People with curly hair know that wash day can be a long intensive process and that can mean being in the shower for hours. Luckily, there are little habits you can implement to save water when you wash your hair. Here are 6 things I do to save 3,700 GALLONS of water on wash days.
Quick note: I calculated that my shower uses about 2.25 gallons of water/minute. All calculations are based on this rate.
1. Shampoo outside the shower
This is one of the BIGGEST water savers. (Feel free to skip the rest of the list if you want 🤷♀️) Apply your shampoo before you get in the shower to avoid all the excess water runoff. I combine shampoo and water in an applicator bottle, section my hair, and then apply the diluted shampoo to my roots, massaging it into each section. After I finish shampooing, I hop in the shower to rinse it out.
Savings: 10 minutes = 22.5 gallons
2. Detangle once then twist
My sister and I compared our wash day processes recently and she told me she detangles once when shampooing and then has to detangle again while conditioning. I avoid this by detangling only once when I rinse the shampoo out of my hair and then I twist the sections so they stay detangled. Saves time and water 👍
Savings: 6 minutes = 13.5 gallons
3. Turn the water off when you apply products
After I rinse the shampoo out of my hair, I turn the water off while I apply deep conditioner. I’ve found that there’s no need for the water to run while I apply the deep conditioner since I don’t want the water rinsing away any conditioner, so I turn the water off and save about 8 minutes worth of water running.
Savings: 8 minutes = 18 gallons
4. Use cold water
This one is an energy saver and potentially a water saver. I use the coolest water I can handle when rinsing products out of my hair. Not only does the water not use energy to be heated, it keeps me from hanging out in the shower longer than I need to.
Savings: 3 minutes = 6.75 gallons + energy savings
5. Collect excess water
This is one you can do every time you shower, not just wash days. My showerhead is a little wonky and there’s always a stream of water that drips straight towards the drain instead of outward. I keep a bucket in the shower with me to collect that water and any other runoff, and then I use the water to flush my toilet! It’s usually less than one flush worth of water per shower, but every drop counts!
Savings: .5 flush = .75 gallons
6. Skip showering the next day
Or the day before or another time during the week when it makes sense. I usually wash my hair on Saturday and because I don’t usually do a lot of physical activity over the weekend (they’re rest days, right?) I don’t have to shower on Sunday.
Savings: 5 minutes = 11.25 gallons
Install a low flow showerhead. This is an upgrade I haven’t done yet, but it’s a great way to conserve water every time you shower. In the U.S., you can look for EPA WaterSense certified showerheads, which are guaranteed to use no more than 2.0 gallons per minute.
All combined, this is 72.75 gallons of water saved per wash day. Over the course of a year, that’s over 3,700 gallons of water! Like I said before, every drop counts!
What other tips do you have for saving water in the shower? DROP a comment below! 💧