How To Train Your Hair To Be Washed Less
Hair Training: Does It Work?
Estimated Read Time: 5 minutes
Summary: In this blog we detail and explore hair training and whether you can actually train your hair to be less greasy. We’ll discuss the suggested steps of hair training, the reasons behind greasy hair, and how long hair training can take to work. Read on to find out how to train your hair to be less oily….
Many things can be causing your greasy hair: stress (and let’s face it, we’re in a pandemic - there’s a lot of things to be stressed about right now!), poor diet, or there’s a hormonal imbalance at play.
Oily hair can induce more stress and frustration too, which causes us to end up over washing and styling it, which can make the issue worse. That’s where hair training has become popular: training your hair to not get as greasy and require less washing. So, is it possible? Can you really train your hair? Well, the only way to know is to try it…
What Is Hair Training?
Ingredients in certain shampoos (like sulphates and parabens) can cause a build up of product on the scalp, which blocks the hair follicles. This can then cause an excess amount of sebum/oil to be produced as the scalp tries to shift the blockage. Hormones and stress can cause excess sebum production too. Hair training is a method of weaning your hair off the need for frequent hair washing.
Wherever hair grows on the body, there’s a hair follicle that each strand grows from. Sebum, which is considered the body’s natural conditioner, is secreted from the follicles to keep the hair strands in good, healthy condition.
When these hair follicles become overactive and start releasing excessive amounts of sebum because of product build up, hormones or stress, the hair becomes really greasy which then means you need to wash it again.
This then means you’re applying more product, and then you’re caught in the cycle. So, what are the steps you need to take in hair training? (Don’t worry, it’s less complicated than it sounds)!
How To Train Your Hair
Buy A Sulphate-Free, Clarifying Shampoo
In order to reduce the rate you wash, you need to look to a stronger shampoo for when you do. Making sure you upgrade your wash product to one that’s paraben and sulphate-free, that also specifically declares itself as “clarifying”, is a great start.
Try to avoid those that advertise additional oils and silicones in their formulas as these can weigh the hair down and the closer the hair is to the scalp, the more oil it will pick up. The actual shampoo liquid should be virtually translucent rather than creamy to look at too.
Reduce How Often You Shampoo
When we shampoo everyday, or too frequently, we strip the hair of its natural oils triggering it to produce more. So, by resisting the urge to over wash, we can reduce how much sebum our follicles release. By opting for a clarifying shampoo, which provides a stronger wash combined with reducing our wash frequency (aiming for two to three times a week) we can, in turn, help lessen oil production.
Optimise Your Conditioner
There’s a myth going around that if you have greasy hair, you should leave the conditioner on the shelf. This isn’t the case.
Conditioner can be a great way of helping teach your scalp to lay off the grease production. Apply a conditioner that contains glycerin (which should also be sulphate and paraben-free) to the mid shaft and ends of your hair; do not apply it near the scalp at all. This should help teach the hair that is has enough moisture, so oil production from your sebum glands can slow.
Get Clever With Temperature
Love a super hot soak in the bath, or blast of heat in the shower? Unfortunately, this will dry your scalp out and tell your sebaceous glands that they need to ramp up the sebum levels! Start with a warm shower and then reduce the temperature for a final rinse to help close the hairs cuticles and cool down your oil-producing glands again.
Intermittently Use A Baking Soda Hair Rinse
Baking soda can naturally clarify both scalp and hair, banishing dandruff and product build-up, and thus freeing and revitalising the hair follicles so they can get on with their natural growth cycle. It’s also incredibly cheap!
The main attraction of a baking soda hair rinse is that it’s just one ingredient! Sodium Bicarbonate. It’s paraben-free, sulphate-free, diethanolamine free, and contains no dye or fragrance.
Brush Your Hair More Often
Again, this may seem counter intuitive but not brushing your hair will encourage product build up. Brushing isn’t just for detangling - it’s for dispersing the sebum and products you use down the entire hair strand, balancing out the whereabouts of the natural oils. However, find a balance. If you over brush, then yes this can stimulate the follicles to produce more oil. So once to twice a day should do just fine!
And, do you clean your hair brush? If you clean your make up brushes, you should also be cleaning your hairbrush or you’re just putting dirt back onto your scalp, which clogs pores and encourages grease. Treat yourself to a new brush if your bristles are looking overly grubby or worn out.
Opt For Conscious Heat Styling
Heat styling can actually help very stubborn greasy hair. Your hairdryer can help dry up any excess oil at the roots to buy you some more time between washes, and if you have straight hair, you may want to consider adding some curl, as curlier hair shows off oiliness less.
Always, always, always use a heat protection spray before using heated styling tools like driers, tongs or irons on your hair, otherwise you can damage and break the strands beyond repair.
Dial Up Your Diet
Yes, a poor diet can cause more oil production from your sebaceous glands. If you want to look good on the outside you have to be fuelling your body correctly from the inside. Drink plenty of water (aim for 2L a day) and up your B-Vitamin rich foods, like leafy greens such as kale or spinach.
How Long Does It Take To Train Your Hair?
Most people can see a difference after 8 weeks, but it can take up to 12 weeks to notice a change in how much oil your scalp is producing.
If you’re really struggling, and nothing seems to be working, have a chat with your GP about getting your hormone levels checked.