I’m going to let you in on a little secret: I only wash my hair once a week and have been on this schedule for almost the last 10 years. Crazy, right? I’ll occasionally wash it 2-3 times a week (I might have a week like this once every 3-4 months) but typically I wash it once a week and I’m good to go. Every single time I mention this to someone the next words out of their mouth are “How do you stop washing your hair everyday?” so luckily I’m here to tell you exactly how I made that happen and how you can, too!
I can hear you all now “But Casey! My hair is so oily! There’s no way I could do that!” And trust me… I understand your concerns. I’m here to tell you that you CAN train your hair, though, and you can extend the time between shampoos if you put yourself on a schedule and stick to it.
This post is going to be really, really long. If you haven’t already you should probably grab a snack and maybe some Starbucks to get you through.
First things first: If you’re washing your hair every single day because it’s too oily I have news for you… there’s a great chance that it’s oily because you’re washing it so much! Every time you wash your hair you’re stripping the oil from it so your body goes into overdrive and is all “Oh no! I have to produce oil because it keeps getting stripped away! More! More! More!”
The easiest way to correct this overproduction of oil is to simply… wait for it… stop washing your hair so much. Your body will eventually figure out that it doesn’t need to go into overdrive because it’s not being stripped as often and things will balance out. I’m not saying to go from washing every day to washing once a week, though, because you’ll be a hot oily mess and nobody wants that. The key to training your hair is to ease into it and follow a schedule over the course of a few months to really give your body time to adjust and balance out.
I couldn’t wash my hair once a week without some very specific tools, though. Trust me – it takes an army sometimes but it’s totally worth it. You’re going to want to have the following things on hand to make sure this transition goes as smoothly as possible:
– A good purifying shampoo. I like Purify by Pureology for a few reasons: It’s COLOR SAFE (rare for a deep cleansing shampoo) and is gentle enough to be used daily which is great because it means it won’t over strip the hair. Not that we’ll be using it daily since, ya know, we’re trying to get away from that.
– A legitimate shower cap. I’m not talking one of those cheap ones you can snag from any hotel I’m talking about a heavy duty, no joke, shower cap that will last you for a hot minute. You’re going to be using it a lot so you want to make sure it’s a good one. I recently picked up this one by DryBar (if you don’t have a DryBar close by you can pick it up at Sephora, don’t worry) and it’s life changing. I never thought I would refer to a shower cap as being life changing but this one legitimately is.
– ALL THE DRY SHAMPOO. Seriously, though… the only way I could transition to this point was to practically overdose on dry shampoo. I used to use it every single day for oil control but now I don’t really have to use it until day 4-5 and then it gets me through until wash day. I actually have an entire post planned on my dry shampoo technique so stay tuned for that. It’s sort of insane, haha.
– No bend hair ties. I wear my hair down 99.9% of the time so it would make sense that I want to avoid bends in my hair when I put it up to take a shower/wash my face/etc. These little guys look like phone cords and rock my world.
– Volumizing styling products. When you’re hair isn’t at its freshest you might notice that it’s looking a little flat. Since we’re not washing it and blowdrying to get that great volume we crave I like to turn to volumziing products I can use on dry hair that give me a little “oomph” without the hassle of actually doing anything to my hair. Redken Quick Tease 15 Backcombing Hairspray and Powder Grip 03 are perfect for this! Powder Grip 03 will also help to absorb a little bit of oil – bonus!
If you’re washing your hair every single day STOP IT RIGHT NOW. Start washing your hair every other day. I know, I know… that second day is going to be painful for you and you’re going to hate me but just stay with me.
After a few weeks of this every other day schedule you’re going to notice that on the day you’d normally wash your hair that you could stretch it one more day if you wanted/needed to. That’s when you know you’re ready to move on to the next interval and add one more day to your timeframe. So if you were washing on Monday and Wednesday you’ll now notice that you can wash it on Monday, skip Tuesday and Wednesday, and then wash on Thursday.
Count the first day after you shampoo as day one and your schedule should look something like this:
I know… 6 months sounds like a long time (and honestly it will vary based on each person) but think about how awesome it will be to only have to wash your hair once a week! Your styles will last longer, if you color your hair it will last longer before fading, and you’ll cut down on the time it takes you to get ready each day. Do you know how awesome it is to wake up and know that all I need to do before I leave for work is take a quick shower, do my makeup, and get dressed? It’s seriously amazing!
Now… not everyone is cut out for this lifestyle. If you’re active, going to the gym a lot, etc and regularly get sweaty then you’re probably not going to be able to go more than a few days. Sweat residue and oil are two totally different things and while dry shampoo is everyone’s best friend it can only do so much. So look at your lifestyle, decide what you can realistically achieve, and give it a shot! Some people might only want to train their hair to be washed every 3 days and that’s fine! But at least you know how to get to that point.
A few more random tidbits/things to avoid:
– Avoid conditioning your root area. You should be doing this no matter how often you’re currently washing your hair but either way, make sure you’re only applying conditioner to the middle (otherwise known as the midshaft) and ends of your hair. Your roots don’t need conditioner, I promise.
– Stop touching your hair. Oils from your skin transfer to your hair and trust me when I say that if you’re constantly running your fingers through your hair (something I’m 150% guilty of myself) that you’re adding excess oil.
– Carry a small can of dry shampoo in your purse. There are going to be times where you’re like “I can’t believe I’m out in public looking like a grease ball. I’m quitting this experiment as soon as I get home” so you’ll probably want to have a little can of dry shampoo (I like the Pillow Proof Blow Dry Two Day Extender by Redken since it’s the same one I use at home) with you at all times so you can touch up and then snap yourself out of that mindset. You’re not a quitter.
Phew! Ok.. I think that’s it for now.
How often do you currently wash your hair? Comment below and let me know!
Until next time 🙂
Full disclosure: I currently work for Redken/L’Oreal. The products mentioned in this post were all purchased myself and this post is not sponsored in any way. I just legitimately hate washing my hair and love these products 🙂