When it comes to hair care, there are so many new products, tips and trends to keep up with, but there’s one question that will never wane in relevance — how often should you wash your hair? Although you may have heard you should shampoo your hair as little as possible, the answer just isn’t that clear cut and has to take into account different hair types and concerns.
Keep reading to learn just how frequently you should wash your hair.
How Often Should You Wash Your Hair for It to Be Healthy?
As we said, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer here. Just like the best hair care routine and hairstyling products largely depend on your hair type, so does the answer to how often you should be washing your hair.
It may take a little trial and error to figure out how often you need to wash your hair and the answer may change from time to time. But there are some important factors you should take into account to discover how often you should wash your hair.
1. Hair Type and Texture
Knowing when to wash oily hair is all about finding the right balance. To revive oily strands, reach for a tinted dry shampoo like the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate Free Tinted Dry Shampoo for Brown Hair if you have dark hair or the L'Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate Free Tinted Dry Shampoo for Blonde Hair if you have light hair. While you still may need to wash oily hair a few times a week, dry shampoo can absorb oils to refresh hair so you can hold off for an extra day or two.
Like oily strands, knowing how often to wash dry strands is all about balance because overwashing can cause more dryness.
Along with chemically-treated or color-treated hair, you’ll likely benefit from washing strands less frequently. Natural hair can aim for two to three times a month to avoid severely drying your strands. Curly strands and natural hair alike can benefit from a clarifying shampoo like the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Curls No Build-Up Curls Micellar Shampoo to remove build-up, lock in moisture and define curls.
2. Hair Length
According to the Cleveland Clinic, longer hair tends to have dry ends since the oil that comes from your roots has a much longer distance to travel before it can moisturize the lengths and ends of your hair. So, if you have dry, long hair, you may benefit from less frequent washing in addition to using a hydrating hair care system, like the L'Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Moisture Shampoo and L'Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Moisture Conditioner.
3. Your Age
It’s a fact that as you age, your scalp produces less and less oil, so washing is needed less frequently. On the other end of the spectrum, oil glands are more active in those who are younger and especially those who are hormonal (in other words, teens), which is why young people often have to wash their hair more often.
4. Your Lifestyle
As you already well know, exercising can make you work up a serious sweat and it can be tough to keep your hair and scalp clean after an intense workout. However, for those who exercise often, the Cleveland Clinic suggests that even though you might feel like you need to wash after every workout, sticking to a routine is the better option. Washing your hair every day can be unhealthy and detrimental because it can dry out your hair and scalp, leading to damage and unwanted frizz. Washing your hair every couple of days to maintain cleanliness is a healthier and more balanced option, so try washing your hair three times per week, regardless of whether or not you get more (or less) activity than normal.
Editor’s tip: To preserve your strands during a workout, pull your hair up into a loose, high bun and secure it with a silk scrunchie to avoid any dents in your hair. Once you're done with your workout, hit your scalp with the cool-dry feature on your blow dryer to cool it down and take care of any sweat. Finish with a few spritzes of dry shampoo until your hair smells fresh and feels good as new.
5. Time of Year
You may find that your hair wash routine varies depending on the time of year or more so, the climate. When it’s summer and hot out, you may notice your strands getting oilier and feel the need to wash your hair more frequently like a few times a week. As the weather changes and it grows much colder, you may find that you only need to wash your hair once a week.
3 Signs That You Wash Your Hair too Often
As you can see, there’s a wide range of answers to how often you should wash your hair. Some people might need to wash their hair a few times a week, while others may benefit from washing only once per month. In addition to taking all of the above factors into consideration, there’s also a chance you could be washing your hair too frequently. Here are some telltale signs.
1. Your Strands Are Brittle
Are your strands so dry that they feel rough and brittle when you touch them? If you’re nodding your head, then you may have brittle hair and you could be washing too frequently. Overwashing hair can be detrimental for hair that is already brittle or damaged — like color-treated or bleached-damaged strands — so be mindful of this.
2. Your Scalp is Itchy and Flaking
It could also be dandruff, but if you have a dry scalp, it may also be a sign that you’re washing your hair too often.
3. You Start Shedding Hair
If you think you are losing too much hair in the shower, consider visiting a dermatologist or a physician who can help you rule out more serious causes and determine a treatment plan.
Edited by: Reece Andavolgyi, Photo credit: Chaunte Vaughn
Discover more tips & tricks
Keep your skin happy
Shop Featured Hair Care products