Ask Sam - How to skip a hair wash post-workout

This reader has a question that many of us have probably asked ourselves - how do we style our hair after working out, without having to wash it? 

 Image via Fitness Answered

Image via Fitness Answered

Hi Sam! 
I have a hair question. I used to wash my hair every other day or every third day BUT now that I work out almost every day I feel like I need to wash it daily. The result is my hair is getting really dry and crunchy despite the fact that I use conditioner every time. I also am styling with heat almost daily now so I'm sure that's not helping. Is it really necessary to wash it every time you get sweaty? Help!! 

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First, great job in washing your hair every other/every third day!  That is a great practice for the health of your hair and actually prevents greasiness in the long run!  Also, way to go for working out every day, too!  I know that the two of these together can seem a little problematic, and lead to either a greasy, limp, or smelly hair situation, or a daily wash situation.

The good news is, they can work symbiotically.  Here's what I suggest:

  • Day 1 - Earn your wash!  What I mean is, try not to wash and dry your hair and then work out right after.  Enjoy your clean hair after you work out.  Work out first with your dirty hair, sweat it up, then go ahead and wash and style afterward.  Enjoy your day of clean hair glory!
  • Day 2 -  after you work out, refrain from brushing your hair right away.  First, spritz in a little heat protectant. Something that smells great and isn't too oily is a bonus, like R+Co One Prep Spray.  Flip your hair upside down and blow dry your hair on a low setting, focusing on the root to dry where the strands are wet from sweat.  Do not use a brush yet - just your hands.  Once you feel like your hair is not sweaty-wet anymore, flip your hair up and spray in dry shampoo at the roots in sections all over the scalp.  This Oribe purse-sized dry shampoo is a great option!  Wait at least 1 minute, and then massage in the dry shampoo as if you were "lathering" shampoo in the shower.  After that is all massaged in, you can finally brush your hair from root to tip, and style like you do normally.
  • Day 3 - repeat the steps for day 2.  If you have bangs - when you're rinsing off in the shower after working out, wash just your bangs with shampoo only.  Blow those dry before repeating the steps for Day 2.  If you have long hair - today is a great day for a braid, a top knot, or a sleek bun at the nape of your neck!
  • Day 4/Day 1 - You've earned your wash!

Hope that helps, and let me know if this works for you!  Readers, do you have any tricks for styling your hair post workout?  Let all of us know below!

With love and dry shampoo,

Sam