DIY + Tutorial

Published on March 24th, 2014 | by Becky Striepe

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How to Wash Your Hair Less

How to wash your hair less

Last week I talked a bit about my sustainable beauty routine, and in that post I mentioned that I wash my hair twice a week. A lot of folks have expressed interest into how you get to that place with your haircare, so today I’m going to share a bit about my haircare history, how I landed at twice-weekly washings, and how to wash your hair less.

Twice-Weekly Hair-Washing

Like I mentioned above, I wash my hair twice a week, and folks seemed really interested in that. I’d been doing no ‘poo for years before switching to castille soap, so for me there was no break-in period. You may experience one, and I’ll get into that below.

When I was in college I washed my hair every other day, and it was a greasy mess when I didn’t. Reducing from every other day to twice a week took a bit of time, but it was so worth it for me in the time and money it saves.

Shampoo and Oil Production

The thing about washing your hair every day or two is that it strips away natural oils. Really, this happens every time you wash, but the more often you wash, the more oil you’re washing away. Your body responds by producing more oil and sometimes by over-producing.

How much oil you produce and whether you over-produce depends a lot on your body and hair type. I can wash my hair twice a week, but some people with different hair and skin types may not be able to. Others may be able to wash even less. The only way to find out is to break your routine and see where you land.

What you use to wash your hair can also make a big difference. Proper shampoo strips away a lot more of your hair’s natural oils, which can cause your scalp to over-produce. Switching to a milder castille soap like Dr. Bronner’s can help with that.

How to Wash your Hair Less

Here’s how to wash your hair less, step-by-step:

1. Switch gradually from shampoo to castille soap. You can make this switch all at once or start by rotating in castille soap every other time you wash. I’d give this 2-3 weeks, while your hair gets used to it, reducing the number of shampoo washes along the way until you’re all castille, all the time.

2. Drop one wash a week, then start to taper. Do you wash daily? Start skipping your wash on Saturday. Then drop Monday. Then Wednesday. At this point you’re already down from seven washes a week to four. From here, switch to washing every other day until your body gets used to that, then try dropping down to twice-weekly washes. I haven’t been able to go lower than twice a week, but depending  on your hair type you might be able to even go to once a week. If it doesn’t work, then at least now you know!

The Break-In Period

As you drop washes and change from shampoo to castille soap, you may experience a so-called “break-in period.” This is your body adjusting to a new haircare routine. Your hair might be greasier than usual until your scalp catches up to your less-harsh routine. Planning for this can make the transition a lot easier.

I’d suggest using pins, ponytails, or hats to make it through this greasy hair time. If your hair gets too greasy in between washings you can also use a dry shampoo. There are commercial brands of dry shampoo, or you can make your own dry shampoo with kitchen ingredients.

Do you feel like the break in is going on for longer than you can handle? You can always start washing your hair more often again. Really, the worst thing that happens is that you go back to your old routine. The trick is just playing with frequency until your hair finds its happy place. That’s going to be different for everyone, depending on skin and hair type.

I’d love to hear from you guys! Have you branched out with your haircare? How often do you wash, and what do you use to wash your hair? Let’s talk haircare in the comments!

Image Credit: Clean Hair photo via Shutterstock


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About the Author

My name is Becky Striepe (rhymes with “sleepy”), and I am a crafts and food writer from Atlanta, Georgia with a passion for making our planet a healthier, happier, and more compassionate place to live. My mission is to make vegan food and crafts accessible to everyone!. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .



  • I wash my hair once a week. The thing that helped me the most to transition from every second or third day washing to once a week was giving myself a full week where I didn’t have a to do anything or be anywhere important – and I just didn’t wash my hair (I also didn’t go very many places). While one a camping trip, spring break, or a week you end up being home sick might be a good time for this. It got the break in period out of the way (mostly) up front and it was more convenient for me.

    Your tip on less harsh shampoo is important. I still really like shampoo and use Desert Essence Organics Shampoo and it is gentle. I follow up with their conditioner and it helps keep may hair from that “squeaky” (read: stripped) feel.

    The combination of having a whole week of greasy (and gross – the first time you do it) build up being washed out with a mild shampoo helps because your hair will be clean but not stripped. You might only get 80% of the grease out – BUT your hair will still look clean (not greasy) and that little bit of grease left behind tells your scalp it doesn’t need to go into crazy oil production mode again to “fix” your stripped hair. The second week will be less scary. The third will be even better.

    • I like that idea for taking the stress out of the break-in period! Mine wasn’t too bad, but I’ve heard other folks talk about a very greasy hair time that sounded like no fun at all.

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