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You are here: Home » Blog » Beauty and Skin Care » How Often Should You Wash Your Hair?

How Often Should You Wash Your Hair?

by Editor on January 21, 2010 · 10 comments

How often should you wash your hair?

I get a lot of emails from our readers who ask this question. I researched quiet a bit and here are the answers.

First, a personal story. I was born in Eastern Europe, and although I am not certain what “hair washing rules” eastern Europeans adhere to these days, back then, women washed their  hair about once a week. I know what you may be thinking: “Women in Eastern Europe must have grease ball heads”.

On the contrary, my hair showed no evidence of being greasy for at least 5 days from the wash day.

But how?  The trick is, your hair glands adjust to how frequently you wash it. If you wash less frequently, it signals to the body that there is enough beneficial oil(sebum), and that the hair is protected.   The body then adjusts to release oil in smaller amounts over a longer time.

“Sebum” is a beneficial oil that keeps the hair & skin moist and protects it from drying out. According to dermatologists, washing hair daily strips our hair from much needed sebum and leaves hair unprotected.

It takes a willingness to experiment and a dash of will power, but if you wash your hair less frequently, you’ll notice that over a few weeks, it will take longer before the hair looks greasy between washes. (Washing more frequently signals that you are short on sebum and your hair glands respond by producing more oil).

Facts: According to Procter & Gamble, Americans shampoo 4.59 times a week, twice as much as Italians and Spaniards.

So, how often should you wash?

According to the dermatologists you should wash 2 to 3 times per week. Some individual nuances to consider are whether yo have straight or curly hair.  It has been stated that  people with curly hair can go longer without lathering up.   Personally, I wash my hair 3 times a week. It works very well for my naturally wavy, chemically highlighted, heat iron straightened hair.

Myth or Truth: I once heard that washing hair has been invented in the early 1,900 by hair product companies (ahem..Johnson & Johnson) to increase bath products sales.

Truth: According to NPR.org, frequent hair washing craze started with an article published by New York Times on May. 10th, 1908, that advised women to increase hair washing to two times a month instead of once a month shampooing that was customary at the time.

The trend, accelerated by Madison Avenue ads and TV commercials of girls swooshing silky, gorgeous hair after using one or other shampoo product,  catapulted into more and more frequent washes. By the end of the century it became customary to wash hair daily.

Celebrity Reference: According to New York Times, Jessica Simpson washes her hair once a month.   Ken Paves, a celebrity stylist who does Jessica Simpson’s, Eva Longoria’s, and Lady Gaga’s hair, suggests washing hair from once to 2 to 3 times per week, depending on the hair type.   Apparently, Jessica Simpson can get away with washing her hair as infrequently as once a month.   Not sure if I can go that long.

A word of caution: whatever your preference is for washing hair, make sure you use natural shampoos.   Most over the counter shampoos contain parabens and other harmful chemicals that have been linked to cancer.

Recommended natural shampoos: These shampoos are safe, made from natural ingredients and received customer’s raves.

1.Jason Natural Products Shampoo Biotin

2.Kiss My Face Whenever Shampoo for Frequent Use

3.Jason Natural Cosmetics – Hair Thickening Shampoo

4.Moroccan Oil Hair Treatment - last, Ken Paves recommends this amazing Moroccan Oil Hair Treatment to restore moisture & shine for colored, processed or damaged hair.

How often do you wash your hair?  Will you experiment and lather up less frequently?   Do you already use natural shampoo that you love?  Please share in the comment section.

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