How to Go Multiple Days Without Washing Your Hair

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How infrequently you wash your hair has become somewhat of a badge of honor in the beauty community. Going three days sans shampoo used to be an accomplishment to be proud of. Now, people are boasting about washing their hair every five days or even once a week. If all of this sounds like madness to you, allow us to explain. 

Stop Shampooing

woman from behind with wet dark blonde hair
Piotr Marcinski/EyeEm

First things first, stop shampooing like you were taught to as a kid. The no-poo method, co-washing, whatever you want to call it, by now you know that ditching traditional shampoos is not exactly a passing fad; rather, it's a real, lasting change in the haircare world. And if you haven’t hopped on board yet, you should. The detergent-style ingredients in traditional shampoos can strip your hair of its natural oils, potentially causing it to overproduce oil. Ditching shampoo doesn’t mean you have to quit showering—you have more than a few options.

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Have a Hair Plan

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If you’re trying to stretch the time between washing, you're going to want to have a plan. Day one is easy: You have clean hair, so it can be left lightly styled however you please. Day two should go a lot like day one; people with fine hair or particularly oily scalps may need to add dry shampoo, but only a little. Day three your hair probably isn't going to be as pretty as the first two days; try a messy bun or loose braid. Tease the roots slightly, and muss up your part so it’s not perfectly straight (these tactics will help disguise any first appearances of grease). Day four can be a repeat of day three, or, depending on hair type, you can slick your hair back into a low bun or a high pony. If you’re going for the sleek look, you'll without a doubt want to use product. Day five is probably wash day for those with fine hair. Thicker or curlier haired people may be able to get away with a slicked-back look (or a hat).

Have a Backup Plan

shower cap

Around days three, four, and five, you may have to get creative. When you just need a little boost between regular washings, you effectively have two options: rinsing or doing a half wash. Rinsing is fairly self-explanatory. If you had a sweaty workout, but you just washed two days ago, merely rinsing your strands in the shower will take care of the extra grease and redistribute your scalp’s oils. Or when the rest of your hair looks fine but the roots along your hairline and part are looking greasy, try a half wash. Pull your hair back into a loose low bun, and just wet, wash, and rinse about a 1- to 2-inch section along your hairline and down the front portion of your part.

You can do a half wash in the shower with a shower cap over the rest of your hair or in the sink. Both ways work. And you get to maintain that third-day texture we all love so much.

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