You wash your hair, style it, and it looks like an oil slick by the following day (or even the same day). One way to break the cycle? Stop washing your hair.
As counterintuitive as it sounds, forgoing shampoo can help you win the battle against grease and other common hair issues. “Most of us wash our hair too frequently, causing dryness, split ends, and an irritated scalp,” Mane Addicts founder Jen Atkin tells InStyle. By getting in the habit of washing your hair less often, you’ll preserve (not strip) your hair of its natural oils, resulting in healthier-looking hair that stays fresh longer (at least for more than 24 hours).
So how long should you avoid the suds? Before you clear your shower caddy, take your hair type into consideration. If your hair happens to be dry or curly, the less you wash it, the better it will look later on. “I suggest clients with this hair type to shampoo only once a week, using conditioner only on the other days,” Atkin says. For those with normal to oily hair, who might not be able to get away with quite as many days, the pro recommends lathering up every 2 to 3 days.
While weaning your hair off constant cleansing won’t be the easiest transition (it might take a month to see a true difference), there are a few ways to tone down the grease factor. The first thing you’ll want to do is make dry shampoo your BFF (Atkin prefers R+Co's Death Valley Dry Shampoo, $29; randco.com). When applied properly, the product will absorb excess oils, giving your style some extra mileage in between washes. If you can’t imagine not washing your hair after a workout, try rinsing out sweat sans shampoo—by only using water, you'll avoid stripping your scalp of necessary oil. For the chicest way to disguise dirty hair, though, take the updo route (we love a good top knot) or use the added texture to your advantage and go with a messy braid.
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