I have a history of hair damage, from tugging, styling and dyeing my poor strands one time too many. So for me, keeping the natural oils in my hair is super important. But at the same time, I’ve gotten myself in a cycle where my hair easily becomes greasy to make up for the lack of moisture that is naturally produced, so, I end up washing it way too often. How can I break this habit?

It’s a balancing act

So, why are natural oils and nutrients needed in the hair? Well, the answer is as simple as keeping your hair happy and healthy. But it all comes down to maintaining the balance of oils in the hair. To get strong, shiny and supple hair, I have to find the right proportion of natural oils and nutrients. On another strand of things, too much oil leads to limp and greasy locks — which I am somewhat familiar with!

Shampoos are typically formulated with chemicals that attract dirt on the hair. The dirt is then distributed when we massage and lather shampoo into our hair, which is then rinsed away leaving our hair feeling squeaky clean. The only thing is, for those of us with already dry and damaged hair like me, these chemicals also strip away our much-needed oils. So what do we do? We pile on the conditioner to make up for the lack of moisture in our hair.

So, I had a look at a few hair refresher options that could both clean my hair and offer it the nourishment it deserves — without having to rely only on conventional shampoo and conditioner.

So what’s the deal with Co-Wash?

Co-wash says exactly what it is — conditioner-only washing. So, basically, a shampoo-free formulation that works to not only cleanse, but also to maintain a natural balance and refresh the hair without stripping it of its natural oils and nutrients. Sounds about right to me!

TRESemmé Platinum Strength Co-Wash Shampoo

R63.66 for 750ml (clicks.co.za)

9lives-TRESemmé Platinum Strength Co-Wash ShampooTo refresh my hair in one big fat step, I was on the lookout for a gentle, detergent-free formula that will clean, hydrate and condition my hair. When I came across TRESemmé Platinum Strength Co-Wash Shampoo, I knew I had found a winner. Free from any sulphates, parabens or dyes, this Co-Wash is formulated to cleanse and refresh the scalp and hair without stripping it of all its necessary nourishment.

My hair has been bearing the brunt from a history of bleaching and heat damage, but after using this Co-Wash for about a month now, it’s truly amazing to see what a difference it has made to my hair condition. Strengthened and silky soft with a shimmering shine, my hair has never felt lighter and more alive. And not to mention oh-so-sleek! I can actually brush through my hair effortlessly, without my comb getting stuck in wild tangles.

The only thing is, initially I felt I needed to wash my hair quite often because it didn’t appear as ultra clean as it did using normal shampoo. However, the longer I used Co-Wash, the longer I could go without washing my hair. This is because my hair was becoming more nourished and moisturised, and I did not have to compensate for lack of oil and nutrients in my hair by producing excess sebum, which in turn leads to greasiness.

And I saved so much shower time using this TRESemmé Platinum Strength Co-Wash Shampoo. In one swoop my hair was washed! While it did not lather due to little to no sulphates, I could let this silky soft conditioning wash slip through my hair without having to rub and scrub too much (which will just lead to friction damage).

What about dry shampoo options?

Just what we need to use after a workout, as a travel buddy or even freshen up those regrowths peeping through, dry shampoo is a fantastic innovation created to absorb excess oil — keeping the hair extra fresh, fragrant and lively for longer. And there’s a new WATERL

Waterless Foam Dry Shampoo

R69.99 for 45 ml (clicks.co.za)

9lives-waterless-foamPerfect to use in my busy schedule, I loved how this Waterless Foam Dry Shampoo could refresh and revamp my hair in an instant. I could simply give it a shake and spray dollops of this mousse-like foam, which immediately doubled in size, and then massage it into my scalp and work through my hair. The foam dissolved seamlessly, leaving behind no trace or residue, and my hair felt revitalised and fresh. Best of all, I could style my hair using this foam, which allowed me to gracefully sweep my usually straggly strands into shape.

Waterless No.1 Hair Refresher Touch of Melon + Herbs

R69.99 for 45 ml (clicks.co.za)

9lives-9lives-Waterless No.1 Hair Refresher Touch of Melon + Herbs

Great to use in-between washes, this Waterless Instant Odor Detox No. 1 Touch of Melon and Herbs was just what I needed to add a splash of freshness to my hair. With a delightfully fresh fruit fragrance, the spray dissipated effortless on my scalp and through my hair, giving it an instant refresher. And I was pleasantly surprised that the spray didn’t leave behind any powdery residue – which in my experience is often the case with dry shampoo sprays.

Waterless Forget Frizz Dry Conditioner

R69.99 for 45 ml (clicks.co.za)

9lives-9lives-Waterless Forget Frizz Dry ConditionerThere are many refreshing dry shampoos on offer — but what about something that nourishes the hair as well, without relying solely on conditioning lotions and potions? So, when I heard about this Waterless Instant Irresistible Smoothness Dry Conditioner, I was keen to try it out. Designed to refine and smooth out curly or frizzy hair, this dry conditioner gave my hair the sleekness it needed. I simply sprayed through my layers, gave it a fluff and a flick and I was good to go!

What hair refreshers work for you? I’d like to know. Feel free to share in the comment section below.

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