This is one that I've heard on more than one occasion: "Don't wash your hair every day. Wash it every two days as washing it too often will damage it."

Is there any truth in this?

Can frequent hair washing cause hair loss?

  • 4
    It would depend on how dirty it is. I would say that "wash your hair only when dirty" is a similar, but probably sounder claim.
    – Sklivvz
    Aug 25, 2011 at 7:37
  • Well, if I don't wash my hair for even one day it's greasy.
    – Carra
    Aug 25, 2011 at 7:46
  • 1
    I'd guess it depends on the hair and the shampoo should be appropriate for your hairs (not aggressive)
    – Nikko
    Aug 25, 2011 at 7:53
  • Anecdotally, washing frequency affects the way your scalp pushes grease out. Wash every day, and you need to wash every day. Aug 25, 2011 at 8:00
  • 3
    Too often already implies, what it is asking for. If it isn't bad for your hair, it isn't too often. You should use concrete numbers: How often, how long, what washing method, which shower gel, what kind of hair? Too often is too often - that's for sure! Aug 25, 2011 at 13:44

1 Answer 1


The only information I could find on using shampoo too often being bad for your hair is the sebum (oil) produced by the sebaceous gland.


When you ask if your hair can get used to not being washed you’re implying that leaving oil on your hair will somehow stop the production of more oil. The flip side of that implication is that stripping away the oil with a shampoo will make your glands produce more oil. Well guess what. That’s exactly what DOES happen. Sort of.


Their* data indicates that the presence of oil on the skin’s surface sends a signal to the sebaceous glands to turn off. This signal is caused by either the pressure of the oil in the follicle or by the creation of a chemical signal that travels back down through the skin. So it turns out that, in theory, you can “train” your hair to be less oily. * http://www.springerlink.com/content/pv373302mt827067/

So basically washing your hair with shampoo to often can lead to more greasy hair and more frequent washing.

  • If the glands turn off then why does the hair get greasier the longer it is unwashed, I knew one guy that washed his hair twice a year, you could wring out enough grease from his hair to cook a batch french fries.
    – Moab
    Aug 28, 2011 at 2:37
  • 1
    When did he start washing his hair twice a year? How often did he was before that?
    – Nostrum
    Aug 28, 2011 at 10:34
  • I worked with him for a year, he ran a line-o-type machine, he had long hair past his shoulders, I have no clue about any prior habits of his, lets put it this way, he didn't need any hair gel!
    – Moab
    Aug 28, 2011 at 17:42
  • skeptics.stackexchange.com/q/2591/155
    – endolith
    Apr 10, 2012 at 20:46
  • The link to springerlink.com is broken. I'm also unable to find any copy saved on the Wayback Machine.
    – user66009
    Aug 28, 2022 at 11:48

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