How Often Should I Wash My Curly Hair

Megan Dominion

This is a loaded question for curlies! The bottom line is, it really comes down to your hair type, your environment and how active you are. Even so, simply having curly hair means that your natural hair oils (sebum) have difficulty reaching and penetrating your entire hair strand. When compared to straight-haired folk, curly-haired people are more prone to having dry hair. That’s why our locks need so much more special attention, but the reward is well worth it!

How often do you wash different curl types?

In order to understand your hair’s needs, you need to quickly identify which Curl Type you have. Trust us, knowing this will benefit you in the long run, and for every-day hair concerns like “Why does my hair take so long to dry?

All curls are different and they actually have very different needs. If you have a tight curl with a coarse texture, like 4B or 4C, then you should probably be washing your locks around once a week. This is because your hair probably has a higher porosity or is more ‘thirsty’, so to speak. If your hair is finer and straighter, like 2A or 2B – then you’ll need to wash more often as the sebum in your scalp has an easier ride to your hair’s shaft – so your hair will gather healthy oils a lot faster. Most experts would recommend washing two or three times a week. Here’s an easy breakdown with descriptions of the different hair types!


Curly hair types chart

Type 2A: fine, loose waves
Type 2B: large waves
Type 2C: mix of waves and curls
Type 3A: large, loose, and defined curls
Type 3B: medium-sized barrel curls
Type 3C: pencil-sized spiral curls
Type 4A: ultra-tight corkscrew curls
Type 4B: tiny curls that bend in a zig-zag shaped pattern
Type 4C: densely packed curls

Read more here: How to find your curl pattern

All curls really are different, so the best way to answer this question is simply by experimenting. Play around with your washing schedule and see what makes your hair the happiest!

Is it bad to wash curly hair every day?

YES. It is not a good idea to strip your hair of those natural oils that give your curls some much-needed hydration. Not only that, you could develop hygral fatigue – which is basically over-moisturized hair. Your hair can retain excessive moisture from absorbing too many products such as the usual conditioner and styling products you would be using daily. Basically, your hair needs a break so that it can produce natural oils, too!

There is so much that you can do in-between washes to keep your locks bouncy and your hair feeling fresh!


Get a good spritz water bottle! You can give your hair a good spritz and crunch in the mornings to re-set your curls. This is especially handy if you’ve lost some bounce in your sleep or if you want to go out and need a ‘fresh do’!

You can still wet your hair in the shower and then add a tiny bit of conditioner. Then pop your hair in a plop and you’ve got a new, shiny, hydrated style.

Read our top 8 mistakes when plopping

Dry shampoo is not your friend. They soak up all those great hair oils and dehydrate your locks.
Invest in a good shine spray! These are great for a little spritz and will add a nice fresh aroma to your hair, too!

Spritz curly hair to refresh

What products are best for curly hair washing?

You should be using a shampoo and conditioner that was designed and created specifically for your hair’s needs. Most professional curling shampoos will specify if the product is a match for your curl type, so remember to read the labels carefully. Look for products that contain:

  • Natural oils like avocado, coconut or jojoba oil (for a natural moisture boost)
  • Keratin (this is a great hair protein)
  • Vitamins, provitamins (for hair health)
  • Aloe Vera (for shiny hair and to promote hair growth)
  • Panthenol (for stronger hair and to promote moisture retention)
  • Plant extracts (for shine and strength)
  • Hydrolyzed Silk (an amino acid that promotes natural keratin production

3A curly hair

Is it okay to just shampoo and condition my curly hair?

If you’ve been blessed with curls, then you know that you need to put in the work to see the best results. There is no better feeling than being rewarded with gorgeous, bouncy, healthy curls!

Above and beyond just washing and defining your own personal hair care routine and washing schedule, you should also be clarifying your hair as needed. We know that you love to use a variety of wonderful styling, taming and hydrating products. The problem is that those great products can leave buildup on your hair over time, so it’s a good idea to use a Clarifying Shampoo if you feel that your hair has either become a bit waxy, greasy, unmanageable or has lost its curl.

Is it enough to just wash curly hair?

If you really want juicy, shiny, bouncy and frizz-free curls, then you might want to add a good hydrating mask to your hair care routine! It’s a bit like adding a primer to your face before applying make-up; not necessary but an added bonus!

Hydrating masks are great to use ‘every other wash’ or as often as you want a good hair pamper. They’re typically used in the shower, after your shampoo – and instead of conditioner. You need to follow the product’s instructions, but they’re typically left in your hair for at least five minutes to add a great moisture boost. A hydrating mask is also great for preventing breakage and detangling your hair.

Looking for more curly hair tips? Visit our blog for more curl-friendly tips, tricks and advice!

Megan Dominion

Megan Dominion is SILKUP's Managing Editor. She's been down both the curly hair and skincare rabbit holes many times and loves that there's always something new to learn; a new science, method, product or personal experience.