Tips for Your Tresses: How Often Should Hair Be Washed?

Updated on March 3rd, 2020
hair care tips

One thing most people neglect to think about is the frequency with which they wash their hair. While some may cleanse the curls every day, others may resort to treatments twice or thrice a week. Some even may try for once in a fortnight.

Washing hair is a tricky proposition. Do less of it, and you’ll end up looking terrible. Do more of it, and the same result will follow. So how do you strike the right balance? Let’s find out how often hair should be washed.

How often to wash your Hair?

Just how many times in a week should you wash your hair? Washing your hair is as challenging as sticking to the schedule. But there are no hard rules or a magic bullet for answering this question. It all depends on the hair type, lifestyle, and physical activities. Let’s delve deeper into what determines the frequency of hair wash.

Secretion of Sebum

Secretion of Sebum 

Much like the face, the hair, too, has natural oils. The hair can become exceedingly greasy due to sebum flow, which also serves to moisturize the hair naturally.

Sebum from the sebaceous gland(1) within the hair roots in the skin dermis makes the scalp oily. The amount of sebum released differs from one person to another due to the genetic functioning and variances in hormones.

Oiliness of Hair

Sebum is the prime cause of hair oiliness, and different types of hair require different kinds of attention. Excessive sebum secretion makes a hair wash a regular requirement. Underflow of sebum can prevent a hair rinse for quite some time. Thin, straight hair must be frequently cleaned. This is because the scalp becomes oily and dirty due to the natural spread of sebum. Think, frizzy tresses remain dryer for more extended periods.

[ Read: Healthy Hair Glow With Witch Hazel ]

Unwashed Sweat and Dirt

If you’re a fitness enthusiast, and you work out a lot, you need to wash your hair more often. The same goes for those residing in hot or tropical locations. The reason for this is because there is a direct link between hair wash and physical activity. The higher the volumes of sweat, the more the scalp becomes dirty due to clogged pores. You need to, therefore, wash your hair more often.


Get Rid of Dandruff
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In this skin condition, dead skins fall off the scalps and cause itchiness. Sebum and sweat further add to dandruff. The frequency with which hair is washed depends on dandruff severity, consequently.

[Read: Natural Remedies for Dandruff]

Styling Products Used

So, if you’re a styling or beauty enthusiast fond of flat irons and hot oil treatments, don’t wash your hair too much or excessively, as it can trigger breakage and brittle hair(2).

What is the Best Time to Wash your Hair – Hair Care Tips

So, the fundamental question remains. How many times in a week should you wash your hair? Each hair type is also different. Individuals with oily scalp should wash their hair daily, those with dry scalp 1-2 times per week, and those with healthy scalps whenever they feel like it. It ultimately depends on lifestyle, preference, and hair type.

Hair Type

Your hair texture remains an essential clue regarding how many times you should wash your hair in a week. The hair types and feel impact the spread of sebum across the curls. Thick, coarse, and curly kind of hair prevents even distribution of sebum. On the other hand, thin, straight hair needs to be washed more often, as it ensures smooth sebum flow from the root to the ends.

Scalp Type

Eventually, an oily scalp will need more frequent washes than a dry scalp. Dry scalp requires less washing, as excessive hair wash can raise the chances of brittle hair and dandruff. Hair and scalp type, thus, are essential determinants of developing a hair wash regimen.

[Read: Amla Powder for Hair]

Lifestyle and Activity

If physical activity levels are high, you need to wash your hair a lot. Types of lifestyle you follow influence hair wash and hair care formula. If the hair is style regularly, the aim should be to limit the number of times it is washed.

When Should You use shampoo?

When you wash hairless, you cut down on the number of times you need to clean it, by training the scalp to generate less oil. Using shampoo too often, however, can mar your chances of clean, healthy hair.

Shampoos generally serve as emulsifiers, preventing residue, dirt, and oil in the scalp. But too much shampoo use or harsh chemicals can make hair dry, flaky and brittle. So, use dry shampoo instead. Not everyone needs to shampoo hair daily. Those with thin hair, dandruff, oily scalp, or a lot of physical activities or those residing in humid climates need daily shampooing.

People with thick or dry scalp can go without washing hair a couple of days as hair does not get greasy fast. On the other hand, shampooing is a must for those with thin hair or oily scalp. When it comes to how often one should wash your hair, there are no rules.

Healthy scalp and hair type people can go without hair wash for 2-3 days. Those with visibly oily hair, itchy scalp, and flaky surface need to wash their hair more often. How often hair is shampooed leads to help in improving hair quality. Besides shampoo, co-washing, spray cleaning, and dry shampoos are alternatives.

[Read: Hot or Cold: Does Water Temperature Affect Natural Hair?]

Cleaning your hair without water is possible by using dry shampoos. These ensure hair does not need to be washed too much. Dry shampoos come in the form of sprays soaking up sebum and making hair fresh. Organic dry shampoos are the right choice. Conditioner washing or co-washing is when the shampoo is replaced with a conditioner for washing hair. Then, of course, there is a water wash alone, which works wonders for you if you are seeking a mild cleansing.

Always resort to checking your hair type and other considerations, before opting for washing your hair frequently. While some people may need a hair wash every 2-3 days, others can get by with less than one week. It all depends on your hair type!

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