How often should you wash your hair?
As hairdressers we often get asked how often should we wash our hair? Aside from wanting to know for optimal scalp and hair health, it is also key for bettering the planet and keeping those heating bills in check. As a guide, an 8-minute shower uses 2.5 gallons of water per minute, which equals to 20 gallons of shower per shower AND water heating accounts for 18% of your home’s energy usage.
Every hair and scalp type will require different needs, along with styling of your hair and even the daily weather. Finer hair, if you’re exercising or sweating throughout the day, you will find you’ll need to cleanse your hair daily with a shampoo such as Paul Mitchell shampoo one, whereas thicker hair and if you have a dryer scalp you will find you’re able to go 3-4 days without needed to wash your hair and can use a more nourishing shampoo and conditioner such as Keune satin oil.
Both shampooing too often and not enough can cause problems long term, if you find you shampoo your hair daily you can stripe away important oils in your scalp and experience an itchy, dry, and flaky scalp and hair that can be more brittle. Alternatively, hair and scalps that are not washed enough oils can accumulate on your scalp which can also become flaky, itchy, and irritated and also cause an odour so really, we do recommend not going any longer than 14 days at maximum without shampooing. (tip – if you are visiting the salon for your colouring appointment, try to not go with really dirty hair, don’t ‘save’ washing your hair before a colour appointment, the dirt and grease will create a layer that will make it harder for your colour to work and achieve your desired result. Try washing your hair 1-2 days before your appointment and your hair and stylist will thank you!)
An average a good gauge would be to shampoo and condition your hair every 2-3 days. Shampoo’s will cleanse the hair and allow the cuticle (the outer layer of the hair) to swell and make it possible for the hair to be cleaned from any oils and dirt that have built up since last washed. It is then very important to use conditioner after you have shampooed to constrict the cuticle layer again, which provides nourished and smoother hair essentially ‘closing’ the door to environmental dirt and grime clinging onto the hair, thus less build up and allowing you to go longer between washes.
When washing your hair, using the correct amount of product is keys to not wasting your money in washing shampoo and conditioner down the drain but also less product means less rinsing and keeping the water and heating bills in check. High quality well-made shampoo and conditioners provide the best value for money as you need a fraction of the product compared to high street versions.
When you shampoo your hair, you need only apply the shampoo to your scalp and concentrate on ensuring your scalp is clean, at the salon we always to 2 shampoos and this is because the first shampoo breaks down and grease and dirt sitting on the scalp and the second shampoo will wash away the remaining particles that are left and should allow you to go longer between washes. The correct amount of shampoo really is about the size of a 2 pence piece. 2 shampoos of a 2 pence piece will clean your hair and scalp much more effectively than a handful of shampoo slapped on.
If you’d like to retrain your scalp to be able to go longer in between washes there are a few things you can do to help .
- Try using lukewarm water rather than too hot, it reduces the stimulation of sebum production on the scalp and making the hair less oily all over.
- You can use dry shampoo to postpone your next wash, great for if your away for the weekend and need to stretch out the days between shampooing, plus dry shampoo gives great root lift so it’s a double win for styling. We have a lovely Paul Mitchell dry shampoo at the salon which smells so fresh and clean.
- Try wearing your hair up in a bun, its less viable if your hair is greasy when its up and can be a nice easy way to get through an extra day.
At the salon we have a range of different shampoo and conditioners that suit all hair and scalp types to ensure you have the very best hair health possible. We also recommend a scalp tonic such as Keune care scalp lotions to help keep your scalp happy and healthy which encourages good quality hair growth and reduces scalp irritations developing. To complete the perfect cleanse and care bundle adding in a hair mask that you can use once or twice a month will add that extra nourishment safeguarding your hair from any breakage from colouring, heated appliances, or environmental factors.
If you feel you’d like to have more personal advise for yourself or are concerned about your scalp health please don’t hesitate to pop into the salon and ask one of the stylists ( or message us on Facebook or Instagram ) to go through your normal routine with you and together create a clean and care plan to suit your personal needs.