How often am I supposed to shampoo?

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It seems like everyone’s got their own opinion when it comes to shampooing. Wash every day? Every other day? Some articles warn against over washing, while others insist daily washing is important. So what’s the best solution?

We did some research and talked to our stylists to get the dirt on hair washing. Shampoo removes the oil and excess cells that sit on the scalp, and prevents them from causing irritations. But at the same time, it strips down the hair fibers and can damage the shaft with each wash.

Stylists and dermatologists agree that on average, people shampoo their hair too much. But before you rework your whole week’s shower schedule, keep in mind that the most important factor is your hair type.

There are many types of hair and each one needs a different kind of treatment. Shampoos contain different detergents that are there specifically to treat each kind of hair – so pay attention to the labels! If you’re not sure about the best technique to use, here are some tips by hair type:

Fine, oily hair: If you have that fine, oily hair type, you’re going to need a deep cleansing shampoo that’s made for oily hair. You can alternate it with a volumizing shampoo to give your fine hair a lift.

You probably like to wash it every day, but stylists suggest skipping a day between washings to avoid stripping down your hair (especially if it’s color-treated). If it’s really oily, you can use a powder or dry shampoo in between to absorb the oils. But, if you really need to shampoo every day, use a light, gentle shampoo that has mild detergents. It shouldn’t strip down your hair as much.

Fine, dry hair: Fine, dry hair needs plenty of refreshment. Try a shampoo with lots of moisturizing properties followed by a good conditioner. Don’t wash it every day, since frequent washing will strip out moisture and make your hair even drier. In fact, shampooing three to four times a week should be perfect for you.

If you have very dry hair, remember to use conditioner regularly, even if you’re not using shampoo. It also helps to brush your hair every morning and night to balance out the oil from your scalp.

Curly hair: Curly hair naturally lacks moisture, so let yours soak up plenty of moisturizing shampoo and conditioner – you’ll be thankful when your curls are stronger and don’t frizz!

When you have curly hair, the scalp oils take longer to travel down the strands of hair. This means the hair will be less oily than straight hair. People with curly hair don’t need to wash as frequently, and can even go as long as once a week. Some people shampoo even less frequently and just use conditioner in between washes to maintain moisture.

Coarse, thick hair: Coarse hair needs plenty of moisture. Try using a smoothing shampoo that will add moisture while also sealing the hair cuticle (to prevent that moisture from escaping!).

As with curly hair, it takes longer for the natural oils of coarse, thick hair to reach the rest of the hair, so it stays less oily. This means you only have to shampoo about once a week.

Color-treated hair: Color-treated hair needs a bit more attention than standard hair types. You want to lock in the color molecules as long as possible, and a normal shampoo won’t help out. In fact, it will strip out your color.

Instead, use a gentle shampoo that contains protein – and always follow with conditioner. The conditioner helps lock in your color. Both the shampoo and conditioner should be specifically made for color-treated hair (just check the label).

(And for all you eSalon fans, you may be happy to hear we’re close to launching our very own Color Safe Shampoo and Conditioner, packed with all kinds of proteins and nutrients! Stay tuned to details).

Now, even if you have all the special shampoo and conditioner products, you also have to remember to lay off on shampooing as frequently as you used to. Washing opens up the cuticles and starts to strip away your gorgeous eSalon color. Our stylists recommend shampooing as little as possible, although you should still take your hair type into account. On average, two to three washings per week should be fine.

A note on conditioner: We’ve used “conditioner” a lot in this post, but let’s clarify the proper way to use it. Stylists complain that a big problem is their clients misuse conditioner, so it doesn’t work the right way.

Don’t apply globs to your scalp and massage it in. That’s going to leave residue on your roots and make your hair oily. Instead, apply the conditioner midway down your hair and massage it through the ends. Then work it up to the roots. The roots don’t need to be conditioned as much as the middle section of hair.

So use this info wisely – if you keep your hair and scalp happy, they’ll be good to you in the long run.

Colorfully yours,
The eSalon Team