It’s day who-knows-what of quarantine but day 4 without washing my hair… No shame here! As gross as it sounds, I wanted to spend today’s blog post convincing you that you shouldn’t be washing your hair every day (and why quarantine is the perfect time to change your ways). And for those of you who are already alternating hair wash days (or maybe even hair wash weeks? eek), I’m sharing my favorite chic hairstyle and tricks to disguise that dirty hair of yours.
Okay first up: Why you shouldn’t be washing your hair every day. Up until, oh I don’t know, my freshman year of high school (?), I used to wash my hair every. single. day. And as a preteen/teen, my hair and skin were always greasy, no matter how often I washed. But as I started following fashion bloggers and blogging myself, I read more and more articles about why you shouldn’t be washing your hair every day. I finally gave it a try one summer and wow, I have never looked back! In case you’re still not convinced, and are grossed out by the thought of unwashed hair, here are some obvious and not-so-obvious reasons to skip a few washes every now and again:
- As I already mentioned, it’s actually better for your hair/scalp! I’m no doctor, but all the research says that washing your hair every day causes your scalp to overproduce certain oils, which actually makes your head greasier and can cause irritation. (The same counter-intuitive nonsense also applies to your skin—using face oil products can actually help reduce your face from producing so much oil!) Not to mention, washing your hair every day can also make your hair really dry and static-y.
- Skipping washes saves so much shower time. Being able to throw your hair in a topknot and simply scrub your body without having to do your whole hair routine means you can sleep in longer in the mornings!
- It saves money. Think about it—less time in the shower means less water which means an ever-so-slightly less expensive water bill (if you’re already living on your own), and skipping washes also means your bottle of shampoo lasts twice as long, sometimes even three times as long. Woo-hoo!
- It means you can squeeze a few days out of hairstyles, like making Day 1 curls last until Day 3. I don’t like to use heat on my hair and I’m very lazy when it comes to making my hair look good, so any shortcuts are welcomed.
- It keeps your hair from getting greasy within a day. When I used to wash my hair every night, it conditioned my scalp to start producing oils by the end of each day. In other words, my hair would already be greasy by 5 o’clock, even though I just washed it the night before! But now that I wash my hair every few days, my hair doesn’t get greasy until the last day or so. It’s so much nicer being able to enjoy clean hair for more than a few hours.
I never used to think I’d be able to skip hair washes because I play sports a lot, and boy, do I sweat (and smell bad, yay me!). I’ve come to learn that a lot of my friends who skip hair washes manage to do it because they “just don’t sweat” when they exercise. I was not blessed in this way… But it explains why I see some fashion bloggers only wash their hair once a week and still have it looking great every day. I can usually only last about 3 days without washing until my hair is nasty and unrecoverable, but even every third day makes a huge difference in saving shampoo and time in my routine.
So why is quarantine the perfect time to transition from washing every day to every few days? Or even from every few days to every week? Because nobody has to SEE you! I’m not gonna pretend that this transition is a pretty one… You’re going to look and feel gross every non-hair wash day, and your hair is probably going to clump into a few strands so that you end up looking like Gollum from The Lord of the Rings. You might even feel like Gollum, as you slink around in the dark corners of your bedroom during quarantine. When I first transitioned my hair, I did it over the summer when I basically had nowhere I had to be, so nobody had to see how disgusting my hair looked. It’s not an easy change to make when you live a civilized life and have to look presentable, but now that we’re all staying home and inside?? Take advantage! Stop washing your hair! Kick back and relax. Let the grease come to you.
Trust me, I know it’s really gross to stop washing your hair in the beginning. You can start by washing every other day and slowly transitioning to every third day, and so forth. Or you can just go all-in from the get-go and only wash every third or fourth day. It’s up to you and how much grime you can handle. But after about 4-5 weeks of not shampooing every day, your scalp will finally be conditioned to not produce so much oil, which means you can enjoy unwashed hair and not feel gross about it!
And now onto my new favorite hairstyle for greasy hair, perfect for looking presentable at your occasional Zoom meeting or for everyday wear once we can go back outside. If you haven’t already noticed, headbands are a major trend right now, and I’m here for it. Unfortunately, as I mentioned in my Blair Waldorf post on Monday, I have a ginormous head that can’t handle hard/metal headbands (hello, headaches). So instead, soft headbands and scarves are how I’m doing the headband trend.
I adore high-end street style blogger Blair Eadie’s headband/statement earring combos (you can check out the latest pins on my Pinterest board to see what I’m talking about), so I decided to create an affordable (and presumably more comfortable) version myself. Like Blair’s signature hairstyle, my go-to Day 3 hairstyle (to disguise the grease, of course) is a low, tight bun and a big headband. Since your hair might already be slick by Day 3, you can use it to your advantage and create a sleek hairstyle. Like Blair, I part my hair in the middle and then comb back my hair as tightly as I can into a low bun, securing it with one of those plastic spiral hair ties (these hair ties are my favorite for bun hairstyles). This is how I did my hair for my Jane Sloan outfit a few weeks ago. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention, a low bun is perfect for holding the headband in place and keeping it from slipping off your head all day! That always drives me crazy.
I finish the look by throwing on a headband, or by wrapping a thin scarf around my head (I start by wrapping it underneath my bun, up to the front of my head, twisting it once, and then wrapping it back below my bun, where I tie it). Besides a hat, wearing a headband is by far the easiest way to hide your greasy hair. As is the case for a lot of women, my hair becomes most greasy at the scalp, rather than at the ends. So whether you prefer a low bun like I did here, a low ponytail, a high ponytail, or a high bun/messy bun, a headband will always work to cover the dirtiest parts of your hair. I sometimes even do a double French braid or double Dutch braid and top it off with a headband! The possibilities are endless.
Annnnd… a headband draws attention away from your hair and onto the headband (or better yet, your pretty face!). I’m all for accessories that distract attention away from my unkept hair. That’s also why I love headband/earring combos! As you can see in this post, I created 5 different looks with a headband/scarf, a pair of earrings, and a cute blouse. Oh, and did I mention that I’m rocking Day 3 hair in these photos?! Trust me, my hair would be super dirty if I took it out of this bun. But thankfully, the headbands and bold earrings (and even my makeup, to some extent), draw your eye away from the hair and make my accessories the center of attention instead. Pretty neat, right?
So beyond rocking a thick headband to cover up your scalp or bold earrings to distract from your hair, here are a few other tips I use to minimize the effects of dirty hair:
- I try not to use any product in my hair, and when I do, I only spray it on the bottom of my hair (not at my scalp). In my experience, having product in my hair makes it harder to avoid washing it—the product tends to build up and make my hair dirtier, faster. But when I do have to use product (like heat protectant before curling my hair), I avoid the roots and spray only on the bottom half of my hair. This prevents it from clogging in my scalp! I personally rarely use dry shampoo because I still haven’t found one that I like—they always make my hair feel chalky or look white or make it hard to wash. But if you have one that you love, let me know in the comments below!
- I tie my hair up when I go to sleep. I know a lot of people say you shouldn’t sleep with your hair in something because it can damage your hair… But what I do is lay in my bed, gently pull my hair up above my head (so that it’s laying on my pillow), and tie it very loosely in a soft scrunchie, only wrapping it around twice. The reason I do this is twofold: First, tying my hair up keeps it from touching my face while I’m sleeping, which can transfer my skincare products or oil to my hair and make it greasier faster. Second, if my hair is already on Day 2 or 3 or more, I don’t want my dirty hair on my face because it could lead to pimples. My solution is very gently tying my hair back in a scrunchie, which hopefully minimizes or stops breakage since my hair’s not in a tight/harsh ponytail.
- I switch my pillowcases every few nights. Similar to tying my hair up when I sleep, I don’t want a dirty pillowcase to make my hair dirtier or to give me pimples. So it’s a win-win.
- Whenever I exercise, I put my hair in a high ponytail and try to keep it off my neck as much as possible, which is where I sweat a lot. When I’m in the shower and my hair is tied back, I let the water touch about half inch into my hairline to wash off any excess sweat and to clean my face.
Which of these looks is your favorite? And I’m super curious—do you wash your hair every day or every few days? What are your best tips for alternating days? I love learning from all of you!
I hope you found this post helpful. I linked some similar pieces to shop beneath each look, including the exact makeup I used (I’m wearing “Romantic Rose” in the lipstick, shade 450). I also linked some of my favorite hard headbands for all you ladies that can still wear them! I wish I could; I love the look of those stiff headbands. But I’ve found that my soft headbands (especially the ones with the twists in the middle) add a similar amount of volume and chicness to my outfits, especially when paired with cute earrings.
Have a great Thursday and weekend! As always, thank you so much for stopping by today.
Miles of smiles,
Look 5 // Red Blouse: Liz Claiborne via JCPenney, $18 // Floral Headband: Francesca’s, $5 // Flower Earrings: Borrowed // Bumble Bee Pin: Amazon