This is by far the biggest dilemma most of us face when it comes to our hair. We are scared of either washing it too much and leaving it dry and brittle or washing it too little and being left with a greasy scalp and limp hair. Or, even worse, washing it too little and end up with drier hair than we started.
However, how often you should wash your hair will depend on a number of factors. It will depend on your hair texture, your scalp, the type of shampoo you use and the lifestyle you lead. Don't worry, we'll cover all of them.
- Every Day - Straight Hair and Oily Scalp or Gym Bunny
Every day washing is perfect for those with straight hair plus an oily scalp and/or gym bunnies. Your scalp normally produce its own oil, called sebum, that travels down the hair shaft coating it and nourishing it. Where the strand is straight, the sebum will travel faster and coat the strand. If you normally overproduce sebum and have straight hair, the best solution will be to wash your hair daily. However, daily shampooing can do more damage than good. So if you're not a fan of dry shampoos in between washes, then opt for a extra mild shampoo that will not completely strip your hair, since the more stripped your scalp feels, the more it will try and compensate by producing more sebum. This becomes an addictive cycle that you will surely not appreciate.
- Every Three to Four Days - Thick Straight Hair Or Fine Curly Hair
If you have normal to thick straight hair, then washing your hair every three days will do the trick since the oils in your scalp will not travel down the hair shaft as quickly and weigh it down the way it would if you had fine hair. A gentle shampoo will do just fine. The opposite applies to fine curly hair. "Why", you might ask. Well, curly hair is naturally drier than straight hair due to all the bends, making it harder for sebum to coat the strand. A lot of women with curly hair tend to, as a result, use layers of hair products that will provide them with the added moisture. However, those with fine curly hair will notice the effects of heavy product build-up faster than those with thicker curly hair. Not only does product build-up make your hair drier but it also makes it lose elasticity and more breakable. Since fine hair is more gentle and prone to breakage, making sure it's always moisturised and elastic will be key. For that, it's recommended that you alternate between a very gentle shampoo and a co-wash. Using products in your hair care routine that are natural and therefore easily washed off will be crucial. A clarifying shampoo should be used every 2 weeks to ensure maximum health of your strands and scalp.
- Every Seven Days - Thick or Kinky Curly Hair
If you have thick or extremely curly hair, also known as kinky hair, then washing it every seven days will be best. As mentioned above, curly hair tend to be on the drier side due to the bends in the strand. Those with tighter curls/kinky hair, should wash their hair less often as the level of manipulation required during washes will make the hair more prone to breakage. The tighter the curls, the easier for them to get tangled and ripping through those tangles constantly will not do you any good. This is why a lot of women with kinkier textures opt for low maintenance styles that require little to no manipulation of the hair while keeping it moisturised. On the other side, thicker curly are also drier and the less often you shampoo, the more you can minimise the dryness. For both hair types, due to the fact that the time in between washes is longer, it is advised that you use a gentle clarifying shampoo to ensure you rid your scalp of all the bacteria, product, sweat accumulated during the week and clean the strands of any layers of product you may have used to make up for the naturally dryness to your hair.
And that's it. One last thing to note is that if you shampoo, make sure to focus more on the scalp than your strands. A good rule of thumb is to lather the scalp and once you rinse it off, use that time to clean the strands. After all, the key to healthy hair is a clean scalp and moisturised strands.
*Information on this website is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.*