after taking a bath

How Often Should You Shampoo?

You probably shampoo your hair every day, which is normal practice in a tropical country like the Philippines. But did you know daily shampooing could damage your hair?

Sebum and Shampooing

When you’re not taking a shower, your scalp gradually turns shinier, darker, and oilier. The reason behind this is the glands in your scalp produce sebum, an oily substance. Sebum moistens your hair; it’s nature’s way of keeping your hair from drying out.

But each person’s scalp varies from one another. You may have noticed that some people have oilier hair than yours, or yours could be drier. This is because the sebaceous glands are next to the hair roots in the dermis, the layer of the skin.

The sebaceous glands produce sebum and transfer it to the hair follicle. The oily substance then comes out of the skin and onto your scalp. Every person produces a different amount of sebum due to genetics and hormones.

Shampoo is formulated to get rid of sebum, sweat, and whatever styling product you use. The more you use it, however, the more your scalp is prone to drying out because you’re stripping it of too much natural oils.

But how often you should wash your hair isn’t as simple as looking to sebum production. Other factors come into play.

Your Hair Texture Matters, Too

Your hair texture can determine the frequency of shampooing.

a woman taking a bath

  • For straight hair, you can wash once every two to three days. The frequency will keep the oiliness or greasiness at bay.
  • For wavy hair, you can either wash it as much or not. The problem is washing it too often can dry it out, but not washing your hair enough can increase hair fall. It’s ideal to wash it every three to four days to maintain your wavy hair’s volume and still keep it clean.
  • For curly hair, you can schedule your shampoo at least twice a week. This is to keep your hair from becoming dry and damaged. But if your sebum production is too much, you might as well settle for at least three or four times a week.
  • For kinky hair, shampooing your hair is best done once a week. Your hair, however, needs all the hydration it can get. So for the sake of its health and curl pattern, use a conditioner at least once every two weeks to moisturize and nourish it. Alternatively, get shampoo formulated with argan oil. The oil hit Philippine shores a few years ago, and many are swearing by its nourishing properties.

Other factors include how often you go to the salon for styling and your skin type. Hair that has undergone treatment will need less frequent washing. Meanwhile, if you have normal to dry skin, you only need to wash your hair once a week, but if you have oily skin, you need to shampoo more frequently.

It all sounds like a complex thing to do, given that it’s just shampooing your hair. But there is a way to simplify this part of your regimen: choose the right shampoo and mark the days when you should shampoo.

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