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Many people are under the assumption that you have to wash your hair everyday. However, that’s not always true! Many people don’t need to wash their hair daily, or even every other day.
Figuring out how often you should wash your hair can be a little tricky. So, I’ve created this guide to help you figure out your hair and how often you should wash it for maximum hair health.
Oils Are Good
First, let’s get this straight: your hair needs oil to be healthy. Oily hair seems like a huge nuisance, but oils actually keep your hair and scalp moisturized and healthy. Yes, you want clean hair, but you never want to strip your hair and scalp from its natural oils.
Things To Consider
There are a few factors that will cause you to need to wash your hair more often. And if these apply to you, you might be able to switch things up so that you don’t have to wash it so often.
This is an obvious one, but also the biggest factor. Everyone’s hair produces oils. As mentioned above, these oils coat your scalp and hair and keep them moisturized and healthy. But, it can also cause it to look and feel greasy and dirty.
How much oil your hair produces depends on things like gender, age, genetics and the environment you live in. Your hair will typically become drier as you get older.
2. Your Hair Type
If your hair is straight or fine/thin, you will need to wash it more often than people with coarse, thick or curly hair. Straight and thin hair is more susceptible to looking oily because the oil coats hair easier. Curly or coarse hair tends to be more dry naturally because the oils don’t coat the hair as easily.
You life-style will also affect how often you need to wash your hair. Things like your environment, activity level, job, leisure activities, etc all contribute to how often you should wash your hair.
Sweat is a big factor that will influence your hair washing schedule. The more you sweat, the oilier an dirtier your hair will be and look. Additionally, if you spend a lot of time outside, pollen, pollution and dirt can all get trapped in your hair, leading to dirty hair faster.
Your hair products can actually be weighing your hair down and making it get dirty quicker. Particularly if you use a lot of hair product, or if you are using the wrong products for your hair type.
Plus, all those hair products can lead to product build up, which can cause your hair to produce more oils and will look and feel dirty.
Signs You’re Washing Your Hair Too Much
Many people are actually over washing their hair without even realizing it! It’s important to make sure you are not washing your hair too much because it can cause things like dandruff, breakage, hair loss and more.
Signs you’re over washing your hair:
- Dry hair
- Frizzy hair
- Brittle hair
- Your hair extremely oily
- Your color fades quickly
- Dull hair
If you have many of these symptoms, it’s likely you are washing your hair too much.
How To Wash Your Hair Correctly
Now, this may seem obvious, but people usually wash their hair completely wrong! Hair washing is actually a confusing term because mainly you need to be washing your scalp and not your hair.
You don’t actually need to wash the ends of your hair because the shampoo that rinses down when you’re washing is enough to get your ends clean. All the dirt and oil is near your scalp! That’s what you need to be cleaning.
So, think of it now as scalp washing.
Keep these tips in mind when scalp washing:
- Thoroughly wet hair and apply shampoo to the scalp area only
- Gently massage the shampoo into your scalp with your fingertips
- Don’t use your nails to scrub the scalp
- Do not lather the ends of your hair, rub the ends together or gather your hair up like pictured above
- Shampoo for at least 30 seconds
- Shampoo twice (more on this later)
- Rinse for at least 30 seconds
So, now that we know how to wash hair correctly, let’s talk about how often you should be washing your hair.
How Often Should You Wash Your Hair
Like I mentioned earlier, how often you need to wash your hair depends on many factors, so it can be hard to tell you an exact schedule. But, it is possible to give you an estimate and you can tweak it to fit your needs! There is no one size fits all for hair washing!
Thin or Fine Hair: every other day
People with fine or thin hair will need to wash it more often because it gets dirty quicker. If you hair is also straight, that means your hair will get dirtier quicker because the oils travel down the hair shaft easily. For curly hair, you might be able to get away with less often.
Normal Hair: 2-3 times a week
If you have relatively normal hair that’s not dry or oily, you can get away with washing it less than those with thin hair. Like mentioned above, the texture of your hair will play a role in how often you need to wash your hair.
Thick or Coarse Hair: once a week
Thick and coarse hair tends to be on the drier side, and dry hair types should not wash their hair more than twice a week. This hair type can go longer without washing than those with thin hair can.
Processed or Colored Hair: 2-3 times a week
If your hair is processed, colored or bleached, it’s best to wash it as less as possible. That’s because these things damage your hair and washing your hair too much can strip already dried out hair. If your hair is more oily, you will need to wash it about 3 times a week. If your hair is on the drier side you can get away with 2x or even once a week.
How To Go Longer Between Washes
I personally have fine strands of hair but have a lot of them. I wash my hair between 1-2 times a week depending on my activities that week. I try to wash it as less as possible and have noticed a huge difference in my hair’s health since I have stopped washing it everyday. I also tend to think of my hair as more on the oily side.
Here are the best ways to extend your time between washes.
This is the most obvious option, but that’s because it’s the best option! Dry shampoo is great to refresh your hair, absorb oil and sweat post workout and extend time between washes.
All you do it spray the dry shampoo onto your roots, massage it in and brush it out. Your hair will instantly look refreshed and clean.
It’s best to use dry shampoo at night. Many people don’t do this but it’s a great trick I learned to getting the ultimate oil absorption. When you use dry shampoo at night, the oils will get absorbed overnight and you’ll wake up with perfect hair.
Co-washing is simply washing your hair with a cleansing conditioner or regular conditioner. Yes, literally using conditioner like you would shampoo. This isn’t a good option for everyone, though. If you have curly, textured or dry hair, it’s a much better option for you.
My thin haired ladies, stay away.
It’s also a better option for people that don’t use a lot of hair products. Without any detergents or cleaning agents, your hair won’t get as clean.
Wash With Water
Many people have success with just rinsing their hair with water to help cleanse the hair without using shampoo. This, however, doesn’t give your hair any added benefits that using a hydrating shampoo or repairing conditioner would.
Why You Should Shampoo Twice
Washing your hair twice with shampoo in the shower is something I have recently started doing and was amazed at how much better my hair feels and how much longer I’ve been able to go between washes.
This is especially important for those that use a lot of hair products or only wash their hair once a week.
It’s like double cleansing except for your hair!
The first shampoo will remove the dirt, oil and product from your hair and the second shampoo will actually cleanse the scalp and hair, so your hair is clean.
I promise, try it out next time you wash your hair and you’ll be amazed at how much longer you’ll be able to extend your next hair wash.
You are the only one who can figure out how often you should wash your hair. It will take some experimenting to find the right hair washing schedule for you. It took me a few months to get mine right. But, I am so glad I did. My hair is healthier than it’s ever been.
How often do you wash your hair? Have you noticed any changes in your hair when you wash it less?