I only wash my hair once a week...every five to seven days or so.
Back then the short length, dye job, and fact that I preferred the Buzzcocks and Bikini Kill over boy bands and Coldplay was excuse enough to forego regular shampooing. I quickly learned that "dirty" hair equaled perfectly messy hair. Hair that didn't require much attention beyond the occasional root touch-up and baby bang trim. And when it came to caring for my dry, bleached ends, allowing my hair to relax a little between shampoos made it softer and less prone to breakage. Time passed, and I eventually grew my hair out, changed it from blonde to jet black to half & half to brown and back to blonde again, let it grow some more, chopped it off again...and throughout these subsequent transformations and lengths, it never occurred to me to change up my shampoo routine. Why mess with imperfection? All these years later, I still only wash it about once per week, sometimes more, sometimes less. This is a fact that, when divulged, is often met with shock, questions and, admittedly, sometimes disgust (turns out, people really like to wash their hair). Now, in the interest of self-preservation and lest you think my habits are truly horrific, I assure you I do shower daily. But I've found that with less frequent washing my hair is healthier, grows faster, has fewer split ends, and is more resilient to chemical processes (though I haven't colored it in quite awhile). Oh, and I don't use dry shampoo and I hit the gym 3 to 4 times per week. I know... how?
Tuesday: Since no blow drying is needed, after brushing out any major snags I add some loose waves in the front, spritz on some hairspray for hold and I'm out the door. If I can get away with it, this is my daily style. After work, I throw it in a ponytail for my workout. I don't mind a little sweat, and my head doesn't sweat that much anyway. When it comes to showering, I just put it in a bun and don't allow my hair to touch the stream of water.
Wednesday: I'm in a rush, so I play around with my part, parting it on the side and pulling it into a low ponytail. No brushing today, I like the mess.
Saturday: I'm feeling lazy and I like how my hair looks after my weekend workout, so I decide to keep it in a high ponytail.
While this schedule doesn't necessarily ring true for every week, and there are definitely circumstances that warrant more frequent shampooing, this is the routine I generally find myself falling into and will probably stick to. Faster growth, no split ends, quick and easy...my hair has never felt better or looked healthier and I'm not gonna argue with that! At this point, the thought of washing and drying my hair daily, even every other day, is enough to make me cringe. As I've evolved over the years -- from the lowest of low-maintenance to loving hair and beauty -- I'm still not willing to spend more than a few minutes on it daily, which is something I believe my current and former selves would agree on.
I'm curious, what routine do you swear by? Are there habits you made when you were younger that you just never strayed from? Please share!
This post originally appeared here as part of my work with Free People. Images by Jana Kirn