This is another one of those seemingly simple questions that cry out for an easy answer and once again, it depends. Most of us were taught the same method Shampoo—Rinse—Shampoo—Rinse—Condition. Well, not exactly.
Most guys should not shampoo their hair every day.
Excessive shampooing strips your hair of essential oils that add shine, volume and pliability. Daily conditioning can excessively weigh down your mane. Every guy needs his own personalized regimen based on his hair type, density and strength. Your barber is the best one to advise you. However, here are some tips to sort out your shampoo schedule.
1. The Schedule
First off, you should not shampoo every day. Shampoos cleanse your hair, treat your scalp and in the process of de-crapping your hair, they remove some of the essential oils you need. Van Cappizzano of Ball and Buck in Boston, says “don’t treat your hair like a chalkboard that needs to be washed every day. Treat it like a plant that needs nutrition and attention.”
The more often you shampoo your hair, the more your scalp will produce sebum. This is the oil secreted by your sebaceous glands that protect and waterproof your hair and scalp. Over washing can create a vicious cycle where your glands go nuts and overproduce.
Think about shampooing no more than every other day and for most guys only two to three times a week. But there’s more to consider.
2. The Seasons
The frequency with which you shampoo and the type of shampoo you need can vary with the season. During warmer months, we tend to perspire which releases toxins and other contaminants into our hair. Combined with bad odor, we’ll want to shampoo more frequently and will likely need to deal with oilier scalps. Conversely, during the winter drier months, we may need to shampoo less frequently and switch to a moisturizing or hydrating shampoo to add back moisture sucked out by the drier air.
3. The Backwards Act
Consider applying conditioner before you shampoo or better yet, apply conditioner on the days when you do not shampoo. This allows you to provide nourishment to your hair and scalp without weighing it down. Shampooing is meant only to cleanse. You also want to nourish your hair and follicles.
4. The Switch Up
On alternate shampoo days you may also consider rinsing your hair with cider vinegar or alternating types of shampoo. Using one type of shampoo can cause build up that weighs the hair down. These two options will remedy this problem. This is especially true if you use styling aids. You’re looking for that squeaky clean feeling that tells you your hair is clean.
5. The Treatments
Your hair and your scalp are different. Vibrant, beautiful hair needs a healthy scalp in which to grow. Hair needs to be cleansed and conditioned. Your scalp needs to be treated based on your skin type and condition. Our barber Allie Zenkner recommends a hair analysis and a scalp diagnosis by your barber. An oily scalp can weigh your hair down and make it look greasy. Remember, over-washing can cause excess sebum (oil) production by your scalp. A lot of guys have dry skin or flaky scalps that require different treatments. Mediceuticals has a complete range of scalp treatment remedies that you can use on those non-shampoo days to keep your scalp healthy and your hair looking clean and healthy. Now that’s using your head.
6. Your Busy Schedule
On some days or when you are traveling, consider using a dry shampoo such as Fresh Hair by Kevin Murphy. It works and it’s another life hack to smart shampooing.
7. The Brand
The type of shampoo you use also plays a huge role in both the health and look of your hair and scalp. As we know, we get what we pay for. Less expensive products often include sulfates (the foaming agents), harsh chemicals and other ingredients that can coat your hair and clog your pores.
GQ Barber Jason Jewell recommends professional shampoos and scalp treat products such as Kevin Murphy and V76 that are prescribed for your specific conditions.
Got All That?
In summary, refrain from washing your hair every day, invest in quality products based on the season and your needs, condition on separate days and lastly, ease up when you shampoo and condition. Shampooing too vigorously can actually damage your hair. Not good. For many of us, it will fall out soon enough, but that’s another story.