Everything you need to know about double-shampooing

Washing your hair can be a chore at the best of times, but nothing beats the feeling of silky soft, freshly-washed and – dare I say it – blow-dried hair. 

But there’s a chance you’ve been doing it wrong this whole time.

That is, if you’re not shampooing your hair twice.

Well, that’s a bold statement, and it’s actually a little contested.

The gist is that the first round of shampooing serves to remove all the dirt, excess oils, pollution and product buildup from the scalp, according to Chie Sato, head of education at Taylor Taylor London.

‘The second helps to really get rid of them from your hair,’ she tells Metro.co.uk. ‘By removing impurities you allow hydrating and conditioning products to penetrate the hair more deeply, therefore nourishing it in the long-run.’

This means that double shampooing allows you to go longer between washes, as it fully cleanses the scalp, which reduces oil and dirt buildup overall. 

‘By keeping your scalp healthy you can ultimately achieve healthier hair and promote hair growth, as you gently exfoliate the hair follicles,’ Sato adds. 

Why is double-shampooing contested?

While the general consensus is that double-shampooing is good for the hair, it may not be suitable for everyone, and it especially depends on how often you wash your hair and what hair type you have.

For example, if you wash your hair daily or more than twice a week, or if you have afro hair, it may not be advisable. 

‘Shampoo is a detergent, meaning it combines with dirt and impurities to pull them away from the scalp,’ Aaron Wallace, co-founder and managing director of By Aaron Wallace tells Metro.co.uk.

‘What happens in many shampoos (particularly those that contain sulphates), is that they strip away all of the natural oils and moisture that the scalp needs to be healthy – which actually leads to the production of more dandruff,’ he continues.

‘Shampooing twice exacerbates this, and afro hair is highly prone to dehydration.

‘So, with all of our grooming methods it is always beneficial to bear this in mind. 

‘Stripping away the scalp’s natural moisture is a no no if you want healthy afro hair.

‘Additionally, shampooing twice leaves the hair with a squeaky dry feeling – this makes hair more difficult to comb through, which leads to more breakage when detangling and styling.’

Instead, Wallace only suggests shampooing twice if the hair is particularly dirty or has a fair amount of product buildup.

Generally, he suggests using a natural cleansing shampoo free of sulphates ‘to gently cleanse without stripping natural oils and natural moisture – once’.

Sato adds that if you wash your hair daily, you might want to steer clear of double-shampooing: ‘If you wash your hair every day, it’s best not to shampoo twice, otherwise it could just be stripping your hair of its natural oils, causing dryness and breakage. 

‘You can benefit the most from double shampooing if you wash every other day or less, if you have an oily scalp with dry ends and if you use lots of styling products.’

Is there anything you should be mindful of when double-shampooing?

So, you’re thinking about switching to the double-shampoo method – is there anything you need to know?

Well, along with watching out for sulphates, it’s important to focus all the shampooing on your scalp. 

‘The scalp is where you should focus on shampooing, because this is where you want to remove the excess oil and product buildup from,’ says Sano.

‘The lengths of your hair will naturally be less oily and therefore dryer because they’re further from the scalp, so make sure you focus on the top of your head when shampooing twice, to prevent your hair from drying out.’

The benefit of this is that it also stimulates hair growth:  ‘The technique to apply is called effleurage, this is a gentle stroking technique,’ says Sano.

‘The technique to cleanse all over the scalp is called rotary friction as you go round the head firmly with your fingers. 

‘This stimulates the blood supply, encouraging healthy hair growth.’

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