How to Revive Your Hair with Dry Shampoo After Exercising

how to revive your hair after you exercise without washing it

Since I’ve started working out consistently (4-5 times per week), I’ve had a lot of questions about how I handle washing my hair, and how to revive it with dry shampoo after I exercise each day.

I often get asked why I don’t wash my hair very often, and the reason is that I have so. much. hair. So the time it takes me to wash, blow dry, straighten, and then style is over an hour. And if I air dry it (which I typically do), it’s 3-4 hours. I don’t have that kind of time on a daily basis, so I’ve learned a few tricks to avoiding washing it every day and keeping it from looking like an oily mess.

So today I’m sharing what products I use, and what I do each day after I exercise to get my hair looking fresh and clean again.

how to apply dry shampoo to actually clean your hair
my favorite dry shampoos for right after I exercise
How to properly apply dry shampoo
How to properly apply dry shampoo so you can go longer in between hair washes
How to go longer in between hair washes even when you exercise
  1. Let it air dry, or blow dry it. I put my hair in a tight topknot while I exercise to keep it out of my face, and then keep it in that top knot while I shower. If your hair is shorter, use a shower cap. After I’m out of the shower, I pull my hair down and let it air dry. If I’m in a hurry, I’ll sometimes blow dry it – do whatever works best for you.
  2. Dry shampoo. This is your best friend for going longer in between washes and freshening and cleaning your hair every day. My favorites are Suave Dry Shampoo and Amika Dry Shampoo. After my hair is dry again, I liberally spray the dry shampoo throughout.The key is to part your hair in the middle and spray parallel along the part, then do another part one inch down the side of your head and repeat. Then do another part one inch down from that, and so on down the side of your head. Now go back to the middle and part down the other side. Once you’re done with the sides and top, flip your hair upside down and spray along your neck.Let the dry shampoo sit for a minute or two, then rub through it with your finger tips. Now brush through with a Wet Brush (that’s the brand, don’t actually use a brush that’s wet).I repeat this every day after exercising and it works perfectly!
  3. Train your hair. This is an important step in getting your hair to last longer in between washes. It sounds crazy, but it’s true that your scalp will produce more oil if your washing your hair more often. If you wash your hair every day, try going to every other day for a couple of weeks (dry shampooing in between), and then go to every three days, etc.
  4. Use higher quality shampoo. This step has made a huge difference in how long I can go in between washes. I switched to Pureology Hydrate Shampoo a few years ago and it has made all the difference. It’s a concentrated shampoo, so the price tag is high but it literally lasts me for over a year because I don’t need much (even with a lot of hair). Once I switched, I instantly saw a change in how my hair felt, looked, and lasted.


Also, at night to keep my hair cleaner while I sleep, I use a bobble hair tie to pull my hair in a high, loose pony tail. It keeps me from laying on it while I sleep, and the bobble hair tie doesn’t leave any creases so my curls stay in place for several days.


Shop this Post


  1. Dalia says:

    You forgot to mention To spray the hair with dry shampoo right after the wash, which I learned from another post of yours. It does wonders, though I wash my hair every three days because it gets itchy and with the dry shampoo also weird to touch.I also have freak-the-stylist-out thick hair, but my solution was to keep it in a topknot 95% of the time and only style the bangs.

  2. Heather says:

    I read somewhere that being able to train your hair to be less greasy was a myth. I wasn’t able to find the exact article I read, but here’s another that says almost the same thing.

    My own personal experience (with my thick wavy Hair) has been successful going longer between washes, but I think it’s more ME getting used to the change and finding better products than actually changing how my body acts.

  3. Paige Flamm says:

    I’m training to run the salt lake marathon right now, and dry shampoo after my morning runs has been a lifesaver on days when I can’t do a full shower. Luckily my hair dries in about 30 minutes when I get out of the shower, so I wash mine more often, but dry shampoo really is the best.


  4. Morgan says:

    DO you use The pureology conditioner as well? I cannot wash my hair without conditioner or I won’t be able to brush it hahaha!!

    • Merrick says:

      I actually don’t use the pureology conditioner. I’ve tried a bunch of different conditioners – just cheap drugstore ones, and they work great. but I just do conditioner through the bottom half of my hair so it doesn’t affect the oil levels on my scalp. Also have you tried a Wet Brush? I linked to it in this post. They’re hair brushing game changers!

  5. Jenna says:

    Really helpful post! How Do you keep From Getting a crease in your hair from The tight top knot at the GYm and in the shower?

    • Merrick says:

      I do a twisted topknot and then put my hair tie around the whole thing. If I put it in a ponytail with a hair tie and then do a second hair tie around the bun, I’ll get a crease from that ponytail hair tie. Or if you’re still having trouble, try a scrunchie!

  6. Liz says:

    Quick CLARIFYING Question — how much of your hair gEts wet when In the shower after your workout(not much?!)? Just trying to figure out how much hair is air dRying…thanks!

    • Merrick says:

      Not much at all. I pin up any hanging strands with a bobby pin. I wash my face in the shower, so some of my hairline gets a little wet, and it gets a little wet from sweat when I exercise. But when I say air drying, I mean like 5-10 minutes til those damp parts are dry. Hope that helps!

  7. Dinah says:

    Wow!! I totally thought u had extensions! Lucky girl ! My hair wont grow. Boo. But maybe ill try dry shampoo!

  8. Sarah says:

    This is so incredibly useful right now- I live in Cape Town, South Africa, and we are going through the worst drought ever- major water restrictions and the chance of needing to ration water from collection points starting in April. I’ve been trying to cut back on hair washes to train my hair just in case that happens, so this is super helpful! At the moment it’s shoulder length- do you think that growing it longer will mean I’ll need to wash it less often?

    • Merrick says:

      Definitely longer hair lasts longer in between washes, but I think even with shorter hair you can train it to last longer! Definitely shoulder length is long enough to go a 3-4 days!

  9. Jenna says:

    Do you find a huge huge difference between Amika (high end) and Suave (low end)? If it makes a difference in shampoo is it worth it for dry shampoo?

  10. Hey! You’re hair always looks great! Have you ever tried the Kirkland Signature Pureology knock off? I tried it after reading such great reviews about its comparable formulation. It’s $10 for a liter, which is literal insanity, but I’ve been using it for two years now and LOVE it! I also have a lot of thick hair! It never even can dry overnight–but part of that is that I’m in the humid southeast.

  11. You really make it appear really easy together with your presentation however I in finding this matter to be really one thing which I feel I might by no means understand. It kind of feels too complicated and very vast for me.

  12. French knot looks complicated but they are really simple. Your article has been enlightening and fun to read and I am grateful so thank you for sharing. You would love this article.

Leave a Reply