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Thread: The Official "Stretching Washes" Thread

  1. #1

    Default The Official "Stretching Washes" Thread

    So while having a search through the forums, I noticed that we don't have an Official thread for those of us trying to stretch washes (and I believe there are quite a few).

    For those who don't know, 'stretching washes' is basically going longer between 'washing' your hair. That may mean conditioner only, natural herbs, shampoo and conditioner, or any other method of wetting and washing your hair.

    There are tons of reasons why people decide to stretch washes. Cold weather, no hot water (lol), don't want to deal with the hassle of drying your hair, etc.

    I'm hoping to gather information here for people just starting out stretching washes or those of us who need some tips/support.

    If you've managed to lengthen the amount of time between your washing sessions, please share your routine, how long you go between washes, how long it took you to get there, your reasons (if you want), what helped you with the dreaded 'greasies', and any other tips/tricks/advice that you found helpful.

    And if anyone has questions, feel free to ask away!

    Thanks!
    Last edited by morecowbell; September 30th, 2010 at 09:19 AM. Reason: added something

  2. #2

    Default Re: The Official "Stretching Washes" Thread

    I've personally managed to stretch my washes from every day to every three or four days over a period of about three months. (And I can even wear it down on day two!)
    I used to have super greasy roots by the end of day one! And because my hair is kind of thick and absorbent (thanks to my damaging pre-lhc ways) it takes forever and a day to dry.
    My washing method is CO (conditioner only), which I've found really helps with reducing sebum production (because it's less drying/cleansing than shampoo, your scalp doesn't try to over-compensate as much).
    I wet my hair down with a spray bottle filled with plain old tap water on non-wash days to style it, oil the ends, and usually wear it up in a bun for work.

    Things that have helped hide/deal with the greasies:
    French Braids
    Slicked back ponytails
    Wetting hair with a spray bottle (helps me spread excess sebum down the length)
    and dry shampoo (on the last day before I wash)

    As a side note, how do people feel about using dry shampoo while stretching washes? Is that 'washing'? I don't really tend to count it as 'washing' unless I wet my head, apply a product to my scalp and then rinse it out. But I'd love to hear other people's opinions
    Last edited by morecowbell; September 30th, 2010 at 09:20 AM. Reason: clarity

  3. #3
    Member aenflex's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Official "Stretching Washes" Thread

    I wash about 2 times per 7 day week, 3 at the most. With all the oils I use in my hair I need to wash it a few times per week. Wish I could get stretch it longer 4 years ago I washed every day or every other day. So glad I got over that, may hair has responded very well. I always swear that the best 3 things I've ever done for my hair/routine are washing less, using a satin sleep cap, and moisturizing with oils.
    We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves. - Dalai Lama

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    Member Angeletti's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Official "Stretching Washes" Thread

    I usually CWC only once a week and so far my hair seems to be a lot softer and not as dry from when I used to wash it every other day before I started growing my hair out, not to mention it saves on my hair color. Usually the first two days if I go out in public I can wear it completely down but from day 3 and on I will usually wear it in a braid, bun, or with a hat that way no one will notice if my hair is slightly greasy.

    I've tried a dry shampoo in the past and haven't really liked it. The one I got came out brown in color (I have black hair which doesn't look good with it) and smelled strongly of baby powder which eventually made me nauseous. It does seem to hide the grease somewhat but it makes your hair feel very stiff, so I don't really like using them. I would rather just wash the roots without getting the rest of my length wet, which I will do on some occasions if I don't feel like washing all of it and want to stretch washes further.

    Be who you are... those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind

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    Default Re: The Official "Stretching Washes" Thread

    This thread has the perfect timing! I was just thinking last night of how I should try and stretch my washes I washed Sunday, then yesterday I washed again. Now I think I won't wash until sunday again. It may look a bit greasy but I try to hide it Cocoa brushed through the roots seem to work nice if I get the right quantities.

    I CO, and when I used schampoo I used to wash every second day, so this is pretty good progress for me When I get longer hair I might do more scalp washes; right now my hair's BSL, and it doesn't feel like many inches are left dry when I'm done with the scalp
    Still growing!

  6. #6
    Member wanderwoot's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Official "Stretching Washes" Thread

    I am now washing my hair with shampoo every two weeks. It has taken me about 4 years of stretching to get to this, but it gets exponentially easier (for instance I just went from one week to two weeks by doubling the amount of time in between washes, which is essentially the same as going for every day to every other day), and I also haven't been trying really hard to stretch that entire time.

    I do occasionally do other things to clean my hair in between times such as vinegar rinses and sometimes baking soda washes. However I do these things less and less, not for any hair reason but out of sheer LAZINESS. My hair takes forever to dry, and getting in wet in my shower in the morning ads about 20 min to my routine. Without it I can be ready to go in less than half an hour. So, it's much easier to put it off and off until, lo and behold, it's hair washing day!

    I put cornstarch in once and that seemed to work pretty well -- I was worried it would make my roots look gray but it didn't seem to.

  7. #7
    sappy pennyroyal's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Official "Stretching Washes" Thread

    I have a very sensitive scalp that requires lots of washing or i get a gross, itchy head. It's gross. I am trying to fix this. I started going from everyday washing to every other day & it was going ok until this heat wave came. Then my head felt sweaty every morning & i can't help but wash it. As soon as this heat wave is gone (which is supposed to be soon) i am gonna go back to every other day again.



  8. #8
    Member misstwist's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Official "Stretching Washes" Thread

    I've been washing once a week for a few months. My hair rarely looks like it needs to be washed on washday (Sunday).

    I have left an interval of 11 days or so between washes and it did start to look greasy. I think I could wash every 10 days and be fine.

    Frankly, though, it's easier to wash every Sunday than to keep track of a longer wash interval. I like easy.

    I use Queene Helene Mint Julep shampoo. It's sulphate and cone free. Condition with White Rain Coconut, also sulphate and cone free. I usually put oil or shea butter or conditioner on the ends after washing and sometimes during the week if I think it's needed.

    I clarify with Kenra Clarifying shampoo before I henna. The henna is mixed with Suave Coconut conditioner because that makes application easy, especially for roots. I use the Suave for this because it's thicker than White Rain. I don't condition again after removing the henna because I've had conditioner in my hair for several hours at that point. I usually don't damp oil after henna, either.
    Some people have a way with words. Others, oh. . . no. . . have. . . way. --Steve Martin

  9. #9
    Member angelfell's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Official "Stretching Washes" Thread

    I would like to go longer without washing my hair. Currently, I can only go a day; for instance, I will wash my hair Tuesday, and not Wednesday, but again Thursday. I only shampoo the roots, however, I have not shampooed the length for about a week and counting . I think I will shampoo the lengths twice a month. The problem I have is that my hair gets greasy even in that second day. Part of that probably is that I apply a leave-in conditioner, but I apply very little, just enough. Soo.. I don't know XD
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  10. #10
    little hair obsessed too littlenvy's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Official "Stretching Washes" Thread

    I'm now at 10 days without washing and it looks like I can go on for a lot longer. (I just don't want to yet. lol )
    My hair has slowly gotten used to less washing and my sebum production has slow down to the point where my hair just does not get greasy anymore. (started with WO washes and ACV rinses and cut out all SLS shampoo and it took me 6 months to get to this point)

    I do however spend at least one hour a day on my hair to brush it and to massage the scalp.
    Usually I start with wide brush to detangle.
    Then I take a fine tooth comb and put fresh clean guaze over it until the teeth go through it.
    I comb through my hair few times and then throw away the guaze.
    Then I follow with BBB to make sure all the sebum is spread nicely down the hair shaft.
    When I finally wash its home made shampoo: 1 Egg, 1 tsp of honey, 1 tsp of Aloa gel and few drops of oil of day mixed together until well combined ... then I add few drops of lemon juice. Once in a while I will add 1/2 tsp of gelatine powder to the mix.
    Put that on my head and keep for at least half an hour then wash out with water and rise with mild ACV rinse.

    I found that while conditioner is great for your hair for the first 2 to 3 days ... its not so great for stretching washes. But that just may be my hair since its really thin and fine.

    If my ends get too dry (it happens sometimes) I will use a bit of emu oil of shea butter on them.
    Otherwise I keep my hair up during the day ... when I feel like it. lol It usually looks good enough to be down.
    And sleep with unbraided hair but on a silk scarf.

    Good luck to all who wish to stretch

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