Believe it or not, I think most people can go a week between washes and have their hair look great. It’s just a matter of having your hair adjust. When we wash our hair it strips it of its oils which eventually makes it produce more oil. Wash it less, and eventually, it’ll produce less. In this post, I’ll share how I trained my hair to go over a week between washes and still look good!
History of My Hair
My hair is naturally frizzy. Not really curly, not straight, sort of just poofy. As I’ve gotten older, it’s flattened a little. Whether from age or from years of straightening it. The natural color is a medium brown that during reddish from the sun. It’s naturally dry. I don’t have a lot of oil or grease.
I’ve colored my hair a lot. Between the high school and college years, it’s been brown, dark brown, wine red, and black. I wish I had some photos for you but they live on my old computer which is packed away and, well…I’m lazy. In my late 20’s I finally started seeing a proper hairdresser to color my hair.
It’s been a lot of lengths, too. For most my life it was shoulder length. In 2009, I cut it to my ears. I hated it and immediately started growing it out. I’ve had it long since then and haven’t looked back since then.
My hair salon routine:
I go 1-2 times a year partially out of laziness, partially out of frugalness.
My routine is very low maintenance. I just my hair trimmed and equal length all the way around, just enough to get rid of dead ends and have it angled in the front. No layers. No thinning. No razoring. I find this type of cut can go the longest without needing repeat trips to the salon. Like I said, I’m all about less time and less money.
For color, my stylist typically adds some balayage highlights and does a semi-permeant chocolate brown to the roots. This type of coloring fades very naturally and the highlights grow out very naturally. It means less trips to the salon for me.
My in-shower hair routine:
I wash my hair every 7-9 days. I talk more about that down below. I use the Nioxin Cleanser Shampoo System 2. It’s actually for thinning hair. I bought it in preparation for postpartum hair loss that I never got but loved the shampoo so much I’ve kept it. It has a sort of minty/tea tree coolness to it. And, most importantly, it’s very deep cleaning – which is a key to my long time between washes. It’s hard to explain why I love this shampoo. It leaves my hair so clean that when you brush through it, it just feels so soft – no junk or build up. The shampoo is kind of pricy, compared to drug store options, but this bottle is big and when washing every 7-9 days lasts 7+ months.
The matching conditioner is really good, too. I like using it for the length of my hair but it’s not powerful enough for my dry ends. I often will use it from my ears to my shoulder, and then use a more deep conditioning one on my ends. Hands down my favorite is the Macadamia deep repair mask. This stuff makes my hair ultra soft. A good save option is the L’Oreal Elive Mask.
Day One Hair
So, I shower at night and let my hair air dry overnight. I have a lot of hair and it takes FOREVER to dry, so this is a good method because I don’t want to dry it by hand. Then, the next morning I use the Revlon One Step. This is the most amazing hair tool I have discovered – I share all about it here. It takes my air dried hair and gives it a beautiful blown-out look in about 6-8 minutes. GAME-CHANGING. Seriously, the best hair tool ever invented.
I don’t really use any product on it before or after. Sometimes I’ll give it a little spritz of the CHI Keratin Spray. But, really I try to limit products.
Day 2-4 Hair
The Revlon One Step leaves my hair in pretty good shape for the next few days. If I had to put in a bun a lot because #momlife I might have to touch up a spot with a straightener, but generally I can just brush it out and I’m good to go.
Usually towards the of the end of my “hair cycle” I’ll curl it. It helps hide the fact that the hair is dirty. Plus, I like wearing my hair curled but if I do it too early in the cycle I typically find I can’t go quite as long between washes. Again, I don’t really use any product. If I do anything I’ll use a spray of a dehumidifying hairspray if I have to – I like this one because it’s super lightweight and doesn’t weigh it down.
If I have to, I’ll use a dry shampoo right at my roots. I don’t have a ride or die dry shampoo, still searching. Again, I try to limit the use because it just adds build up to my hair.
Check out my tutorial on how I curl my hair on this IG Story Highlight – I’ve shared it twice and both are shared on there. The first tutorial, funny enough, was done the day I went into labor LOL. The second one is after Miles was born and you’ll see I used a little less product because I was pushing myself longer between washes.
I always will use a dry shampoo when I’m 1-2 days before a wash and it will usually get me 48 hours. If my hair has gotten extra greasy, I’ll wear a hat one day or do a quick updo to push it one more day before a wash.
Some helpful posts with quick updos:
Tips for Going Longer Between Washes
Limit Product – Definitely limiting how much product I use on my hair help. Product just leads to build up and makes me have to wash my hair more frequently. In general, I use almost nothing and go many days without adding something to my hair. I stick to hairstyles I can pull off without added product.
2. Deep Cleaning/Clarifying Shampoo- The next trick is to make sure when you do wash you use something that gets the hair REALLY clean, so you’re starting with the cleanest, freshest air. That why I love my Nioxin Cleanser Shampoo System 2 shampoo, I haven’t found anything else that gets is as clean as this without stripping it of oils.
3. Limit Styling – I find if I style my hair every day, I need to wash it more frequently. This is why I use my Revlon One Step and wear the blown out look for multiple days before curling.
4. Go Longer Lengths Between Washes Slowly – If you want to start going longer between washes, slowly push yourself out. If you wash every 2 days now, start doing it every 3 days. The first few times might feel like a stretch and the last 24 hours your hair might be a mess, but it’ll start to naturally be able to go longer. Then, add another day.
Trust me, this works. I was forced to do this when Miles was first born because I just didn’t have the time to wash it, and within 2-3 months I went from washing every 4 days to every 6-7 days! The idea is, our hair naturally produces oils. Over-washing dries the hair and makes it produce more. So, if you start cutting back on the washing, eventually the oil production will decrease. Everyone is still different. Some people can go 2 weeks at the longest, others might only be able to get to 6 days. But, try pushing your hair further.
Your FAQs about my hair:
How do you avoid split ends with long hair?
Short answer, I don’t. I still get tons. I definitely limit them by not using heat every day (or even every other day.) I think not washing it as much has helped limit my dead ends too!
Tips for getting super heavy hair to hold a curl?
So, you’ll see in my IG Story Highlight about my hair I curl my hair kind of tighter than I actually want it, and then let gravity do its thing for a few hours. The idea is curl it MORE than you want it to be curled and within an hour or two your heavy hair will weight it down and it’ll end up as this happy medium place.
How to limit frizz and flyaways?
Honestly, I used to struggle with SO MUCH frizz. It only really went away when I decreased how much I washed my hair! I know I sound like a broken record but it really, really helped!
How do you wear your hair down with a baby?
Haha, Miles pulls the HECK out of my hair. I always have a hair tie around my wrist and pretty much whenever I’m holding him or playing right with him I pull it back. But I try to constantly let it back down. Having it up gets uncomfortable to me and I also find it leads to more dead ends, breakage, knotting, etc. So, I’m diligent about taking it down during naps or when Miles is playing solo. I don’t have any secrets to prevent babies from grabbing it. When he does take it, I just put my finger between his to force him to gently release.
Tips for growing it longer?
Time? Patience? Haha. It took about 6 years for my hair to actually get to the length I wanted. I know, sounds forever. It was about 2 years until it was long, but the last little bit of length took forever. I just have the normal suggestions for you: limit heat styling, get it trimmed, don’t overwash it, don’t wear it up too much.