It’s a simple question. How often should you be washing your hair? But it’s one that no two men seem to be able to agree on. The majority of us just get in the shower every morning, flick open our shampoo bottle and half-heartedly give our scalp a scrub. Who cares if it’s a thorough wash? Why bother getting worked up over split ends? Who even buys conditioner?
But your hair is precious (wherever it might be)— and, if you continue mistreating it in this way, it will soon get fed up of being ignored and drop out. Then you’ll be sorry. So, to keep you from follicular fatality, we’ve asked some of the best barbers in the business to answer the unanswerable question. And here’s what they said…
Wash your hair once every two days...
In the simplest, broad-strokes terms, men should wash their hair once every two days, says Sean Chenery, senior barber at Murdock London. But, he adds, this depends on hair length.
“With a short textured crop,” advises the barber, “every other day is quite appropriate. We actually advise our customers to wash their hair every other day to avoid drying the scalp out with excessive washing.”
With longer hair, you can wait longer between washes...
And this is where it gets a little complicated. While men with shorter hair should wash it every other day, those of us with longer locks risk stripping essential natural oils from our hair if we try this approach. Denis Robinson, creative director of Ruffians Barbers, explains.
“While there are no hard and fast rules about how frequently you should wash your hair, longer lengths can generally get away with less frequent washing. For these styles, I’d recommend every three to four days — as opposed to alternate days – or every other day for shorter lengths. And always use a mild, sulphate-free shampoo.”
Sachajuan Leave-in Conditioner
Christophe Robin purifying shampoo
Mind which products you use...
“In our experience,” advises Wendy Langley, master barber at Truefitt & Hill, “most men use too harsh a shampoo and also too much of it. They might do this because they feel their hair is greasy, or because it gets sweaty after a workout. But there are problems when you wash your hair too enthusiastically.”
So which shampoos and conditioners should we use, if we wash our hair more frequently than the advised every-other-day?
“You should use a shampoo specially formulated for frequent use,” says Langley, “and only a small amount, especially if your hair is dry.
“As for conditioner, we recommend you use it every time you shampoo if your hair is dry, but if your hair is normal or greasy, every other time will be sufficient. Also, the greasier your hair, the lighter your conditioner should be.”
Malin + Goetz Peppermint Shampoo
Aesop Classic Conditioner
Bamford Grooming Department Shampoo