by Kathleen Mulpeter
Even though I’ve heard time and time again that it’s not necessary to wash your hair every single day, I’ve been an obsessive daily shampoo-er my whole life. But after a recent highlights-gone-wrong situation (where I ended up needing to dye my hair back to its natural color), I’ve become extra-vigilant about how often I shampoo, lest I wash out the cover-up dye too quickly.
It’s only been a few weeks since I started washing my hair less, but I already see a difference, and not just because the new color has yet to fade—my strands also seem noticeably smoother and easier to manage. “In addition to preserving color, shampooing your hair less often can help deflate hair (so it’s less fluffy), create definition and save time,” explains celebrity stylist Jet from Jet Rhys salon. If you’re attempting to cut back on your daily shampoo habit, get started with some of her helpful tips.
1. Learn to love dry shampoo. This is a biggie (and prepare to have your life changed if you’re not using the stuff already). To apply, Jet recommends spraying dry shampoo on your roots and combing it through strands to soak up excess dirt and grease. “As a bonus, this will add tons of volume!” she says.
I’m a huge fan of Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak Refreshing Dry Shampoo ($9 on amazon.com), which was recommended to me by our digital editorial assistant, Kate. Since I have brown hair, I like that this product doesn’t leave any white residue on my roots.
2. Prepare the night before. “Wearing your hair up at night while you sleep will keep it secure and away from any products you put on your face before bed,” says Jet. To make hair easier to style the next day, use a scrunchie or a no-crease hair tie.I also find it helpful to apply dry shampoo before bed instead of (or in addition to) the next morning. I have short hair, so I pull it halfway up and spray dry shampoo near my hairline and at the crown so it absorbs oil while I sleep.
3. Get strategic. If you feel more confident with squeaky-clean hair, Jet suggests planning your shampoo days ahead of time. “Try bundling your top priorities on the days you shampoo, such as big meetings,” she says.
4. Try a new look. Experiment with a new hairstyle on days you skip shampoo, such as an undone bun or a face-framing braid, both of which benefit from unwashed texture and will disguise dirty roots. (We like this easy summer updo and these braid tutorials you can do at home!)
5. Focus on the roots. If you have to shampoo, our beauty editors recommend occasionally sudsing up at the roots only. Apply conditioner to your hair midshaft to ends (where hair is most fragile), before shampooing near your hairline. This will lock in extra moisture to your strands while still letting you rinse away dirt.