SHINY HAIR: WHAT’S THE SECRET?

RDP Monday: LUSTRE

A friend of mine, also suffering from thinning hair, pointed out that at least my hair is shiny. It’s the result of insanely expensive shampoo and conditioner, a carefully chosen hairbrush … and unmitigated luck.

I don’t have a lot of hair … but by golly, it has lustre.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

The secret — other than the wildly expensive shampoo and conditioner? A very soft hairbrush, wash it ONLY when it is really dirty … like once a week. When it was a lot longer (waist length) and much thicker, I washed it every two to three weeks because the longer it gets, the more fragile it becomes. It was explained to me that the hair at the bottom was the oldest hair on your head.

For example, if you have been growing your hair for four or five years, even with regular end trimming, the hair at the ends has been around for four or five years. It is essentially dead, so treat it with great care.

Also, when your hair is that long, it takes a REALLY long time to dry and when I was working, I had to have a strategy. Wash hair Saturday morning and by Monday, it would finally be dry.

I had a best friend who was a hairdresser and always reminded me to NOT WASH YOUR HAIR EVERY DAY.

Your hair is supposed to have natural oils in it. The first time you let it go a few days, it feels weird, but after a while, it all settles down, so unless you’ve been gardening, running, or seriously exercising, your hair doesn’t need a daily scrubbing.

Of course, there are people who have fantastic hair that never seems to thin and always looks great no matter what they do to it. Sadly, I’m not one of them.

The other thing? DNA. You just have to have “that kind of hair.” I may not have a lot of it, but it is shiny.


Note: My hair is always tied back except when I sleep. When it was very long, it was always in a braid, including when I slept.

Why? I take pictures and my hair is fine. A little tiny bit of wind gets it into everything. It covers my eyes so I can’t take a picture because I can’t see anything. It gets tangled with my glasses. It sticks in my teeth. It’s hard to tell who sheds more — me or The Duke.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. Retired! Yay!

22 thoughts on “SHINY HAIR: WHAT’S THE SECRET?”

  1. Mine shines… and I don’t wash it anywhere near every day… but it will not stay put. Sticks out like it is supercharged wth static, no matter what I do. And heaven help me if it is damp ( ringlets…at my age!) or windy…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was out shooting with my granddaughter and I was trying to get the hair out of my eyes so I could see something. She looked at me (I think she was maybe 16) and she said: ” For heaven’s sake, Gramma, GET A HAIRBAND.” From the mouths of babes. That’s why I let mine grow in. It HAS to be long enough to tie up or it really IS everywhere

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        1. Scarves and wide elastic bands are a photographer’s best friend! Sometimes, I leave it loose for a little while, but before the day is out, I am searching for a hairband. I gave up lipstick because hair used to stick to my mouth. Ick.

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      1. Wish I’d heeded that “Don’t wash your hair everyday” advice when I was younger. Oh, do I wish I’d listened.

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  2. Mine is like dandelion fluff…it’s thin, wispy and flies around at the slightest hint of a breeze. It’s never been shiny nor lustrous, even when I used very expensive shampoo. So I buy Suave and call it all good. At least it smells good. I think…. and mostly I wash mine every day….I just have a phobia about oily (not that mine gets that way much) dirty hair. When I’ve had surgeries, it’s been a huge problem that I couldn’t wash my hair for days or weeks…last time (knee surgery) I had them almost shave my head to avoid the problem. It worked okay and it grew out by the time I was released.

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    1. Between washing it every day with Suave and other ill health issues, you are flirting with actually NOT having hair. Suave has the same ingredients as rug shampoo. Really. Look it up. Washing it every day seriously stresses your hair. I’ve had this conversation with a lot of people, including one incredibly stubborn husband. When he finally decided to give it a try, it actually started to grow back a bit. I said the same thing when warned about this, but when you stop washing it all the time, it doesn’t get nearly as oily. It becomes much more normal and not as light and fluffy. It takes about of month of NOT washing it daily for it to normalize. It’s sort of like quitting smoking.

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    1. The only time my hair REALLY needs washing is if I’ve been swimming … or it has reached the end of it’s cycle which is just about a week. Closer to 5 or 6 days. Or if I’ve been out on a boat. I don’t like salt spray on it. It’s pretty corrosive.

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  3. I wish I knew how to put a photo in the comments section…

    My hair has been my favorite thing about my physical self…sometimes the only thing I like. So as I got sicker, and more and more of it fell out, a reaction to the medication, the more upset and depressed I got.

    I set about grieving the loss so I could just move on.

    And then my 18 year old Heart Cat died.

    Now, I don’t give a crap about my hair. I guess as we age, there are always things competing for the number one spot for losses in life.

    I really miss my hair…but nothing like how badly I miss my cat….sigh,

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    1. Each time I had surgery or got a new medication, more hair fell out. When I had cancer, two of my dogs died within a couple of weeks of the surgery and each other — and right after my heart surgery, we lost four dogs in less than six months. All our dogs seem to get old at the same time. It’s horrible. I’m pretty sure the reason we got Duke is that both Bonnie and Gibbs are 11 and Bonnie isn’t aging well. I’m trying to wrap my head around her loss because I can sniff it in the wind.

      I’ve gotten used to my hair. As long as I’m not actually bald, it’ll do. I think the anesthesia from the surgeries was part of the falling out process too.

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  4. I have had it all: long, short, curly although it is straight. The result is short, wash twice a week and wet daily in the shower. Let it dry naturally, never use the hair dryer. That’s my way and I am sticking to it

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    1. That’s my way too. My hair is very thick so I keep it reasonably short, especially in summer. I hardly ever use a hairdryer which is probably why the one mum gave me when I was 23 is still working.

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  5. I had very, very oily hair, and washed it daily for years. Now? Two or three times a week, sometimes less. Haven’t had it long in years, just too much trouble. Now that there’s lots of silver, it’s a bit shinier than it used to be 🙂

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