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The Virtuosa Challenge

You’re not supposed to wash your hair every day. Dermatologists and hairstylists are in agreement on this issue: washing your hair less frequently is better for the appearance and the health of your hair. Everyday washing strips the scalp of natural oils, and it produces even more to compensate for the loss. So paradoxically, frequent hair washing can make your hair look and feel even more oily.

Having said all of this…I will admit that until a month ago, I still washed my hair every day. The reason? When you transition to washing your hair less frequently, there is an adjustment period you’ll go through. Your hair needs to be re-trained so that it produces less oil. Basically, it’s a couple of weeks of suffering in exchange for prettier, healthier hair in the long run. But every time I had tried to skip washes in the past, I gave up after the second day because I felt gross.

Tamara, my co-founder, took the plunge a few months ago and has been raving about all the extra time she has now that she only washes her hair every two or three days. Plus, her hair has been looking amazing lately – even on day three. I decided that I would give it a try, and stick with it this time. Here’s an account of my hair journey over the past month:

Day 1: Evening shampoo

I wash my hair in the evening and spend about 30 minutes (the usual) blow drying and flat ironing my hair.

Day 2: Virtuosa day!

I wake up (30 minutes later than usual!), brush my teeth, don my Virtuosa shower cap and hop in the shower. It takes me about three minutes to wash my face and body, towel dry, and whip the cap off my head. I’m thrilled with the new morning routine!

Day 3: Virtuosa day, evening shampoo

I won’t lie, my hair feels pretty gross this morning. I committed to the challenge, though, so I once again shower with the cap protecting my (now oily) hair. After I dry off and get dressed, I massage some dry shampoo into my roots, somehow managing to sprinkle the white powder all over my silk blouse. Note to self: don’t use the dry shampoo while wearing clothes – do it right after the shower while still wearing a towel or robe.

By 3pm, I’m despairing. I duck into the restroom to pin my bangs back and throw my hair into a ponytail. I desperately need to get it off my face and neck. I’m starting to feel self-conscious that other people will know that my hair is dirty.

The shower after my evening workout is heavenly. I’ve never enjoyed washing my hair so much.

Day 4: Virtuosa day!

Uneventful day, hair-wise. Pretty happy to have the extra time in the morning again. It’s amazing to only have to deal with a quick shower and a bit of makeup application in the morning.

Day 5: Virtuosa day, evening shampoo

Not so happy this morning with the greasy hair feeling. I apply some dry shampoo and pin my bangs back so they’re not on my face. Today I manage to make it through the whole day without putting my hair in a ponytail until my evening dance practice. The shower this night is once again glorious.

Week 2

I’ve gotten creative about what I do with my hair when it’s starting to feel oily on the second day. I’ve been pinning my bangs back in little poufs or tucking them to the side, and if I’m really feeling uncomfortable, I’ll put it in a high ponytail. I will admit that the ponytail is shinier and bouncier than ever before.

Week 3

It’s become much more bearable to go 48 hours in between washes, and I’ve been loving the extra time I have in the mornings! It really seems like my hair has been adapting to the less frequent washings – my scalp is feeling less oily, even on the second day.

Week 4

By now, I have my routine pretty much down pat: I shower and wash my hair after my Monday evening workout, and use the Virtuosa shower cap for my Tuesday morning shower. Tuesday evening, I apply the dry shampoo before bed, so that it has time to settle in and work its magic overnight. Wednesday morning, I once again shower with the cap, and re-apply more dry shampoo if necessary. By Wednesday evening (after another workout), I’m ready to wash and style my hair again. This cycle repeats, and I again wash my hair on Friday evening and then Sunday evening after yoga.

Going from washing my hair and styling it seven times per week to just three to four times per week has made such a huge difference for me. I’m saving at least two hours a week and I get to set my alarm later in the morning.

I’m absolutely keeping this as part of my beauty routine, and I’m sure the results will get even better over the next month and beyond. Are you up for the challenge?


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