It seems like every day brings a new viral TikTok beauty trend—and we’re more than here for it. And while we’ll try any trend once, it takes something special to stick. Enter hair cycling. The buzz started growing around this concept in late 2022 and hasn’t stopped since. Best of all? You’re probably already doing it!What is hair cycling?
The term “hair cycling” emerged out of the viral “skin cycling” trend, which refers to a four-day skincare schedule that rotates between active ingredient days and rest days. Hair cycling is simply applying similar logic to your haircare routine—for instance, by rotating products to respond to the changing needs of your hair and scalp, rather than using the same products day in and day out.
How do you start hair cycling?
Unlike the original “skin cycling” routine (in which adherents all follow the same four-day rotation), hair cycling looks different for everyone. And for good reason—the intention is to better meet your unique hair and scalp needs, rather than relying on one-size-fits-all solutions. The essentials of hair cycling, however, are consistent. The products you use will vary depending on your hair type and goals, the climate you live in, and your styling practices. Most proponents recommend some combination of:
1. A scalp care product
2. A clarifying/deep cleansing shampoo
3. One or two additional shampoo options formulated to target your hair’s unique concerns (plus corresponding conditioners)
4. A hair mask or deep conditioning treatment
5. A nourishing hair oil or leave-in
Importantly, most hair cycling routines also call for taking a break between wash days rather than subjecting your strands to daily sudsing. Just remember that there’s a fine line between washing your hair too frequently and not washing it often enough! While over-washing can strip your hair of moisture, excessive scalp buildup can contributed to weakened hair over time.
Who should try hair cycling?
Because hair cycling is essentially just creating a more thoughtful haircare routine, it can benefit people with all hair types and textures. Just make sure that instead of simply following a rote or rigid routine, you’re responding to your hair and scalp needs as they arise. Hair cycling is particularly useful for anyone with multiple hair concerns—which is to say, most of us! For example, if your hair is both color-treated and fine, you may want to rotate a color care shampoo and conditioner with formulas created to enhance volume.