Trichologist Cathy Rose-Simpson answers the age-old question: how often should you wash your hair, really?
How often should you wash your hair? There are many factors involved such as your hair type, your personal preference, the condition of your scalp and also your lifestyle. Someone who has a sweaty job obviously has different requirements to someone who sits behind a computer all day.
There’s also the argument that we should ditch shampoo altogether because it can strip hair of its natural oils, which prompt the scalp to produce more oil, locking us in a greasy hair cycle. We bring the experts in to answer.
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How often should you wash your hair?
Trichologist Cathy Rose-Simpson from The Crown Clinic in Sydney has been asked this question many times in her 30 years in the hair industry. “All hair types can be washed every few days, although many people like to wash their hair every day,” says Rose-Simpson.
“This is OK but it is essential that the correct shampoo and conditioner are used for the different hair types. Chemically treated hair, for example, will require extra conditioning treatment. Thinning hair can be washed the same as any other hair type, but again it is essential that the correct hair care products are used. I always recommend avoiding shampoos and conditioners that contain harsh chemicals such as laurel sulphates, parabens, betaines and ethylene oxides.” says Rose-Simpson. Products that are gentle on the hair and your scalp don’t encourage an over-production of oils.
Barney Martin, Pantene Ambassador and hair stylist has similar advice to Rose-Simpson. “For all hair types, I recommend washing your hair every other day.” However for people with thinning hair less is more. One of the most common mistakes that can enhance thinning hair is when women wash their hair too often. Washing your hair everyday will encourage the scalp to start over producing oil and can actually dehydrate the hair further.”
Martin says that if you’re finding you need to wash your hair every day, then it’s probably because you’re using the wrong products and techniques. “Make sure you’re using a good quality shampoo, conditioner and treatment regimen,” says Martin.
How to wash your hair
When it’s time to wash your hair Rose-Simpson recommends using massaging the shampoo into the scalp and avoiding water that is too hot. “Conditioner should go on the hair and is not required for the scalp and is best rinsed with cooler water,” says Rose-Simpson.
“As a trichologist I see many different clients with a range of hair and scalp concerns but when it comes to washing hair my recommendation is to always use a chemical free product for your specific hair type.”