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Saryn Jumail
July 20th, 2008, 05:05 PM
I have always washed my hair every other day, because it was what my mother and my sisters did, and that's what I was taught to do.
But, since coming here, one of the biggest things people keep saying is that washing my hair every other day makes it dry (And my hair was really dry, until I got it cut).
So, I was wondering, how do you get rid of product build up if you only wash your hair twice a week? Or once a week? Ore whenever...
I put gel in my hair, and it seems like the only way to get rid of it is to wash it, but... am I wrong?

Riot Crrl
July 20th, 2008, 05:16 PM
I only wash it two or three times a week, and even then I only wash it with conditioner. I do rinse and condition the other days though.

I avoid buildup by being watchful to only add stuff to my hair that is soluble in water or conditioner.

Saryn Jumail
July 20th, 2008, 05:21 PM
I only wash it two or three times a week, and even then I only wash it with conditioner. I do rinse and condition the other days though.

So you do CSC on the days you wash? Or you don't use shampoo at all?

LaCitoyenne
July 20th, 2008, 05:25 PM
I have a similar challenge - not because I wash infrequently, but because the products I use, in the concentrations I use them, are fairly tame cleansers.

Personally, I try to avoid stuff that will cause build-up in the first place. Or try to stave off build-up with mild acid rinses. When I use a leave-in, I hope the waxes and what not easily wash out in the next cleanse, ideally with water alone.

I suppose some kind of build-up is inevitable with my routine, so once in a while I do clarify. But I don't like doing it, since it can strip my hair of vital oils.

I can't wait for the day when everything falls into place and I've found the perfect solution for all my hair woes!!

Incidentally, I run into people from other countries who are surprised I wash daily or every second day. They often wash only weekly. In the past, people washed even less frequently than that, and from their photos it didn't seem that their hair suffered much from it. Quite the contrary, in fact.

Lots of people here say - as you've probably already discovered - that if you wash daily, or wash with a harsh product, you must protect your length and ends by first coating them with oil or conditioner.

Sorry for rambling!

Saryn Jumail
July 20th, 2008, 05:26 PM
I have a similar challenge - not because I wash infrequently, but because the products I use, in the concentrations I use them, are fairly tame cleansers.

Personally, I try to avoid stuff that will cause build-up in the first place. Or try to stave off build-up with mild acid rinses. When I use a leave-in, I hope the waxes and what not easily wash out in the next cleanse, ideally with water alone.

I suppose some kind of build-up is inevitable with my routine, so once in a while I do clarify. But I don't like doing it, since it can strip my hair of vital oils.

I can't wait for the day when everything falls into place and I've found the perfect solution for all my hair woes!!

Incidentally, I run into people from other countries who are surprised I wash daily or every second day. They often wash only weekly. In the past, people washed even less frequently than that, and from their photos it didn't seem that their hair suffered much from it. Quite the contrary, in fact.

Lots of people here say - as you've probably already discovered - that if you wash daily, or wash with a harsh product, you must protect your length and ends by first coating them with oil or conditioner.

Sorry for rambling!

The rambling was great - you helped a lot!
Thanks

LaCitoyenne
July 20th, 2008, 05:28 PM
Glad to hear it :grin: Thanks.

Riot Crrl
July 20th, 2008, 05:28 PM
So you do CSC on the days you wash? Or you don't use shampoo at all?

No shampoo at all.

Saryn Jumail
July 20th, 2008, 05:34 PM
No shampoo at all.

So what's the difference with washing with conditioner and rinsing with conditioner?
Sorry for all the questions...I'm just confused, that's all :)

bex487
July 20th, 2008, 05:40 PM
Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I interpret washing with conditioner as scrubbing/massaging your scalp (as with shampoo). Rinsing with conditioner makes me think of just slapping some on the ends of your hair and washing it out-no rubbing or anything.

Saryn Jumail
July 20th, 2008, 05:40 PM
Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I interpret washing with conditioner as scrubbing/massaging your scalp (as with shampoo). Rinsing with conditioner makes me think of just slapping some on the ends of your hair and washing it out-no rubbing or anything.

Well then, according to this, I wash with conditioner every day :)

Curlsgirl
July 20th, 2008, 07:03 PM
Usually CO or "conditioner only" means using a very light conditioner like VO5 key lime squeeze (my favorite when I did CO) and using quite a bit all over your scalp (and length if you need to), massaging into the scalp and leaving it for at LEAST 10 minutes, rinsing thoroughly. You can either use a second heavier conditioner or not depending on your own hair needs.

I have slowly gotten to where I only wash about once a week and since it is so infrequently I CWC (put conditioner on my ends, wash my scalp with a diluted SLS shampoo, rinse well and follow up with a second heavier conditioner). I need the SLS for my scalp to behave and the length gets a bit of it when I'm rinsing it out but not enough to dry it out. I then always use a light leave-in that is water soluble and products that don't tend to make my hair stiff or coated. In the summer I wear it down very rarely so it doesn't really look dirty anyway in an updo or braid. In the other seasons when I do wear it down some I just judge by the way it looks whether it's a good hair day to do that on. Usually that is the first or second day but sometimes extends on.

You just have to get to know your own hair, there is really no other way. It is not really BAD to wash every other day and in fact there are quite a few people who wash every day here even. The key is "balance" which means keeping your hair in the ideal balance for it moisture and protein wise. That is why so many here don't like cones because they tend to build up and call for more harsh shampoos to get them off so moisture can get in. Not that cones are BAD, just not for everyone. Without them, people tend to not have buildup as bad and can use a gentler shampoo and not have to clarify so often. HTH!!! You'll get it!!! Just give yourself time. You can't know everything at once. A lot of it is trial and error. :)

Saryn Jumail
July 20th, 2008, 07:10 PM
Usually CO or "conditioner only" means using a very light conditioner like VO5 key lime squeeze (my favorite when I did CO) and using quite a bit all over your scalp (and length if you need to), massaging into the scalp and leaving it for at LEAST 10 minutes, rinsing thoroughly. You can either use a second heavier conditioner or not depending on your own hair needs.

I have slowly gotten to where I only wash about once a week and since it is so infrequently I CWC (put conditioner on my ends, wash my scalp with a diluted SLS shampoo, rinse well and follow up with a second heavier conditioner). I need the SLS for my scalp to behave and the length gets a bit of it when I'm rinsing it out but not enough to dry it out. I then always use a light leave-in that is water soluble and products that don't tend to make my hair stiff or coated. In the summer I wear it down very rarely so it doesn't really look dirty anyway in an updo or braid. In the other seasons when I do wear it down some I just judge by the way it looks whether it's a good hair day to do that on. Usually that is the first or second day but sometimes extends on.

You just have to get to know your own hair, there is really no other way. It is not really BAD to wash every other day and in fact there are quite a few people who wash every day here even. The key is "balance" which means keeping your hair in the ideal balance for it moisture and protein wise. That is why so many here don't like cones because they tend to build up and call for more harsh shampoos to get them off so moisture can get in. Not that cones are BAD, just not for everyone. Without them, people tend to not have buildup as bad and can use a gentler shampoo and not have to clarify so often. HTH!!! You'll get it!!! Just give yourself time. You can't know everything at once. A lot of it is trial and error.

Thanks for that!
If only I could know everything at once, things would be a lot easier... lol

Riot Crrl
July 20th, 2008, 07:41 PM
Usually CO or "conditioner only" means using a very light conditioner like VO5 key lime squeeze (my favorite when I did CO) and using quite a bit all over your scalp (and length if you need to), massaging into the scalp and leaving it for at LEAST 10 minutes, rinsing thoroughly. You can either use a second heavier conditioner or not depending on your own hair needs.

The Curly Girl method does not require soaking time, just massaging scalp with the conditioner.

OP: That is what I do every 2-3 days. I follow it by conditioning with conditioner, the same as I would do had I massaged scalp with shampoo instead.

The days I do not do that, I rinse my hair and scalp with water, then again condition it with conditioner. I don't consider that to be washing it. Just rinsing and conditioning.

Curlsgirl
July 20th, 2008, 08:46 PM
The Curly Girl method does not require soaking time, just massaging scalp with the conditioner.



Yes I just have noticed that most people here get better results if they leave it on their scalp for a short time. Some have to leave it on even longer than 10 minutes to get good results. I am sure it varies from person to person. Personally I can't do CO at all, makes my scalp itchy and just doesn't seem to get it clean enough for me.

Riot Crrl
July 20th, 2008, 09:00 PM
I haven't found leaving it on long to make my head any cleaner personally. It does condition my hair though. The cleansing is all in the scrubbing. IME, everyone's MMV, etc.

GlassEyes
July 20th, 2008, 09:26 PM
There are two different techniques to CO that I've found. The Curly Girl method, I believe, is when you condition the hair without shampoo and leave some in as a leave in, so basically you just don't rinse as well.

The LHC method is to slather the hair with conditioner and leave it on a lot longer. When I CO, I use a light conditioner in a dime-quarter sized amount or so and distribute it to my hair like I would shampoo and rinse with warm-hot water. Then I follow up with a heavier conditioner, and I'l rinse that out, and then put some more in as a leave in. It works for me, and after I put some coconut oil in I'm all set. XD

And on the main topic, as long as you aren't severely coating your hair with cones everyday, you should be fine to stretch out washes, but it does depend on hair type. finer haired people seem to get build p more, I think. Someone can correct me if I'm wrong. xD

Riot Crrl
July 20th, 2008, 09:36 PM
There are two different techniques to CO that I've found. The Curly Girl method, I believe, is when you condition the hair without shampoo and leave some in as a leave in, so basically you just don't rinse as well.

Those are features of it also, but the first step is to scrub with conditioner as though it were shampoo.

heidi w.
July 21st, 2008, 04:20 PM
POST 1 OF 3

What you are essentially asking about is how to remove buildup.

Let's first discuss buildup.

Buildup depends immensely on one's water quality (hard water -- just how hard is it = minerals; midwest, for example, is known to have higher iron levels in water), choice of hair cleansing products, frequency of hair washing and scalp cleansing, and probably almost more than any of these things: styling products used.

If you wash daily, and don't use any styling products, then your need to remove buildup likely decreases.

If you wash daily and DO use styling products, then your need to remove buildup likely increases just a little bit.

Why?
Today's styling products and even some hair washing products contain -cones, most notably, silicone. Formulated in a styling product it adds shine, slick, and manageability. OF course gels, mousses and sprays have incredible hold power which means, really, stick.

So, choosing products without -cones may be helpful -- at least in the styling department. Some people's hair responds just fine to a modicum of -cone in their hair washing and conditioning products, yet some people's hair does not.

If you opt to go every so many days, other to every third day, this is about average of how most people can last. Remember, those in other countries may go as much as a week. I know some who go for several weeks!

This goes to how much a person perspires (there are those that don't perspire as much); age (elderly have reduced sebum production out of the glands v. those in their teens that get greasy if they just look in the mirror!); hormonal concerns, pollution in the air (cigarette household??); scalp skin issues such as dandruff, psoriasis, etc. These are a few parameters that people consider when deciding on frequency.

Today's products can be chosen for daily washing, if one desires.

However, in going long we try to advocate for benign neglect -- that is leaving the hair alone to produce healthy hair.

Certainly if you ever get to my length, you will not want to wash all the hair daily or you will spend a good part of your life dealing with wet hair and de-tangling. Us uber long people scalp wash -- sometimes for weeks on end. I've gone as long as a month without washing all of my length!

I find if I wait too long my conditioner tends to break down a bit -- mostly just a tinge more tangly, so I've targeted that washing all of my length and scalp skin and hair MUST be done once per week.

The reason for a long haired at heart to not wash daily is that this then means less manipulating the hair. Less need to detangle; less manipulation by washing.

Products can be chosen for daily washing, such as a very diluted shampoo or low sulfate shampoo, and more like a creme rinse conditioner (thin) as opposed to a heavy, viscous conditioner for deep conditioning.

The way to identify buildup is when one's conditioner, applied in a fresh hair wash, seems to not be working SUDDENLY (especially once hair is dry). That's key: sudden. Also the hair may have a film, even after washing and once dry. Tangling increases dramatically, and certainly the shine is reduced.

This means that a film has built on the surface of hair strands, on top of the cuticle layer, and conditioner can't penetrate well and one's shampoo isn't able to lift off the dried on crud.

By way of example, I actually have very few times per year that I need to CLARIFY hair wash my hair. At most, no more than 4 times a year and I'd guess it's really more like 2-3 times a year.


CONTINUED BELOW
heidi w.

heidi w.
July 21st, 2008, 04:24 PM
POST 2 OF 3 ....
CONTINUED FROM ABOVE



I only CLARIFY hair wash on an AS-NEEDED basis, not on a regular schedule.

DEFINITION OF CLARIFY & WHY ONE MUST CONDITION WELL AS PART OF PROCESS
To clarify the hair is a term that specifically means to remove everything on the surface of the hair. (There's another term you may come across known as chelate, but that treats the cortex level, is quite harsh and most often not at all needed. I just want to make you aware of the term since if you go shopping for a clarify hair wash product, you may come across this term and some clerk may tell you it's the same thing to make the sale, but it's definitely not! Do NOT buy chelate product.)

Because the hair is stripped bare naked of all sebum, dirt, minerals from water, product including moisture applicants (such as conditioner) this means the hair is literally bare naked. In the process of clarifying one MUST REPLACE WHAT'S BEEN REMOVED by also conducting a solid and hearty conditioning session as part of the clarify hair wash process.

If you fail to condition well, you will end up with hair that seems weird and misbehaved. It will have a kind of odd feeling of brittleness, yet it will NOT break off. It may well be flyaway, or for more curly types, frizzy. It is likely that it will behave more tangly.

The key point to remember is this is precisely what clarifying does. If you fail to condition well, the hair behaving so does not mean that clarifying did not work. The point I'm making is that it did work. This is how hair behaves when no moisture is applied, when there's no weight from moisture. This is why it's imperative to REPLACE WHAT'S BEEN REMOVED when you clarify hair wash the hair (outside of the rinses discussed below).

There are 2 main ways to clarify hair wash. Before I get there, allow me to state another important detail.

RINSES (ACV, white vinegar, lemon or lime)
In the discussion of clarify hair washes, you will likely come across Vinegar Rinses, or ACV (=Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse), or even lemon or lime rinses. There are different types of acids in the world, including natural. A quick overview is malic acid (which APPLE contains within the apple cider vinegar); acetic acid which all vinegars contain; tartaric (can't think of examples right now but you can look it up); citric which is in lemon, and lime and oranges and the like. Many foods contain natural acid elements, and of course, this subject always arises when interested in pH in food, or any organic matter including scalp skin. This subject of pH is easy to find on the internet. [Aside point: this is one reason it's important to eat a balanced diet. Too much protein, especially of the meat variety, often equals too high of acid pH of the system. Doctors do know of high acid pH playing a role in heart health, but they often don't talk about it like that. ]

Our scalp skin has an ACID MANTLE. Actually, all of our skin has an acid mantle, and thus a correlating pH when balanced between alkali and acidic (some pH scales show alkali as base).
http://www.smartskincare.com/skinbiology/sebum.html
Here's a good little synopsis.
As sebum and sweat mix up on the skin surface, they form a protective layer often referred to as the acid mantle . Acid mantle has a particular level of acidity characterized by pH from about 4 to 5.5. A pH of 7 is considered neutral, above 7 is alkaline, and below is acidic. The pH of acid in the human stomach, for example, is usually from 1 to 2, which is highly acidic. The skin, on the other hand, is mildly acidic. In addition to helping protect skin from "the elements" (such as wind or pollutants), acid mantle also inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria and fungi. If acid mantle is disrupted or loses its acidity, the skin becomes more prone to damage and infection. The loss of acid mantle is one of the side-effects of washing the skin with soaps or detergents of moderate or high strength.
[heidi w.: if shorter and washing daily, you won't notice that sebum too much. the first thing when waiting longer between hair washes that newbie's experience is this soft, pliable, white stuff, kinda waxy in texture, easily rolls into a ball -- that's sebum!]

The reason we wash our hair is for hygiene, and this is really about keeping the scalp skin clean. There's a whole balance of things on our skin: sweat (salt), sebum, even friendly bacteria ... that all work in tandem to create skin that's healthy with a trace of moisture and as a protective barrier to the elements. Many products with too much harsh detergents can really strip this protective mantle off the skin and we can end up in a vicious cycle of overly greasy (really waxy ester, not grease literally--sebum is a waxy ester) hair that's stringy and clumped a bit, yet the longer length and ends is actually kind of dry. This is one reason many like to give up -sulfate shampoos (laurel, and lauryth).

CONTINUED BELOW
heidi w.

heidi w.
July 21st, 2008, 04:27 PM
CONTINUED FROM ABOVE POST 3 OF 3

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodium_laureth_sulfate
Sodium laureth sulfate, or sodium lauryl ether sulfate (SLES), is a detergent and surfactant found in many personal care products (soaps, shampoos, toothpaste etc.). It is an inexpensive and very effective foaming agent. ..... Sodium lauryl sulfate (also known as sodium dodecyl sulfate or SLS) and ammonium lauryl sulfate (ALS) are commonly used alternatives to SLES in consumer products.[1]

While SLS is a known irritant,[2][3] some evidence and research suggest that SLES can also cause irritation after extended exposure.


Surfectants in shampoos are an important need in shampoo. I don't want to overly digress the topic so I'm steering clear of getting into this topic, PLUS I don't have my library with me (but this weekend I spent some time reading up on conditioner -- and therefore ended up in shampoo land too -- and why they work and how they work and of course, once again, was reminded of surfectants and all that biz. I was reading Dr. Gray, Dr. Kingston, cosmetology training book, Naturally Healthy Hair, and the George Michael hair care book and some other text on the chemistry of ingredients and hair care.)

Anyway, the idea with a rinse to the hair is to restore that acid mantle pH which the combination of shampooing and conditioning might upset. These days, if one uses a shampoo and conditioner from a specific line and intended to be used together by the manufacturer, there's a good chance the products are pH balanced, but many like to mix and mingle which is fine. This restoration of the pH of the acid mantle is the primary benefit of such a rinse, although there are other benefits as well, just lower in hierarchical order.

In comes the ACV rinse or white vinegar rinse, or lemon or lime rinse!
This rinse will remove product applied to hair in that hair wash only--another benefit right under restoring pH of acid mantle. IF the product, et.al., has had an opportunity to dry on the hair strand surface, then these rinses generally do not remove such product. In short, these rinses act as a clarifier, BUT ONLY in that SPECIFIC HAIR WASH. It will remove minerals from one's water and residual product not well enough rinsed out. In this way it can potentially impart a trace more of shine. They also help to bind the cuticle, meaning, to close the cuticle so it lies flatter and closer together (this is where the shine increase, or boost, arises from...smooth cuticles reflect ambient light better). The biggest benefit of such a rinse is restoring the acid mantle to its pH because of its acidic content which counteracts the alkalinity of many shampoos and conditioners. In ACV Rinses, we have malic acid derived of the apple, and this is known to be beneficial to scalp skin. Such rinses are often helpful with dandruff and itchy scalps too since some of these issues arise from the product upsetting the pH. (a little conundrum there!)

So, if you want to clarify product built up on the hair (dried on to hair), then such a rinse won't help you--if that's your only agent for removing the buildup. In fact, it more than likely will amplify the problem. Even more tackiness to the hair, gummy, very tangly because it's bonded (for lack of a better term) with the gunk already dried on to the hair! (really, just a general mess).

I have used the ACV Rinse for many years to manage my scalp skin condition and thus my acid mantle. I have Seborrheic Dermatitus, and it helped reduce the intensity of itching, but I have found another product that produces even MORE amazing results. I used it by washing the hair first (whether clarify or regular hair wash), conditioning, then ACV Rinse. Many don't like to use it this way. Many prefer to use the rinse in between shampooing and conditioning. There are those who prefer white vinegar over apple cider vinegar because they're blonde. I tend to now believe that the ACV slightly darkened my hair over time, a long time, but I can't be positive. It is said that blonde's should use white vinegar and brunettes and darker can use apple cider vinegar. NEVER use balsamic vinegar--this has sugar in it and is why it's known as balsamic....that's the understanding.

CLARIFY - THE HOW TO

Now that you understand a little about acid mantle and why we hair wash at all, and how to apply a rinse, and how important it is to condition as part of the process of a clarify hair wash, I can share the how to for a clarify hair wash.

I. BUY A PRODUCT
A. Buy a clarify hair wash product that has the term "clarify" on its label.
Ai. Buy the companion conditioner if you can, OR buy a very intense conditioner. My personal fave is Biolage's Conditioning Balm. I actually use it once a week when I wash all my hair length, and I only apply it to length and pretty high up on hair strands by leaning over, yet never to the scalp skin (this conditioner is not intended to be used on scalp skin). It's quite viscous, and really does a good job. (It's expensive too but sometimes Walmart supercenter beauty salon has it on sale.) Remember to use very warm water to open those cuticles and leave on for about 3-5 minutes for good peneration. Don't allow hair or conditioner to become cold. This is important for those of us living in very seasonal weather. Dribble warm water on hair while it remains on the hair if need be.

II. MAKE YOUR OWN
I personally make a BAKING SODA hair wash. IF you read the side of Arm & Hammer baking soda box, you'll see it has many applications, including for skin as a paste.

Baking soda is an amazing cleanser.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodium_bicarbonate
(Ooo, I see under medical they note it has been used to treat those with ureterosigmoidostomy -- which I have! (I think that's the first time I've read about it outside the group I began and the society for such patients. For the curious, this is an extremely rare birth disorder where the bladder isn't entirely closed, affecting muscles, nerves, bones of the belly and genitalia requiring re-plumbing and closure. Complex surgery series. One type of corrective surgery is ureterosigmoidostomy.)
This compound has also been used as for patients who have had a ureterosigmoidostomy :rolleyes: I know, me and my asides!

There are those who do not like this method, but it has worked for me for over a decade now.

I simply blend equal parts of BAKING SODA (do not use baking powder--they're not the same thing) and shampoo. For me, I use 3 TABLESPOONS of each! I blend well til smooth and creamy, no lumps. It may color slightly if your shampoo has any color enhancers. It will pop and bubble a little bit as it outgases.

Get in shower, wet hair thoroughly. First apply regular shampoo and wash, rinse, to break up the surface tension of grime, sebum, skin cells, etc. Rinse well. Wash the hair a second time with this concoction. Use what you need, not necessarily the whole amount made. Rinse very well. You should only need 1 application, but every so often I do require a second cleansing with this concoction. Rinse well. Rinse well. Rinse well. If you have a handheld with a massager setting, use that.

Then condition well, leaving on for at minimum several minutes in a warm, humid environment, allowing warm-to-hot water to dribble on the hair and conditioner. Then rinse well.

IF you like, ACV rinse, or some other rinse. You can do it in between the shampoo and conditioner if you like, But BE SURE you rinsed out the Baking Soda concoction quite WELL, BEFORE, applying such a rinse. These are used serially, after thorough rinsing. Do NOT assume that if this works, well, then why don't I just blend it. Uh, don't do that. You're not a drain that needs unclogging! (I wrote in response to this a few weeks ago in another thread where someone was hesitant about using Baking Soda and vinegar since this is a recipe for unclogging drains. The recipe for unclogging drains is undiluted vinegar and a load of DRY baking soda poured on top of each other down a drain, -- a whole different animal).

NOTE ON ACV RINSE, white vinegar or lemon rinses: DILUTE WELL. Do NOT use pure agent. Something like 1-3 Tablespoons in an 8 oz glass of water or distilled water is the dilution. Heavily diluted, and then apply.

Do your normal routine for detangling.

Your hair should come out, once dry, feeling a little lighter, fluffier but soft and manageable because of conditioner. Use leave-ins and/or oils per normal routine.

THE END
Hope this is helpful!
heidi w.