, both by Lush. Once I week I use the Korres scalp scrub to get rid of build-up/keep my scalp healthy. I usually let my hair air dry and sometimes I apply Sachajuan’s ocean mist to get a little texture. I also recommend to get away from silicone/sulfate products and try organic/natural brands. It’s tough at the beginning but the results are amazing after a while.

    • Amelia Diamond

      I have heard gooood things about that scalp scrub! worth it?

      • http://stellamayday.blogspot.com Mar

        Every dollar. I started noticing the results after a month or so. My scalp is now less dry and my roots less oilier. Also, my dandruff has completely disappeared.

  • Deborah

    I am currently using Living Proof’s Restore shampoo and conditioner line. It’s pretty good because my hair tends to get oily at least one day after washing and when I started using this brand, I noticed that my hair stays oil-free and smells good longer than usual. Now I need to only wash my hair 2-3 times per week instead of 5 days a week like I used to with the previous brands that I used. However, I’ve been using Living Proof for nearly one month, so for all I know, this could be a fluke!

  • kiwi

    I wash my hair once every 7-10 days. My hair is beyond super dry–it is a dehydrated hippie at Burning Man. I use MorrocanOil Shampoo and ConditionerI shampoo, (pretty straightforward), then leave on conditioner for as long as I can possibly stand whilst engaging in the other womanly tasks required in the shower). Then I wide-tooth comb those snarls. Afterwards I either put in Argan Oil, or Vatika Enriched Almond Oil, ($3.99 at my local Indian grocer. Its amazballs). Since I’m in grad school and nobody gives a shiiiiiit I mostly just throw it in a braid or topknot which is saving me from heat damage. Once these tresses get through the summer Imma get a snazzy new do.

    • Charlotte Fassler

      OOooh I definitely want to try out those oils!

      • Atiya

        a few drops of pure argan oil rubbed on my hands and finger-combed through my hair (and on my face and well everywhere to be honest) rescued me from the polar vortex. kills dryness without grease. i am addicted for life.

  • http://adeliberateimagination.wordpress.com/ CJKEYS2

    I just cook down the seal blubber I hunt every winter and make soaps and shampoos from it.

    • http://adeliberateimagination.wordpress.com/ CJKEYS2

      and wash about 3-4 times a week. and my hair, like my mascara, is only done on the weekends.

    • Amelia Diamond

      you’re on today, dr ceej.

  • Aubrey Green

    I wash my hair twice a week, typically Sunday and Thursday (I will be washing it tonight, I have my hair in a bun, which is coated with coconut oil :)). I have been using the brand ColorProof – “clean it up” shampoo, it’s a Vegan line, which I actually didn’t realize at the time of purchase. I love this shampoo, the best I’ve used and it smells like a baby. I use the sulfate free Loreal conditioner. The other thing I do before getting in the shower is put coconut oil on the ends of my hair, this has helped A LOT with the dryness and dead ends – I blow dry my wavy/curly hair straight after each wash. My hair stylist said she’s noticed a a very big difference since using the coconut oil.

  • http://LuxeLifeAspirations.blogspot.ie/ Michelle

    I’m with Charlotte on this, I detest washing (well mostly drying) my hair! I would get it blow dried all the time if I could afford to!

  • Christina Quinn

    After using Herbal Essence’s Volumizing shampoo literally all four years of college (because obviously I would have my parents buy me the massive bottles of it from BJ’s and thus only bought shampoo twice in the entirety of those four years) I recently switched brands. I’m quite pleased with the selection I made: L’Oreal’s EverStrong Thickening collection. Clearly, you can see I’m on the hunt for bigger hair. What I love about this shampoo and conditioner is the super-luxe Aveda-y smell (holla at rosemary mint) and the vegan sulfate-free composition all at the very reasonable CVS price I paid. Admittedly, I have very healthy naturally straight hair so I wasn’t that discerning in this selection process, but c’est la vie.
    Also, Amelia I feel you on the hair needs to squeak thing – if it doesn’t sound like a playground slide should against legs clad in shorts, I’m not satisfied it’s clean.

  • Lauren

    Yes! Get away from the Paraben filled shampoos!! My hair is very oily and I only wash 2-3 times a week. I use Davines products – rebalancing shampoo and Drybar’s detox dry shampoo on the off days! It’s sulfate and paraben free :)

  • Melissa

    I wash my hair pretty much every single day. Occasionally I skip a day. I feel like my hair/scalp is addicted to sulfates because if I go longer than a day it looks all weighted down and fast food fryer greasy. I have fine textured hair, but it is thick so I have a ton of it. I also have dandruff whenever the weather is cold or changes unexpectedly (and I live in Western Nebraska so the weather changes all the time, it is snowing right now) so I use Head and Shoulders 8 or so months out of the year. I know I should try something free of sulfates and try to break my addiction, but I am a functioning sulfateaholic. I have tried dry shampoo to try to go every other day but I read somewhere online about how dry shampoo blocks your hair follicle and can cause your hair to fall out, so I got paranoid about it and quit using it.

  • Victoria

    I have very fine hair, so by the time I make it to second day hair, it starts to stick together at the roots and actually iritates my scalp and makes it itchy… So every other day is as far as I can stretch it. I rarely ever blow-dry (maybe once a month or less) because my hair dries so quickly on it’s own to begin with. And I actually prefer the texture after air drying! I’m lucky enough that it dries incredibly soft and straight. But always follow with some oil to my ends after it’s about half-dry and comb through with my Tangle Teezer (AKA my favourite find at Boots in Heathrow)

    Been using the John Freida Brilliant Brunette line for a while, and it’s time for a change. This post is so fortuitously timed! Perhaps I will take this sulfate/paraben-free route?

  • leahnoodles

    I’m with Leandra in that I use plain Pantene Pro-V. I typically wash 2x per week and sometimes put oil on the ends.

  • Hannah

    I recently began combining equal parts baking soda and water to wash my hair. The two form a scrub-like paste that is easily applied to the roots. I recommend leaving the mixture on hair for a few minutes and rinsing well.

    This regimen is super minimal, inexpensive, and leaves hair feeling clean (but not too clean).

    • Charlotte Fassler

      Fascinating

      • coffeetoo

        Charlotte – I swear by this stuff from La Biosthetique: http://www.labiosthetique.eu/products.html?tx_labadminproducts_pi1clicked_uid=430

        You don’t squeeze it (the product easily flows out without squeezing it), just sort of run it along the front/center part, then run it along a “line” from your temples to the back of your head (on each side), and then finally a little on the back of your head. Seriously, it works. And I too wash my hair maaaaaaayyybe once a week. Twice if we’re gettin’ fancy.

        • Charlotte Fassler

          Oooooh TWICE! That is fahncy!
          I will definitely look into this, thanks for the tip!!

  • nikki hancock

    I generally wash once every 5-6 days since my hair has a natural curl to it and is prone to being drier than dry! I’ve found that switching up what I use every time I run out of a bottle tends to work well for me hair, so I haven’t committed to any particular shampoo/conditioner….currently I’m using John Frieda Root Awakening.

  • Liz

    I’ve been on the “No ‘Poo” method for about two months now. For the first month I rinsed my hair once a week with lemon juice and conditioner, but now my hair doesn’t get too oily and I’ll do the lemon juice rinse once every two weeks and just rinse it thoroughly with water every day. The first couple weeks were rough but now my hair feels super healthy and I am saving whole, um, dollars per month. :)

  • Elli

    I wash it every day. Is that bad? I use Garnier triple nutrition shampoo and conditioner.

  • Anna

    Head and Shoulders Green apple smells the beeesssssst.

  • Stephanie Marie

    I’ve actually completely stopped washing my hair and haven’t on any regular basis since summer 2012… (it helps that I chopped most of it off into a pixie, but as it’s growing out, I still have no plans to use product). I’m lucky that my scalp is fairly dandruff-free and my hair is super thick, but not too oily. I found that after a few weeks of going sans product, my hair kind of found the right balance and never looks super nasty. And I’m an athlete who trains multiple times a day– I think leaving my hair to do its thing, barely using styling products, really rubbing my scalp with warm water in the shower… just works.

  • Kezia

    I preeetttty much wash my hair once a month. In the meantime I condition every other day with something that smells like coconuts (sometimes straight-up coconut oil). A+ for low maintenance?

  • girlinmenswear

    I wash my hair every three days, on the eve of my washes I’ve usually got so much talcum powder in my barnet that I look like I’m wearing a crusty white toupee on my head!
    http://www.girlinmenswear.com

  • maria

    I’ve got naturally curly hair that I am growing out, so I need to keep it healthy. I shampoo about every third day and overdose on oils before, during and in between washes.

    About two hours before washing my hair I slather it with coconut oil, then wash with a sulfate-free shampoo and put on a conditioner meant for curly hair. After rinsing that out I use a hair oil on the ends and a leave-in conditioner/styler elsewhere and let my hair air-dry. At night, I sleep with my hair in a ponytail which helps to keep it looking good.

    The oils have helped so so much.

  • Effie

    I have recently become addicted to L’Oreal Paris EverStrong Sulphate Free shampoo and conditioner. I have a natural Shirley Temple curly hair and wash my hair every second day. Smells AMAZING – mint and rosemary. Not tulips, but delicious none the less. My hair squeaks clean, never tangles when I am shampooing it and swishes like a commercial. It’s love.

  • Brie

    i wash my hair every other day, i fluctuate between biolage something or other and pantene. i do absolutely nothing to my hair, even when i decide to go out on the town (okay sometimes i blow dry it and part it on the other side), so i’m low-low maintenance. sometimes i extra condition it b/c it does get a bit dry and during the week when it air dries i use this stuff my hair stylist friend gave me to spritz on after washing it (i cannot recall what it is at this time so don’t ask but it’s a biolage product that you have to shake up before spritzing). the end.

  • B

    3x a week I use Pureology shampoo only on my scalp and never on the lengths of my hair and condition with Redken Diamond Oil conditioner on the lengths of my hair. After that I blow dry with a round brush and use a combo of Bumble and Bumble DrySpun and City Swept to make my hair look more… Kate Moss and less step ford wife. And Top Tip: A teeny bit of teasing on the crown makes everyone look waaay better.

  • Rachel

    I always here that you shouldn’t wash your hair but a few times a week. I just don’t understand how that’s possioble when you factor in excercise. (any advice?) So I wash my hair just about everyday unless something comes up for i fall asleep on the couch (and i actually like my second day hair). I use the AVEDA shampoo and conditioner for scalp balance. That stuff is amazing. It’s made to help your scalp so you’re even supposed to massage the conditioner into your head. The key to it is to make sure you rinse your hair out extremely well (think about how long they spend doing it at the salon). As for how it works? I mean. I like my hair.

  • Erin

    Herbal Essences Smooth Collection is nostalgia in a bottle, thanks to that classic rosehip scent, and leaves my hair smooth and clean. I was my hair every 3ish days and use Batiste Original dry shampoo on the third day. I add some B&B Straight Blow Dry cream afterwards and blow it out myself using a round brush. Voila!

  • Hannah K

    I’m from New Zealand and there’s a fantastic sulfate/paraben free, all natural range called Sans [ceuticals] available here. I have super-fine hair and wash it every 3-4 days. When I wash my hair I shampoo, rinse then shampoo again, before applying conditioner to the lengths and ends and leaving it for a few minutes. I then towel dry it and scrunch a couple of pumps of Kevin Murphy’s Young Again oil into the mid-lengths and ends. I let it fully air dry before going to bed, then brush out the tangles in the morning before adding a few sprays of Kevin Murphy dry shampoo to add a bit of volume.

  • Kate Wilson
  • anonymouse

    Wen sweet almond mint cleansing conditioner every other day. Really makes your hair shiny, healthy, and keep your color intact. I used to dye mine a deep auburn and Wen preserved my color very well.

    If you haven’t used a cleansing conditioner, it takes some getting used to. A first you think you’re washing your hair with straight up conditioner, but if you use a lot of it AND add a bit of water, you can get a good “lather” going to really do the job. If you stick with it you’ll never go back to the lather shampoo again. In fact, when you do use the lather shampoo you’ll realize just how awful it is to your hair.

  • Isabelle

    Amelia when you hair squeaks all care substances are washed out! That´s not really good

    • Amelia Diamond

      :( but it sounds so clean!!

  • http://www.ginaschiappacasse.com Gina Schiappacasse

    A resounding “YES!” to the Purely Perfect, ladies! I use it to wash my hair about once every 5-7 days, which may sound bizarre to all of those shampoo addicts out there, but I haven’t had hair this nice since I was a small child. I’ve been using it for about a year now, and it seems the longer you use it, and only it, the less you have to wash. Ditch the sulfates and detergents, everyone, if you wouldn’t put it on your face, why would you put it on your head?

  • Rachael

    My hair is basically a fire hazard. Sucks too because I once had silky locks. I use Tigi everything for damaged hair. I shampoo a few times a week and leave a ton of leave in conditioner in my hair. I air dry it for as long as possible and then blow out the front and finger wave the rest. It’s kind of like a lady mullet with the business in he the front scenario but who cares?
    Sometimes I put neem oil in it or coconut oil from trader joes.

  • http://pulpdujour.blogspot.com/ Eileen

    I wash my hair everyday or every other day depend on how busy I am/how many times I hit snooze. I use B&B gentle shampoo and that matching super rich conditioner. But I don’t condition every time I wash. Sometimes, I use some carol’s daughter minoi oil on ends. My hair gets oily on the roots and frizzly on ends mostly. I wish I had the time to flat iron them. :

  • Tanzia Lokman

    Charlotte, I could swear our hair has the same DNA. But I have found ways to deal with my drier-than-matza hair. Out of desperation, I have made a few changes and adopted a few rituals which have been keeping my hair moist and frizz-free. A) on a recent trip to Ireland I discovered Head-High, a multivitamin for healthy hair from within. And who else but the Irish brides-to-be spreading the buzz on a drunken night at the Temple Bar? B) an old-school overnight treatment of coconut hair oil once a month (“old school” if you are an Indian decent, if not, never mind). C)3x a week with Aveda Scalp Balancing Shampoo. D) And lastly, conditioning my hair with Phillip Kingsley (medium) Conditioner. E) I stopped getting blow-dries under any circumstances with attending weddings being the ONLY exception. (this should be lastly) F) Patience…it will take some time to undo years of damage.

  • KAB

    Wash with regular shampoo/conditioner 4 times a week. The rest of the time- Pssssst! it is! Pssssst! is a dry shampoo that’s been around forever and you can buy at a drug store for under $10. It’s awesome and totally beats all the other overpriced ritzy versions on the market. Believe me- I tried them all first!

  • Zoe

    I have found my ends are super, super rough if I don’t use a really intense deep conditioner every time I wash my hair, which is every few days. I use a Lush shampoo bar, which is surprisingly very gentle, and natural shampoos are notorious for not spreading, but this is wonderful and I can be really gentle in putting it in. I use leave in conditioner and occasionally a salt spray. I know this sounds like a lot, but I mean, otherwise I could paint with my hair, and I live in Alberta, which is like the cold Texas of Canada.