How Often Should I Shampoo My Hair?

Cut Down on Shampoo For Beautiful Hair

Woman in Shower Washing her Hair
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When it comes to washing your hair, you may not be doing it correctly. There are many myths and outdated practices. Below, we answer the most common questions about shampoo.  

How Often Should I Shampoo My Hair?

Many stylists say we over-shampoo our hair and recommend going days between washes. But how often you shampoo your hair really depends on you and your hair. 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 or go even longer between washings.

What About Washing Oily Hair?

If you have oily hair, it's okay to wash it every day if you use a mild shampoo and a good conditioner after every wash.

If possible, you can stretch the time between washes by using dry shampoo. But if you have oily hair and work out, you may feel more comfortable just washing your hair daily.

What's the Big Deal About the "No-Poo" Movement?"

There's a big trend in the hair world right now and it's the "no-poo" and the "low-poo" movement. There actually are women out there who never shampoo their hair and they swear their hair has never been healthier, more lush or as gorgeous. These women tend to have curly, dry hair or they are women of color and wear their hair natural.

If you want to try the no-poo movement and see how it affects your hair, here are a few tips:

  • It's very common to go through a period where your scalp itches intensely. Other women report their hair suddenly become excessively greasy a few days in. The idea is to power through these days. Eventually, your scalp will stop producing as much oil.
  • You can use cleansing conditioners to cleanse hair and scalp instead of shampoos. Women with super dry hair depend on oils and leave-in conditioners. The key here is to moisturize dry hair.
  • Many women swear by apple cider vinegar and baking soda to keep hair fresh.
  • You can use dry shampoo to soak up oils.
  • Once your scalp acclimates, you could be left with full, thick amazing hair.

My Hair Gets Really Greasy, But Sometimes I'm Too Tired to Wash it. Is There Anything I Can Do?

If you have oily hair and don't want to wash it daily or don't have time to, consider keeping a dry shampoo on hand. A good dry shampoo will buy you a day or even two between washings.

If you have blonde hair, baby powder will also work. Simply spray the shampoo at your crown and at your part and rub it in. If it's baby powder you're using, sprinkle a bit on your crown and part and make sure none of it's showing.

Do I Really Need to "Rinse & Repeat"?

It's on every bottle of shampoo it seems, the words, "rinse and repeat." But do you really need to shampoo your hair twice?

It depends.

The truth is, when it comes to shampooing your hair, you should consider your hair's length and just how dirty it is.

If you have short hair, one wash is plenty unless you use a lot of product or just got back from a week of backpacking. If you have long or really thick hair, a second wash may be optimal.

There's actually a proper way to wash your hair that will get it so clean you may be able to skip a day or 2.

Is There a Correct Way to Shampoo?

Apparently most of us are not shampooing our hair correctly. We should be spending a lot more time scrubbing our scalps and we should never, ever skip the conditioner or miss rinsing it out completely. Find out exactly what mistakes we're all making in  9 Mistakes People Make When Shampooing Their Hair.

Are There Ingredients in Shampoos That I Should Avoid?

Anything you put on your skin or your scalp can get into your system. This is why many natural health experts recommend avoiding any shampoos with the foaming agents sodium laureth sulfate and ammonium laureth sulfate as main ingredients. Laboratory studies show that products that end in "eth" such as sodium laureth sulphate, polyethylene glycol, oleth, myreth, ceteareth all test positive for 1,4-Dioxane, a proven cancer-causing petrochemical.

When buying shampoos, it can't hurt to look at the labels. But be advised, you may have to head to the health food store to find a shampoo that's "eth" free. Or you can order online.

What Kind of Shampoo Should I Use?

There are so many different types of shampoos for every type of hair and at every price point. Finding the right shampoo can be confusing.

Unless you truly love a shampoo and conditioner, there's no need to spend a lot of money on them. You can get a great shampoo at your drugstore. Look for shampoo that's formulated for your hair type (oily, dry) or your hair problem (frizzy, flat).

Get the full scoop on how to pick the best shampoo in Best Shampoos and Conditioners for All Hair Types.

More shampoo must-reads:

    • 9 Mistakes People Make When Shampooing Their Hair
    • Shampoo & Conditioners: 10 Things to Consider Before You Buy
    • Best Shampoos and Conditioners for All Hair Types