Oil Training 101 / by lee tilghman

If you're anything like the average American, you grew up buying regular shampoo and washing your hair every day or every other day.

The big time shampoo companies strip your hair of its natural oils, drying out your hair, thereby making your hair produce more grease, so you wash it again. It's a vicious cycle, and hard to break.

Oil Training (also known as "grease training" is when you decide you are DONE with that vicious cycle and want to train your hair to last longer between washes. During this process, you let it get greasy and ride out that wave for as long as possible, slowly going from washing every day to only washing once a week (or once every other week- whatever works). You still shower as normally, but you don't wash or wet your hair. A shower cap is definitely recommended for this. One would think wetting your hair but not washing would be good, but it actually spreads the grease around and makes it look even greasier, so definitely abstain from that.

For some, this process takes 3 weeks, for others, it takes 3 months. I started oil training Mid March 2017 and now it's Mid May and I am still oil training. It really depends on your ethnicity and the texture of your hair. It can also have to do with the water/pH levels too.

Working out while oil training

This is a big question I get a lot. "Doesn't your hair get nasty from all the sweat in spin classes?" Well, yes and no. I don't sweat A TON from my scalp, so my hair doesn't get too gross. I put my hair up in a high pony during my workouts, then when I am done, I put on a shower cap and wash the rest of my body. After my shower I take my cap off, comb my hair, and fluff it up with my hands. Voila!

It's important to note that I never use a blowdryer, I always towel dry my hair. 

Below are some of my favorite tips and pointers that I've been using during my oil training process.

Tips & Pointers

  • Apple Cider Vinegar works well as a neutral clarifier when you're in between shampoos. I do wet my hair when I do this process. I simply wet my hair, pour some ACV into my hands and do my best to rub it into my scalp. It's kind of awkward at first. I let it sit for 3 minutes then rinse.
  • Rahua Voluminous Dry Shampoo is a life saver. But keep in mind dry shampoo should not be used everyday - it causes buildup and kind of looks like dandruff if you use too much. 
  • Smell test -  rub clean hands in your scalp a few times, then smell your fingers. If they smell, that means you smell. Wash your hair. 
  • Your hair isn't as greasy as you think it is. When we are stuck in that washing every day cycle, it can be easy to assume your hair looks greasy on the 2nd day. Stick through it, and ask an honest friend if need be. Chances are they think your hair looks bomb. 
  • If it's really greasy, smells bad, itches or just looks crappy, WASH IT! My first few weeks of grease training, I was super anal and wouldn't let myself wash it even when it looked horrible and was greasy AF. I'm much more lax now- I wash it every 5 days or so. That works for me. 

To see what other non toxic hair products I use, click here to my Non Toxic Beauty post