how to recycle your hair.

Why yes, my hair IS still falling out! Thanks for asking. I think it’s getting better, which means instead of losing 400 hairs per day, I’m losing about 350. Awesome.

Since my hair started falling out after I had Everett, I basically stopped washing it. Watching clumps of hair swirl down the drain every time I washed my hair was downright depressing. I used to wash my hair every other day, but now I wash it every 3-4 days. I don’t always make it to day four, depending on my schedule for the week. Heaven forbid I show up to mommy and baby yoga with smelly hair, poor Everett would be mortified.

This strategy was working pretty well for me, until Monday when my friend Alli let me in on a little secret. Background: Alli has the prettiest hair on the planet and she only washes it every five days (!!!). Her secret? She washes her BANGS every day. Say whaaaaaaat? I was super intrigued. I can always tell what day of hair washing I am on by the way my bangs look. They are the first to get greasy and the first to look bad. Lo and behold, it never occurred to me to throw my hair up in a clip and only wash my bangs! I experimented with this idea yesterday and my hair looked just as good (if not better) as day one of washing. Thanks to Alli’s tip, I am slowly becoming a master of hair recycling. Intrigued? Here’s how I do it….

{ my personal (affordable) favorites: curling wand, shampoo, conditioner, dry shampoo, hairspray }

Day one: wash and condition hair, use a back comb to tease top, curl with curling wand, use pick to create waves, light hairspray
Day two: wash bangs, dry shampoo, pick hair, light hairspray
Day three: same as day two
Day four: braid or twist bangs back into ponytail or bun

Also worth noting: sometimes on day two or three I’ll pin some of my hair up, or throw it all up. I usually sleep with my hair in a messy bun, to avoid getting loose hair all over my bed, which was never a problem until my hair started falling out. I just started using the Remington curling wand a few weeks ago and it makes all of my other curling irons look like toys. No joke, that thing works wonders.

How often do you wash your hair? Any tips or tricks I should know about?

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46 Responses to how to recycle your hair.

  1. Lord, I wash my hair EVERY DAY, & I don’t WANT to, but it looks heinous when I wake up, & it only gets worse throughout the day – greasy, oily, flat… I don’t know how to make the transition!
    Suburban Sweetheart´s last blog post ..On Life in New Jersey, Honestly

    • Ashlee says:

      Girlfriend, I used to be THE SAME WAY, washed my hair every single day. You have to train your hair, and in the beginning it’s a little rough. But I promise you, it’s so worth it!! When I started washing it every other day, I would still shower in the morning and get my hair completely wet, put a little conditioner on the ends, and then blow dry and style as usual. It still looked as though it had been washed even though I wasn’t using shampoo. Eventually I switched to dry shampoo on day two, did that for a while, and then started experimenting with three days. The first week of adding an extra day is always the worst, but your hair gets used to it really fast!!

  2. Faith says:

    Ashlee, this is a great post! It is truly unsettling to see so much hair circling to the drain. Mine does that from time to time, and I always wonder how I have any left! After I got married, I decided to start taking care of my hair for real. I stopped washing it and blow drying it every single day and started going to a real salon. The difference in my hair texture is noticeable! Dry shampoo definitely helps me make it through day two, and for the off nights when I just HAVE to shower, I use a shower cap. It looks ridiculous, but it’s so much easier than trying to maneuver around the shower head. I would like to make it through three days without washing my hair, but my scalp feels unbearably oily by the end of day two. I’m wondering if, for day three, I could use the oil to my advantage and curl all of it! 🙂 Washing your bangs alone is an excellent idea; I may have to try that!
    Faith´s last blog post ..9/11 Memorial

    • Ashlee says:

      I totally need to get a shower cap. Next time we stay at a hotel I’ll steal one 😉

      • Janna Haynes says:

        That is exactly what I do. Steal from the hotel. Actually I look at it more like accepting the generous offer of the cap they left for me as a present. After all, they are just going to throw it away once I have used it anyway…
        I do not have oily hair (until day seven) so I used to employee this tactic regularly. Now I work out every morning and the sweat is too powerful to ignore, so I am washing every day (lame). However, please remember that pony tails, braids, headbands and hats are your friend. Really though, is anyone scrutinizing your hair so closely?!

        • Ashlee says:

          Day seven?! That is impressive. I would look homeless if I didn’t wash my hair for seven days. I’m into headbands and hats but ponytails and braids tend to make my hair look even thinner than it is (especially during this post-partum hair loss time, bleck).

          • Janna Haynes says:

            I am not sure when I have actually GONE to Day 7, but my hair just doesn’t get very oily. As you can imagine, it is a dry, brittle mess (probably because I have to wash so much) I also have annoyingly thick, curly hair so I can’t comment on the thin hair problem. Trust me, thick hair is just as much of an issue. Alas, we all want what we don’t have…

    • kiki says:

      I totally do a shower cap too!! Especially after a work out, best way to squeeze it in on a lunch break. I look super ridic, and I have to say my hubby is not a fan…but it gets the job done 🙂 I have elbow length hair with bangs, and only wash every 3-4 days. Dry shampoo is my best friend!! However, my friends with short thinner hair have a difficult time with dry shampoo…no personal experience there, but that’s the only downside I’ve heard of!

      • Ashlee says:

        Interesting….I have pretty thin hair, but it’s long. Now that you mention it, I’m not sure if I know anyone with short hair who uses dry shampoo….hmm.

  3. Jay says:

    I’ve been washing my hair twice a week for years and I can’t imagine doing it any other way.

    Do note – it takes awhile to work up to. You might find your hair greasy now on day 2 or 3 but that’s because your hair is used to producing enough oil to keep up with daily washes. As time goes on, you’ll find it getting less & less greasy. (Bangs included.)

    And shower caps are a must! I always stock up when in hotels but I did find a fancy pink one in the drugstore once and it was pretty cute 😉
    Jay´s last blog post ..Brussels – Part 1

  4. Holly says:

    I wash my hair about every three days. Day one is usually down and day two and three it’s in some kind of up-do. Back when I had bangs I would only wash my bangs too – and oh what a difference it really makes!!
    Holly´s last blog post ..Fall Bucket List

  5. lacey says:

    okay, all of you ladies have me wanting to give this a try. i’ve always had to wash my hair every day because it gets so gross looking. and when i don’t, i literally don’t want to leave the house. (plus it doesn’t help that i’m not the best at styling me own hair.) you’ve all inspired me! now i just need to get me some dry shampoo and watch all of those hair styling tips floating around on pinterest. c:
    lacey´s last blog post ..THIS IS ANOTHER POST WITH PICS AT MY DAD’S.

  6. Kelsey says:

    What brand

    • Kelsey says:

      Oops! What brand of dry shampoo do you use? I have used two different ones by Tresseme and I don’t like either of them, they almost seem to make my hair look even more greasy.

      • Ashlee says:

        I use John Frieda. I also tried the Tresseme dry shampoo and it was AWFUL. I used it twice and ended up tossing it because it made my hair feel so dirty! The John Frieda one is about $6 and lasts about a month. You can buy at Target or drugstore.com (there’s a link in the post to the one I use).

  7. kelsey says:

    i wash every other day, and day two is either a ponytail or high bun. i would love to stretch it if my hair would cooperate – i will have to work on training it!
    kelsey´s last blog post ..Blog Tip #1: Make Them Want More (of You!)

  8. San says:

    If I want to wear my hair down, I have to wash every day. Sometimes, very rarely, I can get away with a day two.
    I’ve tried weeks where I didn’t wash it for three days, but it was rough and dry shampoo was my life saver.

    Unfortunately, my hair is pretty fine and it gets greasy at the back of my head first, which makes the “bangs only” washing not an option really. Dry shampoo is ok, but doesn’t really make it “feel” clean, if you know what I mean.

    What’s your hair type? Any other tips? I’d love to get down to washing only twice a week.
    San´s last blog post ..That weekend when we got REALLY lucky

    • Ashlee says:

      My hair is relatively thin, but I can make it look thicker when I curl it. My hair used to be more oily, but I think it’s less oily now that I’m not washing it as often. My big trick for starting out is to stop washing your hair with shampoo every other day, but still get it completely wet in the shower and blow dry like normal after. I did that for months before I started using dry shampoo!

  9. Sarabell says:

    Sometimes in the summer I just have to bite the bullet and wash it every day… but in the winter time I go every 2-3 days unless I’m working out hard one day. I don’t like admitting that to people because I often get dirty looks, but I do notice that my hair looks and feels so much healthier when I give it time to breathe!
    And I just have to say, look at that body! You look so healthy and baby-free, go you!
    Sarabell´s last blog post ..The Twenty Dollar Date 6!

    • Ashlee says:

      Yeah I might have to revisit this hair strategy once I start working out again. Right now I’m just walking and doing occasional yoga/pilates, all of which doesn’t leave me very sweaty. Thanks for the compliment 😉

  10. Alli Moore says:

    Ha! I got called out! 🙂 I’m glad I made a believer out of you. I’m really paying it forward. My friend Amber brought me over the dark side (the best side) and I’ve gradually built up my days. Sounds gross at first, but my husband will be the first to admit that my hair doesn’t smell and never looks greasy (dry shampoo is the key!). I can’t believe how much it’s changed my getting-ready morning routine and my hair is healthier for it. My favorite dry shampoo: Batiste in the blush scent. Seriously ladies, time to start building up your days! You’ll get over that “feel gross” feeling and you’ll start producing less oil. Warning: I’m blond which means dry shampoo is more forgiving. Brunettes go easy and make sure you brush it all out.

    • Ashlee says:

      I really love my dry shampoo, but I might give yours a try since I can personally attest to how amazing your hair looks! Hope you don’t mind I told everyone you only wash your hair every five days! I think we are all impressed!! 😉

  11. Caroline says:

    Awesome post, Ashlee! I started putting off washing my hair a couple of months ago and I’ve now worked up to every three days or so. I’ve been so curious about dry shampoo and such for a while now, I’m definitely going to go get some! Thanks 🙂
    Caroline´s last blog post ..Lights out

  12. Linnea says:

    I usually wash my hair every day… sometimes every other day if I’m feeling wild. Part of me likes the awake feeling that taking a full on shower gives me and part of me “needs” it because my hair looks greasy near the roots otherwise. Maybe with a little dry shampoo and hair training, I can change this?! I’m also naturally a crazy hair shedder so I probably need to try this. One of my hair goals recently has been try styles other than the classic bun… especially since Zac asked me to pretty-please wear my hair down more often. Hair confession: on 98% of days, I twist my wet hair into a bun and leave it like that all day. Pretty sure that’s a beauty faux pas!
    Linnea´s last blog post ..Miles & Katy’s Engagement Session at the University of Oregon || Eugene, Oregon

    • Ashlee says:

      You are so right about the awake feeling. I can sometimes feel more sluggish on mornings when I don’t wash my hair. I’m not really one to talk about wearing hair down. I only wear it down when I leave the house! Which is rare these days. I hate the feeling of loose hairs tickling my arms and the only way I don’t have to deal with that is if I wear it up!

  13. Claire says:

    I have curlyish hair and this method is a lifesaver. LIFE. SAVER. I can go 7 days now. My stylist went from “Wow, Claire, your hair is really dry.” to “Dang, Gina! You hair looks great!” True story.
    Claire´s last blog post ..Active Love

  14. Ech says:

    I didn’t realize hair loss was that bad after having a kid! I guess I’m screwed though because my hair sheds like crazy now. I’ll be practically bald when I have a baby.
    Ech´s last blog post ..Rain & Lunch

    • Ashlee says:

      Honestly, I think I had it a lot worse than most. Some of my girlfriends didn’t lose any hair at all, and the ones that did said it wasn’t that bad. It IS getting better, slowly but surely. Oy.

  15. Kris S. says:

    Hey Ashlee!
    I think it’s great that you are washing it every three to four days. It’s a lot better for your hair. I used to wash mine everyday day and when i started coloring it, I switched to every 3 to 4 days. it keeps the color longer and it’s just better for you. I’m also a hot yoga goer and I don’t want to mess with my hair if it’s going to be sweaty all over again.

    DRY SHAMPOO IS YOUR FRIEND!
    I love that stuff. I also use baby powder. try it…i know you have some around the house =)

    If you put the baby powder in your hands and rub it in, turn your head upside down and rub it into your scalp.
    It give you some clean good volume. kinda like dry shampoo but cheaper and more direct. I use the dry shampoo where the baby powder can’t get to.

    I would also try some thickening shampoos. I use nioxin and aveda invanti system. I have a friend who is a hair stylist and I get it on the cheap…Aveda is pretty expensive for the system…but it might be worth looking into. Both systems have shamp/conditioner and a treatment spray you rub in to make your hair thicker and increase the growth.
    I think it’s worth a try. I also do sock buns on the last day before washing my hair.
    Also I have fine thin hair and after the first day I don’t brush the bottom half of my hair. Because when I do it looses a ton of volume. I would try the first half if you can do it.
    Hope this helps.

    • Ashlee says:

      Wow, great tips! Thank you!! Do you have blond hair or dark hair? I’ve always stayed away from baby powder because I assumed it would show up in my hair….

      • Kris S. says:

        Thanks for the reply Ash! Whenever you do I feel like it’s a celebrity responding to me..(lol)

        I actually have both..ish! I have dark hair in the in the winter and lighter highlights in the springs and summers. I think as long as you work it in your hair…brush the top part of your hair you will be good to go! =)
        My sister learned the dry shampoo/baby powder tricks from me and her ahir is very dark brown.
        Report back, I want to know how it works for you

  16. Lana says:

    Thank God for being a Mom–that’s what me get down to the once a week washing! And I do the SAME tricks you do! I hate washing my hair b/c it takes too long to get it dry and styled. And I actually hate my hair on the day I wash it truthfully. My favorite hair days are my 3rd and 4th days after washing. Love the idea of washing my bangs! Gosh if I start doing that…I wonder how much I’ll actually wash it. God forbid I cross the 7 day mark!!!

    • Ashlee says:

      Haaaaa, you are right on the money. It’s easy to train your hair and wear it dirty all the time when you’re sitting at home with a baby all day. If you ever make it to the 7 day mark, I think you should brag about it. Quite the accomplishment!

  17. kate says:

    i use so much product in my hair it’s hard to not wash it every day, but i think i’ll have to give this a whirl for days when i wear it straight! what a good tip! i’ll have to work on training my hair too! 🙂
    kate´s last blog post ..9.11.01

  18. Suz says:

    Ashlee! I love this post… naturally. I am a huge fan of dirty hair, and also a total product junkie, of course. My fave tip for wearing hair multiple days without washing: Sleep with hair in a relatively loose ponytail on the top of your head- Yes, you will look like Deb in Napolean Dynamite when you wake up…hopefully husbands like that look. But really, because of the height, when I get up and take the ponytail out I don’t have a line or bump where it was- it just gives me volume. Spray a little dry shampoo at your part or hairline and off you go! Speaking of dry shampoo… I love Bed Head Dirty Secret, it smells good and doesn’t leave a funky texture. If you really want to splurge try Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray, it’s literally the best dry shampoo on earth and smells FABULOUS.

  19. Megan Clark says:

    Gotta be honest. I initially thought this post was about what to do with all the hair you loose. Like knit sweaters or fertilize your garden. Ick! So glad I was wrong (hehe). I saw a pin of these girls on Pinterest just a week or two ago: http://www.maskcara.com/2012/08/confessions-of-a-long-hair-addict/. I bought the shampoo, brush and vitamins. Here’s to hoping it all works! (Apparently Pinterest works!) The primary lesson I learned from them: AIR DRY.

  20. kelly ann says:

    Can I REALLY gross you out and say that I only wash my hair every 6-7 days? (I promise I shower every day, though ;)) I just started going a day longer here, a day longer there, and I feel like after a while my hair just got to used to not being washed often. It actually looks a lot healthier!! (Not to mention, my showers are so. much. shorter!) I swear by Suave dry shampoo (in the yellow/silver bottle. I’ve tried just about every kind and I always go back to this one!) and I also always air-dry my hair.

    That is my favorite shampoo/conditioner, by the way. Smells divine!
    kelly ann´s last blog post ..happy weekend.

  21. Jasmine says:

    Before I got pregnant, I only washed my hair about once every four or five days. Now I have to wash it every other day or every two days. I’m just oilier now than I used to be… kinda sucks. Levi actually recommends to ALL of his clients that they don’t wash their hair every day. It’s not good for the hair. Usually if you invest in a higher quality shampoo, you don’t have to wash as often. And dry shampoo is awesome! I used to sprinkle translucent powder in my hair… this was in the days before I was with a hair stylist who taught me about things like dry shampoo. Also, ever since Levi got me on his favorite brand of hair products, my hair has gotten sooooo much healthier. If you ever want to try a professional-grade hair care line, I highly recommend Thermafuse. They haven’t marketed their stuff very well, so a lot of people don’t know about it, but it’s seriously the best there is.

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