Image of a woman washing her hair

How often should you wash your hair?

When looking after your hair, your wash routine is the main starting point. I like to think of washing your hair as reset button, getting rid of any products, styles and dirt. There are lots of conflicting views on how often you should be washing your hair, but the reality is there is no definitive answer.

It differs from person to person and depends a lot on your hair type as to how often it needs washing.

Hair Type :

Hair types can affect the frequency of your wash routine, as the different textures require specific care. There’s a great article here which explains hair types in more detail.

If your hair is straight and fine, it will become greasy faster than curly or coily hair as the oil can coat the strands easier, making it appear dirty soon after washing. Whereas curlier hair has more texture and does not appear greasy as quickly.

A rough wash estimate for hair types are:

Straight : 1-2 days

Wavy : 4-5 days

Curly : 4-5 days

Coily : 7+ days

Its important to note that your hair density will affect these estimates, as thicker hair can often go longer in-between washes.

Lifestyle :

Your lifestyle could mean that washing your hair more regularly is necessary. Examples of this are your are if you exercise frequently, have an active job, have a job which includes a lot of mess or dirty environments.

How Oily Your Scalp Is :

Similar to having dry/oily skin on your face, your scalp could produce more or less oil than other people’s. While it is natural for the scalp to produce oil to protect your hair, it is important to remove the oil build up to prevent the follicles form becoming blocked. This means that people with excessive oil should wash their hair regularly to keep their scalp and hair happy.

Am I Washing Too Much?

Another reason for an oily scalp could be that you are washing your hair too much (I know, its confusing me too). When your hair is washed, the oil is removed from the scalp, which alerts the sebaceous glands to produce more. If you are over-washing your hair, then you can get stuck in a vicious cycle, as the glands may begin to produce more and more as it is stripped away.

Some people opt to train their hair. By leaving the hair unwashed for longer than they previously have, the amount of oil produced by the scalp is reduced. This in turn allows the hair to stay less greasy for a longer time.

There are products to help disguise oily hair, such as dry shampoo. This helps to absorb excess oil and refresh your roots, so you can go longer between washes. Also a good hairstyle for when your hair is oily is a slick back ponytail or bun!

What’s the take-away?

So, I’m sure you’ve noticed, but this article has a lot of different information, some of which is conflicting. Unfortunately, this is not a one size fits all kind of topic.

The first step is to have a thorough understanding of your hair type and density, which will give you a better understanding of what will work best for you. If you’re still unsure of what your hair type is, definitely check out this article to help you.

Secondly is take a look at your current routine and pinpoint what isn’t working. Also think about what your ideal would be, do you want to leave your hair longer between washes etc.

And finally, experiment! It is best to try out a few different things with your hair and see what routine fits you best.

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