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Whether you're strapped for time or are trying to give your tired strands a break, washing your hair less can be beneficial for many reasons. But finding a way to extend the life of each shampoo session without ending up with a greasy mane is easier said than done.
Here at Shop TODAY, we're determined to treat our hair a bit more kindly this year, so we sought the help of a few top hairstylists to find out what products we need in our beauty arsenal in order to keep our locks looking lovely between washes. These are the 12 hair solutions they couldn't wait to tell us about.
Shampoos and conditioners
Not sure if shampooing your hair less is worth it? Consider this advice from Elizabeth Hickman, professional hairstylist and VaultBeauty member: "When you wash your hair, you remove the oils that your body creates to strengthen and moisturize it. Washing less allows those oils to heal your hair quicker and can strengthen and make your hair grow faster."
When you're cleansing less often, every shampoo session counts, and it's important to find a product that provides plenty of nutrients. Hickman adores this volumizing, sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner set that's infused with ProVitamin B7 biotin and collagen.
Figuring out how often you should wash your hair can be confusing, but Hickman has a general rule of thumb. "If you have fine or oily hair you might need to wash every day or possibly stretch it to every other day. For normal to damaged hair, try to wash your hair every two to three days to help the natural oils heal and strengthen your hair. If your hair is very dry or super damaged you should stretch your washings to every four to five days," she said.
The hairstylist loves Pureology's line of shampoos and particularly enjoys this creamy, moisturizing formula. The sulfate-free, vegan shampoo is a master at cleansing, hydrating and protecting color, and has a crop of nourishing ingredients like green tea, sage and jojoba.
Taking a break between washes? Lauren Baxter, a hairstylist located in New York City, recommends shampooing twice when you do lather up. "The first shampoo will help break up oil and product buildup, and the second washes away whatever remains," she explained.
The hairstylist loves starting her shower routine with this detoxifying shampoo that's formulated with apple cider vinegar and gets rid of lingering dandruff. The best part? It works equally well for thick and fine hair!
Dry shampoo is a lifesaver, but it can create unwanted buildup over the course of a few days. Luckily, this treatment does a great job of cleansing and revitalizing locks without stripping away color or natural oils.
"It uses apple cider vinegar to remove oil and buildup on the scalp to bring the hair back to its natural state and promote shine," Baxter said.
The stronger your hair is, the better it can withstand a few days without shampooing, and conditioners are one easy way to make your strands a bit heartier. This one from Olaplex works on a range of hair textures and is safe to use on colored locks.
"It's lightweight and nourishing, and won’t weigh hair down. For prime results, keep it off the scalp and be sure to comb through and finish your shower while it sits in the hair prior to rinsing out," Bianca Hillier, colorist at Andy Lecompte Salon in Los Angeles, said.
When you skip a wash day or two, your hair tends to get a bit dry, but a hydrating mask can seriously work wonders. "I like to compare it to going five days without putting any moisturizer on your face! The extra boost of moisture is great to keep hair healthy, hydrated and prevent damage and breakage," Baxter said.
The tress specialist uses this one from Moroccanoil and said it does a great job of hydrating without weighing hair down. The paraben-free formula is nice and creamy and is ideal for those with fine, dry strands.
For years, hairstylists have recommended dry shampoo for anyone trying to space out their shampoo days, and the time-tested product sure does a great job of mopping up excess grease. Baxter swears by this budget-friendly find that has a lightweight, talc-free formula.
"Not only does it absorb oil in your roots really well, it also smells great. It's one of my personal favorites!" she said.
This multitasking dry shampoo soaks up excess oil and adds a touch of texture to give your second-day style some dimension. Even better? The paraben-free formula provides heat protection, which comes in handy if you want to freshen up your style with some hot hair tools.
"This is great for training your hair and scalp on those shampoo-free days. Simply spray at the scalp and be sure to rub it in thoroughly to prevent a matte-like finish," Hillier suggested.
Ready to reap all the benefits that come along with washing your hair less often? Hickman recommends this dry shampoo. "It's great for getting an extra day between washing," she told Shop TODAY.
The waterless formula has a clean smell that features hints of lavender, powder and musk, and is a bestseller on Amazon, with 10,000+ five-star customer ratings.
Finding a dry shampoo that fits your hair color isn't always easy, but this one comes in two varieties: one for light hair colors, and another for darker hues. "I love it because it comes in light and dark tones but also because the consistency of the powder is super light! It absorbs oil and blends nicely without leaving a powdery substance behind," Baxter told Shop TODAY.
The spray works on a range of hair types and is full of nourishing ingredients like argan oil (a hydrator) and rice starch (a natural absorbent).
Other products to help wash your hair less
Finding a styling product that defines your locks for days on end without adding unnecessary grease is one of the keys to extending the length between shampoo days. Hillier swears by this curl mousse that locks curls and waves in place with a flexible hold and fights off frizz.
"It's a non-crunchy, lightweight mousse that helps absorb oils and create ropey texture. It's great for a second day dirty head," she said.
Spacing out your shampoo days doesn't mean you can't still shower. Baxter relies on shower caps to keep her hair fresh between washes and loves this adorable one from Kitsch.
"If your hair gets frizzy from any form of moisture in the air, this is great to wear when you shower! That way you will not have to go over your hair with a flat iron again between washes," she said.
For more stories like this, check out:
- 10 bestselling dry shampoos to refresh your hair between washes
- Tackle thinning hair head-on: 12 products that encourage growth
- Dealing with an itchy, sensitive scalp? Here's what experts recommend
- 10 hydrating hair masks that’ll nourish your locks in minutes
- I swear by this bestselling apple cider vinegar shampoo to detox my hair