Okay. I'll be the first to admit that I have committed the cardinal curly sin: For years, I have been washing my natural hair with shampoo every 2-3 days.
Sometimes I've even shampooed it GASP every single day.
When I told this to my stylist, she immediately retorted, "You can't do that to your hair, G!" Of course, being the hard-headed rebel I am, I said thought to myself, "Well, my hair and scalp are in prime shape, so I don't know watchoo talkin' about, fam."
But even though a mule has nothing on my stubbornness, I knew that my stylist must be right... right? I mean, she's the professional, not me. However, I'm also a skeptic who theorizes that since every head of curls is entirely different, that it must be okay to wash my coils every day.
Well, I have heard a multitude of things from cosmetologists, brand owners, at-home-kitchen-DIYers, and even my NaturallyCurly colleagues, but I'm still confused!
Can I, or can I not, wash my natural hair more than once a week?
To obtain further insights, I reached out to curly hair stylists and salon professionals for their expertise. Here is what they told me about washing natural hair and curls on a frequent basis:
There are no set-in-stone rules.
There really isn't a RULE about shampoo frequency for any hair type.” - Sam Villa, Stylist at Lunatic Fringe Salon (Nashville)
According to Sam Villa, the world-renowned co-Founder of Sam Villa and the Global Artistic Ambassador for Redken 5th Avenue, you don’t have to follow one rule when it comes to shampooing your hair more than once a week., you don’t have to follow any one rule when it comes to shampooing your hair more than once a week. He told me, “There really isn't a RULE about shampoo frequency for any hair type. While it is generally held that cleansing too frequently can strip the hair and scalp of its sebum and natural emollients, improper cleansing (or not often enough) creates its own problems.”
Villa went further on to say, “Lifestyle, diet, stress levels, genetics, and so many other factors affect how the hair and scalp feel and behave. How often one should shampoo depends largely on how one wishes their hair to feel every day. A proper consultation with a qualified stylist will help determine how often to shampoo, which scalp and hair treatments would be best for one's texture, and which products to use - and when.”
Learning this makes me feel much better about my inclination to wash more than once a week. I especially love that no matter if you have naturally tight coils or stick-straight strands, you can take care of your hair the best way YOU see fit. I love that!
What about thinning curly hair? How often should it be shampooed?
"The trend toward washing once a week is not working out well for those over the age of 40. " -Michon Kessler, Licensed Cosmetologist and owner of Studio M
Hairdresser Michon Kessler has been in the business of hair for over 30 years and knows a thing or two about washing all hair types. She told me, "My clients with fine, thinning hair experience lack of cellular turnover and lack of stimulation as well as congested hair follicles. In other words, thinning hair needs more stimulation and cleansing than once a week."
She also stresses the importance of using a Denman Brush when using a dry shampoo. "It's silicon bristles will not break or blow apart fragile hair. They are like an amazing mini massage to the scalp," she said, "These brushes cause so much less friction on the hair shaft and cause much less breakage than with a boar bristle brush."
I’m excited to try this, mainly because in between my protective styles, I don’t necessarily need, or want, to shampoo my hair. Although I am not a fan of spray-on dry shampoos, I have found one that works beautifully for me in between protective styles: The Refresh & So Clean Bamboo, Avocado & Peppermint with Witch Hazel Dry Gel Shampoo from Taliah Waajid. This stuff is a lifesaver for my scalp, and I will be using it with the Denman, for sure!
So, I CAN wash more than once a week… Awesome!
This is such good news because I really didn’t see any adverse effects to my natural hair’s growth or texture when I shampooed 1-2 days apart. In fact, I prefer this to prevent knots and to hydrate my hair on a regular basis.
From Bantu Knots to Afro Pride: It's that time of the year when @naturallycurly editors product test Editor's Choice submissions for our annual awarding. So far, the submissions have been ahhhhhhmazing 💞 I can't wait to tell you about the brand that got my Afro L-I-T 🔥(but I have to 😚)Stay up on our announcements in a few months. For now, check out my latest shenanigans on the YouTube ✊🏾 l 8 t r ✌🏾 Props to @devrivelazquez for the pik 🙌🏾😎🙌🏾
Although I know that this is the best thing for my natural hair, I think that you would do well by following Sam Villa’s advice and talk with your stylist about the frequency of your cleansing routine.
So tell me: Do you wash your natural hair more than once a week?