William Shakespeare's Hamlet has long been one of the most popular plays written by the celebrated bard. In one particular scene, Prince Hamlet opens with a soliloquy in which he utters the famous words, “to be or not to be, that is the question”. As a very popular hair salon in Salt Lake City, we want to offer a similar phrase: to shampoo or not to shampoo, that is our question.
It has long been known that shampoos and conditioners can have a devastating effect on hair when used too frequently. This is especially true with synthetic products that do not tend to treat hair very nicely. But even products marketed as being 'all natural' can still be harmful to hair. One of the questions we frequently hear from clients is one of how often they should shampoo.
In the generation of our mothers and grandmothers, women were more likely to shampoo only once a week or even once a month. They would wear a bathing cap in the shower to protect their hair from the daily cleaning ritual. They would also visit the salon once a week for a little bit of touch-up. Though we may view going so long without shampooing as a bit eccentric or even unhealthy, it turns out that the hair worn by our mothers and grandmothers was actually quite healthy.
Your Hair Needs Oil
It is amazing when you stop and consider how well the human body naturally cares for itself if we just leave it alone. Hair is no exception. Every person's hair requires an ample supply of natural oils to keep it healthy and looking good. And guess what? The body produces those oils by itself. The problem with shampoo and conditioner is that they interrupt the balance of oils that nature has already worked out to perfection.
Shampoo washes out the oil every time it is applied. We then use conditioner to try to make up for it, but conditioner inhibits the natural oils we have washed out from being replaced. Daily shampooing and conditioning creates an unnatural cycle that can result in weak, brittle hair with no shine and significantly less color.
So the question becomes, “how often should I shampoo and condition?” There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the dilemma. However, we can say that going several weeks between washes is not going to hurt anything. It may not help your particular style, but failing to wash your hair every single day will certainly not harm it.
In 2012, Huffington Post contributor and multimedia editor Amber Genuske wrote an article detailing her experience of going five weeks without a shampoo while visiting Kosovo. Much to her surprise, Genuske noticed upon her return to the U.S. that her hair was healthier and more shiny. She repeated the experience in subsequent travels and discovered that not washing her hair every single day improved its appearance and feel. She now shampoos only once a week under normal conditions, sometimes twice a week if necessary.
Genuske's experience is not unique. There are still some ladies today who will only shampoo on a monthly basis. We see them from time. It has been our experience that the weekly shampoo is more normal among those ladies who choose not to wash hair every day. In either case, we can see the results ourselves.
Curl Co. is a well-known and leading hair salon in Salt Lake City. One of our stylists would be more than happy to consult with you about shampooing and conditioning when you come in to see us. Do not be afraid to ask.
1. Huffington Post – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/amber-genuske/hair-without-shampoo-not-shampooing_b_1569273.html