How to Wash Your Hair Only Once a Week

Whenever I tell people I only wash my hair once a week, they act surprised (and kind of grossed out). And men really don’t get it. My husband is ALWAYS asking why I don’t shower every day since he has to! (Don’t worry, everyone, I still bathe! I usually take a bath or use a shower cap when I shower.) You may be wondering why I don’t wash my hair that often, and there are a few reasons! The first is that it’s a chore and takes me several hours to shampoo, condition, blow dry and curl it. And secondly, long hair is particularly susceptible to damage and I really want to keep my hair as healthy as possible. Washing your hair is actually a damaging process… shampoo can strip your hair of natural oils, and using heat products on your hair over and over again causes further damage and breakage, so washing your hair only once a week actually helps keep it in great condition. 

So… here’s how I do it!

Days 1 & 2

Use a Clarifying Shampoo

Clarifying shampoos work as a reset button so that you can start styling your hair with a blank canvas. They cut through all of the grease, oil and product buildup on your hair and leave your hair squeaky clean. I like using a clarifying shampoo once a month, if your hair is really oily you may need to use one more often!

Don’t Use Oils

Although oils (like argan oil or coconut oil) can make your hair look smooth and shiny, I find that whenever I use them (even if I apply it only to the ends), my hair starts looking greasy after just a few days. I think because whenever you brush your hair, you’re distributing the oil from root to tip. Even though I do like oils, I steer clear of them if I’m trying to make my hairdo last a week! I prefer using a heat protectant cream after showering.

Use Dry Shampoo After Working Out 

The key to keeping your locks looking good after a workout is a really good dry shampoo. I love the Waterl<ss brand – their dry shampoo is a foam that absorbs sweat and oil without the use of water (it works best on thick or curly hair!). I apply it right after a workout and work the foam into my roots – when it dries, my roots look good as new. You can also apply it at night right before you go to sleep, and it soaks up oil while you sleep. The dry shampoo is also paraben-free so you don’t have to worry about toxins!

Days 3 and 4

Change your part or your hairstyle

On day four or five, I’ll usually change my part around to keep my hair from going flat on top or looking greasy. I also like trying out fun hairstyles, like braids or fun ponytails. For instance, I hadn’t washed my hair in five days when I took the above photo!

Use a Dry Conditioner

You’ve probably heard of dry shampoo, but have you heard of dry conditioner? The Waterl<ss dry conditioner adds instant moisture to your hair without the use of water. If I feel like my hair is getting frizzy, dry or tangled, I’ll spritz the ends of my hair (or the tangled part) with this magic stuff. I notice an instant difference in my hair, and it’s also paraben and sulfate free!

Days 5 and 6

Wear a Hat

It’s usually this point in the week where I have to don a hat! There are TONS of cute hats out there, from ball caps to straw hats. If I’m going to be running errands, organizing or doing house work all day I like to wear a ball cap like this cute one. If I want to look more dressed up, a straw hat adds instant summer glam.

Use a Fragrance Mist

If you feel like you’re starting to stink (even if it’s in your head), you can keep your hair smelling fresh as a daisy with a fragrance mist! I loveee the Waterl<ss Apple & Berry mist – simply shake and spray over your hair and you’ll smell like you just washed your hair. The fragrance mist is alcohol and paraben-free and perfect for days you travel, after the gym or for a quick refresh throughout the day. 

And that’s pretty much it, folks! I’d love to hear your tips as well, if you’ve got them!

*Thank you so much to Waterl<ss for sponsoring this post. A little bit about them: Waterl<ss started with a small team of scientists who were looking to improve the non-wash day experience for a diverse set of people and hair types. Just as the product technology was ready, a real-time situation emerging in South Africa proved to be the perfect home for the testing phase of the launch: in January 2018, Cape Town announced it was 3 months away from running out of water for their city of 4 million. Waterl<ss provided the people of Cape Town with an option when they had no choice but to not wash their hair. Loved by all who have tried it (including myself!), the Waterl<ss lineup is designed to provide a wide range of products that work on diverse hair types to give you clean, conditioned, and great smelling hair without using a single drop of water. 

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18 Comments

  1. Julie McCarter

    Wow these hair products sound so awesome!!! I have long hair also and washing and drying then styling can be quite the process… Your hair looks absolutely gorgeous and it looks fresh and clean!!! Love this post! Thank you for sharing!!

    5.22.20Reply
  2. Caitlin, I always love your posts so much! You’re so sweet and your writing style is so light and fun, like I’m hearing advice from my best girlfriend. I recently changed to washing my hair only once a week and I LOVE it! So much less maintenance and my hair is healthier. My tip is to start out by extending the time between washing your hair by one day, until your scalp gets used to that and stops producing so much oil, and keep extending by another day until you get to 7 days. I also use baby powder on my scalp on the 5th or 6th day and it absorbs all the oil and makes it feel fresh again. But I’m definitely going to try these Waterless products!
    xo, Rebecca
    lovinglifeinstyle.com

    5.22.20Reply
    • Kelly

      I did the same thing by adding an extra day or two between shampoos until my scalp adjusted. I use color and get a version of a Brazilian Blowout every 3 months and less shampooing really helps it to go the distance. Cornstarch powder is my go to if I’m getting a little oily at my temples. For some reason, dry shampoos always seems to dull my color. I can’t believe how much softer my hair is since I quit the daily washing.

      5.23.20Reply
  3. Stephanie

    This is so great! Definitely going to try because I’m been washing my hair almost everyday and have noticed it becoming dryer. Can I ask what clarifying shampoo you use and how often you use dry shampoo and conditioner throughout the week? Thank you!

    5.22.20Reply
    • Hey Stephanie, here is the clarifying shampoo I use (the conditioner is good as well): https://rstyle.me/+G9p6PCDGiyZ4JNKDwNltzQ

      I usually only apply the dry shampoo and conditioner as needed, I don’t want to overdo it. So I usually wait and see what my hair looks like each day when I wake up 🙂 But on average I usually use the dry shampoo twice and the conditioner once.

      5.22.20Reply
  4. Ale

    Hi Caitlin! I was wondering if this dry shampoo doesn’t leave your hair scalp feeling like heavy, hard, waxy or something, I’ve only tried a couple of dry shampoos and all of them make my hair feel really weird and not fresh at all. Oh, and one thing I tried that helps my hair stay fresh longer so I don’t have to wash it that often is -wait for it- baby shampoo! Xoxo.

    5.22.20Reply
    • It might work differently on different hair types, but it does not make my hair feel hard or waxy at all! I think because it’s a foam, at first your hair looks a little wet but then it dries completely. I will have to try the baby shampoo – thanks for the tip!!

      5.22.20Reply
  5. Absolutely loved how real you are in this post! Great tips btw! I used to wash my hair every single day (think about how much tiiiime waisted on washing, drying, styling my hair is, haha!) and I trained it to now only having to wash it every three days – pretty proud about that haha! It took me ages though, as I have quite fine hair and my scalp is prone to oiliness.
    xx Janine
    https://walkinmysneaks.blogspot.com

    5.22.20Reply
  6. Eleanor Kielbasa

    How do you keep your hair from getting crazy at night? I have very fine hair and sleep with a silk pillow but my hair looks looks like I stuck my hand in an electric outlet! lol

    5.22.20Reply
  7. Sounds like a great line of products. Wow, what a surreal moment for Cape Town! I can go about 5 days too before I have to wash my hair too. I’ve heard so many positive reviews about dry shampoo. I need to check it out!

    Kaitlyn | http://www.oh-theplaceswellgo.com

    5.22.20Reply
  8. Christina Wagner

    I typically only wash my hair once a week as well because it’s so thick and wavy. It’s nice to pick up a few more tips and tricks to keep my hair looking good.

    5.22.20Reply
  9. Thank you SO much for this post! I have a question: do you usually take your blog pics right after you wash and style your hair? Or is your hair in your favorite shape around day 2-3? It always looks so fresh and pretty!

    5.23.20Reply
    • I usually take blog pictures on days 1-4 but then not after that (unless I’m wearing a hat or headband in the photo!). My hair doesn’t look as good at the end of the week!!

      5.24.20Reply
  10. Love these tips! Definitely will be trying them this week! 🙂

    5.23.20Reply
  11. Kristin

    Hi Caitlin!
    What size is your Brixton Joanna hat? I’m seeing XS and Medium available online. Thanks! 💖Kristin

    5.24.20Reply
  12. Nessa

    Love your honesty in this post and all the these tips below especially on: just look at your hair . . . some days it it may not need the dry shampoo/ conditioner.
    That really helps me out as I think when I tried dry shampoo (a while ago) I was using it every day and that may be -why- it didn’t work for me.

    5.24.20Reply
  13. Lynn

    I use a tablespoon of baking soda once a week as a clarifier with my shampoo. I suds up as usual then add the baking, making a slight paste in the palm of my hands. Leaves my hair squeaky clean and costs pennies. I would love to hear where the Levi’s jean shorts are from!

    5.25.20Reply