“Duh, don’t you wash your hair every time you take a shower? I do it everyday because I shower everyday. And by the way, how can you not wash your hair everyday under this [summer/Malaysia] heat?”
I thought the same too a few years ago until one day when my hairstylist friend told me that it’s not necessary to shampoo my hair everyday.
Well, I didn’t actually follow his instruction back then because
that’s gross, and we guys don’t really care and would rather do the whole shower thing head-to-toe I couldn’t accept the idea of not washing my hair on a daily basis. In fact, I’d normally wash my hair twice a day. (I shower once in the morning, and then once again before bed.)
I finally made a compromise to wash my hair only once a day after realising my dyed red hair faded 2 times faster then the next person. (It could be my hair, but still.)
When I got my hair bleached and dyed a few days ago, I had to avoid washing my hair for the next 24 hours after the dye job. (It’s advisable.) This question came back to me again: Really, how often should I wash my hair?
If you ask your wifey/girlfriend/sister, I’m sure they would give the same answer as my hairstylist friend, and then followed by “I don’t want my hair to lose the lustre and look dry.” If that’s what applies to the X-chromosome’s hair, doesn’t it apply to ours hair too (whether it’s dyed or not)?
Let’s hear what others have to say about daily shampooing.
“With shampoo, the honest-to-God truth? Only once a week.
Overshampooing strips the oils from your scalp and hair. and when that happens, the sebaceous gland is going to either pump out way too much oil, which makes your hair supergreasy, or say, “Fuck this, Jack: I’m not going to pump any oil out—it’s too dry already.” Then you get dry scalp and dandruff. A week seems crazy long, but trust me.
You know how, when you get back from the bar, you look in the mirror and you’re like, “My hair is finally perfect!”? That’s because it’s got sweat and natural oils in it.”
Twice a week is great. […] If you’re someone who works out every day, washing twice a week might sound like a bad idea. Similarly, if you have thinner hair, oil can make it look even thinner. But instead of shampooing each time you shower, I tell a lot of my customers to rinse their hair thoroughly with warm water and massage in a light conditioner to break up oil and sweat.
Katie Chang, DETAILS, quoting stylist Thom Priano:
If you’re not washing your hair every day, you’re doing it wrong. […] Where’s the logic in washing your face and body—especially after a long night out or grueling workout—and not washing the scalp, which also takes a beating? […] Go back to the basics and lather up every day.
Be gentle. Don’t wash it every day. Body and shine, the very qualities shampoo purports to provide, occur naturally, thanks to your scalp’s natural oil.
When you do wash, always use conditioner (a two-in-one shampoo-conditioner is fine) and don’t dry or comb your hair aggressively. That’s like delinting a cashmere sweater with a garden rake. Try styling with your fingers.
Most men don’t need to wash their hair every day. Too much shampoo or conditioner on a daily basis breaks down the natural structure of your hair. […] Wet and soak your hair in your daily shower, but don’t use product every time.
Amy McMichael, M.D., a dermatologist, on Huffington Post:
“By no means do I think it’s a necessity of health to wash your hair ever day,” McMichael says, explaining that the habit has developed more out of our hygiene culture of “good smells” than of any real necessity. Yet that doesn’t necessarily mean the opposite is true. “I don’t know that there’s any scientific basis that washing the hair less is more healthy either.”
On the other hand, British journalist Christa D’Souza went on an experiment of not washing her hair for 6 weeks:
[…] Not washing proved to be more high maintenance than the alternative. I have no doubt that there is some truth to the theory of self-cleaning hair, but I am neither a cat nor an oven. So after six long weeks, I’m back on the bottle—and it feels marvelous.
At the point of typing this, my hair has not been washed for 2 days. 2 DAYS!
It is an experiment to testify the above points, and also an effort to extend the longevity of my hair dye. My hair does feel softer and smooth now, BUT I think it starts to smell greasy. That means I’ll have to shampoo it tomorrow!
Though, I don’t think I could get away without daily shampooing if I still keep a slicked back undercut hairstyle and wear pomade.
Now it’s your turn: What say you? How often do you wash?
Illustration by the talented Kei Meguro