How Much Should You Shampoo Your Hair?

Find out if it's really bad for your hair to wash it daily

Woman Sitting at a Sink Having His Hair Washed by a Hairdresser
Rayman / Digital Vision / Getty Images

How much should someone shampoo their hair? The answer: it depends on your hair type. If you have oily hair, you can shampoo every day or every other day. If you have dry hair, you can wash it a couple times a week and go even longer between washings.

You also need to pick the right shampoo for your hair type.

Dry or Curly Hair

If you have dry and/or curly hair, you lucky lady, you don't have to wash your hair every day and quite frankly, you shouldn't (it's very likely you know this already).

A basic rule of thumb for you is to shampoo twice a week with moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. You can even skip the traditional shampoos and opt for sulfate-free ones that are "low-poo" or "no-poo."

Shampoos and conditioners are included in this list of the Best Products for Curly Hair.

Normal Hair

If you have normal hair, you can wash your hair up to five times a week or as needed. You might find you need to wash hair more times in summer when you're more active (unless you're a skiing fanatic, in which case, just wear a hat).

When it comes to shampooing, the secret is in using a shampoo that won't strip hair of its natural oils. Opt for a sulfate-free shampoo and always condition the ends.

Oily Hair

For those of us with oily hair, contrary to wisdom you may have read in Seventeen magazine in your youth, you can wash hair daily. You've probably heard that if you can make it a few days, your oily hair actually stops looking oily.

Some women have tried this and swear that by day 5 their hair finally normalized.

Skipping a few days is not going to magically turn your limp locks into full body wonder. What it will do is cause your scalp to itch like crazy.

If you do want to attempt to go more than a couple days without shampooing your hair, try a dry shampoo.

They are formulated to soak up oils, buying you a day or two between shampoos. See this list of the Best Dry Shampoos.

You can also sprinkle baby powder on your crown to soak up the oils.

Don't miss:

  • How to Shampoo Fine Hair Correctly
  • Best Shampoos, Conditioners for Fine, Oily Hair

Is It Safe to Wash Oily Hair Daily?

Most experts agree that it's safe to wash hair daily with a mild shampoo. Concentrate on washing the roots because it's your scalp that's oily, not your hair.

Always use conditioner, even on oily hair, just leave the conditioner to the bottom two-thirds of hair. Conditioner on roots will only help weigh hair down more.

Not shampooing daily can leave hair limp, however, so we suggest sprinkling a bit of talcum powder along the roots and crown or using a dry shampoo like one of these popular ones in this list.

If you insist on washing daily, try this trick from Harper's Bazaar: Apply conditioner first only to the bottom third of hair (if you have oily hair, don't use conditioner on the roots, it will weigh hair down). Keeping the conditioner in, apply shampoo to the roots and lather up. Rinse everything off. "Your roots will be lifted, but the rest of your hair will retain its shine," says Arsen Gurgov, a stylist at Louis Licari salon and the originator of this great tip.

How to Shampoo Your Hair Correctly

It's amazing how many people shampoo their scalp with their nails instead of the pads of their fingers. Doing so can scratch up your scalp, causing sores and a raw head. We recommend teaching your children early how to properly cleanse their scalps.

Here is exactly how to shampoo hair correctly: 9 Mistakes People Make When Shampooing Their Hair.

More on shampooing:

  • Best Shampoos and Conditioners for All Hair Types
  • Do You Really Need to "Rinse and Repeat" When You Shampoo?
  • The Best Dry Shampoos
  • Best Sulfate-free Shampoos