Full Women's Health article here.
Yes, You Can Wash Your Hair Once a Week. Here's How
Washing your hair on the regs is old hat. Whilst a few years ago you might have lathered up after every workout, these days, less is feeling like more.
In the UK, sales of shampoo decreased by 23 million in 2016, according to Nielsen, while the #NoPoo movement, in which people replace traditional shampoos with pure water rinses or ingredients like apple cider vinegar in the hope of getting clean hair minus product, has over 120k posts on Insta.
Just as many people have sought to pare back their skincare regime to something more simple, rather than the multiple layers of serums and creams popular in K-beauty, so too is getting back to basics gaining traction, when it comes to your crowning glory.
“The majority of research suggests that washing the hair is actually a damaging process,” Jordan Potter, style director at HOB Salons, tells WH. “Shampoos strip away the hair’s natural oils and defences, and conditioners are only able to replace part, but not all, of the moisture balance that healthy hair requires.
“This has led to the general consensus that you should wash hair as little as possible, i.e: only when the hair is looking or feeling oily."
“You also tend to style your hair with heated styling tools more often when you over wash your hair,” says Jay Birmingham, celebrity hairstylist. “When your hair is clean you blow dry it and then tend to style with curling tongs or straightening irons – and this can cause further damage and breakage.”
Whether you want to save time, decrease how many products you buy or just give your barnet a break, here's how to wash your hair once a week – without it looking like you've taken a bath in a frying pan.
How to wash your hair once a week
Day 1: wash your hair with a cleansing shampoo
A Sunday well spent equals a week of content. After you’ve finished meal-prepping your healthy lunch ideas, next, tackle your hair wash.
You could always leave it until Monday morning so that it’s bit fresher, but if you’re going to wash hair once a week just one quick rinse isn’t going to do it.
“Always do two shampoos on your hair,” says Jonathan Andrew, artistic director at Jamie Stevens Hair. “Most people make do with one, but this doesn’t actually clean your hair properly. The first shampoo will remove product build up and excess oils from your hair, roots and scalp and the second shampoo will actually cleanse the hair as it should.”
To eliminate as much oil as possible, comb your hair before you wash it. “This distributes any existing oil on the scalp further down the hair and helps to remove any product build up which can lead to oily hair,” says All Things Hair global hairstylist Elena Diaz.
Try washing your hair with a deep cleansing shampoo that works on removing product build up. Use about a 10p amount of product and massage it into your scalp with your fingertips. Do a double wash and then condition the lengths of your hair, making sure to avoid the scalp.
If you’re using a rich, creamy conditioner comb it through using a wide-tooth comb or Tangle Teezer, to spread the product around your hair and stop it building up in one area. Just be careful not to tug at any tangled bits, as your hair is most delicate when it’s run so this can lead to breakage.
This deep cleansing shampoo uses argan and avocado oils to moisturise your hair. It is also sulphate-free so will discourage excess oil production, keeping your hair less oily.
Pair it with this silicone brush is specially designed to use in the shower. It two-tiered teeth system allows for easy detangling and encourages product distribution through the hair.
Day 2: Keep your hair oil-free
You wake up after an extra half an hour sleep smug about your Sunday preparation. After all you did do your long double hair wash and even managed to style your locks how you wanted for the week. So after a quick five-minute body shower, you’re good to go right?
Apart from the not-so-sleek halo of frizz that has just emerged from all the bathroom condensation created by that super quick body rinse.
Be prepared and invest in a shower cap. You might think just rolling your hair into a quick bun will be enough, but wearing a shower stops moisture inflating your locks.
If you need a quick refresh, try spritzing a conditioning spray around your mane. Don’t overdo it though – just use a little bit of product on the ends to make your style look sleek and fresh.
This light mist will condition the ends of your hair, without wetting it or adding to much weight. Bonus: it also protects from UV rays, so will stop hair from drying out.
Day 3: grab your tongs
You'll likely want a little extra volume by day three. Try this trick.
- Divide your hair into four ponytails (if you have thicker hair you might need to make it six).
- Take a tong and facing it downwards, wrap each ponytail around the tong, holding it in place for about ten seconds. By keeping the wider part of the barrel at the top, you’ll be adding volume to the top of your hair, making it look less flat and greasy.
- Add a coin-sized amount of finishing cream for extra shine. You won’t ever need to go for a blow dry again.
To keep this style in place for the next day, try sleeping with a wrap around your hair.
The best way to wrap your hair?
- Roll up your hair into a loose bun on top of your head, so that it doesn’t flatten when you lie down.
- Then bring the wrap round over your head, holding your hair up while you do so.
- Once the wrap is surrounding your hair remove your hand and tighten up the edges of the wrap so that your hair doesn’t fall out. In the morning when you take it out, it won’t have budged a bit.
Use a non-greasy lightweight cream for a touch of moisture. This products is infused with sunflower wax to keep hair hydrated and creates an invisible shield to stop frizz created by British downpours.
Restless sleeper? Tossing and turning increases breakage so sleeping on silk to limit damage. This wrap cocoons your hair to stop oil building up at the roots and instead spread evenly from your roots to your ends, to help both a greasy scalp and dry tips. SILKE London SILKE Hair Wrap The Poppy.
Day 4: try the flip
Try changing your parting around, as this will stop your hair from going flat on the top and looking greasy. Then blast underneath with a dry shampoo, to encourage brightness and prevent oily hair. If you spritz directly to your roots, it will soak up the excess sebum in your hair, preventing it from spreading further down your locks.
This no-rinse spray is ideal for greasy hair, as it uses herbal vinegar, and antioxidant-filled essential acids to break down product build up in the hair and protect the scalp from the environmental pollutants that can cause grease.
Day 5: dial up the texture
After four days without it, you can crack out everyone’s go-to hair savour - the trusty dry shampoo. “Spray some dry shampoo in the roots,” says Andrew. “This will mask any oil build up and give you some lift and texture.”
To make the dry shampoo even more effective, try spraying it before you go to bed to stop greasy hair in its tracks and prevent oil buildup, rather than trying to counter it.
“Massage into the scalp and then brush through," says Kala Kilshaw, Creative Director At Ego Professional. “If you brush your hair at night before going to bed, this distributes the natural oils that the scalp produces. Using a pure bristle brush on thicker coarse hair and an acrylic one on finer hair also either discourages or encourages the natural oils and removes the dirt and debris from the hair daily.”
This volumising dry shampoo will also absorb excess sebum from your scalp, without leaving a thick layer of product build up.