How to: wash your hair less often after working out

Lifestyle & Tips door roos-aduagyei

It is not surprising that you easily get greasy hair when you're sweating like a pig at least three times a week in the gym. ;) Yet it is not good for your hair to wash it with shampoo and conditioner every day. That's why I've listed the best tips for you so that you can perfectly take care of your hair without washing it every time. Maybe washing your hair less after working out may sound a bit hard, but it is absolutely possible!

When you exercise a lot, your scalp can get quite sweaty. Sweat consists mainly of body waste and salt. If you don’t wash the sweat out of your hair, your hair will dry out fast. It you don’t wash it, it can also smell a little funky and of course you don’t want that! Fortunately there are some things that you can add to your hair routine which will make it look beautiful again (and keep smelling good).

Put your hair in a ponytail or knot

Sometimes I come across girls at the gym who work out with their hair wild and free (which I actually understand because if I had that much hair I probably would want to do the same). Anyway, putting your hair in a ponytail or knot ensures that there is no sweat in the tips of your hair. Your sweat will stay only on your scalp. So always make sure you bring enough elastic bands with you to the gym!

Wash it less

I myself wash my hair with shampoo and conditioner 1 to 2 times per week. I do this because I’ve noticed that my hair reacts the best to this routine. Everyone is different, and that means that everyone has a different hair washing routine. I have really frizzy hair so my hair only starts to get greasy after a week, but someone else could get greasy hair after one day already. Still it is possible to gradually reduce the amount of times you wash your hair. I do wash my hair regularly after exercising, but I wash it just with water, no shampoo or conditioner! I do that on days when I go for a less intense workout. It takes some time to plan this, but once you’ve made a routine of it, it becomes a piece of cake! If it starts to become smelly and you get uncomfortable, you can choose to wash it with a bit of conditioner just for the smell. Put it only on the ends of your hair and not on your scalp.


We all know the standard shampoo and conditioner routine. Yet it is not necessarily required to use shampoo and conditioner to clean your hair. Actually it is better to do it without shampoo because you damage your hair less. Using co(nditioner) wax your hair gets clean without getting damaged.

The benefits of co-wash in a nutshell:

  • Less dry hair
  • The conditioner does not remove your natural hair oils (shampoo does)
  • It is easier to brush your hair
  • It saves time
  • Your scalp gets completely clean

You can use almost any affordable conditioner for your ‘co-wash’. But do make sure that you choose one without silicone. Silicone actually makes your hair feel heavy and greasy so then you need to wash it with shampoo. And that’s exactly what you don’t want. There are also water-soluble silicone such as Diamethicone copolyol or all of the silicone that start with PEG. You can wash this variant of silicone out of your hair. If you suffer from eczema, dandruff in your hair or an irritated scalp, then it may be a good idea to read the ingredient list of your conditioner. There is a big chance that this is caused by silicone that you can’t wash away with water.

It is a good idea to switch to products without silicones. They help your hair look a lot prettier than it actually is. Then you suddenly will realize that your hair is naturally very dry or very oily. Fortunately there are a lot of products without silicone in them nowadays! In this huge list you can find up to 50 conditioners that are free of silicones. Super handy!

Dry shampoo

If you exercise regularly and want to be all fresh every day, you can also go for dry shampoo. Today there are a number of different alternatives available at any drugstore. My favorites are the dry shampoos from Batiste. They smell delicious and do their job very good. Spray it over all your hair and divide your hair in locks. This will ensure you won’t miss any spot. Never use dry shampoo on wet hair! The name says is all already, but if you still want to try it: don’t do it. It is going to be a hair drama!

Tip: Spray dry shampoo in your hair before you go to sleep. By moving around in your sleep, the shampoo does its work extra good. Just brush it in the morning and tadaaaa: a fresh coupe!

Dry shampoo might seem like a wonder miracle, but unfortunately that isn't the case. For a while it will make your hair look good, but eventually you will have to wash it. The night after I’ve used it, my scalp feels completely dry. So it is a convenient, quick solution but it doesn’t necessarily ensure your hair will be better afterwards. It is however a perfect idea and solution to have it in your gym bag in case you have to go to a meeting or a date straight from the gym.

With proper planning and the right hair products you can cut down on the amount of times you wash your hair. In the first weeks it will take some getting used to, but eventually you will be glad that you don’t have to use shampoo and conditioner after every workout!

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