Dermatologists and stylists agree that there's little reason to shampoo every day. Hair is a fiber, think of a wool fiber: The more you wash it, the worse it's going to look. There's no need to wash your hair every day either.
The longer, thicker, curlier, and more processed the hair, the longer it can go between washes. This is because the oils from the scalp do not travel down the hair shaft as quickly, so the hair tends to be dry and requires less frequent shampooing.
But even most unprocessed, short, thin, straight hair can skip a day.
So many people obsess about shampooing their hair every day. They get freaked out because they think anything less will result in dirty, smelly hair, but shampooing three or four times weekly is plenty.
The only reason to shampoo daily would be for the fragrance, and that if you must, you should use a lightweight shampoo.
Lightweight shampoos, also labeled "everyday shampoos," contain milder detergents than others.
There are five or six different detergents, and for each hair type, you're going to get a different mix of those. The key to protecting your hair is choosing the shampoo that suits your hair type.
Powders and dry shampoos do work for absorbing oils between washes. An old wives' trick is to use talcum powder in the hair in lieu of shampoo.
The powders shouldn't, however, replace shampoo all together.
Daily conditioning and scalp massage to break up oils, loosen dirt, and keep hair manageable between shampoos.
Some people with curly hair actually only shampoo monthly and use just conditioner in between to maintain moisture and healthy curls.
As hair types and textures vary by ethnicity, so too does the need to shampoo.
No matter what your ethnicity or your hair texture, we may all do better to shampoo less.
Daily shampooing is only necessary if oil production on the scalp is high. Shampooing is actually more damaging to the hair shaft than beneficial.
Shampoo's bubbles, which people often associate with cleanness, are actually created by the harshest ingredients, sulfates, and are not even necessary for cleansing the scalp. Experts say these foaming agents, which dehydrate the hair, are only in cleansing products because consumers expect bubbles. That's what we've gotten used to because we see the commercials with big white foam.
Excessive shampooing can require excessive styling. Hair washed every day with shampoo tends to need more styling product. Because it's so clean, it's also soft, loose, and floppy and therefore harder to style. All these products in turn lead to more shampooing as they build up and make hair look dull.
Shampoo removes oil and excess skin cells from the scalp. It's not doing any favors for the hair, unless you have a lot of product in it that is making your hair look dull.
Those who give up shampoo say their hair benefits from the body's natural oils.
Dropping shampoo doesn't require new expensive products. A simple paste of one tablespoon baking soda and one cup water to cleanse the scalp. The juice of one lemon in your daily dose of conditioner also works. Or simply switching to nonfoaming, sulfate-free cleansers will also go a long way.
Natural ingredients produce less suds, but they still have plenty of cleaning power -- with the added benefit of less residue.
The Internet is rife with recipes for natural alternatives to shampoo.
Using baking soda once a week, and a variety of shampoo alternatives including lemon juice and even beer. Beer was found in many shampoos in the 1970s.
Shampoo is for the scalp and conditioner is for the hair. Shampooing the scalp and letting it run down over the hair is enough for most people, but how often you shampoo is a matter of personal preference. There are no hygienic or sanitary reasons to shampoo daily. It depends on the scalp and hair type and what you do to the hair.
Salt and pepper, silver, pewter, charcoal. Whatever you call it, gray hair happens to all of us at some point. But why do some people go gray in their 20s, while others don’t see the first sign of silver until age 50? And if you’re going gray early, what should you do about it?
Hair goes gray when color-producing cells stop producing pigment. Naturally occurring hydrogen peroxide can also build up in the hair, bleaching the color.
Typically, white people start going gray in their mid-30s, Asians in their late 30s, and African-Americans in their mid-40s. Half of all people have a significant amount of gray hair by the time they turn 50.
A white person is considered to be prematurely gray if his or her hair turns gray by age 20; gray before 30 is early for African-Americans.
Contrary to popular belief, stress has not been definitively shown to cause gray hair. Scientists don’t know exactly why some people go gray early, but it’s largely determined by genetics.
Some autoimmune and genetic conditions are associated with premature graying, including vitiligo, Werner syndrome, and alopecia areata - which causes only the colored hairs to fall out and look like the hair turned white overnight.
A vitamin B-12 deficiency or problems with the pituitary or thyroid gland can cause premature graying that’s reversible if the problem is corrected.
Some research has suggested a connection between premature graying and lower bone density later in life. However, a 2007 study of about 1,200 men and women in Rancho Bernardo, Calif., showed this not to be the case.
“Your level of bone density is all related to activity level, your weight, your height, your ethnicity. It’s not really related to your hair or the things controlling the color of your hair,” says Don Capellani.
Hiding the Gray
There are lots of choices for concealing gray, says Don Capellani, owner of Salon Capellani in Highland, Indiana. They include:
1. Semi-permanent or demi-permanent color: Lasts a few weeks and is a good option for people just starting to see gray.
“If you have a lot of your natural colors running through, you don’t want to take that away,” Capellani explains. “You can just blend it without disrupting what you already have that’s already beautiful and natural.”
2. Highlights: Scattered strands are lightened to blend the gray with the rest of your hair.
3. Once you have 45% to 50% gray, Capellani suggests using permanent color. Some clients leave some gray around their face to make a statement.
4. Hair products: If you don’t want to dye but still want to conceal the gray, King suggests a coloring tool such as spray-on airbrush hair makeup, which washes out with a shampoo.
Embracing the Gray
More young mothers, professionals, and even runway models are opting to “go gray".
“The myth that gray hair makes you old is just that -- a myth. If you were young, vibrant, active, healthy pre-gray, you're still going to be that way. It's all in the attitude you bring to it,” Capellanil says. “If you think of it as merely another color choice, you won't be afraid of gray.”
“If you look at an Anderson Cooper or a Steve Martin or men who have historically gone gray early, I think they look terrific and it becomes almost an iconic differentiation for them,” Capellani says. “The same is true for women, but ... we’ve been brainwashed into believing gray is unattractive and undesirable.”
These simple tips can help you go gray with style:
1. If you’ve been dyeing, consider going “cold turkey” with a chic, short haircut.
2. Work with a colorist to weave in highlights and use toners to minimize the transition line between your natural hair color and your former hair dye, Capellani says.
3. Get a modern haircut. Capellani recommends a style with sharper edges, such as “a graduated bob of some type, some really smooth bangs, a really nice fringe.”
4. Take care of your hair. Shampoos with a blue base can help prevent gray hair from developing a yellowish cast, says Capellani, who offers a list of products at www.saloncapellani.com/products. Using a conditioning mask once a month keeps hair well-moisturized.
5. Use a flat iron to make your hair look sleeker and shinier. Gray hair tends to get frizzy, and “a flat iron on your hair brings back the luster to it,” Capellani explains.
6. Enjoy your life. “Beauty is not determined by the color of a woman’s hair,” says Don Capellani, a silver-haired model for Ford Models Inc. and CEO of Boom! By Cindy Joseph makeup line. “The ability to take joy in her life is what makes a woman truly beautiful.”
If this year's runway events are any indication, hats are the it accessory for Fall/Winter 2011. In addition to being fashionable and anything but boring, hats can also be functional part of your arsenal to help protect your hair from the glacial and moisture sapping winter winds.
Here are some recommendations for trendy headgear:
If your preference is for a classic, boy-chic style then a Fedora hat is for you. They come in a variety of shapes and designs and are often decorated with feathers for an incredibly eye-catching look. They can be paired with formal outfits but are just as good when used to complement a daytime, casual look.
TIP: If you are fond of wearing hats, be sure to wash or dry clean them often to prevent buildup and greasy looking hair. Do you already sport one of these types of hats? Would you recommend another style?