Question: How often should I shampoo my hair?
Answer: By now, you’ve probably nailed the whole wash, rinse, repeat cycle when it comes to sudsing your strands. But what about those days when you’d rather press the snooze button and lie in bed instead of going through the washing and styling process? Can you get away with skipping a shampoo or two, going against the grain of washing your hair everyday for a clean coif?
Well, there’s no right or wrong answer for the frequency in which you should wash your hair. It’s all up to you and your follicles. In fact, less may actually be more—depending on your hair and skin type. Some experts are pro-daily washing because it eliminates sebum (oily secretion that acts as a lubricant for hair and skin) that clogs pores. Others, however, aren’t so convinced you should follow a strict shampoo regimen, believing that the more you wash your hair—the more oil your scalp produces. Pretty confusing, huh? So, who do you listen to when there’s such a fine line between healthy, hydrated hair and a damaged, greasy mane? Here’s which side of the shampoo argument you should lean on based on your hair type:
Oily vs. Dry Hair
If you tend to have a more oily scalp, you may need to wash it once a day. Try a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner, so washing frequently won’t lead to you stripping your hair or an oily scalp. Straw-like strands are okay to wash a couple of times a week to avoid eradicating essential oils that keep locks healthy. If you have dry or coarse hair, you can go up to seven days without washing. Just make sure you use a conditioning shampoo in addition to your regular one, alternating between both.
Thick vs. Fine Hair
The longer and thicker your hair is—the more it can go between washes. Use a dry conditioner to spruce up your hairstyle for the days you avoid washing your hair. The same can’t be said for those with fine hair. Because fine hair naturally falls limp, you probably need to wash it everyday or invest in a good dry shampoo to hold your hair over. But if you have to skip a few, fine-haired ladies can usually go two to three days at the most. Since oil shows up more often in finer hair—especially in lighter or blonder strands—you can combat this with a volumizing shampoo and conditioner.
If you’re going to abstain from washing your hair often, a dry shampoo will be your best friend. It acts as a repellent, helping your hair go the distance between shampoos. Dry shampoos not only absorb excess oil on your scalp, but also revive your hair instantly—giving it more texture, body and volume. Never used a dry shampoo before? It’s really simple. Part your hair in sections and then spray the dry shampoo at least six inches away from the roots to avoid buildup. Let it sit on the scalp and roots for a few minutes before rubbing it in with your fingers or a brush. Keep in mind that dry shampoo won’t work effectively if your hair is too dirty.
There’s no concrete answer for how often you should wash your hair—you just have to trust your instincts (and possibly itchy scalp and smell) as to what your shampoo schedule should be. It all comes down to understanding your hair texture and scalp condition, as well as what makes you and your strands feel good.
How often do you shampoo your hair?