Dirty Feel Hair

Woman using a spray-on conditioner
Photo: Antoniodiaz/Shutterstock
Q: I am Persian, and I have long shoulder-length hair. Every time I wash my hair, it is so soft that it will not do what I want it to the first day, but the next day my hair is my best friend.
What product can you recommend using on my hair, so I can have the "dirty" feel the day that I wash my hair and also without weighing it down? The products that I use now are mousse or gel by {brand name omitted}.

A: Yours is a common problem, if a problem is the right word for hair that is behaving the way healthy normal hair should. You see, when the hair is clean and healthy, it is naturally soft and shiny and smooth. It is what we all strive for in the look of our hair. The trouble is, clean, soft, smooth hair generally isn’t very easy to style, because it wants to follow its natural wave pattern.
This is one of the reasons we have the hundreds and thousands of different hair products available to us. Many women need different levels of hold to get their hair into the styles they want.
For your situation, your hair is your “best friend” the day after you shampoo, because it has had time to regain some of the natural oils that the shampoo has taken away. Always remember that you don’t necessarily have to shampoo your hair unless it has become soiled. We’ve gotten into the habit of washing the hair every day (or as often as possible) because the media and advertising tell us to. The truth of the matter is just because a shampoo is “gentle enough to use every day” doesn’t mean you have to use it every day.
Most cosmetologists and health experts agree that you should only wash your hair when it is dirty. The average woman in an office environment or at a retail job that is not labor intensive should not need to shampoo daily, because her hair wouldn’t be soiled enough to do so. Unless you work in an environment where the hair is exposed to dust, dirt, oils or you do a lot of physical activity and sweat a lot you should be fine just using a conditioner and rinsing the hair in warm water. Conditioner is one thing that is recommended every day.
However, since you asked specifically about a product that will give your newly washed hair the “second day” feeling, I recommend a spray-on, leave-in conditioner. These products are formulated to penetrate into the hair shaft and provide light conditioning and add some much needed texture to the hair after washing. Just spray the leave-in conditioner on your towel-dried hair before using your hair dryer, and you should see the results you are looking for.
See also:
Is hair easier to style washed or unwashed?
My freshly washed hair always looks very fluffy