How To Make Yourself Look, Smell, & Feel Clean When You're Too Lazy To Wash Your Hair

I've accomplished a few things I'm proud of during this rough-and-tumble life. I attended a Grammy's gala in 2016, and rumors circulated that I kissed Michael Keaton. I successfully flew 1,200 miles to surprise my parents for their 60th birthdays. And against all odds, I manage to show up to work vaguely on time every Monday through Friday. But nothing gets my hubris-level closer to Kanye West's than my own personal knowledge of how to make hair look clean without showering.

You see, I bask in my own ability to deceive everyone of how gross I truly am. This summer, I went five days in Europe without washing my hair and still received compliments on it every day. Sane people who shower regularly will view that as repulsive, but I know I'm not alone in being bathing adverse.

Many women struggle with the logistics of when to hit the shampoo bottle, recognizing few fates worse than washing your hair on a day where nothing actually happens and you don't see anyone you want to impress. Others simply lament needing to suds up after every spin class. If this sounds like you, I'm here to tell you how to score fresh-to-death strands that last for days without showering.


If a Tinder match suggests a drink tonight but your hair resembles an '80s rocker, rely on the instant advice of hair colorist Stephanie Brown, who works with Emmy winner Kate McKinnon. When you've got zero time or products at your disposal, flip your head over and blast roots with a blow dryer. "It essentially dries or burns the oil out," says Brown in an interview with Elite Daily. She also recommends throwing hair back into braids, or a half-up, half-down 'do to quickly camouflage less-than-ideal texture.

But if you really want to win at not washing your hair, you have to play the long game. It's all about preservation, adaptation, and these key products.

Dry Shampoo


Drybar The Detox Dry Shampoo, $23, Sephora | Conair For Batiste Dry Shampoo Brush, $10, Target | Elizabeth and James Nirvana Rose Dry Shampoo in Rose, $28, Sephora | Elizabeth and James Nirvana Dry Shampoo in Bourbon, $28, Sephora

Apply dry shampoo to roots only — before they get greasy. If you're waiting until your hair starts to look piece-y and feels heavy to spritz dry shampoo, you're doing it wrong. Dry shampoo should be used preventatively, along the hair line before a workout or sleep. As far as what brand to use, Drybar The Detox Dry Shampoo from Sephora is like a million tiny, jolly old people with mops that disperse through a fine mist.

If that creeps you out, two of your fav strand brands have united to provide a one-two punch against days-old hair. The Conair For Batiste Dry Shampoo Brush boasts a travel-sized Batiste dry shampoo on one end, and a brush that contours to the scalp to evenly distribute dry shampoo on the other. Use as directed, and you'll be amazed at how long you can go between washes.

Besides appearance, another condition to contend with is odor. After several days, your head is likely to start smelling like a hamster's cage. Only physically proximate people will notice, but if you have a loved one or a date, trust the Olsen twins. That's right, Mary Kate and Ashley's brand Elizabeth And James makes two scented dry shampoos, Rose and Bourbon, that magically mask the hamster cage scent while creating an aura of romance and mystery.



Scrunchies, $5, Amazon

Sleep with hair in a loose, high ponytail secured with a scrunchie. If your hair is fine or you flail about in your REM, it will fall out and that's OK. Other options include tying your hair up with a silk scarf, or wearing a silk head wrap designed for prolonging blowouts. This will keep your hair from falling flat or looking generally funky the morning after.

Boar Bristle Brush


Dual Board Paddle Brush, $22, Sephora

Morning and night, be sure to brush with a boar bristle brush, like Sephora Collection's Gloss Dual Boar Paddle Brush. The tightly packed bristles separate every last individual strand, which are going to stick together as dirt accumulates. They also diffuse the oil your scalp produces throughout the length of your hair, which are prone to get dry after a day (or two... or three) sans conditioner.

Dry Conditioner

Amika Silken Up Dry Conditioner, $9, Amazon

Like a f*ckboy, the ends of your hair are going to look dry and lose their luster as time goes on. Replenish shine and manageability with dry shampoo's lesser-known counterpart, dry conditioner. Blasting a formula like Amika Silken Up Dry Conditioner from ear level to ends will impart that first-day shine factor and counteract any mattifying effect of dry shampoo.

Keep up with this whole routine, and you can fool your friends, coworkers, and cohorts for days — all the while basking in the glory of your fake blowout.