Goodbye to bad hair days



It’s a phenomenon every woman (and quite possibly some of the more follicle-blessed menfolk) laments: bad hair days are utterly random and entirely non-negotiable. They will, by default of their cussed nature, strike on the most inopportune days, wreaking self-conscious havoc with job interviews, parties and any other occasion for which a little intervention from the good-hair-day Gods would be in order.


Add a hat of any sort, and revenge is served on an icy cold platter the moment said headgear is removed. My hair either frizzes, with static wisps sticking out in random directions, or flops as flatly as it can possibly muster. In short, it throws a tantrum or plays dead.

As the unproud possessor of irritatingly fine hair, I’ve experimented with a wide range of products in a bid to outfox this inevitable hair-raising (sorry) scenario; from household supermarket shampoos and conditioners (for fine hair, normal hair, glossy hair, coloured hair, dry hair, greasy hair, Scandinavian(!) hair) to the super exclusive and correspondingly expensive liquid gold elixirs endorsed by lush-locked celebrities and sold virtually by the drop. But meh. My hair cunningly adapts to its latest luxury lifestyle and any pleasing results are rapidly dispensed with and thereby short-lived. And its back to the hope and pray method.

But no more.

For the past two months I can honestly claim that, by my standards, bad hair days have been banished to the bad memory bin. My locks are glossier and I lose fewer hairs per wash. And I can virtually rely on a decent hair day — every day.

And here’s why.

A couple of months ago, I read an article which mentioned, among other things, the correct way to wash hair. I laughed, but continued to read anyway. Then things got interesting.

According to these instructions, I’ve been doing it ‘wrong’ pretty much since the get-go. The old lather-rinse-lather-rinse-condition-rinse formula is simply asking too much of hair; it dries the hair out and encourages grease. I recognised this pattern. While my hair tended to frizz, it nevertheless required washing on a daily basis. An afternoon nap, and it really would have liked to be washed again.

Now, I may be preaching to the converted here if most of you ladies are already familiar with this method, but I was fascinated enough to try it so here goes:

This article recommended working a small squirt of shampoo into a lather on the scalp only. Do not lather the rest of the hair. Once your scalp is clean, rinse the hair well in warm water. The lather will run through the rest of the hair and automatically wash it without drying it out.

When satisfied your hair is completely free of shampoo, apply a small amount of conditioner to the scalp only. Once massaged in, gently use a wide-toothed comb to distribute the conditioner throughout the hair, then rinse in warm water until the hair is literally squeaky clean (run a strand between your thumb and forefinger to hear the squeak). If it doesn’t squeak, continue to rinse until it does.

Once washed, wrap your head in a towel turban for a few minutes but don’t rub. The combed out hair will remain virtually tangle-free and reduce further hair loss when you release your hair to dry.

I obviously cannot guarantee that this method will work for everybody, but I can guarantee that it works for me. Yes, it takes a little longer to wash my hair these days, but the results were well worth the effort from Day 1. Two months later, my hair has never been as soft and strong as it is now, and I’m once again using a standard supermarket product (Wella, but I suspect most will work just as beautifully).

Whatever your hair type, I’m inclined to believe this method is at least worth a try. If you do give it a go, I’d be very interested to hear how it works out for you.

Wishing you all fewer bad hair days and happier hair.

  • Laree

    After being bald (chemo) and then having little hair over the past 18 months, I decided to try the no shampoo or ‘only wash when really dirty’ fad that has hit our Aussie shores. I was a daily shampooer, and initially I thought I’d find this repugnant. But, it turns out there are some advantages to being bald! My scalp was always well moisturised and when my hair began to grow it only required a quick rinse with water. I stayed shampoo free for 11 months! Once my hair was at a reasonable length and I was back in the humid climate of Brisbane, I found I needed a scrub with shampoo, but only once every 7-10days. No conditioner though. Once the weather became cooler (ie came back to Tassie from my holiday) I developed a dry scalp and needed to use a conditioner. Now I shampoo only once every 10 days, rinse, and maybe condition, in between, and my hair has never felt more healthy! I guess it is only 18 months old though! It doesn’t smell. It doesn’t get greasy. It feels wonderful. Just wish I could lose the chemo curls!

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