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It finally happened: I agree with Kim Kardashian on something.
Believe me, I didn’t expect it either. But flipping through a beauty mag recently, I spotted an article declaring that washing your hair only once a week is now a thing — apparently because Kim said so.
Would it be rude to say, Welcome to the party? Or, Better late than never?
Let’s investigate this “new” trend and trace it back to the roots (sorry) …
That’s when shampoo came to Britain from Colonial India, where the people of India had been making their own version of shampoo since the 1500s.
And before liquid shampoo was invented in the late 1920s, shampoo existed in bar form, like soap, and was marketed and seen as a health product, not a beauty one.
When the days of modern chemistry really kicked in, scientists developed a cheap and easy wash to suds up our hair, leaving it feeling soft and clean. Thus a goldmine was created.
The familiar trend of washing your hair more than once a week is also a relatively recent one, and one we’ve largely been conned into at that.
We’ve been brain washed by Mad Men
Imagine if you will, Don Draper and his team sitting in their office wondering how to get women to buy more shampoo. Eureka! Let’s tell them they not only need to wash their hair every day, but to rinse and repeat!
As our body grows, changes and heals itself, it sheds debris from skin cells and excreted fats (ewwww, but yeah) known as sebum. This sebum waterproofs and moisturises our skin and hair. Our sebum glands are at the base of the hair follicle, all over our bodies, but with the highest concentration over our head and face.
Sebum is essential: without it, our hair and skin drys out and cracks. And when we wash our hair, we’re basically washing all this off.
Why do we do this? Because oily hair is limp and pretty unattractive. It can also smell.
But do we need to wash it everyday? The answer is no. In fact, by washing our hair more often than every five days or so, we’re perpetuating an unhealthy habit that wastes time and money and makes our hair less healthy.
Put down that shampoo bottle
Whenever you wash your hair, you remove the natural moisturisers. These need to be put back in with conditioners, serums and treatments.
Now, think of all the cash and time you’ll save if you kick the daily habit of washing and conditioning!
I know, those of you with oily hair might be thinking you couldn’t possibly go a day without washing your hair. But did you know that your oily hair is directly related to washing it on a daily basis? It’s true: the more frequently you wash your hair, the faster your body works to try and catch up and protect the hair by producing more sebum.
Of course, it takes time to retrain your scalp into producing less and less oil, so I’m not suggesting you simply stop washing your hair right away.
Finding the right solution for your hair
Ok, so what should you do? That truly comes down to personal preference and hair type.
Never washing your hair — which has also gained momentum as a trend in recent times — is asking for trouble in my opinion. The buildup of sebum can cause a flare up of acne of the face (even if you’ve never had it before) and scalp, bacterial infections, hair loss and thinning, and even weeping sores.
As a hairstylist, I’ve seen what this looks like first hand and believe me it’s not pretty.
For someone like me, who likes to set their hair and gets lots of volume and bounce, washing my hair every five-to-seven days is perfectly adequate and keeps my strands in very good condition. In general, this is a fine place to start for most people.
More hair care solutions to consider
Simply put, the more naturally you treat your hair, the better the results.
If you opt to shampoo and condition every five-to-seven days, choose hair care products that have no petro-chemicals. Not all of these are expensive. As consumers have become more savvy, more of these products have become available, and prices have gone down.
There are also natural solutions, such as using bi-carb soda or rice powder to dry shampoo the hair and absorb the excess oil. As someone with dark hair, I can say that this doesn’t work too well for me, but they’re both an excellent option for lighter hair shades.
Rinsing your hair with lemon juice can also improve the alkalinity of the scalp and hair, balancing the ph of the scalp and making the hair shine.
Shampoo products and recipes I recommend
I’m often asked about specific hair care products that I use and recommend. And while I preface my responses by noting that my hair likely differs from yours, there are a few options I feel confident in passing along.
For the best natural shampoos, I highly recommend shopping online with Nourished Life. My buddy Irene runs this incredible store in Sydney and she’s passionate about supplying the very best natural, organic and safe beauty products to help you look your best.
If you’re more of the DIY type, here are a few DIY shampoo recipes you might like:
I’m often asked how women of the past century had so much spare time to do their hair. What many people don’t know is how infrequently they actually washed it. Many women had their hair set and styled only every week or two. The style was then simply altered or changed up a little for the next day.
When you think about it, taking a page from the vintage hairstyling playbook still makes all the sense in the world today: Washing your hair only once a week will keep you looking fabulous, make your hair much healthier in the long run, plus save you time and money.
Bouffants, beehives, curls, waves and more hairspray than Viva Las Vegas! … but right here in Melbourne?
Yes, that sums up our Iconic 1960s Hairstyles Event at the National Gallery of Victoria. Part of the NGV Kids Summer Festival and stunning Warhol/WeiWei exhibition, the Australia Day styling demonstration was a raging success.
Who knew that watching ’60s hairstyles come to life could keep so many kids enraptured for three full hours? (Parents and babysitters, take note!)
Under the colourful stained glass ceiling of the Great Hall, our models Susanne, Eva and Meik had their tresses transformed into towering recreations from the Swinging Sixties, as you can see in the photos and video below.
Meanwhile, as I curled and teased our models’ hairdos to soaring heights, our enthusiastic audience offered up their own stories of how Mum or Grandma did their hair back in the day.
One woman shared with me her sixties-era bridal photographs, featuring her tower of perfectly pinned curls, artfully arranged over many hours by her hairdresser.
Best anecdote of the day? One woman shared her mother’s secret for the biggest, fullest beehive: she would hide a loaf of bread inside for maximum height!
We were delighted to see so many people not only turn out for this special event, but stay for the entire session. Yet our favorite part was how many also came and said hello, asked their burning questions, shared their own stories and came away with fresh ideas and a renewed sense of the fun of vintage styling.
A big thank you to my wonderful models Suzanne, Eva and Meik, who played their parts beautifully, and to Hunter Boyle and Mick Russell for the striking visuals that allow us to share this window into our day of diva-worthy hair. And of course, we’re incredibly grateful to the team at NGV for the opportunity to share our passion and all their support in making this event such a wonderful experience for all!
Videography: Linchpin Studios
Director/Photographer: Hunter Boyle
Models: Suzanne, Eva Las Vegas, Meik
To create my art, I use brushes of a different kind.
I look at faces, both old and new. Round, soft, open, wide: each face is a new canvas and a foundation that I’m privileged to work with.
I first learnt the power of a great hairdo when I was very young. The Silver Screen was my mentor. The elderly women in my life, the discarded magazines and dog-earred manuals of bygone days were my teachers.
Meanwhile, my own thick, unruly hair was both a constant battle and an inspiration.
While I dreamt of a Louise Brooks bob, when I looked in the mirror I saw a puffy, frizzy chaos of curls. I’d built a powerful image in my mind of the woman I wanted to become … and this was not what she looked like.
At age 14, my rudimentary tools were limited to hair mousse and a hair dryer diffuser. That year, everyone wanted to look like Jennifer Beals; I wanted Rosalind Russell. Writing my own style script was the only way forward.
Andy Warhol clearly knew the transformative power of hair.
From Marilyn to Mao, his artwork prominently features iconic hairstyles. And his silver grey wig became an inherent part of his iconic status. You simply can’t picture Warhol without it, can you?
This Australia Day, January 26th, from 12-3pm in the Great Hall at NGV, I’ll be creating three different looks, taking you through the step-by-step techniques of how these are achieved. We’ll also chat about hairstyling history and trends in the 1960s, with particular focus on the ornate and complex styling worn by many of Warhols’ celebrity muses.
In a time where it has never been easier to become your own work of art, I’d love to share with you the experience of creating these mini-masterpieces.
This event is free and doesn’t require a booking. Join me, come say hello and enjoy our iconic styling adventures this Australia Day (or follow the fun via hashtag #WarholWeiwei).
Thanks to the proliferation of information on the internet, it is getting harder and harder to find the answers you’re looking for.
When you ask Google, “what is a wet set” I’m pretty sure you don’t want to see some of the images I’ve just had to burn from my eyes. (No don’t do it.)
In short hand terms, a “wet set” is any kind of shape, usually a curl, you set into your hair while it is wet and wait for it to dry into place. This could be big bouncy curls, or it could even be traditional finger waves. This setting method fell out of fashion as it is time consuming and honestly, not the best option for all hair types. It is very rare that I do a full wet set on my own hair due to both time restrictions and my naturally wavy hair type.
The options for drying your wet set are two fold; you either wait until it dries naturally (like overnight) or you’ll be using a dryer. I do have a vintage bonnet dryer, both the upright and portable hood kind, but neither of these are hot enough to dry my hair quickly. Even two hours under these is not enough fully dry my set.
As someone with wavy hair, prone to fizziness, an overnight wet set also causes me problems. Because I haven’t smoothed and dried my hair first, it hasn’t smoothed and sealed the cuticle. So while the initial result might look fabulous, any hint of rain or humidity turns the set into an absolute nightmare.
My own version of a wet set is more of a “damp set”, in that I have dried my hair off completely before employing rollers or pin curls to move my hair into the desired shape. Sleeping in wet hair is also a health risk and after a time can cause fungal infections on your scalp (ick!) because of the warmth and very high humidity as it dries. By having dry hair to begin with, then dampening it with setting lotion or even just a little lavender water, I get a much better finished set and avoid having a wet scalp all night.
Wet sets need to be planned in advance and can actually help you cut your morning routine in half. They last longer than a hot set (from rollers or an iron), and are particularly good for super straight hair that is stubborn to curl. Choosing a setting pattern and method is where the fun begins with this process, and the results are only limited by your skill level and hair type.
DO NOT use velcro rollers. Ever.
DO NOT wet your hair with hair spray or mousse unless you want crunchy curls you can do nothing with.
It was quite a while ago that I had the Perfect Pin Curls part one for you, then I somehow went ahead and lost the footage to part two! Never mind though, it gave me the perfect excuse to film a little something in the powder room at the White Swan Inn last week for you.
For those trying pin curls for the first few times, this is the stage you reach all full of hope the next morning, only to be a tad miffed when confronted with a huge mop of curls. What to do now? How do you tame these and turn them into those lovely waves or 40’s curls you so envy? It is far simpler than it seems and only takes a very short amount of time. The setting you did the night before was the hard work, now it is time to put the finishing touches on your creation.
Yes, it truly is my Year of Living Bravely! There is more on the agenda at the moment than I can believe and life is changing at an amazing pace.
As per usual there a million stories I’ve yet to tell you and much more that will unfold over the coming months, but today is about two brave things I’m embarking on. Yes, there is new hair! I haven’t had a fringe for more years than I can count, and even though I love the look, I’ve avoided it as it can be quite stereo typical in the whole “Pin Up” scene. But after playing around with my faux fringe / bangs for a while there, I came to the conclusion that I should just do it because I love the way it looks. Avoiding things just because they can be seen as cliche and missing out on something you truly love, seems a great way to be an idiot. Just like those other things I said I’d never do, e.g Cowboy boots, which I now adore! So I did it.
It may not seem like much, especially given some of the more extreme hair adventures I’ve had in the past, but I really needed the change. I needed, in the wise words of Taylor Swift, to “Shake it off”.
The other big adventure on the horizon is truly that; and ADVENTURE!
On the [dt_highlight color=””]25th March I’m heading across to the USA for a two month tour! [/dt_highlight]
There is still much of the itinerary to be confirmed but I would simply love to organise a meet up with you guys in various places. I’ll be on both the east and west coast between that time and the end of May.
The plan is to not only relax and take in all the sights, but also to do loads of blogging on the road, meeting up with other vintage enthusiasts, checking out some of the most iconic venues and places, as well as having a bit of a chat about what I do at various conferences.
So here’s what I need your help with; if you’re located in any of these cities and would be up for helping me to organise some meet and greet sessions for other vintage enthusiasts as well as just bloggers in general, PLEASE contact me!