I once overheard a girl in my college talking about how she only washed her hair every 4-5 days, I was so shocked! She had natural spiral curls and amazing volume and her hair looked awesome all the time; how was it possible that she only washed once a week!? Of course, being the curious sort, I marched right up and planted myself in the middle of that conversation and learned the secret of the one week wash; hello hair training.
So let me just start by saying this method is not for the faint of heart. It takes time and commitment to get to your goal and yes, you will have to deal with disgusting, greasy hair before you get there. But it is so worth it! Especially as a mom, it’s fabulous to not have to worry about washing, drying, and styling my hair all the time!
(Actually, as a side note, I washed my hair as I started labor with both babies, let it dry, and curled it -yes, yes I am crazy- because I knew that I’d have at least 5 days before I need to wash or style it again so it was one less thing for me to worry about with a newborn.)
If you wash your hair every day, and I sincerely hope you do not, know that this will probably be a bit longer process for you. When you wash your hair, you actually strip it of all the natural oils that are there to protect it, so your hair over produces oils to help replenish those that were lost, leading to greasy hair. As you begin stretching out the time between washes, you will notice that your hair naturally starts to adjust and becomes less and less greasy.
I used to only wash my hair every other day. So to begin, I started washing it every two days. When it adjusted a bit to the two day wash, I moved to three, and so on. Usually the first day I’d leave it down, the second half up and half down, and when it was that yucky greasy mess I threw it in a messy bun, added a headband and called it good. It wasn’t until a little ways down the road that I learned about dry shampoo -um hellllllllo?? Where have you been all my life!?
I don’t recommend plying your hair with dry shampoo every day as allowing your hair to adjust to the oils naturally is better and will get you to your end results quicker; I usually only use dry shampoo the day before I’m going to shower.
Okay, so let’s go over the rules.
1) Don’t wash your hair. Just don’t. Not ever. Ha ha just kidding. But whatever your hair routine is right now, plan to add one day in between washes to start extending. If you are a balls to the wall type, go ahead and shoot for the five day method (or however many days you want) right off the bat; it’s going to be disgusting, but your hair will thank you later.
2) Don’t wet you hair. This may seem like a no brainer, but a lot of people get really confused when I say I only wash my hair every 5 days, they assume that I still get it wet on the in between days; no, no, and no. Water, although a lot gentler on your hair than shampoo still strips the natural oils, and again, we’re going for ease here. The whole idea is to get your hair to a point where it’s easy and takes less time on a normal basis.
3) Don’t touch your hair. Stop running your fingers through your hair! Oh, my, gosh. Probably one of my biggest pet peeves; those girls who flip, and twirl, and touch, and pull, their hair -just leave it alone! Your fingers are dirty people, D-I-R-T-Y! You are adding oils and dirt to your hair when you touch it, stop, and it’ll stay clean longer!
4) Don’t style every day. With the 5 day wash method, I usually only style my hair the very first day, mainly for the reason I stated above, the more you touch it and run your fingers through it the greaser it’ll get. Now my hair holds curl really well, so I usually spiral curl my hair on day one, have loose messy curls day two, brush it day three to get waves, and day four and five styles depend on how greasy I feel my hair looks. (Note: I’ll be doing a style post to go along with this five day hair method soon!) If you have hair that is naturally straight, you might want to experiment with some different do’s, or just plan to straighten your hair the first day and work with it being straight the rest of the time. The glorious part about not wetting your hair in between washes is you’ll start to realize your hair style will just hang with you for a few days, thus causing less damage by using heat, etc. and making your daily routine so much quicker!
5) Don’t condition your roots. Again, greasy. Conditioner is all about adding soft shine and silkiness to your hair, but your roots, which are the healthiest part of your hair really shouldn’t need it. I’ve found if I condition mid-ends, let it sit for 2-5 minutes, and then briefly massage a little conditioner into my scalp before rinsing I still get the soft feel without the greasy look.
6) Don’t use lots of products. I used to use hairspray and curl enhancers and mousse and all of it! Don’t. All these products weigh your hair down and increase the yuck, let your hair breath people! If you need to add some volume to your hair, try gently ratting or back combing it instead, this is a much more natural way to give your hair a boost without adding all the yuck. (**EDIT** A tip from a cosmetologist friends of mine, she says; “We tend to treat out hair like a pair of jeans when it’s much more like a silk shirt! I’ll add that avoiding waxes, silicones, and other petroleum based ingredients in your products will help again. They fake the feeling of health in hair but really smother the scalp and build up on the hair shaft.” What excellent advice! Thanks @anthologybydesign, for more great hair inspo, check her out on Instagram!)
Alright, so those are my main tips and tricks, honestly, you just have to do it! If you’re a planner like me, find a few cute up do’s, messy buns, or braids on Pinterest and have those suckers on hand for the greasy days. Also, a scarf, piece of lace, or wide headband does wonders to hide the greasy roots on the yuck days! My go-to look is a simple messy bun (to cover the top of my head) with a headband (to cover the roots). Everyone always complements me on my super cute updo’s and I just laugh since an updo day usually means a “bad” hair day for me; but hey, they don’t need to know that!
Mommy friends, I’m serious, give this a try! It is so freeing to not have to worry about your hair for a couple of days; and not becasue you weren’t able to fit a shower in, but becasue you don’t have to! This is a mommy hack if there ever was one.
Also, this is a great tip for all my friends with colored hair like me! Washing fades your color like nobodies business so keep your head dry and keep your color longer!
This also works for any hair type. Like I said at the beginning, I originally heard about this from a girl with naturally curly hair and since doing some research, I’ve found that this method can actually be helpful for girls with super curly hair. Because all the yuck from shampoos and conditioners can build up in your hair, it can actually weigh down your curls where as this method allows them to breathe and do their own thing.
So, are you going to try it? Have any questions? Please let me know in the comments below!
Cheers to good hair days,
PS) As I write this my hair is up in a messy bun (signaling it’s almost time for a wash), but I’m planning to start stretching my routine out by a day so I’ll be going 6 days between each wash. My goal is to get to the point that I wash my hair every Thursday (or whatever day of the week I choose); how simple would that be!?