When to shampoo your hair or scalp or both

When to shampoo your hair or scalp or both

Shampoo your scalp but not your hair?? How? 

When I say to shampoo your scalp 2-3 times a week, let me be clear: I don’t mean you need to be sudsing up your hair that often. In fact, don’t! Here’s what I mean by shampooing your scalp vs. shampooing your hair and the best way to do both. 

What’s the difference between shampooing your scalp vs. shampooing your hair? 

Don’t forget that your scalp and hair are two different things, each needing their own special treatment. 

Think of your scalp like your face.  

You want to keep the pores and the follicles clean and free of dirt, sebum, and product buildup. So yes, go ahead and shampoo your scalp at least 2-3 times a week with a gentle formula and lukewarm water. It’s so beneficial for making sure your follicles don’t get clogged or stifled, and for allowing them to receive the nutrients they desperately need to thrive. 

Your hair is a little less needy. 

We don’t want to over-shampoo the hair, leaving it stripped of its natural sebum. This can lead your strands to become brittle and dry. Of course, washing your hair helps keep it fresh and clean. It’s a hygienic and necessary part of your routine, but the frequency that’s beneficial for your hair is typically a different frequency than is needed for your scalp. 

That’s because overwashing your hair can unintentionally upset your balance of those healthy, luscious oils that are your hair’s natural moisturizer. Stripping your strands by shampooing too often or with harsh products can actually cause damage to your hair. Cleanse the hair of its natural shine too often and you might notice it looking dull instead of strong and bouncy. 

So how often should you shampoo your hair

The answer is, it’s personal. The most important thing is how much buildup you have of oil and product on your actual hair. But several factors can determine how often is optimal for shampooing your hair, including hair type, age, ethnicity, how active you are, and how long your hair is. Most people will need to give their hair a good shampoo only every three or more days when there’s noticeable buildup weighing it down. 

How do you keep hair balanced in between shampoos?

If you’re wondering how to shampoo your hair less frequently while still keeping it clean and balanced, there are two ways to do it. 

Method 1: Water Washing  

For many hair types, water washing is a great technique. 

It’s as simple as it sounds. Water is great at washing away general dirt, dandruff, sweat, and even water-soluble styling products. For frequent washing, if you don’t have stubborn, tacky products or significant oil present in your hair, you may not need to wash it with more than water. 

Because water washing doesn’t remove oils, it’s best for coarse textures and ones that tend to be dryer. Once or twice a week between your shampoo days, wash your hair out with lukewarm water and then rinse with cold and follow with conditioner

Method 2: Shampooing Strategically 

Now if you’re saying, I work out every day, I swim, or I just like to wash my hair every day, okay. How do we do this in the shower? 

How do I avoid my hair but still get my scalp shampooed? 

I do this with all my clients and I tell them this is the best way to go about it: 

  1. When you get in the shower, rinse all your hair and scalp with water. 
  2. Then put a nourishing conditioner on from your mids to the tips of your hair only, avoiding your scalp. 
  3. Next, begin to shampoo, focusing only on your head. It won’t be perfect, but it will be good enough. 
  4. When you rinse out the shampoo, move your hair to the side, and then let the shampoo rinse out, and there you go! 

Shampooing your scalp regularly doesn’t need to come at the cost of shiny, healthy hair. If you’re using gentle, quality products, go ahead and suds up your scalp every day or every other day. Shampoo your actual hair less frequently than that, and you should get into a good rhythm. Supplement with water-washing on your off days when you shower, or if you’re an everyday shampooer, cleanse your hair using my 4-step method above! 


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