My ultimate hair hack is simple and a lazy girl's dream come true: wash your hair once a week. Period. It isn't exactly an overnight fix, but through some hair training and strategic scheduling, I have extended my good hair days into good hair weeks, and it has changed my hair for the better. Before you begin to rattle off your reasons why this isn't possible for you, allow me to disclose that I have fine-textured hair, I work out several times a week, and yes, I sweat more than the average human. I'd also like to disclose that I consistently receive the most "did you get a blowout?" comments on day four or five, so this isn't just a case of not washing your hair out of laziness, it's the art of keeping it looking fresh and beautiful for an entire week without the hassle of a wash.
It takes some strategy to work up to this type of varsity no-wash hair game, but I promise your hair will thank you for it. First, check your schedule and plan your wash. I typically slot mine in for a Wednesday or Thursday so I catch my best days over the weekend and leave my sixth or seventh day braid or ponytail for the beginning of the week. Wash days also consist of some extra conditioning. I like to use a pre-shampoo mask or treatment, which I apply before my workout so the heat from my sweaty scalp helps to better penetrate my hair. I follow that with detoxifying shampoo which helps to remove any product buildup from the prior week, and I finish with a super-hydrating, color-safe conditioner that will give me a long-lasting glossy shine for the week to come. Post shower, I treat my ends to a split-end leave-in treatment, spritz a generous amount of leave-in conditioning spray to help with smoothing and detangling, and gently brush through the kinks. Sticking to my lazy girl roots, I usually lay off the heat and let my hair air dry, although I must admit, I like to splurge on monthly blowouts, since I know I will get my money's worth.
Days One to Two
As for the in-between days, there are some important things to know. Dry shampoo is, of course, a must. However, I use this sparingly, especially in the beginning, since it quickly changes that soft, freshly washed texture. Days one and two are easy: wear a high top knot to keep your hair from swinging against your sweaty neck during a workout, wear a shower cap to prevent any unnecessary frizzing during your daily shower, and if you're someone who gets noticeably greasy roots, try blasting them with a dry conditioner or even fluffing a talc-free loose setting power (yes, like the one you have in your makeup bag) to sop up and disguise the shine. Then stop touching it. The oils and grime from your hands will work against you here, so try and limit the fussing.
Days Three to Six
Days three through six can be a trying time for a newbie. If it's your first time forging this halfway point, you will likely begin to feel the urge to wash. Here's where you come on strong with dry shampoo, and sacrifice your freshly washed, soft texture for hair that looks and smells fresh enough to push through the later half of the week. Now's also a good time to opt for that cute braid, ponytail, or headband that keeps your hair off your face and helps you push through an extra day before you succumb to the wash.
Apart from the obvious benefits of less time spent styling and scorching, my overall hair texture has improved dramatically and is considerably softer and less frizzy than ever before. My natural air-dried style falls with soft beachy waves that I used to spend hours creating with a wand. And my once-greasy scalp has regulated itself to impart a healthy, glossy shine that doesn't weigh down my roots by day three. It will take pushing through some borderline must-wash days to work up to the seven-day marathon, but in four to six weeks, your hair will adjust to this new routine and you'll amazed by how your hair and scalp reacts.