ESC: Kristen Stewart

Isa Saiz/NurPhoto/Sipa USA

Damned if you shampoo, damned if you sham-don't.

The beauty industry has been abuzz with the theory that dry shampoo, everyone's favorite oil-absorbing product, is actually not good for you. Why? The product, typically made from aluminum or corn starch, can dull your hair color and cause major buildup, which may even affect your hair-growth cycle.

Those are some serious drawbacks, especially considering how much dry shampoo is in our hair by the end of the week (Kristen Stewart, Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen…you know what we're talking about).

Then there's the argument that washing your hair too frequently also causes hair follicle damage, can dull hair color and, again, cause buildup (what with the hard minerals in the water and all).

So, we're not supposed to wash our hair a lot...or use oil-absorbing products often...(we hope oily, flat hair becomes a thing soon). Given the Great Dry Shampoo Debate, how often can we really wash our hair without damaging it?

Well, it depends on the hair type—but here is what you should keep in mind when it comes to your own personal shampoo timeline.

It's Not Bad to Not Wash Your Hair: You really shouldn't be washing your hair every day. "Natural oils are seeping into your hair, so your hair is actually getting healthier," said celeb hair pro Marc Mena. "Now if you start to have buildup on your scalp—if your scalp starts to get itchy or there's irritation—then you're not washing enough."

It's Not About Clean Hair, Per Se: "Shampoo was never made to clean your hair; it was made to clean your scalp," said Marc. "You shouldn't be shampooing the scalp and then lathering the ends—it dries out your hair." Basically, rinse whatever lather that remains from washing your scalp out of your hair. Treat the ends with conditioner—not more shampoo!

Brush It If You're Not Washing It: "Dry shampoo is basically just absorbing the oil left in your hair, but I wouldn't go too long without washing it, especially if you're not brushing between shampoos, which can lead to dreadlocks," he advised.

In Case of Major Buildup: Once a week, if your hair is feeling extra lifeless with lots of product (Dry shampoo! Texturizing spray! Hair powder! Hairspray…the list goes on!), consider a pre-shampoo, which works like a scalp treatment and breaks down buildup while hydrating your hair shafts. Do not, however, use this with clarifying shampoo—the duo will overly dry out your hair. "Clarifying shampoo is made for people with a lot of buildup—like if you're in the pool and your hair is turning green or if you have minerals in your hair," said the hair expert.

To Shampoo or Dry Shampoo: Everything in moderation. "Water, minerals, everything dries your hair out," Marc added. "You just have to be gentle with it."  

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