How to Not Have to Wash Your Hair After Working Out

Not gross—*smart*.

Now that the cultural beauty needle has moved re: not washing your hair daily, pretty much the only "acceptable" excuses for insisting are "I've got thin/fine texture" or "I work out every day." The latter, in particular, makes sense, because after an hour of barre or cycling, what girl (and her poufy, damp bun) wouldn't want to sidestep out of the gym and into the shower like so?

But it doesn't have to be this way. Below, our step-by-step battle plan for keeping your hair in good enough shape to fight another day.

Hack your ponytail

Better yet, choose a different style if you run/do high-motion activities regularly—the "swing" creates tension where the elastic rests, which could result in breakage and hair loss down the road (opens in new tab). Eep. Pinned buns distribute weight more evenly and allow sweat to evaporate faster, plus you won't end up with dents. Pony devotee? Try a bungee (opens in new tab) instead. Wherever your updo loyalties lie, top it off with a moisture-absorbent headband (opens in new tab) and a hand towel to pat away (NO RUBBING) the drippage from your neck.

Play it as it lays

Finger, Hand, Gesture, Animation, Thumb, Fictional character, Sign language, Animated cartoon, Illustration, Painting,

(Image credit: Giphy)

Do what you've been doing when you arrive at the office with your summer-proofed hair (opens in new tab): absolutely nothing until it's dry. If time is of the essence, however, keep patting your hairline, and speed the cycle along with a blowdryer. Once it's perspiration-free, flip your head upside down, spray on some dry shampoo or volume powder (opens in new tab), and use your fingers to lift the roots. A final blast on the cool setting will set everything you worked so hard (JK) to achieve.

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(Image credit: Design by Megan Tatem)

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Chelsea Peng
Assistant Editor

Chelsea Peng is a writer and editor who was formerly the assistant editor at She's also worked for The Strategist and Refinery29, and is a graduate of Northwestern University. On her tombstone, she would like a GIF of herself that's better than the one that already exists on the Internet and a free fro-yo machine. Besides frozen dairy products, she's into pirates, carbs, Balzac, and snacking so hard she has to go lie down.