Banishing Bad Hair Days since 1997!™

Clean Hair Story: One Bottle, Two Bottle, Three Bottle, Four


One of the Hair Boutique's Favorite featured writers - Tamara - returns with another great article. This time Tamara provides great tips on keeping your hair clean and full of great shine.

Tamara also graciously provided Hair Boutique with two new photos of her hair taked in July 1998. As you can see, she practices what she preaches about clean and shiny hair.

Thanks Tamara!


tamara_2.jpg (7125 bytes)

Its going to cost big time to keep that aureole of hair shinny and clean, right? Not necessarily. I find for myself I am using about the same now (waist length) as I did when I had really short hair.

I admit there are "tricks" involved and I was wasteful when I had short hair but then I seem to learn best when I learn the hard way. So here goes ...

"Wash every 1-2 days".

It keeps the hair hydrated, you'll use less product and your hair dries faster (mine does at least).

I live in "Chinook country". If you don't know what that means then imagine living in a place with fluctuating humidity, drying winds (hot or cold), weather exasperated by El' Nino, temperature variations of 25 degrees ('tis spring after all!), hail, thundershowers, etc and you haven't even got out of bed yet. With this kind of environmental uncertainty hydration is important.

I also did the "test" from washing once a week with/without oiling to washing daily. Daily won. I also use pure jojoba oil on the ends and occasionally I use the emollients form Aveda for that "extra glossy" look.

As for using less product, well it just takes less to keep something clean when it is clean than when it is dirty. I find this just as true for hair as I do for dishes.

My hair does dry faster, I don't know why either. Maybe my hair is willing to give up the excess moisture because it's already hydrated, or maybe it's the season, or maybe it's my imagination but I don't think so.

One other thing, if you are going to wash your hair daily then use very gentle products. Right now I use Aveda.

"Stage your wash"

This is the real key to using less shampoo - washing your hair in sections.

Here's how I wash my hair:

  1. Before I even start washing I massage my scalp and brush my hair.
  2. After my hair is thoroughly wet (lukewarm water) I squirt a dot of shampoo about the size of a quarter into my hand.
  3. I rub my hands together and start washing first underneath my hair at the nape of my neck, then behind my ears and finally the back of my head. (All of it from underneath. For years I used to start washing by placing a blob if shampoo on the top of my head. Now my scalp tends to get irritated if I wash my hair that way.) I don't get a lot of suds in the first pass.
  4. I do a short rinse then squirt another quarter size blob of shampoo into my hands. After rubbing then together I wash the rest of my scalp starting on top of my ears, the back of my head and then the crown. The suds really come up now especially from the first "section".
  5. I do another short rinse, then the blob thing and starting at the back of my head I wash the length. Since the shampoo has been "rinsed" through the length I usually don't have to do the length in two sections. However I may do a fourth "overall" application if I feel like it. And I usually do.
  6. I then rinse thoroughly using lukewarm water.
  7. I apply conditioner, again in stages starting from the ends up but concentrating on the ends. I have 4 sections, bottom half of the length, top half of the length, back of head and the crown. I then lightly coil my hair and spear it into place with a hair stick and wait for about five minutes.
  8. I rinse thoroughly with cold water. It's a bit of a shock first thing in the morning but its worth it. Afterwards I press the hair between my palms to get rid of excess water.
  9. I loosely wrap my hair up in a towel and get dressed. After dressing I let my hair out of the towel (it doesn't drip) . I do not try to comb or pick my hair at all no matter how kooky it is.
  10. About an hour later my hair is dry enough at the roots on the crown of my head so I can start finger picking my hair into some kind of order. I usually don't brush my hair until later in the day. When I do brush I first apply the jojoba oil with my hands. Sometimes I rub some oil onto the brush too.

In all I've used less than 1/4C of shampoo and conditioner. I also discovered that if I mix a lot of water (2C) and a little shampoo (2T) together in a bottle and leave it overnight, when I use it the next day it seems to be more "active". I get more suds more quickly and usually I don't need to use any more shampoo.

I don't mix water with conditioner though; it either gets lumpy (like curdled milk) or slimy. Either way the conditioner is less effective.

The only other thing you might want to know is that I don't wash my hair bent over. That final rinse is quite a gasper!

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- Revised Publication Date: 05/22/10

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Please follow us on Twitter at: I look forward to meeting new people from all walks of Twitter and learning from their Tweets.

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