February 24, 2008

How Often Do You Wash Your Hair?

NYT's Thursday Style Section has a rather erm, weird article called, Of Course I Washed My Hair Last Year (I'm Almost Certain). It basically describes a beauty phenomenon in which people don't wash their hair anymore, or at least more infrequently. The article has interview quotes from various people and the reason for not washing their hair include things like, it's more convenient and fun to get it washed and styled professionally once a week (obviously a girl,) or that oily hair has more shine and texture, and finally, shampoo is evil and is a part of the evil consumption plan. The writer also explains that 'textured locks and full hair' are now in vogue again (compared to straigtened hair,) and that dry shampoo sales are up.

The main reason why I called the article weird is because it is very one-sided. The whole article had two short paragraphs about scientists being sceptical about this. (I'm not a good writer myself, but I'm clearly a product of an education system that has brain-washed me into writing pros and cons for everything.) Anyways I want to say, first of all, the people who get their hair washed once a week must not have super oily hair because I know girls who wash their hair in the morning, and by night it already looks oily. By the next day, said girls would look like they've got 80's-era type of hairgel combed in. Secondly, isn't part of the reason we shampoo is to get rid of the dead skin cells that are already littered around in our hair, ie. dandruff? Unless you have white hair, dandruff is probably visible to anyone who is near you. And doesn't dandruff fall onto your black coats?

And there are other things that I don't get. For example, in the middle of the article, there is an interviewee who washes her hair every seven days. In between the days, she uses dry shampoo, blots and combs. And to her advantage, she can now get ready in 30 minutes instead of 2 hours of shampooing, drying and styling. Talk about extreme. I'm sorry but if you really thought taking 2 hours to get yourself ready is too long, couldn't you just shorten it?

Clearly, that interviewee has been out of universtiy life for too long. On the days that I do wash my hair, it takes me 30-40 mins to get ready (-This includes brushing my teeth, taking a shower (includes hairwash and facewash), applying body cream, throwing on jeans and tee, applying skincare products, styling my hair and putting on makeup.) And even I don't think I'm fast enough. Now don't get me wrong, I try not to wash my hair everyday because I really do think it prevents my hair from going dull. I have always been an every-other-day type of gal, (although I do sometimes wash the front/fringe bit everyday.) And on the days I don't leave home, I can go through a couple of days with dirty hair. Usually by the 3rd day, my mum tells me my hair smells and I should wash it, of which I ignore her until I have to actually go out. So hey, most people who know me well think I'm lazy about my hair-washing too, but even I think completely abadoning shampoo is not the way to go. I'm all for people washing their hair as frequently or infrequently as long as they don't smell.

Questions for you are, how often do YOU wash your hair? And what did you think about the whole not-washing-your-hair 'trend'? Opinions wanted!

121 Comments:

Blogger Secretista said...

Well, being that I'm black, I'm not supposed to wash my hair everyday, or I'd go bald. I wash my hair once a week because it can go a week without becoming disgusting. However, those who have stringy hair, I think skipping a day is A-okay; your hair sometimes needs the oil. More than a day, is kinda nasty.

2/24/2008 10:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wash it every other day when I leave it naturally curly, but when I straighten it I can go over a week without it looking dirty. Granted, I do not have oily hair or dandruff, but my hair gains a beautiful lustre and is easy to style.

2/24/2008 10:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I shampoo every second or (sometimes) third day. Too often and my hair feels dry. A week or more though without washing and I would just feel dirty.

2/24/2008 10:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wash my hair once everyday, and spend around 30 mins styling it. If i dont wash it everyday, I would feel so oily.

2/24/2008 10:35 AM  
Blogger jdbsusanna said...

Yeah, this article clearly didn't take into account the fact that people have different types of hair. Something that always bothers me about these articles in the Times is that they tend to be one-sided, and they always have a "cooler than thou" tone to them.
I wash my hair everyday. I like having clean hair, and I manage just fine with styling it, whatever all the stylists say!

2/24/2008 10:49 AM  
Blogger tabitha said...

yuck! i have to wash my hair everyday or it feels totally grouse and thick with grease and oil. I cant get away with one day of not washing it if i want a bit of shin, but any longer than that and it just looks yuck. It would defiantly depend on hair type

2/24/2008 11:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

every other day. i don't style it, but i find that i shed less. also i find that my hair isn't as dry when i wash it every other day. but if i go more than that without washing it, it gets oily.

2/24/2008 11:42 AM  
Anonymous Briana of College Fashion said...

I think we share a brain. I just wrote an article about the exact same thing with pretty much the exact same title yesterday. Bizarre!

How Often Should You Wash Your Hair? - College Fashion .Net

It's kind of an interesting topic - there are so many different opinions on it. I put a poll on my site, and so far most people said they wash their hair daily, but a few also voted that they wash their hair less than once a week!

Personally I'm jealous of those girls who can go so long without washing - those of us with greasy hair can barely make it more than 24 hours!

Anyway, rad post as always.

Much <3
Briana
College Fashion .Net

2/24/2008 11:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i wash my hair every other day, but i'm usually lazy and will stretch it a bit. i have thick straight hair so it doesn't get too oily, but I was always under the impression that the more you wash your hair, the more oil your scalp will produce to compensate for the drying caused by washing it...just like if you cleanse your face too aggressively, it can react by getting oilier.

2/24/2008 11:59 AM  
Blogger Jael Paris said...

This depends entirely on the person and their body. My friend washes her hair every day, sometimes twice, because it's so fine and oily. I have coarse, dry hair. When I washed everyday, it was a broken puff ball. Now I wash it every 3-4 days, and it's super shiny and healthy. Neither my friend nor I have problems with dandruff.

2/24/2008 12:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i wish i could wash it evry other day, but my hair is sooo oily that if i dont wash it for one day, it gets really stringy and gross looking. so i have to wash everyday

2/24/2008 12:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well normally I was my hair every three to four days but right now swim season is just starting so if I didn't wash my hair everyday it would be really gross. So anyway once swimming is over and I start going back to my normal routine I find that I can only go one day and then I need to wash it again. So I guess your hair just gets used not getting or not getting washed everyday.

So for all those people who don't think they can go for more than a day without washing your hair. I think maybe you could maybe try just washing it every other day and suffer through a little grossness until your scalp gets used to it and stops producing so much oil. I am not sure if it that is really how it works though.

2/24/2008 1:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have thin, fine hair, and at the moment it's quite long. If I don't wash it daily, it looks stringy, oily, and flat. I can get away with every other day when it's shorter and choppier. The only thing I can do with "second day hair" is throw it in a pony tail with it being long like it is.

2/24/2008 1:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wash it every morning, and if I do sport or whatever, which is every other day, then I'll wash it right after that too.

I don't mind that other people don't wash their hair everyday, as long as it doesn't stink up the room.

2/24/2008 1:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, see I swim or work out nearly every day, so if I didn't wash my hair it would a) smell like chlorine (which is not the most attractive smell in the world) or b) I'd have the greasiest scalp since gas station guys. But I have found that if I let my hair dry with chlorine in it, its pretty manageable. Also if I don't work out or anything and I skip a day or two, it won't totally kill me. I just feel blah about it. Also it only takes me maybe all of ten minutes on my hair in the morning after washing it and everything.

2/24/2008 2:09 PM  
Blogger Fashion's Darling said...

same here secretista! Since I'm black washing my hair every day or every other day would make me permanently bald! I have to wash every week or every two weeks. But by then end of the 2nd week its a MUST to wash my hair.

I don't understand why people wash their hair everyday? does it really get that oily (and I'm being serious...I don't have that problem nor does any of my friends so I honestly don't get it).

2/24/2008 3:19 PM  
Blogger ari said...

I can vouch for daily hair-washers. I've been trying dry shampoo (which is basically colored baby powder btw) for months to try to stretch out my washes to every other day, but my hair doesn't seem to be decreasing the oil output. I'm one of those unlucky girls who has greasy hair in the morning if she shampoos at night though. In fact because of the dry shampoo buildup, I have to use a harsher shampoo to get rid of the residue once a week... Plus, I stil have to put my hair back when I've used the dry shampoo, otherwise I look like the exxon Valdez paid my scalp a visit.

So yes, some of us have to wash our hair every day, regardless of trends.

2/24/2008 3:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wash my hair every third or fourth day. Any more often and it dries it out too much...any less and it gets oily gradually, but apparently I'm the only one that notices, lol

2/24/2008 3:42 PM  
Blogger Emily said...

I wash mine every other day but rinse it every day when I'm in the shower, to make it easier to style. I can probably leave it for 3 days if I have it tied up each day but at the moment I've been wearing it loose and straightened so it gets dirtier faster.

I do find though that if I wash it every day then it finds it harder to stretch to 2 days, but then after a bit it's fine - so I think you can 'train' your hair to get used to different frequencies of hair washing.

2/24/2008 5:06 PM  
Anonymous obfuscated said...

Last time when I didn't have dandruff problem, I wash my hair on alternate days. Now, I have to wash every day or the dandruff problem worsens.

2/24/2008 5:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

years ago i`d had to wash my hair every 2-3 days but since i´m on the pill it´s only every 5th-6th day! nice side effect! :-)

2/24/2008 6:02 PM  
Blogger Hejin said...

I wash my hair everyday, and usually twice a day on weekends, since I wash my hair before leaving the house and wash it again after returning. Can't stand having greasy hair that has accumulated all kinds of debris from outside! Plus, it's pretty humid here too.

2/24/2008 6:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

good point, it's a dirty world out there; i'm definitely not skipping my daily shampoo after reading this, even if i could. my scalp actually hurts if i don't shampoo every single day.

2/24/2008 7:42 PM  
Blogger A Girls Gotta Eat said...

I gotta agree with the majority of the people who don't wash their hair everyday. I'm one of them. I feel like my hair is healthier when I don't wash it all of the time. I feel like us Americans (in general) think MORE is better for everything. Supersize the fries = Better (but also more calories) Wash you hair more often = Better (but also more oils stripped away). Clean your hands with antibacterial ointment more often = Better/More clean (but their heavy use could also contribute to a whole new breed of hard-to-kill superbugs). So I think it is like all things, in moderation. Taking a day off from washing your hair can give your scalp a chance to relax and save some water. JMO.

PS Just for the record my sister has greasy hair and has to wash her hair much more often than I have to wash my dry, curly hair but she only washes it every other day.

2/24/2008 8:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i was told by my hair dresser tat overwashing your hair strips it of its naturall oils, so the scalp produces more oils which makes hair go extra oily, but she saiid once or even twice a week is good for your hair, plus it makes it easier to style if it hasn't been freshly washed.

2/24/2008 8:52 PM  
Anonymous Veronica said...

I wash my hair about twice a week, but my hair rarely gets greasy. It makes much more sense for me to not wash it that often, though, because my hair is hella long and takes a while to wash and dry. Also, I really don't care about what my hair feels like, so I'm not exactly a great example. For Christmas, I got my friend Bumble and bumble Hair Powder and she loves it - says it works very well.

2/24/2008 10:17 PM  
Blogger SneauxFlocken said...

Two hours to get ready if she washes her hair? Sheesh - that's excessive.

I have very straight, very fine hair that tends toward the oily camp. But I don't wash it everyday, otherwise it would be pure static electricity! I wash it every two to three days... depending how gross it gets. If I'm outdoors being active (and sweaty) obviously I wash it more often.

I do have to say that I'm not into the stringy, dirty, stinky look ala the Olsen Twins. They're beautiful girls, but they'd look better if they washed their hair.

Even when I wash my hair in the morning, it still only takes me about 20-30 minutes to get ready.

2/24/2008 10:45 PM  
OpenID Overpriced Designer Man Bag said...

I wash it every day, mainly because I use hair products.

2/25/2008 12:15 AM  
Blogger alis said...

i have very long hair - nearly down to my waist. it's not greasy, it's straight, and my sweat is naturally odour-free(lucky). so if anyone should be lazy about washing it, it's me. I had a friend in college who didn't wash her hair for a few days and said she had tricks such as applying baby powder and brushing her hair, but let me tell you, those tricks don'T work, it looks freaking greasy no matter what you do.

Washing every two days is probably clean enough + not stripping hair off it's natural oils completely, but I'll wash mine every day and be happy with the "oohhh you smell so nice" comments my boyfriend makes when I rest my head on his shoulder. I have mastered the art of blow-drying in 10 minutes so drying it isn't a problem.

ps: those ppl who don't wash their hair for a few days in a row must be zero work-out types.
ps2: if I'm at home alone being a couch potato, washing my hair CAN wait a few days.

2/25/2008 12:30 AM  
Blogger iñaki said...

I think Pete Doherty had to much of an effect on people's hair-washing routines. Personally, I realize that because my hair is very dry (and short, for I'm a guy) it is not good for it to be washed every day. So I assume washing habits really depend of the type of hair you have and the kind of products you use. But I seriously distrust those in favour of not washing their hair at least twice or three times a week.

xx

2/25/2008 1:39 AM  
Blogger The Stiletto Effect said...

I have to washed it every 2 days! If I let one more day pass I start feeling awful!

2/25/2008 2:57 AM  
Blogger treeesh said...

I wash my hair almost every day...usually I dont wash it if I stayed home all day.
Sometimes when I skip a day, my hair is actually nicer but I'm a germaphobe so I have to wash my hair on a daily basis.

2/25/2008 3:10 AM  
Blogger Anika said...

I was my hair everyday because I'm one of those girls whose day gets oily within hours. I'm blonde and have thin hair, so it looks just very obvious and nasty when I don't wash it.
On the weekend, I usually go two days without washing to give my hair a little rest.

2/25/2008 3:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

interesting topic!

my hair has a lot of broken strands/frizz since i'm not the most gentle with the hairbrush (something i'm working on!) so maybe i compensate in my washing routine to make up for that and straightening it once or twice a week.

i wash my hair and shower at night, since i like to let my hair air dry over night. when i straighten my hair the next morning on the days i feel like it, i usually skip a day of hair washing that night. i'll still shower, but just put it in a shower cap! it makes it easier the next morning just to do a quick touch up with the chi and it saves me time in the shower, time the next morning, and gives my chance to recuperate after i stripped it of oils from straightening. and you know, it actually looks better the next day - a little more shine, a little less frizz!

2/25/2008 3:41 AM  
Anonymous Anastasia said...

Okay, I'm propably the only one sa ying this. But I HATE washing my hair. I washit a couple times a week but not every day often only when it looks horrid and a little bit greasy. Mainly because i support global warming a lot and washing you hair takes up lots of water and because i hate getting all wet and wait till' youre hair dries and I have really long hair so it takes forever to dry. You may think I'm gross but I'm not i love taking baths and using perfumes but I hate washing my hair , thats that.
ps. Im a totally normal 15 year old girl.
Ciao

2/25/2008 3:50 AM  
Anonymous The Vom Squad said...

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2/25/2008 5:33 AM  
Blogger s. said...

oh how i wish i could wash my hair every other day, the texture is just so much better. unfortunately my hair does not cooperate and it gets greasy seconds after a shower, so an everyday wash is a MUST. I've been wanting to experiment with dry shampoo but I donno if that will be able to stand up to the grases explosion that happens in my hair...

2/25/2008 9:15 AM  
Blogger lucy said...

I just hope none of the people that go more than a day without washing their hair smoke, or spend much time with anyone that does! Otherwise their hair must stink.

I wash mine everyother day, and dry shampoo it on the days I don't wash it. I have very greasy hair and I'm only able to leave washing it to every two days as I have highlights - otherwise it would be every day for sure.

Also to the people saying "no one notices I don't wash it" - trust me people do. I have a close friend who really needs to wash her hair more often, and it is extremely noticable!

2/25/2008 10:57 AM  
Blogger Knikki said...

I heard the dry shampoo was pretty good. Never tried it.

But I wash my hair everyday because I feel gross when I wake up in the morning. A shower and a nice lather gets me going and it's easier to "style" my hair if I can blow dry.

<3 Knikki

2/25/2008 11:37 AM  
Anonymous Audrey said...

well, I usually wash my hair every other day. But once, I went through five days without washing my hair because I just had a perm. I was planning to leave it unwashed for a week, but by the fifth day I just couldn't take it anymore. I dunno how these people, in the article, could go as far as a decade without washing their hair.

2/25/2008 12:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have average-thickness, mostly straight dark hair. On the days I don't wash it, i feel like it just looks kind of limp, and if i wait 2 days it's just greasy looking! Besides, i don't even blow-dry it, i just let it air-dry as i get ready and go to my first class (7:30 am!). i use brilliant brunette conditioner, and i feel like every day it makes my hair shiny and not at all dry!

2/25/2008 12:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i have to wash my hair every other day because somehow my hair is prone to the scent around my surroundings. for an example, i was unfortunately was walking behind a group of smokers the other day. for the rest of that day, my hair smelled like smoke, and i absolutely HATE the smell of smoke.

2/25/2008 1:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ABSOLUTELY EVERY SINGLE DAY. Unless for some reason I'm not planning to be seen in public at all. I'm one of those people who 24 hrs after a shampoo looks like I've got 80s-era hair gel combed in, UGHHH! So absolutely must be washed every single day.

I'd really like to hear more about this dry shampoo stuff though... I have bangs so yeah, those get oily by the end of the day... perhaps dry shampoo would be helpful for touch-ups.

2/25/2008 2:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wash my hair once a week coz its very dry.. But it doesn't smell or anything! I don't think its unhygienic, it just depends on your hairtype

2/25/2008 8:09 PM  
Anonymous Kate said...

I wash my hair everyday because I like the whole clean feeling. If I go more than a day, I start feeling icky and then I get in a terrible mood because I hate feeling that way. So I wash my hair every morning even if it is a bother and a waste of water.

2/25/2008 10:37 PM  
Blogger Missy Pearl said...

it's a must for me to wash my hair everyday.
i can't even stand not washing my hair even though i'm just rotting at home.

the ideal of not washing my hair just makes me feels dirty and i wouldn't lay on my bed with the thought of dirty hair. (dirty hair = dirty pillow = germs and bacterias = dirty face = dirty skin = acne breakouts)

2/26/2008 2:10 AM  
Blogger Cassidy Jayne said...

I make a point to shampoo and condition my hair every morning, way way early before work. If I am home and dont plan on going anywhere, or I wake up and my hair happened to keep its straightness correctly all night... I don't mind missing A day. More than one is gross, to me anyway.

2/26/2008 3:20 AM  
Anonymous Randelle said...

I'm African American, and I get my hair washed once every two weeks at a salon. I really don't manipulate my hair or put too much product in it other than a light oil to keep in moisturized (black hair needs lots of moisture), so it still looks nice and healthy. And I love big hair.

If I wash at home, I rarely use shampoo. Just a good moisturizing conditioner, because shampoo can be very harsh and cause my hair to look crappy. Dry shampoo works well when I want to keep my twists neat.

And it takes me two hours to wash and style my hair (sometimes more!).

2/26/2008 4:18 AM  
Blogger GeezLouise! said...

I find that I can leave my hair for 3 days before I need to wash it again, however it depends on how much product I have to use for straightening etc. I have heard of people though that can leave their hair and never wash it - but it takes awhile to get to that point.

2/26/2008 6:27 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Do the people who do not wash their hair everyday still shower every day?

2/26/2008 8:04 AM  
Blogger Emily said...

I wash my hair most days. I have very fine hair and not much of it, so on days when I don't wash it, my hair imitates limp noodles. And after working out, shampooing my hair is a must! Maybe the girls in the article don't get sweaty when they work out, but unfortunately, I'm not so lucky. Even though all I hear is that washing your hair every day is not healthy for it, I don't think I'll be able to change my ways!

2/26/2008 10:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I actually don't sweat all that much when I workout unless I run so I don't need to wash my hair but I still shower everyday with a shower cap and some days I let my hair get wet in the shower but I don't wash it.

2/26/2008 11:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm in the group that washes her hair every 3 days... I have natural wavy/curly hair... and if i wash it everyday or every other day it feels really dray, and starts producing more oil. Also, i avoid putting so many products on my hair by only doing it when i wash it.

2/26/2008 1:15 PM  
Blogger Chaely said...

Occasionally I'll wash every day, but it's usually somewhere around every 2-3 days. Sometimes 4 if I can get away with wearing a messy ponytail on the last day (like if it's the weekend and I don't have anyone to look good for). When I wear it curly it really does look better after the second or third day.

2/27/2008 1:15 AM  
Blogger encantadora said...

Actually, if you just shake a small amount of baby powder into hair that normally is washed daily, it removes extra oil. Your hair will balance out once you get into a regular no-daily-washing regime.

2/27/2008 2:22 AM  
Blogger Mary Anna said...

I've got baby-fine, naturally blonde hair, that is currently colored a rich espresso brown. If I don't highlight or color my hair every couple of months, it becomes limp and lifeless.

Having said that, it is a must that I wash my hair daily, sometimes twice daily (if I'm going out in the evening). I have incredibly oily hair (and oily skin), which only contributes to the oil in my hair. I look homeless if I skip a day of hair-washing.

And believe me, I've tried to program my hair to washing it only 2 or 3 times a week---it doesn't work. My hair never regulates---just looks oilier and stinkier.

How much you wash totally depends on your own personal hair. Don't let anyone tell you not to wash or you're washing too much/too little. They don't have to wear it all day long.

2/27/2008 2:30 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

I shampoo my hair every month. I condition it every week. And I rinse it with water if it gets sweaty in between then.

There is a difference between "washing" and "shampooing", you can wash your hair with water, dry shampoo, conditioner only, baking soda, soap or shampoo. A variety of those things can remove grease, sweat and dirt without stripping your hair. However every once and a while a deep shampooing is required!

I love the Olsen twins piecy hair look. Lots of times if you spread the oils in your hair out so they aren't concentrated at your scalp, the oil just looks and acts like styling products.

I don't assume this works for everyone, but I think it does work for some people. Rock it!

2/27/2008 3:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everytime hair is washed, oil is stripped from it. The more often one washes her/his hair, the harder the oil glands would work to replace the oil.

I used to HAVE TO wash daily. Now I wash hair about twice a week. Initially it took some time for my oil glands to get used to not have to work overtime to moisturize my hair on a daily basis.

Also, there should be no brand loyalty when it comes to shampoo and conditioner. I change brand every time I need to buy a new bottle.

2/27/2008 3:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

regarding what barbara said:


Barbara said...

Do the people who do not wash their hair everyday still shower every day?

2/26/2008 12:04 AM




.........Yes, I still shower everyday, sometimes twice a day. I usually wear a cute little shower cap in the shower/bath, and avoid getting my head wet, obviously. I wash my hair every 3 days because it's very thick, and I have a TON of hair that would be sooooo annoying to wash every single day. Luckily my hair doesn't look dirty at all,even on the 3rd day :-P

2/27/2008 10:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Every other day. I have long, thin blonde hair, and it dries out easily and also gets oily too. Dehidrated hair. So relieving to read that I'm not the only one who sometimes still needs to wash the front part only because it gets oily by the time you wake up everyday. I tried to wash it every day but my hair became dull and shapeless.
And yes, I shower every day, if I go to work-out than maybe twice, inc. hairwash.

2/27/2008 6:52 PM  
Blogger Meghan Byrnes said...

I love this topic... it keeps coming up lately.

I'll admit it. Yes, I am lazy, and yes, I am a bit of what one might describe as a hippie. I once had dreadlocks, which, counter to popular opinion, are VERY washable. In fact, I washed them everyday for 2 years and had the tightest dreads around.

However, since that time I have re-grown my naturally slightly wavy/straight hair past my waist, and I wash it very infrequently. I'd say maybe once or twice a week. But more like once :) My hair doesn't smell (WTF?), but I do low-impact exercise and don't produce a whole lot of scalp sweat.

However, by the second day after washing you can tell my hair is not squeaky clean. My solution? DRY SHAMPOO. I just use arrowroot or whole wheat flour. Works great for light colored hair (blonde to light brown), and makes my hair fuller and easier to style. I love it... soaks the grease right up. Just sprinkle it all around your hair/scalp and brush it out (over the tub or you'll make a mess!)

BUT... by day 4 or 5 I have to admit, my scalp feels a bit itchy/dirty, and I know it's time to wash. But do you people know how long it takes to wash waist-length hair with a low-flow shower-head? A long time. But even if it was super fast I'd still use dry shampoo. :)

2/28/2008 1:18 AM  
Blogger Meghan Byrnes said...

Oh, and no, I don't usually shower everyday. I don't think that it's good for the skin to do so. I do wash my face everyday, but washing my body is more like every other day, depending on how active I've been, the season, etc. I did say I was a bit of a hippie, didn't I? :) But a fabulously stylin' one, if I do say so myself. And despite what you're thinking, I don't smell! There are wonderful inventions called anti-perspirant and deodorant that help with that. :)

2/28/2008 1:27 AM  
Anonymous A said...

Hey, I have thick shoulder length hair and I wash it every other day to every third day- depending on whether I've been to the gym or not or whether I've been to the beach- cos salt+sun is super bad for hair.
However, until the beginning of this summer my hair was down to my waist and I'd wash it like once a week, but never leave it more than that because I have a sensitive scalp and it would just feel incredibly itchy.
Oh and I do shower every single day- it's just gross not doing that.

2/28/2008 7:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Woah! I found someone else like me >.< I'm lazy about washing my hair too but i DO wash it every other day...unless, of course, I have tons of work, in which case I fall into the has-not-washed-hair-for-3-days.

2/28/2008 10:29 AM  
Anonymous melissa said...

just reading this makes my head itch! I HAVE to wash my hair every day... or I don't feel completely clean. I have short hair, though. (kind of old halle berry style) No blow drying needed. I can "do" my hair in about 30 seconds.
But, yes, everyone has different types of hair and tolerances!

2/29/2008 3:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i don't get those people who doesn't wash their hair everyday, especially if they have long hair, AND the greasy kind, wouldn't they smell even if they showered without shampoo-ing?

Of course, they can't smell their own stench, but others can!

2/29/2008 3:06 PM  
Blogger - Christina F. Baby said...

Well I am mixed and my hair is naturally curly. When I leave it curly, I wash it every other day. When I straighten it, I can go a week and sometimes longer without any grease, dandruff, or anything gross like that. It actually seems like the longer I leave it; the better it looks!

But recently, I chemically relaxed my hair. Big mistake :(. It cuts down the time it takes to straighten it, but now my scalp is super dry and if I don't wash it frequently it gets flakey, so so sad :(

3/01/2008 4:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am usually a fan of this blog, but I think your post is as close-minded as the author of the NYT piece. I wash my hair daily out of personal preference.

It can take me up to two hours to shower and style my hair if I wear it straight. My hair is naturally coarse and wavy and I do this look 3-4 times a week. However, I think my hair looks much better -- and I get many more compliments -- when worn straight. It also looks more professional for me, especially on days when I have to be in courtrooms for work. I imagine the woman in the article whose hair takes as long prefers the style one way or the other, too.

Point being, not everyone is in college like you and perhaps wants the styled look that takes longer.

3/01/2008 4:02 PM  
Anonymous Tina said...

I wash my hair every-other-day, and on weekends, if I don't go out, I can wash it after two days. I don't have very oily hair yet, and it's on the thinner side, but I think, unless you have super-greasy hair, you should not wash and blowdry it every day, because it is unneccessary. Also, my hairdresser told me that if your hair is not that oily, washing it daily will make it dry and unhealthy.
I found the article a bit ridiculous, but then again every person has their own hair type and tolerance.whm

3/02/2008 2:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Harrods Girl, this is a silly and close-minded post. Everyone's hair is different, so what work's for you may not work for the next, and vice versa.

W/that said, I have extremely thick hair (and a lot of it)! What works best for me is washing my hair twice a week, one of those washes followed with a vinegar and H2O solution (makes it shiny). Now I wouldn't expect this to work for everyone, but for my hair this is what does the trick.

How about some faith that most women (especially those featured in the NYTimes) know what works best for their own hair?

3/02/2008 3:09 AM  
Blogger M. said...

Wow, this topic is always good for bringing the lurkers out! :)

I usually wash every other day, and occasionally go three days if I can stand it. I have poufy, coarse, and curly hair and washing it daily doesn't do it any favors. I also style it straight, which takes a toll as well.

There are a lot of products out there to help with "smell", if it's a problem for some people. I use a dry shampoo occasionally and a refresher spritz from Ojon that is fabulous. It's usually not a problem, in my experience.

And yes, I still shower every day even if I don't wash my hair. Sometimes I'll even get my hair wet or put a conditioner in! I just avoid shampoo when I can.

3/02/2008 11:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, I just feel like pointing out, MK&A didn't invent greasy hair. It was popularized by the grungers of the early 90's.
Grunge is so rad! Although I'm talking more about the music, but I like the style, too.
Also, why do you guys have Jezebel listed as fave blogs? I didn't know you were feminists, as a boner-killing feminazi, myself.
PixiesGrrl.

3/12/2008 1:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi

I am an african american female and I just wanted to add that i only wash my hair once a week. My scalp doesnt get oil so i dont find a need to wash it so often. However, I noticed that other females like my self on this site posted that if blacks wash their hair everyday it they would go bald. This is a myth and i dont want others beliving this lie. I do know some black women who wash their hair everyday and they have hair thats very long and nice. Its a personaly choice. I dont wash it everyday cause i dont find i need to but i just had to let everyone know so they wont going around beliving this false fact. Also as alternative to shampooing drying out hair some girls i know just cowash which means jsut washing their hair with conditioner instead of shampoo to keep their hair soft and easy to manage. I mean they do use shampoo but just not everydy.

3/12/2008 10:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wash my hair about every 3 days, sometimes more often because of my job. I work at a restaurant and, anybody who has ever done the same, knows how greasy a kitchen can be-even in the air in the kitchen. But typically, I can get t2-3 days out of my hair, but I also have really course hair, so if I let the oils build up just a little at the roots, my hair is just starting to look gooood. ;)

3/14/2008 1:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wash my hair every 2 to 3 days.
I blow- dry it as well, if i just leave it to air-dry it goes limp and horrible.
If i leave my hair longer than 3 days it goes really greasy and stringy and horrible.
Sometimes during holidays i do leave it longer, if i'm staying in or not meeting with any of my friends.

3/16/2008 4:54 PM  
Blogger Gabriella said...

I can go more than 2 days wout washing my hair, but I choose t wash it evry ther day xcept Friday and Saturday, and it's soft, ahiny and still smells like I just washed it yesterday. It really depends on your hair type. Once, I washed my hair every day for 2 weeks as an experiment to see what would happen, and it got so dry that I felt like half of every strand would break off. I have a unique hair texture because I'm 9 dfferent ethnicities.

3/20/2008 3:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to wash my hair once a week, which was fine because I was working in dirty areas, and my hair was always up. The natural oils in my hair helped keep my hair up. I also have crazy thick waist length hair(Hispanic, Native American and Welsh.), so I could just brush the oils through the entire length.

Now, since I have my hair down more and more I tend to wash it every 3-5 days depending on how often I brush it in between. I prefer not having the top of my head looking oily and not having a lot of a motion, so depending on when that happens during the week is when I wash it.

3/23/2008 3:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have extremely fine hair, and I can go...oh, about 1 1/2 days without washing it.
Which is not practical because I'm in school currently.

So I wash it every morning, and most weekends I'll wash it Friday morning, then again Saturday night or Sunday morning.

Also, I'm on a swim team during the summer, and we have practices every morning. I can't even run a wide-tooth comb through my hair after it's been "chlorinated". I wash my hair after I get home.

Even my sister agrees that I have to wash my hair every day. :D

I really like my fine, blond hair, but it gets oily easily.

(p.s. Everyone out there who can get away with 3 or 4 days, luuucky!)

5/02/2008 9:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my hair is very, very, very thick (wavy)but i wash it about 4-5 day's and style with the straitiner once after washing it and it stayes like that all nice and shinny becouse its so thick i guess you first have to see wath kind of hair you have (if thin or thick oily or dry) than maybe ask the hairdresser how much u should wash it!
i know for a fact that it NOT healthy to wash it everyday.

6/19/2008 10:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My hair sucks no matter what, but it's not as bad if I wash it every 2 or 3 days. I deal with an insane amount of frizz and dryness :(

6/30/2008 3:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do what feels right to you. I have semi-thick naturally curly hair. Sometimes I leave it curly, sometimes I straighten it. Sometimes I wash it at night and let it air dry, sometimes I wash it in the morning and take a half an hour to blow dry and straighten it. Regardless, I wash it when it feels or looks greasy. Personally for me, that's usually about every 3 days. But for everyone it's different. A lot of my friends wash it every day and have perfectly healthy hair. If I did that, my hair would be dry and so would by skin.
When I'm active I usually just completely wash it. But rinsing it of the sweat and just restyling it doesn't sound like a bad idea to me, I'll have to try it.
As for washing my body, I'd say depending on the season and what I did that day I'll wash it or not. But depending on your skin it could be better for you not to wash that every day either. Natural oils are so good and healthy for your body. Let them do some of the work!
*Every time I go to the hair salon I get complimented on how healthy my hair is. I believe it's because I don't over damage it by washing and blow drying and straightening it every single day.

8/05/2008 12:27 PM  
Blogger Elena said...

I read the article in hopes to get a better understanding of how often I should be washing my hair but it just made me question my routine even more. I work and go to graduate school so I tend to wash and style my hair one day and the next, I will put it up so I don't feel as though it is too greasy or flat. Plus, putting it up saves a good amount of time. I also noticed that washing my hair on a daily basis only leads to more hair loss (unpleasant for a 24 year old). I just wish I could wash it everyday so there would be no need to put my hair up every other day and be somewhat self-conscious.

10/10/2008 3:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i try to go a couple days at a time with out washing my hair, for two reasons , 1 i dont want my hair to be stripped of its natural oils, and 2 i dont want my hair to become dependent on it, i have a sister who use to wash her hair everyday like it was a religion, and now she CANT go a day with out washing it or she'll look like she dumped a bottle of cooking oil into it, its gross, but her hair stylist told her recently to use a clear shampoo, because its lighter or somehting, and she says it works,

11/21/2008 5:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

im black and wash my hair everyday, it is only a myth that nappy hair should go a week w/o washing. moisture is great for hair of any type. washing everyday isnt necessary depending on your routine. if your hair is dirty or just plain dry, wash it. simple as that.

11/24/2008 12:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

READ THIS

Okay girls, I used to wash my hair everyday. I read this article and kept seeing things on tv about if you must wash your hair everyday do NOT use shampoo. So I was like "how do you wash your hair without shampoo???" and it turns out you can wash it with conditioner. And i was super skeptical because i had greasy roots and dry ends. But if you rub the condition in your hair like shampoo and rinse, the extra oil will rinse out with the conditioner and without completely stripping the hair of oil. I have been doing this for two weeks now and my skelp has calmed down dramatically and i don't even need to wash with conditioner everyday now. I would never have gone a day without washing before. and my hair looks fabulous and my frizz problems are pretty much all gone.

11/27/2008 1:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I work out everyday therefore, I wash my hair every day. I'm pretty sure most celebs do too. Or at least i would hope to get the types of bodies they have they do. I don't see how they can go to the gym, come back and not wash the sweat out of their hair.

12/11/2008 5:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

okay so.
i have extremely curly hair. its like an afro is i don't straigten it. but even if i do its still really puffy. and i hate puffy hair. so to get it non-puffy i go without washing it for well until its really greasy (technically, when i pull my hair back to tie a ponytail and even without using a hairband it stays. but the thing is i wash myself. just not my hair.
so its not like im disgusting, and dirt is allover my body. but when i do wash my hair its like the dandruff had like sex and created babies.and i honestly don't know what to do. and then i had a sudden outbreak of pimples near the hairline on my forhead. and it was weird cuz my face is always clear, my dermatologist said that my facial skin had the right amount of evryting which would make it impossible for me to get a lot of pimples at once or dry skin. my sister said that it was because i didn't wash my hair. and at the moment im confuzed. i wash my hair: it gets curly more heat mor split ends, more dandruff, dry sclap, etc i dont wash my hair: greasy, stringy, stays straight. so i honestly have no idea what to do??

12/28/2008 12:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i have dry hair and i wash my hair from 1/2 weeks to 2 weeks

1/12/2009 10:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate this article...
1. People have Different hair types and must treat it so.
2. Those of use who do not wash our hair (me being one of them since i am black and Hispanic) DO SHOWER DAILY!
3. and we use a shower cap or such...thank you.
There are some that can get dressed and ready under 30 mins (Washed hair and clothed included) but for me because my hair is delicate and curly it takes me longer we(ethnic races) do a thing called deep conditioning ladies. So that takes 10-20 mins and the blow drying and styling(Depending if you go natural or straight. I went through elem. and middle school with all the white kids thinking i was dirty because i didn't was my hair every day and when it was straighten they thought it was fake.....BE OPEN MINDED PEOPLE!!!

1/17/2009 9:21 AM  
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have straight, fine, blonde hair. I used to do the whole 'lather-rise-repeat' thing because my hair was just so greasy I really thought it was necessary (I also used to use a harsh shampoo to make my hair really clean). I've been gradually cutting back on my shampoos and now I use a much gentler product.
I have DEFINITELY noticed a change in how much oil my scalp produces (WAY LESS).

On an off day, I still rinse my hair. This is important. Think about it this way: when you have really dirty hands, a lot of the dust/dirt comes off by just rubbing them together under running water. This is also true for your hair. I rinse my hair everyday when I take a shower, using the same hand motions as normal when lathering shampoo. This rinses most of the dust, debris, and dead skin away (and it keeps your scalp from getting smelly).
Rinsing works the best for me, even if I've just worked out and am super sweaty.
When I do need to shampoo, I only lather on the crown of my head. This is the place that gets noticeably oily. As the shampoo lather is rinsed out with water, it slides down thru the rest of the hair, thereby gently cleaning.

It's important to still use conditioner (avoiding the root area) because the hair shaft absorbs water and swells up. As the hair dries, the water is pulled out of the shaft, but it takes some of the moisture that was there before with it. So this means if you get your hair wet, it will dry and have less moisture than before.

I also find that I can use less styling product because some of it lingers on my ends since I don't actively shampoo there (I use a smoothing serum).

Believe me, my hair was that nasssty greasy stuff before (it was obvious if I skipped a day), but after cutting back gradually I now have wayyy better hair! It's cheaper, better for the environment, and makes my color last longer. Also, it's way easier to style off day hair instead of squeaky clean stuff (notice how if you get an updo by a stylist they will sometimes spray texturizer? This is a fancy substitute for dirtyish hair)

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9/25/2009 5:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to be a daily washer, but have transitioned to twice a week or so on the advice of my stylist. At first my hair was a little greasier, but now I can go three or four days without a problem. I like it too because every day it looks slightly different. I have naturally curly hair and washing less seems to keep it in better condition. On days when I want to wet it, I'll just rinse or use conditioner. But most days I just tuck it up so it doesn't get wet when I take a shower.

10/21/2009 9:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heh - I found this blog after I google "how often do you wash your hair?". - I just watched "What not te Wear", and the stylist told the makeover victim to shampoo only once a week (rinse hair in between shampoos). - I was shocked! - I think I will try it though, because my hair is really dry and frizzy , but I have noticed that it is not so dry when I don't have time to wash it as often. BUT! - I don't want my hair to smell like HAIR! - wonder if there is a shampoo smelling spray I can spray on it - does anyone know?

11/25/2009 7:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is possible that the woman who takes two hours to wash and style her hair has curly hair. If you straighten you hair it does take that long to wash and style(if you're lucky), so washing everyday isn't an option unless you have no life outside of grooming yourself. I wash and straighten my hair twice a week and it saves me a ton of time.

12/26/2009 3:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wash my hair every 2 to 3 day thats what my hair dresser suggest. Unless I have style product in it I don't like that siting in my hair or when I work out and get a good sweat.

1/06/2010 4:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i wash my hair when it starts to go greasy. there is no need to was your hair every day if it doesnt need washing. so i usually go 2-3 days before it starts to go greasy. i dont see how people can go around with there hair so greasy i know some peoples hair looks naturaly greasy and i feel for hem because i no they dont like it.

1/08/2010 4:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am also African American.

I get my hair washed once every 2 weeks at the salon also. I used to get it washed once a week. But sadly the economy is going bad and money is tight. It save's me more money though.

I have to have good moistured hair. So the longer i go without the better. 2 weeks limit though.

-Destiny

1/31/2010 4:15 PM  
Anonymous Term Papers said...

I wash my hair once everyday, and spend around 30 mins styling it. If i dont wash it everyday, I would feel so oily.

2/12/2010 1:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No one needs to wash there hair everyday unless there terriably sweaty or swim!!! If you have oily hair or even really oily hair, you can adjust. If you want to say wash your hair every other day just do it for a month or two and your scalp will stop producing so much oil!!! I did it and it works!!! There is a science to it!!! You can also do the samething for once a week except I recommend doing it gradually. Like wash it every other day untill your scalp adjusts (usually takes a month but if you brush it with a boar bristle brush and tie it up no one will notice) and then try it every three days till it adjust and so on ... it works im in the process of doing it now ... so unless you get really sweaty or swim everyday YOU DON'T need to wash your hair everyday!!! So no more 'my hair is super oily' excuses. Its super oily coz you wash it to much, its called science!!!

3/04/2010 7:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wash once a week, but it took a very long time for my hair to get used to this without being gross. I have fine straight hair. The first night I wash & put it in braids W/ a little gel & go to bed. Then for a couple of days I have cute curly hair Then it gets wavy & then its straight & thick (w/a little wave) & by the last day I may add a little conditioner to the ends (knowing Im gonna wash it out that evening.) The trick is to do alot of evening brushing with one of those old fashioned type brushes after bout the 2nd (not one with prongs)even though it makes your hair a little frizzy, the frizzynes goes away by morning. It looks nice & different at every stage of the week with out me having to do much. & even if your using hairspray (which dries your hair)the not washing kind of counteracts the drying effect. I finally learned that the older generation was right, its not gross. Another trick is to use clips and a cleverly placed shower cap & wash just your hairline (if your worried bout zits or you use alot of product there.

3/04/2010 11:49 PM  
Blogger Debziie said...

My hair is pretty healthy,
I wash my hair every night otherwise it will go extremely greasy and spend about 1h 20 mins shampooing & conditioning it ( i have very long hair )

3/11/2010 5:05 AM  
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7/15/2010 7:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think this article is shortsighted. When shampooing your hair, you strip the scalp of its natural oils. The scalp reacts by going into overdrive and producing more oils. Thus why your friend would have really oily hair by the end of the day even after shampooing in the morning. It's going to be overtly oily for a week or two. Depends on the person. After your scalp has recovered it stops overproducing the oils because they're not getting stripped away everyday. Not sure how often you should shampoo, but it's not everyday. You're abusing your scalp.

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10/08/2010 8:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shampooing your hair and conditions too every other day is great. U may opt not to wash it the next day even makes it look better. I am an everyday-wash-hair woman and luckily i dont have any hair smell if i dont wash but i have observed some situations like i had just been treated (hair) from a salon i.e. put a keratin and my stylist would advise me not to wash it for almost 2 days, voila! it looks really great and still smells good to. So i beleive it's a case to case basis on what ur scalp/hair type is, but definitely overusing your products really contributes to such hair tragedy. I think im gonna try not washing it everyday and if it continues to be good in every aspect? then definitely, im on for every other day hair washing only!:))

7/19/2011 9:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i wash my hair once a week, and i can guarantee you that my hair has not looked this way in years, my hair feels much healthier... i'm hispanic, wavy hair and my hair is supper thick. i find thistechnique very helpful, i've been doing it for 3 months, i usually wash it on fridays for the weekend. in my opinion i think we all should let our hair rest once in a while i have this thing when i don't use a hair dryer, hot tools for three months, wash it every week, and i only colored my hair 3-4 times a year:)

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11/02/2011 7:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In my teens and early twenties, I washed my hair every other day because I thought it would be dirty not to. But since I have been in my thirties, I have started washing my hair once a week, and it feels much healthier. It still looks its best (very shiny) right after it has been washed and by the end of the cycle it does start looking dirty, but I find that if I wash it more frequently now it will look limp and dry. I think once a week is actually better for your hair--but, of course, as everyone else has noted, it depends on your skin and hair type.

12/05/2011 2:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

2 hours to wash/dry/style hair might seem rediculous to you but for us non white folks it's a reality we have put up with. And my hair is should length, any shorter and it just looks bad. Trust me I'd love for it to not take forever.

12/09/2011 11:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know what to believe except my hair would be healthier if I didn't wash it every single day.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think there is a distinct difference between shampooing your hair and showering. You don't have to shampoo every time you shower. You can put your hair in a shower cap OR you can just wet it and not shampoo. That way you still have good hygiene, but your hair is healthy too. I think a lot of people are getting these two things mixed up, and are wrongly believing that if you don't wash your hair, you are dirty and gross.

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