How to Wash Your Hair Less
It seems that lately everyone is getting better and better at extending the time between hair washes. There are so many reasons to try to elongate the time in between washes that it only makes sense to train your hair to not need daily shampooing. Yes- that’s right, you can actually train your hair to produce less oil which will cause your hair to appear not as greasy after a few days without shampoo! It does take a little bit of focus and planning, but it is definitely possible.
Why wash less?
Okay. it might sound gross at first and you are probably conjuring images of the trunchbull from Matilda, but there are so many benefits of washing your hair less that you really should consider trying it.
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First of all, you save so much time getting ready in the morning if you don’t have to blow dry and style your hair every day. I don’t know about you, but my hair take about 20 minutes to blow-dry after I wash it and then another 20 minutes to straighten or curl. Saving these 40 minutes in the morning is life changing. It allows me to get something productive done instead or even sleep in longer if I want. Or just simply not have to feel rushed in the morning. To me having more time to myself is priceless and the best benefit of washing my hair less.
Another great benefit of washing your less frequently is how healthy your hair will become. My hair looks shinier, grows faster and has less split ends since I have started to shampoo it less frequently. This is because you aren’t exposing your hair to the damaging heat of the blow-drier and secondary styling tools as often.
You’re also not stripping your hair of its natural oils from shampooing it every day. This gives your hair a chance to naturally condition itself which causes a more nourished and moisturized appearance. Over shampooing also tends to dry out your scalp which is where dandruff and eczema come from.
Save money on hair products.
Since you are shampooing less frequently you end up using way less product. This means that you save money on your shampoo and conditioner. I was actually able to afford salon-quality products once I started washing my hair less because I didn’t need to replace the bottles as frequently. Which in turn also made my hair healthier because I could take care if it with higher quality products.
Extends the length of hair color.
If you have color treated hair- washing your hair less frequently is very important. It will help to extend the life of color in your hair. The pigment also tends to stay more vibrant for longer periods of time because you aren’t washing it out with shampoo every-day.
Step-by-step of how to train your hair
OK. I’m going to be totally honest. My personal experience of training my hair and scalp to be less greasy was pretty challenging. I have oily, olive toned skin and in general feel like I tend to produce more oil than a lot of people. There were some days where I felt like I looked like homeless lady. But I am here today to tell you that it is worth it!
The amount of time it will take for your hair to adjust to less washes is different for everyone. It all depends on how quickly your body gets used to it and slows down oil secretion. It personally took me about 3 cycles of less frequent hair washing before I could see a difference, but because of all the reasons I listed above it ends up being so worth it.
So trust the process and just know that it looks one hundred times worse in your head. We are all our own worse critic. If you are super self-conscious I recommend starting the process on a Thursday so you aren’t at the office on day four aka grease ball day.
So this is exactly how I trained my hair and it worked perfectly! I can now go three days between shampoos, probably could push it to four if I had to. My hair grows faster than ever, is super sleek and is actually easier to style.
What you need to wash your hair less frequently:
1-A good dry shampoo. This is my favorite brand to date.
3- A good shower cap to keep your hair dry!
4- Patience. (priceless)
Wash your hair like normal. Make sure you wash and rinse using room temp water -preferably the coldest water temp you can handle. This will prevent your scalp from getting dry and cut down on oil secretions. Make sure to also condition your hair.
Put a light amount of styling product in- remember you’re not washing it out anytime soon so if you go crazy with product it’s going to build up and make your hair greasier faster.
I like to wand-curl my hair on day three so I add a lightweight mousse on day one to give my hair a little body and help hold the curls later in the cycle.
After adding your desired styling product, blow dry and style your hair as as normal. On day one I like to wear my hair straight. The cleaner my hair the better it looks straightened so I take advantage of this on day one and keep a clean and sleek look.
During the day brush your hair a few times with a natural bristle brush. This way, any oil your scalp produces during the day will be brushed evenly into your hair and not just sit and build up on your scalp. It’s a great way to prevent any oil buildup or residue.
Try to not touch your hair. You will be transferring the natural oils from your hands into your hair every time you do so which makes your hair greasy. So if you play with your hair try to have some self-awareness and stop. Trust me this part if very important!
Before bed take your trusty dry shampoo and spray heavily into the roots. I usually spray until my hair gets a little white at the top. Let the dry shampoo sit in your hair for 1-2 minutes and absorb the oil. Then with CLEAN FINGERS work the dry shampoo into your scalp. Once it is worked in pretty well brush the dry shampoo down into your hair so that it is dispersed throughout your strands. Remember to use the natural bristle brush for best results.
After the dry shampoo is evenly distributed in your hair, pile your hair into a loose top knot on top of you head and leave it pulled back while you sleep.
When you wake up, brush your hair out thoroughly. Lightly spray more dry shampoo in and brush it through your strands. I like to wear my hair pulled back on day two because this is the time when my scalp will start to really ramp up the oil production. Watch some YouTube videos and learn how to add a side-braid or fishtail braid to your hair to give it a more elegant look.
Same rules as day one- do not touch your hair. If you do wear it down, brush it out with a natural bristle brush to keep the your hair’s oils distributed throughout and not just sitting on your scalp.
Before you go to bed, brush your hair out thoroughly again. Apply dry shampoo and go to bed with your hair pulled up and out of your face.
I find that by day three my scalp is really starting to get oily, however if I brush it out really well and then curl my hair, the natural oils act as a defense for my hair against the curling iron. My hair tends to be a little less oily after I curl it out and actually holds the curl texture better than when clean.
I usually wand curl my hair and create loose waves and then lock my hair style with a light weight hairspray.
Once again, do not touch your hair! When you get home pull your hair back into a loose bun on top of your head and don’t touch! Seeing as my hair is normally curly at this point I don’t brush it to preserve the texture. But if you didn’t curl it, then proceed as every other night, and brush your hair with the natural bristle brush. Spray the roots with dry shampoo.
Normally by day four, your only option is to wear your hair pulled back and piled on top of your head, or to cover your scalp with a hat or scarf. I recommend a cute baseball hat with your hair curled, or even back in a pony. Who doesn’t love a sporty girl look?
Although at this point your hair is pretty greasy, do not wash it! Try to stretch it so that you aren’t washing your hair until tomorrow to get five days out of your cycle. The first time you do this will be the worse. It will get better though. I promise.
Day Five/ Day One
Repeat the cycle all over again! Make sure you use an intense conditioner to treat the ends of your hair as they are probably pretty dry at this point. After one or two more cycles your hair will be able to go two-three days with extremely small oil production and your hair will be less and less greasy.
Dry shampoo matters.
The most important part of training your hair to wash less frequently is using a quality dry shampoo. Different brands work better or worse depending on your hair type. I personally haven’t had much success with the powder types of dry shampoo, while some of my friends only use the powders.
I have found that for myself the Dove dry shampoo and the Batiste dry shampoo do not work efficiently at absorbing the oils from my hair. So- if in the past you have used cheapy dry shampoo and hated it- I urge you, spend $20 on something a little nicer and try again.
After a lot of trial and error I would say my top three are:
1- Milk_Shake Dry Shampoo- $22 -super lightweight, powder based-spray. I find this works just as well at those $50 bottles out there.
2- Keratherapy Dry Shampoo-$19- Adds volume to your hair, which is a nice bonus! I find that the Keratherapy doesn’t leave a residue and your hair stays pretty soft.
3-Herbal Essence Dry Shampoo- $9– If you aren’t ready to spend $20+ I get it! I will say the Herbal Essence Dry Shampoo is honestly a decent sub. If you are going drugstore brand- please give this one a try! A little more harsh than the salon ones above, but it certainly gets the job done.
Don’t be afraid to try new dry shampoos and check out the Amazon reviews to see what other people think. After a little experimenting you will find one that works for you! I wrote an in-depth review of my favorite dry shampoos for thin hair here.
Other Hair Tips
We just recently posted an article on how to give yourself a salon quality blowout. Check it out! I also wrote a quick blog post about taking care of violet/ purple toned hair.
Have you tried to train your hair? Do you have any secret tips or advice to share? Comment below and let me know!