How Often Do I Need to Shampoo?
Hair health is a major factor in determining what you look like. And hair wash is an essential part of hair care.
When the question arises that how often should you wash your hair? Well not as often as it is considered, according to dermatologists and stylists.
Maybe you’ve been told that shampooing less often is better for your hair health, Or maybe the thoughts of ditching shampoo and becoming a part of the “no ‘poo” movement have occurred to you in search of healthier, better-looking hair.
According to experts’ opinion, there’s no definite answer as to how often people should shampoo. You may not need to perform this activity it as often as you think. It usually trickles down to personal preference. For taking the decision, take a look at the hair type and style you have.
“I have always believed that ‘It’s just fine to go on a few days without shampooing your hair,’” says Alli Webb, professional hair stylist and founder of the Dry bar. “For hair that’s normal when it comes to oiliness and medium weight in nature, I recommend my clients to go as long as they find it suitable without shampooing.”
The reason behind this? Shampooing way too often may lead to loss of hair lustre and lushness.
How Shampoo Works
Let us start with the basics: what does your shampoo do?
Shampoo basically traps oils, so if you are doing it too frequently, chances are you may dry up your hair, which makes it prone to breakage, according to Angela Lamb, MD, who is an assistant professor of dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.
“Your hair is capable of producing a natural oil called sebum. The shampoo is an emulsifier that not just captures excess oil, dirt, and product residue but also traps it, which should be then properly rinsed out to clean the hair,” Lamb says.
For the most part, some dirt doesn’t cause much harm and is natural, and it is of great essence that some oils remain in your hair.
“They provide a barrier which protects the hair and moisturises it.” says Carolyn Goh, MD, who is an assistant clinical professor of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
Who Should Shampoo Daily?
The experts agree that some people should wash their hair regularly for best effects.
However, they are just a small group of individuals. Like those who have very fine hair, or who hit the gym daily and exercises a lot (and sweats), or someone who deals with a lot of humidity, Goh says.
“If your scalp is oily, then daily washing must be a part of your routine,” she explains. “Sometimes, people assume that they have a dry scalp because they are infected with dandruff, but in these situations, more frequent washing can prove to be helpful.”
Who Can Go a Few Days Without Washing?
The thicker your hair and the less oil, the less frequent your hair needs shampoo.
“Some people who have pretty dry hair or is curly in nature can wash much less frequently without facing problems,” Goh says.
How Much Should You Wash?
For the average person, washing your hair every other day, or every 2 to 3 days, works fine.
“There is no hard and fast recommendation. If it is visible that the hair is oily, or that the scalp is itching or it is given to flaking due to dirt in the scalp,” those are red signs that it’s time to shampoo, Goh says.
How Long Is Too Long?
If your hair is styled or you style it very frequently, you may be able to put off shampooing for a bit longer.
Stylists are of the opinion that there’s a lot of variation, and you should keep it all in mind before deciding your washing regime.
“Some of the variations are cultural, the natural texture and thickness might also come into play, the extent of sweat and exercising also matters, and how frequently it’s styled,” she says.
Above all go with your gut and preference.
“Regardless of how your hair feels like to you or how it looks, never delay the process for more than a period of 14 days, ever,” Lamb says, who doesn’t believe in the total ‘no poo’ revolution.
From a medical perspective, Goh suggests some of her patients to only wash their hair one time in a week if it doesn’t pose any problems. She holds the opinion that as long as the scalp doesn’t have any issues and the hair looks non-greasy, it is absolutely okay to do so. She doesn’t advise them to make the period shorter or to wash their hair more often.