How often to shampoo hair has been a debate in the beauty world for a long, long time. When modern shampoo as we know it first became widely used in the early 20th century, beauty experts recommended that women wash their hair every two weeks. However, by the 1970s, daily hair washing became the norm. And most recently, the trend has been to extend the duration between hair washes and replace them with dry shampoos or co-washes.
With all the conflicting information, you’re probably wondering, “How often should I wash my hair?” Keep reading to find out!
How Shampoo Works
Have you ever wondered how shampoo works? Well, grab a bottle of your favorite shampoo, and let’s dive into the science of hair cleaning.
First things first, shampoo is designed to remove dirt, oil, and product buildup from your hair. It does this by containing a mixture of cleansing agents called surfactants, which work together to break down the oils and dirt on your scalp and hair. These surfactants create a lather that allows the dirt to be rinsed away easily with water.
But hold on, you might be thinking, won’t all that scrubbing and lathering damage my hair? Fear not, because shampoo contains conditioning agents and moisturizers that help keep your hair soft and manageable. So not only does it cleanse your hair, but it also keeps it healthy and happy.
Is Shampoo Bad for Hair?
No, shampoo is not bad for hair. Shampoo is an emulsifier, a fancy way to say that it captures sebum and dirt and washes it away. Washing your hair regularly is critical for healthy hair. In fact, if you don’t wash your hair enough, scalp oils can build up and cause dandruff.
However, not all shampoos are created equal. Some shampoos are too harsh, stripping the hair of healthy, natural oils. To keep hair healthy, choose a sulfate-free formula like Viviscal Thickening Shampoo. Sulfate-free shampoos cleanse hair of excess oil and dirt without excessively drying the hair.
How Often Should I Wash My Hair?
In general, you should wash your hair every two to three days. However, this can vary by hair type. Everyone’s hair is different, and you may find that you need to wash your hair more or less depending on several factors:
- Fine, straight hair must be washed more often because it’s easier for sebum, or natural oils, to travel down the shaft.
- People with curly or textured hair can go longer between hair washes since sebum can’t work its way down the hair shaft as quickly.
- Lifestyle should also be taken into account. For example, the more you exercise, the more often you must wash your hair. This is because sweat can clog your pores and make your hair look greasy and dirty.
- Those living in a humid climate may need to wash their hair more often.
Who Should Shampoo Daily?
Ah, the age-old question of how often to shampoo your hair. Some say daily, some say every other day, and some say only when the moon is retrograde. Okay, maybe not that last one. But who really needs to shampoo their hair every day?
Well, it all depends on your hair type and lifestyle. For example, if you have oily hair or work out frequently, shampooing daily may be necessary to keep your hair fresh and clean. Those with straight hair may also need to shampoo daily to prevent hair from looking greasy.
If you don’t have time to shampoo your hair daily, the good news is there are ways to keep your hair clean and healthy without a wash. For instance, you can try using dry shampoo between washes or rinsing your hair with water and conditioner to refresh your strands. And always remember to listen to your hair and adjust your routine accordingly.
How Long Is Too Long?
When it comes to hair care, the question of how long you can wait between shampoos is common. While it’s tempting to skip a few washes to save time, waiting too long can actually do more harm than good to your hair and scalp.
For most people, waiting more than four days between shampoos can lead to a buildup of oils, dirt, and product residue on the scalp and hair. This can cause itching, flaking, and even odor. If you have an oily scalp, you may need to shampoo more frequently to keep your hair looking and feeling clean.
However, it’s important to note that everyone’s hair is different, and what works for one person may not work for another. For example, if you have dry or curly hair, you can wait longer between washes without experiencing any adverse effects. The key is to pay attention to your hair and scalp and adjust your hair care routine accordingly.
How to Wash Hair Correctly
A good hair day starts in the shower! Washing your hair correctly is key to having healthy, beautiful hair. Follow these five steps for a great shampoo at home:
- Start with the water itself. Always wash your hair with lukewarm water. Steaming hot showers feel great, but they actually dry out hair and fade hair color. Consider investing in a shower water filter to remove hair-damaging chemicals like chlorine from your showers.
- Gently massage a quarter-sized amount of shampoo into the scalp and roots with your fingertips. Do not use your nails or scrub too much. The massaging is meant to break down the sebum and dirt buildup on your scalp. As an added bonus, a scalp massage improves circulation and can help to stimulate hair growth.
- The old advice of “lather, rinse and repeat” is wrong. When you wash your hair, you usually only need to shampoo it once.
- Always follow with a high-quality conditioner like Viviscal Strengthening Conditioner to ensure that hair is adequately moisturized. Apply conditioner only from mid-shaft to the ends of your hair. Applying conditioner too close to the roots will weigh down hair. Allow conditioner to sit in hair for at least 60 seconds, up to five minutes, before rinsing.
- Rinse hair thoroughly to avoid product buildup and scalp irritation. We also recommend rinsing hair with cool water to seal the hair cuticle, preventing moisture loss.
How often do you wash your hair? Let us know in the comments!
This blog post was originally published on June 14, 2018. It has been updated with new information.