How many times a week should I wash my hair? It is a question hairstylists get regularly. It depends on the type of hair the person has, the saloon treatment they may be undergoing, hair coloring, and other factors. The frequency of hair wash depends on the individual and finding what works best for them.
How Often Should you Really Wash Your Hair?
Washing your hair is vital to maintain healthy growth and avoid the buildup of products or oils that can eventually lead to scalp infections. Here are some of the factors you need to consider before you decide how often you need to wash your hair:
1. Oily Hair
Oily hair is best washed daily to prevent the buildup of oil in the scalp and hair. Unless your hair is very coarse, long, or curly, washing it once a day will suffice when it gets too oily.
2. Dry or Damaged Hair
Hair that’s dry or damaged shouldn’t be washed too often as the natural oils produced by the skin protect the hair and scalp. If your hair is dehydrated, you can wash it once every five or seven days to allow it time to heal. Excessive shampooing can also cause hair to become dry and damaged, especially if a clarifying shampoo is used.
3. Wavy or Curly hair
Hair that is dense and curly should not be washed too often as well. This is because the oil produced by the scalp takes longer to coat the hair and nourish it thoroughly. The rule of thumb is to wash the hair once every four to five days. If that doesn’t seem to work, try washing it a day earlier or a day later.
4. Fine or Thin Hair
Fine, straight hair gets oily the quickest, so it is alright to wash it every other day to keep it clean and promote growth. Allowing too much oil to stay on the hair can also weigh it down, making the hair look less voluminous.
5. Thick Hair
These hair textures tend to hold on to moisture and oil for a more extended period. Washing it once a week is sufficient to keep it healthy.
Should Your Hair Wash Schedule Change As Per Seasons?
Absolutely! Seasonal change can have a significant effect on the condition of the hair. Winter, for example, tends to make the hair drier as the scalp produces less oil and sweat. Summer, on the other hand, makes the scalp sweaty and oily. Therefore your hair wash schedule should change to accommodate how long it takes for the hair to become oily or messy.
How Does Shampoo Work for Your Hair?
The shampoo is an emulsifier that works by trapping oil and carrying it out when you wash it with water. The scalp produces natural oils meant to keep the skin moisturized and protected from dust and bacteria. Washing your hair with shampoo ensures that excess oil is removed from the skin and some amount is left behind to maintain the hair’s health. However, when shampoo is overused, it can strip the scalp and the hair of all the essential oils, leaving it exposed to damage. In people who have dry hair, dandruff can sometimes be caused by over washing with shampoo. Shampooing is good for your hair, especially if you experience itching and dandruff in a few days of washing. Some people are quite sensitive to detergent-based shampoo and are better off skipping it entirely.
How Long Can You Go Without Washing Your Hair?
Some people need to wash their hair every day, and some can go for over a week or two without a wash. Here are some of the common signs that you need to get a hair wash:
1. Your Hair Feels Oily
This is the first sign that indicates your hair needs a wash. Your hair feels oily when you run your fingers through them and get a bit of sticky, oily deposit on your fingers. Waiting beyond this stage might lead to scalp itch and smelly hair.
2. Product Build up
If you use several products such as hair sprays, stylers, serum, or oil, you will notice that it begins to build up in the hair and scalp, making it thick and sticky. It would also give your hair a flimsy look as the products make it heavy.
3. The Hair Becomes a Tangled Mess
Eventually, when oil, hair products, and dirt get caught in the hair, it ends up becoming tangled. Combing through your hair also becomes more difficult. This is when you definitely know it’s time for a wash.
4. The Hair Texture Seems off
Your familiar hair texture right after you’ve washed and conditioned it or the texture straight out of the saloon, which stays for days, can seem off when the hair becomes dirty. When it no longer feels smooth, then it’s time for a wash.
5. Your Hair Smells Weird
The fragrance of your shampoo/conditioner that makes you feel great about your hair is gone; it is replaced by an oily and sweaty unpleasant odor that sticks to your fingers when you brush the hair, or you can smell it in the air around you. Smelly hair is a sign that you desperately need to wash.
How Can You Extend Your Hair Wash Days?
There are few ways you can extend the interval between a hair wash. One popular method is to use ‘dry shampoo,’ a powder or spray that absorbs excess oil in the hair. Technically it doesn’t clean your hair but buys you some time between washes.
Co-washing with ‘cleansing conditioners’ is a fast-growing trend. A single non-detergent product does both washing and conditioning of the hair. Co-washing can significantly improve the time frame between regular washes when done correctly.
If you find that your hair is not too oily, you could give it a plain water wash between the regular shampoo washes. Water can remove some dirt, sweat, and pollen. However, it doesn’t reset the hair like a regular wash with conditioner does.
How to Know Your Hair Need a Wash?
Here are the top contributing factors which tell you that your hair needs a wash:
Your scalp secretes an oily substance called sebum which has several benefits to the skin and the hair. Oil also is the culprit that causes your hair to become dirty and change the texture. The amount of oil produced depends on your genetics, age, and several other factors, including sex and the environment. If your hair is too oily, then it’s alright to wash it every day.
2. Hair Type
Curly and wavy hair can go longer without a wash, while you can wash straight and thin hair every day. You must take care not to use overly harsh shampoos, primarily if you treat your hair regularly with chemicals.
3. Sweat Accumulation
Sweat plays a significant role in how messy and dirty our hair gets. Sweat accumulates dust and bacteria, which feed on the skin’s secretions and cause your hair to smell bad. If you live in a hot-humid environment, then washing your hair regularly should keep it clean. It’s also a good idea to wash your hair after a sweaty workout.
4. Dust, dirt, and pollen
If you travel out in the open or there is a lot of cleaning the house or being engaged in gardening, then there’s a good chance for dust and allergens to accumulate in your hair. These materials can not only damage your hair but also make you more prone to allergies.
5. Styling Products
Hairstyling products build up on the hair and scalp and eventually begin to stink. Using these products frequently will require you to wash your hair often. It is also not a good idea to allow these substances to stay on your scalp for too long.
How Do You Properly Wash Your Hair?
There is no singular approach for how frequently to wash your hair and how to wash it. You need to figure out how to wash your hair, the right shampoo to use, and how often to wash to get the best results. However, always use lukewarm water or water at room temperature to wash your hair.
Pick a shampoo that suits your hair type and massage the shampoo gently over your scalp, working it around to pick up all the oil. When you wash curly hair, you need not spread your shampoo all over the hair as it will find its way to the ends as you rinse it off.
Finally, if your hair type is dry, it’s essential to condition your hair after a wash. Apply the conditioner and leave it there for five to seven minutes before rinsing it off. If you wish to try alternate methods or products, always start incrementally and avoid sudden switches.
The frequency of washing your hair varies from person to person. A routine needs to be figured out through experimentation to find the best shampoo and hair wash method. A conditioner is essential, especially for people with dry hair.