I have thick hair. Not even regular thick hair. But like, “I shaved half of my entire head and I still have a full head of hair” hair. I am fully Italian – bred from beasts, and my hair has always been a problem for me and others. Once, I smacked my head on a pole and felt nothing because my bun was so thick it saved me. Hairdressers love to pull a big fistful of my hair in their hands and tell me how much I have. I love my hair and I am blessed to have more than anyone else. However, it is a ton of maintenance and I am constantly trying to find better ways to make it naturally healthy. Recently, my hair dried out and I had no remedies to fix it.

I have dyed my hair a million times in the past. It’s been red, purple, ombré, everything. And all of that treatment can really dry your locks out. So I went about a year without dyeing it. I thought it might help. I also used coconut oil, Moroccan oil, argon oil and literally nothing worked. My ends were crunchy and my hair just didn’t look as healthy. In college, my friends used to jokingly tell me that my hair looked like a wig because it was so healthy and perfect. I wanted that back! And my brother quickly brought to my attention what was wrong: I was washing my hair too much.

It sounded completely insane at first. Like, if my hair feels dirty, my first instinct is to wash it. But apparently, washing your hair every day is extremely bad for it. I am a waitress and my job requires me to move around a lot and sometimes I even spill food on myself. I don’t like not washing anything. I like feeling extra clean before every shift. However, my brother and I are constantly trying out new natural beauty regimes in our spare time and he stopped washing his hair months ago and didn’t tell me. His hair looked clean and healthy and I hadn’t even noticed.

This is what I’ve learned:

When I continuously wash my hair, I trick my scalp into believing it’s not creating enough of the healthy oils to keep it clean and shiny. Every time I wash, I remove these oils and the more I do it, the more oils my scalp thinks it needs. So by washing every single day, my scalp produces excess oil creating greasier roots. Not to mention the constant use of shampoo dries out my ends. So by washing my hair less, my scalp is able to produce a normal amount of oil, which allows my hair to look healthy, nourished, and clean for days at a time. Sadly, I couldn’t just stop washing my hair all together. So I used a weaning method in order to make the transition much easier.

First, I started only washing my hair every other day with shampoo and conditioner. I invested in a few dry shampoos because I am very picky about scent. “No Drought” by Lush is the least pungent in my opinion. Dry shampoo is great because it’s a powdery substance that soaks up excess oils on those days where I didn’t want to wash my hair. I also invested in a good shower cap so I could clean myself without worrying about messing up my hair.

After a week of just this, I already saw a complete difference in the way my hair looked and felt. And on the days where I didn’t wash it, it didn’t immediately feel greasy. After this I stopped shampooing every day but would still lightly condition. Shampoo can be really tough on the hair and should be used sparingly. Conditioning and rinsing with water are better methods than constantly shampooing. It did take time for my hair to just get used to being rinsed, but after a few days it adapted.

Now I only wash my hair once or twice a week and I use the dry shampoo when I need to. I don’t need to use it as much anymore because my hair is properly hydrated and stays clean and soft for much longer. I truly believe if you follow these steps for dry crunchy hair you will start to see a difference. And when it doubt, always use some coconut oil.