24 Aug How the Cape Town Drought Saved my Hair: A Quick Guide to Oil Training
If you struggle with greasy hair, you probably tend to wash your hair at least every other – if not every single – day. You also probably tend to envy those lucky humans who are able to stretch their washes to every three-to-five days.
Well, guess what? Even you can be one of those lucky humans! All you have to do is ‘train’ your hair to comply. Sure, it sounds crazy, but it’s totally possible!
WHAT IS OIL TRAINING?
To be quite honest, when I first encountered the term ‘oil training’, I found it rather odd and perhaps not the best way to describe what it really is.
Be that as it may, ‘oil training’ is the widely-accepted term for the process of helping your scalp adjust to fewer washes per week. Ideally, you’d cut it right down to only one.
WHY DO IT?
If you are washing your hair 3 – 7 times a week, you might think this is a great way of keeping it squeaky clean. However, what you’re actually doing, is depleting it of all the natural oils and, so doing drying it out. Especially if you’re using commercial shampoos and conditioners that are full of sulphates, silicone and other damaging chemicals.
Your scalp’s natural reaction to this barrage of cleaning is, of course, to produce even MORE oil to help lube up your locks and keep them healthy. What we end up seeing here is a vicious cycle of note!
WHY I STARTED OIL TRAINING MY HAIR
Ever since I can remember, I’ve always battled with hair that seemed to get greasy way quicker than anyone else’s. Some days I’d wash it in the morning and, upon returning home after school/class/work, it would be flat and plastered to my scalp once again. While most often I’d wait till the next morning to give it another wash, sometimes my disgust would be so great that I’d just lather it up again in the evening. The other thing about my hair is that I really have a lot of it, which obviously makes regular washing a real pain in the butt, not to mention a strain on trying to be water conscious, as well as economical on my shampoo and conditioner spending.
So, when Cape Town’s water crisis hit and we were all limited to 90-second showers, I found myself in a bit of a conundrum. How, on earth, was I going to wash-rinse-condition-rinse my hair so quickly every day? It was impossible and far too much to ask. Fortunately, I had also just started freelancing around this time and mostly worked from home, which gave me a little bit of leeway as far as looking on point every day was concerned.
So, I decided to try stretching the days between washes. I started by skipping my wash every second day. I’m not going to lie, it was pretty damn hard. For the first two weeks, it felt like I was really letting myself go. However, by week three, I noticed that my hair actually appeared a lot shinier, healthier and resilient to grease. It was generally also a lot easier to handle.
Then, I discovered dry shampoo and skipped another in between. Within a month or two, I was down to about two washes a week and my hair simply thrived!
Since it’s pretty chilly at the moment and I haven’t been doing too many sweaty workouts (I know, I know), I’ve managed to whittle it down to one wash a week. However, as soon as warmer weather returns, I’ll probably be back to my usual two.
Apart from the fact that my hair is undoubtedly much healthier and happier than it was before, cutting down on washing it daily or even every second day, has saved me loads of time, water and probably also quite a bit of money.
Which brings me to the next point…
WHAT ARE THE BEST PRODUCTS TO USE WHEN I WASH?
Since you’re going to be cutting down quite a bit on the amount of product you use, you can afford to invest slightly more in shampoos and conditioners that will really benefit your hair.
Fortunately, we have loads of amazing hair products that will feed your hair instead of damaging it.
If you’re afraid you might be tempted to wash in between, why not also stock up on some Desert Dust Dry Shampoo?
Finally, if you still find your hair to be slightly greasy after a wash, try rinsing it with some apple cider vinegar (ACV), after.all ACV has naturally high levels of acetic acid and a pH level close to that of human hair. Because of its antimicrobial properties, it can also assist in fighting minor infections that may lead to itchiness or build-up.
All you have to do is dilute the ACV in a few tablespoons of water and then pour the mixture over your head after shampooing and conditioning. Work it evenly into the scalp, wait a few minutes and then rinse it out. It should help keep your hair soft, clean, supple and shiny.
Get healthy, lustrous locks with these three natural hair hacks.
Need a quick-fix? This dry shampoo will help to make your hair look less greasy.
For more tips on how to keep your hair healthy check out this article.