The Benefits Of Secondday Hair

Even if you’re adamant about washing your hair daily, some occasions or hairstyles call for “dirty” hair.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel


These hairstyles help hide the grease, or even work better with unwashed hair.


“You need some grease to control the shape of the braid and add shine,” says Mervyn.

Women fall into two camps: those who wash their hair daily and those who shampoo on alternate days (or stretch their shampoo mileage as long as possible).

“How greasy your scalp and hair get depends on how much you sweat. Accumulated sebum leads to a scalp pH imbalance and encourages bacterial growth,” says trichologist June Ng, co-founder and director of J’s Salon. It can result in an itchy scalp, dandruff, clogged hair follicles and thinning hair.

But a greasy scalp can sometimes be good. “Grease protects your scalp from harsh chemicals, so skip a wash the day before you colour your hair,” says Dennis Seah, style director at Toni & Guy – The Star Vista.

Plus, less-frequent shampooing can benefit hair, especially if it’s coloured. Our hair’s natural pH level is a more acidic 4.5-5.5, says Victor Liu, salon director of Chez Vous. “Water and shampoo have higher pH levels, causing hair to lose artificial pigments, moisture and protein. This can damage the cuticle, making hair look dull and coarse.”

So how do you wash less often without suffering greasy-scalp problems? Mervyn Lee, stylist at Hairloom, suggests alternating between a moisturising shampoo and a purifying one to balance scalp pH.

“Also, moisturise your scalp with a scalp mask or organic coconut oil once a week to combat greasiness. A wellmoisturised scalp will not overproduce sebum even if you don’t wash your hair daily,” adds Victor.
My Reading Room
“Pulling hair into a bun hides greasiness and keeps it away from the face so it doesn’t cause breakouts,” says Dennis.
My Reading Room
“The grease makes it easier to pull a ponytail up into a sleek, chic and flattering style,” says Annie Lam, stylist at Kim Robinson.
My Reading Room
“A beachy style needs some grease to accentuate the waves. Tie your hair into a topknot and release it later to give it volume and texture,” says Victor.