How Often Should You Really Be Washing Your Hair?

Megan Dominion

For the average person, a good rule of thumb is to wash your hair every two to three days. However, if you are washing your hair every day, is this really too often? And for those with type 3 or 4 hair, even washing your hair every third day seems completely unneccesary. These are the factors that you should take into account when figuring out how often you should be washing your hair.

3 Reasons to wash your hair less than you are currently

  1. Washing your hair less often saves money. You’ll not only use less shampoo, but think of all the styling products you use each time you wash your hair. Your products will last longer with less frequent use.
  2. It’s better for the environment. You’ll use less water with less frequent hair washing. Additionally less chemicals will flow down the drains and into the water supply when you’re not washing your hair every day.
  3. If you are overwashing your hair you are very likely stripping a lot of the natural oils. Washing your hair less frequently means the natural oils produced by your scalp will have time to hydrate, condition and strengthen your strands.

Why do some people need to wash their hair more than others?

Some people need to wash their hair more than others because of differing hair types, scalp types, and lifestyle habits. For instance, people with oily scalp tend to need to wash their hair more often than those with dry scalp. Additionally, those who lead an active lifestyle and sweat more often, may need to wash their hair more often. Different hair types also require different levels of maintenance – curly, dry hair may require less frequent washing than straight, thin hair. Ultimately, it’s important to figure out what works best for your hair, taking into consideration all of the factors of your lifestyle and hair type.

Signs you should try wash your hair less frequently

Shampooing daily or every second day is well-suited for a number of people. If you feel you need to wash your hair every day, then by no means degrade your personal hygiene because of a blog post!

But chances are you may be able to get away with washing your hair less frequently. Here are some signs that you may be washing your hair too often:

Plopping upside down

  • Your hair is losing its shine and your strands are weakened and constantly breaking. Stripping your hair of natural oils leaves your hair dry and brittle.
  • You have recently had a chemical treatment that has dried out your hair. Washing less often can help restore balance and moisture to your strands.
  • Your scalp is too dry, or producing too much oil. Overwashing can lead to an imbalance which either leaves your scalp overly dry, or overcompensating and producing too much oil to make up for the constant stripping of oils.
  • You’re having trouble styling your hair. A normal amount of natural oils can assist in both styling and prolonging a hair style

How to prolong your hair wash

So you’d like to try washing your hair less frequently, but are concerned about your hair getting greasy overnight.

The first thing you could try is to consider using alternate methods of cleaning, such as a sulfate free shampoo, or co-washing with just conditioner. Dry shampoo is another option. It is great for soaking up oil, adding volume and extending your hair washing days.

When you are shampooing your hair, try to concentrate primarily on the scalp and avoid piling on product into your hair. It’s very likely your scalp needs cleaning much more than the ends of your hair. This way you’ll use less shampoo, concentrate on the area that actually needs cleaning, and are less likely to strip your strands of too much natural oils.

Heat is another factor than can lead to more frequent hair washing. Heat styling tools and too-hot water can lead to excessive dryness. This in turn may lead to your scalp overcompensating and producing too much oil.

Always try to cover your hair when in the swimming pool or when exposed to other chemicals. Using a swimming cap means you wont have to wash your hair after every swim. Chlorine can be damaging to your hair too, so using a cap will protect your hair and scalp health from harsh pool chemicals.

Find what routine works best for you

In addition to hair care tips, consider the lifestyle changes that can help keep your hair healthier for longer. Eat a balanced diet, reduce stress and get enough rest (easier said than done, but try change one small thing at a time). Drink plenty of water to keep your hair nourished, and use products specifically designed for your hair type.

By following these guidelines, you should be able to ensure that your hair is healthy and properly taken care of, while also reducing the number of times you need to wash your hair.

Everyone’s hair is different and may require different frequency of washing. It will take some trial and error before you find the right routine for you.

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.