If your hair is greasy, you should wash it - right? Not quite! While it's hard to resist washing at the first sign of oily strands, too much shampoo can be damaging to your hair.
So when should you wash your hair? Here's what you need to know about shampooing and proper hair care:
The magic number doesn't really exist
While we all wish there was a golden rule, there really is no definitive answer to the shampooing question. It depends on several personal factors, including how much oil you produce, your hair type and the kind of styling products you use. Plus, if you worked up a sweat at the gym or cleaned your house today, your hair will feel dirty and greasy at a faster rate than normal.
If any golden rule does exist, it's to avoid washing your hair every day. Daily shampooing strips the hair of its natural oils and proteins. These oils keep your strands soft and shiny, while maintaining a healthy, dandruff-free scalp. If you wash your hair too much, it will likely feel dry and frizzy.
That being said, StyleCaster's final verdict is to wash your hair every other day at most. Even better if you aim for every two days, and if you can get through a whole week, bravo!
The in-between days
Jeff Chastain, hair stylist in New York City, shared his hair care recommendations for stretching washes with The New York Times. He described the co-washing technique, which is especially beneficial for curly hair: "Use conditioner only, give it a good scrub on the head and then pull the conditioner through to the ends and rinse it out."
For straight hair, Chastain suggested simply wetting it down every other day and using dry shampoo to soak up any excess grease. Of course pulling your hair into a ponytail or updo is another easy way to go an extra day or two without shampooing.
Dry shampoo is the quickest way to extend the time between washes or refresh your hair after a workout. While the name is a little misleading, it doesn't actually wash your hair. Instead, it soaks up oils and avoids clumping. However, some dry shampoos have harsh chemicals that can harm your hair over time, so look into organic products or use a natural remedy, such as talcum powder. Here's Byrdie's take on the best natural, non-toxic dry shampoos.
The perfect regimen
Good hair days rely on how well you treat your lovely locks. In general, thicker hair needs less washing than thinner strands, while straight hair typically gets oily faster than curls. These basics are the starting point for finding your perfect hair regimen. The first step is training your hair to crave shampoo less often. Start with every other day and work your way up to as much time between shampoos as possible. It may take a couple weeks of having greasier roots than you're used to, but eventually your body will reach the optimum oil equilibrium and your hair will be happier in the long run.
Along with an improved shampooing schedule, you'll want to focus on styling products. This takes some experimentation, but the trial and error is worth it once you find the products that make your hair feel gloriously smooth, soft and shiny. Talk to your hair stylist for recommendations. Next to you, he or she knows your hair better than anyone.
With the right washing routine and tricks for in-between days, your hair will feel fresh, healthy and revived. For hair that feels clean without sacrificing the healthy, glossy shine from your natural oils, try the ELEMIS Revitalise-Me Shampoo. Follow up with the ELEMIS Revitalise-Me Conditioner, which is infused with camellia leaf and rosemary extracts for gentle, soothing conditioning.
Here's to the best hair days of your life! As long as you're not shampooing every day, you're well on your way to the ideal hair care regimen.