What does Shampoo do for your scalp?

Heart Hair

We all know that Shampoo is good for our scalp and something one should regularly apply when washing your hair, but what does it actually do?

Shampoo functions to clean the hair and scalp with chemicals called surfactants. Surfactants are a substance which serves to reduce the surface tension of a liquid in which it is dissolved. So shampoo is a soap that removes surface debris from the scalp and hair.

Maintaining some oil on the hair is incredibly important to avoid damaging the hair. Some people prefer to use products without sulfate or moisturizing shampoos to preserve hair and scalp health. Other people opt to reduce the frequency in which they wash their hair. Some people even advocate giving up shampoo altogether.

This isn’t a one size fits all situation, though. Not everyone has the same type of hair or needs in maintaining a healthy level of moisture on the scalp. The key is understanding where your hair is at on that spectrum to see what your hair needs most to thrive.

How Often should shampoo be used?

Far too many people, especially women more than men, will only shampoo their hair three times a week, sometimes only two times a week, and this is actually really bad for the scalp and therefore for your hair. Scalp and hair health is essential to maintain healthy hair growth; therefore, we would say it is important to shampoo every day for the following reasons.

Having fine or thin hair

If the texture of your hair is fine and thin, those hair strands tend to get greasy and at a much quicker rate than those with thicker or curlier hair. This occurs because oils from your scalp can travel with ease down your hair. This is what gives them that oily appearance. On the other side of the spectrum, curlier hair keeps oil closer to the scalp since there’s no straight path for it to reach the ends of the hair. Washing your hair daily helps reduce extreme oil levels of the scalp and hair to a healthier level of the oil that the scalp needs.

If you are active daily or live in a humid climate

Being active, sweating daily, or living in a more humid climate can lead to a buildup of excess oil on your scalp. This can cause skin problems. So if you live somewhere more humid or are doing activities that cause you to sweat daily, it’s definitely a good idea to wash your hair every day to maintain a healthy scalp.

Oily HairIf your scalp Is too oily

Shampooing your hair daily may, to some degree, remove oils that are healthy, but a scalp that is too oily can nourish fungus that causes seborrhea. Seborrhea is a condition that leaves the scalp itchy and scaly. If you have a scalp that is naturally oily, washing your hair every day is incredibly advisable to avoid this from happening.

You are experiencing dandruff.


Shampooing helps remove dead skin cells that would otherwise gather up and fall off (also known as dandruff). It is true, for some, that shampooing too often can lead to a dry scalp, causing dandruff, but if your scalp is feeling itchy, washing your hair can actually help to remove those dead, uncomfortable cells and clear flakes. Again this all stems back to knowing your hair, and your hair needs to maintain a healthy level of oils in your scalp.

You want healthy hair growth.

Washing your hair helps remove dead hair follicles, which in turn can further hair growth. So if you need assistance in getting your hair to grow, washing your hair daily will actually help your hair grow.

Things to avoid when shopping for shampoo

Washing your hair daily is incredibly important. But washing your hair with any shampoo can be damaging to your hair. Here are some harmful ingredients to look out for when shopping for your shampoo.


What are sulfates? Sulfates are powerful detergents that cause a chemical reaction that binds the sebum on our scalp and with water. When you rinse out the shampoo, sulfates remove all the oils and residue with them. Additionally, while washing, they can also damage the hair, make it brittle, and increase frizz.

Sulfates are something to be wary of for people with lower levels of natural oil in the scalp. Sulfates are less of a concern for those with excessively oily scalps trying to reduce greasy hair.


Parabens are also known to be a harmful ingredient in shampoos. They function as a preservative to help prevent any bacteria from growing in cosmetics and shampoos. The caution with parabens is that it can mimic the hormone estrogen and has been linked to increased growth of breast cancer cells.

Sodium Chloride

Sodium chloride or salt in shampoo is mainly there to create a thicker consistency for the product. Salt can make an already-sensitive scalp dry and itchy, which can eventually lead to hair loss.


Formaldehyde is a known human carcinogen and has been proven to be absorbed through the skin in animal testing. Manufacturers often add it to products directly as a preservative, but it can also be released over time through a chemical process from other types of preservatives. They can also be found in chemicals used for Brazilian blowouts at hair salons.

Capilia Hair Care ProductsRecommended products

Finding the right products that are safe and ethical are key to washing your hair daily. The Hair Society offers the Capilia product line. They have an entire line of wet products and serums formulated to specifically deal with all kinds of scalp and hair issues, from dandruff to oily scalp to even more extensive issues. All of it is designed 100% organic, and all of it has been tested, and none of it has been animal tested, and it works beautifully. And it can be purchased by salons through the Hair Society.

Staff Writer
Mike Tober
The Hair Society
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