Main content
We break down the hair cycling craze for you. Find out if the beauty trend is worth your time, according to a panel of experts.

Is Hair Cycling Like Skincare Cycling?—We Break Down the Viral Trend

We break down the hair cycling craze for you. Find out if the beauty trend is worth your time, according to a panel of experts.

Your social media feed doesn’t need to be full of the latest hair crazes (like ours!) to stumble upon hair cycling—it’s everywhere. The newest trend comes on top of all the buzz surrounding skin cycling, a four-night skincare routine rotating between using active ingredients and nights off to help reduce inflammation. So, how does this popular approach apply to hair? Depending on your tress’s needs, hair cycling, and skin cycling share similar routines by alternating products in your hair care regimen to achieve optimal hair health at every stage.

We've tapped a few experts, including Dr. Kristina Goldenberg, a world-renowned dermatologist, to weigh in and let us know if this 2023 beauty trend taking over TikTok is worth the hype and how to incorporate hair cycling into your self-care routine. Keep scrolling for our expert tips on how to make this hair care trend work for you.

What Is Hair Cycling?

Whether your focus is retaining hair moisture, scalp hydration, or requiring a deep, clarifying cleanse, there’s a hair cycling method for your best results.

According to Redken artist Amber Maldonado, this TikTok-approved method is "about implementing a routine incorporating different products that help combat your hair's specific issues and needs.” She adds, “you may alternate weekly or monthly to help with the overall health of the hair. It can change depending on the season, environment, or dramatic hair color changes."

Who Should Try Hair Cycling

The beauty of this method is that it is not a one size fits all approach! It's customizable based on your individual needs and a great starting point for those looking to hydrate, nourish and optimize the health of their luscious mane. In fact, Redken artist Jamie McDaniel says, "anyone with multiple hair concerns, or anyone with multiple shampoo and conditioners in their shower," should try hair cycling if healthy hair is your ultimate goal.

Is Hair Cycling Good for Hair Growth?

So exactly how do you create the most optimal conditions to stimulate growth while hair cycling? "Hair cycling is great for all hair types and, if done correctly, can improve hair texture and consistency since the trend involves using different hair products on different wash days; this eliminates the risk of any product being overused,” says Dr. Goldenberg. “As with everything in life, moderation is key!"

No matter your length goals, she believes hair cycling is beneficial, minimizing hair breakage and thus promoting healthy hair growth. “For instance, an exfoliating product can help reduce build-up on the scalp,” she says. “The exact products to use and in what quantities depend on the person's specific hair type and styling habits."

A healthy scalp is key in this process. Dr. Goldenberg says, "The most effective approach to hair cycling is to cycle between exfoliating the scalp, cleansing the hair and scalp, then hydrating and nourishing the hair throughout the week."

How to Create a Hair Cycling Routine

Now that we've covered the basics, it's time for a step-by-step breakdown, complete with expert-approved products to help you on your journey! But keep in mind everyone's hair care needs are different, not to mention environments or changing seasons are also significant factors in determining what works best for your hair care concerns. However, according to McDaniel, the process calls for three complete cycles to receive the most effective and long-lasting results.

First Wash of Cycle

Start your hair cycling journey with a clarifying shampoo to reset and deep clean your hair and scalp, like Redken Hair Cleansing Cream, because "this removes any build-up or excess oil. Follow up with a bond-building duo such as Redken Acidic Bonding Concentrate Shampoo and Conditioner. Once complete, proceed with the Acidic Bonding Concentrate Leave-In Treatment," said McDaniel.

Maybe your hair looks dull and void of shine—depending on where you live, hard water could be to blame. You might benefit from kicking off your hair cycling with L'Oréal Professionnel Metal Detox, a three-step system designed to detoxify and neutralize metals trapped inside the hair fiber. “The Metal Detox treatment can be done inside the salon and followed up at home with the appropriate shampoo, mask, and oil,” says Daniel Mason Jones, a stylist and L'Oréal Professionnel partner.

Second Wash of Cycle

For those with color-treated hair, McDaniel's preferred choices for color protection are Redken Color Extend Magnetic Sulfate-Free Shampoo and Conditioner. As an added personal tip, Reken artist Denise Welsh insists, "the second wash, no matter how many days in between washes, should be bond-building products" to help ensure the moisture stays locked in.

Third and Final Wash of Cycle

Lastly, we can't forget about protein! McDaniel emphasizes that "Protein is needed to provide strength and protection for the hair." If you're looking for the perfect pair, try using Redken Extreme Length Shampoo and Conditioner with biotin. She continues that it is also "a fantastic time to treat your hair with a deep conditioner, like Extreme Length Triple Action Treatment."

The only challenge someone may face if any while hair cycling is "determining what your scalp and hair needs," says Welsh. She encourages asking your stylist to prescribe products targeting your hair needs. Jones also agrees with these sentiments and recommends consulting with a licensed professional to get your hair cycling journey started and enjoy the maximum benefits. “The endgame is to have super healthy hair,” he syas. “Skin cycling has been around for some time and is perhaps more popular. My thoughts have always been, why not do the same for hair?"

Now that we've set the stage for revamping your hair care regimen and covered the basics of creating your routine, it's time to get hair cycling! Here's to strengthening your strands, giving your hair and scalp the TLC it deserves, and stepping into a well-balanced, healthy hair journey with great confidence and ease.

Find more product recommendations for spring hair care on

Orientation message
For the best experience, please turn your device