How Often Should I Wash My Hair?

After hearing some feedback on how to serve my community better, I’ve decided to put together a quick tips guide just once a month that covers common questions I receive at the salon. My goal is to provide value to you by distilling the knowledge I’ve gained from working with thousands of clients' hair over the last three decades into a concise newsletter that is easy to understand and simple to implement.

One question that I get asked quite often is “how often should I wash my hair?”. My recommendation is that you can rinse your hair with (cold) water as often as you want (certainly after sweating at the gym), but the decision on whether to also use shampoo and conditioner is highly dependent on your individual hair type and even the weather!

The most important factor for having healthy hair is maintaining the right amount of natural oils, called sebum. Shampoo at its core is a soap which bonds together oils, dirt, and styling product residue which is then rinsed out when you shower. As a result, shampooing everyday can remove too much of the natural sebum on your scalp, so I recommend using shampoo only 2 to 3 times per week. There are, however, some important exceptions to consider:

  • If you use lots of hair products (hairspray, pomade, gel) you should shampoo more often to reduce the negative side effects of clogged pores - 3 to 4 times per week
  • If you have naturally thick or oily hair you can shampoo more often, 3 to 4 times per week, but also consider using a dry shampoo in between days to keep your hair from looking too greasy without drying out your scalp from using shampoo daily
  • If you have textured or curly hair you should shampoo less often, 1 to 2 times per week, and try using only conditioner 3 to 4 times per week.
  • If you have straight or thin hair, you want to shampoo more often, 3 to 4 times per week. This is because your scalp will lack enough sebum to naturally defend the scalp and regular shampooing can actually train your scalp to produce more oil over time.
  • As the weather gets cold, the air tends to dry out. When the weather gets hot, the air triggers sweat and more toxins. So consider shampooing less often during the winter and more often during the summer.
  • Since most conditioners do not remove oils and only moisturize, you are free to use these daily.

I hope you’ve found this information helpful! At the very least it should also save you from having to run to the store and buy shampoo as often. If you have questions or ideas for hair topics you’d like to learn more about, please let me know!  

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published