How Often Should I Shampoo Black Hair?

Woman shampooing her hair
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When it comes to cleansing black hair, the schedule can be very different from cleansing hair that's naturally straight. Black hair is often dry, so daily shampooing to get rid of oily buildup isn't necessary. It can even be detrimental to cleanse too often, especially if you use cleansers that aren't designed for dry and/or curly hair.

How Often to Shampoo Black Hair: General Guidelines

You should shampoo your hair about once every 7 to 10 days.

There are people out there who shampoo less often; some much less often. There are some women who rely on their stylists to shampoo their hair and if they only go in twice a month, then that's when their hair is cleansed.

Your hair picks up soil from the environment as well as the products you put on it. Even if your routine is minimal and you don't place a lot of oils or creams on it each day, it still gets dirty. Black hair needs moisture, including moisture from water that you take into your body as well as water that you put on it.

When you shampoo, your scalp should be your main focus, with your hair following closely behind. You need to wash away any buildup, oils, products and dirt. Shampooing several times per month is enough to get rid of the soil without stripping your hair of the natural oils it needs.

It doesn't matter whether your hair is natural or relaxed. Regular shampooing is good for the health of your hair and scalp.

Which Shampoos Are Best?

Although the "ethnic" aisle of many stores carries products targeted toward black consumers, today's shopper can find products just about anywhere that work for her. The best shampoos for black hair contain no drying sulfates such as sodium lauryl sulfate. You'll find a lot of cleansers today that tout "no drying sulfates," and it's a good idea to start there.

You should also look for shampoos designed for dry hair types. Along with any of the cleansers on this list of Great Shampoos for Black Hair, you'll find options from popular brands that cater to the natural/curly hair market like DevaCurl, Jane Carter and As I Am.

Advice for Frequent Exercisers/Swimmers

What if you work out a lot or swim frequently? You'll not only probably require a slightly different cleansing schedule, but your hair will benefit from different products, too.

Women who exercise frequently and don't want to walk around with a sweaty-smelling scalp can refresh their tresses with co-washes during the week. A product like Uncle Funky's Daughter Defunk Hair Refresher Tonic is made for refreshing tresses between shampoos, so you can spritz it on after a workout if you don't have time for a co-wash or shampoo.

Swimmers will find clarifying or chelating cleansers helpful, but these shampoos are drying, so they shouldn't be used too often. Alternate these cleansers with your regular moisturizing product and save these shampoos for once or twice per month. Always follow up a clarifying or chelating cleanser with a moisturizing conditioner.

A Clean Scalp Is Healthy

Remember, regular shampooing is just that: cleaning your hair and scalp with a product designed to get rid of dirt and products.

Co-washes, either done with regular conditioners or products like As I Am Coconut Cowash Cleansing Conditioner (buy on Amazon) can be used more often, and should be, for women who need them. Keeping your mane and scalp clean paves the way for healthy hair growth.