My hair is long, thick, and wavy, so waiting hours for it to air dry (or enduring seriously sore arms while I blow dry it) is not fun. Oh, and the cursory three-day window I have to wait for the frizz to lie down and it to start to be able to hold a style. Long story short, it is not a process I'm all too keen to endure on the regs. As a result, I wash it every 1-2 weeks, more for my own personal convenience. However, as I mentioned, it turns out not washing your hair is actually good for it. Win-win!
But I'll admit, there's definitely an art (or maybe a science?) to going days and days between shampoos, and I've hands-down mastered it. Not lathering up every day or two might sound gross, but every time my friends hear that it's been seven days since my last shampoo (key word: shampoo, not shower), they're shocked and would have thought it was freshly washed. Nope. Just seriously strategic lazy girl hair hacks.
Here are 12 things I do to extend the life of my shampoos, while also making sure my hair still looks relatively normal (read: not falling flat, no grease, and still plenty of body).
1. Shampoo Twice Using A Clarifying Shampoo
It's going to be a while until you shampoo again — lather up good. Sometimes it isn't dirt or oil that gets your hair looking dirty, but actually a build-up of products. Regular shampoo can't always get rid of this, so try a clarifying shampoo every now and then to make sure you're really getting your hair clean.
2. Only Condition The Ends
Your roots are what get the most oily, and your ends are the driest. Condition the ends for moisture, but leave it off the roots to keep your hair clean as long as possible.
3. Avoid Oils
As a girl with frizzy hair, I totally get the appeal of oils and shine serums such as Moroccan Oil, but they can be counterintuitive. It may not be naturally produced oil from your scalp, but oil is oil. And that is what you're trying to avoid to make your shampoo last longer, so instead, use a styling cream without heavy silicones or oils. My favorite is Living Proof No Frizz Nourishing Styling Cream.
4. Don't Touch It!
It's obvious, but it needs to be said.
5. Use A Texturing Spray
My hair never holds a style when freshly cleaned unless I let it dry wavy, so my inclination is to touch it and smooth it with my hands to help it lay down a bit, but as stated above — don't touch it! Instead, try a texturizing spray like Oribe's to help dirty it up a bit (without actually dirtying it up).
6. Pull It Back As Often As Possible
I swear my co-workers have literally never seen my hair down, because every time I'm working at my desk, my hair is pulled back in a messy bun. When you aren't out socializing or needing your hair to look amaze, tie it back. I like buns because they keep the wave in my hair, but you can put it in a ponytail, a chignon, a barrette — whatever. Just keep it off your face, especially when walking around outside in the heat.
7. Poof Your Front Pieces
When you exercise, you sweat, and that makes hair get greasy more quickly. To avoid forehead sweat seeping onto your bangs or front pieces, poof them back and secure with a bobby pin. Pulling it straight back into a bun or a pony tail with an elastic will leave your front pieces (which are usually the weakest part of your hair) susceptible to breakage, so a poof is a safer option. Yes, I'm talking a Snookie poof. Just rock it.
8. Use Your Sunglasses As A Headband
I live in New York City, so walking around outside in the smog and sweating in the humidity is not conducive to keeping my hair clean. If you want to wear it down, then push your sunglasses on top of your head and use it keep your hair up and off your face. You can still wear your hair down, but you'll help keep those front pieces sweat-free. Bonus: it helps while doing super important activities, like eating churros.
9. Dry Shampoo Is Your Friend, But Not Right Away
I always wait as long as I can before using dry shampoo. I swear by it, but it can definitely dry your hair out, so I only like to use it once or maybe twice between shampoos. And if you use it right away, then you can't use it again later on when it gets even dirtier. I try and wait until day four, and I spray it at night so that the oil has time to absorb while I sleep. In the morning, it always looks fresher.
10. Brush, Brush, Brush
As most girls with wavy hair, I used to be the girl who never owned a hair brush, but all of that has changed. Brushing with a boar bristle brush helps distribute the natural oils from scalp to ends, which helps break-up oil at the root and nourish your ends that actually need it. To keep the wave in your hair, brush at night and sleep with it in a messy bun or braid.
11. Rinse With Water
If you absolutely cannot deal, you can wash your hair, just don't use shampoo! It'll take as long to dry, but because it's already dirty, it won't dry as frizzy.
12. Experiment With Other Hairstyles
Break out the hats (my personal favorite), hair ties, and clips. Try a braid, an updo — whatever you can to hide that dirtiness. No one will be the wiser.
Images: Sienna Fantozzi; KBoyd/Pixabay; Courtesy of Brands