When it comes to finding the perfect shampoo schedule for washing your hair, it can be a real struggle.
The wide variety of advice available for completely different hair types – oily, dry, damaged, and color-treated – leaves us wondering if we’ll ever get that washing and dry shampoo ratio down to a T.
While people with dry hair need to prolong the time between washes in order to encourage natural oils to develop, those with oily hair will see themselves washing their locks more frequently.
Shampoo schedule! Dry, oily, damaged and normal hair produce different amounts of natural oils, meaning they needed to be washed at different weekly intervals
The first important step in understanding how often your hair needs washing is understanding what kind of hair your have.
While many suffer with dry scalp and dandruff, others struggle with oil build-up and greasy hair.
And although some struggle with broken, brittle hair, others boast perfectly healthy, normal locks.
France-born, New York-based hair stylist Julien Farel told GQ that there is no specific rule or routine that will work for every person – because the ideal shampooing frequency depends entirely on the type of hair you’re dealing with.
However, he says that he has noticed that his clients are much less likely to suffer with greasy-looking locks if they cut back on shampooing, and avoid lathering up every single day, unless you have a particularly oily scalp.
In fact, the haircare expert warns that that washing your hair every single day can strip the hair of important oils, and do far more damage than good.
‘If you shampoo every day, it will strip your scalp of all its natural oils and can lead to dry, brittle hair,’ he told GQ.
As a more general rule, he recommends shampooing the hair every two or three days, however he advised that people take a look at their specific hairtype, before committing to a suitable shampooing schedule.
Hair can easily become broken and damaged from excessive use of hot hair tools like curling irons and straighteners.
Damaged hair needs as many oils as possible to help restore moisture into the hair; celebrity stylist Paul Cucinello told Women’s Health that damaged hair needs much more care and attention than a healthy locks, and for this reason should only be shampooed a couple of times a week at most.
‘When your hair is damaged, you need to take extra-special care of it because over-washing could further damage or dry out your hair,’ he explained.
For this reason, shampooing hair once or twice per week week is advised – and for those who are concerned about working out and getting sweaty, Farel insists that rinsing the hair with water will still leave it feeling clean, without stripping it of its natural oils.
For those suffering with oily, greasy hair, hair can be washed every few days.
Celebrity stylist Jenny Cho explained to InStyle that people with oilier hair should shampoo ‘every other day’.
She told the publication: ‘This can be hard for some people, but it’s important to help stabilize the overproduction of sebum that causes this condition.
‘When conditioning, make sure to keep product on just the ends to avoid adding to the problem.’
Only if and when you are suffering with oil to the point that your hair looks slick and greasy by the early evening, even immediately after a wash, can consider a daily shampoo, says Farel.
Much like those with damaged hair, people who have thick, dry hair will be able to get away with washing hair just once or twice a week, because less frequent washing leaves more time for natural oils and sebum to build up, instilling moisture onto the scalp.
Farel notes, however, that you can still condition your hair regularly, even if you aren’t shampooing; people with very dry hair, particularly at the ends, should consider treating the bottom lengths of their locks with a nourishing conditioner every other day.
And as well as using a hydrating conditioner, make sure you have a moisturizing shampoo designed for dry hair for those days when you are lathering up, as this will help inject moisture into the hair.
Those lucky enough to have a normal hair type – one that doesn’t seem too dry nor too oily – have different rules again.
Normal hair can be washed as often as is necessary – however, even if you don’t suffer from dry or greasy hair, washing every day can still lead to essential oils being stripped from the scalp.
Therefore, sticking to a shampoo schedule that sees you washing hair every second day is a good starting point.
For hair that is regularly colored, whether at a salon or at home using a box-dye kit, there are a couple of rules.
According to Redken those with light-colored hair, platinum blondes for example, it is best to shampoo less frequently.
Leaving time between washes gives the hair time to rebuild natural oils that can help with hydrating the hair, as lighter hair tends to be somewhat drier.
The hair care brand recommends brushing hair daily, as this will encourage stimulation of oils and spread them throughout the hair, as well as using dry-shampoo in between washes.
Dry shampoo is a great product to have on hand for anyone – not just those who suffer from greasy hair, or a too-busy work schedule.
Spritzing a few sprays of the product onto the roots of the hair, before massaging it in and brushing it through the hair helps to freshen hair up, and can help to keep your hair looking in tip top shape between washes.
For anyone worried about how their hair might look between washes, keep a can of dry shampoo handy and use that every other day instead of washing and shampooing your hair.
Now pick the shampoo that is right for you…
For damaged hair: OGX Argan Oil of Morocco Shampoo (left, $7.99), Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Triple Detox Shampoo (right, $28)
For oily hair: Klorane Oil Control Shampoo with Nettle (left, $20), Briogeo Be Gentle Be Kind Green Tea Clarifying Shampoo (right, $24)
For dry hair: Matrix Biolage Raw Nourish Shampoo (left, $25), Sun Bum Revitalizing Shampoo (right, $14.99)
For normal hair: Bumble and Bumble Gentle Shampoo (left, $26), Moroccanoil Hydrating Shampoo (right, $23)
For color-treated hair: Matrix Total Results Keep Me Vivid Shampoo (left, $14), Kerastase Reflection Bain Chromatique Riche Shampoo (right, $30)