Ok, I’m going to branch out a bit. Consider this a bit of a PSA (Public Service Announcement). When I was growing up I saw my grandpa and my uncle using hair gel. I believed it was the only way to keep my unruly hair from “poofing” and because of my double cowlick neighbors and friends would regularly say I looked like Dagwood Bumstead (a character I wasn’t actually familiar with). So I used hair gel.
I pretty much used hair gel every day, and all the time. And even that didn’t really keep my hair in order. It still poofed and I fought it by rewetting and hence reactivating the gel that was still there. I did use moose for a little while, and I may have experimented with gel and hair spray. The bottom line is that my hair, although plentiful and healthy was a bane and a foe, most of the time.
That has changed. I have great hair that I’m actually very happy with, most of the time now. If I’m honest there are two factors, first a hair style came back that allowed close clipped sides and longer top hair, that is good for my poofy hair/wide face, so that is a big part of what has changed for me. The second thing is, in my opinion, way more significant though. Basically it is just the recognition that natural hair/body oil is one of the best ways to have great looking hair.
I didn’t discover this overnight, but by stages and fits and starts. I think it started when I was listening to a photography related podcast where someone was discussing how models never wash their hair before a photoshoot. They need to wait at least 24 hours from a shampoo before their hair is photo-graphable. That was an aha moment. Not even models wash their hair and have it looking good right away. The podcast went on to talk about how the natural hair oils were important to making a model’s hair look good.
Later I realized I was showering too much, and as I stretched out my bathing I also noticed that my hair looked better, with a lot less effort. Again those natural hair oils were crucial to making my hair behave. So eventually I learned to almost never go out with my hair freshly shampooed. Or if I wanted to do that, that was when I would need a bunch of gel or hair paste–which just served as a more expensive less effective replacement for hair oil
Today I’m pretty happy with my system– essentially I rarely strip my hair down to no natural body oils, and when I do it’s before bed so I can sleep on it and have some oils in my hair the next morning. I shampoo when the hair is dirty, but try not to strip away all the body oils, unless I have to. This approach leaves me with enough natural oils in the hair to make it compliant to my wishes, while still looking clean and cared for.
I wanted to blog about this because it’s one of those things you can hardly believe it took you so long to learn/ realize. How many gallons of hair products did I really not need, if only I had just shampooed my hair less? How many hair fights could have been prevented. Well, that’s why I’m here informing you. Time to stop hair wars.