How long would you go between hair washes? Photo: Getty Images

A few weeks ago I reported on my experience with HerCut styling catalyst, and I mentioned that I hadn't washed my hair in five days.

Boy, did that get you going!

The comment section was on fire with readers debating back and forth about whether or not five days without a shampoo is fine or just plain nasty. (And to be completely honest here, I actually went six days sans shampoo.)

So should you wash every day or is it OK to go nearly a week without sudsing up?

I decided to get an expert opinion on the matter so I called up Brandon Martinez -- hair stylist and creator of B. The Product -- who told me, "Just in general people don't need to wash their hair as often. For girls, try to stretch it out, especially if you color your hair."

Indeed, nothing kills your color faster than frequent lathers, especially for red or brunette colored hair.

Martinez told me that guys don't really ever need to shampoo, unless they use tons of products or have gotten really dirty. He himself only shampoos when he's been surfing because the water is salty.

But I'm not off the hook yet: Sarajane Lynch, creative director of the NYC salon Ion Studio explained to me that there can't be a one-wash-fits-all mentality because different hair types have different needs.

"Coarse, curly, dense textured-hair can go longer without washing because that type of hair is more dry and it absorbs the oil," she said. "It's more beneficial for people with that hair to not wash every day." Oil equals natural moisture for coarse hair.

Lynch herself washes every three days and prefers her hair in the unwashed state because "it performs better -- fresh, clean hair doesn't hold shape."

Rene Furterer Naturia and B. The Product Dry Cleaned Dry Shampoos can help extend the period between washes. Photo: Amazon.com (2)


Some people can't imagine not washing every day, even if their hair isn't oily, and Lynch says, "I think it's psychological. People get in the shower and think they have to wash from head to toe. People don't want to be 'dirty.'"

Of course if your hair actually is dirty, no one is suggesting you shouldn't wash it. But how "dirty" are you really getting if all you're doing is going to and from the office every day?

So what about fine-haired gals who hate washing their hair every day but start to look like a greaseball by day two? Can you retrain your scalp to hold out? There is some speculation among stylists that drying your scalp out every day with shampoo prompts it to compensate by making more oil, and if you stop washing your hair every day eventually your scalp will adjust.

"It would be worthy of an experiment," says Lynch. So if you're a die-hard everyday washer, why not try out every 2 days for a few weeks and see how it goes?

Both Martinez and Lynch recommend dry shampoos to refresh your roots in between washings. B. The Product Dry Cleaned and Rene Furterer Naturia Dry Shampoo are two good ones to try.

As for me, both stylists agree that six days is an unusually long time to go without washing, especially because I happen to have very straight, fine hair. I'm just lucky because my hair doesn't get oily, which isn't the norm for my hair type.

Lucky indeed because I hate washing my long hair -- it's such a pain in the you-know-what.

Thankfully undone Kate Moss-esque bedhead was all over the place for Fall 2010 so it looks like I've got a "head" start!

What do you think? Would you ever try going a week without shampooing, or are you addicted to a daily lather? Leave a comment and tell us!