We all have our love and our hate with wash day, right? We want to keep our hair fresh for as long as possible, and in most cases, that’s actually pretty beneficial for your hair health. Your scalp needs time to naturally produce oils that keep your strands soft, shiny and healthy before you strip those away so soon. I normally tell people if you can let your hair be ‘greasy’ for at least one day, you’re helping it out a lot.
The common question I get is ‘well how long should I go in between shampoos?’ And to be honest, it depends. Everyone’s head of hair is different. Everyone’s scalp reproduces oil at different speeds. For some, it’s every 2-3 days, while for others it’s more so 5-7. And that’s perfectly ok!
What’s not recommended is every single day. That’s for a few reasons- for one, that’s a lot of mechanical tension you’re putting on your hair. Mechanical tension in the hair world is anything that could be causing stress on the hair with your hands. Pulling your hair up in high ponytails, brushing incorrectly, and shampooing/ blow drying can actually be apart in that. I know some may say ‘well I air dry my hair’ and I will actually explain why that may be troubling you more in the long run later, but you’re still shampooing it and getting it wet everyday. Hair is the most fragile when it’s wet, that’s why you lose a lot of it in the shower or brushing right out of the shower. Shampooing everyday can account for so much more breakage and hair loss than what may be necessary!
Another reason why it’s not recommended to shampoo everyday, is just like what I was talking about earlier with oil retention in your scalp. You shampooing too often strips your hair of those nutrients you need. And I know some will argue that their hair is a greaseball in 24 hours, and that’s because you trained it that way- I know that may be harsh but your scalp gets use to the routine you give to it. Once it realized you are cleansing it within every 24 hours, it realized it needs to produce those natural oils in a quicker time frame than normal, which causes overproduction. This then makes you feel like you have to wash it everyday. And I don’t blame you! But it will just take some training to get it back on a regular schedule.
Here are my biggest tips on extending your wash routine:
Finding a dry shampoo that WORKS for you is key. I feel that we all think just any and every dry shampoo will save our lives, and with the right one that is true- you just have to find which one is right for you. I love R+Co for their versatility in dry shampoo types. I also love Batiste for their affordability and quality. If you are either one that works out and gets your hair sweaty frequently or are beginning your wash day routine transition, I would highly highly recommend this one. I love that it’s wet, so you can apply it on wet hair, blow dry it in, and you’re good to go. My clients at the salon that workout frequently or have very oily scalps and have to wash very frequently love this stuff.
Some tips I have with dry shampoo is to actually apply it on your clean, day one hair instead of when it’s already oily. This helps so much with oil prevention. Most times you’re using less product too, since you’re not coating it all over your head.
Another thing you can do with dry shampoo is to “bake it” in your highest oily spots. Just like how people bake their makeup with setting powder, you can do the same with dry shampoo. Basically what you can do is apply it either a few hours before you need to leave or before bed, but don’t massage it in. Just apply it and go about your night. It will naturally absorb over time, by the time you’re ready to style your hair you may only need to work it in a little bit, or not at all.
Professional grade products are so important in having a well rounded wash routine. Drugstore shampoos have super harsh cleansing agents that are very stripping to your hair color and natural oils, some no matter how far out you space your wash day they are still stripping. Conditioners are formulated with waxes that 1. Just coat the top of your hair. This makes it appear shiny, but in the end they’re putting little to no health actually into the hair strand itself, and 2. These waxes buildup on the hair. Product buildup can irritate your scalp, which can in turn make it extremely flakey, oily, or sometimes both.
And when to apply them. Most creams are lighter in consistency, and are meant to be applied wet and either blow dried or air dried in, which is when I like to best apply them. Serums and oils are so nutrient rich, a lot of the times they’re heavier in thickness, which makes it a little easier and makes a little more sense to apply to dry hair. This I’ll prevent the hair from getting too weighed down, in turn feeling like you need to wash it sooner.
I know, you hate it. And you want to hate me for suggesting it. Well listen here friend, I hate it too lol. But honestly it took me until this year to truly realize how much longer my hair lasts when I do blow dry it. Letting your hair air dry every once in a while is totally fine, but the thing is when you do let it air dry, you’re letting so much moisture just sit in your root area for hours on end. And if you’re one to completely tie your hair up straight out of the shower, that’s extending the problem for ya. Now I’m not saying you need to whip the blow dryer out on your dripping wet hair. Honestly, I let mine air dry for an hour at least, sometimes two or three, then that’s when I’m blowing it out. Honestly getting a quality blow dryer or blow dry brush with a good blowout cream will help speed up blow drying time, and make it a little more enjoyable. If blow drying isn’t an option at all, I highly suggest to let it air dry all down so some air can get into your hair and scalp a little better, and if possible, at least use your blowdryer and go through the root area until that’s mainly dry, then letting the ends continue air drying.
And last but not least, one of my favorite hacks. I call this a bang wash. When you need fresh hair but you’re not ready to do your whole head, I will either section out just my front hairline or crown area of my head and shampoo that over the sink. If you guys want to see a video of me doing this to better explain it let me know, but it’s such an easy cheat! This is great if you need fresh hair in a flash and something I’ve been doing for years!