I started writing the previous boar bristle article with the intention of writing simple instructions, but then I got so excited about it, I figured I should put my money where my mouth is and do it myself. Buckle up for this wild ride, my friends.
Day One: The End of June
I get home and plan to brush. Tonight’s a hair-wash night, so I figure if I hate it, at least my hair will be clean in a few minutes anyway. I carefully section off into three moderate sections and get to work. Something you may not know about me is that I have extremely fine hair, but I have a lot of it. My thorough brushing takes longer than I initially expect it to. I start in the back, at the nape of my neck, and work up and around my head. My hair feels…big. This confuses me, as I’ve been thinking I’m tamping it down with the brush, so of course I check in the mirror to find that I look surprisingly and unfortunately like Aileen Wuornos. Thank goodness I decided to shower.
Day Four: The Beginning of July
I’ve been brushing every evening, whether I need to wash my hair or not. I still look like a serial killer when I’ve finished up, but today I started noticing that my second-day hair doesn’t look as oily. (The initial fluffiness seems to calm down as I sleep on it.) I spray my scalp and lengths with a few spritzes of the refreshing Christophe Robin Instant Volumizing Mist with Rose Water, and after allowing that to dry a little, I spray my hairline and part with Klorane Dry Shampoo with Nettle. I have a remarkably good hair day, and feel very French. (We have determined that this is my goal in all things fashion- and beauty-related.)
Day Six: Still the Beginning of July
I forget to detangle before boar bristle brushing tonight. I’m left with what basically looks like a bale of hay on the crown of my head where all the tangles seem to have condensed. I count the rest of my head as a lost cause for today and shampoo anyway. This is a battle in itself, and life is too short to fight multiple hair battles in the same 24-hour period.
Day Ten: The Middle-ish of July
Brandon and I have plans to go away for the weekend to celebrate our anniversary. My thought is that if I’ve washed my hair Thursday night, I can eke one more day out of my clean hair and not take any shampoo in my overnight bag. I plan to shower on Sunday evening when we return, and I’ll make do with only my brush and a travel-sized dry shampoo while we’re away.
I’ve been trying the Christophe Robin Purifying Hair Finish Lotion with Sage Vinegar (a product we don’t carry yet, but I’ve been trying myself to see if I understand the concept before we bring it on.). Now, this is an odd product. You can mist over damp hair — our lovely rep even told us to try on hair fresh from the shower — or spray on between shampoos to refresh your scalp.
I’ll tell you straight: when I tried this the first time, I completely ignored our rep’s advice to use no more than two spritzes. I put it all over my scalp before bed, the way I’d do my dry shampoo. I wake up with no curl left in my hair from the day before, and my scalp is greasy. This troubles me, as this particular vinegar is intended for use on already-greasy scalps. I resolve myself to use it appropriately going forward. It turns out to be great that tonight is a pre-trip shampoo night.
Day Eleven: Again the Middle-ish of July
I just needed to follow up on the now-used-appropriately vinegar finisher. I love it. I love it so much. I experience shine and bounce all day on Friday, including through our car ride to Philly. Also, as a side note, I don’t make it the whole weekend without shampooing. Walking around the city on Saturday means I’ve got city gunk (you know, normal head sweat) all over my hair and I just can’t not wash it. I steal Brandon’s shampoo for the evening and feel greatly relieved.
[As a completely unrelated but much-deserved shout out: on Sunday before driving back to Alexandria, we head to Cafe y Chocolate, where I experience the actual best Mexican Hot Chocolate I’ve ever had in my life. It may simply be the best warm beverage I’ve ever had in my life, to be honest. 10/10, would drink again.]
Day Seventeen: The For-Real Middle of July
It’s become sort of my mission to stop using dry shampoo at all through the rest of this experiment. As someone who has struggled with oiliness on face and scalp for most of her life, I struggle also with this concept. I wake up midweek with kind of blah hair, no shape, minimal volume. Instead of spraying liberally with dry shampoo and allowing it to soak up the oil while I do my makeup, I do two spritzes of Purifying Hair Finish Lotion, one on my part and one at its cross at the crown of my head. I follow this up with sprays of Instant Volumizing Mist with Rose Water (what the Christophe people recommend for refreshing second- and third-day hair, rather than dry shampoo), misted from about eight inches away. I allow this to dry while I get more coffee and snuggle with the dog. When I get to work, I get an absurd number of compliments from customers. I plan to brush thoroughly tonight to get this as-yet elusive, highly-desired third day out of my non-dry-shampoo head. I note that my hair feels very soft today, which is a nice change of pace from my usual dry shampoo crispness.
Day Twenty-Two: The End-ish of July
I’ve discovered something about not using dry shampoo, but maintaining my boar bristle brushing and rose water spritzes. My hair doesn’t magically look oil-free, but I’m finding that the oiliness looks…better. I joked with my hairdresser, Paulette, when she came into the shop the other day that it’s my goal to look intentionally disheveled most of the time, but there’s a super fine line between “Oh my gosh, how do you always look perfectly bedheaded?” and “Oh, honey, is everything OK? Did you forget to shower?” Also, as of today, I’ve made it to the third day!
Day Twenty-Eight: The Actual End of July
Well, after almost a full month, it’s official: I love boar bristle brushing. I haven’t completely stopped using dry shampoo, but I do use it less frequently, and I use less of it when I reach for it. My hair has body and softness — together! Often without teasing! — feels healthy, and honestly looks better than it has in a long time. I’m usually in favor of newer technologies for self care (Dr. Dennis Gross SpectraLite! Skinceuticals CE Ferulic! Rilastil Re-Sleep!) but it turns out our boar-bristle-brushing great-great grandmothers (and Marcia Brady) may have been on to something.
Stay tuned for the best way to care for your boar bristle brush!