Hair plays a significant role in every person’s appearance. That’s why the hair care market continues to grow every year. In 2020, the global revenue for this industry reached a whopping $75.06 billion.
People are always looking for the latest and greatest products to help keep their hair looking its best. And one area that remains to be a hot topic is washing frequency.
Why is Hair Washing Important?
Washing your hair is vital for maintaining a healthy scalp. A build-up of sebum, sweat, dead skin cells and environmental pollutants can cause dry scalp issues, like dandruff, scalp acne and excessive greasiness. It can also make your hair look and feel pretty gross.
According to trichologists, not washing your hair isn’t recommended as it impacts hair health. According to the American Academy of Dermatologists, your hair sheds 50 to 100 strands daily. And if you’re not washing your hair, those strands will accumulate sebum and dandruff on your scalp.
To keep these bad hair days at bay, you must find your sweet spot for how often should you wash your hair.
How Often Should You Wash Hair?
Dermatologists and trichologists agree that the frequency of hair washing depends on your hair type. Although there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, below are some general guidelines for how often you should wash different hair types:
This hair texture is prone to dryness, so cleaning it too often can eliminate the natural oils your scalp produces. On the other hand, not washing it enough can weigh down your locks and make them appear greasy.
The happy medium for washing thick hair is every three to four days. This period allows the scalp to produce enough sebum to hydrate your strands without making them look or feel greasy. Thus, giving you healthy-looking, voluminous locks.
This hair type is more fragile and prone to oiliness. So if you have finer hair, you may need to wash it more often than other types.
Washing your hair every day or every other day should suffice. Just be sure to use a mild shampoo to avoid too much dryness and causing damage. Specialized fine hair products can also help add volume and texture.
If you’re lucky enough to have normal hair, you have more flexibility regarding how often you wash it. You can generally get away with washing it every two to three days.
However, if your hair starts to look or feel greasy before that timeframe, you can go ahead and wash it. And if you work out frequently or live in a hot, humid climate, you may need to shampoo more often to avoid build-up and excessive oiliness.
This hair type is prone to tangles, split ends, and breakage. So washing it too often can further dry out your strands and strip away the natural oils your scalp produces.
Washing your hair every three to four days should suffice. This timeframe allows your scalp to produce enough sebum to hydrate your strands without making them look or feel greasy.
If you have greasy hair, you may need to wash it more often than other hair types. Washing your hair every day or every other day should be necessary. But you must supplement your shampooing with other treatments to help manage stripping away too much oil and damaging your hair. It will also help to use a clarifying shampoo once a week to remove build-up.
Coarse Hair or Afro Hair
An afro hair type is the most resilient, so it can withstand less washing than other hair types. It could even go for months without being washed, considering the ideal protective styles get used.
People with this hair type use weaves or cornrows, waiting for the style to grow out before washing it. Depending on your hair growth rate, this can be one to three months between washes.
Why You Shouldn’t Wash Your Hair Every Day
Washing your hair every day isn’t necessary unless you have greasy hair. There are several reasons why daily washes can be harmful, including the following:
It increases scalp pH
Too much washing can raise your scalp’s pH, making it more alkaline rather than slightly acidic. An alkaline scalp can lead to flaking, itchiness, and irritation. This situation will cause your skin to overcompensate and produce more oil, resulting in a greasy scalp.
It strips hair of natural oils
Controlling your hair oil glands will cause it to become dry, brittle, and more susceptible to damage. It can even lead to incredibly static and flyaway hair.
It can cause damage
Washing your hair too often can lead to breakage, split ends, and tangles. That is because washing hair every day removes the natural goodness that helps protect your strands. When you don’t have this natural protection, it will be easier to damage your hair.
Is Washing Hair Once a Week Good?
Ideally, you should wash your hair every two to three days. But if you can stretch it to once a week, that’s even better. Washing your hair less often will help preserve your hair’s oil glands, which keep your strands healthy and hydrated.
According to studies, washing your hair once a week can also help increase hair growth. That’s because when you don’t wash your hair, the sebum produced by your scalp will spread to the ends of your strands. This natural oil is full of nutrients that can promote hair growth.
What Makes a Good Haircare Routine?
Washing hair once a week is ideal, provided you supplement your hair care routine with the proper habits. Below are some tips to help you make the most of a once-a-week washing schedule:
Choose the right shampoo
The products you use on your hair are just as important as how often you wash them. When choosing a shampoo, look for one that is sulfate-free and gentle. Sulfates can strip away natural hair oils, making hair dry and brittle. Instead of sulfates, look for traditional shampoos with natural surfactants such as coco betaine or lauryl glucoside. These will help hydrate and nourish your strands without weighing them down.
Use dry shampoo
Every hair stylist recommends using dry shampoo between washes to help absorb excess oils and dirt. It will help your hair look fresh without washing it too often. Many brands now offer dry shampoos specifically formulated for different hair types. Finding the right dry shampoo for your strands can keep your hair looking its best.
Never skip the conditioner
Conditioner washing is just as important as shampooing, if not more so. That’s because conditioner helps hydrate and protect your strands. Developing a co-washing routine (washing your hair with conditioner instead of shampoo) can be a great way to keep your strands healthy and hydrated. Leave-in conditioners can also be a great way to add extra moisture to your strands.
Be careful with heat-styling products
Heated styling tools can cause damage, so it’s best to avoid them if possible. Blow drying, flat ironing, and curling your hair too often can lead to dryness, breakage, and split ends. If you must use heat styling products, use a heat protectant spray before applying any heat to your strands.
Develop a routine for every weather
The hair washing schedule that works for you in the winter might not work as well in the summer. That’s because humidity and sweat can make your hair greasier, requiring frequent washes. Likewise, drier air can make your hair drier, requiring less washing.
Developing a routine for each season will help you keep your hair clean and looking its best. For example, a rainy day hair care routine should focus on hydration, while a summertime routine should focus on preventing sweat and product build-up. By tailoring your hair care routine to the weather, you can keep healthier hair all year long.
Try a hair mask
Hair masks are a great way to treat your strands deep conditioning. It can help replenish nutrients and moisture, leaving your strands looking healthy and vibrant. Look for a mask that is tailored to your specific hair type.
For example, if you have dry hair, look for a mask rich in hydration. If you have oily hair, look for a clarifying mask to help remove excess oil and product build-up. It will help you get the most out of your hair care routine.
Always check your hair health
Continuous exposure to heat and chemicals can damage your hair. That’s why it’s important to always check the health of your strands. If you notice your hair is looking dry, brittle, or unmanageable, it may be time to reassess your hair care routine.
The frequency of washing your hair is vital to having healthy strands. Depending on your hair type, you may need to wash your hair every day, every other day, or once a week. The key is to find a balance that works for you. With the above tips, you can develop a healthy hair care routine that keeps your strands healthy and happy.