Sorry, can’t go out this evening... I’m washing my hair.
The oldest excuse in the book, no? But at this time of year, as Christmas get-togethers are arranged on an almost daily basis, it’s becoming reality for this self-confessed clean freak.
In the grand scheme of things, the timing and frequency of one’s shampooing regime shouldn’t be of upmost importance. Nor should anyone stop planning aforementioned evenings of merriment because of the habit.
But for someone like me, who only feels properly human with a freshly washed ‘do’, a lack of nightly me-time becomes an issue.
Is it okay to tell that old friend that no, you can’t share a glass or two of Prosecco, because there’s a bottle of Pantene waiting back home? I hardly think so.
Which begs the question, how long can one leave their locks before succumbing to shampoo?
Believe it or not, there are different schools of thought on this one – and lots of research to pull from too (hurrah, some people are as sad as me!)
According to some, it’s all down to the thickness of hair. Those with tight curls are best off, as grease (or sebum, to given its scientific name) can’t easily travel down the hair follicles, so they only need to lather up a couple of times a week.
Those of us with thinner, straighter hair are worse off, with grease building up quickly and becoming visible much sooner – we have to reach for the bottle far more frequently. Ain’t that the truth.
There is an argument that says the most effective technique is to go cold turkey – quite apt at this time of year.
Charity worker and author Lucy Aitken Read is a firm advocate of the ‘no-poo’ method which, as the name suggests, shuns shampoo entirely. According to her book, Happy Hair: The Definitive Guide to Giving up Shampoo, she hasn’t used any treatment for two years, and says her head has never felt better.
Going weeks without washing at all, Lucy turned to natural alternatives – bicarbonate of soda, egg, honey and lemon juice (it’s possible she was trying to bake a cake at the time...) to get rid of the grease. And, according to her at least, it works.
Though she did admit to a smelly stage earlier on.
Which may be a completely different answer to my original problem. Struggling to fit in all those social occasions? Stop washing, and you may find those invitations take care of themselves. Eureka!