Is Washing Only Parts of Your Hair a Good Idea? An Investigation

Because it's either the best or worst idea ever.

Face, Lip, Mouth, Smile, Eye, Hairstyle, Forehead, Eyebrow, Eyelash, Photograph,
Design by Betsy FarrellGetty Images

The whole washing-a-certain-part-of-your-hair thing may not be foreign to women with bangs that are inherently more prone to grease. Giving 'em a quick cleanse over the sink yields fresh, feathery fringe without having to wash your entire head every day. But as of late, it seems even women without bangs are drawn to the idea of compartmentalizing the hair-washing process.

From fellow editors that swear by washing the front, face-framing parts of their hair to the launch of Pony Dry, a condom-like wrap that keeps mids and ends dry while you wash your roots, I began to wonder if this was a sound lazy-girl hack or something the pros would shun us for.

This content is imported from Instagram. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

So I asked Kérastase Paris consulting hairstylist Matt Fugate to give it to me straight. And sadly for our time and patience, there are definitely downsides to "spot washing" your hair...

1. Your natural oils won't be evenly distributed. "When you do this, you will lose luster and shine," he explains. (Yikes.) "You will also end up overproducing oil by stripping your scalp." (Double yikes.)

2. Your hair isn't being thoroughly cleansed. "When you spot clean versus washing the entire head, you're probably not getting all the shampoo out," he says. "This ultimately causes more buildup of product and can result in a greasy look." If you have this type of buildup, look to a hair scrub, like Kérastase Gommage Chronologiste, to exfoliate and slough off the excess product and sebum. It's essentially a facial for the scalp.

Kérastase Gommage Chronologiste The Gommage Treatment, $44;

3. Your texture will be uneven. "Your styling will be uneven from the roots compared to the ends and will look like two different hairstyles," he warns. In other words, you could have a Making-a-Murderer-hairstyle-Tumblr-worthy moment on your hands.

4. You're damaging the most vulnerable parts of your hair. "You will create breakage and compromise your hair's elasticity by overworking the finest parts of your hair."

If you are going to spot wash your hair, you should only do so in a pinch and with a salon-shampoo-bowl style nozzle head so that you can pinpoint the water and evenly rinse product out, says Fugate.

Moral of the story? Unless you have bangs that are in dire need of a refresh, you shouldn't be resorting to this technique. As the pitfalls of overusing dry shampoo have taught us, you just can't hack healthy hair.

This content is imported from Instagram. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

Follow Marie Claire on Facebook for the latest celeb news, beauty tips, fascinating reads, livestream video, and more.

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
More From Beauty