I wash my hair each morning. It’s long, curly and tends to get oily. 

You may think I wantonly go through a lot of organic shampoo and water, but I have a hair-healthy, water-saving routine that gets the job done quickly and effectively: I simply use less shampoo, and I focus on cleansing my scalp. 

It’s an approach endorsed by Paradi Mirmirani, MD, a dermatologist at Kaiser Permanente in Vallejo, Calif. 

“When we wash our hair, we tend to use too much shampoo by washing the entire length of the hair, rather than concentrating on cleaning just the scalp,” she confirms. 

“In addition, how often you wash your hair should be based on how oily your scalp is. If it’s oily, you might need to wash it more frequently than someone with a dry scalp. However, most of us are probably overwashing our hair and can save some money by using less shampoo.”

African-Americans should wash their hair no more than once a week, Dr. Mirmirani says, as their hair and scalp tend to be much dryer. Overshampooing can further dry out the hair and scalp.

“I recommend that you choose a shampoo formulated specifically for your type of hair,” she says. (Needless to say, we recommend a natural or organic shampoo that’s free of harsh chemicals and dyes.) 

“If you color your hair, then select a shampoo designed for color-treated hair,” Dr. Mirmirani adds. “It is gentler than regular shampoo and can help extend your hair color. But if dandruff is a problem, then try a shampoo formulated to fight dandruff. 

“The key is finding the product that works best for you,” she concludes, “and avoid the temptation to spend more than you have to.” 

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