Q: How often should you wash your hair? I’ve heard that washing every day is bad, but my hair falls flat by day two.
A: “You really want to cleanse the scalp about three times per week,” says stylist Patrick Melville of Patrick Melville Salon. “Obviously this depends on the individual. If you tend to have a more oily scalp, you may need to cleanse once a day.”
While certain hair types need to be vigilant about keeping strands moisturized, it’s not necessarily bad to shampoo daily if you like the way it makes your hair look. Trichologist Philip Kingsley, who founded the Philip Kingsley clinics in London and New York to treat hair health issues, is a proponent of daily washing — he even explains his philosophy in this video.
Still, 1 in 3 women will skip a shower or a workout to preserve their style, according to a 2013 Dove national survey of 1,000 women. If you find that shampooing tends to leave your hair parched, you may need to switch to a different formula. Dove Nutritive Solutions Daily Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner ($3.49 each, dove.com) leaves hair soft and moisturized without a heavy residue, and contains a blend of amino acids to replenish lost proteins in damaged hair.
Of course, using too heavy of a shampoo and conditioner for your hair type every day can leave your mane greasy. “Fine-haired people typically need to shampoo every day to every three days,” says Donna Tripodi, stylist at Eva Scrivo Salon and black15in1 Brand Ambassador. “They can train their scalp to go longer with a shampoo and conditioner like black 15and1’s [$18, black15in1.com]. Because the formula is so light weight, it leaves no residue on the hair allowing you to shampoo less frequently.”
“Brushing at night with an all-natural boar brush also prolongs the style,” Tripodi says. “The bristles help to move your natural oils out of the root area and through the hair shaft. Take finer sections while brushing to ensure that you are incorporating all of your hair.”
How you cleanse your hair may actually be more important than how frequently you wash. “Always remember to just cleanse the scalp,” Melville advises. Since the scalp is where sebum is concentrated, roots get greasier than ends. Sudsing up the lengths of your hair can dry them out.
The bottom line? There’s no right answer — wash your hair as often as you feel like you need to. But if you’re having more bad hair days than good ones, it may be time to adjust your shampooing schedule.
How often do you shampoo your hair?
Read more: Find the Best Shampoo for Your Hair Type