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When we were young, I think my mum washed our hair –on average- once a week. My hairdresser tells me I shouldn’t wash it every day; that it will be much healthier and shinier if I leave off the daily ritual. Well, I can believe shinier alright! How did people cope in the Dark Ages, I wonder – how did Lady Godiva manage to voluminise her hair sufficiently to be cloaked in it from head to foot and so preserve her modesty without the help of shampoos, conditioners and other helpful hair care products? How did Mona Lisa keep her tresses clean, or Catherine the Great tame her curls? Cleopatra allegedly bathed in ass's milk -- did she wash her hair in it, too?

Once, when I was about 14 or 15, someone told me that beer could give your hair an instant boost, and so I tried it. I wouldn’t recommend you do, though – even if you can get the stickiness out easily enough, dealing with the smell is something else entirely.

I’ve been trying to follow my hairdresser’s advice, but it’s hard. I like washing my hair. It’s an immensely soothing and satisfying experience; and I like the way my hair looks after I’ve washed and dried it. But give it 24 hours and it's gone all lanky again! It’s maddening! And it makes me wonder, seriously: how did people cope in the old days?



( 27 Speak Like A Child — Shout To The Top )
Jan. 20th, 2006 04:11 pm (UTC)
Greasy hair is shiny. It also stays in the shape you give it a lot easier than not-greasy hair. Although it doesn't do much for volume, no.

I usually wear my hair in a braid, either a simple one if I've just washed it, or a french one if the hair is already a bit greasy. It's out of my way, looks good, and the greasyness is even camouflaged.

But then, I like washing my hair as well. Although what I mainly like is just taking hot showers, but that always seems to entail washing my hair, too.

Jan. 20th, 2006 10:09 pm (UTC)
I used to plait my hair too when I wore it long: at night, a simple single plait down the back or 30-40 tiny ones if I wanted to brush it out and have what I called 'angel hair' the next day; while during the day, I would either plait it in the French style, wear it in a high plait (which could double as a lethal weapon if I turned my head right smart), or simply do it it up in one of the many types of buns and chignons I had mastered. And you're right: I used to be able to hide a variety of sins that way! ;-)

Now that I wear it barely shoulder-length though, I don't have those options anymore; and I find that, contrary to what I used to think, short hair really isn't that much more low maintenance than long.
Jan. 21st, 2006 09:43 am (UTC)
Lots of little braids is fun, yes. But it takes so bloody long. ;-) (I've done that. But if I made that many, I usually kept them in for at least a forthnight.) The angel-hair effect already works for me with just one or two braids. Bloody nuisance, usually :-)

I've had the same experience with shorter hair. I cut it back to shoulder length once, but I couldn't wait for it to grow back. I honestly had more work with the shorter hair than with the long.

(And I do mean long. See here. That picture is a few years old. It's even longer now.)

Jan. 21st, 2006 09:49 am (UTC)
Nice picture! That's about as long as I had it, too. Then I had a bad break-up, and cut it all off...never managed to grow it back that long again. ;-)
Jan. 20th, 2006 04:16 pm (UTC)
They wore bonnets and kerchiefs to cover up the greasy mass, and keep dust off. The braided and rolled their hair up and took it down about once a week to comb the bugs out of it.

Old-time hair wasn't a pretty thing. :-)
Jan. 20th, 2006 10:14 pm (UTC)
They wore bonnets and kerchiefs to cover up the greasy mass, and keep dust off.

Do you know, I never even considered there might be a practical use to all these bonnets and kerchiefs that were de rigueur in previous centuries? I thought they were just a silly fashion thing!

Old-time hair wasn't a pretty thing. :-)

So I'mbeginning to suspect! Thanks for educating me in this way -- there really is something new you learn every day! ;-)
Jan. 20th, 2006 04:34 pm (UTC)
lol you really make me laugh sometimes :)
Jan. 20th, 2006 04:54 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad!
Jan. 20th, 2006 04:44 pm (UTC)
I think they used to keep their hair under hats or caps or wigs mostly. They used to have herbal stuff to wash their hair with every now and again, but think of the agro with no running hot water or power showers!

Do you remember, there used to be this thing that if you left your hair for long enough it'd cleanse itself? There was a girl who did it on TV and it seemed to work but I dunno. She had very long hair.
Jan. 20th, 2006 10:20 pm (UTC)
They used to have herbal stuff to wash their hair with every now and again, but think of the agro with no running hot water or power showers!

Ugghhh - really doesn't bear thinking about, does it? I have, of necessity, sometimes washed my hair with cold water, but it's not an experience I intend to repeat any time soon! ;-)
Jan. 20th, 2006 04:56 pm (UTC)
I had some friends in college who didn't wash their hair--they showered, got it wet, but didn't shampoo or condition. All of them said that, after the first two weeks of looking crummy, their hair normalized and looked fine. (And it did look just like normal hair, and didn't smell.)

I've found (as a former daily--sometimes twice daily--shampooer) that a similar thing happens when you reduce the times washed per week. I think I average about three washes a week now. (I don't use product often, which helps. If I used product, I'd have to wash daily.)
Jan. 20th, 2006 10:24 pm (UTC)
All of them said that, after the first two weeks of looking crummy, their hair normalized and looked fine. (And it did look just like normal hair, and didn't smell.)

That is absolutely amazing! So there really is somethingto this self-cleaning nonsense after all! I never would have guessed...and I'll certainly never find out if my would behave in such a way as well, as I'd rather die than look like a great big greasy slob for two weeks (Vanity, thy name is woman!). ;-)
Jan. 20th, 2006 05:04 pm (UTC)
I wash my hair every other day and I can't say it looks any different to when I used to wash it every day
Jan. 20th, 2006 10:26 pm (UTC)
Then you must be one of the lucky ones...and having seen your hair, I can attest that you are!
Jan. 21st, 2006 06:40 am (UTC)
Meh. I hate my hair. But thanks
Jan. 20th, 2006 05:25 pm (UTC)
Didn't they just wash it in clean water? I don't actually know, but I'm guessing. But then the English weren't much for washing until they went to India apparently.
Jan. 20th, 2006 10:29 pm (UTC)
Ah -- but did they have clean water? Remember, people used to drink beer or wine because the water was undrinkable in previous centuries.

Although, I remember my grandmother used to wash her hair with rainwater gathered especially for the purpose in a great big barrel stood outside the kitchen door. She used to swear by it -- but that was before anyone had ever heard of acid rain, of course. ;-)
Jan. 20th, 2006 11:05 pm (UTC)
Okay, smartypants, "clean" then.
Jan. 20th, 2006 09:42 pm (UTC)
I've tried not washing it everyday, but I really can't stand it by the end of the second day. I figure it is healthy enough and my personal comfort is worth it to have it cleaned daily.
Jan. 20th, 2006 09:59 pm (UTC)
I've tried not washing it everyday, but I really can't stand it by the end of the second day.

That's where I'm at now, too. I'll clean it every other day because I simply hate what it looks like after 48 hours have gone by. The hair dresser advises to wash it every 4 or 5 days even, but for me that would mean going out with a bag over my head for a full two days a week! ;-)
Jan. 20th, 2006 09:50 pm (UTC)
It pretty much broke the women in the 1900 House because they had to use soap and it went terrible. The advisros said to use a raw egg occasionally. Maybe that's why people had their hair up a lot.

Also there's that whole thing of going to the hairdresser to have it washed and re-set instead of doing it yourself, but that's part of the old curlers-in-all-week culture. Interesting.
Jan. 20th, 2006 10:33 pm (UTC)
they had to use soap and it went terrible.

Oh yes, I can vouch for that from personal experience! The desert can be an unforgiving place, especially when youve forgotten to pack your shampoo...

Also, grabbing the wrong bottle and washing your hair with conditioner really doesn't do it any favours, either! ;-)
Jan. 20th, 2006 11:10 pm (UTC)
That is an interesting question. I know they say you're not supposed to wash your hair every day, but with my short hair, the oils work their way out from the scalp much too quickly to do otherwise. Sometimes being healthy just isn't worth it. ;)
Jan. 21st, 2006 12:03 am (UTC)
Hee! My thought exactly!
Jan. 22nd, 2006 07:22 pm (UTC)
I've been told many times (including by hairdressers) that the more often you shampoo your hair, the faster they become greasier after this.
Because you remove the natural hair protection (a similar kind of natural oil secreted by your skin) when you wash it. So the scalp gets irritated more easily, so it "defends itself" by secreting more of this grease.

So if you are now washing your hair every day, yes it probably gets bad after two days.

In the people I know, it ranges from "guy with military cut who can't stand not to wash his hair every day or he feels it's too greasy", to girls with half-long hair who wash it twice a week. Unless they do extend that time, their hair looks okay (clean).

Long hair do get dirty faster (especially in big towns with pollution) though, of "real" external dirt, not natural protection.
Jan. 23rd, 2006 06:12 am (UTC)
I used to wash my hair every day. I've now switched to every other day, but it's hard getting used to. ;-)
Jan. 26th, 2006 06:46 pm (UTC)
I started washing my hair every second day. Sometimes every third. I have to wet it down in the shower because it gets too limp (or I wear it up). I also condition it even if I don't wash it to get rid of tangles. I find that my hair is healthier and happier, and when I wash it after 3 days it's so soft and pretty and shiney. The biggest dfference seems to be that it takes longer to get split ends. Sweet.
( 27 Speak Like A Child — Shout To The Top )
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