When I had perfect hair before age 18, I used to wash my hair just 5 times a month. Usually only after being outdoors, playing sports or swimming in the pool. Even more shocking, I would use shampoo on my hair just a few times a year. Typically, on days when I went to the beach. Nowadays, the NoPoo method of avoiding shampoos is increasingly popular.
Back then, whether I was washing my hair (with a shampoo or without one), I tended to use cold water. Nowadays, I usually wash and rinse my hair daily using hot water from the shower. Even though hot water tends to dry out the scalp in winters.
Poll: How Often do you Shampoo your Hair when Washing it?
I initially wanted to conduct two polls:
- How often do you wash your hair (with or without using hair loss shampoos and conditioners)?
- How often do you shampoo your hair when washing it?
Instead I am only doing the second poll. Feel free to comment to this post about how often you wash your hair with shampoo versus without. Most dermatologists seems to suggest shampooing at least 2 times a week.
Edit: Poll ended in an hour due to the plugin having a new extremely low limit for page views in their free version.
Of the almost 40 people who voted before the limit was reached, the most popular choices were 7 times a week (or more); 2 times a week; 6 times a week; and 3 times a week. The average person seems to wash his or her hair with shampoo 3-4 times per week.
Frequency of Shampoo use
After my hair loss and dandruff started in my 20s, I was forced to wash my hair almost every single day. This continues to this day. I usually use a dermatologist recommended dandruff shampoo twice a week. On the other five days, I just wash my hair with plain water.
Overuse of shampoos can dry scalp hair and skin, and strip the scalp off its natural oils and minerals. Harsh chemicals and additives in shampoos may kill more than just bacteria. Washing hair daily with a shampoo has both its pros and cons. People with curly hair or oily skin may get different reactions to those with neither. People with clogged pores and excess sebum might require more frequent cleansing.
Many people think that human hair is self-cleaning and does not require shampoos. Unfortunately, once you start washing and shampooing your hair daily, it becomes extremely difficult to stop.
Women tend to use shampoos more frequently then men. A Norwood 5 or higher scale of hair loss in a man will make it easier to wash hair less frequently. Women tend to have a more generalized pattern of thinning hair loss and rarely go completely bald.
The “Nopoo” method and movement (see Reddit and wiki) entails people never using environmentally damaging shampoos to wash their hair. This makes obvious sense, since humans never used shampoos for most of our history.
Moreover, increasing evidence suggests that hair loss rates have increased in humans during the past half century. So the advent of shampoos has not really helped us when it comes to less baldness or thicker hair.
In developing countries, the majority of poor people rarely or never shampoo their hair. Even in the developed world, there are some cases of people who never shampoo their hair. Actor Gary Barlow did not even wash his hair for 14 years, forget shampooing. In the UK, a number of well known people such as politician Matthew Parris have touted their NoPoo lifestyles.