Help me tame my wild mane
October 13, 2007 5:40 AM   Subscribe

How can I get my hair to behave?

My hair is about 1-1.5 inches long and gets really frizzy after washing. I use product (lately, wax) to control it, but it doesn't look or feel natural--it looks and feels like it has wax (or whatever) in it. After about 24 hours (and no washing), I've wet my hair a couple times, dried it, and brushed it a few times. It looks and feels natural. It feels like regular hair that just lays down and goes where I brush it. I call this Day 2 Hair.

Over the past couple years, I've dealt with this problem by cutting my hair very short, but I'd prefer to keep it longer (if you can call 1.5 inches "longer").

How can I get Day 2 Hair every day?
posted by mpls2 to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (20 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Stop washing it very often. Shampoo is bad for the frizziness. And when you wash it (only when it's smelly/greasy, maybe 1/week), only put shampoo on the roots, and just rinse the rest of your hair. And invest in moisture-rich shampoo by a "better" salon brand; drugstore shampoo is pretty harsh on frizzy (dry) hair.
posted by tk at 5:56 AM on October 13, 2007

I am no expert on hair, but I've noticed this phenomenon, myself. Hopefully others will have a bottle-based solution for you, but one behavioral idea is to shower/wash hair as early in the evening/night as you can (provided you do not go out or need to have styled hair). Then, when you wake up the next day, wet it, and you already have day 1.5 hair.
posted by zachxman at 5:57 AM on October 13, 2007 [1 favorite]

I have bushy, coarse, wavy/curly hair. I use a silicone product, usually labeled as a shine product. It makes my hair softer, shinier, and makes the curl behave so it's not frizzy. My hair is long, so I also us lots of strong gel. I buy whatever's on sale; they tend to use the same ingredients.
posted by theora55 at 6:18 AM on October 13, 2007

One thing you can do to combat the frizz is buy a gloss/shine/smoothing treatment like this (not just for blondes). Part of what is causing this is that you are washing all the natural oils out of your hair, and they don't build up again until the second day. The gloss stuff will smooth the cuticle and weight the hair down a bit without making it look greasy. (Use a tiny, tiny bit and that $5 bottle will last you forever.)

I have this problem — oily scalp, dry tips. I recently bought a boar hair brush which is supposed to spread the oils from roots to the ends, as well as "massage and stimulate" the scalp. Since you have short hair this might not be your best option.

And be sure you use conditioner. For some reason lots of men I know think they can skip this step. You can't.
posted by Brittanie at 6:22 AM on October 13, 2007

Seconding the evening wash suggestion from zachxman.

But it sounds as if your hair may be quite dry. Do you use conditioner at all? You may think that you don't need it, but hair can change on you. I've had to start using conditioner every day over the past few months to avoid the straw-head effect, and I've had super-oily hair since puberty that I could never use conditioner on before.

Try a hot oil treatment every month or so, too. It's just a matter of putting a sealed tube of hair oil into a cup of hot water for a minute, rubbing the oil on your hair and letting it sit for a while, then shampooing it out.

One other thing you might try is an anti-frizz/shine product like Frizz-Ease if nothing else works. I suspect that in the long term, such products may be drying and counterproductive, so try the other stuff first.
posted by maudlin at 6:29 AM on October 13, 2007

two three words: "leave-in conditioner"
posted by garfy3 at 6:39 AM on October 13, 2007

Skip the salon hot oil stuff, go straight to canola or olive oil, put some in a bowl with water, put it in the microwave until it is hot bath water temperature. Apply to hair, wrap your head in a towel, and let it soak. Then wash as normal (you can maybe skip conditioner on days when you've applied oil).

Like everyone else says, conditioner is non-optional otherwise. One thing I like to do is get my hair wet and apply conditioner first, just slopping it on, and then do the rest of my bath stuff saving shampoo for last. After I finish the shampoo/rinse, I put just a dab of conditioner on my hands and rub it around and then rub it into my hair and rinse slightly, leaving some in... You eventually get a feel for how much conditioner should be left in your hair for the texture you want. (As a side note, I don't bother with the expensive stuff, because like I said I like to slop it around, but my hair's pretty long and I can use a lot of conditioner. Nor do I bother with special leave-in type conditioner, I just use the normal stuff that's marked "for dry/frizzy hair".)
posted by anaelith at 6:45 AM on October 13, 2007

I find that this product, the John Masters "Hair Pomade", works very well for me. They sell it at Whole Foods, as well as online. Unfortunately, it's not inexpensive, but it does last a long time. It contains both beeswax and oils, but I don't find that it seems waxy at all. What I do is slide the palm of my hand over the pomade to get a good slick of the stuff on there, rub my hands together, work it through my hair with extra attention to the outer layer, and then brush. The result on my bushy head, at least, is shiny, soft, day-2 hair.
posted by redfoxtail at 7:02 AM on October 13, 2007

get the richest conditioner you can find (often called a 3-minute "hair repair" or "hair masque") and use that every time you shampoo. only wash every other day. follow with a silicone-based smoothing product. just use a little--it goes a long way.
posted by thinkingwoman at 7:12 AM on October 13, 2007

I just read this book, found via another AskMe thread. Even though you are a guy, all of its advice about how to care for curly ("frizzy") hair should be right on. The author suggests never shampooing at all, but cleansing with conditioner. Shampooing dries out hair and is apparently really bad for curly hair. If you can get past the title, it's a quick cheap read and has lots of info I had never heard before about why curly hair does what it does and how to care for it.
posted by eileen at 8:13 AM on October 13, 2007

If you give the olive oil a try - mix it half and half with white vinegar. You will smell like a salad at the time but that's not exactly unpleasant... :)

(Shake hard and apply before it separates too much. Let it sit until you're either hungry or just over it - then shampoo and condition like normal)

Actually what does your normal routine involve?
posted by mu~ha~ha~ha~har at 8:34 AM on October 13, 2007

I'm a guy with thick hair about the same length as yours, and upon the advice of multiple hair stylists I stopped washing my own hair about a year ago. It's been perfect! I rinse my head and hair thoroughly in the shower to get the basic dirty stuff out and to clean my scalp, but that's it. The only time my hair is washed is when I get it cut so I pretty much get to have day 2 hair (day 5 really, given some kind of equilibrium between my hair and skin oils) all the time.

I know not everybody (or all hair styles) can do this, but it's worked out great for me. I own one pot of hair goo (currently Wella Shine Wax), but it will probably last me for years, as I only use a small dab every once in a while when I go out.

It may be that you don't have to put more product in your hair to get the effect you want, because for me all I had to do was to stop stripping everything off of my hair every morning and let nature take over. By the way, I'm a clean-cut professional guy working at a large company, no dreads or other hippy-ish stereotypes to go along with this story.
posted by rhizome at 9:06 AM on October 13, 2007 [1 favorite]

Mastey Frehair is an oil free final rinse product that works very well as a stand alone cleanser.
posted by hortense at 10:10 AM on October 13, 2007

i like kiehl's creme with silk groom - it keeps my hair pretty tame and isn't waxy.
posted by citron at 10:58 AM on October 13, 2007

Dirt is a Jonathan Antin product specifically designed to give you Day 2 hair. It smells a bit like a dessert, but a little goes a long way, so you don't really notice the sweet scent once it's on your head. It sounds perfect for you.
posted by Help, I can't stop talking! at 11:41 AM on October 13, 2007

Try Alberto V05. Looks like it's been around since the 1930s, but it's cheap and nothing's worked better for me. That and coming to terms with the fact that I will never have really smooth hair.
posted by walla at 12:03 PM on October 13, 2007

Stop washing your hair. I have curly hair, and that's what worked for me.
posted by dame at 2:12 PM on October 13, 2007

I second citron's motion. Kiehl's Creme with silk groom is a life saver. Only use a tiny, little bit or your hair will get greasy. And shampoo at most once every three days.
posted by eperker at 7:22 PM on October 13, 2007

My hair's not frizzy, but a few weeks ago I stopped using shampoo in favor af apple cider vinegar every day or every other day, and somewhat more frequent water rinses, and my hair has been doing nifty and awesome things. I'd recommend giving it a shot.
posted by trevyn at 12:01 AM on October 14, 2007

I second eileen. I also follow that curly hair book and it's been great for my short hair. You don't mention whether your hair is curly, but there may be curls under the frizz. So I shampoo once a week (rinse and condition on all other days) with a shampoo that does not contain a lathering agent. Then I put a clear gel or styling cream in my wet hair and I do not touch it until it's dry. Once its dry I carefully smoosh my hair to breakup any crunchiness from the products. The result is smooth, frizz-free short hair.
posted by Faithos at 12:41 PM on October 15, 2007

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