How Often Should You Wash Your Hair?

How Often Should You Wash Your Hair?

Although sebum—the oil produced by your scalp—gets a bad image, it's essential for strong, glossy hair. Contrary to what shampoo advertisements would have you think, shampooing your hair might be a major cause of bad hair days. A complete lack of this natural oil can make hair seem coarse, lifeless, and hard to style.

Americans have an obsession with cleanliness. It's not unusual for folks to use an astringent shampoo daily to wash their hair. Dry, brittle hair might result from all of this washing. But it seems that, at least in part, culture is shifting the opposite way. There is an increasing trend toward using conditioners instead of shampoo or avoiding detergents. Shampoo-free hair care has become more popular because of the "no poo" trend. More and more individuals are forgoing shampoo in favor of alternative shampoos or just plain water to assist the body's natural oils regulate themselves.

They could have a point. Most individuals don't need daily or even biweekly hair washing. A variety of variables influence the frequency of hair washing. The short answer is that you should wash it once it becomes greasy and feels dirty to the touch.

What determines how often you should wash your hair?

Several things might make you need to wash your hair more often:

1. Oil

The main cause of what we refer to as "dirty" hair is oil. It could result in limp and clumpy hair. Your age, genetics, sex, and environment all impact how much oil you create. Sebum production is lower in children, older people, and teens than in adults in their 20s and 30s. Your scalp may have previously been oily, but as you get older, it may get drier.

Some individuals have hair that is very brittle and is easily damaged when washed. Those folks may want to wash their hair twice a month. How often someone would need to wash their hair might vary greatly.

Although most individuals don't need to wash their hair every day, some people create enough oil to need to. Most individuals only make enough oil once every several days to wash their clothes.

2. Hair type

More often than curly or wavy hair, straight and thin hair need washing. Straight hair appears greasy considerably more quickly because it absorbs sebum rapidly. Hair that is thick, wavy, or curly often feels dry since the oil doesn't readily cover the strands. Beautiful, well-defined curls need sebum because curly hair requires extra moisture to be silky and avoid frizzing.

African-American hair requires the least amount of washing. When paired with chemical treatments or hairstyles like tight braids that pull at the roots, excessive washing, particularly harsh shampoos, may harm hair and cause hair loss. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that people with tight curls or textured hair wash their hair once every other week or less often.

3. Sweat

Nobody is shocked that a sweaty exercise may ruin your hairstyle. How often you wash or rinse your hair depends greatly on how much you sweat. Sweat can distribute sebum, giving your hair a filthy appearance. Additionally, it may make your hair smell less than fresh. Hughes advises washing whenever you wear a hat or helmet for a lengthy period and after sweaty activities.

4. Physical dirt or pollen

Cleaning up after gardening, cleaning, and other filthy activities is a good idea. Pollen, dirt, and dust may all get lodged in the hair. These might aggravate your allergies and make your hair seem lifeless.

5. Styling products

The buildup of styling materials on your hair and scalp may cause irritation and damage. You may need to wash your hair more regularly if you use many products or frequently than if you don't use creams and sprays.

Do you wash your hair too frequently?

The shampoo is used to wash the scalp and eliminate extra oil. However, shampoo may harm your hair if it is overused or applied down the length of your hair. Shampoo may make the hair and scalp overly dry by removing the vital oils that the scalp generates. Only wash the roots of your hair to avoid this. The ends will be cleansed when you rinse the shampoo from your roots.

More issues arise from excessive hair washing than you might imagine. The quality of people's skin would probably be better if they didn't depend so much on these detergents, particularly as they age. People still shampooing their hair and exfoliating themselves, like teens in their 40s and 50s, are doing serious skin damage. Fixing it takes a long time.

Dandruff and shampoo

Excessive washing may be the cause of your dandruff. A dehydrated scalp may cause dandruff, dry hair, and chronic flaking. However, it does not imply that we should all stop washing our hair.

There is a perception that some natural hair oils are beneficial for hair, which is undoubtedly true, particularly for those with curly hair. However, you do not always need to apply all the oil you make to your hair.

Less frequent shampooing is largely a matter of desire. Less frequent washing might irritate some individuals. However, less frequent washing will often just affect how your hair looks and feels. In difficult situations, you could get dandruff or plugged pores. Some individuals benefit by avoiding or sparingly using conventional detergent-based shampoo.

Alternative methods

Dry shampoo

Contrary to its name, the powder or spray cleanser doesn't truly wash your hair. It absorbs some of the oil instead of clumping your hair. However, dry shampoo has its place. It is advised for those who wish to go longer between washes or are physically unable to wash their hair.


It's becoming more common to wash with conditioners or "cleaning conditioners." Products made by well-known brands are intended to wash and condition hair without the use of conventional detergents. Washing with conditioner alone is best for curly, wavy, or dry hair. Shampoo your hair and then cleanse your scalp. After cleaning, comb it thoroughly and let the hair rest for a few minutes before giving it a regular rinse.

Any hair care products, including conditioner, that contain silicone should be avoided if you only wash with conditioner. Silicone may make your hair feel silky and smooth, but it can also accumulate and leave it greasy and lifeless. You won't be able to eliminate any silicone buildup if you skip the shampoo. Amodimethicone, dimethicone, and Cyclomethicone are examples of ingredients with the suffix "-cone" that are silicones.

What is the best cleaning way?

Not one method works for all hair types. The frequency and kind of hair washing you do are highly influenced by your physique, way of life, and preferences. You must wash your hair more often as you get dirtier and create more oil.

Try skipping a wash once a week or going a day longer between washes if you believe you are overwashing your hair. Reduce it weekly until you're satisfied with how your hair and scalp feel.

Although using other shampoos or washing with conditioner are excellent solutions, the transition time might be challenging for some. You don't need to discard your preferred shampoo. Try using a different cleaning technique for one of your weekly washes if you want to use less shampoo that contains detergent.

Hughes advises giving any modification to how you wash your hair at least a month before determining if it is effective. Your scalp and hair have time to adapt as a result.


You should mostly use your shampoo to clean your scalp unless you also use styling products. Don't use it to wash your hair at the ends too much. The ends of your hair's oldest and most delicate parts need extra attention, including more moisture.

One of the most crucial stages for healthy hair is conditioner. While conditioner may be helpful for everyone, dry hair sufferers should apply conditioner each time they wash their hair. When using conditioner, pay close attention to the ends of your hair. Contrary to popular belief, using conditioner on your scalp might also help if you have curly or dry hair. No matter what, only you can determine the ideal ratio of hydration and cleanliness for your hair.

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