Picture of how to wash your hair less

All through my childhood, I washed my hair every single day. As I got older and felt constantly pressed for time between multiple jobs and full time school, I was desperate for a little extra time. I figured cutting out the extra five minutes in the shower and the amount of time I spent combing/drying/fixing my hair would be an easy way to get ahead.

I did some reading online and found out that not everyone washes their hair every single day, and some folks even say it's harmful to do so. I can't quote any studies here because it seems most of the pieces out there are pure opinion, but washing less works for me! I've been washing 3 times a week for the last decade, and my hair looks and feels better. This year I've even stopped blowdrying my hair and I'm keeping it as simple as possible!

It can be a little tricky to transition from washing every day to every couple days, but using the tips I outline in this instructable can make the process much easier. Plus, it's totally worth it: being able to put your hair up and shower in less than five minutes if you need to is AWESOME.

Let me know in the comments if you have any great tips and tricks for transitioning to washing your hair less - I'd love to hear them. :D

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gsmith587 months ago

Please please please add this to your instructable: Sulfate-free and silicone-free shampoos and conditioners! Our scalps get all oily because sulfates strip away the natural healthy layer of protective sebum on our scalp and roots, so our scalps are like "wtf?" and produce more. Just cutting out sulfates would be fine if silicones weren't in most of our conditioners - silicones are wax-like chemicals that add artificial "glossiness", and they are not water-soluble, requiring surfactant chemicals (i.e. sulfates) to get them off of your hair again, or else your hair will get gummy.

Cut out all the sulfates and silicones and be amazed at how much longer it takes for your scalp to get oily. Seriously, it's awesome!

(Plus, since sulfates are quite drying, my curly-wavy hair looks so much better now that I'm not using them. I used to straighten my hair every other day because it was sooooo frizzy if I didn't, but now, I love my waves and curls! And I live in humid Houston! Sorry the picture is so goofy, haha.)

This is a really old comment, but what shampoo do you use?

I started to react to commercial shampoos & conditioners, then I found using hand soap instead of shampoo, and white vinegar instead of conditioner works really well. Vinegar will also remove any product that's been applied to hair. Vinegar will sting if you have any cuts or scratches. Does not need to be left on hair, just apply it then rinse.
Scalp (and therefore our hair) is made oily simply by massaging it. Before stepping out of shower, rinse head in cold water so close hair follicles to reduce oiliness. This is also good for facial skin so pores are closed before we step back out into the grimy world again.

Boygasmo7 months ago

I wash my hair every other day because of the chemicals in shampoos strip away the natural oils. There are natural alternatives for shampoos but they are not cheap! Most people also dry their hair rigorously with towel which also can damage hair. Pat with towel and let air dry, do not comb them when still wet, as it cause split ends! Use wide tooth comb or your fingers to untangle hair!

For most men, they do not realize that most of the baldness is due to improper shampooing. Most people tend to use their fingernails when shampooing! That is a bad thing to do. Repeat pulling can cause rapid balding and hair thinning! Most hair salons shampoo people's hair by their fingertips! Fingertips is better than pulling hair out eh?

neffk Boygasmo6 months ago

I am not aware of any evidence that "improper shampooing" or vigerous towel usage can cause baldness.

you seem bent on criticizing boygasmo & getting the last word in. do you do this to your wife, as well?

fyi, you misspelled "vigorous".

Boygasmo neffk6 months ago
People tend to shampoo with their fingernails not their finger tips. The finger nails can grab and pull hair and remove the roots from the scalp. Repeat pulling of these roots can cause hair thinning and baldness.

Vigorous toweling put stress on the hair, creating some damages.
neffk Boygasmo6 months ago

I'm not sure you're right about people mainly use their fingernails. You say it like it's a fact, which seems convincing, you don't have links to any evidence. You may be an ideal human being, a fount of knowledge, a keen witness but no one is so amazing that the internet will take him at his word. If you're so right, marshal some evidence, convince us.

Whether or not damage is caused by fingernails is also not clear. I did a quick search of the scientific literature and didn't find anything about this specific cause.

You may be right but you need to make measurements/observations and publish them in a format where the results and your opinion are separate. Then it's science. Of course, people will still disagree but they will be fewer in number

Well, you have the internet. Here's an informative article for those who are curious about hair loss.

Boygasmo neffk6 months ago

Please note that your post also confirms my original post. It states on that website that "Scarring alopecias are typically caused by inflammation that results in destruction of the hair follicle leading to irreversible hair loss."

Baldness is caused by improper hair care and causes hair loss. Repeat stress on the scalp, incorrect shampooing, and toweling can stress your scalp. While some of that article contains some truth, that some can be hereditary. But majority of the causes are stress, health issues, repeat pulling is the main culprit of hair loss.

My friends whom are also beauticians, also confirms that they use their finger tips, not their finger nails. They say its because it causes stress on the scalp, increases dandruff, and hair pulling.

And in my experience, being a male myself, I noticed my hair loss due to incorrect shampooing and caused thinning. I since used my finger tips, the majority of it grew back, in exception to the left temple. I wish I had known so I could have prevented it. Prolonged incorrect shampooing does cause hair loss, if you use your fingernails!

neffk Boygasmo6 months ago

Yes, but read more about scarring alopecias. There is a list of causes and shampooing seems not to be there. Maybe I'm reading it wrong. What I noticed was that most of the items were diseases. There's no mention of mechanical type damage. It could be that the article is written from a perspective that does not include the type of stress.

BTW, what about people who pluck their various hairs? According to my wife, this is a very temporary solution. Wouldn't fingernail-scratching and vigerous toweling of the scalp fall into the same category?

I suppose there is a difference between what's true for the population and what's true for individuals. And it's also true that some conditions are not well studied by medical folks. So I'm not arguing that it didn't work for you. I just doubt that it's true in general.

Anyhow, it's an interesting discussion. Until now, I certainly had never thought so much about how hair responds to mechanical stresses. But I don't want to be an irritation or a distraction from this instructable so I think I'll move on. I think we've both had our say and maybe it's best to leave it at that. Fair enough?

OMG...i have a spot just behind my hairline that starts on the left and goes slightly back and to the right that is thinning. it's a strange spot and is about an inch wide and 3-4 inches long. do you think if i shampoo differently it will grow back or is the damage permanent? it's been this way for about a year.

No the damage is done, all you can do is follow the instruction by not shampooing with your fingernails. You can reduce farther hair loss and save what you have.

The only option is trying Rogaine, or hair transplant.

neffk Boygasmo6 months ago

No, rogaine doesn't work for this type of baldness.

that wasnt the answer i was looking for. :( luckily, i can cover it up easily since it isnt too bad yet. doesnt rogaine only regrow baby fine hairs? and they fall out as soon as you stop using it?

neffk fixfireleo6 months ago

Rogaine works for certain causes of baldness.

I answered, shampooing differently won't make a difference either way. After a year of noticing progressive hair loss, means it won't grow back. Its a total loss. There's no way you can regrow unless you get hair transplant or use Rogaine.

As for Rogaine, I have no ideal. But half of the men reports that it helps regrow hair-loss and thinning. So you could give a shot and see.

i know you answered. thank you. i was just hoping you would tell me "oh no, stop doing it and it will all grow back!" but wishing has never gotten me the winning lottery numbers either so i guess i should have known better. ;-) thanks anyway hon!

My dad had a spot as big as half dollar behind one ear.... no Dr could help him. His barber suggested putting White Iodine on it at least 1/day. After about 3 weeks hair began filling in completely. It also worked for a friend. Might help you out....and not pricey.... good luck!!

hey, thanks for the advice. i'll look into it!

Mama83 fixfireleo7 months ago

I'm a Master Cosmetologist. It depends entirely on what is causing the thinning. If it is physical damage, i.e., as in you are tearing your hair out with vigorous brushing or the like, yes, it can & probably will grow back. If it is hormonal, it may if that is out of ordinary. If it is male pattern baldness, there is some hope with products such as Rogaine, which do work and work differently on each individual. Unless you know the cause of your thinning, it is hard to predict the outcome. But it certainly never hurts to try a different method or product.

fixfireleo Mama837 months ago

thanks for the info. who would i see to find out about that? is there a hair doctor? or i guess that would just be a dermatologist? i would think it was hereditary since my dad and uncle were bald but mines in a weird spot, just behind the hairline about an inch or so but not AT the hairline.

Mama83 fixfireleo7 months ago

I would start with your doctor who may refer you, probably to a dermatologist. And that really isn't a weird spot, that's pretty common area for alopecia or male pattern baldness. If your scalp is shiny it may be simply a build up which can be cleared with special shampoo. But that is a prescribed article, here at least. Without seeing it, I wonder if it may be a testosterone build up, but I can't say, even if I saw it, legally I cannot say, but I can say the symptoms suggest it and I would tell you to see your doctor.

fixfireleo Mama837 months ago

ok great. i pray it isnt alopecia but it is possible it could be testosterone build up since, until just recently, i was taking DHEA which is suppose to be a testosterone precursor. i dont know that it really worked since i didnt lose any weight or have "increased performance" if ya know what i mean. (my pic is not exactly current if you are thinking i'm too young for these issues, but since no one is going to meet me on here, i figure why not use one from when i looked good. lol) i appreciate your info. i will definetly follow up on it! have a good one.

ElectroFrank6 months ago

Here in the UK a certain brand of dandruff shampoo has a reputation (i.e. urban legend) for causing baldness.

My personal suspicion is that regularly slapping a big glob of any (particularly a strong) shampoo in the middle of the scalp and rubbing it in, gradually chemically destroys the hair roots, which could be the reason for many men's bald patches. So my theory is that by well diluting shampoo before use, much baldness would be averted.

dezine7 months ago

I travelled around Africa for two years and during that time only managed to wash my hair once a week. After a couple of months my hair started to be softer and I didn't suffer from any split ends whatsoever. 20 years later I only wash twice a week and still haven't seen a split end, have dry scalp or even have to use lots of conditioner. I definitely think washing less is better - you just have to endure the process of getting your hair used to being washed less.

Catley7 months ago

When my hair was very short, I washed it every 4 days, but then I grew it out so I could have a pony tail (still growing--the longer the better, up to a certain point), and I switched to washing it every week. I never use conditioner, and every so often I use some white vinegar in warm water as a final rinse. I seem to get a little more body that way.

sings2high7 months ago

Actually, one alternative to shampoo is relatively inexpensive. I wash my hair every 2-3 days. Most of the time, I wash with a paste made of baking soda and water, massaged in with fingertips only. Then I (very important step) rinse thoroughly with just water, then a rinse of warm water with a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, wait a few minutes, then rinse that out thoroughly. I dry my hair gently and use a small amount of leave-in conditioner.

Occasionally, I get really messy in the garden (like yesterday when I found a tomato with my new weed-whacker) and need a deeper clean. Then I use a small amount of liquid castile soap mixed into the baking soda.

My hair and scalp have adjusted to the new routine and I find that whenever I try to go back to using a regular shampoo, my scalp starts to itch like crazy. So I don't even try it anymore (which saves a lot of money!) and my hair feels and smells clean, fresh but not perfumed. It's also very soft which is surprising in an area with hard water and I think I can thank the apple cider vinegar for that.

vickykoen7 months ago
(removed by author or community request)

Please don't use baking soda on your hair. After a while, the extreme change in pH between the baking soda and vinegar will cause a lot of damage. You might see pictures of people's "new growth" after using baking soda... we've started realizing that it's actually breakage. :(

Oh No! Thank you for telling me this! AWW ..this was my new favorite way to wash my hair. I thought it was good. :( I'm very disappointed but glad to know it. Thank you. I will delete my comment above, or edit it or something.
wendyj27 months ago

As you get older your hair gets drier and you don't need to wash your hair so much unless you happen to live in a particularly dirty city. I only wash mine twice a week now, but I do live in the countryside, where there is not so much dust and fumes. I expect it also depends on the texture of your hair. My fine hair tends to get dragged down by natural oil after 3 or 4 days, but more robust hair can go longer without washing and still look good.

epage37 months ago
(removed by author or community request)
Pinkly epage37 months ago

I'm curious about what fixfireleo asked. Are you rinsing your hair in the shower? I know there've been times when I've had to go several days without washing my hair and there is *no* regulation of the oils. It just looks greasier/dirtier with each day that goes by. And just rinsing my hair would not cut it. Styling it afterward would come out the same as overconditioned hair--just looks bad. And when the weather is warm, when you sweat, your hair is getting sweaty, too. Covering up with scented oils can only go so far.

fixfireleo epage37 months ago

i hope you at least rinse it off in the shower. i'm sorry, not to be mean but NEVER washing ANY part of your body is pretty gross.

MonkiMan7 months ago

I see you have dark hair but what about when you have lighter hair, I have dirty blond hair and I'm worried that the coco powder in your dry shampoo would look weird in my hair and show up as a brown dandruff.

Thanks for the help

1kathyr MonkiMan7 months ago

Just leave out the cocoa powder. That is only to keep darker hair from getting white streaks or spots from the other ingredients.

kbc27 months ago
any suggestions for us bald guys???? Just kidding! I shampoo my goatee about the same frequency ( unless dinner or work was messy) and use leave in conditioner 2 times a week. i get comments on how soft and neat my goattee is vs the wirey scraggly look.
bonjobish kbc27 months ago

male pattern baldness and other balding problems are dealt with( and there looks some great cures) on,So many encouraging experiences there for balding and reversing grey hair ! Wishing you every success !

doodlecraft kbc27 months ago

Awesome! I get so sick of poorly cared for or not cared for facial hair! :)

fixfireleo7 months ago

i've always heard it dries the hair's natural oils when washing the hair and is damaging to do it everyday. i rinse my hair everyday in the shower with warm water but only wash it when i feel like it needs it. (every 3-7 days usually). stylists i know also say "dirty" hair styles easier.

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