That’s right, cut down shampoo frequency to every other day (one day on, one day off). This tip is actually not that weird, shampooing with a lower frequency than daily has an “underground” following and is the first action I advise men to take when they come to me seeking better hair.
But, why would shampooing less be better than using shampoo daily?
Just like I explained to you in this introductory article, your scalp secretes a special type of oil called sebum which acts to coat your hair throughout. This sebum is great for strengthening the individual hair strands and is essential to keeping your hair shiny and looking healthy. Thing is, conventional shampoos contain a type of sulfate-based cleansing ingredient, most commonly sodium lauryl sulfate, which acts as a detergent and removes everything and anything off your hair, from bird excrements to your naturally produced sebum. So while the sebaceous glands in your scalp are working hard to secrete sebum to coat your hair, you are doing them a disfavor by using a product to remove the preciously secreted natural oil.
Not sold yet? This is me chilling out one morning as I documented how my hair dried. Two weeks of no shampoo in this pic, not bad huh?
Now, cutting down on shampoo frequency doesn’t mean that you must now stop bathing altogether and start calling yourself “Flower Child on a Rainbow Day”. Not at all.
Simply go about dropping shampoo frequency by skipping one shampoo day every second day and, on the day that you don’t shampoo, go about your usual bathroom and grooming routine excluding the shampoo: cleanse your hair with running water (instead of shampoo) and massage your scalp as you soak your mane with the running water. You can also use a conventional conditioner as a pseudo-shampoo since most conditioners act as mild detergents without incorporating the harsh sulfate-based ingredients of shampoos. Alternatively, you can use the juice of a squeezed lemon as a natural shampoo or even use diluted vinegar as 1 part vinegar to 2 parts water (just don’t get the stuff in your eyes!).
I have personally carried extensive testing on different frequencies of shampoo, having documented one of my experiments as I went a whopping 30 days using no shampoo nor any other hair products on my hair. I have some thick long curls and I also produce a hefty amount of sebum yet I found my hair to hold up, aesthetic and odour-wise, just fine by the end of the 30 day period. My friend David, from the Almost Bohemian blog, has gone even longer without shampoo, just over 150 days actually, and you could not tell he was skipping the stuff. For what is worth, David and I have social lives so rest assured that if going so long without shampoo had impeded our ability to be social, we’d have stopped the experiments and quite possibly not have even talked about it on our blogs!
As a rule of thumb, the curlier the hair (think Type V/kinky hair) the lower the shampoo frequency. In terms of length, the longer the hair, the lower the frequency of shampoo should be too, all other variables equal. I will be covering this topic at greater length but hold onto these 2 rules for now if you want to give dropping shampoo frequency a try. I recommend you to first start with a 1 on/1 off day-frequency and drop shampoo frequency by an extra day every 2 weeks until you find a noticeable benefit to your hair. Most dudes find somewhere between 1 on/1 off to once a week to be the ideal frequency, merely tweak it slowly as aforementioned to find your optimal frequency.
So there, start by cutting down your shampoo frequency to one day on/one day off instead of the usual daily frequency that us men have been brainwashed to follow and see for yourself the benefit that this one weird tip for better hair will bring to your locks. Tried and tested!
All the best.
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