How To Train Your Hair To Be Less Oily

Here's how often you should really be washing your hair.

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Now is the time to heed your stylist’s advice about shampooing less.
Ridofranz via Getty Images
Now is the time to heed your stylist’s advice about shampooing less.

Here at HuffPost Finds, we’ve experimented with all of the various ’poo trends, from cleansing conditioners to apple cider vinegar washes. Our judgment? There’s actually no “right” way to wash your hair, but chances are you’re probably washing your hair way too much.

In fact, you should probably only wash your hair with shampoo and conditioner once or twice a week. But because there’s a slight adjustment period before your locks start living their best life, most people who are accustomed to washing their hair more frequently have a hard time slowly stretching out the time between washes.

Now that you have nothing but time on your hands thanks to social distancing because of COVID-19, it’s a good time to experiment with riskier beauty trends you’ve been eyeing from a distancing, like natural deodorant or fewer ’poo washes.

Colorist and stylist Haley-May Block at The Wayward Hairdresser told HuffPost Finds previously that now is the time to heed your stylist’s advice about shampooing less.

“Remember your stylist telling you not to shampoo so much? Take this time to get through that awkward phase while you’re inside and no one is seeing you,” Block said. “Consider this time to get your hair healthy, strong and less shampoo-dependent.”

“Remember your stylist telling you not to shampoo so much? Take this time to get through that awkward phase while you’re inside and no one is seeing you.”

- Haley-May Block, colorist and stylist at The Wayward Hairdresser

Washing your hair too often can strip your hair of its natural oils and dry out your scalp, causing it to overproduce oils. That’s what leads to greasy, grimy hair. Because of this, most people are misled into washing their hair even more frequently, resulting in a vicious cycle of hair that’s either too clean or too dirty.

If the idea of lathering less has you on edge, you don’t have to give up rinsing and repeating. You can start by rinsing your hair with water in between shampoos (a great post-workout hack) and use dry shampoo when you’re nearing your next wash.

After a few weeks of less washing, your hair will likely start to look and feel healthier, and you’ll probably notice more body and shine.

If you dye your hair or have highlights, the color will last longer, which in turns saves you (and your wallet) a few trips to the salon. Plus, you’ll take shorter showers on most days and waste less water in the long run. It’s pretty much a win-win-win situation.

If you’re inspired to lather up less these days, below we’ve rounded up all of the steps to help you train your hair to be less oily. We’ve also rounded up our go-to products to help you start washing your hair less often.

Take a look:

Use a clarifying shampoo one to two times a week.
Since you’re only “cleaning” your hair once or twice a week, you want to make sure it’s thorough. Now’s the time to lather, rinse, and repeat! A clarifying shampoo will remove all of the dirt, grime and product buildup from your hair and keep it out. But PSA: Clarifying shampoos are strong, so don’t use them more than twice a week. If you must wash more than that, alternate with a regular shampoo. Our editor loves Drybar On The Rocks Clarifying Charcoal Shampoo, $26 Sephora
Use a hydrating or bond maintaining conditioner one to two times a week.
Most of the oil collects around the top of your head, but never makes it to your ends. When deep cleaning your scalp, you’ll want to apply a hydrating conditioner to your ends. Start around your ears and work the product down to the tips of your strands. This cult-favorite conditioner has over 74,000 Sephora loves, find OLAPLEX No. 5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner, $28 Sephora.
Brush your hair regularly with a boar bristle brush.
Brushing regularly with a boar bristle brush will help distribute the natural oils from your scalp through the length of your entire locks. Check out this budget-friendly Sephora Collection Dual Boar Bristle Brush, $20 Sephora. Not into using boar bristle? We also found this Brigeo Vegan Boar Bristle Hair Brush, $22 Sephora.
Sleep on silk surfaces.
Not only is sleeping on a silk pillowcase great for your skin, it also reduces friction on your hair. Use a silk pillowcase or silk sleeping cap to prevent breakage, split ends and keep your strands smooth. Shop the internet's favorite pillowcase SLIP Silk Pillowcase, $89 Sephora.
Use a shower cap on no 'poo days.
Unless you can manage to wash your face without splashing your hair, a shower cap is a must for keeping your hair dry and styling intact in between washes. This cap keeps you dry without looking dowdy. Shhhowercap, $45 Sephora
Tie your hair using a spiral hair tie.
These little spiral hair ties (also known as coil hair ties) are super comfortable, will keep your updo secure, won’t leave a crease in your hair. Tying your hair up when you do anything that might be sweat-inducing will help keep your hair clean. Check out these Invisibobble Slim The Elegant Hair Ring, $8 Sephora.
Spray your roots with dry shampoo.
While you should use styling products sparingly to keep your hair as clean as possible, sometimes you need a little help. If your hair’s starting to look a little greasy, try spraying some dry shampoo on your roots to hold you over until wash day. This dry shampoo has more than 3,000 reviews, Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo, $36 Sephora.

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