by Jill Marcordes, Executive Director of Cosmetology & Nail Technology at Tricoci University of Beauty Culture
“How often should you wash your hair” is a popular question of concern. This is one of my favorite subjects when talking to our students and guest. Here’s my advice:
1. Consider Your Hair Type
Thicker or more course hair usually requires less cleaning compared to finer hair. This is because thicker hair takes longer to absorb the body’s natural oils that are excreted from the scalp. Chemically-processed hair and curly hair have a tendency to be dryer at the ends and may require less shampooing, too. We generally recommend that dry hair is cleansed every 3-4 days and normal to fine hair is cleaned every 1-2 days.
2. Use the Right Products
Your client should choose a shampoo and conditioner that best suits [her] hair type. For example, if [she] wants to add moisture and strength to the hair, I suggest using a shampoo that is a protein-based – Redken’s Extreme Line is a great example – and applying a moisture-based conditioner, such as Redken’s Clear Moisture line. Don’t be afraid to use different shampoo and conditioner product lines too, it’s totally acceptable to intermix.
3. Stop Over-Washing
If you shampoo your hair every single day, you’re removing dirt and debris but you’re also removing natural oils that your hair needs to be healthy. It takes 24 hours for your skin’s acid protective mantel (that what keeps our hair, skin and nails hydrated) to reach its fullest strength but some of us wash it away before it has time to develop – and it has to start all over again. This tells your brain that you’re not producing enough of these protective oils and the production goes into overdrive, which is what causes greasiness.
4. Consider “Re-Training” Your Hair
Encourage clients not to shampoo every day – and in order to properly restore hair and skin’s acid protective mantel long-term, we recommend not washing your hair for 28 days. This allows your brain to identify that it doesn’t need to send as much of this natural oils to the surface. Helpful hint: Dry shampoo can help clients through the month, it won’t mess with the “re-setting” process, but will help them feel more comfortable with their appearance. The Pureology line carries a dry shampoo and conditioner that I highly recommend. The dry shampoo is applied to the base/scalp of your hair to help soak up the oil residue, while the dry conditioner will help keep your locks looking soft and shiny.