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Do You Really Have to Lather, Rinse, and Repeat?

Is the "Repeat" Step Really Necessary When Shampooing?

OnSugar blog Kiss and Tell poses this shampooing question:

So I doubt I’m the only one who reads the back of product bottles while I'm in the shower. (What else are you to do when you're waiting for that conditioner to sink in?) We've all read the shampoo directions: lather, rinse, and repeat. But is it really necessary to shampoo a second time, or is one time usually enough? Wanting to find answers to my burning questions about whether repeating is necessary or whether it's just another ploy created by the beauty industry to get me to use twice as much shampoo (and money) unnecessarily, I decided to search for some answers. (Read: I Googled.)

The short answer? Nope, not totally necessary. Turns out that unless your hair has exceptional buildup or if you use a lot of products in your hair, the repeat isn't really needed, and that shampooing can actually be damaging to hair, stripping it of its natural oils. If you do find your hair to have a lot of buildup, you might be better of using a clarifying shampoo rather than your regular shampoo. You'll know if you need to repeat if your hair still feels like it has product in it, even after you've rinsed. Clean hair should feel smooth and squeaky after shampooing, not grimy or gummy.

I also noticed, in a survey of all the million bottles of shampoo that stake their claim in my shower, that it's only the drugstore brands that insist on the repeat. Interesting.

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Join The Conversation
johanna89 johanna89 7 years
I've heard that the "repeat" is a marketing ploy to get you to use more of the product and eventually buy more sooner. But also clarifying cleansers are sooo good, but I find them hard to use when i have semi-permanently died my hair and i don't want the color to run off. are there any good. clarifying shampoo's for chemically treated hair?
k4y k4y 7 years
that's not true that only drugstore brands say 'repeat'. i use pureology sometimes and their bottles say repeat also
Ayu Ayu 7 years
Washing my hair less often (twice a week instead of every day with water and every other day with shampoo) did help my scalp get less oily. I use a natural (in large part) shampoo bar and only shampoo once. I don't use conditioner or any styling products. On the last day before hairwashing I sometimes use some powder on my hairline, but that's it.
Happsmjc Happsmjc 7 years
I also wish I only had to wash once a week or only wash once and repeat. I have thick, course, very oily hair and have tried everything from expensive shampoos to more time between washings. I know many say washing LESS will help with the oily look/feel but after one day I physically cannot stand how my head feels! When I'm in the shower I use two or three different shampoos so I wash at least three times usually! I've lived with roommates (with similar hair) we can go days between shampooing and only shampoo once in the shower, I'm always so envious.
Advah Advah 7 years
Retro and Betty, I wash mine every 3-4 days too (curly hair) and rarely shampoo more than once. As for the letting the conditioner sink in, it makes a big difference if I do it so since I realised that I start my shower by washing my hair and putting on conditioner, wash myself and rinse the conditioner as the last step. And if my hair's too crunchy from applying mousse/creme and stuff, I scrunch in jojoba oil or shea butter - works like a charm and my hair has never looked better! (thank you NaturallyCurly forum for the advice!)
postmodernsleaze postmodernsleaze 7 years
I only wash it twice in one shower session when I'm dressing theatrically and therefore spraying the shiznit out of my hair with strong hairsprays. Which is only on Halloween and themed parties. So only a few times a year, if that. I've never been able to do the ritual of only washing hair once or twice a week. I can rarely skip just a day (I only do when I'm lazy). In my opinion, it is not easier at all to style my hair when it's slightly dirty. Yeck. I'm an every day shampooer.
Bettye-Wayne Bettye-Wayne 7 years
Retro I wash mine once or twice a week too! I actually wash it at night, then I wrap it in a plastic cap and let the conditioner soak in over night, and rinse in the morning. I shampoo twice only if I've been loading on the products, usually once is enough.
Retro-Bunny Retro-Bunny 7 years
Ever since I dyed my hair bright pink, I've been wondering if repeating my shampooing is doing my harm than good to my hair! But, I have really long hair so I'll wait until I cut it to shampoo once. Besides, I literally wash my hair once or twice a week (no eeewing please!). After bleaching it, it's pretty dry and can easily get by with some dry shampoo!
tallkell tallkell 7 years
I have been known to read bottles in the shower. You are not alone!
greykatt greykatt 7 years
not the shampoo, but I definatly rinse and repeat my conditioner!
Le_silla Le_silla 7 years
My shampoo says that repeating is not necessary its from furterer
GummiBears GummiBears 7 years
I usually lather once since I don't use a lot of hairsprays, gels, or oils in my hair. When I do use oils, it usually gets absorbed into my scalp or hair.
HoneyBrown1976 HoneyBrown1976 7 years
I am a one-lather girl! Also, I like to let the conditioner sit. At that time, I shower and shave; then, I rinse.
Sasseefrass Sasseefrass 7 years
Re. the conditioner, I do! I use the time to throw some soap on a washcloth and wash down the inside of my shower. As for the shampoo, I rarely repeat. That's what a good clarifying shampoo once a week is used for.
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