Its a myth that washing your locks frequently is bad for your hair. But how often should it be done, and whats the best way to use conditioner?

The biggest myth is that washing your hair frequently is bad, but there is no real rationale for that. You take your hair everywhere you go; it picks up dirt and pollution, and youve got sweat, oil and dead skin cells. You can wash it every day if you want to. You are not stripping the natural oils from your hair, because they do not travel from the scalp down the hair shaft, especially if your hair is damaged or colour-processed. Physiologically, all hair is the same. The difference is in the shape of the strands.

Although there has been a trend for washing only with conditioner, generally you do need to use shampoos. They contain a surfactant, which is designed to hold in dirt and oils that can then be rinsed from the hair.

Get your hair thoroughly wet. If you wash your hair twice and the shampoo seems to lather better on the second time, its because your hair is properly wet. A 50p-sized amount of shampoo is enough for most people. Wash the scalp rather than the hair and allow the suds to run down. If you are washing your hair every day, you do not need to shampoo it twice. If you are washing twice a week, or if your hair gets very greasy or you use a lot of styling products, you might want to do it a second time.

Afro hair is more susceptible to damage and dryness, but you can wash it as frequently as suits your hair at least once a week. If you have short hair, you may not need conditioner, but if your hair is longer, you should use it, particularly if it is colour-treated. Conditioner hydrates and smooths down the outer cuticle, but just put it on the mid-lengths and the ends.

Zo Passam, trichologist at Philip Kingsley, was speaking to Emine Saner


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