How Often Should You Wash Your Hair – A Complete Guide

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You may ask, “how often should I wash my hair?” As much as routine washing of the hair is an important part of hair care, there is no universal rule as to how often you should wash your hair.

Unlike the teeth that require daily washing, wash days should be whenever the scalp or hair strands are dirty. Also, the kind of washing your hair needs is dependent on your hair type. 

You will agree with me that hair is an essential part of us that we all care about so much. The appearance of your hair to a large degree tells people about your personality.

How Often Should You Wash Your Hair?

From findings and research, the answer to this question varies from individuals to their hair type, skin/scalp type, the situation of the hair (dandruff), and the type of environment they live in.

For every normal person, taking a day or two days interval before washing the hair is fine. However, some persons just can’t do without washing their hair daily.

According to experts, washing the hair twice or thrice every week is totally fine. A lot of people worry about how often they need to wash their hair. However, washing the hair should be done when it is too oily or feels dirty.

Factors to consider when determining the frequency of wash days include:

  • Hair types and how often they should be washed.
  • Your climatic environment and how it affects washing your hair.
  • Seborrhea dermatitis (dandruff) and other scalp/skin bacteria.

SEE: Should You Shampoo Daily? All You Need to Know About Hair Care

Hair Types and How often You Should Wash Them

In a world where there are different kinds of people with different colors, cultures, and climatic environments, as expected, our hair type differs too. Hair types and how to determine the frequency of wash days;

1. Thin-fine straight hair type

Having concluded the opinions of different dermatologists, thin-fine straight hair requires more washing attention than any other type of hair. This is because the thin-fine straight hair is easily prone to oiliness.

Therefore, it quickly gets dirty and needs to be washed very often. Going a day or two before washing is just perfect for people with this hair type.

2. Curved or curly hair type

For this hair type, washing twice a week is a good practice because a curly type of hair seldom gets oily. Washing this type of hair frequently can make it dry or frizzy which can cause critical damage to such hair.

3. African-American hair type

African American hair type does not require daily washing. This is because such hair type is naturally dry hair. Frequently washing such hair takes away the little oil the skin provides to moisturize the hair. For such hair washing once weekly or every other week is perfectly fine.

 4. African hair type

African hair type doesn’t get dry easily but the texture is sort of coarse, so washing the hair too often can damage such hair type. People with African hair type hardly leave their hair undone.

Therefore the need to wash their hair only arises when they lose out on the hair they made. Washing your hair once in two weeks is not a bad idea. Truthfully, the African hair type can get away with washing their once or twice in three months.

5. Thick hair type

The gist is that thick hair follicles hardly build up oil in the hair. This means that the thick kind of hair isn’t very oily. Hence, washing your hair very often can cause more harm to your hair than expected. Try washing your thick hair just once a week.

However, there are always exceptions i.e, some thick-haired people experience oily scalp or itchiness.

So, getting a specific hair wash or shampoo that is mostly for follicle clearing and zap inflammation can help reduce itchiness and the oily follicle. It helps to clean the root without feeling frizzy.

damaged hair

6. Damaged hair

Due to heat-styling, gel-styling, chemical-based treatment, and relaxing cream which allows us to be stylish, creative, and experimental with our hair. While these make styling of your hair easy, they mess up your hair cuticles making the hair dry and brittle.

To prevent breakage and drying out, wash chemically processes hair less often. Washing colored hair too often can make the color fade out quickly and easily. Avoid washing this kind of hair too often if you wouldn’t want to re-apply color to it daily.

A gel-styled hair for African and African American hair type can’t do any washing until you are ready to wash out the hairstyle. Washing damaged hair too often can be more harmful than giving a solution to the hair.

SEE: Protein Treatment for Hair: How to Redefine Your Weak Hair With It

Climatic Environment and How It Affects How Often You Wash Your Hair

Living in a humid environment where you sweat a lot can require you to wash your hair more often than others. This is because sweating can make the skin provide excess oil than usual.

This excess oil easily flows down the hair which makes the hair oily and dirty. Sweating can cause itchiness in the scalp or even cause an unpleasant smell from the hair. People who leave in the humid part of the world should consider washing their hair very often or daily. 

The rule of washing the hair daily doesn’t apply to you if you don’t stay in a humid environment. Just going by your hair type will help decide when and when not to wash your hair.

If you stay in a country that gets cold now and then, washing the hair from time to time won’t be necessary because the weather can help zap out any oil that builds up in the hair. In some weather conditions, simply conditioning the hair will do just fine.

SEE: Protect Your Hair’s Natural Oil With Sulfate-Free Shampoo

How Often Should You Wash Your Hair With Seborrhea Dermatitis?

For hair with severe dandruff conditions, see a specialist on how often you should wash your hair with other recommendations.

Seborrhea dermatitis is a medical condition of the hair, popularly known as dandruff. Dandruff is a skin condition that is caused by microbiomes, allergies, or even genetic conditions.

It’s important to note that, not all dandruff problems are a result of your hair products. Some dandruff can be very serious as a result of the genetic conditions or even overly sensitive skin type of some people. 

Redness, greasiness, and scaly hair texture are signs of very sensitive skin with dandruff conditions.

To control dandruff in the hair, there are medically or naturally processed hair wash or shampoo to wash the hair daily, control dandruff, and help improve the pH balance of the scalp. Most dandruff shampoos are oil-based and they keep the hair moisturized.

Some persons are not comfortable with washing their hair daily, or even once a month, which is fine if your type doesn’t require frequent washing, However, should you skip a wash day when due, below are likely scenarios that might pan out.

SEE: Best Shampoo and Conditioner Sets for Better Hair Care

What Will Happen if You Consistently Skip a Wash Day?

We have established the fact that washing the hair daily is bad for its health.

Skipping wash days is likewise dangerous for your hair. It usually builds excess oil in your hair, which allows bacteria to grow and recedes your hair growth process.

Excess oil buids up in the hair

There is a gland responsible for producing oil to the scalp (sebaceous gland). The sebum helps to keep the hair glowing, strong, and healthy. As healthy as the sebum is to the hair, it can also be very harmful and unhealthy.

When you do not wash your hair appropriately, the sebum builds-up, and makes the hair too greasy which can attract dirt and other microorganisms to the scalp.

Allows insects and bacteria thrive in your hair

shredding hair

Not washing the hair at all can also cause scalp issues like dandruff and the invitation of insect-like lice to feast on the hair which is equally dangerous to your health.

When you don’t wash your hair at the appropriate time, it causes it to smell bad from all the sweat and heat it must have accumulated over time. There might be shedding of hair when this becomes a pattern.

Retards your hair growth

They are more likely to experience itchiness and scaly scalp. To have healthy hair, the scalp needs to be clean as blocked hair follicles can affect the growth of the hair.

While it is natural for your hair to shreds, not washing the hair means the shredded hair will stay accumulated and get clogged at some point. So, to get healthy and strong hair, keeping it clean is very important. A major way to keep the hair clean is by washing it. 

What Will Happen if You Overwash Your Hair?

It loses essential oils. Oils are necessary for maintaining the moisture and texture of your hair. If you overwash your hair, you would be losing the natural oil (sebum) of your hair strands.

Some people believe there is nothing like overwashing the hair as washing is a means to keep the hair clean and healthy.

While it’s your hair and you can decide the frequency of your wash days, you should know that you can overwash the hair. Consequences of overwashing your hair

Disrupts the pH balance of the scalp

Overwashing your hair can disrupt the pH balance of your scalp. It can cause the scalp to be more alkaline when it should be a little acidic which makes the scalp irritated. 

Removes essential oils that the hair needs

Normally, the scalp produces some natural goodness that contributes to the health of the hair.

However, over-washing your hair means you are sending away the good natural resources that your scalp needs to make the hair follicle grow healthy hair. So, over-washing your hair does more harm to the hair than good.

SEE: What Does Clarifying Shampoo Do for Your Hair? Discover the What and How

FAQs

Is it possible to overwash your hair?

Yes, it is. It is possible to overwash your hair. Especially if you live in a region that doesn’t require you to wash your hair frequently.

To know the appropriate interval for washing your hair, find out your hair type, density by carrying out a porosity test.

What happens if you don’t wash your hair when its dirty?

If you don’t wash your hair after it’s dirty, excess oils accumulate in the scalp to clog the hair follicles.

This can result in scalp-related diseases, hair thinning, breakage, and shredding of hair.

How often should you wash your hair?

You should determine how often your hair needs washing. If you don’t have any scalp-related issues, washing your hair twice a week is just fine.

Please note that some hair types will thrive whether they are washed weekly or monthly. Identify what works best for your hair.

Conclusion

How often should you wash your hair depends on you as an individual and your hair type. No hair type requires you to wash daily except there are some underlying conditions. It should be how do you know your hair type and choose a washing process that works for you.

Trichologists advise that the best way to know your hair type is to experiment with a strand of your hair. You determine the hair type by paying close attention to the changes that occur in the strand.

For example, if you take a strand of your hair between your fingers and you can feel it, it means you have medium-thick hair. If you cannot feel it, it means your hair is thin and fine. If you can feel the strength in that one strand, it means your hair is thick and coarse. 

No one gets their hair types and what works for them at once. Knowing your hair type is not easy but studying your hair and knowing the right hair product to use and hair care routine to follow will save you a lot of stress and worry. 

Thanks for reading.

Africana Fashion provides suitable hair care articles to help improve your hair growth journey.