A woman has revealed she believes the secret to luscious locks is only washing her hair once a month.
Sarah Hutchinson, 27, from Blackpool used to wash her hair every two days but noticed it was leaving it dull, dry and unable to grow quickly.
Two years ago, when a hairdresser mentioned washing her hair less could improve the condition of her locks, she decided to try and wean herself off her regular hair washing routine.
Within a couple of weeks the personal trainer says she noticed her blonde hair was softer and shinier so she has now permanently adopted the once-a-month or less regime.
Hutchinson now goes up to two months without washing her hair - instead, she simply uses dry shampoo daily.
Read more: Have we been showering all wrong?
She said she constantly gets compliments from people who are surprised by her hair routine and claims washing her hair less has helped it grow faster and allowed it to produce more oil as a way to hydrate her scalp.
“Washing your hair less really helps it grow, and allows it time to produce the sebum, or oil, that helps hydrate your scalp," she explains.
"Within two weeks of making the change, my hair stopped getting greasy too and developed a nice, natural sheen.
“I’m convinced washing my hair less and using dry shampoo is what’s helped improve its condition."
After the tip-off from her hairdresser, Hutchinson immediately abandoned conventional shampoo and conditioning for a full month.
Now she will sometimes go longer between washes - up to two months - but will wash it more often if she has used lots of styling products for a night out or if her head begins to itch.
“It’s not like I don’t shower regularly, but hair-wise I’m committed to my new routine,” she adds.
Watch: Loose women discuss the dangerous chemicals in Black hair care
Can you train your hair to need less washing?
Hutchinson certainly believes in the power of less is more when it comes to lathering your locks, but is it actually possible to train your hair to need less washing?
While there are some perceived benefits to scrubbing your tresses less frequently Anabel Kingsley, trichologist at Philip Kingsley says it might not actually be possible to train your hair to need less washing.
“Your scalp is skin and you cannot train any skin to need less washing,” she says. “Like the skin on your face, or underarms, it is a living tissue that sweats, produces oils and sheds dead skin cells. Your hair, once grown, is dead tissue.”
Which means you can’t actually train it to do anything.
But before you ditch the idea altogether, it’s worth noting that while you cannot train your hair to need less washing you can train yourself to switch up your hair-washing regime, which could help reduce the buildup of oil that could be hindering your quest for fewer wash days.
What happens to your hair if you wash it less?
While Hutchinson says she has seen an improvement in the condition of her hair with more infrequent washing, Kingsley says there are some downsides to stepping away from regular shampooing.
“Initially, your hair simply gets dirty, and your scalp greasy,” she explains. “The long-term implications can be more serious. Your scalp can really suffer health-wise if you are not cleansing it often enough.
"For instance, you are likely to get itching, flaking, excessive oiliness and general irritation. This can have a knock-on effect on your hair, as scalp health is closely interlinked to hair growth.”
On the flip side Kingsley says washing hair more frequently can help keep the scalp clean and healthy, which in turn can support hair growth.
“Frequent shampooing also removes daily grime and product debris from your hair,” she adds.
Interestingly, it isn't necessarily the case that the more you wash your hair the more you need to wash it.
“You will simply get used to your hair and scalp looking and feeling a certain way," Kingsley says. "You need to apply the same logic to hair/scalp as you do to skin. Washing your face frequently does not mean that you will need to wash it more.”
So what is the optimum time to leave your hair between washes?
According to Kingsley we should be lathering up daily or every other day minimum. “That said, if washing your hair more means you are heat-styling more often, you may encounter problems with the condition of your hair,” she explains.
“It is about finding a balance. As a general rule, do not leave more than three days between shampoos.”
Kingsley says our scalp is skin and should be given similar care to the skin on your face.
“Shampooing daily to every other day helps to keep the scalp healthy and clear of flakes, sweat and excess oils. In terms of your hair, shampooing removes dust, dirt and old product."
Read more: The hair mistakes we've all been making
Kingsley advises to think of hair products as you would make-up.
"You wouldn’t leave foundation or blush sitting on your face for days – and nor should you leave styling mousses or hairsprays on your hair for an extended period,” she explains.
While you may not be able to train your hair to need less washing there are some steps you can take to help it last longer between washes including using a soothing, astringent scalp toner after shampooing to help regulate oil production.
“Once weekly, apply an intensive pre-shampoo conditioning treatment to your hair,” she adds. “This will help to draw moisture into the hair shaft, increasing elasticity, strength and shine.”
Alongside deep conditioning, Kingsley also recommends applying an exfoliating scalp mask to your scalp.
"Like your face, your scalp benefits from gentle weekly exfoliation,” she adds.
Finally, Kingsley recommends only apply conditioner to your mid-lengths and ends. “Applying conditioner to your root area can weigh your hair down and make it limp and flat,” she explains.
Additional reporting SWNS.