HOW TO MAKE YOUR HAIR WASH LAST LONGER (AKA 10-14 DAYS OF UNWASHED HAIR)

Last week I shared my journey of figuring out better hair. Today let’s talk more about how to make that good hair last even longer. I mentioned in my post last week that I go almost two weeks in between washes most of the time, so today I’m sharing all my secrets.

But before we go any farther, let me tell you that I really do like mostly clean hair, and day two and three are usually my favorite hair days when my hair is the most manageable and looks the best. I recognize that going two weeks is disgusting and probably not the best judgement on my part, and your husband, like mine, may tell you it’s really time to go wash your hair (and he’s right). The only reason I go so long between washes is purely because of time and convenience, since I mentioned last week that it takes me upwards of two hours to wash, blow-dry and straighten my hair on day one.

Also, here’s a few disclaimers and tips before we dive into what my hair process is day to day.

1. It takes time for your hair to get used to be washed so infrequently. Your hair has to get used to producing less oil, and it eventually will. But if you’re currently washing your hair every day, or even every few days, it will not be able to suddenly last for two weeks. You’ll need to work your way toward washing it less often. It took me a few months to get it to last a week, and several more months to get it to last eight or nine days. And still, it doesn’t last a full two weeks every single time, unless all I’m doing is wearing a hat every day.

2. The longer your hair is, the longer your wash will last. Those of you with short hair will have to wash your hair more often…but short hair takes much less time to wash and dry your hair (unlike my thick mane that takes me hours), but I believe you can still make it last about a week!

3. When I was using cheap hair products, I could never go more than a day or two without washing my hair. Quality products, like Living Proof, make all the difference.

4. I get questions about how exercising and showering factor into this all the time. When I exercise, I pull my hair up in a messy bun or pony tail and add a headband (make sure it’s a soft one so it doesn’t leave a dent in your hair) if I know I’m doing an extra strenuous activity. When I’m done exercising, I leave my hair pulled up and get in the shower. I don’t use a shower cap, but you can if you’d like. Once I’m out of the shower, dried and dressed, I pull my hair down and let any moisture completely air dry. If you don’t have time for that, you can blow dry it. Then add dry shampoo to clean your hair, and brush it thoroughly. Living Proof’s dry shampoo grabs all the grease and junk and then it all falls out when you brush through it, so your hair feels completely clean again. *another disclaimer: naturally I don’t sweat that much, especially on my head, even if I do really strenuous exercising. If this isn’t the case for you, this method might give you different results.*

Ok, with those out of the way, here we go.

Now for the breakdown.

Day 1.

Day 2. 
  • Spray roots with Living Proof Perfect hair day Dry Shampoo and brush thoroughly. 
  • Re-straighten any pieces that might have gotten smashed while sleeping or when it was pulled up for exercising. 
  • To mix things up, I sometimes pull the front pieces back, or sweep them to the side and pin in place.
Day 3 – 5:
  • On day one my hair is too clean to hold curl really well, so I always wait til day two or three. 
  • I sprayed the roots with Phd Dry Shampoo, brushed it out, and added a subtle curl with a 1″ curling wand. Then sprayed with Living Proof control hairspray. On day 4, when my hair is even dirtier, it holds curl better. 
  • When it starts getting a little unruly (usually by day 5), pull half of it into a little bun at the back of your head. And if it’s looking frizzy, I’ll smooth it all out with a little bit of Restore Instant Repair serum.
Day 6 – 9: 
  • Time for ponytails and messy buns. The first first days I do ponytails with leftover curls. Then low messy buns, braids, or topknots as my hair gets dirtier. PhD Dry Shampoo, Restore Instant Repair Serum, and Control Hairspray are my secret weapons for these days to keep things looking as clean, smooth, and in place as possible. 
Day 10 on: 
  • Hats. That’s all I have to say about that. Baseball caps, fedoras, beanies…throw something on to cover that unruly, dirty mane, and then wash when you can’t stand it any more. I still use dry shampoo on these days, because even though the roots are pretty much shot at this point, it keeps the ends looking clean and nice. 
Whew…did you make it? That’s a whole lot of hair information in one post. Here’s the summary again: 
And of course, if you have any questions, leave them in the comments and I’ll try to answer them as quickly as possible!


thank you to Living Proof for sponsoring this post

46 Comments

  1. Patricia Devine says:

    What hair dryer do you use? We have very similair hair and I hear a good quality dryer is worth it.

  2. Julia Manfredi-Hobbs says:

    I have short hair, and I use a good shampoo, and the longest I can ever go without washing my hair is 4 days. So I usually wash it 1-2 times per week. I used to wash it almost every day, and like you said, it took me a while to get my hair ‘used to’ less washing. But now my hair looks so much healthier. And twice a week washing works for me. Styling doesn’t take long at all (specially because my hair is fine and dries super quick).

  3. Sarah says:

    What do you do with your hair while you sleep? I find my hair gets pretty matted down, etc. and makes it harder to go this long.

  4. Esraa Bassiouny says:

    I have to wash my hair once a week max because it doesn’t have volume anymore, do you have any advice for that?

    http://dressmecasual.blogspot.com.eg/

  5. Amy says:

    I’ve been washing my hair every 4-5 days for about 6 months now and I love the time I save and how healthy my hair looks after each wash! But since winter has set in and the humidity in the air has vanished, I am having lots of trouble with static, especially after I apply dry shampoo (which I need daily for my oily roots!). Is there a method or product you use to combat this?

    • Merrick says:

      Yes, I’d recommend a hair oil (I like Mitch Stone Lustre Drops), or the repair serum I mentioned. Put a little in your palm and rub through your hair, mostly at the ends. Hope that helps!

  6. Jaime Costilow says:

    Hair training at it’s finest girl! People think I’m crazy because I can go a week without washing my hair, but it’s so much healthier to not being washing and using heat on your hair. I use Davines products exclusively and I definitely love the results and how long I can go between washes with a few styling tricks in between. I am super fortunate to have my curls stay, even through the night, and I don’t really have to touch them up at all for quite a few days.

    XO, Jaime | RegallySoled.com

  7. RuthAnne Strong says:

    LOVE that you gave tips and products to go 1-2 weeks without washing your hair! It seriously does take so long! Thanks for the tips!!

  8. Laura Camplejohn says:

    How do you get such loose curls with a 1″ curling wand? Could you do tutorial on how you curl your hair?

    • Merrick says:

      Yes, I can for sure do a tutorial. But I basically curl it, leaving the last two inches sticking out and uncurled. Then after the piece is curled, I pull it straight while the hair is still hot so the curl becomes more of a loose beachy wave. I do that to each piece as a curl. Hopefully that makes sense!

  9. Jasmin daily says:

    Hey Merrick, love this post. I like you try to not wash my hair for up to two weeks, and use a similar method. However I was wondering if you experience any sort of dandruff looking residue from the products whether it be hairspray or dry shampoo. I feel like my hair starts to look grey-ish and like it has dandruff but I think it’s just excess product?! Any recommendations would be amazing, or maybe it is just me haha.

    xo, Jasmin
    http://www.jasmindaily.com

    • Sarah says:

      Try a clarifying shampoo! I don’t even use that many products but still get build up. (My scalp doesn’t itch and the flakes never get on my clothes or shoulders, so it’s not dandruff.)

    • Merrick says:

      Sarah’s response below is great! I haven’t tried a clarifying shampoo, but it sounds like a good idea. Also, some dry shampoo’s I’ve tried have left that residue — but LP’s doesn’t. Good luck!

  10. Sarah H. says:

    I WANT to believe you, but I can pretty much guarantee the only time I will go 10 days without washing my hair is when I’m dead. But I do have really…like really really oily hair. I wash every other day. I swear I can FEEL the oil in my roots after 24 hours, even after I use dry shampoo. You might be on to something with easing into it and using better products, though. Maybe I should try going 3 days and experimenting with a better dry shampoo. You’ve inspired me…but not enough to go 10 days. 🙂

    ~Sarah of Sarah’s Real Life

    • Merrick says:

      Mine was seriously the exact same. You just have to let your hair learn. Try LP dry shampoo, or try a few other brands and see how your hair responds to it. I promise, finding the right product for your hair will make all the difference and your hair will respond well to it and let you go less often without washing!

  11. Dayna says:

    Thank you so much for sharing!! What brushes do you use?

  12. Dayna says:

    Also, do you have to clean your brushes often? Just wondering how you do that since I am assuming there is a lot of build up from the products.

    • Merrick says:

      I haven’t had to clean them more often than normal…I have to pull out all the hair every few weeks since it’s constantly coming out, but I haven’t noticed any gross build up from the product at all, now that you mention it!

  13. Kelli Palmer says:

    Okay, I have to ask… I’m curious about your day 1 hair routine. Why does it take so long? Do you let it air dry a while before you use the hairdryer? I have long hair and enough for at least 3 people on my head and it only takes me 20-30 minutes to wash, condition, blow dry, curl, and (depending upon what I’m doing with it that day) style it. What are the steps to your routine?

    • Merrick says:

      It probably takes so long cause I have two kids…ha. If I just showered, blow dried it, and straightened it, it would probably take just over an hour max. But I have a ton of hair, so it takes me at least 30 minutes to blow dry it. And then I have to go layer by layer to straighten it, so that takes me about 25-30 minutes too. Hope that answers your question!

  14. Happinessatmidlife says:

    I am impress that you can not wash it for that long. I normally wash every 3 days. On my last day I curl my hair and when I wake it, it’s a hot mess and I have to wash it.

    Alice

    http://www.happinessatmidlife.com

    Would love for you to stop by & join TBT Fashion linkup.

  15. sandalf says:

    I love love love this post! I’ve been going about 4 days between washes without any product other than natural homemade dry shampoo, so I think making the switch to better products will help me go the distance between washes. How long does your 4 oz. bottle of Living Proof Dry Shampoo last for? Thanks!

  16. Anna says:

    I can’t help it, I just find this disgusting.

    • sandalf says:

      To each their own, Anna, but it’s not disgusting once you’ve trained your hair to last longer between washes. Seriously, your hair will stop producing much oil and will be healthier. Give it a shot with an open mind; or don’t!

  17. Prudence Yeo says:

    I live in a warm climate so not washing my hair after more than 2 days seem impossible due to the build up of sweat. I have never tried dry shampoo though so perhaps it’s time for me to look into it.

    Prudence
    Giveaway now at
    http://www.prudencepetitestyle.com

  18. Brittany says:

    Speaking of soft headbands for working out, if you need a good one I started using one from a shop called OverAround on etsy. It’s seriously the best headband I’ve ever used. I follow the shop on Instagram too @overandaround. Just in case anyone needed one!

    • Brittany says:

      I use them for greasy hair days too because they are comfy and I have a cheetah print one so i think it’s adorable haha

  19. ok 5 days has been my max but i love every single hair idea and this couldn’t have come at a better time as i just got a fresh new cut! i’m going to implement these – hats are a cure for dirty hair anyday! especially when you have small kiddos around like i do and hair has to take a backseat at times:)

  20. I love this so much! I’ve been looking into Living Proof!

  21. smuug says:

    My hair looks bad if I miss a day of not washing it. I do not understand why anyone would not have a few minutes a day to wash their hair? And a few weeks without it just kinda seem gross to me? Sorry, just trying to figure out why a few minutes is so hard to come by. Also, you do not have to use shampoo or conditioner every time you shower, but you should certainly be cleaning it with water and your scalp too.

  22. Claire says:

    Yeah, my husband is usually says something like, “So, is today the day you usually wash your hair” when I know it’s time to wash, ha! Anyway, I have been using dry shampoo for a few years now and finally found a decent one, it’s Batiste. The main reason I like it is because it not only makes my hair look clean, but also makes its SMELL clean, which is a huge deal to me. Im interested in trying Living Proof’s dry shampoo but was wondering what you thought about the smell? Does it smell like dry shampoo (musty, hair product smell) , or does it smell fresh and clean?

  23. Natalie H. says:

    Question … how do you get your curls/waves to stay in? Do you sleep on a silk pillowcase? I can curl my hair and it looks amazing one day, but after I sleep on it it’s a gnarly mess. I can curl it again or straighten it, but I’d love some tips on getting them to last after sleeping on them. I’m already at a point where I can go 3 days between washes, but having to still spend time really fixing it every day gets old 🙂

    Also, suggestions for someone who can’t throw on a hat some of the days? I’d like to go an extra day or two beyond where I’m at now, but wearing a hat to work isn’t an option.

  24. Lauren Gardner says:

    I am totally trying this out this week. Who has time to wash their hair anyway? Haha

  25. Kiersten says:

    I have to wash my hair everyday. I have naturally oily skin so my hair gets gross after a couple of days. My bangs get all greasy and start separating. My head gets itchy too. Not sure I could ever go that long without washing!
    Kiersten @ Autumn Country Girl

  26. Amy Carter says:

    Thanks for sharing. Your hair always looks great. I have stretched my hair washing to about every three days, but maybe I can work on going a little longer. If only I could stretch out shaving my legs to once every two weeks…

  27. Jane says:

    Don’t you feel gross in front of your husband when he tells you it’s time to wash your hair? I’d feel.

Leave a Reply