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How Often Do I Need to Shampoo?

Maybe not as often as you think, dermatologists and stylists say.

How to Go Longer Between Washes continued...

“Powders actually do work to absorb oil, so it doesn’t sit on the scalp as much,” Lamb says.

“If you still need to style, leave-in conditioners can help. You can also re-wet your hair and condition it more often, too,” Lamb says. This is sometimes called "co-poo" for using conditioner to shampoo.

For the most part, it’s somewhat of a personal preference for just how clean they want their strands to be.

“Everyone has a different threshold for how oily or texturized they want their hair to feel,” Webb says. “I tell people, ‘Sweat is like salt, right?’ You’re getting texture, some of which is totally natural and you can get away with it, but that is also the beauty of dry shampoo. It freshens, and gives you a burst of volume at the roots.”

To re-energize your style, Webb says to spray dry shampoo where oil and dirt tend to accumulate: roots only. Spray at the hairline and nape of the neck, and then lift and spritz small sections of hair. “Spray about 3 to 4 inches from your head,” she says.

You can also use dry shampoo as a sort of preventive step. “I’ll have my stylists use it on a perfectly fresh blowout for lift,” she says. “You can also spray before you go to bed, and it will absorb some of the excess oil overnight. It’s like being proactive about preserving your style.”

So how do you know when it’s time to shampoo?

“If it’s Day Five and your style is falling apart, wash,” Webb says. “Otherwise, do something fun to change it up. Part your hair in a different place, go for a side braid, go for a bun. Use dry shampoo. If you can camouflage, great, and often you get the most compliments when you do something different.”

The Trend and the Stigma

In recent years, it has become trendier to let hair go longer without shampooing, with more and more people going a week or more between washes.

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