How Often British Women Really Wash Their Hair

Photo: Winnie Au
Washing your hair is a right old faff, isn't it? First there's knowing which products to use and in what order, then there's making sure you've washed it all out properly (else your hair will look greasier than it was before!), and then there's the tedious drying process.

This is just one of the reasons why we're going ever longer between washes, according to a new survey.

A quarter of women admitted to washing their hair a lot less than they used to, with 40% attributing this to the popularity of dry shampoo and clever styling tricks, which buy them more time between washes.

More than 2000 women aged 18-45 from across the UK were questioned for the survey, which was commissioned by hair care brand Herbal Essences.

The most common reason for avoiding hair-washing was time – 60% of women say a lack of time was to blame for their changing haircare habits. (We'd rather spend an extra 30 minutes in bed, thanks very much.)

However, more than half of women say they enjoyed washing their hair because it allowed them some "me-time".

Many women also opt to leave their hair unwashed after the gym. Exercise was the top reason women say their hair looked and felt dirty, cited by two thirds (64%) of respondents, yet half admitted to not washing their hair after a workout.

So it seems we're increasingly willing to let those "natural oils" build up in our locks. Nearly 40% of women admitted to only washing their hair every three to four days, or less, versus the national average of 2.6 days.

The average longest length of time respondents had left their hair before washing was 6.4 days, and one in 20 confessed to leaving their hair for more than 10 days.

There is also regional variation in how often we wash our hair, the survey found. 38% of women in Liverpool apparently wait three to four days in between washes, compared with 31% in London and just 19% in Glasgow.

Ben Cooke, a hair stylist and Herbal Essences Ambassador, suggested the results show women are deprioritising hair care in their beauty routines.

He said there is now a "stigma attached to washing your hair every day, with the huge majority of women seeming to think that this will strip natural goodness and oils out of hair", which he believes is untrue.

Hey, if you favour the less-is-more approach when it comes to hair care, we won't judge.
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