The Dirty Secret To Gorgeous Hair
For more and more women, skipping the suds (or cutting down big-time) is the trick to lustrous locks. By Nicole Catanese.
It happens all the time. You tell your co-worker her hair looks amazing and she proudly reveals that her bouncy blow-out is days old and she hasn’t washed her perfectly tousled hair in a week – and counting. Suddenly, having hair that appears freshly washed sans shampoo and pushing the life of a pro blow-dry to previously unthinkable limits is worthy of bragging rights. Is it possible that daily shampooing, once deemed the foundation for a luxe mane, is the one thing standing between you and hair nirvana?
A NEW ROUTINE
For years, stylists have touted skipping daily hair washing as the key to having not only healthy locks but enviable texture, too. And while women with Gisele-like tresses obliged, those with ultra-thin or short crops cringed at the thought of greasy, lifeless strands. Then the hair gods gave us dry shampoo – now much improved from the glorified baby powder versions of the 1960s. The latest innovations (typically laced with tapioca or rice starch) have been reformulated to absorb excess oil and impart second-day texture in just a few spritzes. The result: your hair can actually look better if you hold off shampooing for a few days. Virtually every brand offers a dry shampoo, including Redken Pillow Proof Two Day Extender, Sachajuan Volume Powder, and Percy & Reed No Fuss Fabulousness Dry Shampoo. Designer Rachel Roy says she always has dry shampoo on hand (“I rely on it”), and washes her hair only once a week.
THE BLOWOUT BRIGADE
But the evolution of when (and how) we shampoo doesn’t stop there. When it’s finally time to throw in the towel, many women are not only lathering up less often, they’re also not lifting a finger. The rising popularity of styleonly salons that gets you in – and out – in 40 minutes for as little as RM50 has transformed the blowout, once the hour-plus service reserved for special occasions, into an affordable luxury. “It’s an instant confidence boost; women strut out of the salon,” says Robin Moraetes, who co-founded DreamDry in New York with stylist Rachel Zoe, and stocks Oribe and Kérastase shampoos. On average, a thousand women a week walk into the flagship location, and their best client spent USD10,000 (RM32,000) last year – that’s four times a week without fail. “Nothing makes me feel more like a lady,” says DJ and DreamDry regular Mia Moretti. “My chic grandmother, to this day, has a shampoo and style to start the week.” And Moretti is right: Just as dry shampoo is a throwback reimagined, so is the return to the salon. “The blowout trend is going to be, if it isn’t already, like the manicure and pedicure,” says Moraetes. “It’s a no-brainer.”
CULT OF SUDS-FREE CLEANSING
The growing crew of evangelical “shampoo bashers” can’t be ignored. Michael Gordon, the original stylist behind Bumble and Bumble, spent his career pushing shampoo but now says it’s hair’s worst enemy – far beyond heat styling and colouring. Gordon, who believes that even sulphate-free and colour-safe versions strip every strand, leaving hair dry and brittle, recently launched Purely Perfect Cleansing Creme. The crème is raked through wet hair, then rinsed just like regular shampoo. Besides banning any form of detergent in his formula, Gordon packed it with essential oils and aloe vera, which has a unique ability to attach itself to oil and product guck, all while leaving hair hydrated. The result? A cleanser that makes every hair type “child-like, with life and body,” he says. Jade Lai, the long-locked, trendsetting founder of fashion boutique Creatures of Comfort, is a convert: “It keeps my hair soft, shiny, and smooth in just one step, and I love the smell.” Will these advances in tress treatments merge to form the new fountain of youth for hair? Only time will tell.