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Sushma Veera
New Straits Times
Saturday, Apr 12, 2014

When a daily shampoo won't wash

New Straits Times | Sushma Veera | Saturday, Apr 12, 2014

We must all do our part to conserve water in light of the current water crisis and often, it's the small adjustments which we rarely think about, that can make the biggest difference.

For instance, take a quick shower instead of a bath, fix leaking taps and don't leave the tap running while brushing your teeth.

CHANGE OF ROUTINE

Some people have opted to change their hair washing routine - from daily to alternate days. Linda and MK (not their real names) are working adults who have done so.

"I used to have waist length hair and I washed it every day, even if I came home late from work," says Linda, 29, who adds that she spends 20-30 minutes to shampoo her hair.

MK, 34, also used to wash his hair daily. "Although my hair is short, I prefer to wash it daily as it makes me feel fresh," he says. However, since February, both have changed their routine to washing hair on alternate days.

"I have cut my hair to shoulder length and I have stopped shampooing it daily. Well, with the water rationing, what choice do I have?" says Linda. In the beginning, she adds, it felt uneasy but after a week or so, she has learnt to accept it.

"I may go for another haircut soon," she says.

As for MK, he just rinses his scalp with water on the days he does not shampoo.

OKAY TO NOT WASH

Lais Koelle of P&G Asia Scientific Communications says: "We recommend washing hair at least three times a week to remove scalp oil, dirt, pollution and sweat.

How often you wash hair is a personal decision. This should be based on hair type (is it easily weighed down by scalp oils?), lifestyle (such as your exercise routine) and climate (do you live in a humid environment?).

Koelle says that while every head of hair is different, they are all subjected to drying and damaging factors such as heat, sunlight and styling.

"Just like dry skin needs moisturising daily, it is important that hair is cleansed with a nourishing shampoo and conditioner, regardless of how frequently you wash your hair," she says.

Serene Wong, a hair salon owner in Subang Jaya, agrees.

She says: "Hair should be washed every two or three days if hair is not too oily and the person does not use too many styling products."

However, she adds that leaving hair unwashed for a long time is not good.

"The maximum number of days to go without a shampoo is three. If you have scalp problems, it is better to wash more often as an oily scalp will block hair cuticles. This can cause hair to drop easily," she says.

"Again, it depends on individual needs but it is not a must to wash your hair every day. After all, our hair looks better the second and third day after we wash it," says Wong.

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