Even medical professionals who specialize in skin, hair and scalp, have divided opinions about the usefulness of shampooing and how frequently one should use shampoo. Some advice against frequent shampooing, pointing out it leads to overproduction of sebum to compensate for its constant removal. Others say shampooing is necessary to prevent sebum from collecting in the pores and hair follicles and leading to skin problems like acne.
Hair can be best compared to a fiber. The more you wash it, the worse it’s going to look. So, there’s no need to wash your hair every day. The frequency with which you need to wash your hair depends on your hair type and length along with many other factors.
The longer, thicker, curlier, and more processed your hair is, the longer it can go between washes. This is because the oils from the scalp do not travel down the hair shaft as quickly, so the hair tends to be dry and requires less frequent shampooing. However, even the most unprocessed, short, thin, straight hair can skip a day without being washed.
Daily shampooing is only necessary if oil production on the scalp is high. Also, if you choose to shampoo daily, use a lightweight shampoo. Switching to non-foaming, sulfate-free cleansers will also go a long way in keeping your hair healthy. Natural ingredients produce less suds, but they still have plenty of cleaning power with the added benefit of less residue.
Excessive shampooing can actually require more styling. Hair washed every day with shampoo tends to need more styling product, because it’s so clean, soft and loose. All these products eventually lead to more shampooing as they build up and make hair look dull. Cleansing the scalp 3 times a week is recommended, but this depends on the individual. If you tend to have an oilier scalp, you may need to cleanse only once a week.
How you cleanse your hair is more important than how frequently you wash it. In general, roots get greasier than ends do and shampooing can dry them out. So cleansing the scalp, where the sebum is most concentrated, is very important.
The key is to use the right shampoo and conditioner for your hair. If you feel the need to wash every day or nearly every day pick a shampoo that is mild. If it’s looking flat and limp the second day after washing you may be using a shampoo and conditioner that is too rich and thick for your hair.
It’s possible to freshen up your hair, between washes, without resorting to water and the subsequent heat styling. You can try using dry shampoo or a little baby powder to absorb the grease in between washes and reduce shampooing to 1-2 times a week.