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If you ask people how often they shampoo their hair, you receive a wide range of answers. Washing your hair is important because it removes oils from the scalp. How often that oil needs to be removed, however, depends on many different factors.
The definition of what is considered normal hair care has been altered throughout the years. Women in the 20th century agreed that the practice of washing their hair once a month was sufficient. The practice of shampooing twice per month came into play in 1908 when an advice columnist recommended shampooing more often than just once per month. Over time, it became common practice for women to wash their hair once per week. Shampooing daily is basically a modern concept that has only been practiced, for the most part, in the last 40 or so years.


Apply only enough shampoo as needed for the length and texture of your hair. Long hair should need no more than a tablespoon of shampoo at best. Shorter hair will require less shampoo. Massage the shampoo into the scalp using your fingertips. Despite what it says on many shampoo bottles, one shampooing is generally all that is needed.

Begin the rinse with warm water. Rinse thoroughly and finish with a cold rinse to boost the shine.

Apply conditioner to the hair shaft only and work it through the hair. Avoid applying it directly on the scalp. Unless it is a leave in formula, leave it on a minute or so before rinsing it off with warm water. Be sure to remove all conditioner from the hair, to prevent residue from settling on the hair.

Gently squeeze out as much excess water as possible and lightly blot hair with a towel. Do not rub wet hair with a towel or try to comb through it. Wet hair is more fragile and breakage can occur easily.

Care for Hair Types

Different hair types call for different cleaning products.  Dyed hair requires special care to prevent damage and maintain the color. Use shampoos that are formulated for color-treated hair. Avoid stripping the color from hair by using special cleansing shampoos that are formulated to help remove build-up of hair products.

Oily and straight hair should never be treated with heavy masques or other deep cleansing treatments. You want to use only clean, light hair care products on this hair type to prevent unnecessary oily buildup on the hair shaft. Avoid putting any products directly onto the scalp.

Curly hair usually requires less frequent shampooing, as it tends to be a bit dry. Shampooing too often can lead to increased dryness and result in damage and breakage. Massaging a gentle conditioner onto the hair can work as a cleansing technique to freshen it up between shampoos. This technique can be beneficial to straight hair that is kinky and frizzy as well.

Shampoo is generally formulated to be stronger than what is necessary to clean the hair. Proper cleansing can still be achieved with a little dilution to the product. Adding a bit of water to the shampoo will clean the hair just as well, but will do so with much less potential damage to the hair.

Shampoo Alternative

Shampooing can be stalled for all hair types with the use of some of the dry shampoos on the market.  These are powder-based products that can help to absorb some of the natural oils that accumulate on the scalp and hair. Once applied to the scalp, the product is then gently blotted off of the hair before brushing it through to the ends. 

Hair products

The hair care market is loaded with all manner of shampoos, conditioners and hair care products. There is an overwhelming selection of brands available to choose from. In addition, each brand offers numerous formulas that care for various hair types. The price for a bottle of shampoo can range anywhere from approximately $1 to $60. Your average shampoo is more than likely perfectly suitable for cleansing the hair properly. Remember, very little shampoo is necessary to actually cleanse the hair. Rather than spend extravagantly on a shampoo, put that money toward better conditioners and other hair care products.