You've Heard Of Skin Cycling, But What About Hair Cycling? An Expert Explains
If you haven't already heard of skin cycling, here's a quick summary: You simply rotate your active ingredients and incorporate "recovery" days to give your skin a break. The general routine includes one night of exfoliation, one night of retinol, and one or two nights with just hydration.
How to: Hair cycling.
"If you're living blow-dry to blow-dry, try taking a recovery day between heat styling," Newman says. Whether you heat style daily or every other day (or just on occasion), it's important to give your hair a break every once in a while. You can opt for one recovery day if it's all you can squeeze in, or drag it out as long as possible.
On your recovery day(s), you'll need a deep cleanse. "Start with a double scrub," Newman says. Meaning, you'll want to wash the scalp twice in a row to get it really clean, as you most likely have some buildup from styling products (think of it like a double cleanse for your scalp). If you want to go the extra mile, consider adding in a gentle scalp scrub or a clarifying shampoo every once in a while instead.
It's essential to give the scalp a good massage during this step. Simply use your fingertips to massage each area of the scalp, all the way to the hairline, or you can opt for a handy scalp massager. This will help work the product into the hair, create a lather, and may even contribute to hair growth by stimulating blood flow.
"Now, we want a super-thorough conditioning," Newman explains. If your hair is curly or you're prone to dry, brittle strands, then you may opt for a hair mask (which is essentially a heavier conditioner). Here are 11 clean and effective options if you're in the market for a new mask.
Lastly, "Follow it all with your most nourishing leave-in," he notes. Newman prefers the Mane Method Repair Hair Mask, which he has previously described as "nature's Olaplex." But any leave-in conditioner or leave-in mask will do—here are a few grade-A options if you need a new one.
From there, simply refrain from heat styling for a day or two, giving your hair adequate time to rest and repair. This is "recovery" day, after all.
Just as you give your skin a break from exfoliants and retinol, you'll want to incorporate a recovery day for your hair as well. If you tend to heat style on the daily, be sure to schedule at least one day when you give your scalp a deep clean, replenish hydration, and top it off with a nourishing leave-in product. Want more tips for heat-damaged hair? Start here.
Hannah Frye is the Assistant Beauty Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.S. in journalism and a minor in women’s, gender, and queer studies from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Hannah has written across lifestyle sections including health, wellness, sustainability, personal development, and more. She previously interned for Almost 30, a top-rated health and wellness podcast. In her current role, Hannah reports on the latest beauty trends, holistic skincare approaches, must-have makeup products, and inclusivity in the beauty industry. She currently lives in New York City.