Shampooing less often for athletes.

Posted in Answers on August 8th, 2010 by Reagan

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Guys, dont be mad at me. I posted something about how I go 3, 4 and 5 days in between shampooing and this is what you had to say..

Youre a runner!!!! How do you do that?


But dont you get sweaty running? My hair gets drenched!


I got many emails and a few comments with people wanting an explanation, which is understandable. When I was reading them, I started reflecting on it my life..What do I do about a sweaty head?, I wondered. So I quit my job and traveled the world for a year eating food in Italy, wandering India and trying to figure out how I dealt with post-running hair.

I accidentally got my life mixed up with a popular book/Jula Roberts film for a second

What I really did, was pay close attention to my shampooing schedule this week. I dont usually decide, Hey, Its Monday so I am not going to shampoo my hair until Friday. Its really just Do I need to shampoo my hair today, or do I not?. So here is how it went.

Sunday-Did a 14 mile training run. Shampood my hair afterwards.
Monday-Day off from running, lifted weights. No shampoo
Tuesday-Ran 7 miles. No shampooing in shower, but used dry shampoo before leaving for work.
Wednesday-Ran 4 miles. No shampoo.
Thursday-Ran 8 miles, then I shampood my hair finally!
Friday-Day off from running, no shampoo.
Saturday-Ran 6 miles, no shampoo.
Sunday-Day off (actually I was supposed to do a long run, but didnt! hehe rebel) no shampoo.

I imagine Ill probably shampoo my hair tomorrow or Tuesday.

Some important things I discovered after traveling the world for a year, I mean, evaluating my shampooing routine for a week
~I dont sweat very much. Im sorry, but I dont. The hair at the nape of my neck is the only place that I can say really gets anywhere near drenched. My hairline gets a little sweaty, but for the most part, my hair isnt really wet when I finish my runs. Maybe that is because I run at 6 a.m. and not having direct sunlight on me works in my non-sweaty favor, Im not really sure. The only times I have sweated like a man, is if I go in the middle of the day, or if I run indoors on the treadmill, which I very rarely do.
~I would say that if I was drenched after running, I would probably shampoo my hair. Im not trying to have you walking around feeling gross all the time.
~Dry shampoo really is heaven sent. My head/hair never, never, never smells. never. I use it a few days after I shampoo in the shower, and then I dont really need anything more until its time to shampoo in the shower again. I take my hair out of its runners pony (panda tail) tail and let it dry before applying the heaven sent goods.
~I dont force my hair to go longer than it wants in-between shampooing. If my hair is dirty, I shampoo it!

Man, you all really love to learn about shampooing less often. I know, it makes life so much easier, right? Im going to change my header to shes always busy, busy busy, busy dry shampoo bottle.


23 Responses to Shampooing less often for athletes.

  1. diana Says:

    im with you, girl. i shampoo every 4-5 days.grew up in a country where water was scarce, and kind of expensiveand just got used to it.

  2. Sonja Says:

    I am SO HAPPY somebody else admits to not shampooing that often! I have very much and very thick wavy hair that doesnt really get greasy, so I shampoo only every 5-7 days. It is just to exhausting to have to go through the procedure of drying my hair more often (if I let it airdry it takes HOURS for the layers underneath). But it is not any rule or anything, I wash my hair whenever I feel it is about time. My sisters hair is the exact opposite though, straight, thin and has to be shampood nearly every day. And she gets very upset with me when I sometimes cant remember when was the last time I washed my hair ;)

  3. Mia Says:

    THANK YOU for answering that! i just moved to texas where the humidity is sooo much different than i am used to im hoping i can go at least a couple days without washing. im pretty soaked after my runs but im going to get some of your dry shampoo and try that out.
    i sure appreciate you sharing all of your helpful tips. please know that i am so grateful! xo

  4. Kari Says:

    Perfect post cause I was just wondering the same thing. I also wondered if dry shampoo could really do the trick, so I guess Ill just have to try er out. I have to admit that I have doubts, but Im willing to give it a go.

  5. Lyndsi Says:

    So, I have always wondered (and yes, I know this is probably the lamest question you have ever received) but when you say you dont wash your hair for days, do you get it wet when youre in the shower, or just keep it dry for the 3-5 day span!? I know, totally stupid, but either way I would like to know and you can totally mock me if you need too!!

    PS. I love love your blogs!

  6. Jane Says:

    What brand of dry shampoo do you use? I live in Australia and had a look at the hair supplier today and only saw 3 brands. Which ones do you recommend?

    Like you, I am a runner and find I only sweat at the base of my neck along the hair line but that is enough to make for a frizz ball. My hair is naturally dry and I hope the dry shampoo will help me in between washes.

    PS I too LOVE all of your blogs. You (and Jake) are such an inspirational couple.

  7. Tif Says:

    Girl I have wondered these same things. Glad you cleared it all up. I got dry shampoo cause of you and it has changed my life! I sell everyone on it. Dry shampoo is one of my top all time favorite inventions!

  8. Miggy Says:

    Guess what. Even when I work out (which has been a while) and its not a shampoo day, I just dont shampoo. And I sweat. For sure. So my hair gets wet (not soaked, but wet) and I just let it dry and dont worry about it. Otherwise Id be shampooing twice as often and I dont want to do that. But maybe I could try some dry shampoo too

  9. Lea Says:

    I have really thin hair that is kind of limp and can get oily very easily. I can NEVER go more than 2 days without shampooing or my hair looks disgusting! Do you have any tips for people who are prone to oil? Some people have said my hair gets oily because I wash too much, but if I dont it looks horrible! Any tips?

  10. Meredith Says:

    Girls, especially Lea, it takes time for your head to adjust to less washing. I have become a twice a week shampoo-er but it didnt happen over night. Here is how I got there: I realized after having some color treatments on my hair a couple years ago that my hair was super dry and performed every day for several days without being gross. So I bit the bullet and started stretching my time between shampoos. I now pretty much wash saturday or Sunday and Wednesday. I used to think it was so creepy that my grandma did the wash and set thing once a week I was a teenager obsessed with daily shampooing and couldnt get over it. How does her hair not look like a grease head? It is because her hair/scalp was adjusted to it and didnt overproduce oils. All the washing strips your hair of its natural oils and your body goes into hyper drive to replace it. That is why it seems to get oily faster than someone who washes less frequently.

    I dont use the dry shampoos never tried it. A lot of what helps me is a great blow out at the beginning of the cycle. Some product some volume and it lasts longer. If it air dries at the beginning it never looks as good. Also, I too work out a lot. I run and go to boot camps. My hair gets a little sweaty on the edges as Reagan describes but not bad. I read once that if it is so yuck you cant stand it, then just rinse it in the shower. That is enough to rinse off the sweat residue if it concerns you. Water isnt the enemy to healthy hair, it is over-shampooing. But getting it wet means the whole blow out cycle begins again so I try to avoid getting it wet as much as possible.

    My kids they only shampoo their hair on saturdays. They do get baths/showers occasionally throughout the week but rinsing is enough to get the occasional sticky crud whatever else kids get in their hair.

    (And in reality, I am off shampoo entirely and use baking soda like a crunchy granola girl and have done so for almost 9 months but that is for a different discussionand I dont color my hair anymore, all you stylists who use baking soda with color correction dont need to freak out. My hair is super clean and super cute I promise! it is just the green way to shampoo!)

  11. Tammy Says:

    I am a runner, or was and plan on being again in about 24 weeks. Anyways I am the same as you. I wash my hair every 4-5 days and I love it. Plus I hate washing and drying my hair so I go as long as possible without washing. I dont find my head sweating and smelling because of running. I wear a bandana when I run that helps soak up a lot of sweat.

  12. Caitlin Says:

    Thank you! I almost emailed you this same question. Thanks for mentioning dry shampooI got some, and its a miracle in a can!

  13. Kimberly Says:

    what brand of dry shampoo do you recomend?

  14. Liz Says:

    Thanks for telling all of us about Dry Shampoo. I run and I only wash my hair 1-2 times a week and use dry shampoo sometimes in between wash when my hair gets oily which doesnt happen very much. I have to say I love my hair I think my hair is a lot like yours thick with a loose curl.

  15. Jesse Says:

    OK, so I shower each day and condition the hair each day, but only use shampoo once maaaaybee twice a week. Boy, does it sparkle on that one day!
    But my question is this, am I helping my hair at all by doing this? I color my greys and use a flat iron on my one fancy day (and a few more times when its cooler out), and this is my attempt to keep her healthy. Should I actually not even be conditioning it?

  16. Rebecca Mac Says:

    So Ive totally been trying to wash less and use dry shampoo and I think I may be in love. My Hubby even looked at me over breakfast this morning and asked when I had time to do my hair today, and I was totally like Dude, this is already two day old hair, and it rocks Awesome! Thanks, Love your blog/blob :)

  17. tori Says:

    Thank you!!!

  18. Sylvia Says:

    I used to hate my fine, thick, wavy-curly hair until I stopped shampooing so regularly. At that time, regularly meant about every 3 days.

    Shampooing every 5 or 6 days gives me what feels like somebody elses hair and isnt that what we all want? It is gloriously healthy, not dry, and keeps the same hairdo (messy shoulder-length waves) until I shampoo it. I used to be a freak about styling it every day and now I dont have to except maybe a spot here and a strand there. Love it!

    I also run but I just rinse mine out really well in the shower without shampoo if Im all sweaty.

  19. A Says:

    Im trying to figure out why people would email you just to say sick! or ewww! Seriously? She has awesome hair and all you can say is ewww?


    I do the no-poo method: spray my hair with a baking soda/water mixture (no-poo), wash the bod, then spray the ends with an apple cider vinegar mix, wash the face, and rinse everything. Once a week (usually Friday), I wash & condition the hair. Once a week (usually Weds), I just rinse the hair with water. The hair has never been healthier! I dont blow-dry or straighten, but use a curling iron and some product most days.

    I will never go back to shampoo every day stripping the natural hair oil! I have long-ish, thick but fine, dark hair. Before, if I skipped a day, it would look greasy. Now, my day-skip results in fab volume.

    Yes, Im an athlete (well, I will be again after foot surgery. :)

    No, it doesnt smell funny. Letting your hair dry naturally (I sleep wet) seems to cut down on any funkiness. Running at 5.30a gives the sweaty hair plenty of time to dry.

    So there, ewwwies. Reagan hair, hooray!

    (PS: @Meredith, lol @ crunchy granola girl visual! No-poo (baking soda) rules!)

  20. Amber Says:

    I shampoo 1-2 times a week. When I do shampoo I start with conditioner, combing with a thick comb, getting all the snarls out. I then use shampoo, and then condition again. I also use alot of different products. I have never used dry shampoo. My hair doesnt get oily anymore. It used to get really oily. I would shampoo my hair in the morning and by evening grease fest. I was sick of the breakage and wanted my hair to grow out, so I kicked my shampoo habit.

    I also only brush my hair 1-2 times a week. which may sound horrible, but I have really great hair. like sexy hair, or so I am told ;). Not brushing keeps frizz away, and I dont have nearly as much breakage anymore. I have very fine hair, but a lot of it so it looks thick.

  21. Katy Says:

    Im right there with you. I think we can get away with it because we have curly hair and its just naturally drier. I shampoo every 3-4 days. So, no obligation, but I love your hair so I trust your advice :) I have a picture on my website under informatio:meet me. Ive been wanting curly bangs for a while now, but just dont know if it will work. I see you posed before a curly bang section and I love those looks. Do you think it would work for my type of curls? My hair is usually a little more wild than in the picture on my site. I normally fluff it up a bit after its done air drying.

    So if the mood strikes and you want to give out adviceIm all ears.

    Love your hair blog and your other one too!

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  23. sarah Says:

    can i ask how many of you wants mint in shampoo and why?


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