How often should you shampoo your hair?

There's much disagreement on how often you should be shampooing and cleansing your scalp, even among experts in hair and scalp care. Ideally, you should adjust your shampooing habits to fit the needs of your hair and scalp.

Our hair and skin are naturally hydrated by sebum. Without it, our skin can become dry and flaky, leaving it vulnerable to unfavorable elements in the environment. On the other hand, what can you do when you’re faced with oily or greasy hair? Our everyday hygiene habits and shampooing routines should respect our natural skin and hair regrowth cycles, as well as the production of natural oils, which is oftentimes supplemented by the use of shampoos and conditioners. We typically  shampoo our hair on a daily basis for a number of reasons: accepted western practices, unsightly natural oils, and accepted hygiene standards. So, here lies the question: How often should you shampoo your hair and scalp?

Should you skip the shampoo?

Using shampoo on a daily basis is a relatively new concept. In the 1950s, only washing and combing hair once a week was a standard practice for women, and that was typically done at a hair salon. That quickly turned into a daily home wash with the widespread availability of shampoo. But, should you be shampooing your hair every day or did those fab ladies of the 50s have the right idea?

shampoo hair

The answer is typically based on personal preference. Experts disagree on whether it’s healthy to wash your hair and scalp frequently. Some advise a limited use of shampoo to wash, due to overproduction of sebum in response to frequent washings. Others says eliminating sebum regularly can help keep pores and hair follicles clear of debris that cause common skin ailments such as acne.

Regardless of their advice, a 2007 study was initiated after an Australian radio host admitted to not washing her hair in over a decade. Over 500 listeners entered a voluntary six-week study following that show. Around 86 percent reported no change in their hair, neither positive nor negative, after having gone without a wash.


But the question still remains: how often should you shampoo your hair? There’s no easy or obvious answer, but the best possible answer is that you should do what is right for your hair and scalp.

If you have fine hair, you may notice a frequent need to wash it daily or with more frequency. For curly or thick hair, shampooing every 3 days approximately might be the best choice. Some people discovered their hair was more manageable and more shiny the day after applying shampoo, while it appears bland and dull the day of.


The most agreed upon answer from experts is to limit shampooing to twice a week, or as you feel your hair needs it. If you have thick hair, long or curly hair, and spend quite a bit of time caring for it — washing, drying and styling — a single efficient washing per week might be more manageable. However, there are still those who insist that a daily shampooing is best.

You should observe how your hair reacts, especially your scalp, to frequent shampooing and adjust accordingly. If you notice a greasy coating on your hair, you can choose to wash daily, but you should be opting for a natural and less harsh shampoo brand, as frequent washing with harsh chemicals can damage hair. If you have dry hair, you can wash with less frequency and instead of using a harsh shampoo, try a gentle conditioner or another product that is proven to hydrate hair.