Naturals have a lot of feelings about wash day. There is so much advice floating around on the topic, it can quickly feel overwhelming when trying to figure out what is best for your curls. One of the most commonly asked questions by curlies is should I shampoo my hair twice? While this is an often-debated topic in the natural hair community, here are a few things to consider before you lather, rinse, and repeat.
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Should I shampoo my hair twice?
The answer to this question will depend on your hair, the style you have it in, and if you have any scalp conditions. There is no clear-cut answer to say how many times you should shampoo on wash day. There are several different factors which play into this decision.
The type of shampoo
Lots of people assume that because their shampoo is low or no lather, it must not be working as hard at cleansing. The lather is not an indication of the power of your shampoo. However, not all shampoos cleanse quite the same. Some shampoos contain sulfates which aim to cleanse the scalp from oils, buildup, and styling products, and while they may be acceptable for one wash, it may be too harsh to shampoo twice. If you are using a gentler shampoo with natural ingredients free from sulfates, doubling up on shampooing is more acceptable for your curls.
How often you wash
The debate of how often to wash hair is a never-ending argument in the natural hair community. Whether you wash your hair twice a week or once every two weeks, this may play a role in how many times to shampoo. For instance, if your wash days fall two to a week, one shampoo may be best whereas a double application approach might be ideal for those washing less frequently.
How much buildup you have
Of course, the matter of which shampoo type and how often to wash is closely related to the way you experience buildup. If you are light handed with the products and aren't prone to oily buildup in general, one wash should suffice. If you are a little heavier with your products or experience excessive buildup, you should wash your curls twice to really break it all up and get a good clean. One shampoo I really love for clarifying is the Ouidad Waterworks Clarifying Shampoo.
How dry your hair is
Another matter to consider when deciding whether to shampoo hair twice is the matter of dryness. This is actually the main reason a lot of naturals avoid shampooing twice (even when it could benefit their curls!) since we are taught early on that dryness is our worst enemy and that over-shampooing strips us of our natural moisture. However, if you have buildup where two shampoos could help give you a cleaner, healthier scalp as opposed to one shampooing that doesn't quite get the job done, you are missing out on better hair care. The key is to know what your hair needs and watch out for dryness. A moisture retention shampoo like The Doux Sucka Free Moisturizing Shampoo would be ideal for wash days if you are combatting dryness, or even a cleansing conditioner would suffice such as the As I Am Coconut CoWash Cleansing Conditioner.
If you have a scalp condition
If you suffer from a scalp condition such as psoriasis or eczema the whole game changes. You definitely want to make sure that you use a shampoo that is soothing for the scalp and moisturizing, so as not to irritate the delicate skin in your scalp area. Look for one that has ingredients such as chamomile, rose, or honey, such as the Honey Baby Naturals Moisture & Scalp Balance Shampoo. All of these are known to ease itching, help promote moisture retention and decrease redness. I would also suggest only shampooing once to really make sure you are being gentle with this area.
If you wear protective styles
if you are shampooing your hair while wearing a protective style, the most common concern is will you mess up your style by using a shampoo? Because often times we can't reach our scalp directly, it is best to use your favorite diluted with a little water in a spray bottle, so as not to cause buildup on the scalp. One of the methods I use when I have my faux locs in, is to place my favorite shampoo in a bottle with a nozzle on it, dilute the shampoo with water, squirt it in between my locs, gently massage my scalp so as not to disrupt my style and then wash out the solution with water from a bottle. If you can't find a water bottle with a nozzle, try out the DevaCurl Buildup Buster Micellar Water Cleansing Serum. It is light enough to get the job done, and comes with a pointed nozzle already attached! I would do this once, and then follow up with a great clarifying shampoo once your protective style is removed.
What do you think about shampooing your hair now? Will you be changing up your routine?
Let us know in the comments below.
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