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How Often Should I Use Shampoo & Conditioner?

How Often Should I Use Shampoo & Conditioner?

Shampoo and conditioner…. They’re a bit of a conundrum for some of us. 

Thankfully, largely gone are the days when the average Joe used a bar soap; possibly containing coal tar; to cleanse the entirety of their being from their barnet to their backside. Most of us now appreciate that there’s a bit more to grooming than that, and reach for that most renowned of hair specific products - the humble shampoo.

However, There are an absurd amount of shampoo iterations available these days for any sort of mane mission - from densifying to nurturing and volumising to energising. Whilst I am not suggesting that these don’t all have a rightful place in someone’s arsenal, many want a no messing, go-to shampoo which simply does the job well. Step forward Ruffians Original Shampoo.

Right, so that’s the shampoo sorted, now onto its partner in crime - the Robin to its Batman - conditioner. It’s long been a product that has split opinion, the sceptics claim it offers precious little in return for that precious extra seconds in the shower, whilst the believers feel that life is just that little bit better for having glossy locks. Let’s attempt to set the record straight once and for all…

Think of conditioner as the follicular equivalent of moisturiser. The shampoo does the same essential job for your hair as face wash does to your mug - removes dirt, grime, debris and product build up from the hair and scalp. However, a consequence of this is that the hair - like skin post washing - will be drier and more brittle as a result. Conditioner sorts this right out, meaning less split ends, less frizz and stronger strands. Basically, a better lid. And who doesn’t want that?

Now, pretty much all of us know how to use a shampoo and conditioner, right? Blob in the palm, onto the bonce, into a foam and rinse. Simple. However, one of the most frequent questions our barbers are asked by clients is “how often should I wash and condition my hair?” The truth is that there is no hard and fast answer, it depends on your hair type, lifestyle and routine. Here’s our rough guide:


Daily/Every Shower 

Many people wash their hair every time they step into the shower, however, our experience tells us that this is rarely a good thing.

Daily hair washing is only recommended for those who have naturally oily hair and scalp and/or wear a lot of heavy duty products such as hairspray or oil based pomade. 

If this isn’t you then you should look to cut down on the number of times you reach for that shampoo bottle, as washing too often can strip hair of the natural oils that keep it soft and healthy. It can also cause a dry and uncomfortable scalp. 

If you’re one of those guys who just doesn’t feel fresh without getting your hair wet then why not just massage your hair and scalp with water (preferably luke warm) under the shower between shampoo sessions.


Every Other Day 

Ideal for those who have a vigorous exercise routine or sweat easily. Also good for those whose hair has a tendency to get oily and separate over time or who use styling products daily. This regimen is still likely to be too much for those with fine, dry or brittle strands though.

If you still find that your hair becomes frizzy or puffy after washing and conditioning every other day then you could try adding a little leave in conditioner or curl cream whilst still damp after towel drying.


Once or Twice a Week 

Perfect for those with finer, drier hair and/or who wear little or no product. If you want to feel clean in-between washes then you could just skip the shampoo and head straight for the conditioner.

It’s surprising how many people feel that leaving your hair for a few days without washing is unclean, this just isn’t the case. It’s more common for people to wash their hair too often than too rarely. 



We still come across clients who claim that never using a shampoo or conditioner results in the best conditions for their hair to thrive.

There’s a theory that your locks will find their perfect equilibrium once they’ve become accustomed to a lack of cleansing and conditioning products. However, whilst we are not dermatologists or scientists, we’ve never really seen this happen. 

What we see far more commonly are strands that have become oily and bunched together and scalps that are crying out for a bit of exfoliation. For these reasons we’re not advocates of the never-wash movement. 


Whatever Your Routine, Do It Properly

Ultimately, with a bit of trail and error, you can find a hair washing routine that suits you and your hair best. However often you wash and condition, always be sure to do it right. 

First, try to choose hair products that contain no parabens or chemical nasties, it’s been widely reported that these blighters will do your thatch no good. 

Next, really dig in when applying shampoo, too often people go a bit too gently to remove all of the debris and grime from their scalps. Put your hands into a claw shape and use your finger tips to work from front to back and side to side with some pressure for at least a minute. Try to rinse the hair with tepid water rather than hot so as not to frazzle the follicles and scalp.

Lastly, to get the most out of your conditioner work from root to tip and leave to do its work for 3-5 minutes before rinsing with cool water. This will ensure that the moisture is locked in, giving you silkier strands for longer. 


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