How Often Should You Wash Your Hair?

woman in tub with towel-wrapped hair and sunglasses

The coronavirus quarantine created many changes to everyone’s routines. With work-from-home arrangements, a lot of people just didn’t bother to dress up for the day. Because you didn’t have to face people or be among them. Forget asking how often should you wash hair.

When you’re not compelled to dress up, why should you bother to wash yourself, especially your hair?

Giving Up on Hygiene and Frequent Washing

A survey of 1,500 people reveals one in three showered less during the quarantine period. Tooth brushing has also fallen by the wayside, and fewer people are putting on makeup. When it comes to washing hair, 61 percent admitted to doing it less.

The entire shift away from looking after personal appearance is baffling because some of the respondents also worried about being less physically attractive. Although that concern is largely fueled by the fear of eating too much and eating because of anxiety. Still, your crowning glory and how it looks affects your personal appearance. And washing your hair, even when you’re not planning to meet anyone, is still pretty important.

But how often do you wash your hair?

Hair Washing: Is it Healthy to Do it Every Day?

woman shampooing hair
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels

The conventional practice has been to wash your hair every day. This probably made sense when you were out all day, every day. You’d want to get the grease, grime and dirt out of our hair and scalp, so you can relax. Who wouldn’t feel comfortable after a nice shower and getting all squeaky clean.

But as it turns out, daily hair washing isn’t advisable.

When you wash your hair every day, two things happen:

  1. Imbalance of oils

  2. Damaged hair

Shampooing too much may upset the balance of your hair’s natural oils. The hair product also makes wet hair vulnerable to damage. Wet hair swells, making it prone to damage when you spread the shampoo or conditioner around your hair. If you do this vigorously, thinking you’re working in the product, you may find your hair weakened or given to hair breakage.

Is it Better to Not Wash Your Hair?

woman touching soft hair
Photo by Pablo Merchán Montes on Pexels

At the other end of the spectrum lies the “do nothing” approach. If you’re maybe damaging your hair by washing it every day or too often, is it then better to not shampoo and condition it?

Healthy hair is washed hair for all hair types: thin, thick, long, short, Afro hair or just curly hair.

Some people could go for days without washing their hair. But this is limited to those with thicker hair. People with fine hair may want to shampoo every day. If you work out and sweat a lot, daily washing may also be helpful to maintaining good hair. When you wash your hair daily, you prevent your thin hair from flattening.

If you have thick hair, however, you may not need to wash as often as someone who has fine hair. Thick hair isn’t susceptible to scalp oil, so it doesn’t need as much shampooing as an oily scalp.

So the answer to “how often should you wash your hair” is not as cut and dried as providing a specific frequency. Because washing your hair will depend on your hair type and lifestyle:

  • Do you work out often?
  • Do you live an active lifestyle, participating in different sporting activities?
  • Do you style your hair frequently?
  • Do you get your hair colored and treated at a salon more often than the average person?

Although the frequent shampooing and conditioning sometimes boils down to personal preference, it would be ideal to have some kind of guide.

How Many Times Should You Wash Your Hair in a Week?

woman with curly hair
Photo by Cottonbro on Pexels

Before figuring out how often should you wash your hair, determine the level of moisture in your hair.

Dry Hair

Brittle or lifeless after shampoo. Strands tend to break or have split ends.

Oily Hair

Flat, greasy roots after a couple days of shampoo. Strands are also elastic.

It’s easy enough to tell, just by looking, the structure and texture of your hair:

Straight, Fine Hair

If it’s thin, take a strand and compare with a thread; if it’s thinner than the thread, you’ve got thin hair

Thick, Wavy or Curly Coarse Hair

Thicker, rougher strands; less supple, more frizzy

Anything in between is medium, normal hair.

Once you’ve figure your your hair type, follow a washing routine accordingly. On average, those with normal hair can wash their hair every two to three days, or every other day.

As previously mentioned, if you’ve got thick hair, you could go five to seven days without washing. And shampoo only when your scalp feels itchy. Shampooing every day may dry out thicker hair.

If you have dry skin and suffer from eczema, it’s not advisable to shampoo every day.

if you’ve got thin hair, daily washing is suggested, especially for those with active oil glands. But shampoo and condition less. Thin, fine hair have a tendency toward sensitive scalps. Shampoo and conditioning products have harsh chemicals that damage hair.

Which Hair Products are Best to Ensure Healthy Hair?

hair care products
Photo by
Gabrielle Henderson on Unsplash

Along with following the right frequency for washing your hair, use the right hair care products.

Start by choosing the product based on your type of hair.

For Dry, Color Treated Hair

  • Pureology Hydrate Shampoo
  • Alterna Haircare Caviar Anti-Aging Replenishing Moisture Shampoo

For Damaged Hair

  • Neutrogena T/Gel Extra Strength Shampoo
  • Maui Moisture Heal & Hydrate Shampoo

For Thin Hair

  • Dove Nutritive Solutions Daily Moisture Shampoo
  • OGX Thick & Full Biotin & Collagen Shampoo

For Thick Hair

  • Klorane Nourishing Shampoo with Mango Butter
  • Moroccanoil’s Hydrating Conditioner (for frizz)

For Oily Scalp

  • John Paul Mitchell Systems Tea Tree Special Shampoo
  • Neutrogena Anti-Residue Clarifying Shampoo

If you’ve started co-washing, try Pantene Gold Series Deep Hydrating Co-Wash. It’s sulfate-free and contains argan oil, which softens and nourishes strands without stripping it of essential oils.

In general, look for more natural ingredients in your shampoo and conditioner. Because harsh chemicals affect hair health. Look for hydrating ingredients as well and avoid products with parabens and sulfates. You may also want to look into plant-based hair care products.

Should You Oil Your Scalp Every Day?

Another hair care product you may be considering is scalp oil. Oiling the scalp is intended to hydrate dry scalp, nourishing the strands in the process. The oils is also sometimes used as a pre-treatment process at a salon.

Scalp oil may also help protect your follicles, ensuring hair health; not just a healthy scalp.

But should you be applying oil every day?

Just as you wouldn’t need to shampoo your hair every day, the same approach may be used to scalp oil. A weekly treatment may be all you need to protect and restore the health of your hair. But if you’re suffering from dandruff, scalp oil may not effective. It may even worsen your condition by promoting unhealthy bacteria.

One Wash a Week or Three for Your Hair?

The frequency of washing and shampooing your hair depends on a couple factors. Your hair type and lifestyle, which allows you to come up with a washing routine.

The bottom line is that if your hair starts to feel itchy, dirty or oily, it’s time to lose the shower cap and wash your locks. But wash carefully and shampoo easily with good products that aren’t full of chemicals.

Lockdown or not, washing is crucial to the health of your hair. You may not feel like it, but once you get in the shower and feel the water run through your crowning glory, you’ll feel a whole lot better. And with the right product, you’ll also look better.

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