5 Tips to Skip The “Wet Dog” Look Post Workout

 Tired of the "Wet dog" look post workout? Wish your hair wouldn't look greasy after just washing it? Check out these 5 tips to keep your hair looking fresh after a workout and between washes. - The Confused Millennial

(ARCHIVE POST): This post was originally published on 3/15/16. Every Thursday check back for an updated TBT post! This posts contains affiliate links anywhere you see a * after a link.


rachel ritlop

This is actually post-workout at the 2-week no-wash mark!

Recently I was talking with a former co-worker of mine, when she said “How did you go to yoga in the middle of the workday and come back looking so flawless? I couldn’t do it!”

The truth is I workout in some way (walking, barre, yoga, spinning, whatever), every day and only wash my hair every 1-2 weeks (depending on the time of year, and I live the very humid South Florida).

*Also noteworthy: I HATE doing my hair, and don’t own a blow-dryer. I get two hair cuts a year and generally dislike taking care of my appearance.

So how do I not look like a total disaster, despite my low maintenance ways?

1. I trained my hair. This step is not for the faint of heart, or those who are easily grossed out and hate the “wet dog” look from not washing their hair.  However, if you can stick with it, I promise your hair will be healthier and you’ll have more time on your hands.

Basically, growing up I washed my hair everyday to every other day, eventually I started pushing that number to every 4 days, and eventually then every 7. I had no idea what I was doing at the time, but I was actually training my hair. You see each time we wash our hair we strip away the natural nutrients and oils it needs to be healthy. This can lead to thinner brittle hair, breakage, dullness, and dry scalp. Washing your hair frequently can actually lead to over stimulation and production of oils, giving you that “greasy” look even faster. In order to break the vicious cycle, you have to be okay with the “wet dog” look for few days, but the rewards will be worth it. As you delay shampooing, the oil production actually slows down, by repeating this process and re-training those secretion glands, it will take longer for the “wet” look to occur. When I am pushing the limits, I typically wash based on the feel of the hair, not the look; so when when it starts feeling thick and heavy with grease and it’s kinda gross to run my fingers through, I wash it the day after that feeling starts.

BONUS TIP: If you’re really trying to push the limits but are dying to rinse your hair, run some conditioner through the ends in the shower, but don’t shampoo or touch your roots, then let it dry.

2. Avoid creasing or flattening your hair. If you are prone to curly fly aways with a mind of their own, invest in a good headband that won’t leave your hair looking flatter or creased. I recommend Lululemon’s headbands with *silverescent (*an odor fighting fabric woven with silver). And if your trying to protect your face, opt for a lighter hat versus a snug baseball cap.

3. Don’t over-do your workout hair style. Instead opt to wear your hair as close to normal during your workout. I typically opt for a low braid, since its closest to how I normally wear my hair. If you choose to pull your hair back tightly, take it down immediately to let it dry out naturally (or use a blow dryer if that’s your thing).

4. Dry shampoo is your friend. I was terrified to try this. I’d been scarred from middle school attempts at baby-powdering the grease away, which left my hair looking dull and grey, not to mention me teased by the other kids. My friend assured me that would not be the case with dry shampoo, and I am so happy I tried it! I’ve only tried Batiste* but my girl Erica wrote an entire post on several dry shampoos she tried here.

rachel ritlop

 Plus you can play with some super angsty/fun Myspace angles.

5. Play with your part. Switching up your part will help add volume towards those later days and it’s also really healthy for your hair! When we always part our hair the same way, the hair becomes thinner there from being bent/exposed, and more damaged due to constant exposure to the sun.


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