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My Hair Saga

I went and got my hair cut last week when I was off (I didn't go anywhere...just stayed home, watched the FO and relaxed...probably a better vacation than going to Cuba actually). While I was there my lovely friend/hairdresser and I had the recurrent conversation about hair products. She said my hair was really dry. I frowned. She apologized for mentioning it. I said, no, no! It's OK, but I've done everything you've suggested to maintain it, but it's just getting worse!

In fact, I've followed her suggestions and just used salon-only shampoos and conditioners (one L'Oreal brand, pink bottles). Recently I got so frustrated with that not working, that I tried what I read in a book on hair (my short review here). The author is a hairstylist to the stars, and wrote that you shouldn't wash your hair every day...and gave some good techniques on how to bring moisture back to your hair. I talked to people at work, and a few of them told me that they don't wash their hair every day, and one of them even told me how her mother would tell them which day was a hair-washing day. I asked my sister, and even she doesn't wash her hair every day! I was flummoxed that I'd only heard of this recently. Why is it such a secret?

Anyway. I've been doing the hair wash one day, let it be the next day (but still run water through it, and brush it out with a good natural-hair brush often) and condition it a bit less frequently (because apparently conditioners can also dry out your hair!). My hair is still dry.

I told this to Susie, my hairdresser, and then she frowned...and said, Karen, maybe you should get your thyroid checked out. Really? Really. Hmmm...

So, I read up on hypothyroidism, and while I don't think I have it, I was concerned enough about it being a possibility that I went to the walk-in clinic on Saturday and talked to the doctor, and then had a blood sample drawn. If I hear nothing back from them then that will be good.

Meanwhile, I read this article a few days ago about the conundrum of whether to wash or not. Eureka! I finally know that, at the end of my non-washing day I have the babypowder/cornstarch option to add some life to my hair! I tried it out yesterday when I got home and I was very pleased. Read on...

How to trick your tresses into thinking they're clean


Jun 13, 2009 04:30 AM

Malena Harbers
Special to the Star

"The last time I washed my hair was four days ago," says a friend whose long, Gisele-like sculpted waves certainly don't betray a lack of sudsing up.

Along with clothing bargains and daily caloric intake, hair-washing routines have become the newest secret shared among women. And despite the ick factor, a lack of hair-washing is catching on, creating a huge following for a once little-known product: Dry shampoo.



"For years, dry shampoo has been used by editorial stylists, for fashion shows and photo shoots," says Seiji Kitazato, the creative director at Frédéric Fekkai on Fifth Avenue in New York.

Fekkai's new Au Naturel Powder Clean Dry Shampoo ($27) uses all natural corn starch, rice starch and cotton fibres to do the trick, and is free of parabens, sulphates, dyes and synthetic fragrances.

"It gives a distinct matte texture, adds extra body and works wonders to restyle models' hair between shows during fashion week," Kitazato says.

Normally found in a powder format, dry shampoo is essentially a chic version of adding baby powder to bangs or the crown of the head to sop up oil. According to Kitazato, it is formatted to eliminate moisture more efficiently.

Simply apply to the roots of the hair, give it a gentle massage with your fingertips, brush it out with a hairbrush and style as usual.

Jonathan Product's Green Rootine Dry Shampoo ($19) is just as eco-friendly as Fekkai's and comes with a brush-on applicator for precise powdering. A favourite of Miuccia Prada, Bumble and bumble's Hair Powder ($35) comes in five shades to match all hair colours and works double duty to soak up oil and "mattify" shiny strands.

While not described as a dry shampoo, Aveda's Pure Abundance Hair Potion ($30) works the same way. The powder contains acacia gum and kaolin clay, potent bulking agents to boost the hair's diameter and give it an edgy, roughed up texture.

One of the original products, Klorane's Gently Dry Shampoo, was once the most sought-after item among editors and stylists travelling to France, where it was exclusively sold for years. Now it's available on our shores and Klorane's newest incarnation contains Oat Milk ($20.57) in a spray format.

Why the sudden shift from backstage to mass-market beauty counters? It comes down to a trend.

"In the '90s, we used a lot of products to give hair extra shine for a glossy look," Kitazato says. "Now, it is more modern for hair to be matte and voluminous without looking too shiny."

Think Kate Moss's slightly dishevelled, slept-in tresses or Amy Winehouse's oversized beehive.

What's more, retro updos need a lot of staying power to hold; slippery shiny hair just won't cut it.

Add to that the fact that forgoing daily hair-washing uses less water and helps to preserve your colour, since water and shampoo cause fading. And it's ideal for milking a salon blow-dry or roller set, which are making a comeback among a young generation of women.

But Philip Kingsley – who, as a trichologist, specializes in hair health – is not a fan of the "new" shampoo.

The key is washing it daily, says Kingsley, who caters to the hair health of celebrities and socialites in his New York and London offices.

"You take your hair to the same places you take your face – and you know how dirty your face gets after a day. You wouldn't dream of not cleansing your skin daily, so show your hair the same consideration."

Kingsley offers another caution: If you scalp already has sensitivities, using a dry shampoo can cause more scalp flaking and itching.

It's true there is no real alternative to a regular bottle of shampoo. But, if you're going for one of summer's devolved chignons or full-bodied matte waves (think Elle McPherson and Gisele Bündchen), it can't hurt to work the occasional dry shampoo into fine tresses to try the trick.

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Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
astrocrabpuff
Jun. 15th, 2009 03:39 pm (UTC)
Even every other day strips your hair.
karena
Jun. 15th, 2009 04:44 pm (UTC)
Looks like all that baby powder I've been stockpiling will be put to good use!
ravengirl
Jun. 16th, 2009 06:58 am (UTC)
My hair is usually on the long side. I don't even rinse it every other day-- I wash it every 2nd or 3rd day and I don't brush a lot. I comb through. When it's short, though, I do need to wash it every day and have no problems.

Olive oil is good for a conditioner but takes forEVER to rinse out right.

I've used dry shampoos before and baby powder, but my scalp isn't oily enough these days to warrant them. Sometimes I use the dry shampoo on my hair flipped over because it adds volume.

Good for you for getting your thyroid checked, too. You never know.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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