We hate to break it to you, but chances are you’re washing your hair way too much.
That said, there are plenty of reasons someone might want to cut down on their weekly shampoo sessions. It’s expensive, really time consuming to wash and blow dry multiple times a week, and washing your hair too often can strip your hair of its natural oils and dry out your scalp.
That, in turn, can cause your scalp to overproduce oils, leading to greasy, grimy hair. Because of this, most people are misled into washing their hair even more frequently, resulting in a vicious cycle of your hair that’s either too clean or too dirty.
Truth time: You should basically only wash your hair with shampoo and conditioner once or twice a week, keeping it up in a shower cap any other time you bathe.
Truth be told, there’s a slight adjustment period before your locks start living their best life, so if you’re accustomed to washing your hair pretty regularly, you might want to start by slowly stretching out the time between washes. You can even just rinse your hair with water in between shampoos to start. (Hack: This is your best fix for learning how to wash your hair less when you work out). Certain products, when used sparingly, will extend the life of your wash.
It might take some getting used to, but the benefits of not washing your hair for a week are worth it. Speaking from experience, after a few weeks your hair will start to look and feel healthier, and you’ll 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.
Still not convinced it’s that easy? Below, we’ve rounded up all of the steps and our go-to products to help you start washing your hair less often. Check out our favorite products, as well as the top-rated alternatives at different price points:
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1. Use a clarifying shampoo 1 to 2 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.
Shop Our Favorite Clarifying Shampoo: Drybar On The Rocks Clarifying Charcoal Shampoo, $26 at Sephora
2. Use a hydrating conditioner 1 to 2 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.
Shop Our Favorite Hydrating Conditioner: Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Conditioner, $26 at Sephora
3. 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.
Shop Our Favorite Boar Bristle Brush: WIGO Cushion 100% Boar Bristle Brush, $25 at Ulta
4. 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 Our Favorite Silk Accessories: Alaska Bear Natural Silk Pillowcase, $23 on Amazon and Savena 100% Mulberry Silk Night Sleeping Cap, $15 on Amazon
5. Use a shower cap.
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.
Shop Our Favorite Shower Cap: Shhhowercap, $45 at Sephora
6. 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.
Shop Our Favorite Hair Tie: Invisibobble Slim The Elegant Hair Ring, $8 at Sephora
7. 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.
Shop Our Favorite Dry Shampoo: Batiste Dry Shampoo, $8 at Ulta