Protect yourself! If you think you’ve been targeted by a scam, click here to get information and assistance from the AARP Fraud Watch Network Helpline!
Sisters Site Logo.svg
Oh no!
It looks like you aren't logged in to the Sisters community. Log in to get the best user experience, save your favorite articles and quotes, and follow our authors.
Don't have an Online Account? Subscribe here

5 Ways to Keep Your Scalp and Style Fresh

Need to put off wash day because you’re booked and busy? Even if you need to revive a week-old style, we’ve got you.

Comment Icon
Woman drying her hair
Getty Images
Comment Icon

In an ideal world, we’d be rocking our favorite hairstyles for weeks on end. No greasy roots. No smelly scalp. Just a fabulous do that looks and feels as good as it did on day one. But realistically, we can’t put time-consuming wash days on hold forever. And no matter how much time and money we spend in the salon, a shiny silk press or a fresh set of braids will eventually get stiff, dull and dirty.

The good news? While there’s nothing like a good lather, there are several ways to keep your scalp as fresh as possible without dedicating hours to a tedious wash day routine.

Consider giving these options a try:

1. Astringent

Astringent is a skin care staple, but consider adding it to your hair care regimen as well. Licensed cosmetologist Mindy Green suggests applying an astringent directly on the scalp with a cotton ball to remove excess oil and banish odor. Other benefits of using an astringent include less flaking and inflammation, as it can be soothing for a dry, irritated scalp. But if you’re sporting a straight style, beware of reversion, “especially if you saturate the cotton ball,” Green warns. “It’s easier to do this option with braids.” Consider trying T.N. Dickinson’s Witch Hazel Liquid ($3.99*, Target) or Sea Breeze Sensitive Skin Astringent ($5.99, Walgreens).

2. Odor neutralizing spray

In the midst of a smelly hair emergency and need something you can use in a pinch? Spritz the funk away with a good deodorizing spray. Customers are using the Uncle Funky's Daughter Defunk Hair Odor Neutralizing Tonic ($12.99, Amazon) after intense workouts or a “smoky” night out. Packed with plant extracts like chamomile and lavender, this spray can help tame a lingering itch and keep bacteria at bay. Additionally, you can try the Cantu Protective Styles Deodorizing Mist (Sally Beauty, $7.99), another one loaded with lavender. It’s also formulated with apple cider vinegar, which is commonly used to clarify, and may relieve an itchy scalp, thanks to its antimicrobial properties.

3. Scalp serum or oil

Treat your scalp to something soothing, like the TPH By Taraji Ultra Chill Cooling Hair Serum ($11.97, Walmart), which boasts calming and antimicrobial ingredients like aloe vera and tea tree oil for a midweek refresh. The Mielle Organics Rosemary Mint Scalp & Edge Cleansing Oil ($10.99, Walgreens) is another favorite. This herbal, no-rinse cleansing oil contains witch hazel to help remove product buildup and eliminate odor. Just know that on heat-styled hair, serums and oils can weigh your tresses down if you use too much, so don’t overdo it.

4. Aromatherapy mist

Testers enjoyed multipurpose Asutra Pure Soothing Comfort Aromatherapy Mist ($15.99, as a braid spray, which makes sense considering the calming effects of lavender and chamomile. You might also like the Being Frenshe Hair, Body & Linen Mist Body Spray ($14.99, Target). This multipurpose gem is infused with essential oils that could help freshen up your scalp while boosting its overall health. The cashmere vanilla scent is a major plus, too.

5. Dry shampoo

But not just any kind. You may have heard that some aerosol dry shampoos contain benzene, a chemical known to cause cancer. And you’ve probably steered clear of them ever since. But luckily, there are non-toxic options out there that can get the job done without putting your health at risk, such as the Travel Size Root Refresh Micellar Rinse Dry Shampoo Alternative ($12, Ulta) or the Vegamour Gro Dry Shampoo ($36, Sephora). After all, we love the volume that dry shampoo can give an old silk press or a wash ’n’ go, paired with a lovely scent to mask the scalp odor.

*Prices may vary

Follow Article Topics: Style