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Oil Training Your Hair Seems Scary, But You Need To Do it Right Now

Is your hair always greasy? Are you one of those who says they have to wash their hair every day because otherwise, it is unmanageable? Do you look like you're on fourth-day hair after only a few hours? Are you confused as to why? I have the answers to your questions. You’re washing your hair too much.

Here’s a little secret, and yes, you’re allowed to say ew. I wash my hair once a week. Now, that's not the kicker. The kicker is that I have straight, normal width, hair. You’d think it calls for greasy, but when wash day comes around, it looks exactly like it did seven days ago. 

While seven days might be a lot for some people, here is how to extend the period in between washes. 

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The first thing to know is exactly what oil training is. There is a common misconception that oil training is deciding to not wash your hair for days on end cold turkey. That does not work, as your scalp is used to so much more. Oil training is a concept that refers to the idea of your scalp slowly reducing its oil production. Achieving it, however, will look different for everyone. If you are washing your hair every day, you might start with every other day, and then two or three, until you get to the point where you are happy with your hair-- and your wash cycle.

Another thing to note with oil training is that your needs are not universal. Your hair is yours and only yours, so even if one week works for your BFF, your ideal wash cycle might happen every four days. 

This is determined through a variety of characteristics, including the length and width of your hair, texture, and level of physical activity you are doing. Thinner, shorter hair, will need to be washed more than long, coarse hair. If you are at the gym 10 times a week, you’ll have to wash your hair more often than me, who isn’t there too often. (ahem, I’m sure my card has a layer of dust, or maybe even some cobwebs.)

The temperature of water you’re washing your hair, your shampoo, and the damage you give it are also factors in determining your wash cycle, which brings me to my next point. 

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Now that we’ve established what oil training is, I’m going to teach you how to make sure to stick to it because trust me, your hair will thank you. The first rule is to simply not give in. At first, you’re going to be tempted. If your hair is always greasy on day one, it’s because you’re overwashing, stripping away natural oils, so your head is overcompensating by producing more. So, no matter how much your shampoo calls your name, you need to be strong. 

Oh yeah, shampoo. This is also crucial to the subject of oil training. Many shampoo brands consist of ingredients such as sulfates and parabens, known to be harmful and stripping of your hair’s natural protectants. Finding one that is free of both of these will extend your hair’s wearability by so much. 

Dry shampoo is also a godsend when it comes to oil training. The rule is to make sure that your hair is always dry, so if you find that it is too oily or you just finished an intense workout, a spray of dry shampoo can do so much. A few other tips are to wash your hair every morning from the root down to distribute oils and to remember messy buns and braids can be a lifesaver on those last few days.

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At first, oil training might seem impossible, but there are so many benefits to doing it. Not only will you produce less and fewer oils as you go on your hair journey, but you will damage it less, your hair will be shinier, healthier, and you’ll save tons of time (and some $). So what are you waiting for? Ditch your shampoo and say hello to the best hair of your life. 

Noelia Salazar

CU Boulder '23

Noelia is the Director of Social Branding at Her Campus CU Boulder. She is majoring in international affairs with minors in journalism and communications. She loves books, makeup, and coffee. In her free time, she's probably rewatching Gilmore Girls.
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