Products for long hair?
December 17, 2009 10:04 AM   Subscribe

Long-haired guy looking for product tips...

So, I know the theory that you shouldn't wash your hair every day, and I actually like the way my hair behaves when I haven't washed it in a day or so (it has some weight, so it doesn't fly away when it's down, and it stays tighter when it's pulled back).

However, I kind of have to wash my hair every day or my scalp gets unhappy.

What products would you recommend I use to get that second-day hair on days that I've washed my hair?

Also: what products can I use for when it's down? I like wearing it down, but, unless I have a headband or sunglasses on top of my head, it falls all over the place. What can I use to keep it flowing back?
posted by crickets to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Honestly, the best solution is probably to stop washing your hair every day for 2 weeks to a month to let your scalp get over itself, then all will be fine. (Generally, your oil production will adapt to being washed away every day, and it takes some time to re-adapt... generally you can't just stop washing your hair every day all of a sudden and have it be happy, but it will learn).
posted by brainmouse at 10:11 AM on December 17, 2009

You need a shampoo that doesn't strip your hair so badly for the first day. I would recommend something, but it takes a little experimentation, and perhaps a little more investment than you're used to, as everyone's scalp and hair is different. Once I found a shampooing product that works for me, I didn't notice that my hair got greasy any faster, just that it was a hell of a lot nicer and more manageable for that first day. Also, are you using a conditioner? That could make the difference too.
posted by sunshinesky at 10:11 AM on December 17, 2009

Also, a lot of the more expensive shampoos and conditioners out there require a lot less to be effective, so you don't run out as fast. No more handfuls of goo, a quarter-sized amount can cover medium-long hair just fine if spread properly. That said, it's a bit tough to start investing in something like shampoo when you're used to buying the cheapest, biggest bottle you can find. Don't be afraid. A small bottle of expensive stuff will tend to last you longer, if only out of frugality.
posted by sunshinesky at 10:15 AM on December 17, 2009

(Ok... my scalp has an Annoying Condition that is mitigated with frequent washing with what is probably an overly-harsh shampoo, but I am attached to this regimen and am specifically looking for product recommendations. Thanks for thinking of my scalp though, it thanks you.)
posted by crickets at 10:18 AM on December 17, 2009

YMMV, but one strategy is to just wash with conditioner every other day. This makes my scalp feel better than not washing at all, but also keeps my hair from becoming Einstein-esque.
posted by en forme de poire at 10:20 AM on December 17, 2009

Sorry, didn't preview. If you have to wash it every day, you could try a "leave-in" style of conditioner.
posted by en forme de poire at 10:22 AM on December 17, 2009

I wash my hair a lot because I swim and I've found that this time of year particularly the flyaway thing is really pesty. I am not, by any stretch, a hair care expert but I think you need to think about maybe two things... do you want just no-flyaway, or are you looking for a little body too? I have a hair-shine product [I get all this stuff handmedown from my sister, so I have no idea where to buy it or even if they make it anymore] that's something CitriShine makes that is mostly a shiny thing. My hair looks nice and it's not that different texture-wise but has a little oil in it. If I'm looking for something a bit more style-ing, I have Bedhead Afterparty which is a "smoothing" cream but it smells nice, makes my hair more manageable and I think it makes my hair soft. If you have curly hair a lot of people in the past have suggested bumble and bumble stuff, especially their leave-in conditioner.
posted by jessamyn at 10:32 AM on December 17, 2009

I would go with a (perhaps light) pomade or styling cream if you have to harsh-shampoo all the time. Basically, every time you do that you have to start from scratch, so forget about how your hair is after not washing it for some time except as a model for the kind of product you're going to use to simulate it.

Styling cream is going to have more hold than the pomade, so that might help with the falling-all-over-ness; if you just want the unwashedness I'd lean toward the pomade. Talk to a stylist or beauty products person about options you can use to oil up yer mane. It'll probably take a few different ones before you zero in, so I'd budget ~$100 for this project.
posted by rhizome at 10:34 AM on December 17, 2009

I love Fekkai Glossing Cream for this job, but if you try it, be warned that a little goes a long way. I have thick, shoulder-length hair, and any more than a pea-size amount makes my hair look greasy. A little dollop in the palm, rub your hands together, and run your hands through your hair. It's a similar texture to Bedhead's Afterparty that Jessamyn suggested, but I prefer the Fekkai stuff.
posted by ferociouskitty at 10:40 AM on December 17, 2009

I recently stopped using shampoo and instead wash my hair every day with conditioner. Cheap, cheap conditioner from the pound shop (dollar store) - more expensive conditioners contain silicons which coat the hair and can make it greasy. The one I'm using is a copy of Bed Head and it cost me 99p for a huge container.

I stand under the shower and wet my hair thoroughly, massaging my scalp for at least a minute. Then I massage in a big handful of conditioner and work it into my scalp and hair very thoroughly, rinse out, then repeat, using slightly less conditioner and leaving it in while I shower myself, rinsing it out at the end.

The difference is amazing. I feel that my scalp is clean (and I occasionally have scalp psoriasis, so I've done the Polytar/Selsun scalp scrub thing for years) and my hair is soft, shiny and manageable.
posted by essexjan at 10:54 AM on December 17, 2009

Coconut oil, preferably in solid form if you can find it. Definitely adds in some nice moisture, isn't too greasy (feels pretty natural), kills fly-aways. The smell isn't too girly (and girlfriends have preferred this product to others.)
posted by Weighted Companion Cube at 11:10 AM on December 17, 2009

I am a fan of Wen Cleansing Conditioner. It is expensive and it doesn't go very far, so I just use it on my scalp and then I use Redken's Butter Treat on the ends. I always let this soak in for a few minutes. This works really well for me. I've tried just using conditioner and it didn't give nearly the same effect.

Some days I will use Dr. Bronner's liquid soap (diluted with water) on my scalp and the Redken conditioner on the ends. This is also good, but the Wen product is pretty nice.

I've stopped using grocery store brands because they dried out my hair completely. I also wash my hair at night so I don't have to blow dry. I put my hair in a ponytail on the top of my head, which gives me a lot of volume the next day. It works really well.
posted by aabbbiee at 11:40 AM on December 17, 2009

I can't really tell from your profile pic, so: How long is your hair? Do you wand to grow it longer? What's the texture (coarse,fine, dry, greasy, limp, normal, straight, curly)? Are the fly-aways due to breakage, or is your hair frizzy? What kind of shampoo or conditioner do you use? Do you get haircuts often enough to get rid of split ends?
posted by runningwithscissors at 11:50 AM on December 17, 2009

I use Suave Humectant. Shampoo and conditioner. Then I put a dollop of the conditioner on my hands and work it through the ends on up and comb it.

You can get some hair cremes, some are not that expensive, but my hair dresser told me that you can use regular conditioner as a pomade. Use it straight or with a bit of water. On the ends or all the way through, whatever you need.

The only other thing I do is, after the conditioner and coming my hair, is not to touch it, aside from maybe bending upside down at halfway dry and fluffing it if I am going out in public. If you want it to stay back, put in the conditioner or creme, put it back, and go about your day. It won't make it stiff like hair spray. But you need something to smooth the hair cuticles, and I've found my thick curly hair sucks the silicone crap up like a vacuum cleaner on steroids. The Suave stuff is the best at coating it without making it either sticky or greasy. YMMV.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 3:59 PM on December 17, 2009

I swear by Nature's Gate conditioners. You can find them at health food stores or in the health food section of larger grocery stores.
posted by zinfandel at 8:48 PM on December 17, 2009

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