How often you should wash your hair depends on a variety of factors. Your hair type and texture, activity level, and environment all play a part in how often you should be reaching for the shampoo bottle.
Is Washing Your Hair Everyday Bad?
Over washing your hair can strip it of its natural oils, leaving your strands dry, dull, or damaged. Additionally, washing too often can upset your skin and hair’s microbiome, inviting bacteria, fungus, or dandruff.
It’s tempting to wash your hair when it looks oily, but washing hair every day is likely what’s making it greasy in the first place. Your scalp naturally produces sebum, a protective oil that coats your skin and hair. Sebum moisturizes the hair shaft, defending it from sun exposure, free radicals, and bacteria. However, washing with shampoo signals your scalp to produce more sebum, replacing the protective coating that’s been rinsed away. This cycle can lead to an overproduction of oil, as the glands work overtime.
Is it bad to wash your hair every day? Not necessarily, if you’re getting sweaty or grimy. You should usually wash your hair after an intense workout, if you live in a humid area, or if your hair is dirty or germy. However, most people don’t need to wash their hair every day, and doing so can damage your strands and scalp.
How Many Times a Week Should You Wash Your Hair?
Cutting back on hair washes can be difficult, but it’s worth it to make your hair shinier and stronger. You might wonder, how many times a week should I wash my hair? Before you go down a rabbit hole googling “how often do you wash hair???”, know that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. However, some guidelines can help you decide when to suds up in the shower.
If you have very fine, thin, or oily hair, wash your hair more frequently. Straight, fine, or thin hair shows oil production more obviously than thicker or curly hair does. In general, aim to wash fine or thin hair every other day. Any more will jumpstart oil production, leaving your scalp slicker than before.
If you have thick or wavy hair, then your hair routine generally falls somewhere in the middle of the extremes. You’ll want to keep your hair conditioned and clean without over-drying. A good goal is to aim to wash your hair 2 or 3 times a week.
Curly hair is generally considered the driest of all types since it takes the longest for sebum to move all the way down the hair shaft. Because of this, you can get away with shampooing the least frequently. Shampoo curly and coily hair ideally only once a week.
If you have damaged hair from heat styling or coloring, you should wash hair as infrequently as possible. Five to seven days is a good rule of thumb, but you may want to try to go even longer to give your hair time to recover. Brittle strands are especially vulnerable to breakage.
How Many Times Should You Wash Your Hair?
Even after you try to cut back on washes, some reliable signs that you’re still over-washing your hair are:
- More split ends than usual
- Less shiny or frizzier hair
- Fading color or if you notice a lot of color going down the drain
If you notice any of these signs, try waiting one more day between your usual wash cycle, and see if that makes a difference. On the other hand, if your scalp feels itchy, flaky, or if you’ve been sweating, then it’s probably time to wash your hair.
How Often Should You Condition Your Hair?
How often should you shampoo your hair? The answer is less frequently than you might think. But conditioning is a different story. Even on days when you don’t wash your hair, you can still condition it. Just make sure to concentrate the conditioner towards the ends of your hair in the shower, instead of on your scalp, to keep your hair healthy and strong.
How to Wash Your Hair?
When you do wash your hair, make sure you’re washing it correctly by following certain important steps:
- Use warm water: Using hot water can strip more oil from your hair than is good for it and will make your color fade faster. Instead, opt for lukewarm, filtered water, and finish with a quick cold water rinse at the very end to reseal your hair cuticle.
- Massage your scalp: Rubbing with gentle pressure using the pads of your fingers (not your nails) can help stimulate blood flow, reduce tension, and exfoliate your scalp. Pay extra attention to the crown of your head and along your hairline, where oil builds up.
- Rinse thoroughly: Most people spend their time saturating their strands with products but don’t rinse it all out. Take extra care to get all the shampoo off your strands, rinsing in the direction that the hair grows.
- Take care drying and detangling: Two of the main causes of hair breakage are towel drying and detangling. Instead, opt for a hair care combo set to protect your tresses. Using a towel to dry your hair roughens the hair cuticle, leading to frizz and dryness. Drying your hair with a t-shirt is an imperfect fix, leaving it damp and tangled. The Perfect Haircare towels are a safe alternative, designed to reduce drying time, avoid tangles, decrease breakage, and increase hair smoothness and shine.
Washing hair, when done correctly, can make your hair healthier. But if you’re overdoing it, you may be causing damage and dryness. The answer for how often to wash hair is rarely found on the shampoo bottle. Instead, go by your own activity levels and hair texture. Follow your scalp’s cues to create the perfect hair care routine, and find your shiniest and strongest hair yet.