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5 min read

To shampoo or not to shampoo. How often should you wash your hair?

To shampoo or not to shampoo. How often should you wash your hair?

If you want really fantastic hair, then you need to start at square one–knowing when to wash it and how to wash it. Believe it or not, that’s not a simple start. There’s a lot to know about washing your hair, and it’s very individualized.

Here’s the scoop.

How often should I wash my hair?

The question is, how often should you wash it, not how often should you shampoo it. There needs to be a distinction here because how often you shampoo it is a different question entirely. 

Some people never use shampoo on their hair, and it looks amazing. Some people shampoo every day because that’s what their hair needs. Then there are those people who use dry shampoo. 

So, let’s dive right into the traditional idea of washing your hair with shampoo and water, and how often you need to do this. 

The history of shampoo and washing hair is of little help here because shampoo itself is less than 100 years old. Before that, a variety of different products were used to keep hair either clean or looking and smelling good. In many cases, hair was washed just like the rest of the body, with good old soap and water.

Likewise, the timeframe between washings has changed a lot, especially since the invention of shampoo. It wasn’t until roughly the 1970s that everyday hair washing was encouraged. It’s easy to see why shampoo makers would want us to use it daily and to use more of it. 

Today, we’re beginning to understand that daily hair washing is not great for all people. In fact, for some, it does more damage than good.

This is a very individualized area because your scalp and hair are yours and yours alone. If your hair is dry and prone to breakage, the daily shampooing is a big no-no. If you have an oily scalp, daily shampoo is bad too because it strips away the natural oils, so your scalp simply works overtime to make more.

To figure out how often you should wash your hair and shampoo it, try skipping a day. Then try skipping two days and see how your hair looks and feels. Once you hit a point where your scalp is itchy or oily, then that’s your outer limit. 

Today’s styles lend themselves to unwashed or day-old hair, so skipping a day is great. And when you do shampoo, make sure you’re using a quality, all-natural shampoo that is free from harmful chemicals.

A note to all those with straight and fine hair who work out and sweat a lot, you might need to wash more frequently. Your hair will pick up more dirt and odors if you sweat a lot. Fine hair doesn’t absorb natural oils well, and it becomes more visible. 

When to dry shampoo

If you’re regularly skipping washes and not shampooing, you might want to play with using dry shampoo the day before you plan to shower and wash. This can extend the amount of time you have before you need to wash your hair. 

Dry shampoo is also a great styling tool, as it adds texture and volume to your hair. Try making a DIY dry shampoo at home and see how you like it.

Should I break up with shampoo?

The No Poo Method is a trend that has won over a lot of people. If this is the way you want to go, you can skip the shampoo step entirely, and just rub your scalp to loosen and remove oil and dirt. 

It’s similar to the co-wash method, which treats conditioner as a shampoo to wash your hair. There’s no lather with either method, and that’s the point. It takes potentially dangerous parabens and sulfates out of the mix.

Always condition

No matter what method you use or how frequently you wash, it’s still important to condition your hair. A great hair conditioner will restore vital moisture that you’ve lost and leave you with a manageable and enviable finish.

Final thoughts

Washing your hair every day might do more harm than good, especially if you have oily hair, dry hair, curly hair, coarse hair, and chemically processed hair. Does that seem like it’s just about everyone–it is, but not quite. Some people with very fine and straight hair are still going to need daily washes, but everyone else is better off skipping a day or even two.

The best way to determine what’s right for you is to experiment a little bit. And while you’re at it, try adding dry shampoo to your routine, and test out co-washing and no-washing. 

No matter what you finally decide is right for you, always opt for all-natural products that nourish your hair rather than stripping it. And don’t forget the conditioner.

At Hair La Vie, we know that your hair is an integral part of how you present yourself to the world and shape your authentic style.

Join our private Facebook Community for a safe, human-moderated space to share your Hair Journey, discover new natural beauty, and take steps towards becoming “you” with the help of an understanding, supportive community.

Join now for instant access to livestreams, discussions, and exclusive access to new products!

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    At Hair La Vie, we know that your hair is an integral part of how you present yourself to the world and shape your authentic style.

    Join our private Facebook Community for a safe, human-moderated space to share your Hair Journey, discover new natural beauty, and take steps towards becoming “you” with the help of an understanding, supportive community.

    Join now for instant access to livestreams, discussions, and exclusive access to new products!

    JOIN THE GROUP