You’d never go a day without washing your face (we hope!). But when it comes to washing our hair that often, we tend to be more hesitant. “A lot of women hold back because they feel that washing too often will damage their hair,” says Dr. Jeni Thomas, Pantene principal scientist. “But for some women, especially women with finer hair, going a few days without shampooing interferes with getting the look and feel of the hair they want.”
The solution? Daily washing with gentle ingredients, like micellar water, that you’ve already seen in your favourite skincare lines. Skin and hair share some of the same genetic building blocks. And experts say that hair is just as susceptible to the effects of the environment (sun, pollution, product buildup, etc.) as skin—maybe even more so. “Skin has some built-in mechanisms to help purify cells, whereas hair doesn’t,” says Thomas. Washing daily can prevent that buildup.
No matter how often you choose to wash your hair, be sure to pay as much attention to the scalp as you do the actual strands. Research shows that a healthier scalp equals healthier hair. “Focus the cleansing action at the scalp first, and then you can massage it down the lengths of hair,” says Thomas. Then get ready to turn heads.
Pantene Pro-V Micellar Gentle Cleansing Water Shampoo and Pro-V Micellar Gentle Moisturizing Milk Conditioner (available at drugstores and mass-market retailers)
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MICELLAR WATER
WHAT IS IT?
Micellar water contains micelles, tiny, hardworking, water-rich molecules that soak up oil and product buildup without damaging hair. (They’re too big to penetrate the hair fibre.) “They absorb excess oil and dirt from the fibre but only on the surface, which is the secret to gentle cleansing,” says Thomas.
WHERE HAVE I SEEN IT BEFORE?
Your face cleanser. Micellar water is far more gentle and hydrating than your old-school foaming face wash because there’s no need to rinse it off. (That’s why it’s a favourite backstage at fashion weeks.) Recently, the same technology has been incorporated into haircare. Because micelles are water soluble, they rinse away product and buildup easily.
WHEN CAN I USE IT?
Every day! It’s that gentle.
YOUR BIGGEST HAIR QUESTIONS ANSWERED
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I WASH MY HAIR?
That depends on your hair texture but also your lifestyle (e.g., how many spin classes you hit up each week) and your preferred look (e.g., lived-in versus freshly blown out). If you prefer to wash your hair every day, be sure to use a gentle cleansing formula, like Pantene Pro-V Micellar Gentle Cleansing Water Shampoo. It contains micelles, cleansing spheres that pull grime, dirt and oil off hair without damaging the hair fibre.
SHOULD I CHANGE UP MY HAIR-CARE ROUTINE SEASONALLY?
When the thermometer dips, so too does the moisture in the air, which can make hair staticky and dry. Use conditioner every time you wash your hair and a deep-conditioning treatment at least every other week—more if your hair feels parched, says Justin German, Pantene consulting stylist. After applying conditioner, use a wide-tooth comb to comb through, starting with the ends. This will help detangle without causing any breakage.
WHERE SHOULD I APPLY CONDITIONER?
Pantene Pro-V Micellar Gentle Moisturizing Milk Conditioner is lightweight enough to apply from the tips to the roots, which can help prevent future damage, according to Thomas. “People think of conditioning as reparative so they only apply on the parts of the hair they think need it,” she says. “But if you apply all over, you can keep that natural structure of the hair intact for longer. And that means more good hair days in general.” We can certainly get behind that.
HOW IMPORTANT IS THE TEMPERATURE OF THE WATER I’M SHAMPOOING IN?
It’s pretty crucial, according to German. “Cold water is not as effective as warm water in removing buildup, impurities or residue on hair.”
For the latest in fashion, beauty and culture, sign up to receive ELLE's bi-weekly newsletter