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Seldom or Frequently – How Often Should You Wash Your Hair?

6 Min Read

For the past few years, beauty experts and hair stylists have warned women to not wash their hair every day. But how often should you wash your hair?

Shampooing Too Often

It used to be said that shampooing too often would dry out your scalp and strands, making the hair brittle. This is because your hair produces natural oil, called sebum, which is what keeps your hair shiny. But shampoo traps the sebum, along with any dirt and residue from hair products. When we rinse it all out the hair is stripped of any oils.

It makes sense that doing this too often would dry the hair out, which is why many women have a routine to go to the salon, have a wash and a blowout, and then let the hair rest for about a week. Some dirt is okay and even good for the hair, as it provides moisture and a protective barrier for your scalp.

Shampooing Too Little

However, according to many hair stylists, more and more people are exaggerating the habit of not washing too often. According to hair stylist Michael Angelo in Manhattan, many of his male clients even come in to ask him to tell their girlfriends and wives to wash their hair, because they smell so bad. He says many people have a blowout and then leave the hair alone for ten days, even if they work out and break a sweat.

Dry shampoo is often seen as a strategy to make this work, and Angelo is not opposed to that, but pointed out that it only buys you an extra day or two. The thing is that oil buildup together with product residue will layer itself on your scalp and could clog the hair follicles, leading to an oily, itchy and flaky scalp. “Women have been badgered for washing their hair too often, but products are so much better than they were even five years ago,” said hair colorist Rita Hazan. “But some of them are gentle enough to use daily.”

If you go a long time without washing and have flaky skin on the scalp, a good solution for this could be hair exfoliation. This can help give your hair a deep cleanse, increase blood circulation and make your hair products more effective, as the scalp is fresh and clean.

So, How Often Should You Wash Your Hair?

There is not one good solution that works for everyone, as everyone has different hair thickness, quality and amount of sebum. How often should you wash your hair? Carolyn Goh, is an assistant clinical professor of medicine at the UCLA. Goh said that only a small group of people need to wash their hair every day; people that work out or sweat a lot, or live in a very humid place. And if you have very oily hair, or dandruff, you’ll also need to wash more often. She recommends every two to three days, but it is all a matter of personal preference.

Photo credits:

Mainstream via Flickr


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