Ok, it's gross...and maybe I pushed the envelope my junior year in college when I went two weeks without a shampoo...but over-washing your hair can throw off your body's ability to balance natural oils on the surface of your scalp.
Often times when we wash with shampoo, we strip our hair of oils that help our hair and scalp stay moisturized and healthy. This can result in dry and frizzy hair as well as split ends and breakage. Ironically, it can also result in an increase of oil production as our body tries to counteract the drying effects of shampoo.
Of course it all depends on your hair type, but most professionals recommend washing your hair no more than three-times a week. If you have color treated hair, long hair, or very curly hair, you might even be able to get away with once or twice a week!
Your hair may appear greasy when you first attempt to cut back, but over time, it should balance out and align to your cleaning schedule. Start by washing every other day and slowly cut back- giving your scalp time to adjust to the new washing routine. As you wean off from your washing, think ahead and try to wash only on days when you have important events (like date night, for example :).
Need some ideas on how to manage in between washes:
- On the days you wash your hair, wear it down to show off your newly groomed 'do. On subsequent days, opt for low pony tails or buns (hairstyles that are higher on your head may draw attention to the lower tiers of your hair which are often darker and may appear "dirty" next to lighter hair)
- Limit hair products like gels and sprays as this contributes to build-up and can weigh hair down
- Using a flat, bristled brush, comb out from your roots to help redistribute some of the oil
- If your hair is light, you can sprinkle baby powder in your hand and run it through your roots to absorb some of the excess oil
A version of this post appeared in August 2014.