Double Cleansing Has Moved From Skin To Hair & Your Nan's Probably A Longtime Fan

by Lauren Sharkey
Originally Published: 
Woman washing her hair.

"Lather, rinse, repeat" conjures up images of your nan in her heyday getting ready for a big night out. But if you thought the saying was a trick to get you to buy more shampoo, you might be wrong. According to experts, there is a lot of truth behind this old-fashioned mantra. In fact, many are claiming that double cleansing hair is the key to your dream look.

By double cleansing, I mean simply shampooing twice. Some people have adopted this technique for years (it was almost a necessity in the goop-heavy 1950s, reports CNN), while others have embarked on a lather-once life. If you fall into the latter category and are finding that you're washing your hair several times a week or that replicating your hairdresser's work is impossible, you may want to consider a double cleanse trial.

Each stage of the cleanse aims to do something different. The first cleanse, L'Oreal UK's director of scientific, Steve Shiel, explained to Refinery29, removes residues, including "dead skin cells, natural oils, and atmospheric pollutants." The second, he added, "completely eliminates them and boosts hair health."

Prime double cleanse candidates, according to Allure, are those with thick or curly hair. If you have really fine or dry hair, or locks that have been chemically treated, it's best to avoid this one. And if you're not sure, consider this: Do you find it difficult to turn shampoo into a "rich lather"? Yes? Then double cleansing will probably work for you, reports Shape.


As well as reducing the number of times you'll feel the need to wash your hair, double shampooing can also prevent strands from feeling and looking dry. Over-shampooing hair, which can lead to this dry result, "is a mistake that most women make," hairstylist Sal Salcedo told Byrdie. Dryness is more than just a superficial annoyance; it's also likely to be the reason why you find it difficult to style your hair.

When it comes to choosing which shampoos to use, you have a few options. There is, of course, the easy route: Pick one shampoo and use it twice. (Hairdresser George Northwood told one Man Repeller writer to divide her usual shampoo amount in two.) Or you can use two different shampoos. Or you can opt for a hair oil first, followed by a shampoo targeted at your specific hair type.

An oil may sound incompatible with cleansing hair, but it's particularly effective at dissolving the natural oils sitting on your scalp, notes Refinery29. VO5's Nourishing Coconut Hot Oil is a budget-friendly product to try. For shampoos, look for a gentle formula that won't dry out your hair. Green People's Moisturising Shampoo and OUAI's Clean Shampoo are just two of the many products around.

Try not to scrub your hair. Instead, treat it gently, paying particular attention to the roots and ensuring that you produce a lather that wouldn't look out of place on a haircare advert. You should only need to double cleanse once or twice a week, but some prefer to do it more or less. It's all about marching to the beat of your own dream.

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