How Often Should You Wash Your Hair? | UK

How Often You Should Really Wash Your Hair, According to Experts

23 October 2018
brunette woman having hair washed in salon

There comes a point in the life of every grown woman when she has to ask a stylist, best friend, or sister a slightly embarrassing question. How often should you wash your hair?

Do a quick search online, and you’ll likely find dozens of opinions on the hotly debated subject. Up until a handful of years ago, we were all perfectly happy to shampoo our scalps every day. Then, word spread that too much shampoo was actually damaging the strands. Now we find ourselves on the other side of the no-poo wave, embarrassed by our post-gym ponytails but not willing to wash every day.

So, what’s the ultimate answer? We spoke to Adam Reed, L’Oréal Professionnel Ambassador to find out some answers.

Like all things in life, this isn’t a simple issue. How often you shampoo will depend on several factors depending on your hair type, lifestyle and preference. Read on to find the routine that’s right for you.

As A General Rule, Shampooing Less Frequently Is Better For Your Strands.

There’s fact behind the belief that shampoo can strip or dry out sensitive manes. It’s all about the natural oils in your hair and letting your hair self-regulate as Adam covers first and foremost.

“I advise you wash your hair every three days, this is the optimum length of time. Brushing is important in the latter days to distribute natural oils throughout your hair.”

Adam Reed Founding Partner & Director, Percy & Reed, London

I advise you wash your hair every three days, this is the optimum length of time. Brushing is important in the latter days to distribute natural oils throughout your hair.

It’s also important to remember that shampoo and conditioner aren’t the only styling products in your arsenal. Pick-me-up formulas like dry shampoo can help your hair appear fresher, longer, according to Pelletier.

“Dry Shampoo is so great for in-between days. Unless your hair gets massively dirty, then you may wish to wash more frequently as you see fit." the hair professional adds. 

“Instead of spraying it directly onto the hair, spray onto a brush and then apply to your hair, this will avoid build up and give you the perfect distribution of product."

Adam Reed Founding Partner & Director, Percy & Reed, London

Planning out your washes will make life so much easier.

Be Honest About What Kind Of Hair You Have

Hair styling is counter intuitive because you’re always working backward. Start by envisioning the result you’d like—a bouncy blowout or air-dried waves—then plan your routine around it.

“Everyone has different hair textures, hair styles, and lifestyles which leads to different experiences,” Pelletier says. “If you’re not using the right product regimen, you’re not going to get the end results you’re looking for.”

If you’re working with fine hair that falls flat or gets oily at the roots, it’s time to admit you’ll probably need to wash more frequently than your thick-haired counterparts.


Consider Your Lifestyle, Including Your Workout Schedule.

If you’re a regular gym bunny or suffer the sweats in the summer sunshine, you may think a daily shampoo is a given. Adam however suggests you make Dry Shampoo your new handbag essential.

“If you exercise daily, Dry Shampoo is your best answer. Tie hair back loosely while exercising and then use dry shampoo. Sweat bands are also brilliant, as 80s accessories are making a comeback – you will stop the sweat from dampening your hair and make it easier to manage.”

Adam Reed Founding Partner & Director, Percy & Reed, London

Understandably you may on occasion need to wash more frequently than every three days but it’s good to give your scalp the time it needs to produce those valued natural oils. “If you’re continually washing your hair, you’ll be removing natural oils.” Adam advises.

Pick Shampoo And Conditioner Formulas That Work With Your Washing Schedule

Once you’ve used Adam’s tips to determine how often you should be scrubbing that scalp, it’s time to go shopping. Without a shampoo formula that works with your washing schedule. Not washing every day means you’ll need a hair care system that works to get rid of a week’s worth up of oil and grime from your roots.

Luckily, shampoo formulas have adapted to fit the needs of women everywhere.

If you’re looking to retain the colour of your locks, opt for L’Oréal Professionnel’s Vitamino Colour range, not only does it keep your colour popping but the smell will leave your nose feeling as fresh as your hair looks! It’s a firm fave of Adam’s “It is also better for your hair if you wash it less often if it’s coloured as it won’t wash it out as quickly.” Great news for those colour chameleons out there.

Make Sure You’re Actually Getting Your Hair And Scalp Clean.

It may seem obvious to scrub your scalp while shampooing under a hot jet of water, but you’d be surprised how many women treat home hair washing like an in-and-out task. This isn’t a drive through, baby—you’ve got to do a little work to get your mane totally clean.

Start your wash with a rinse, saturating your mane with water and then squeezing most of it out to get a head start on banishing dirt. Then, using less than a pound-sized dollop of shampoo, work the product through your strands.

“If you have long hair, you really want to give those ends a good wash,” Pelletier explains. “If you feel a lack of lather, it just means that the hair is dirty. I would rinse and re-shampoo before conditioning.”

Rinse your hair until no bubbles are visible, then wring the hair out and apply conditioner. Hair that’s closer to dry means less water in the strands to dilute the conditioning formula. Start at the ends, working the product up through the mid lengths and (for thick hair) roots. Rinse and you’re all done.

Hair brushing is also so important Adam insists “brushing is also so important, as a natural exfoliator for the scalp.”

So there you have it, three is the magic number!

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