There are loads of different opinions on this. The suppliers of shampoo and hair products would have you wash your hair every day if they could, and in fact many women do.
By washing your hair too frequently, you are not benefitting from your body’s natural oils that moisturise and protect your hair. Washing your hair too often can dry it out, lose its natural curl, go frizzy, fade any colour and become unmanageable.
And, of course, we’re not just talking about hair washing, it's also generally associated with frequent styling - blow drying, straightening, curling, product etc - which all have a harming affect on your hair.
Once a week
We spoke to a number of hairstylists on this subject and they all advise once a week is about optimum. Of course it very much depends on the individual (some people have excessively oily hair) and also what they’ve been up to (e.g exercising). The longer, thicker and curlier your hair, the longer you can go between washes.
Every six weeks!
I read once where you can go up to six weeks without washing your hair - sounds revolting doesn’t it! I have extremely dry and hard to manage hair so I put it to the test. I got to a week before I wanted to tear my hair out but then it started to settle down and the natural oils seemed to balance out. My hair was healthier and shinier. I haven’t kept it up, I’ve gone back to once a week simply because it didn’t seem right, it seemed unclean, even though it wasn’t.
Making the Change
If you have been washing your hair every day, you have been stimulating the sebaceous oil glands on the scalp and producing even more oil! Try going from washing every day to every second for about six weeks to give the glands time to slow down, then after six weeks try every three days.
If you really feel you need to wash your hair every day, instead try just wetting it every second day for a week or so and see how you get on. It might be unbearable to begin with but in time the sebaceous oil glands will settle down - you need to retrain them!
By not shampooing every day you save time, money, colour fading and the condition of your hair! More than enough reasons.
If you have excessively oily hair, it might seem impossible to wash it once a week. Instead, go from washing it every day, to every second or third day. In between, you could try Dry Shampoo or Talcum Powder to absorb the oil.
For best results, always shampoo twice - the first lifts the dirt, the second cleanses the hair and scalp. You will only need a small amount of shampoo for the second wash. Rinse thoroughly.
Follow this with a conditioner. Nowadays there is a conditioner for all hair types, even the finest or most limp hair. Conditioners lock in the moisture, protect the hair from breakage and stop colour fading. It's a very important part of hair care and shouldn't be missed. For maximum body, use conditioner on the mid lengths to ends. Some conditioners are best left in for a while, that’s why in the salon they always massage your head - I love that part! You can do this yourself or alternatively whilst the conditioner is doing its thing, you could tend to your other needs like shaving your legs!
There are Shampoos and Shampoos
Ah, the satisfaction of foamy lather when you shampoo. Believe it or not, the foaming agents are actually more harmful than good to your hair and scalp. Invest in a good shampoo and conditioner. Yes they cost more but they’ll give you a much better result.
You may also be interested in our other hair blogs:
8 Tips for Frizz Free Hair
Frizzy, Unmanageable Hair?