Wet hair is The Worst, am I right?! I hate that it makes my clothes wet while it dries. I hate how it feels. And I hate the amount of time it takes to restyle. I’ll regularly go to great lengths to skip washing my hair for just one or two more days.
No surprise, I’m a fan of the growing trend to wash hair less frequently and prescribe to many of the reasons used to support less washing. I’m not up for “no poo”; 5-6 days is about my limit before I start to experience side effects of not washing like itchy scalp or greasiness. Also, do you feel like the roots of your hair start to hurt a bit after too many days of not washing? Maybe that’s just me…
Wait, What Do You Mean No Washing?
Depending on how dirty your hair is, no washing may be as simple as tying your hair up in a towel or shower cap while you shower, keeping it dry during your shower. If it feels like it really needs a rinse, you might get it wet but not use any shampoo or conditioner.
If you’re committed to daily hair washing, you may think washing only once or twice a week is gross and could never work for you. Daily washing, however, is a self-reinforcing cycle whereby excess washes strip natural oils from your head, encouraging generation of more oils. Slowing the cycle might lead to a few days with dirty hair, but in just a week or two, I suspect you can “re-train” your hair to not need such frequent washing. Without further ado, let’s discuss five reasons you don’t need to wash your hair as often as you might think.
5 Reasons To Skip Your Next Hair Wash
Your Hair Isn’t That Dirty ~ Unless you work out daily or live in a very humid climate and get really sweaty, your hair doesn’t get all that dirty in a day. By washing too frequently, you strip natural oils from your scalp (which your scalp uses for moisturization and skin protection), encouraging your scalp to create more natural oils. If your hair feels a little dirty or needs a quick refresh, you can always rinse without using any products. This could buy an extra day or two of no washing. Over time, you won’t even need the rinse.
As I mentioned above, washing daily may result in more greasy hair as the scalp produces more oil in an effort to replace what is striped from your head by shampoo. Thus, you may need to endure a week or two of dirty hair while your scalp recalibrates to less frequent washing, but having been down that road, it’s totally worth the short-term challenge.
Dry Shampoo Better Manages Natural Oils ~ Unlike regular shampoo that removes natural oils from hair and your scalp, dry shampoo absorb oils from hair without drying out your scalp. Thus, dry shampoo better manages oiliness for the first few days after washing because it gives the benefits of oil absorption without the stripping effects of shampoo. Also, it generally smells good AND gives hair added volume and texture .. BONUS!
If you’re new to dry shampoo, I shared a Complete Beginners Guide to Dry Shampoo that includes how to use it, which brands work best, and about a dozen dry shampoo hacks to add to your beauty routine.
Save Yourself Time ~ Washing and conditioning hair takes time (thanks Captain Obvious). It’s a no brainier that fewer washes saves you time during the shower when you skip the cleaning. This is particularly helpful for those showers that are shoved into busy periods of our days, like mornings before work. Skipping the wash reduces time spent drying hair, styling hair (because yesterday’s style is still looking great) and using products that recondition over-washed and over-dried hair.
Conserve Water ~ Plain and simple, showers including hair washing and conditions take longer and, thus, use more water than those that don’t. Go Green and Save The Fishies. More importantly, we need to conserve drinking water for ourselves as so much of it around the world continues to be polluted.
On average, a shower uses 2.1 gallons of water per minute and we take 8-10 minute showers. Quick and dirty math makes an average shower a consumer of 17-20 gallons of water or so. Remember when I mentioned we need about 182 gallons of drinking water per person per year? Cut out one shower per week and you’ve saved a year’s worth of drinking water for yourself in just about ten weeks.
Isn’t it interesting how we value the volume of water usage when we change the perspective and think about washing our drinking water down the drain? (Or maybe that’s just me nerding out.)
Shhhower Cap ~ The shower cap has been reinvented friends, and now we have a modern shower cap that takes advantage of current technology in materials science to make a prettier, more functional, longer lasting, better-smelling, plastic-free shower cap. Before using this shower cap, I usually wrapped a towel around my hair while I showered (on days I planned to skip the wash and rinse). However, when the towel gets wet, it still transfers some of the moisture to my hair, so it wasn’t a great alternative. The Shhhower Cap (I own this one) comes with a somewhat steep price tag upon initial investigation. But if it protects our styled hair and allows us to wash less frequently, saving money on products and resources, we’ll likely recoup our investment over time.
Save Money ~ Speaking of saving money, hair products can be pricey, especially good shampoos and conditioners. Fewer washes mean your products last so. much. longer. The cost of dry shampoo will offset some of the savings from less frequent use of shampoo, conditioner and other styling products, but it likely will be a net gain overall for most people.
How Much Money Can You Really Save by Washing Hair Less Often?
Even if you cut your washes from 3 per week down to 2 per week, that’s a reduction in product usage by 33%. If, for example, you generally use six bottles of shampoo and conditioner per year, now you’re only using four of each one. If each bottle of shampoo and conditioner costs $10, you save $40/year (and maybe more if you also use other styling and conditioning products). You could easily recover the cost of the shower cap and dry shampoo while saving water, saving time, and reducing energy usage to heat less water for shorter showers.
If you haven’t tried dry shampoo and less frequent washing, I highly recommend it. I love getting out of the shower with dry hair, knowing I don’t have to think about restyling it or drying it. My hair has become accustomed to less frequent washing and doesn’t start to feel or look dirty for at least a few days. A dose of dry shampoo buys me another day or so and wearing my hair up (or at least in a half bun and with daily dry shampoo sprays) buys me another day or two after that.
Seriously, I can’t rave enough about the beauty of dry shampoo and less hair washing. You’ve got to give it a shot.
If this all seems a little intimidating, try taking small steps first. Maybe just use dry shampoo to get one extra day out of your hair. Throw on a hat, if that’s your style, or toss your hair in a pony tail to get just one more day of wear before washing.
All of our small changes add up. Give it a go and let me know what you think? Are you a dry shampoo fan? How often do you wash your hair and what are your tricks to make your mane last an extra day or two?