A Hair Care Routine for Minimalists
A cool thing that happens when you have chronic fatigue is that the things that make you feel like you can actually face the world (taking a bath, brushing your teeth, washing your hair) become these huge insurmountable tasks. Basic daily hygiene is no longer a given, which is gross and sad and true. For someone like me, who treasured my very complex and lengthy beauty routine, this demands a lot of changes. Obviously I run a website that is mostly about my appearance, but I also don’t feel like I can even take the garbage out if my hair is a greasy mess. Keeping myself looking decent for as long as possible, with as little effort as possible, has become very important. I need a process that gives me hair that can survive multiple days in between washing, because the physical act of washing my hair is one of the hardest things for me right now. Anyways, minimalism is in or whatever, so here's what you need to cut back:
STEP ONE - the most minimal shampoo ever.
I haven’t used sulfates in… years, probably. I had tried that “don’t wash your hair and it cleans itself” thing that took over Pinterest in 2013 with horrific results, but afterwards I never went back to shampoos containing sulfates. If you were to jump right into my current routine without kind of working up to it you may not get the same results. (This is my theory, at least. I’m a blogger, not a research scientist.) I’m washing periodically with Mother Dirt’s shampoo, which is by far the most sparse of anything I’ve previously used. I use a pretty small amount and spend a slightly longer time working it through my hair, but it’s worth it for how many days my hair lasts (four to six).
STEP TWO - get your hair dry as fast as possible.
As soon as I get out of the shower I wrap my hair in this microfiber hair towel and continue with the rest of my post-shower routine. After I go from towel to hair drying, my hair dries in minutes, no small feat considering I have about three times the normal amount of hair on my head. This towel is great. The company says that your hair is most risk for frizz and damage during its drying time (i.e. from shower to fully dry). My hair dries fairly smooth and it only has breakage because my cat likes to gnaw on it.
STEP THREE - condition out of the shower.
Right after my hair is towel dried I spray this Lavett and Chin's conditioner in and comb it through (never brush wet hair okay???). It’s just enough conditioner to make my hair feel soft, without weighing it down. It also smells kind of like Aveda products, which are surprisingly not all clean.
STEP FOUR - brush your hair every day.
This is something I have never done. I don’t know if I missed out on Haircare 101 at some point, but I’ve always felt like my hair has better waves if I don’t brush it. This was dumb and wrong of me, and brushing my hair twice a day distributes the oils on my scalp through my hair and takes 30 seconds. I use a $16 brush from Verb, but if anyone from Mason Pearson is reading this, I'm SUPER open to sponsorships.
STEP FOUR AND A HALF - if you use dry shampoo, get it off your scalp the next day.
There was a minor freakout in the beauty community a few months ago when someone pointed out that dry shampoo works by clogging your hair follicles, and using it all the time stops your hair growth and isn’t a great thing long term. On rare occasion I need to use dry shampoo, like when super exhausted but my hair is on day 6, I promise myself that the next time I shower I’ll use the Christope Robin scalp scrub, which is essentially expensive salt that cleans your scalp off. (It lasts for forever though, so the price per use is very low.) It feels great, but be sure to be gentle with your hair afterwards as it can kind of make everything brittle.
BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING - get a good haircut.
Caitlin at Pretty Pretty Collective gave me the easiest style to maintain ever, which you’re going to need if you want to be low key about everything else. And another thing I learned the hard way, if you want minimalist hair, you need to give up on the idea that you might get bangs or color it. Sorry!!!