How Often? So I believe everyday isn’t a bad thing but it really depends on what product you’re using and your hair type.
Shampoo helps water remove dirt, debris, and odours. Most shampoos are designed to strip excess oil, which helps the hair look cleaner for longer. Shampoo cleans the hair with chemicals called surfactants ( short for surface-active-agents) that are soaps used to clean the surface debris off hair.
The most popular surfactants used are know as Anionic Surfactants, which carry a negative charge in water. They provide a lot of the lather and detergent in the shampoo. These are broken down into what are known as sulphates ie: sodium laureth sulphate, sodium lauryl sulphate and other sulphates. NB “sulphates” can often be spelt “sulfates”
Should your hair be very oily/greasy, which is generally, people with very fine or straight hair I suggest to wash daily with a sulphate based shampoo, which can help make your hair easier to manage in between shampoos. If you have a very oily scalp this can progress into acne along the hairline, meaning you might need to wash your hair more often to keep it looking clean.
I would suggest that anybody with super dry hair doesn’t necessarily need to wash it daily. Washing less often preserves the natural oils produced by the scalp, keeping hair more nourished.
I’d advise to use a low sulphate or no sulphate shampoo.
As i mentioned earlier sulphates ( surfactants) are what give you the lovely lather and can help get rid of product build up in hair. The problem being with these is that they can be pretty harsh on your actual hair as they’re known for drying hair out. They can cause irritation to your scalp. There are links to cancer with sulphates too but with no real proof as of yet.
Sulphates have been used for years in shampoos and a lot of product companies have now gone down the “no sulphate” route as an option for customers, which are definitely milder and are thought to cause less irritation, for people but this means less lather.
Sulphate-free shampoo is a good idea for anyone who has severely damaged hair
Generally if you buy a cheaper generic brand from the chemist, then it’s quite likely to contain a lot of sulphates. Sulphates are what are known as cleansing agents. You can find these in varying quantities in shampoo, washing up liquid, floor cleaners etc., anything that cleans basically.
Whichever way you shampoo your hair, I always remind people to give their scalp a good massage too. Many people forget to do this as they’re concentrating only on their hair.
Remember, your scalp is skin also but just with hair all over it, unless you’re bald or suffering from alopecia. It sweats, sheds dead skin cells and gives off sebum oil, so it reacts the same way as skin does.
If you use a harsh skin products then your face and/or body can feel dry and irritated, well it’s the same with the scalp. Dry scalps also tend not to produce as much sebum. Washing your hair frequently can prevent itching and flaking, and help keep the scalp healthier, in turn helping to keep the hair soft and shiny too.
If you’re suffering from dandruff or seborrhoeic eczema. Look for products with witch hazel or camphor in them to help the scalp.
I also suggest massaging olive oil onto a dry scalp at night and leaving it overnight, then shampooing it out in the morning.
Which ever way you shampoo, always try to rinse your hair and scalp with cold water too at the end. This helps to closes the pores on the scalp and flattens the cuticles on hair. A smoother flatter cuticle reflects light, making your hair appear shinier. (now that’s always a good thing) 1st
NB: In between washes you can always rinse your hair just with water too as a mild way of cleansing.
I’m not going to recommend any particular shampoos etc. on this occasion, as there’s too many to list for this kind of article. Just try and find the right one for you, and remember the cheaper it is, the more likely it will contain chemicals that aren’t so great for your hair.
And what about the No Poo method? For anybody who hasn’t heard of this it involves switching your shampoo out just regular water and/or various natural products such as apple cider vinegar or baking soda.
The official No Poo website states traditional shampoo contains chemicals that strip your hair of it’s natural oils.
Some dermatologists say No Poo is pretty low risk, but others have said that there are some risks linked with replacing shampoo with other ingredients and they suggest to dilute the most popular ones, baking soda and apple cider vinegar with water, especially with baking soda’s PH level being around 9 which isn’t good for the cuticle, in turn making the hair quite brittle, especially on chemically treated hair.
Apple cider vinegar has a much lower pH (between 3.1 to five) and is regarded as more ideal by NO Poo supporters as it's closer to your scalp's natural pH level. If the vinegar isn't mixed with the right amount water, it can also cause irritation.
So what do you do Neil I hear you cry? I naturally have very curly, dry hair and I find if I don’t shampoo it everyday then my hair and scalp behave better. When I’ve shampooed it everyday I’ve found my hair doesn’t behave as well.
I can get a dry scalp and occasionally suffer from psoriasis and I take a shower everyday and whilst I don’t shampoo my hair everyday, I do rinse it with water thoroughly and I also rinse with cold water afterwards. The cold water is very soothing for the irritated scalp.
When my scalp is severely irritated I will shampoo with a mild, low-sulphate shampoo.
I hope all that helps.
NB: If any scalp conditions worsen or hair becomes very brittle and unmanageable then I suggest to go and see a reputable trichologist.
Phillip Kingsley is a great trichology company and they have offices in London and New York.
There’s a great article written last year about for Dermatology News No sulphates, no parabens, No poo etc. if you fancy a read, CLICK HERE
2nd May 2019
SHAMPOOING THE DEBATE!
SHOULD I, SHOULDN’T I, AND HOW OFTEN??
I’m always being asked about shampooing and there are so many different theories out there.
I always get asked the following: Should I shampoo my hair at all? is No poo better?, is no sulphates better?, are lo –sulphates better?, is washing my hair everyday bad for it?
Ok, so here’s the advice I try to give out when it comes to shampooing.
The hardest things to do as a hairdresser is tell somebody how to shampoo their hair.
The majority of people love to pile on the product to get a soapy lather like the old hair ads, and then they pile on a load of conditioner especially if their hair is really dry, don’t leave it on long enough or too long, then rinse it off and hey presto, they’re done! But is this the best way??
Here’s my advice based on what I know. None of the following info is incorrect, but it’s important to remember that what is good for you is different for every person and their hair.