How Often do you Wash and Shampoo your Hair?

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:

  1. How often do you wash your hair (with or without using hair loss shampoos and conditioners)?
  2. 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.

How Often do you Wash your Hair with Shampoo
How often do you wash your hair with shampoo?

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.

Washing Hair with Shampoo.
Washing Hair with Shampoo.

NoPoo Method

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.

33 thoughts on “How Often do you Wash and Shampoo your Hair?”

  1. I think I’m gonna start gently brushing my scalp with a boar bristle brush to stimulate and spread the natural oils down my hair shaft then showering with plain water after to get rid of any “debris” 6x a week then shampoo 1x per week. I currently shampoo too much because I like the “clean” feeling but I run naturally dry so I think this will help. Thanks for the reminder that there is indeed too much of a good thing! Americans especially are often too obsessed with cleanliness.

  2. Im Having crazy Dundruff if I dont wash/ shampoo hair for only 2 days i get think Dundruff , As if i have spent 1 year without washing my hair, I kindly requeting a solution for it.

    NOTE: I have Curly Hair


    1. Hi Kappo

      Any shampoo you see if they have SIS, parabans, in as this strips your hair of its natural oils.

      Massage you scalp, with a little oil before shampooing to lift up any dandruff and wash you hair, Search for a good shampoo i.e. African black soap shampoo/bars.

  3. I wash twice a day; once in the morning before work and again after the gym. I use a pretty gentle shampoo from Trader Joe’s, without harsh surfactants. I condition once a week.

  4. I don’t wash my hair because I have no hair. That is the reason why i am coming to this site which is about a hairlosscure which will probably never come. If I would have hair i would wash it.

  5. Most topical hair loss medicines tell you to apply to a clean scalp, often twice a day. Goopy propylene glycol and glycerine, as well as alcohol, are ubiquitous ingredients, and they don’t leave my hair feeling clean, especially after a few days unwashed accumulation.

    Plus, if you’re micro-needling, you’d better have a clean head.

    Standard treatments — at least ones that don’t come in pill form— make it awfully hard to abstain from regular hair washing.

  6. I can finally enjoy washing my hair again in a few years if Takashi Tsuji opens the gates.

    If he releases several programs for different Norwoods, maybe it is affordable if you have less hair loss …

    However, what do they do to the Dht-sensitive hair that is still on your head at that moment? Can they manipulate it, so that they become DHT insensitive? Otherwise you still would need a maintenance drug, and that would be horrible.

  7. Mark my words the problem of hair loss …resides in the soil (scalp environment) not the seed (actual hair follicle).

  8. Before I needed to use minoxidil, I shampoo-ed once a week with a product designed for people with excema.

    Now I use Nizoral twice a week.

    Really thought provoking post Admin, thank you.

  9. I remember using Nizorel 2% for dandruff in Melbourne Australia. It worked great. No problems at all. However, years later in Thailand I seemed to shed like crazy. It might’ve been from the sudden change being in tropical humidity? Hair cycle? Diet change? Crap in the water I was surfing? Who knows? The lady who cleaned the bungalows daily would show me all the hair in the dust pan as she swept the tiles on the floor of the room! She couldn’t believe it. It freaked me out too. Ha. So I switched back to Sukin shampoo and the shedding stopped. Really weird.

  10. We should also talk about haircuts … yesterday I cut my hair by a new barber, he made a mess, he cut it too short, now I can’t cover my bald spots anymore … I have to wear a hat for the next 2 months:( the right haircut is very important.

      1. When I saw this research, my first thought was whether the company that makes the exosomes used by Dr. McGrath could somehow modify production of their ExoFlo so that it would be highly concentrated with miR-218-5p, the miRNA that was identified in the NC State research as promoting hair regeneration. If that were a possibility, I’m sure Direct Biologics would be one of the first to jump on it. Wondering if admin might be able to explore that avenue. FYI I had an exosome treatment with little noticeable effect.

  11. Let’s not get baited and set ourselves up disappointment. If she regrew her hair with a diet supplement, it means she was suffering from a strong effluvium caused by hormones / diet imbalance, there is not a miracle cure yet :). there is no way to.regrow hair if you suffer from mpb unless you go.through the hormonal route or hair transplantation. Take care everyone

  12. No offence Beeko, but I think the hypervomitant Gina, 36 from Sydney might’ve eventually regained her hair naturally after some time anyway-given many women suffer some form of temporary hair loss after giving birth. Here in Australia, there are a quite few vitamin companies flogging pills that do sh#t for ‘regrowing’ hair. Fusion Health from Byron Bay N.S.W for one, claim similar results with their Hair Tonic pills. Absolute bs. Yes they may or may not make your hair longer, more shiny and healthy, etc but in terms of actually growing new follicles-take it with a grain of salt. Otherwise, it’s just unfounded ‘studies’ and customer reviews. Basically hearsay. None of these companies claims are backed by clinical trials or the TGA (Australia’s version of the FDA). Don’t trust them or anything you read in The Daily Mail either. Ha. Just my two cents mate…

  13. SummyKim
    I am convinced of your words; Thanks for the clarification
    Do you currently have a treatment for male pattern baldness pending completion of the clinical studies?

    1. @Bekoo. I’m far from an expert. I’ve tried lots of ‘natural’ things out there. I still take a ton of vitamins and lead a very healthy life. However, from my own experience tackling hair loss with anything natural-nothing has worked so far! I guess I’m lucky to have very slow hair loss, but have no real proper treatment plan as yet. Back in 2016 I tried Fin but unfortunately I couldn’t tolerate it. According to some docs, I’m in the tiny minority. However, I’ve got two friends who seem fine on it. It also stopped their hair loss. I’m considering oral Min, but according to my derm (who often prescribes it in combo with Fin) says using it alone won’t solve the actual problem in the long run, but still recommends giving oral Min a go. As we all know, Fin and Min are the only two FDA approved drugs to tackle hair loss so far. Good luck to you mate.

      1. @summykin, what was your side effect when on fin, I’m just started with fin for me I experienced low libido…

  14. I’ve tried this supplement before. It did not do anything. Keep in mind people who get success with this supplement or other companies usually are deficient, say for example ‘zinc’. If I took a blood test and my levels were completely normal there would be no need to supplement with ‘zinc’ and I would just be wasting my money. Not to mention your body would just flush it out when you urinate. As far as the ‘Daily Mail’ posting about it – Anyone who has worked in ‘Public Relations’ you buy advertising from any publication for a price and anyone posting different brands within the comments of this website or others could well and truely be people who work for the company. Take everything with a grain of salt, do your own research and try things for yourself. That’s what I did. I will say ‘JSH Vitamins Instagram page showing client before and afters. It’s little bit suspect For example: showing a girl’s frontal hair region (no hair) and the after pic is hair – You can just ‘part’ the hair a certain way and boom – You have regrown hair lol. There is also a guys crown before and after. You can tell in the after picture they have darkened the image. Nobodies scalp is 50% black, its either white (scalp) or full of hair, depending on hair color.

  15. @Billa. Again, I’m not a doc or an expert, but the low libido might pass in time as your body adjusts? Speak to your doc if it’s a concern. One of my friends who’s on Fin said his libido is not the same as it was, but that could also be age related in his case? He’s certainly not worried about it though. Both he and my other friend on Fin can’t fathom why I had sides given their experience with the drug, but understand everyone’s different. The main side effect for me were the glands under my arms/pelvis became sore and strong ball pain and feeling kind’ve disconnected? I stubbornly continued for awhile but had to stop unfortunately. I’m pretty sensitive to some meds though. My doc who was on it himself, said he’d prescribed Fin to thousands of patients over the years and only had myself and four others react badly to it in one way of another! I guess that’s life on planet earth as they say…

    1. @SummyKim

      I talked with an urologist a year ago.
      He said that 80% of FIN users encounter side effects.

      It often takes time before the side effects come to surface, that is as soon as the drug has been accumulating enough in the body.

      In your personal story, 2 out of 3 have side effects, even if its a minor one, it still is a side effect.

      There you already have 67%.

      Dermatologist most often prescribe it for AGA, however Endocrinologist and Urologists see the negative consequences.

      Unfortunately FIN or DUT still needed to keep out hair.

      1. I am scared of finasteride potential side effects, as many of us here, but stating that 80% of men experience side effects is simply wrong. Do you really believe thricologists are some kind of mad men who value hair more than patient’s health? It is generally safe, in most cases that it. They are doctors in the first place and they wouldn’t prescribe it if it was dangerous for 8 men out of 10

      2. @Netshed. I’ve seen urologists, endocrinologists, a dermatologist and countless docs regarding the side effects I had. I had physical examinations, blood work done, etc, etc. All had differing opinions. Some didn’t believe me. Some did. Most said any sides would eventually go away which they eventually did. I can only go on my own personal experience with the drug. Initially I was very anti the drug after I stopped taking it. But, just because I couldn’t tolerate the drug-doesn’t mean others wouldn’t as well. And vise-versa. I don’t see the point in pro Fin v anti Fin debates or making umbrella statements online. Everybody is made up differently. I’m not telling people to do this or that. It’s up to them to make the decision. However, what I gained from all those docs and specialists was that most guys seem to tolerate the drug well. Obviously the drug is strong. Merck warn on the info slip inside the packaging that women should not handle crushed or broken tablets when they are pregnant because of the possibility of potential risk to a male fetus. So it’s not a bloody Tic Tac we’re dealing with here! Maybe your urologist is right? Who knows? But, if you tolerate the drug and it stops your hair loss, then you have won the lottery in my opinion. ;-)

  16. Netshed your urologist is wrong. 80% is dramatic it’s more like 10%. These horror stories about Finasteride are part of the reason why I’m am now stuck at a Nw 5 at 23. 3 years ago when I was 20 and I was scared about Finasteride because I didn’t want sexual side effects I read the horror stories online and then my hair loss got really aggressive so then I went to a doctor and he told me that I was a Norwood 5 “fin can probably bring you back to a nw 4 or 3” so he put me on Finasteride and fast forward 3 years to now I take Finasteride everyday I don’t have any side effects and it saved me from going to a NW7 one of the best decision I’ve made.

  17. I agree with the doctor. It prob is 80% because some of these side effects are prob super minor. It’s a foreign substance to your body. The serious sides like not getting it up ever again and nut ache is more like 2 to 10% . Fin gave me some erectile issues but it went away after a year or so. Fin did cure my aggresive acne though which I didn’t expect lol. Saved my hair avd cured my acne. Fin the super drug lol. Only down side is I started fin at age 20. Didnt have a full beard yet. Just minor chin strap and it has stayed that way for the past 18yrs. I made the decision to save my scalp hair over having a full manly beard. If I waited two years ti go grow full beard I would have been a nw4 instead of the nw2 I am now after all these years. Started fin as thick nw1 with slight diffusion but aggresive since all men in my family are nw7s

  18. 80% is a ridiculous number to bring up. Maybe a bigger concern is seeing that urologist. Been on fin for 3 years now. Saved me from further hair loss. And no side effects. Not saying side effects are not possible just research and give it a try before speaking negative about it. Play the stalling game until something better comes out.

  19. Does not make any difference whatsover. How many women are washing their hair the same amount of times, and using the same shampoos without losing their hair?
    Going bald and hair loss has zero to do with shampoos or washing your hair. I had perfect hair at 18 despite washing it a lot and having an itchy head constantly.
    Try the real things. Dont sweat washing your hair.

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