"The current trend of frequent shampoos may have started on May 10, 1908, when the New York Times published a column advising women that it was OK to wash their hair every two weeks. At that time, once a month was the norm."
My interest was piqued when I heard that quote on an NPR podcast recently. (Read or listen to it here.) The story went on to say that our current frequent hair washing habits are due more to shampoo marketing than to genuinely good hygiene. Washing one's hair every day strips natural oils. Then the scalp tries to make too much oil. Everything gets out of balance.
So I have a new goal, to not wash my hair as much. Don't worry, I'll be grabbing the shampoo bottle far more often than once a month. In the above article, Michelle Hananji, a dermatologist, recommends only washing your hair two to three times a week. I've probably been washing about four or five times a week. It's too much--my hair is dry. My new goal is to eventually wash my hair every three days.
For the last several days I've made sure to only wash my hair every other day. When it's been three days, my hair is pretty shiny (not in a good way), so clearly I can't make this change all at once. I figure once my scalp really gets used to the every two days schedule, I'll try to scale back to every three. Already, I think my hair looks less dry and unhealthy.
I doubt I'll get into the habit of shampooing less often than every three days. But I have to admit--I'm a low-maintenance girl. And I'm a little jealous of those girls from 100 years ago, who washed their hair only as often as they flipped the calendar page.