You can train for pretty much anything–reminder, no one just wakes up and runs a marathon–but we betcha didn’t know the principles of training also apply to your scalp.
That’s right, you can eliminate or reduce greasy hair days with targeted, eye-on-the-prize, scalp training. To get all the deets, we recruited the best coach, Redken Artist and Education Director Shear Art Salons, Blake Reed Evans on how to get our scalps in shape.
Purpose of Scalp Training
Scalp training is a process that has the end goal of lessening the amount of times you shampoo in a week. “It involves some greasy days and a ton of dry shampoo,” emphasizes Blake, “but once you are done, I promise it will be worth it!!”
Although Blake points out that your scalp will get greasier before it improves, if you stick it out, you’ll reap the benefits.
Step 1: Dry Shampoo is Your BFF
The first step in scalp training is making dry shampoo your bestie. “Once you shampoo and style your hair, use the Redken Deep Clean Dry Shampoo WHEN YOUR HAIR IS CLEAN. I can’t stress this enough! You need the dry shampoo to be there to catch the oils as it develops!” explains Blake.
That dry shampoo will function in lieu of your regular shower suds. Skip shampooing your hair one day longer than you typically do, so if you shampoo everyday then skip a day; if you shampoo every four days then go five. Remember, slow and steady wins the race (even for scalps).
Blake also recommends using a Mason Pearson styling brush and brushing from the scalp to the ends. “This will move your natural oils to the mid lengths and ends of your hair,” he notes – then you can apply another round of dry shampoo.
Did we mention dry shampoo? Blake recommends misting your locks both before bed and when you wake up, because whether you notice it or not, you sweat a lot in your sleep and this might be a prime source of greasiness for many.
And finally, you’ve arrived on shampoo day or “the best part,” according to Blake. Be mindful when you shampoo – since you’re reducing shampoos, you want to make the most of it. “You need to let the water rinse through your hair for 2-3 minutes,” says Blake. “I’ve realized most people do not rinse their hair thoroughly before applying their shampoo.”
“Next, scrub your hair with Redken Detox Hair Cleansing Cream Shampoo. ($22.50) This is going to remove product build up, oil, environmental pollutants from your hair. Then cleanse a second time with your favorite shampoo and conditioner.” To limit the potential grease factor, keep the conditioner on the ends of your hair only – otherwise you risk undoing all that hard work.
Don’t Over Shampoo
Though scalp training is typically for greasy hair, overshampooing can be the culprit behind other less obvious conditions, including dryness. “Sometimes people are over cleansing their hair. This can lead to dryness in the scalp. We naturally produce oil (sebum) for a reason, if we are shampooing excessively, we are stripping the scalp of those natural oils.”
The question that comes up when training for anything is, how long before I see results? Blake shares that for some people it can only take a few weeks but for others it can be a 3-month process. “If you are shampooing too frequently, your sebaceous glands, which is a fancy way of saying the glands in your hair that produce oil, can go into overdrive to compensate for the fact that you are shampooing all of those lovely natural oils away.”
The products that Blake recommends most in scalp training are Redken Detox Hair Cleansing Cream and Redken Deep Clean Dry Shampoo ($24), and if you feel like your ends are dry between washes, he likes Oil for All.
Celebrate Your Wins
Like most things, scalp training comes down to patience. “Your sebaceous glands could be working overtime and will take some time to balance back out. If your scalp gets itchy, then shampoo.” Blake’s most important piece of advice is to celebrate your wins. “If you can go from shampooing every day to every other, that is amazing! Every human is different, two days might be your max while your bestie might be able to go a week. Shampooing less will actually reduce breakage in your hair and make your color last longer.”