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How Much Shampoo To Use?

5 mins

Akhila Jerripothula

How much shampoo to use? A dollop? The answer is dependent on your hair type. Let’s start with the basics and find out just how much shampoo should you use.

The unspoken secrets to beautiful hair come down to how you do your hair care routine. There are no real right or wrong answers when it comes to shampooing, merely recommendations for the most optimal ways to do it. Perhaps the techniques you’ve been using are just fine, but there is always room for improvement.  

How Much Shampoo To Use?

Let’s start with the basics. How much shampoo to use? Should I use more shampoo? Should I use less shampoo? Should I use a small dollop? The answers are all dependent on your hair type.  

How Much Shampoo To Use For Your Hair Type

Once you figure out your hair type, you can cater to your hair care routine to your unique needs. The back of your shampoo bottle has recommendations, but it is based on generalities that aren’t specific for your hair type. Check out the guide below:

  • Fine/Thin Hair - If you have thin or fine hair, oil will build up faster on your finer strands, leaving you feeling like it’s limp and lifeless. Shampoo every other day with a quarter-sized dollop to lather up with.  
  • Thick Straight Hair - Oil will likely build up by day 2 or 3 and start to make its way “down the hair shaft,” so it’s best to wash your hair once or twice a week. The reason behind this is that thicker hair can have dryer ends as the sebum (our scalp’s naturally producing oil) does not easily come down the strands to coat the ends. Washing will be a task with the built-up oil and sheer amount of hair. Use a decent amount of shampoo to get a good lather in for a truly deep clean. Depending on your shampoo, you could use twice the amount recommended on the bottle. 
  • Wavy/Loose Curls - If the sheer weight of the oils is weighing down your hair, washing two to three times per week is suggested. The more hydrating and lightweight the shampoo, the better for your curl health. The normal recommended amount of a quarter-sized dollop should suffice on washing days, and use more if you have a lot of hair.
  • Coily Curls -  Similarly to thick and straight hair, you may be dealing with greasy roots and dry ends. Washing your hair once or twice a week is the recommended amount as to not dry out your strands, as the oil has a tendency to remain at the scalp instead of nourishing the whole length of the hair strands. Start with a quarter-sized amount of shampoo to create your lather, and add more if necessary during the washing process.  Again, be mindful of overusing shampoo because it can dry out your hair follicles.   
  • Dry/Damaged Hair - Washing two to three days a week with a sulfate-free shampoo that restores moisture to your dry strands is ideal. Any more can further damage your brittle and frail strands. With regards to the amount of shampoo, start with a small dollop and work your way up if you feel that the lather on the scalp is not quite enough. You’ll probably discover that you need to use less shampoo than you thought. Remember that shampoo works to cleanse and remove your natural oils, so less is more! 
  • Oily HairIt’s hard for those who have oily scalps to resist the urge of washing more frequently to get rid of that oil. In reality, over-washing does the opposite of what you may think it will do. Yes, it will temporarily relieve you of that extra oil, but it can kickstart oil production to compensate for the oils you’ve stripped out. A double edge sword, we know. How do you combat this? Train your hair to go multiple days without washing. If you wash your hair every day, try washing it every other day to start. Build your way to washing it every 2 days until you see your hair getting less greasy on day 1. When shampooing, use a clarifying shampoo that needs little product to work its magic. Stick to an amount of about the size of a raspberry, and add a little more at a time if needed to get the lather going. Ensure that you rinse your hair out very thoroughly, as any remaining product can cause buildup and perpetuate the greasy hair look.

What Type of Shampoo To Use

Surprise, your hair type also determines not only how much shampoo to use, but also what shampoo to use! If you’re in need of a hair care routine, take our quiz! Overall, look for harmful additives like sulfates, which aid in cleaning and creating a lathering effect. The unfortunate part of sulfates is the fact that they can be absorbed into the skin, and not a ton of research exists to properly determine the longer-term effects it can have on people.  What is known for certain is that for some folks who have sensitivities, reactions may occur. Parabens are another one to avoid when it comes to your shampoo.  Parabens are used as a preservative and have the ability to mimic our natural hormones. Long term research is still being conducted at this time, but it’s best to steer clear of these in your shampoo. 

If your hair needs moisture, look for highly nourishing ingredients in your shampoo such as argan oil, which is a prized oil nicknamed ‘liquid gold’ from Morocco. WOW Skin Science’s Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo is a natural and vegan formula that helps you reach your hair goals! 

For curly, dry, or frizzy locks, a hydrating shampoo like WOW’s Coconut Milk Shampoo can offer both nourishment and strength to restore hair back to its healthiest state.  

If your hair is color-treated, be sure to look for products that aim at protecting your color, like WOW’s Argan Oil Hair Mask for Color Treated Hair. These formulations typically feature ingredients known to offer restorative properties without causing damage to color or the strands themselves. 

Adding a clarifying shampoo to the mix like WOW’s Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo will do wonders for your hair’s overall health, by deep cleaning the scalp and providing you with a clean slate head of hair to work with. The natural formula featuring raw Himalayan Apple Cider Vinegar balances your scalp’s pH, boosts shine, and restores any damaged strands in the process. Incorporate a clarifying shampoo anywhere from once a week to once a month. Not intended for daily use, this clarifying shampoo really works to reset your scalp! 

To ensure that your hair gets the most nourishment possible, follow up your shampooing process with a compatible conditioner.  While shampoo’s job is to remove excess dirt and oil, it can dry out the hair follicles. A conditioner’s job is to come in to restore the moisture often stripped from the washing process.  


At the end of the day, listen to your hair and scalp needs to get the best hair care routine. Every head of hair provides challenges to clean, maintain, and ultimately keep healthy.  There is not always a one size fits all answer to many questions or concerns people have with regards to their bodies and hair health.  

While many of these suggestions are known regimes to have worked for others in the past, ultimately you are the only one who can truly be in tune with your body and hair.  If your hair feels much greasier after a day of activities, then by all means. you should be able to wash when appropriate.  These guidelines are based on knowledge gathered but should not be the final say in how you choose to take care of yourself.  

Ultimately, these suggestions are a great base to start from if you’re not sure that the bottle’s recommendations are right for you. Additionally, use your better judgment to determine what amount of shampoo will suffice.  The good news is that there is not a permanent choice in what you decide to do--you can easily just change the amount you use shower to shower if need be to accommodate the changing state of your hair health.  Either way, get a head start on giving your hair the treatment it deserves with natural beauty products from WOW Skin Science!


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Author: Akhila Jerripothula

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