Heard of skin cycling? Now meet the new approach that promises your healthiest hair ever: hair cycling.
It’s easy to brush off buzzy beauty trends, thinking they’ll sail right by you. You can stay happy in the knowledge your routine is treating you just fine, right?
Of course you can, but what if a small change to your regular approach could reap rewards in the health and appearance of your skin and hair.
That’s the idea behind skin cycling, and now, hair cycling.
Rewind to when we first learnt about skin cycling. The approach requires you to alternate, or ‘cycle’ through the key products you’re using so you can avoid irritation and they each have a chance to work and deliver their different benefits. It also focuses on choosing treatment products to target and treat whatever you skin is currently experiencing.
What is hair cycling?
The idea of hair cycling follows a similar concept. It’s about alternating key haircare products in your routine to address specific challenges and changes, to ensure your hair always looks and feels as healthy as possible.
Unlike skin cycling though, which follows a four-night cycling approach, hair cycling is more flexible. It requires you to take into account your hair type, texture and condition as well as the season and changes like hormonal impacts, but has some structure as a guide.
For example, if you have fine hair, you might generally use a volumising shampoo and conditioner. But you also have buildup in your roots from using styling products and you often have dry ends. If you were following a hair cycling routine, you might change your approach each time you wash your hair. So every first wash you use a clarifying shampoo instead of your usual shampoo and every third wash you add in a treatment mask.
It means your hair and scalp are getting a variety of benefits, rather than just the same products each time.
Most proponents suggest structuring the approach similar to below:
First wash of the cycle: Focus on detoxing, deep cleansing and clarifying the hair, removing any excess oil and product build-up from the scalp. This is where you could use a clarifying shampoo, particularly if you use a lot of styling products. Go that extra mile and follow with a scalp scrub to gently exfoliate the scalp while promoting new cell growth.
Second wash: Your second wash is all about strengthening and repairing your hair, using bond-building products is key.
Third wash: Use a shampoo and conditioner that help meet you styling goals, be they adding volume, defining curls or adding shine. A hydrating mask to add moisture back into your locks can be used at this step too.
Hair cycling products to try
L-R: Joico K-Pak Clarifying shampoo; Sachajuan Scalp Scrub; Oribe Hair Alchemy Resilience Shampoo & Conditioner; Davines Naturaltech Renewing Conditioning Treatment
An even easier version of hair cycling, is to change up your hair routine with the seasons. So in summer, hair might be dull from sun exposure, and at the end of winter it could be dry and frizzy, so adapt your haircare routine to suit.
Trial and error is key when hair cycling. It can be as simple as asking your hair stylist to suggest one extra product to try to treat an issue you’re currently experiencing. As always, salon professionals have plenty of expertise in managing hair conditions, so if you’re not getting the results you want, its worth taking the time to ask them for their product and routine advice.