Last week I talked about applying shampoo the right way, this week I am going to show you how often men should shampoo.  Most people think that you should only shampoo on ‘every other day’, but they ignore the fact that it also depends on the hair length and scalp behaviour.  Shampoo is very potent for the scalp and sometimes using it often can lead to undesired results and yield diminishing returns.  How many fellas you’ve seen with super dry hair that looks and feels like the green stuff on the back of a used dish washing sponge.  

Hair is meant to have sebum through its strands as this keeps the shine and moisture in the hair.  This oily substance in the strands allows the hair to sit nicely, weighing it down instead of giving it lift.  Shampooing frequency shouldn’t be taken lightly, as it will decide your grooming routine and when to use conditioner.  
Now I’m not saying to not clean your hair daily, I’m just saying don’t use shampoo every day.  There is another method I will go through next week which involves coating your hair with sebum whilst removing the hair product residue sufficiently.

The Factors

When figuring out your perfect shampoo frequency of ‘every other day’ to ‘once a week’, there are several factors that need to be taken into consideration:

Sebum Secretion

Some lads just secrete more oily substance than others, it’s all genetics so there’s nothing you can really do about it here but to be aware of it.

Hair Products

The shampoo frequency will need to be adjusted for certain hair products, because some will leave a substantial amount of residue on the hair strands and scalp.  Such as waxes, one of the heavy compounds which will create excessive buildup of residue.

Environment The Hair Is Exposed To

Some guys smoke, work in bars where people smoke or spend a lot of time in a construction site.  If this is you, your hair is more likely to get nasty stuff trapped in it.  If your hair is exposed in any harsh environment, you’ll need to shampoo after each given exposure.

Hair Type

Coiled and kinky hair types are more prone to dryness and not being coated with the required amount of sebum.  On the other hand, curlier hair types are better suited with a lower shampooing frequency.

The 5 Indicators

The following 5 indicators will tell you when you’re spot on with the shampoo frequency.

1. Your Hair Looks Fuller

You will notice your hair will mysteriously seem to have more volume.  This is a sign that your hair is beginning to get the sebum coating it needs.

2. Your Hair Looks Less Dry

This is a sign that sebum levels has reached or is reaching its peak.

3. Your Hair Feels Smoother

Dry hair feels like dried grass whereas oily hair feels nasty and hard.  On the contrary, properly shampooed hair feels smooth and light even without hair products in it.

4. Your Scalp Doesn’t Have An Excessive Amount of Sebum

When you have too much sebum in your hair, you will notice small wax-like particles when looking in the mirror.  You will know that you have gone too far with decreasing the shampoo frequency when these tiny particles show up.

5. Your Hair Looks Defined

You will notice your hair type, be it straight, wavy, coiled or kinky, will be more defined as you approach your perfect frequency.  Instead of looking like the hay horses eat or like you just came back from a marathon, your hair will look desirable.

The Steps To Perfect Shampooing Frequency

Much like quitting caffeine, cigarettes or any addiction, shampooing should be slowly tapered off.  Especially if you shampoo daily, your scalp would be a junkie for the stuff and will experience withdrawals.  It will take a while to figure out the ideal shampoo frequency, but you don’t want to be itching and feeling greasy on your scalp at the same time.

Start off with ‘every other day’ shampooing, for the first 2 weeks.  Until the 5 indicators mentioned above have been reached, add another ‘no shampoo’ day and repeat the 2-week cycle.

Once you have found your ideal shampoo frequency, it doesn’t stop there.  You’ll need to adjust based on your hair length.  Every time your hair fits into a different length category, say from short to medium or medium to long, you need to add an extra ‘no shampoo’ day to the cycle.  Likewise, if you go from long to medium or medium to short, you will need to take out a ‘no shampoo’ day from the cycle.

I have summarised the steps in a flow chart to help you better understand how to find your final shampooing frequency:

Optimum Frequency Flowchart

After reading this you must think, it’s very unhygienic to not shampoo your hair every day.  But in fact, the conception that more shampoo means cleaner hair was created by advertising companies.  They cleverly marketed the products in such a way that people would think by using more shampoo, it would make you look less like a hippy during the 60’s.  Food for thought, not even girls shampoo every day, some even shampoo once a week.  So why do us lads shampoo daily?

At the end of the day perfect is a very subjective thing, this is just a guideline to help you find your ideal shampooing frequency.  Let us know what you found worked for you and comment below!  Next week I’ll be going through the other method of washing your hair without using shampoo, so stay tuned by subscribing or following our social media sites!